On the 75th birthday of the most iconic actor India has ever produced, WhatteFilm brings for you how Amitabh Bachchan returned to prominence after his company went into huge losses in 1997. Read on!!
Bachchan turned producer during 1996, setting up Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (ABCL) in 1996, with a vision of becoming a 10 billion rupees premier entertainment company by the year 2000. ABCL’s strategy was to introduce products and services covering an entire cross-section of India’s entertainment industry. ABCL’s operations were mainstream commercial film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, production and marketing of television software, and celebrity and event management.
Soon after the company was launched in 1996, the first film it produced was Tere Mere Sapne, which did not fare well at the box-office but launched the careers of actors like Arshad Warsi and South films star Simran. ABCL produced a few other films, none of which did well. ABCL was the main sponsor of the 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, Bangalore but lost millions. The fiasco and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, coupled with the fact that ABCL was reported to have overpaid most of its top level managers, eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in 1997. The company went into administration and was later declared a failed company by Indian Industries board.
Bachchan attempted to revive his acting career through Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham, but a TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati (Season 1) eventually was well received by the audience and led to the start of his second innings; A series that revived his fortunes along with those of the STAR Plus. This was at a time when most movie stars saw television as a step back in their career but Bachchan changed that perception. Estimates reveal that Bachchan earned Rs 15 crore for 85 episodes of the show. The rush of endorsements that came his way, like the ICICI Bank endorsement deal for Rs 10 crore, helped Big B pay back creditors and clean up ABCL’s balance sheet.
Amitabh Bachchan had quoted in an interview in 2009, “In the year 2000, when the entire world was celebrating the new century, I was celebrating my disastrous fortune. There were no films, no money, no company, a million legal cases against and the tax authorities had put notice of recovery on my home. It is only my conscience that kept me going. Many businessmen and financial advisers told me that I should give up ABCL and start a new life. But somewhere I felt that I owe people money. People had put faith in ABCL because of my name. Therefore, I could not let it go easily.”
“There was a sword hanging on my head all the time. I spent many sleepless nights. One day, I got up early in the morning and went directly to Yash Chopraji and told him that I was bankrupt. I had no films. My house and a small property in New Delhi were attached. Yashji listened coolly and then offered me a role in his film Mohabbatein.”
Rest is history!
We wish Amitabh Bachchan Sir a very happy birthday and great health, so that he can entertain and educate us for many more years to come.
Information Source: http://www.bemoneyaware.com/blog/amitabh-bachchan-from-bankruptcy-to-crorepati/