In his new avatar as Mr Yatra in a new commercial, superstar Salman Khan says, “J3o bhi deal chahiye mein dilaunga. Yeh meri commitment hai” (which ever deal you want, I will get it for you. That is my commitment).
The latest one-liner is part of a deal with Yatra.com under which the online travel portal gave Khan a stake in the company for not just endorsing the product, but also give a real sense of ownership of the brand by proving his commitment.
Yatra says, it doesn’t want to enter into a one-time association. “ It is not like an actor comes, shoots the ad and goes away. This is a continuous relationship,” says Dhruv Shringi, CEO and co-founder, Yatra.com
The company has got Khan on board in order to expand into smaller markets and reach out to travellers looking for the cheapest holiday option. “Salman Khan can straddle across the entire social strata. Indians are travelling more often now. Leisure travel has grown dramatically over the last few years and we want to tap this growing market,” says Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com.
This is not the first time Bollywood stars are looking at an alternate and more innovative way of earnings. Karishma Kapoor had picked up a majority stake in BabyOye.com, an online babycare products store, for an undisclosed amount. The highly enterprising Shilpa Shetty has launched real estate buying site GroupHomeBuyers.com — a 50:50 joint venture with Mumbai-based first-generation entrepreneur Hem Tejuja. Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt invested in ticketing service Ticketplease.com.
Anirban Das Blah, managing director, Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions, a celebrity management firm, says, “The upside is massive, they have nothing to lose. The overall equity participation will be the single biggest strength in celebrity endorsement,” he adds.
Celebrity management executives say the recent deals in this space are mainly sweat equity deals.
“It’s a win-win venture for both parties. As companies get a brand push, stars use it as a medium to be in the news and in the public eye in between their movie releases and dry spells,” explains a brand expert.
Bollywood stars are now being guided by wealth managers and their own business instincts to multiply their fortunes.
Even in mainstream cinema, it’s not just Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan, even Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor have entered into profit sharing agreement with producers.
For instance, Aamir Khan gets 30-50 per cent of earnings from profits. According to industry sources, Aamir has asked for 45 per cent profit share with Yash Raj Films for his role in Dhoom 3.