8: Amitabh Bachchan
Voted as the ‘Superstar of the Millenium’ in 1999 by BBC, Amitabh Bachchan is the name synonym with stardom in Indian cinema. He ruled the box office for more years than any other star in the history of Bollywood. Every time a new Bachchan movie was out in the 80’s and 90’s, his die-hards fan would rejoice as it were a festival. Such is his superstar status that his fans built a temple to worship him and he was the first Asian to find a place in London’s Madame Tussauds.
With all the glory and prestige bestowed on him, in 1995 he started a company called ABCL that specialized in film production and event management. The first year went quite well for his company but things started getting uglier by the second year. Few bad business decisions and his company plunged into $14 million of debt. He reportedly admitted that it was pretty difficult for him to deal with creditors knocking on his doors for their loan repayment.
After all, he was the presiding deity of Indian cinema. However, being the fighter he is, Mr. Bachchan did bounce back and he did it in style. He hosted the Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ and that show became an overnight success. His popularity rose again and had producers and brand ambassadors wanting to sign him again. Now in his 70’s and the Bachchan brand is only getting bigger.