These Bollywood Leading Ladies Mean Business


THESE A-LISTERS FROM BOLLYWOOD HAVE ALSO MADE THEIR MARK IN THE BUSINESS WORLD AS BUSINESSWOMEN AND ENTREPRENEURS. THEY ARE DABBLING IN AREAS DIVERSE AS FITNESS, CHILDCARE, INTERIOR DÉCOR, FASHION DESIGN, AND FILM PRODUCTION.

It’s not business as usual for these actresses of Bollywood, for apart from getting into character and giving performances that Indian cinema has never seen before, they are also juggling other roles — specifically that of entrepreneurship — effortlessly. Here are some

Bollywood actors who have found reasons to invest in businesses.

Shilpa Shetty

While her film career saw more misses than hits, Shilpa Shetty’s journey as an entrepreneur is seeing enough diversity and success. From co-founding an IPL team, Rajasthan Royals, along with her husband Raj Kundra, launching Viaan Mobiles, to her most ambitious venture Satyug Gold, Shilpa has her finger on the business pulse. The actor who doubles as a fitness guru as well is also in the business of health. She has co-authored a book — The Great Indian Diet — with fitness expert Luke Coutinho. The actor has also released a couple of yoga DVDs. Further milking her ‘fit and fab’ image, Shilpa launched IOSIS, a spa, and wellness chain, and also tied up with VLCC to offer specialized fitness services. She seems to have found her business mojo after marriage, with husband Raj being an integral part of this partnership.

She has been quoted saying: “I don't know why there is a discrimination between women and men entrepreneurs. Those who are doing their job should just be seen as professionals and not women or men.”

Karisma Kapoor

This once-popular Bollywood actress continues to be in the news, often about her personal life. However, the Raja Hindustani actress and mother of two is also a successful businesswoman, having invested in popular e-commerce portal Babyoye, which sells mother and baby care products. Karisma holds the single largest share, 25 percent, in the portal owned by Nest Childcare Services Pvt Ltd.

Twinkle Khanna

Mrs. Funnybones is the woman of the moment. While perfect actor genes from father Rajesh Khanna and mother Dimple Kapadia did not ensure a great career in films, Twinkle Khanna found her niche elsewhere. Apart from being a celebrated author and columnist, she is also a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She co-owns award-winning interior design store The White Window and has also designed homes of the rich and famous. She is now dabbling in film production with her own production house Mrs. Funnybones Production, from which the first film, Padman, starring husband Akshay Kumar will be released next year.

Sushmita Sen

The teen who won the Miss Universe title and the single mother of two girls, Sushmita Sen is not only a woman of commendable acting skills but also someone who has perfectly flaunted her independence. With the launch of Sensazione in 2006, Sushmita became widely known as the first entrepreneur among Bollywood actresses to start her own venture. The enterprise intends to cater to hotels, spas and lounges. She also tried to make a foray into film production with Rani Laxmi Bai, in which she was supposed to don the producer’s, director’s and actor’s hats but it got shelved. Besides the struggles, Sushmita successfully launched a parent brand ‘I AM’ in the year 2009. The brand works with ‘I AM SHE’ a forum that selects the next candidate to represent India at the Miss Universe pageant.

Deepika Padukone

This actor from Bengaluru initially started her career with modeling and is now one of India’s best and highly paid actresses. To catapult an already busy and successful career in film, Deepika Padukone went a step further to support people who suffer from depression. In 2015, she founded Live Love Laugh Foundation to help support the people who face depression and anxiety. The organization connects people with mental health care professionals by collaborating with other NGOs, programmes, and projects in the field of mental health. Apart from fighting her condition with depression and founding Live Love Laugh, she launched her own online fashion line, All About You, which is exclusively available on online fashion platform Myntra.

Lara Dutta

This beauty queen to win the Miss Universe title for India in 2000 did not experience resounding success in the Bollywood world. However, Lara Dutta found her calling in the world of entrepreneurship. She established her own production company, Bheegi Basanti, and recently launched a designer saree collection under the label ‘Lara Dutta – Chhabra 555’ this year. She also took her love of motherhood to the next level by starting her own fitness DVD collection that includes prenatal yoga. Lara is currently working on her new production project.

Anushka Sharma

Starting her journey with modeling by moving to Mumbai, this Bengaluru girl also made her debut Bollywood appearance in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. She has also established her own production company, ‘Clean Slate Films’, which released its first picture, ‘NH10’, a Navdeep Singh thriller. Also, Anushka has been actively involved in helping NGOs gather funds and promoting the rights of a girl child and the right to education in India. Anushka is currently working on her upcoming film venture under her production banner. The talented actor has also begun her work on launching a clothing line for everyday fashion.

Priyanka Chopra

The face of the American series Quantico, Priyanka Chopra is not only a popular actor in India but is the first Indian leading lady to make a smooth transition to Hollywood. The life that was built by this daddy’s girl is quite commendable. Not just a lady with performance skills, she has established a production company ‘Purple Pebble Pictures’ and engaged in supporting several NGOs in India. Priyanka went on to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer by making her single ‘In My City’ in 2012. Being a person who stands for the rights of a girl child, she established ‘The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education’, which works on supporting underprivileged children across the country. The foundation takes care of the educational and medical needs of these children.