“Every scene that I am doing is a business. Every line that I say is a business. It has to be to the taste and the liking of the audience I cater to. Also, it has to give you quality for money. Else, the audience will reject it.” That’s Shah Rukh Khan talking to Forbes India about how he seeks to ensure his audiences always get the kind of movies they have come to expect of him.
It is this keen eye for everything business, despite the fact that he still considers himself a creative person ahead of everything else, that has kept Shah Rukh, 50, on top of his game for over two decades after he made a swashbuckling film debut. This year, he has wrested his top slot on the Forbes India Celebrity 100 List back from arch-rival Salman Khan who topped the 2014 list. And that’s not all. Shah Rukh’s staggering Rs 257.5 crore earnings are nine percent of the total earnings of the top 100 in this year’s list, enough indication of the importance of being Shah Rukh Khan.
The 2015 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List—a definitive ranking comprised by way of an elaborate process of estimating both the earnings and fame quotient of the country’s top celebrities, validated by our official tabulators Ernst & Young—is evidence that for Indians, cinema and cricket are religion. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan (who is number one in the fame rankings this year at age 73) are the top three celebrities for 2015. Bachchan, who remains an enduring icon, is on a roll, juggling movie parts with television appearances, endorsements and social causes. While movie stars dominate a large part of the list, there are enough cricketing icons as well—among them Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar (at rank 8 despite retirement), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin. Cricket apart, India’s sporting superwomen, tennis ace Sania Mirza (38) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (39), make for a strong presence on the list.
This year’s issue is also a five-cover special, and mention must be made of the painstaking work put in by Deputy Editor Deepak Ajwani, Chief Photo Editor Vikas Khot and Design Director Anjan Das, who put their heads together and coordinated the entire process of bringing these covers to you. Much like show business and sport, putting this issue together is a massive effort. But we thoroughly enjoyed the journey, and do hope you will enjoy reading the end-product.
Editor, Forbes India
(This story appears in the 25 December, 2015 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)