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JANUARY 5, 2018


Welcome to the

Tablet Edition
Editor’s Note
As in previous years, Bollywood and cricket rule the list, with 46 actors and 15 cricketers

Shooting for the Stars

ollywood from multiple sources. performance and
actor Kevin They may be estimates, earnings don’t quite
Costner once but we can assure you that converge. That may be
famously they aren’t off the mark, the only explanation
declared that “being a as most of our celebrities for Rajkummar Rao not
celebrity is probably the will vouch for (read the making it to the list, albeit
closest to being a beautiful methodology on page 24). by a whisker. Yet, the
woman as you can get”. As in previous years, 33-year-old who had six
Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood and cricket releases in 2017, would
PV Sindhu, Deepika rule the list, with 46 be for many the star
Padukone, Anushka actors and 15 cricketers of the year. Read ‘The
Sharma and the 17 other (out of 21 sportspeople). Expressionist’ on page 96
women on the Forbes But, beyond the Khans, to know why. Look out
India Celebrity 100 list Kapoor and Kohli, there for Rao in future Forbes
may have a bone to pick are names that provide India Celebrity Lists.
with Costner’s take on a breath of fresh air. It’s not a bad idea to
“It’s also about
winning, and celebrityhood. They Ace shuttler PV look back, too—at stars
winning big.
Which is why may well be tempted to Sindhu, who has followed and superstars from
three of the five retort: “Being a beautiful up her 2016 Olympic the ’90s, ’80s, ’70s and
covers have
women gracing woman is probably silver medal with a even ’60s. One way to
them.” the closest to being a series of victories at the do that is to check out
celebrity as you can get”. world level, climbed 49 the photographs of the
Then again, that may points to No 13. Sindhu 84-year-old Nemai Ghosh,
not be totally accurate. snared some 16 brand best known as the photo-
After all, it’s not only endorsements in the biographer of Satyajit Ray.
about beauty for these period under review, Don’t miss the stunning
women who—as the piece which helped boost her portrait of Sharmila
on Priyanka Chopra on earnings by almost 1,600 Tagore from 1969, and a
page 52 is aptly titled— percent over a year ago. candid moment between
literally have the world at Other non-cricketing Amitabh Bachchan
their feet. It’s also about sportspersons to make it and Jaya Bhaduri from
winning, and winning big. to the list include Kidambi 1973. That’s in the photo
Which is why three of the Srikanth—the only Indian feature on page 124.
five covers we’ve created badminton player to Away from the
for this special issue have win four Superseries titles celebrity parade, we
women gracing them. in a year—and Indian dive into a different kind
The Celebrity 100 list football captain Sunil of stardust—bitcoin,
for the period between Chhetri, the fourth- and the heady levels
October 1, 2016 and highest international goal to which the digital
September 30, 2017 put scorer in contemporary currency has surged. At
together by the Forbes football. Apart from $18,000 levels, is bitcoin
India team with Salil actors and sportspersons, overvalued? Find out on
Panchal and Neeraj gracing the list are an page 32. Don’t also miss
Gangal steering the assortment of musicians, the story on page 36 on
Brian Carvalho project over three-and- filmmakers, comedians, how Alibaba is slowly
Editor, Forbes India a-half months is based authors and television but surely buying its way
on estimates of earnings personalities. into India to go head to
painstakingly compiled On occasion, however, head against Amazon.

8 | forbes india january 5, 2018

JAnuARy 5, 2018 ● VoLuMe 10 ISSue 1


Priyanka chopra is creating ripples in the West with her varied feats


Pv Sindhu is the youngest on the 2017 forbes India celebrity 100 list

We value your feedback.

Write to us at: forbes.india@nw18.com | Letters may be edited for brevity.
Read us online at www.forbesindia.com
on the cover & this page photograph by: reuben Singh/Hindustan Times
via Getty Images (PV Sindhu); Smallz & raskind/contour by Getty Images
(Priyanka Chopra); errikos andreou (Anushka Sharma);
Mexy Xavier (Shahid Kapoor & Rajkummar Rao)
This page: rohan Shrestha (Priyanka Chopra)
digital Imaging by: Sushil Mhatre
Newly-wed anushka Sharma has proved her mettle as an actor

24 | A New NormAl
The top three remain unchanged, but surprises galore in
the list of the 100 richest celebrities in the country

44 | HigH oN StArduSt
A rundown of the 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List

50 | to weAr iS HumAN
Being Human may be Salman Khan’s apology for his
brash self, but there’s no denying the higher purpose the
clothing line serves

52 | tHe world At Her Feet

Between her music and acting careers,
Priyanka Chopra is a global celebrity already.
But she says she is just getting started

58 | mAkiNg FeAtHerS Fly

Beneath PV Sindhu’s affable demeanour is a gritty
competitor who, at 22, is rewriting records for
Indian badminton

64 | Never SAid Never

How Shahid Kapoor weathered a rough start to become
one of Hindi cinema’s most relevant actors Shahid kapoor has earned critical acclaim as well as mass popularity

70 | BeyoNd BouNdArieS 74
Anushka Sharma’s never had a plan to bog her down.
Perhaps the reason why she manages to wear many
hats with elan

74 | tHe expreSSioNiSt
Rajkummar Rao who made realism mainstream is also
one of the most bankable stars of neo-Indian cinema

78 | tHe tABoo BuSter

His middle-class roles have earned Ayushmann
Khurrana success and a distinctive identity in Bollywood

80 | HoNey tHey SHruNk your ScreeN

Why actors—both from the fringes and the
mainstream—are gravitating towards OTT platforms

on the cover & previous page:

anushka Sharma: Fashion stylist: Allia Al Rufai;
Wardrobe: nuSH Autumn Winter collection 2017;
Make-up artist: Puneet B Saini; Hair stylist: yianni Tsapatori
rajkummar rao: Fashion stylist: Anisha & Rochelle;
Red suit: Paul Smith; Beige turtle neck: Corneliani; Shoes: Woods;
Make-up artist: nitin; Hair stylist: Vijay

This page: Photograph by Mexy Xavier (Shahid Kapoor & Rajkummar Rao)
rajkummar rao: Fashion stylist: Anisha & Rochelle;
Wardrobe: Sweater: Brooks Brothers; Denims: Celio India;
Shoes: ShutiQ; Make-up artist: nitin; Hair stylist: Vijay

rajkummar rao continues to play diverse characters on screen

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 11

JAnuARy 5, 2018 Contents

20 88
3o 3o

India has taken centre stage in Jack Ma’s global plans for alibaba


croSS Border
82 | BillioN-dollAr BumBle
Three years after leaving Tinder following a nasty
dispute, Whitney Wolfe Herd is beating her former
colleagues at their own game

88 | 30 uNder 30
Forbes’s annual encyclopaedia of creative disruption
features 600 young stars from 20 different sectors

99 | StAr power
How some of the 30 under 30 alumni and newcomers are
shaking up the entertainment industry and beyond Prepare to be inspired by the forbes 30 under 30 list of achievers

recliNer 102
102 | Set iN time
Nemai Ghosh, better known as Satyajit Ray’s photo-
biographer, captures yesteryear’s celebrities in an
unusual candidness

106 | tHe kidS Are (Not) AlrigHt

Child protagonists in films do much more than
play lead characters—they hold a mirror to a world
messed up by adults


Nemai Ghosh’s timeless photographs (above: filmmaker aparna Sen)

102:: neMAI gHoSH

regulArS | 14 letterS | 16 leAderBoArd | 110 tHougHtS |

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12 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Letters to The Editor

Readers Say
Making News with great interest the cover story on
Refer to ‘The Internet’s Local Flavour’ PhonePay. I was an avid user of Flyte,
(Issue dated December 8, 2017). Flipkart’s online music download store,
Dailyhunt’s footprint has been growing and its closure disappointed me. Flipkart
by leaps and bounds and the distance could have come up with something
between the news aggregator platform proactive to solve the microtransactions
and its competitors is only increasing. problem. Had it done that, it might have
According to App Annie, an app market rolled it out for different platforms and
data and insights company, Dailyhunt got a headstart over Paytm and others.
has an industry leading market share of V Sitaram, on the web
27 percent. The gap between Dailyhunt
In the wild
and its closest rival has increased
Refer to ‘Visiting Relatives?’ (Issue
from 8 percent in January 2017 to 12
dated December 8, 2017). Primate
twitter.com/Forbes_India percent in September 2017, it claims.
tourism has evolved into a big
Madhuker, on the web
facebook.com/ForbesIndia industry. Reading about Uganda’s giant
The Payments Solution gorillas and monkeys was insightful.
Refer to ‘Flipkart’s PhonePe Calculations’ It seems like a fun place to go to.
www.google.com/+ForbesIndia (Issue dated December 8, 2017). I read Greg Westergaard, on the web

2017 Forbes india

Podcast celebrity 100

www.forbesindia.com By Neeraj Gangal &

Salil Panchal

Click Here

Magazine ForbesLife India Thought Leadership Web Special Lists Blogs Multimedia

Thought Leadership Follow us on

Having no life is the new

aspirational lifestyle
It used to be that we equated power
and prestige with a leisurely, luxurious
lifestyle. Today, lack of leisure time is the
real status symbol. Anat Keinan points out
what that means for consumer marketing

Upstart startups and agile disruptors: what to do

about them?
Large organisations can learn from disruptors’ agility and fight back

Focus on small steps first, then shift to the larger goal

Research shows that incremental achievements are good early motivators,
but their effect wanes as the finish line nears

For women, self-confidence

not enough for workplace
The need for family businesses to stay relevant success
There are traditional handicraftsmen, jewellers and artisans who Appearing self-confident in office does
have flourished because of royal patronage, but face constant not yield rewards. And men and women
pressure of survival in today’s changing times are looked at differently

14  | forbes india january 5, 2018

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january 5, 2018 forbes india | 15

US Nod for Biocon It’s Alibaba Vs Google Has a Go at Professor Investor
Holds Big Promise Amazon Next Billion Users VC legend Ted
Approval raises hopes The Chinese e-tailer New Android Dintersmith on the
for India’s pharma is betting on strategic version targets basic American school
companies P/18 investments P/20 smartphones P/21 system P/22

virtual wealth
The first transaction involving

Welcome to the bitcoins was reported on May 22,

2010 when a Florida-based pro-
grammer traded 10,000 bitcoins

Digital Gold Rush for two Domino’s pizzas. As of

December 11, 2017, that’s worth
about $164 million.

Prices of bitcoin have hit heady levels globally but

there may be some method in the mania, although has shot up by 60 percent on the
news of the CBOE listing.
back home the Reserve Bank has advised caution The listing also means that bitcoins
are now slowly, but surely, getting
into the hands of institutions. The
expectation is that this will bring
sanity to valuations. After all, retail
investors are not known for pricing
an asset correctly. Now, at such
high prices, individual investors are
more likely to sell their bitcoins to
institutional investors like hedge
funds and alternative asset funds.
Most investors are valuing bitcoins
as digital gold. Just like gold, bitcoin
needs to be mined and is also available
in limited quantity. Mining of bitcoin
requires a lot of electricity and as
long as prices remain high there will
be more miners who will join the
bandwagon. According to an article
in Bitcoin Bytes, a website dedicated
on december 10, a new bitcoin before settling at $17,800. The heavy to news on cryptocurrencies, bitcoin
futures contract listed on the Chicago activity on the CBOE made one thing mining consumes 9,636 gigawatts of
Board Options Exchange (CBOE) crystal clear: Bitcoin, as an asset energy a year in current conditions.
and started trading at $15,400 levels. class, had entered the investment In other words, bitcoins consume as
Nothing unusual there, mainstream—not just much energy as 5,20,000 Canadians
considering that the in the US but in India, on a daily basis. But that may not
digital currency was The identity of bitcoin’s too, where investors be a reason to panic. Here’s why.
creator is a mystery.
quoting a little over have been riding the A bitcoin block—transaction data is
He (or she) goes by
$16,000 that day in the pseudonym
boom, throwing caution permanently recorded in files called
the spot market. Satoshi Nakamoto. In from the Reserve blocks—consumes an average of 183
But the new contract Bank of India to the MW, which costs $3,600. At a price of
sameer pawar

a nod to him, the

didn’t quite stay around smallest unit of bitcoin winds. Over the past $18,850, the venture is still profitable
$15,400 that day. Soon, is called a Satoshi. month, the price of as miners will now put in more
it surged to $18,850 the virtual currency powerful machines to mine bitcoins.

16 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Toss of a Bitcoin
The process will go
16.7 million on till there is an
bitcoins are equilibrium where
currently in the incentives for The digital currency has been on a bull run like no other.
circulation. new miners should
Stakeholders weigh in on the frenzy
ideally decrease
as many of them by Varsha Meghani
will try to sell bitcoins at high prices.
Fair value is around $1,000 Madness on both sides
Around 1,800 bitcoins are mined
“I am a firm believer in blockchain “Which is more crazy: That bitcoin
daily through a million machines. If
technology and bitcoin but has a market capitalisation of a
more machines come to the network,
the current price rally is pure couple of hundred billion dollars, or
then the cost of production rises.
speculation. It’s a pump-and- that 11 trillion dollars of bonds are
“Assume that today, miners are
dump scheme led by traders who trading at a negative yield, which
getting 1,800 bitcoins as rewards on
are artificially raising the price of means that people are lending
a daily basis. In 2020, this number
bitcoin. It’s a bubble that has to money with the full knowledge
will go down to 900 bitcoins per day.
burst. In my view, prices will crash that they will not even receive
So the number of bitcoins is reducing
by around 80 percent in the second the full principal back let alone
and miners are increasing,” explains
quarter of 2018. I have already earn any interest? After the global
Vishal Gupta, CEO, SearchTrade,
started shorting my bitcoins, and financial crisis of 2008, many
a search engine company that uses
am moving to altcoins [alternative feel that the actions of central
bitcoins to pay users when they
cryptocurrencies], which are bankers have been reckless, and it
search on the platform. “This is
currently more stable. I think the is no wonder that these people are
raising the cost of mining. So if
fair value of bitcoin should be attracted to a currency that is not
someone says bitcoins will touch
around $1,000.” subject to the whims and fancies of
$100,000 in some time, I don’t see
Sanjay Mehta central bankers. There is madness
that as unrealistic at all. Every time
Serial entrepreneur-turned- on both sides (fiat currencies
mining doubles, the price goes angel investor of advanced countries and
up by ten times,” adds Gupta.
cryptocurrencies) and it is best to
Valuing bitcoins though may be a
hazardous task. Aswath Damodaran,
This is not a bubble view both with equal detachment.”
professor of
“With the launch of bitcoin futures Jayanth R Varma
finance at the
trading by CBOE and CME, its Professor of finance and accounting,
credibility has increased and the big IIM Ahmedabad and former Sebi
Stern School of The total
boys of finance—hedge funds and board member
Business, reckons supply of
that since bitcoins is institutional investors—are taking
capped at positions. The recognition is also RBI reiterates its concerns
bitcoin is not a “In the wake of a significant spurt
21 million. prompting retail investors to buy
traditional asset in the valuation of many virtual
class it does not
bitcoins for the fear of missing out.
As more investors get involved, currencies and rapid growth in
have cash flows. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the RBI
So what can go wrong? In a
the demand for bitcoin increases,
and because supply is limited [at 21 reiterates its concerns regarding
word, everything. While there the potential economic, financial,
is a strong case for bitcoin
million bitcoins], the price is bound
to increase. This price volatility operational, legal, customer
prices remaining high there is a protection and security-related
chance that mining can become
will go on in the short term but
in the long term, bitcoin’s value risks associated in dealing with such
unsustainable due to oversupply. currencies… RBI has also clarified
More importantly, if bitcoin
will go up. This is definitely not
a bubble. It is the most amazing that it has not given any licence/
starts moving from a commodity to a authorisation to any entity to
currency then the currency will need
technology to have been invented
after the internet.” operate or deal with bitcoins or any
to be put to use. If the use of bitcoins virtual currency.”
does not increase then there’s only Saurabh Agrawal
CEO and founder of the bitcoin Reserve Bank of India
one way for its price to go—down.
exchange Zebpay (From a circular dated December 5)
— pravin palande

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 17

2.5 lakh
The expected number

of new cases of breast
cancer among women in
the US in 2017

crowning momenT

US Approval
for Biocon
Holds Bigger
FDA nod to company’s biosimilar drug
is encouraging for other Indian pharma
companies in the same space
kiran mazumdar- patients from foreign
Shaw’s Biocon Ltd recently drugs and local innovator
surpassed a significant companies, Chandru says.
milestone, winning the first “It’s been a real challenge
approval from the United to get through the USFDA Kiran Mazumdar-
States Food and Drug regulations on biosimilars,” Shaw, chairman and
managing director
Administration (USFDA) he adds. Many in the of Biocon Ltd
for a biosimilar drug Indian industry believe
from India. The nod, for a that biosimilars can do
biological substance used to to the next generation of biosimilar drugs in India. to focus on developing
treat certain types of breast biotech-led companies Biocon collaborated with affordable biologics that
and stomach cancer, is seen what chemical generic Dutch company Mylan NV can make cancer care
as a landmark decision by drugs did to the pharma to develop its biosimilar both more effective and
the biopharma industry. companies—make them Trastuzumab, which is sold more equitable around
“Extraordinary. It’s large businesses. as Herceptin by the current the world,” Mazumdar-
an absolute landmark Biocon’s win raises intellectual property Shaw said in a Biocon
because the biosimilar hopes for other Indian owners Roche Holding Ltd press release. Sources say
guidelines in the US have pharma companies—some and Genentech Inc. The Biocon and Mylan may
been so tough,” says already sell biosimilars biosimilar, comparable in have invested as much as
Vijay Chandru, chairman in India, including Dr properties to the original $150 million since entering
and managing director Reddy’s Laboratories, biologic, will be sold as a partnership in 2010 to
of Strand Life Sciences. Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Ogivri by Mylan and develop their biosimilar.
Chandru, a professor Shantha Biotechnics Biocon. The breakthrough Herceptin patents
at Bengaluru’s Indian and Wockhardt. Biocon, gives them a shot at a global will expire in the US in
Institute of Science, is a too, sells various other market estimated to be 2019. Mylan and Biocon’s
pioneering entrepreneur in worth about $6.9 billion biosimilar for Herceptin
Bmaximage; Top: ShUTTerSTock

the Indian biotech research and projected to reach is also under review by
ecosystem, and has “It’s a landmark nearly $10 billion by 2025. regulatory authorities in
previously led the Indian “The USFDA’s approval Australia, Canada, Europe
biotech lobby, Association
decision as for Trastuzumab is a and other markets. The
of Biotechnology Led biosimilar crowning moment that puts company says the drug is
Enterprises (Able). guidelines in the us in an exclusive league of approved in 19 countries,
The US guidelines are US are tough.” global biosimilar players. including India.
tough in part to protect It strengthens our resolve —harichandan arakali

18 | forbes india january 5, 2018

EcommErcE wars stake, Alibaba now has a
significant play in India’s

It’s Alibaba Vs Amazon digital payments landscape.

It has also emerged as a big
backer of Paytm’s newly
How the Chinese e-tailer is counting on a portfolio of strategic spun-off ecommerce unit,
investments to take on its global rival in India Paytm Mall, with a $200-
million investment in the
it’s the new logistics unit, operates a in online marketplace entity in February 2017.
battleground for old payments arm and has 41 Snapdeal, which trails Apart from Paytm,
rivals. Alibaba Group has warehouses—as well as Flipkart and Amazon Alibaba closed a `120-crore
been slowly and steadily winning over potential significantly in gross sales. investment in Chennai-
increasing its footprint customers with attractive The company has, based online ticketing
in India, to take on prices. According to however, hit pay dirt with platform TicketNew in
ecommerce behemoth regulatory filings, Amazon digital wallet-turned- June 2017. Paytm, too,
Amazon in the country. Seller Services posted financial services company has significant focus
While Amazon runs its revenue of `3,129 crore Paytm. Alibaba first picked on this segment.
own shop, Alibaba is in FY17, as against `2,217 up a stake in Paytm with a Moreover, Alibaba,
curating a portfolio of crore in the previous fiscal. $575-million investment along with Paytm Mall,
investments to grab a slice On the other hand, through its subsidiary Ant is reportedly on course
of the ecommerce market. though Alibaba started Financial in February 2015, to invest $250-300
Since its entry into operating in India in valuing the company at million in online grocer
India in 2013, Amazon 2007, it hasn’t yet taken about $2 billion. Paytm’s BigBasket, valuing the
has spent aggressively in India by storm. In fact, valuation has since risen company at $700-800
building infrastructure—the it has burnt its fingers three-fold to about $7 million. The investment
company owns a captive with an investment billion. With the Paytm will mark Paytm’s entry
into India’s nascent
online grocery segment,
a sector pursued by both
Flipkart and Amazon
without notable success.
Alibaba’s increased
interest in India does
not come as a surprise,
considering the Chinese
market has already reached
its pinnacle. According to
a 2016 report by Deloitte,
growth of ecommerce in
China is projected to taper
from 46.9 percent in 2016
to 25.4 percent in 2018.
India, in contrast, is
poised to grow at a fast
mExico PrEsidEncy / rEUTErs

clip. An October report by

Morgan Stanley estimates
the Indian ecommerce
market will grow at a
compounded annual
growth rate of 30 percent
between 2017 and 2026
With the Chinese market reaching its pinnacle, India is key for Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s global plans to reach $200 billion. By

20 | forbes india January 5, 2018

share of devices running android oreo
among all android devices, according
to Google’s android developer
numbers released in december

then, about half of the not a short-term or even india firsT

country’s internet users are a medium-term play for
expected to shop online.
Alibaba has spoiled
them [Alibaba], but a very
long-term strategy. It looks
Google Has a Go at
Amazon’s party before,
in China. Singed by the
like they would rather
take time and enter into
Next Billion Users
domination of Alibaba really strong partnerships Company launches reconfigured Android Oreo
and its subsidiary Tmall, meant for the long-term, for entry-level smartphone users in India
Amazon was constrained rather than do trial and
to set up a storefront on error,” says Vinod Murali, google has rolled out while on the move.
Tmall’s marketplace in managing partner at Alteria a customised version of “These products and
March 2015 to survive in Capital, a venture debt firm. Oreo, its latest Android features are India-first,
China, a country it had “It is about how much configuration, to power but if we’ve seen anything
entered about a decade of a customer’s wallet entry-level smartphones over the last few years,
ago by acquiring online they can get. Every area of in India and cash in India-first ideas aren’t just
bookstore Joyo.com for expenditure is a possible on the emerging app useful to people in India.
a whopping $75 million. vertical and anything that is economy in the country. The mobile-first next
The situation is no better available at a decent price This new edition, billion users are changing
even now. According to point, where customer christened Oreo ‘Go the very nature of the
a February 2017 report acquisition starts paying Edition’, is particularly internet, so when we build
by iResearch Consulting a lot of dividend, can useful on devices with better products for India,
Group, Tmall enjoyed a be a play,” he adds. RAM—random access we ultimately build better
56 percent market share Besides, another big memory, the storage used products for everyone,”
by the processor to do its says Caesar Sengupta, a
work on the phone—as low vice-president at Google
Alibaba wants a piece of the pie in as 512 MB, and on-board who heads the company’s
all key enablers of ecommerce, be it storage as low as 8 GB. ‘Next Billion’ projects, in
payments, logistics or grocery delivery For instance, the Google a blog post on December
search app that takes up 5, the day the apps were
209 MB when installed launched in New Delhi.
in China in 2016, while backer of Indian startups, in a phone running the Google has had to
Amazon’s share was a SoftBank, is an Alibaba Nougat, or version 7 of change tack to reach the
piddling 0.8 percent. ally. SoftBank is among Android, will take up only next billion users after its
It’s a different story Alibaba’s early investors—it 11.7 MB in its ‘Go’ form. Android One initiative—
here. While Amazon has first invested in Alibaba in This search app also has launched a few years
committed a $5-billion 2000—and owns about 25 features meant to help first- ago to provide quality
war chest to its Indian percent in the company. time smartphone users get software experience on
subsidiary to fight local SoftBank is also an better acquainted with the locally-manufactured,
incumbent Flipkart, investor in Flipkart. It is net, translating something affordable hardware—
Alibaba has been taking it thus unlikely that their with just a tap, for instance. failed to take off in India.
slow. Its intent, though, is respective portfolios will Other apps include one that Its India-centric
quite clear. The company bleed each other for long, allows users to flush out strategy came to the fore
wants a piece of the pie though neither Flipkart unwanted files and save in September when it
in all key enablers of nor Paytm has shown any storage, and a two-wheeler launched payments app
ecommerce, be it payments, sign of joining hands yet. mode in Google Maps. This Google Tez, which is
logistics or services with It remains to be mode will include shortcuts said to have had nearly
frequent usage, such as seen which strategy that can only be accessed 12 million active users
food or grocery delivery. will pay dividends, but with two-wheelers or and processed over 140
“There have been lots Alibaba’s steady surge landmarks that can be million transactions in

of discussions, but clearly, is something Amazon checked in advance on a a short span of time,
there is no urgency in can ill afford to ignore. route so a rider doesn’t Sengupta said in his post.
finishing things. This is —sayan cHakraborTy have to fish out his phone —HaricHandan arakali

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 21

rebooting eDucAtion

Professor Investor phiLAnthropY

VC legend Ted Dintersmith on disrupting the
school system and life’s most important class Big-Dollar Bets
These donations to help spur social change
were last year’s most inspiring gifts—and
those likeliest to succeed
large fortunes beget large gifts, and more
than ever, prominent philanthropists are anteing up
$25 million–plus to help tackle problems of poverty,
disease, substandard education and more. Boston’s
Bridgespan Group found 74 such gifts in 2016,
totalling $6.7 billion. Its panel of outside experts then
ranked the 10 listed below as the most promising. For
more, please see forbes.com/big-bets-2017.
—KerrY A DoLAn

1. 5. (tie)
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Youth Villages
Tuberculosis & Malaria Blue MerIDIAn PArTnerS
BIll AnD MelInDA GATeS $36 million
Q You were a successful Q What are the $600 million The donation will help launch and
The Gates Foundation’s money, finance YVLifeSet, a programme to
venture capitalist. Now better things? augmenting $12.9 billion donated aid the 23,000 Americans who age
you want to take a Stop requiring calculus, by others, aims to save some out of the foster-care system every
8 million lives and prevent year, assisting their transition to
wrecking ball to college for one, and start requiring 300 million more from contracting independent adulthood.
these diseases.
education. Why? statistics instead. Ask, 7.
Watching my kids in “Hey, Boeing, Microsoft: 2. (tie) Alliance for a
Innovative Vector Green revolution in Africa
school and saying, “What Anyone here doing Control Consortium roCKeFeller FounDATIon
BIll AnD MelInDA GATeS $50 million
the hell?” It’s as though integrals and derivatives $75 million AGRA works to help small farmers
The funds go toward continued across Africa triple or quadruple
educators want to crush by hand?” That’s laughable. development of a trio of their production through better
out of kids the very skills It’s done computationally. insecticides to prevent the spread technology and storage.
of malaria and other illnesses.
and mindsets they need. But statistics—every 8.
2. (tie) Cohens Veterans network
company I talk to is nurse Family Partnership STeVen AnD
Q Why are educators desperate for somebody Blue MerIDIAn PArTnerS AlexAnDrA CoHen
$33 million $275 million
doing that? with data analytics Helps finance expansion of NFP The hedge-funder and his wife
home-visitation programmes founded this network of 25 clinics
They follow a 125-year-old capability, where statistics across the US and improve that treat—for free—veterans
pregnancy and other health (and their families) who have
model. But now it’s much is essential. outcomes for 100,000 young, post-traumatic stress and
worse, with this Game Of lower-income, first-time mothers other ailments.
and their children.
Thrones competition to get Q You recently spoke 9.
4. united negro
into the best colleges. about this to 250 college Susan G Komen College Fund
admissions directors. African-American Health FunD II FounDATIon
equity Initiative $48 million
Q Is online education What did they say? FunD II FounDATIon The foundation’s money will go
$27 million toward mentoring, internships and
the answer? They said, “We like This Komen programme seeks to college scholarships for African-
reduce the black-white breast American students interested in
Let me be the skunk at calculus because it’s hard. cancer mortality-rate gap across science, technology, engineering,
the garden party: Making It’s a good way to compare ten US metro areas over five years. and mathematics (STEM).

it easier for kids to shove the kids.” What a bad 5. (tie) 10.
Tobacco Control Building equity Initiative
math procedures into their justification.
top right: john weber


short-term memory is not $360 million $250 million
Ted Dintersmith spoke with Rich Building on $600 million he has Founded in 1997, the Waltons’
reimagining education. We Karlgaard, Forbes’s editor-at- given since 2007, New York’s BEI finances low-interest loans
large and Global Futurist. This ex-mayor aims to reduce tobacco to non-profit lenders that help
don’t need to do obsolete interview has been edited and use in developing countries where charter schools nationwide secure
smoking remains widespread. and upgrade their facilities.
things better; we need to condensed. For the extended
conversation, visit forbes.com/ Donations to universities, hospitals and cultural institutions are not
do better things. sites/richkarlgaard included. The list limits donors to two spots apiece in the top ten.

22 | forbes india january 5, 2018

A New Normal Winds of change swept through the Forbes India
Celebrity 100 this year
by Salil Panchal & neeraj GanGal

24 | forbes india january 5, 2018

given their strong numbers, they are
likely to consolidate their positions.
The number of Bollywood actors
M eth o do logy
The 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100
is down from 35 to 33, reducing
List rankings are based on estimates
their cumulative earnings by 13 of entertainment-related earnings of
percent from the previous year. A celebrities. Please note that unlike
reason for the dip is also the fewer previous editions of the List, and in
releases for most of the top actors, alignment with the Forbes methodology,
as well as a forgettable year at the we have excluded the ‘fame’ quotient
box office. Leave Aamir Khan’s to determine the ranks. The period
under consideration is October 1,
Dangal and SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali
2016, to September 30, 2017.
2: The Conclusion aside and there
was not much to talk about, barring HOW THE EARNINGS
the recent hit comedy Judwaa 2. WERE CALCULATED
Salman Khan. Shah RuKh Khan. There is one woman in the top 10, For each celebrity, depending on category,
ViRat Kohli. Priyanka Chopra (No 7; `68 crore), we sought independent estimates from
multiple sources—industry insiders,
The methodology (see box) as she continued to make her mark
talent management agencies, film and
for calculating the Forbes India internationally. At 21, there are eight TV production companies, publishers,
Celebrity 100 List has changed, but fewer women than last year, perhaps music industry professionals, sports
its top three names have remained due to the exclusion of the ‘fame’ consultants, advertising and media
constant. Salman Khan, for the second quotient, which was given substantial agencies, brand marketers, celebrity
successive year, is at No 1, despite weightage in our previous years’ managers and other relevant experts.
the subdued box office performance computations. (This, in a way, points
Our principal partners for the 2017 Forbes
of his film Tubelight. The 51-year- to the pay disparity arguments that
India Celebrity 100 List include GroupM
old actor earned `232.83 crore, female actors have been making ESP, Globosport, Exceed Entertainment,
backed by endorsements of several with increasing intensity.) But boxofficeindia.co.in, indiantelevision.
consumer-facing brands. In fact, his Chopra, Deepika Padukone (No 11; com, indianwikimedia.com and Galatta.
earnings constitute 8.67 percent of `59.45 crore ) and Sindhu seemed The entire process was verified and
the total earnings—`2,683 crore—of to have bucked the stereotype. validated by Ey, our process advisors.
the top 100 celebrities for the year. The vagaries of celebritydom
Shah Rukh Khan, with `170.5 are all too well-known: Consider note: The sources of earnings vary according to the
category. For each celebrity, the primary sources of his/her
crore, also retained his position at No the declining overall earnings of earnings have been considered. These include professional
2, as did India’s cricket captain Virat the Celebrity 100, which is down fees and remuneration (including winnings but not govern-
ment grants), royalties, or front-of-camera (film, television)
Kohli, with `100.72 crore, at No 3. from `2,819 crore in 2015 to `2,745 appearances for all celebrities; but exclude live shows/
But although the top three held on to crore in 2016 to `2,683 crore this events (except for singers/musicians and comedians),
interest and dividend income, leave and licence fees, income
their ranks, their cumulative earnings year. This list attempts to chronicle from businesses, investments, agriculture, over-the-top and
declined by almost 20 percent, this rollercoaster ride, and also social media platforms, and from special appearances at
events. For an actor-producer or a director-producer, for
down to `504.05 crore compared to reflects the changing ways in which instance, we have considered only her/his earnings as an
last year’s total of `626.52 crore. we consume entertainment. actor or director, in case of a complete home production.
Shuttler PV Sindhu (`57.25 Social media and word-of- However, since these estimates are meant for a limited
crore) was the highest money mouth are the strongest tools to purpose, they may not be accurate or official and cannot be
relied upon for any legal or compliance purposes. The rat-
gainer (in percentage terms), as influence opinions. Alternative ings given are subjective and may not necessarily reflect the
her total earnings soared nearly 17 media and platforms such as actual financial worth of the persons featured. The numbers
are, therefore, merely indicative.
times, propelled by several brand Amazon Prime, Netflix, Star
endorsements following her 2016 India’s Hotstar, Viacom 18’s Voot We (at Forbes India magazine, Digital18 Media Limited)
have done our best to verify the information published, but
Rio Olympics silver medal. and other over-the-top platforms do not take any responsibility for the absolute accuracy of
The revised methodology this have made home entertainment the information.
year, focusing only on a celebrity’s a more attractive option.
earnings (compared to the previous It has also become clear that stars
Celeb 100 list Compiled by
combination of ‘fame’ and ‘earnings’), of the future will not be limited anShul Dhamija, KathaKali chanDa,
has increased representation from the to films or television and will Kunal PuranDare, monica Bathija,
prolific South Indian film industry. include those from the internet. neeraj GanGal, Pravin PalanDe,
There are 13 actors from the South Simply put, expect some ruchiKa Shah anD Salil Panchal
this year as against 11 last year. And, surprises in the coming years.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 25

Virat Kohli (rank 3):
A RunAwAy Hit
Virat Kohli steamrolled
through 2017 as one of the
most successful cricketers
of the year, ratcheting up
2,818 runs, the third highest
tally ever in a calendar year
after Sri Lankan Kumara
Sangakkara and Aussie
Ricky Ponting. Kohli (29),
who finished the year as
ICC’s top ODI and T20
batsman, also led India to
nine consecutive Test series
wins, equalling Ponting’s
record, and the No 1
ranking. During our time
period, he notched up eight
Test (five double hundreds
included) and seven ODI
centuries, completing 1,000
runs in both formats of the
game. His cricketing might
coupled with urbanity have
made him a darling of the
brands, earning him 18
endorsements, the highest
among all sportspersons.
But, a late-convert fitness
freak, Kohli leads by
example off the field too,
turning down a multi-crore
endorsement offer from
a soft drinks company. In
December, he got married
to actor Anushka Sharma in
a private ceremony in Italy.

26 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

salman Khan
` 232.83 crore

shah ruKh Khan
` 170.50 crore

Virat Kohli
` 100.72 crore

aKshay Kumar
` 98.25 crore

sachin tendulKar
` 82.50 crore

aamir Khan
` 68.75 crore

priyanKa chopra
` 68 crore

ms dhoni
` 63.77 crore

hrithiK roshan
` 63.12 crore

ranVeer singh
` 62.63 crore
aamir Khan (rank 6): wREStLE MAniA Actor

aamir Khan (52) has liVed up to his film PK (2014) was the first to enter 11
reputation of churning out quality the `300-crore club. He continued his deepiKa paduKone*
cinema while ruling the box office. His golden run with another acclaimed ` 59.45 crore
2016 film Dangal became Bollywood’s Actor
film, Secret Superstar, which released
highest grosser minting `540 crore in in October 2017. Khan not only had an 12
domestic collections alone. According extended cameo that was lauded, but ar rahman
to Forbes, the biopic of former wrestling also produced the film, which traced the ` 57.63 crore
coach Mahavir Singh Phogat is the journey of a schoolgirl who aspires to Singer/MuSiciAn
first Indian movie to earn `2,000 become a singer. It had earned over `50
crore worldwide. Khan’s previous crore at the box office by October-end. 13
pV sindhu
` 57.25 crore
Deepika Padukone’s team has claimed higher earnings but this is the estimate SportS
on the basis of the methodology adopted by Forbes India.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 27

Kapil Sharma (RAnK 18):
The Show muST go on
Kapil Sharma’S (36) Comedy Nights with
journey from humble Kapil was taken off air in
beginnings in Amritsar 2016, Sharma managed
to the top of the charts of to stay in the limelight
entertainment television with The Kapil Sharma
channels is hardly Show, which was soon
unknown to TV-loving scripted and sent on air.
Indians. While his rise But early this year, the
has been meteoric—his second show too was
second film Firangi pulled off air because of
released on December 1— controversies he had with
there have been questions his peers. Sharma and his
on whether he may have long-time girlfriend Ginni
passed his peak. When Chatrath are expected to
his once-popular show tie the knot in early 2018.

SS raJamouli (RAnK 15):

making iT large

The Telugu direcTor The sequel, Baahubali

burst into prominence 2: The Conclusion, was a
beyond Tollywood bigger success making
with Baahubali: The Rajamouli a household
Beginning (2015), which name. Having started his
had a dream run at the career as a director of

box office nationally television programmes,

and internationally. Rajamouli is known to
Made with a budget helm out-of-the-box
of `180 crore, it is one projects, be it with
of the most expensive Baahubali, which was
films ever produced rich on special effects,
in India. Interestingly, Sye (2004), which
Rajamouli (44) made a revolved around a
blink-and-you-miss-it rugby match, or Eega
appearance in the film. (2012), a fantasy film.

28 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

praBhaS (RAnK 22): BruTe ranBir Kapoor
BoX oFFiCe STrengTh ` 55.33 crore
for The Telugu STar, 2017 haS
been a terrific year. Baahubali 2: The 15
Conclusion, the sequel to Baahubali: SS raJamouli
` 55 crore
The Beginning (2015), had a record-
breaking domestic box office
collection, earning over `500 crore 16
from its Hindi version alone. The aJay deVgn
epic fantasy drama, originally made ` 48.83 crore
in Telugu and Tamil, was dubbed Actor
in multiple Indian and foreign
languages and went on to earn an 17
ariJiT Singh
estimated `1,700 crore worldwide. ` 48.67 crore
Prabhas (38), who debuted on the Singer/MuSiciAn
Forbes India Celebrity 100 List in
2015, is said to have been offered 18
several brand endorsements worth Kapil Sharma
`18 crore during the filming of ` 48 crore
tV PerSonAlity
Baahubali 2 but rejected them as
he wanted to focus on the film. In 19
the past, he has endorsed sports Varun dhawan
utility vehicle Mahindra XUV 500. ` 43.50 crore

amiTaBh Bachchan
` 40 crore

alia BhaTT
` 39.88 crore

` 36.25 crore

raVichandran aShwin
` 34.67 crore

SanJeeV Kapoor (RAnK 34): a DiVerSe PlaTTer 24

raVindra JadeJa
The counTry’S firST show in Asia (at 18 years), premium cookware and ` 34.58 crore
television celebrity chef, glamourising cooking for bottled gourmet goodies, SPortS
Sanjeev Kapoor makes urban Indian households and about 150 cookbooks.
sAnJeev: sAchIn GOKhALe

it to the Celebrity 100 for the first time. He now Kapoor was honoured Suriya
List for the second year lords over a business with the Padma Shri in ` 34 crore
running. The 53-year- empire that is valued 2017 for his gastronomic Actor
old started off with one at over `1,000 crore exploits, putting him in
show, Khana Khazana, and includes a 24-hour the league of culinary 26
in 1992 that was the cooking channel, a chain elites like Tarla Dalal Kangana ranauT
` 32 crore
longest-running cookery of restaurants, a range of and Imtiaz Qureshi.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 29

Show Me
The Money
Strategic investments and
entrepreneurship are key tools for
celebrities to ramp up their brand
value. Here’s what some of the top
shots are dabbling in
by Ruchika Shah
khan: Subi Samuel / hinduStan timeS via Getty imaGeS; kohli: Jan kruGer-idi / idi via Getty imaGeS


one8: Own brand to licence name to companies for special

edition products
wRogn: Co-owns the fashion retail brand
spoRt Convo: Backs London-based startup for sports
fans to share content and network
FC goa: Co-owner of Indian Super League’s Goan outfit
SHAH RUKH KHAN Chisel gyms: Chain of gyms and fitness centres
stepathlon Kids: Technology-driven online fitness
Red Chillies: Film production, state-of-the-art visual platform for children
effects studio, event management muveaCoustiCs: Range of acoustics in association
Kidzania: Equity stake in edutainment park with Hong Kong-based Zeeva
KolKata Knight RideRs: Co-owns the two-time uae Royals: Co-owns a team in the International
champion, one of the few profitable teams in the Indian Premier Tennis League (IPTL), which has been called
Premier League off this year due to financial troubles
Cape town Knight RideRs: Along with GMR, bought in
Cricket South Africa’s new T20 Global League in June 2017
tRinbago Knight RideRs: Co-owns stake in two-time
Caribbean Premier League winner

30 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

Ajith KumAr
` 31.75 crore
smaaash enteRtainment: Investor in
a sports and gaming arena
univeRsal ColleCtabillia: Owns 21 28
percent stake in Universal Sportsbiz, a sports SAlim-SulAimAn
merchandising and fashion retail startup ` 31.05 crore
sRt spoRts: Owns sports management Singer/MuSiciAn
tRue blue: Co-owns fashion retail brand 29
SAinA nehwAl
in partnership with Arvind Fashion Brands ` 31 crore
smaRtRon: Investor in Internet of Things SportS
and Original Equipment Manufacturing
startup 30
saChin by spaRtan: Investor and advisor rohit ShArmA
with the Indian arm of Australian sporting ` 30.82 crore
gear firm SportS
KeRala blasteRs: Has 60 percent stake in
the Indian Super League (ISL) team VijAy
tamil thalaivas: Co-owns Tamil Nadu ` 29 crore
franchise in Pro-Kabaddi League Actor
bengaluRu blasteRs: Co-owns Bengaluru
franchise in the Premier Badminton League 32
indian aCes: Co-owns the IPTL franchise AnuShKA ShArmA
` 28.25 crore

youweCan ventuRes teChnologies ` 25.69 crore
llp: Co-founded a seed fund with `50 Singer/MuSiciAn

tendulkar: mexy xavier; yuvraJ: dave m. benett / Getty imaGeS; dhoni: daniSh Siddiqui/reuterS
crore corpus to invest in internet startups.
Beneficiaries include Healthians, Cartisan, 34
SAnjeeV KAPoor
Sports365, SportyBeans, JetSetGo,
` 24.85 crore
EazyDiner tV perSonAlity
yRal: Digital marketing agency, a joint
venture with AdLift 35
youweCan: Forayed into the fashion retail BAdShAh
sector with clothing range designed by ` 23.14 crore
Shantanu and Nikhil Singer/MuSiciAn
yuvRaj singh CentRe oF exCellenCe:
Cricket training academy rAnA dAgguBAti
` 22 crore

` 19.63 crore
seven by ms dhoni: Co-owner of
lifestyle brand 38
Fit7 and spoRtsFit: Co-owns the fitness miKA Singh
and gym brands ` 18.59 crore
biKe Festival oF india: Co-owns two-day Singer/MuSiciAn
grand biking fiesta
Chennaiyin FC: Co-owns ISL team along
jAyAm rAVi
with Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan ` 18 crore
RanChi Rays: Co-owner of Indian Hockey Actor
League team representing his hometown

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 31

2017, starting on a high note
with the Tamil action film
Bairavaa, which garnered
`100 crore within four days
of its release in January. The
Tamil superstar continued
his strong run at the box
office with his second film
Mersal, an action-thriller.
According to Forbes, Mersal
is among only three Tamil
films to touch the `250-crore
mark in worldwide box office
collections. (The other two are
Rajinikanth’s Enthiran in 2010
and Kabali in 2016.) As one
of the most bankable actors
in Kollywood, Vijay is seen as
the successor to Rajinikanth’s
supremacy at the box office.




baby girl to belting out
chartbusters, singer Badshah (32),
or Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia,
had a memorable 2017. He began
with the hit ‘Humma Humma’
in OK Jaanu and followed that
with the immensely popular
‘Tamma Tamma’ in Badrinath
Ki Dulhania. His new single
‘Mercy’, which features dancer
Lauren Gottlieb, is an internet
sensation, with over 12 million
views on YouTube so far. His
previous songs too continue to
do well: ‘Kala Chashma’ from
Baar Baar Dekho (2016) has
crossed 300 million views on
YouTube. He has now been
roped in to host MTV’s House
Party, a music show in which
he will be sharing his favourite
party songs with viewers.



STAR OF MANY STRIPES ` 17.35 crore
in the period under consideration, Karan 41
Johar (45) and his production house, ` 16.17 crore
Dharma Productions, produced three SINGER/MUSICIAN
films—OK Jaanu, Badrinath Ki Dulhania
and Ittefaq—in 2017. While the first sank 42
without a trace at the box office, the other SHANKAR-EHSAAN-LOY
two were well-received. But Johar laughed ` 16 crore
all the way to the bank by being distributor
to the Hindi version of Baahubali 2: The 43
Conclusion, which earned `511.30 crore SHIKHAR DHAWAN
at the box office, making it the most ` 15.94 crore
successful movie of 2017. He has kick- SPORTS
started the shooting of his next directorial,
a segment for Bombay Talkies 2, which 44
stars Masaan actor Vicky Kaushal. Last SHAHID KAPOOR
` 15.88 crore
year, too, Johar hosted his popular talk ACTOR
show Koffee With Karan on which the
who’s who of the film industry made an 45
appearance. He has now turned radio SONAKSHI SINHA
jockey, playing the role of a love guru for ` 15.13 crore

a radio programme called Calling Karan. ACTOR

FERNANDEZ (RANK ` 15.10 crore

(32) struck gold at the box KABIR KHAN
` 15 crore
office with Judwaa 2, which
was 2017’s third-highest
Bollywood grosser with 47
collections of `138 crore. KAREENA KAPOOR KHAN
In the remake of the 1997 ` 15 crore
Salman Khan-starrer, she ACTOR
played her character with
aplomb, and charmed the 49
audience with her comic ` 14.95 crore
timing. The success saw COMEDIAN
her being flooded with
endorsement offers. Her 50
other release, A Gentleman: DAVID DHAWAN
Sundar, Susheel, Risky, ` 14.75 crore
got a mixed box office
response, although 51
Fernandez pulled off IRRFAN KHAN
daring stunts in the film. ` 14.38 crore
She featured in Chandran ACTOR
Rutnam’s English crime-
thriller According to 52
Matthew. Her 2018 lineup KARAN JOHAR
` 14.13 crore
includes Drive and Race 3. TV PERSONALITY


No Writers’ Block
Authors who have become literary brands are now attempting
to stretch their wings and create new revenue streams

By Monica Bathija

the Ram Chandra series

has come out, people can
see the interconnectedness.
So now when I say this,
they can say ‘haan plan
hai’ [Yes, there’s a plan].”
The plan is to set up
a sort of writers’ centre.
“A project I am starting,
incorporating a company,
involves hiring writers. I
will tell them the story and
they will write the book,
which I will supervise.
What it does is, [it]
expands my capacity. It
has been done abroad. I
have started working on
some fiction books on this
model already,” he says,
adding his aim is to grow
Ashwin Sanghi’s career as an author was sealed when his The Rozabal Line sold 70,000-80,000 copies
it into a proper media
When Writer AshWin one—Chanakya’s Chant, a very clear plan in his head company that will then also
Sanghi was writing his first in 2010, a year after The right from his first book: To produce movies, TV series
novel, The Rozabal Line, it Rozabal Line—did well was create an interconnected and the like, based on his
was just a matter of getting he convinced that there universe of characters, interconnected world.
it done and published. The should be no looking back. much like the Marvel Even as readers don’t
first print run was 2,500 He went on to complete Universe, over the years. seem to be getting enough
copies and it was anybody’s his third mythology-based His Immortals of Meluha of their work, writers who
KalpaK pathaK / hindustan times via Getty imaGes

guess whether there would fiction The Krishna Key was the first in a trilogy on struck gold a decade or so
be a second book. It was (2012), after which he Shiva and, two books down ago with their first books
only when sales touched co-wrote two books in in the second trilogy about are increasingly making
70,000-80,000 copies that the Private series with Ram, he points at the clues the most of their success.
Sanghi knew a second book American crime writer he has left in each book that This doesn’t just involve
would happen. “Once you James Patterson, and bind not just the current churning out more pulp
have a successful book a non-fiction 13 Steps series but also the earlier on their own but setting
out there then to a very series, co-written with one. “If I had spoken about up content companies
great extent your inertia domain experts. the clues at that time people and collaborative writing.
is also affected because Unlike Sanghi, whose would have said, ‘yeah, Having made a name for
your publisher then starts writing career was more yeah, you’ve got a 25-year themselves, the attempt
following up,” he says. or less unplanned, author plan’. They wouldn’t have now is to extend the
And only when the second Amish Tripathi says he had believed it. But now that brand and create new

34 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

John AbrAhAm
` 14.13 crore

ViJAy sethupAthi
` 14.08 crore

sonAm KApoor
` 14 crore
Writer Chetan Bhagat’s website has T-shirts with the author’s quotes on sale
revenue streams. and that is my source,” he and Amitav Ghosh, who KAtrinA KAif
The success of Anand says, adding he has nearly are successful writers ` 13.83 crore
Neelakantan’s Asura 18,000 stories. “I can keep across genres. Some like Actor
proved there was a churning out stories as long Bhagat branch out into 57
market for mythology as I have time, that’s what other avenues like speaking JAcqueline fernAndez
of a less conventional I believe. There is no end and motivational talks, ` 13.63 crore
variety—while Asura is to it, no dearth of stories. but most writers haven’t Actor
the Ramayan written from But there’s only that much created platforms, apart
Raavan’s perspective, I can do. Twenty years ago, from their books, that KAJol
the Ajaya series is the outsourcing changed the they can monetise.” ` 13.38 crore
Mahabharata from Indian IT industry; I Bhagat, who is also in the Actor
Duryodhana’s point of view. believe if we can find Bollywood space, remains
It also brought his a business model, we in a league of his own as 59
dilJit dosAnJh
way the writing of the can supply stories to a brand; his website for ` 13.36 crore
prequel to the story of the the entire world.” instance also has T-shirts Singer/MuSiciAn
hit Baahubali films, after It’s a model that has and frames with the
director SS Rajamouli worked in the West, author’s quotes on sale. 60
approached him to tell points out Anish Chandy, But books will have to milAn luthriA
` 12.67 crore
the historical epic in three head of digital business be at the core. Durjoy Director
books that are planned to development and offline Datta, who was picked
be made into a mini-series. sales at Juggernaut Books, up by Penguin Random 61
And besides a 10-book deal adding that while he House in 2013, has written imtiAz Ali
(five with Westland, four sees a similar attempt 15 in the last decade. Ravi ` 12.50 crore
with Penguin and one with in India, he isn’t quite Subramanian, who has
Jaico, two of which are sure it will work here. written nine, has with 61
non-fiction) Neelakantan “Right now I don’t see his latest novel branched sushAnt singh rAJput
is looking at forming a a trend of writers who out from the world of ` 12.50 crore
shanKar mourya / hindustan times via Getty imaGes
content company so that are monetising, but they banking to write a general Actor
he can bring to the world are trying to. There are contemporary thriller. 63
the folk and oral tales writers like Amish, Chetan Sanghi writes fiction and AnirbAn lAhiri
he has been collecting Bhagat, Ravindra Singh, non-fiction under three ` 12.44 crore
over the last 25 years. Twinkle Khanna; you different categories—the SportS
“We have a huge oral and could also include people Bharat series, the Private
series and the 13 Steps
performing arts tradition, like Ramachandra Guha nehA KAKKAr
series—while mythologist ` 12.21 crore

“ We Can Supply
Devdutt Pattanaik writes Singer/MuSiciAn
prolifically about lessons
from Indian religious 65
Stories To The World.” texts. He also gives talks,
writes columns and
sAif Ali KhAn
` 12.17 crore
—Anand Neelakantan hosts TV shows.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 35

‘Liberals Have Not Read
Ancient Indian Texts’
Author Amish TripAThi talks about the scientific theories in his works,
and why Indian mythology is a liberal’s best ally

by prAvin pAlAnde

Amish TripAThi hAs a new deal with an Can you explain?

come a long way since international over-the- India’s liberals have not
self-publishing his first top platform. Meluha realised that ancient Indian
book, The Immortals was earlier going to be a culture is their biggest ally.
of Meluha, in 2010. film, but now it will be a They don’t allow teaching
(Westland Books, now TV serial. I believe there of Indian mythology in
acquired by Amazon, is a lot of opportunity our schools. If we allow
subsequently published for presenting positive that to happen, it will help
the book in 2016.) Since liberal messages from our the cause of liberalism
then, he has written ancient past that can do in the country. Liberals
four books based on good to modern India. have not read ancient
Indian mythology Indian texts; they tend to
which, the publisher Q How scientific are primarily read Western
says, have sold four the theories in your books. If they study
million copies, and have books since they are [Indian mythology] and
been translated into based on mythology? teach them in our schools,
19 Indian languages. Often, technology that we it will aid their cause.
Tripathi speaks to don’t understand appears For instance, if you
Forbes India about his like magic. One of the want to fight for the rights
books and mythology. things that drives my of transgenders and you
Edited excerpts: thoughts is the concept get international scholars,
of plausibility. Whatever they will talk down to us
Q Do you look I write about should be and explain the plight
at writers as in the realm of plausible of transgenders. But
brands who are fantasy. For instance, then there is the other
in a position to the theory behind how approach, from Ramayan.
command their price? think even sportsmen and somras works is based on ‘Any man, any woman,
I don’t like the term ‘brand’ actors should be seen as modern scientific research. any transgender, any plant
being used for people. A brands. They are people There should be a logical or any animal should not
brand is something that who endorse brands. connection within the face any differentiation of
is curated and created structure of the book; it religion, caste or gender.
after market research. Q What is the update should not be in the realm You love each other, you
A person is who he or on your 2012 deal with of magical realism. come to me and you are
she is. Every person or Dharma Productions for my people’. Lord Ram
writer should be true to making The Immortals Q You have said that has said this. Imagine
themselves. Some readers of Meluha into a film? we need to teach fighting for transgender
Vikas khot

will like it and some will The rights have been Indian mythology in rights using this statement
not. But it is important to moved from Karan Johar’s schools, and it will rather than getting some
be true to yourself. I don’t company. I have struck only help liberals. Western scholar.

36 | forbes india january 5, 2018

VIR DAS (rank 75): Desi goes global

VIR DAS (38) hAS been online streaming service

around the world in the last soon after. Das also sealed
one year, carving a place for a deal to have his own
India on the global map of segment called Rest of the
comedy. He’s far from being World on the Late Night
the only Indian stand-up Show with Conan O’Brien
doing shows abroad, but he on TBS channel, a first for
clinched two major firsts an Indian comedian. He
in 2017. His show Abroad began his Boarding Das
Understanding was the tour in 2017, to perform
first ever Netflix Original in over 20 countries.
from India; Aditi Mittal Das also starred in a few
was signed by the US-based films, including Shivaay.

MOhAnLAL (rank 73):

strong anD steaDy

MALAyALAM SupeRStAR one big success, two

Mohanlal (57) went moderate ones and a
through a 51-day flop. Munthirivallikal
fitness regime to Thalirkkumbol
shed 18 kg for his grossed `50 crore
upcoming film Odiyan, worldwide while
a fantasy thriller Velipadinte Pusthakam
where his character and Villain earned
can change his form. `15-20 crore each.
In 2017, the five- 1971: Beyond Borders,
time National Award however, tanked with
winner starred in four a collection of `6.7
films: Munthirivallikal crore. The actor shows
Thalirkkumbol, 1971: no signs of fatigue,
Beyond Borders, with four films slated
Velipadinte Pusthakam for release in 2018—
and Villain. It was Odiyan, Lucifer and two
a mixed year, with unnamed projects.

38 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

SunIL gROVeR (rank 77): tIgeR ShROff
no breaKUP blUes ` 11.94 crore
the late TV personality and 67
comedian Jaspal Bhatti, Sunil fARhAn AkhtAR
Grover (40) started his career ` 11.92 crore
with the lead role in SAB TV’s
Gutur Gu in 2010. He achieved 68
fame after playing the characters yuVRAj SIngh
Ghutti, Rinku Bhabhi and Dr ` 11.60 crore
Mashoor Gulati in Comedy SportS
Nights with Kapil and the Kapil
Sharma Show. Earlier this year, 69
pAwAn kALyAn
Grover and Sharma got into an
` 11.33 crore
altercation on a Melbourne- Actor
Delhi flight while the crew
was returning from Australia. 70
After the incident, Grover left DhAnuSh
Comedy with Kapil and has been ` 11.25 crore
ambivalent about working with Actor
Sharma again. Grover has tied up
with colleagues Kiku Sharda and VIShAL bhARDwAj
Ali Asgar to launch a new show. ` 11.25 crore

pARIneetI ChOpRA
` 11.19 crore

mohanlal: Yogen Shah / IndIa TodaY group / geTTY ImageS; SunIl: WaSeem gaShroo / hInduSTan

TImeS vIa geTTY ImageS; bhagaT: anShuman poYrekar / hInduSTan TImeS vIa geTTY ImageS
` 11.03 crore

ARjun kApOOR
` 10.83 crore

` 9.95 crore

ChetAn bhAgAt (rank 82): Writing for Millennials ShRADDhA kApOOR
` 9.88 crore
the wRIteR hAD One bOOk ReLeASe The book also ran into a plagiarism row.
last year, his seventh novel One Indian The movie Half Girlfriend, starring Arjun 77
Girl, which had its share of hype and Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, based on SunIL gROVeR
controversies. The book’s ads were his 2014 book by the same name, released ` 9.83 crore
displayed on Mumbai’s local trains (a in May. Bhagat co-produced the film. tV perSonAlity
first in the publishing world) and Bhagat The book and the film did
(43) went on record to say that as part of reasonably well and the author 78
the research he had his body hair waxed SIDhARth MALhOtRA
has retained a position on the
` 9.31 crore
to write from a woman’s point of view. Forbes India Celebrity List. Actor

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 39

kIDaMbI srIkanTh (rank 83): HOLDING COURT
Cameron SpenCer / Getty ImaGeS

The year 2017 has been a breakouT and a master at net play, Srikanth’s convert to the singles game—he
year for 24-year-old Kidambi conquests include reigning World primarily played doubles before
Srikanth as he won four Superseries No 1 Viktor Axelsen, whom he his coach Pullela Gopichand asked
titles (two among them back-to- defeated on his own turf in the him to switch—Srikanth reached
back)—only the fourth men’s singles quarterfinals of the Denmark a career-high rank of World No 2
player and the lone Indian to do so Open, and Chinese Olympic before a leg injury halted his charge;
in a calendar year. Extremely agile gold-medallist Chen Long. A late he finished the year as No 4.

40 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

Dulquer salMan
sunIl ChheTrI (rank 100): ` 9.28 crore

The skIpper of InDIa’s

anurag basu
football team and its ` 8.35 crore
most capped player, Director
Sunil Chhetri is also
the fourth-highest 81
international goal allu arjun
scorer among active ` 7.74 crore
players. The 33-year-
old achieved the feat 82
with his match-winning CheTan bhagaT
strike, his 53rd, against ` 7.15 crore
Myanmar in March, Author
equalling England’s
Wayne Rooney (who 83
kIDaMbI srIkanTh
is now retired). He
` 6.13 crore
subsequently added SportS
more goals to his tally
to surpass Rooney 84
and now trails only aMIsh TrIpaThI
Portugal’s Cristiano ` 5.88 crore
Ronaldo, Argentina’s Author
Lionel Messi and USA’s
Clint Dempsey. With ajInkya rahane
his prolific scoring in ` 5.56 crore
the qualifiers, Chhetri SportS
has also led India to
the 2019 AFC Asian 86
Cup, the first time since CheTeshwar pujara
` 5.48 crore
2011. At home, Chhetri
is one of the most
expensive buys in the 87
Indian Super League MuralI VIjay
(ISL), with Bengaluru ` 4.20 crore
FC snapping him up for SportS
a reported `1.5 crore
to steer the club in its 88
alI asgar
inaugural outing at the ` 4.19 crore
prestigious league tV perSonAlity

kl rahul
matthew aShton, ama / Getty ImaGeS

` 4.04 crore

uMesh yaDaV
` 3.94 crore

shabIr alhuwalIa
` 3.49 crore
CompIled by anShul dhamIja, kathakalI Chanda, kunal purandare, monICa bathIja, ruChIka Shah, tV perSonAlity
Samar SrIvaStava, Sayan Chakraborty

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 41

taapsee pannu: The accidenTal acTor
In her seven years as an actor, taapsee pannu has
built for herself an impressive résumé. The 30-year-old
has essayed a diverse set of characters across Hindi, Telugu
and Tamil films: From the critically-acclaimed Pink (2016),
Baby (2015), Aadukalam (2011, Tamil) and Vastadu Naa Raju
(2011, Telugu) to the commercial potboiler Judwaa 2, which
grossed over `100 crore this year. “I was never offered the
typical ‘heroine-ish’ Bollywood diva roles,” says Pannu.
It was a combination of free will and destiny that
brought her to the film industry. A computer science
graduate, Pannu once turned down an offer from IT

The Rising
major Infosys. “I didn’t want to be an engineer for the
rest of my life,” she tells Forbes India. Pannu, however,
nurtured ambitions of an MBA degree and a high-flying
corporate job. But those plans, too, failed to fructify.
Instead, her part-time modelling career in college
They may not be a part of our helped her bag her first movie Jhummandi Naadam,
List yet, but these are the stars a Telugu drama that released in 2010. Since then, she
has acted in about 20 films and co-starred with some
to watch out for of Indian cinema’s bigwigs such as Amitabh Bachchan,
Akshay Kumar, Dhanush, Prabhas and Mammootty.
by Anshul DhAmijA She also endorses seven consumer brands, including
Panasonic (mobiles), Women’s Horlicks, Honda
(two-wheelers) and hair-care brand Kesh King.
Mexy xavier

42 | forbes india january 5, 2018

The list

sugandha mIshra
` 3.39 crore
TV PersonaliTy

bhartI sIngh
` 3.25 crore
TV PersonaliTy
nIvIn pauly: The hiT machine JeJe lalpeKhlua: on The Ball
the former Infosys employee Is one of hardIK pandya
IndIan football’s most excItIng prospect
` 3.04 crore
the most bankable stars in Malayalam films. since skipper Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua sPorTs
He debuted in 2010 and delivered a string has impressed as much on the domestic
of hits starting with Thattathin Marayathu circuit as he has on the international stage. 95
in 2012. His romcom Premam (2015) earned In 2015, he scored a double, winning the Karan patel
`60 crore and became the highest-grossing I-League with Mohun Bagan and the ` 2.95 crore
Malayalam film ever at the time. A lot of Indian Super League with Chennaiyin TV PersonaliTy
Malayalam movies are made on a tight FC, scoring six goals and three assists in
budget, one of the reasons why Pauly hasn’t 96
the latter. The following year, he helped dIvyanKa trIpathI
made it to our list. But with his foray into India lift the SAFF Cup with three goals dahIya
the Tamil industry this year with Richie and was adjudged AIFF’s Player Of The ` 2.92 crore
(he’s had a bilingual release in 2013), and Year. His exploits have made him one of TV PersonaliTy
about 10 releases between now and 2020, it the highest-paid footballers in the ISL this
could well be a different story in the future. season, earning him a whopping `1.4 crore. 97
Krushna abhIsheK
` 2.90 crore
hs prannoy: SmaSh hiT TV PersonaliTy

along wIth KIdambI French and the Indonesian 98

Srikanth, HS Prannoy Opens. He also won the sanIa mIrza

disha, Kriti: saChin goKhale; nivin: neilson barnard / getty iMages; JeJe: viJayanand gupta / hindustan
spearheaded the charge of ` 2.80 crore
star-studded 82nd Senior
Indian badminton on the Nationals. Prannoy was the
world stage, climbing 18 most expensive buy at the 99
spots to end 2017 as World Professional Badminton bhuvneshwar Kumar
No 10. The 25-year-old League, with the ` 2.53 crore
made it to the semifinals of Ahmedabad Smash Masters sPorTs
two Superseries events—the picking him up for `62 lakh.
sunIl chhetrI
` 2.30 crore
dIsha patanI: BriSK STarT KrItI sanon: caTwalK

tiMes via getty iMages; prannoy: robertus pudyanto / getty iMages

To STardom
the 25-year-old, who made her debut wIth
the Telugu film Loafer in 2015, marked model-turned-actor KrItI sanon forayed
her presence in Bollywood with the 2016 into acting in 2014 with 1:Nenokkadine
release MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. At the (Telugu), which bombed, but her Bollywood
end of that year, she was among the most debut the same year, Heropanti, earned
searched people on the internet in India her the Filmfare award for best debut. The
along with PV Sindhu and Vijay Mallya, following year, she bagged a role in Dilwale
according to Google. In 2017, Patani starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. 2017
opposite Jackie Chan was a mixed bag as Bareilly Ki Barfi was a
in Kung Fu Yoga, which hit while Raabta flopped.
was dubbed in Mandarin, Apart from endorsing
English and Hindi, many brands, she has
and grossed over $200 recently been roped in as
million worldwide. a brand ambassador to
Patani has also bagged a promote New Zealand as
slew of endorsements. an education destination.
(additional reporting by KathaKali Chanda)

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 43

High On Stardust
A rundown of the numbers that earned these personalities
a place in the roster of India’s highest grossing celebrities
by Neeraj gaNgal, NaaNdika tripathi, ruchika shah
InfOgrapHIcs by sameer pawar; IllustratIOns by chaitaNya diNesh surpur

rank earnings (` crore)

2 4

Shah ruKh aKShay

Khan Kumar
170.50 3 98.25 5

actor Virat actor
Kohli tendulKar
Khan 100.72 82.50
SportS SportS
eleven of the top 20 celebrities have seen their earnings dip compared with last year.
riding the Baahubali wave, SS rajamouli has found a place at no 15
2017 earningS (` crore) 2016 earningS (` crore)

50 100 150 200 250 300

Salman Khan 270.33
Shah ruKh Khan 221.75

Virat Kohli
98.25 Share in oVerall
aKShay Kumar 203.03 earningS
Sachin tendulKar

aamir Khan*

priyanKa chopra 76.00
The number of women in The
mS dhoni 122.48 lisT. iT is eighT less Than lasT
hrithiK roShan
63.12 year’s. They collecTively
earned `462.58 Cr, around 5%
ranVeer Singh 67.42 less Than lasT year
deepiKa paduKone 69.75

avERagE EaRNiNgS pER
ar rahman 37.50 caTEgORy (` crore)
pV Sindhu
ranbir Kapoor 55.50

SS rajamouli* 55.00

ajay deVgn 48.83

arijit Singh actorS SingerS/muSicianS

Kapil Sharma
34.8 25.44

Sachin: chriS JackSon / Getty imaGeS; Salman, Shahrukh, Virat, akShay: Sachin Gokhale
Varun dhawan 43.50

amitabh bachchan 40.00


* these celebrities were not in the 2016 list in the absence of releases or endorsements


SportS directorS
24.54 18.5
Shah ruKh Khan
earningS (` crore)

aKShay Kumar

Salman Khan comedianS tV perSonalitieS

100 12.45 10.9

Sachin tendulKar

Virat Kohli authorS
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 45

earnings (` crore) rank

50 100 150 200 250

actorS SaLMaN kHaN 232.83 1

SportS viRaT kOHLi 100.72 3

SingerS/muSicianS aR RaHMaN 57.63 12

directorS SS RajaMOULi 55 15

tV perSonalitieS kapiL SHaRMa 48 18

comedianS 14.95 aLL iNDia bakcHOD 49

authorS 7.15 cHETaN bHagaT 82

TOp gaiNERS aND LOSERS (in % termS)

For shuttler pV Sindhu, 2017 has been an annus mirabilis as her rio olympics silver `63.7
medal opened the floodgates to a bevy of prize money and endorsements lakh
 % difference rank earnings (` crore)
that’s how much
GAINERS LOSERS Salman khan earned
2017 2016 2017 every day last year
SaNia MiRza
14.58 -80.79
2.8 earnings of
3.42 98
100 celebrities
57.25 (` crore)

ajay DEvgN
8.1 502.88
27 81

48.83 cHETaN bHagaT
22.75 -68.57
7.15 earnings
82 of top 3
7.53 RaviNDRa
359.23 504.05
34.58 bHaRTi SiNgH
8.8 -63.05 3.25
5.75 SHaNkaR-
EHSaaN-LOy 16 93

42 DHaNUSH percentage share of the

-59.82 top 3 celebrities

viR DaS
3.75 9.95 28
165.33 11.25

46 | forbes india january 5, 2018

the presence of these non-bollywood celebrities on the list makes the star cast more eclectic

Share of their
Number of Celebrities earnings in the
from the south iNdiaN film overall celebrity
100 list
iNdustry*, iN this year’s list
* ar rahman has not been considered because he has been a part of hindi and global mainstream cinema for a long time
earnings (` crore) rank
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 TEaM EaRNiNgS
SS rajamouli 55 15 baaHUbaLi (` crore)

prabhaS 36.25 22 SS rajamouli 55

Suriya 34 25 prabhaS 36.25
ajith Kumar 31.75 27
rana daggubati 22
Vijay 29 31
rana daggubati 22 36

19.63 37
Team ‘Baahubali’
maheSh babu

jayram raVi 18 39

Vijay Sethupathi 14.08 54

total earnings
(` crore) has contributed
pawan Kalyan 11.33 69
310.335 over 4 percent of
dhanuSh 11.25 70
the total
earnings of the
mohanlal 11.03 73

dulquer Salman 9.28 79

allu arjun 7.74 81 celebrity 100 list
FiRST iMpRESSiON Box offiCe PerformAnCe oldest on the
CelBrity 100 list
average opening-day box office collections* of india’s top stars, over the past six years
amitabh: tim P. Whitby/Getty imaGeS; Sindhu: mark kolbe/Getty imaGeS

number of releases First day average collections (` crore)

26.59 7
75 years
Salman Khan
`40 crore
Shah ruKh Khan 19.29 9

aKShay Kumar 10.86 17

aamir Khan 24.11 4

priyanKa chopra 11.5 6

hrithiK roShan 16.05 5

deepiKa paduKone 16.2 9

youngest on the
alia bhatt 9.2 8 CelBrity 100 list
Kangana ranaut 4.81 10 sindhu
anuShKa Sharma 13.22 10 22 years
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 `57.25
Source: boxofficeindia.co.in *net box office collections

48 | forbes india january 5, 2018

WEEkEND SpiN Box offiCe PerformAnCe

average opening-weekend box office collections* of india’s top stars, over the past six years
number of releases opening-weekend average collections (` crore)

Salman Khan 95.26 7

Shah ruKh Khan 64.92 9

aKShay Kumar 37.25 17

aamir Khan 82.95 4

priyanKa chopra 36.56 6

hrithiK roShan 56.31 5

deepiKa paduKone 51.98 9

alia bhatt 30.98 8

Kangana ranaut 16.19 10

anuShKa Sharma 52.61 10

0 20 40 60 80 100
Source: boxofficeindia.co.in * net box office collections

THE kHaNFORMERS Box offiCe PerformAnCe

how the Khans have dominated the list of the top ten bollywood movies of all time, in terms of box office collections*

rAnk moVie ColleCtions* (` crore) TOp 10 LiST: SUMMiNg THE

1 Baahubali 2: the Conclusion 506.5
= 1 Film
2 dangal 374.54
3 Pk 324.3 AAmir khAn
4 Bajrangi Bhaijaan 316.79
5 sultan 300.1

1162.56 ` Crore
6 dhoom 3 261.25
7 Chennai express 218.52
8 kick 214.04
sAlmAn khAn
9 3 idiots 202.47
10 krrish 3 198.6

Source: boxofficeindia.co.in

* net box office collections (domestic)


(mln) shAh rukh khAn
deepika padukone 20.6 Virat Kohli 36 amitabh bachchan 31.7

priyanka chopra 20.5 Salman Khan 35 Shah rukh Khan  31.2

alia bhatt 19.3 deepika padukone 34 Salman Khan 28.8

Shraddha Kapoor  18.7 priyanka chopra 34 akshay Kumar 23.1

Virat Kohli 17.3 amitabh bachchan 27 aamir Khan 22.4

Source: boxofficeindia.co.in
as on 11 december 2017

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 49

ToWear Is Human
Five years on, Salman Khan’s apparel brand seems
to be serving its higher purpose
by VarSha meghani

up attention for that landmark. Mumbai-based clothing company. The
“We couldn’t keep asking T-shirt was retailed in three colours—
people for donations, so we set black, white and grey—with the
up the clothing line,” says Khan, words ‘Being Human’ printed in small
51, of the start, blowing circles typeface. These were initially made
of smoke into the night air. in one batch of 5,000. “They flew off
We’re seated in the studio the shelves,” says Khan, “So we made
compound under a dimly lit blue tent. another batch and those too sold out.”
Even in the poor light, Khan’s angular, It didn’t take long for him to realise
flutter of activity heralds rough-hewn face and biceps—bulging that he was on to something big. He
Salman Khan’s arrival at Mehboob from beneath his black Being Human licensed the brand to Mandhana
Studios in Bandra, an upscale suburb polo—are visible. The Being Human Industries, run by Khan’s then
in Mumbai. Staff members race to his brand is the soft foil to the obvious acquaintance and now friend Manish
car, whispering in hushed cohesion ruggedness. As is the origin story of Mandhana, in 2011 for the design,
that “he’s here”, while bystanders the venture, which was triggered by manufacture, retail and distribution of
look up from their phone screens. his love for painting. After dabbling clothing and accessories. In December
Khan, who has dominated Hindi in it for a bit, Khan realised he was 2016, Mandhana Industries spun
cinema for close to three decades good and decided to get one of his off its subsidiary MRVL (formed in
along with the other two Khans, artworks printed on a T-shirt. He 2012), which handles Being Human
Shah Rukh and Aamir, has just begun wore it to actor Mithun Chakraborty’s Clothing, into a separate listed entity.
shooting for Race 3. But today, at the son’s film’s music release in late 2010. “The idea was to create more long-
studio, just a few minutes away from Two days later, when he was driving term value for our stakeholders,”
his home, Khan doesn’t want to talk past Linking Road—Bandra’s busy says Mandhana, adding that the
movies. Being Human Clothing, the shopping street—he saw rip-offs of company posted a topline of `216
apparel brand he formally launched his T-shirt all over. “I told myself, crore in FY17 on net profits of around
with The Mandhana Retail Ventures ‘This is it. We’ll sell T-shirts to make `20 crore. Mandhana pays Khan a
Ltd. (MRVL) in 2012 to support money for the charity’,” recalls Khan. licence fee [an undisclosed percentage
the activities of the foundation he A discussion with his family ensued of sales] for leveraging his brand.
set up ten years ago, marks its fifth and the idea took off in a small way At this point, I interject to ask
anniversary and he’s here to drum in partnership with Cottonworld, the him how the name Being Human

50 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Salman Khan
claims that every
penny earned
from Being Human
is put into charity
post taxes

came about, a name which took birth to shed. After all, Khan has been rub off on Khan’s otherwise brash,
in 2007 when he set up his charity under the scanner for decades: He controversy-oriented imagery.”
‘Being Human–The Salman Khan was charged with poaching the Sure enough, today Being Human
Foundation’ to focus on health care endangered blackbuck in Rajasthan Clothing is the money earner for
and education for the lesser privileged. in 1998; with culpable homicide when Khan, all of which he claims to put
He pauses, takes a long puff and he allegedly crashed his car into a into charity post taxes. “We don’t
looks into the distance. “Have you bakery in Mumbai in 2002, killing make any money from this venture.
ever heard someone say, ‘Oh I’m just one person and injuring four. Khan After tax, every penny we get goes to
human’?” Before I can nod in the has been acquitted in these cases, the foundation,” says Khan. He calls
affirmative, he continues, “People but the matters still remain under on his staff member Loretta to give
say it when they’ve made trial or appeal within details of the work they do in the
a mistake. It’s an easy way the judicial system. areas of health care and education.
to justify the mistake. So forbes india What of the criticism, She has the facts on the tips of her
c e l e b r i t y 100
what we’re trying to say then, that Khan’s charity fingers: The foundation supports
is that instead of using rank work is an attempt to clean 400 children’s heart surgeries a
the term so conveniently, up his image? “It’s okay if year, provides assistance towards
just try and do your best. no.1 they think so. People say I’m life-limiting cranio-facial surgeries,
Even if it means smiling successful because of what runs eye-camps and women’s check-
at someone when you’re I do with the foundation. ups; it has also adopted two schools
in a bad mood… and to forgive. To If this is the formula to success, they in Mumbai as well as multiple
let it go. I think there should be an should also start charities,” he laughs. educational resources centres in
expiry date on animosity, on hatred, N Chandramouli, who runs a Maharashtra, among other initiatives.
on not being able to forgive. I don’t brand advisory, TRA, weighs in: “One “People who we help want to thank
think you should stretch that too far never starts such a large venture with me for it. But I don’t meet them. It’s
because life is too short to hate.” the only objective being a clean-up. no big deal. There’s no need to take
mexy xavier

This reflective version of the Khan’s motives may be multiple but credit for something that you should
superstar is a far cry from the brash, a positive fallout is that some of the be doing as a human being.” That,
impatient image he can’t seem sheen of brand Being Human will according to Khan, is being human.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 51

The World
At Her Feet
Whether it’s acting in American serials and Hollywood films, or playing
her role as the Unicef’s Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka ChoPra
is creating ripples in the West. And she says this is just the beginning

by Salil PanChal & neeraj GanGal

forbes india
c e l e b r i t y 100
Rohan ShReStha



january 5, 2018 forbes india | 53

enjoyed a robust viewership of 8.05
million, according to data from
Nielsen Company. The viewership
dipped to 4.53 million in Season 2
(2016-17), but Chopra’s popularity
remained undiminished. She bagged
two People’s Choice Awards (PCA)
for her role in Quantico: One in 2017
(Favourite Dramatic TV actress) and
another in 2016 (Favourite Actress in
a new TV series), becoming the first
South Asian actor ever to win a PCA.
Her popularity has ensured
priyanka chopra is notching a constant stream of offers. At
up one milestone after another in present, she is busy with the third
the West. The Miss World-turned- season of Quantico that is being
Bollywood star-turned-global shot in Montreal, Atlanta and New
celebrity was recently ranked eighth York. That apart, she stars in two
on Forbes’s list of the World Highest- Hollywood films, A Kid Like Jake
Paid TV Actresses, with an annual (scheduled for a 2018 release)
income of $10 million. Chopra, that also features Homeland star
who was appointed as the Unicef’s Claire Danes and Jim Parsons from
Goodwill Ambassador in 2016, also The Big Bang Theory, and Isn’t It cemented my ground as yet; it took
found herself in the 15th spot on Romantic with Rebel Wilson. me many years in India to do it too…
Forbes’s list of the most powerful The international projects have when you come from somewhere else,
women in media and entertainment. kept the Jamshedpur-born actor it’s so unexpected… you just do the
Acutely aware of the stardom that away from Bollywood—she was last best that you can and it is not easy,
she wears, Chopra, 35, says the fear seen in Jai Gangaajal in 2016—but especially in a different country,”
of failure or not being recognised in her production house, Purple Pebble says the National Award-winning
another country did not even occur to Pictures (PPP), continues to churn actor with 2.07 crore Twitter and
her. “There was none because in my out small-budget, content-driven 2.04 crore Instagram followers.
mind I never went anywhere. People regional cinema like the Marathi Among the difficulties that Chopra
go to Lonavala [a popular hill station film Ventilator (2016), which won encountered while blending in a new
around 80 km from Mumbai], I go to three National Awards. And more place was getting used to the “US pop
Los Angeles. It’s like that… I treat the such films in India are on the anvil. culture”. “That was the hardest part,”
world as a very small place,” the actor

she explains. “People would crack
tells Forbes India over a half-an-hour aving worked hard for jokes and I would not understand
call from her New York residence. over a decade to make a them. I didn’t understand pop culture
Chopra isn’t exaggerating. Hers is mark in the Indian film that well, having not spent enough
one of the most successful crossover industry, Chopra knows time there (just 2-3 years of shooting
stories by an Indian actor. The that she’s only scratched the surface for movies). Even in Quantico, I
first season of Quantico (2015-16), of the potential the global platform played an American girl, not a girl
an American TV series in which offers. “I am right at the beginning of from India; she was born and raised
she plays FBI agent Alex Parrish, my [Hollywood] journey. I have not in America. So, every Sunday, I

“I Am rIghT AT The
Beginning Of My Hollywood Journey.
I hAve noT cemenTed my
Getty ImaGeS

ground yeT...It Is Not Easy.”

54 | forbes india january 5, 2018
(Left to right from facing page): Priyanka Chopra as Unicef’s Goodwill Ambassador; in a still
from Quantico; with Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch

and meeting Bono and Bruce her to television screens in America

Springsteen,” says Chopra, also a but also opened up newer avenues.
trained Western classical singer. In 2017, she acted with professional
She has sung three singles—‘In WWE wrestler and Hollywood star
My City’ with will.i.am, ‘Exotic’ Dwayne Johnson in the Paramount
with Pitbull and the cover version Pictures movie Baywatch, based on
of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You the popular 1990s television serial
Love Me’—besides featuring in singing with the same name. It slumped at
collaborations with American DJ the box office with a domestic gross
duo The Chainsmokers, rapper DMX collection of $58.1 million in the US
and Australian DJ Will Sparks. And and Canada against a product cost of
had to convince a completely new it was her music that opened the $69 million. However, the actor says
country about having an American doors to American television for her. the experience was worth it. “It was
girl [in their lives]… that was tough.” At one of the music parties in fun and, in fact, shooting it was like
However, even in that unfamiliar Los Angeles, Chopra met Keli Lee, shooting for any Bollywood movie—
territory, Chopra banked on her the then executive vice president lots of crew and big sets,” says Chopra.
familiarity with the country where (casting) and now managing director The tepid response to Baywatch
she spent her teenage years. “That (international content and talent) hasn’t deterred Chopra’s resolve to
was the edge for me,” she points at Disney-ABC Television Group. take risks. It’s an approach that she
out. At the age of 12, Chopra went She even discussed the possibility swore by even when she was finding
to live and study with her aunt of a project with the actor’s agent her feet in Bollywood. Consider this:
and cousins in Massachusetts, before flying down to India later. Just a year after making her debut as
Iowa and New York. She returned “I was shooting for Gunday (2014) an actor, she opted to play a negative
to India when she was 17. “I was when Lee came to the sets and said role in Aitraaz (2004) portraying the
already tuned in to listening to [late she wanted to sign me as a talent, wife of an elderly business tycoon
American rapper] Tupac Shakur.” giving me the option of a television who falsely accuses her ex-lover of
What would have helped her show after reading the scripts,” raping her. The role was fraught
further is her frequent travels to Chopra recalls. “I was sceptical with risks and not something that a
the US since 2011 to record music about doing television in the US, but ‘typical actor’ would have opted for,
through a contract with Interscope they came with a very sweet deal.” at least then, and especially in her
Records, whose best-selling artists Immediately after, Chopra went first few films. “While shooting for
include Lady Gaga and Eminem. to Los Angeles, and chose Quantico the movie, people warned me that it
“It was so cool being in the studio from the four scripts that she had was a wrong career move and that
with rapper will.i.am and RedOne liked. That series not just brought I would get stuck with vamp-type

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 55

roles. It scared me like hell,” she Someone’s opinion is not fact. It does
recalls. But the movie was well- not matter; focus on your strengths
received and Chopra, in particular, and not your inhibitions.” That’s
was lauded with several awards. the way Chopra has lived her life,
She faced a similar predicament brushing aside social media trolls,
when she was approached for Fashion and focusing on her work. “I am here
(2008). The beauty queen was to to work. People who like me, stay
essay the role of a small-town girl around me and people who do not
who becomes a supermodel in the like me, don’t have to,” she says.
Madhur Bhandarkar film. “I was told Though based in the US for most
that girls did women-centric roles part of the year and occupied with her
only towards the end of their careers international commitments, Chopra
to win awards. I was advised to work is keenly involved in her production
with big stars and do Hollywood house as well. PPP has several
tent-pole type movies,” says Chopra. projects in the pipeline, including
“I was afraid ki phir se gadbad kar di Sikkim’s first ever movie Pahuna, a
(that I took a wrong decision again), Konkani-Hindi venture called Little
but the fact is that I did not know Joe, a Marathi-Bengali biopic called
any better.” But her belief in herself Nalini and two Bengali films, Brishtir

“my cAreer hAs Been Full Of

Risky Choices. The greATesT
wAs noT knowIng ThAT
I Was Taking A Risk .”
turned out to be true. She bagged Olympic medal winner). Filmmaker Oppekhyayy and Bus Stop E Keu Nei.
the National Award for Fashion Rakesh Roshan, who directed Chopra She may have won the world with
and proved her critics wrong. in Krrish and Krrish 3, says: “She her varied feats, but Chopra says
In a career spanning nearly 15 has a rare mix of sex appeal and she does not know what the future
years, 52 movies and 53 awards, Indianness. I saw two reels of Aitraaz holds for her. “I just know that it
including India’s fourth-highest and realised that she was talented.” is at a very interesting point where
civilian award, Padma Shri (2016), the But talent alone can’t take you I have been able to break concrete
actor continues to rewrite the rules places. The sweat and toil that a little bit by doing mainstream
with her unique choices. “When I was goes behind the scenes often goes characters in international TV or
younger, I never saw a long-term plan. unnoticed and that, claims the movies. That’s the direction I want
I am not from the film community; actor, forms an integral part of her to be able to go in,” she says.
my career has always been full of preparation. “I have no specific We are nearing the end of the
risky choices and I took decisions off plan or a formula, but there is a interview, and Chopra needs to
the paved path. My greatest risk was ridiculous amount of discipline head back to her trailer. But we
me not knowing that I was taking that goes into it,” she says. manage to ask her this last question:
a risk,” Chopra tells Forbes India. If she had to walk away from the

KevIn WInteR / Getty ImaGeS

Among the other brave choices s a go-getter, Chopra arc lights, what would she want
that she took in Bollywood was has seen the highs and to be remembered for? She pauses
working on diverse and challenging lows that come along for a while and says slowly: “As an
projects like Krrish (2006, India’s first with fame. The actor, achiever, someone with integrity and
superhero franchise), Barfi! (2012, therefore, has a message for today’s as a girl who had big dreams and just
in which she played an autistic girl) youth: “We live in a digital world went after them.” She seems to have
and Mary Kom (2014, a biopic on the where anyone can have an opinion. done well on that front already.

56 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Feathers Fly
At 22, shuttler PV Sindhu has had podium finishes at all top international
competitions, including the 2016 Olympics. And she’s just getting started

by KathaKali Chanda
Reuben Singh / hinduStan timeS via getty imageS

forbes india
c e l e b r i t y 100



58 | forbes india january 5, 2018

cricketers. Ever since she brought run by Gopichand, brought the
back silver from the 2016 Olympics country its first badminton Olympic
in Rio, losing the final to Spaniard medal (a bronze). Nehwal later
and then World No 1 Carolina reached the No 1 rank as well (while
Marin, she burst on to national training with Vimal Kumar; she has
consciousness like a young Sachin subsequently returned to Gopichand).
Tendulkar did on his 1989 tour to Besides, players like Chetan Anand
Pakistan, with his imperious defiance and Aparna Popat bolstered Indian
of the Wasims and the Waqars. presence on the international stage
Sindhu followed up the silver with through the ’90s and the noughties,
her first Superseries win in China and hovering around the top 10 rankings.
victories at the India Open and Korea But what set Sindhu apart from
Open this year. But what turned social the others, barring Nehwal, was her
it’s a slow morning at a five-star media buzz and conversations about Olympic feat. India’s fascination for
hotel in Nagpur, where the country’s the Hyderabadi into mass hysteria Olympic glory can be gauged by the
badminton fraternity has gathered was the 2017 World Championships fact that Sindhu’s consecutive bronze
for the 82nd Senior Nationals. In the final against Japanese Nozomi medals at the World Championships
lobby, a help desk is left unmanned Okuhara: A lung-ripping, emotionally- in 2013 and 2014 failed to create a buzz
for the most part, some camera- sapping, see-saw encounter that, at similar to her Rio show. Her Olympic
toting journalists amble aimlessly, 110 minutes, was the second longest podium finish at the age of 21 not
and players, Kidambi Srikanth and duel in the history of women’s singles. only reinvigorated a country that was
HS Prannoy (World No 4 and 10 A match, with a 73-shot rally, that resigned to returning empty-handed
respectively) included, saunter Indonesian World No 6 Ratchanok from Rio, but also helped her step out
into the breakfast hall without Intanon dubbed “history making for of Nehwal’s shadows definitively.
much fanfare. Only a few shuttlers women’s singles”. Sindhu lost by two The performance brought home for
scurry to catch the next car to the points, but gave sporting grit and Sindhu cash rewards and incentives
stadium, invoking a sense of urgency fortitude a new definition. Just like that were hitherto reserved only for
that is typical of a semifinal day. PT Usha did with her stirring sprint cricketers. In the period between
A little after 10.30 am, a car stops in the 1984 Olympics, or gymnast October 2016 and September 2017,
at the porch and out steps PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar with her audacious she earned `19 crore (including prize
World No 3 and India’s top shuttler, Produnova vault in 2016, that scripted money and grants), and lapped up 16
back from her morning practice. In history but fell just short of a medal. brand endorsements (worth between
one stroke, the entire hotel lobby

`70 crore and `80 crore), next only to
springs to its feet, flashes pop like indhu isn’t India’s first Virat Kohli, currently Indian cricket’s
corn and requests for sound bites are global icon in badminton. man with the Midas touch. “Life
hurled in the air. A crowd conjures It was Prakash Padukone, has changed completely in the past
out of nowhere, phone cameras who, in 1980, put India year. I can’t go out and shop, I get
flip into selfie mode and kids with on the world map by winning the mobbed. At movie theatres, I have
autograph books run with the people All-England Championships and to leave before the lights are back.
thronging her 5’11’’, lithe frame. becoming World No 1. Two decades But,” she adds as an afterthought,
Sindhu obliges all, sometimes later, in 2001, Pullela Gopichand, “I quite enjoy it. It feels nice.”
even doubling up to fit into the photo now Sindhu’s mentor, repeated the Sometimes, this candour is a
frame. At 22, she is no stranger to All-England feat. In 2012, Saina refreshing reminder of how young
the frenzy once accorded only to Nehwal, a trainee at an academy Sindhu is; a fact that her long list of

“when I used to Play The

Top Guns, I had nothIng
to lose. Post-Rio, there
Is a Lot Of Responsibility.”
60 | forbes india january 5, 2018
Left: Sindhu’s parents, Ramana and Vijayalakshmi, were national-level volleyball players; the shuttler with mentor P Gopichand (second from left)

achievements tends to bury. Shorn of she won points. We had to work on As a child, Sindhu would
those, she would be just another MBA reversing that.” Heartwarming images accompany her father to the volleyball
student at St Anne’s College, a degree of Sindhu picking up Marin and her court and, just for fun, fiddle with
she is pursuing alongside badminton. racket at the end of the loss in the the badminton racket at the court
Her easy, uncomplicated nature is Olympic final may be reminiscent of next door. As she took to the game,
reiterated when she discusses, among the genial person she is, but infused her parents encouraged her to
other things, her love for Paris, junk in that character now is a combative pursue it. “Many people ask me why
food—ice cream, pizza, burgers, what streak that lets out a roar or a searing badminton and not volleyball. My
have you—and mobile phones. “I “I’m-that-good” look at her opponent father appreciated badminton because
wonder how I gave up my phone for every time she hits an impeccable it was an individual sport and only you
three months before the Olympics, drop or makes an impossible retrieve. can control its result,” says Sindhu.
Sindhu started formal training

when Gopi Sir asked for it,” she
says, rolling her eyes. “I must have hile her on-court with Mir Mahboob Ali when she was
been in the zone at that moment, belligerence is new- eight-and-a-half, and, at 10, shifted to
because I had instantly said yes.” found, Sindhu has the Gopichand Academy that offered a

haRSha vadlamai foR foRbeS india; Raj K Raj / hinduStan timeS via getty imageS
But it’s this self-effacing persona always been a fighter. larger pool of sparring partners. That
that Gopichand had to work hard Her compatriot and men’s world meant a punishing daily schedule of
on for Sindhu to curb on the court. No 4 Kidambi Srikanth, who has waking up at 4 am, commuting about
“Off the court, she is one of the grown up playing with her, vouches 28 km from her home in Secunderabad
nicest persons you’ll ever meet. That for it. “We’ve played together since to Gachibowli, where the academy
sometimes would stop her from being the juniors and Sindhu hasn’t ever was located, returning home for
super-competitive,” he says. It’s part lost any match for want of a fight,” school and rushing back to practice
of sporting lore how, one fine day, says Srikanth. It’s also an attribute once school got over. It would often be
Sindhu landed up for training and that defines her brand value and has 10 pm before she would return home.
Gopichand refused to let her play till helped her cobble together a name But Gopichand, known to be an
she stood in the middle of the court even beyond her Olympic success, exacting taskmaster, spotted the talent
and let out one roar after another. says brand consultant Harish Bijoor. powerhouse that Sindhu was and not
“On-court aggression isn’t just Perhaps such on-court spunk only ensured that she stuck to the
about gaining an advantage; it can be is only too natural for Sindhu, schedule but, in 2010, asked her to
quite cathartic,” says Shree Advani, the daughter of Ramana and arrive an hour earlier so that he could
a mind coach who worked with Vijayalakshmi, both national-level spend more time with her. “The first
Sindhu in 2013 and 2014. “What I volleyball players. Ramana, in fact, was thing you notice about her is that she
first started noticing about her was part of the team that won bronze at the would keep on fighting till the end. It
that she was more vocal on court 1986 Asian Games and was an Arjuna was clear that she would be the next
when she committed an error and awardee in 2000, a recognition that big thing in Indian badminton,” he says.
was more subdued and quiet when his daughter would also earn in 2013. “In terms of her athletic physicality,

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 61

Sindhu lost to World No 1
Carolina Marin at the 2016
Olympics, but her gesture
of picking up the Spaniard
and her racket after the loss
won her many admirers

there were signs that she would Is this sense of responsibility with a global representation and an
become a tall, lanky player. So we made proving to be a tad too onerous? open field. It’s difficult for one person
her train accordingly, started working While her close losses to Marin and to dominate. How do you sustain
extra on her strength so that she had a Okuhara at the Olympics and the yourself amid such stiff competition?
low centre of gravity and could remain World Championships, respectively, Just keep playing and adapting. Credit
steady at that height,” says Gopichand. have attracted questions about to Sindhu’s team for helping her peak
The gruelling routine yielded her finishing ability, Sindhu isn’t at the right time. To continuously do
results soon. In 2012, Sindhu defeated doing herself a favour by losing well at big events is a great thing.”
reigning world champion and Olympic matches where she’s the favourite Gopichand, too, doesn’t read much
gold medallist Li Xuerui of China at and to opponents she has beaten into the claims of inconsistency:
the China Open Super Series. For before. Consider her tame defeats “She’s 22 and already has three
perspective, imagine a 17-year-old to Chinese qualifier Gao Fangjie World Championships, Olympics,
beating Roger Federer in his own in the quarterfinals of the China Asian Games, Commonwealth and
backyard. And then came the two Open, where she was the defending Superseries medals. I don’t mind the
bronzes at the consecutive World champion, and to Japanese Akane occasional losses if she can produce
Championships, where she outclassed Yamaguchi at the French Open. Or the such results. At the end of the day,
Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian, who loss to Okuhara, whom she had beaten I don’t expect her to win every
RichaRd heathcote / getty imageS

were part of the Chinese ‘Wall’ that handsomely in the Olympics semifinal. match and tournament she plays.”
dominated world badminton. “At that Nine-time national champion Clearly, Gopichand is betting on
time, when I used to play the top guns, Aparna Popat, though, isn’t worried. Sindhu as the big-match player. But,
I had nothing to lose. I went into these The nature of the game has evolved with competition heating up, she
matches with the mindset of giving my over the past several years, she will have to transform into a giant-
best. But now things have changed. believes, shutting off the Susi slayer in every match if she has to
Post-Rio, I am a lot more confident, Susanti-style domination of the ’90s. upgrade her medal at the Tokyo
but there is a lot of responsibility “Women’s badminton today,” she Olympics in 2020. And a billion
to do well too,” says Sindhu. says, “is just like women’s tennis, Indians are betting on that.

62 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Shahid Kapoor admits
to being stuck in a rut at
the start of his career. But
as cinema changed, he
evolved into a fine actor
Said Never
How Shahid Kapoor weathered a rough start
to become one of Hindi cinema’s most relevant
actors—across generations and genres

by Neeraj GaNGal
PhotograPh by mexy xavier

forbes india
c e l e b r i t y 100



january 5, 2018 forbes india | 65

early years, he recalls being “stuck with foreign locations, arms wide
in a rut”. After the success of his open and songs, and all that jazz”,
debut film, Ishq Vishk (2003), a and the new wave of meaningful
teenage romcom that became a cinema was yet to hit the shores.
sleeper hit, and the commercial However, quality content mattered
gains from Sooraj Barjatya’s Vivah to him. Consider his pedigree. With
(2006), a family melodrama panned Pankaj Kapur as father, kathak dancer
by critics but lapped up by the Neelima Azeem as his mother, and
masses, the actor was involved maternal grandparents as journalists,
shahid kapoor walks into his in several forgettable films. young Shahid was exposed to the best
Juhu office with energetic strides. “I came in at a time when the of performing arts, world cinema and
There is no sign of fatigue from old was giving way to the new. But literature since childhood. “As he was
the frenetic promotions for his the new hadn’t really found itself. growing up, there were conversations
film Padmavati. We are meeting in There were no [new] filmmakers; about why I do the kind of work
mid-November, at which point the there was no written word that was that I do, and that intrigued him,”
movie is still set for a December 1 fresh and different,” says Kapoor. Pankaj Kapur recalls. “He’s a quick
release. (This was, a few days later, “I went with what I felt was the learner. He was intelligent enough
put in limbo after escalation of the right thing to do till, one day, I just to understand where world cinema
controversies over alleged factual told myself that ‘I’m done’. I am is going, and where our Indian
inaccuracies in the portrayal of going to do what I want to do.” cinema is heading towards.”
history by the filmmaker, Sanjay That seems to have worked for The universe was perhaps reading
Leela Bhansali. At the time of writing Kapoor, 36, who has earned critical his mind, and the actor’s career
this, approval is still pending from the acclaim as well as mass popularity, trajectory changed the day a lanky,
Central Board of Film Certification.) across genres and generations. curly-haired director walked into his
At this juncture, though protests “Shahid has the unique distinction house to narrate a script titled Geet.
about the movie are ongoing, the of continuing to stay relevant not Eventually renamed Jab We Met
matter isn’t as dire as it was when just across the number of years (2007), director Imtiaz Ali’s romcom
we met the actor, dressed in all or films that he has done, but also was a runaway hit. And Kapoor’s
black—a full-sleeve tee and knee- relevant to the changing times and measured portrayal of businessman
length shorts. In fact, he’s sporting the preferences of the audience, Aditya Kashyap caught the eye of
his own recently-launched athleisure especially the youth,” says Vikram filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj who
brand, Skult (a portmanteau Malhotra, CEO, Abundantia called him to narrate the idea of his
of his initials and ‘cult’). Entertainment. “He has attempted next caper thriller. The conversation
And he, like several of his new characters, been part of genre- laid the foundation for one of the
Bollywood brethren, is indeed a breaking films and clearly managed to most successful director-actor
cult of sorts to his 11-million plus stay ahead when it comes to picking partnerships of the past decade,
Instagram followers, and millions up the kind of work that he does.” with the two collaborating for
more on Twitter and Facebook. In hindsight, the actor counts Kaminey (2009), Haider (2014)
However, the celebrity status himself “lucky to survive”, to have and Rangoon (2016). Though
wasn’t served on a platter to seen out that phase. Part of the the third film had an indifferent
Kapoor, even though he was problem, he says, is that he made showing at the box office, the first
born to Bollywood, the legendary his entry “when Bollywood was two are hailed as masterpieces.
Pankaj Kapur his father. In the still making those typical potboilers Set against the backdrop of

“i took chaNces that

Some Actors In My Generation
would Not have takeN.
aNd They Worked For Me.”
66 | forbes india january 5, 2018
Mumbai’s underworld, Kaminey
featured Kapoor playing twins, one
with a lisp and the other with a
stutter. Besides delivering his best
commercial performance in a long
time, the smart and edgy film gave the
actor an opportunity to “rediscover”
himself. “There are many ways of
creating adaptations of the same
persona, but it’s difficult to create a
new persona altogether. And that’s
the first time I did that,” he says. “And
then I was addicted to it because,
creatively, it was so satisfying.”
Their next collaboration, Haider,
Bhardwaj’s adaptation of William
Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is clearly the
high point of Kapoor’s career. The
actor’s nuanced performance in the
titular role won him commercial and
critical success across continents.
Meanwhile, the film stirred up a
hornet’s nest due to its depiction of
the Indian Army and the minorities
in Kashmir. But the actor believed in
the project as much as his director
did (both did the film for free), and
Kapoor admits, “the most relevant
film” of his career has given him a lot
of strength, confidence and belief.
It also gave him the conviction
to take up projects such as Udta
Punjab (2016), where the teetotaller
Kapoor played a delusional, drug-
abusing rockstar. The Abhishek

Shahid & Pankaj: GaneSh Lad / FotocorP; haider: Viacom18 motion PictureS
Chaubey-directed film ended up
becoming the biggest opening
of his career, collecting `33.8
crore over the first three days.
“I met the literati of the country
when Haider was screened.
Everybody wanted to see it,
everybody had a point of view. So I
learnt a lot from their perspectives.
Udta was no different… it was another
controversial film because we were
talking about a problem that exists.
I think it’s appreciated when you
talk about things that are real issues
through movies,” Kapoor says.
“Of course, films should be about
entertaining people and giving them a
(Clockwise from top): Shahid Kapoor in Haider, one of his most acclaimed performances;
portraying a drug-addict in Udta Punjab; with co-star Kangana Ranaut in Rangoon; with good experience, but that should not
father and noted actor Pankaj Kapur be the only thing they find in cinema.”

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 67

Kapoor had greenlit the script antagonist, Alauddin Khilji. says Abundantia’s Malhotra, adding
as soon as he heard it, Chaubey This tumultuous journey may that Kapoor’s limited exposure
tells Forbes India. “I was quite well end positively for all concerned, works in the actor’s favour.
surprised,” he adds. “I asked him including Kapoor, who flowers with In sync with his preference
what motivates him to do a film like a good director and a great script. for content-backed characters,
this. And he said that ‘I do regular Without those, he flounders. Kapoor’s next two movies after
films—romantic and mainstream There’s a familiar pattern Padmavati include Imtiaz Ali’s
ones—but when am I going to get throughout Kapoor’s career: Either untitled project and Batti Gul Meter
an opportunity like this?’ Given dizzying highs of iconic roles or the Chalu, directed by Shree Narayan
that he’s a star, and he also needs rough troughs of underwhelming Singh, who earlier made Toilet:
`100-crore films, I think it was pretty commercial failures. For every Ek Prem Katha (2017). Kapoor is
brave of him [to do Udta Punjab].” Kaminey, he’s had a Dil Bole said to be playing a lawyer in the
And once committed, Kapoor was Hadippa! (2009) or Teri Meri light-hearted social drama, based
“immersed in the project”, adds the Kahaani (2012); and a Haider has on the corruption around power
director. “We used to have extensive been followed by an occasional distribution, resulting in mounting
meetings regarding his character, and Shaandaar (2015) and Rangoon. electricity bills for consumers.
he also helped the producer and me “My career’s been like that. It’s “The biggest compliment is
in every way that he could. Also, he been unpredictable and it’s seen if people are talking about the
backed us right till the end [through a lot of ups and downs. So this characters that I have played. That
the controversies]. For a director, is who I am, this is how I define for me is achieving something, way

“the Biggest Compliment is if

PeoPle are talkiNg about
the Characters That I Have Played.”
that means a lot, to get support myself and this is the journey beyond anything else,” Kapoor says.
from the main stars of the film.” that I have taken. And I believe “The definition of cinema is the
Bhansali and Padmavati are this is the journey that has been ‘willing suspension of disbelief’,
now in similar need, given the written for me,” he says stoically. where you choose to suspend the
delayed release compounded with No wonder the actor has shown knowledge of the fact that what you
death threats against the lead admirable calm amid every storm, are watching is not true. So when
actor Deepika Padukone, effigies patiently clinging on to the wreckage you can achieve that, it is amazing.”
burnt and the general high-octane in pursuit of the next cult film. In fact, that pursuit of honest
drama surrounding the film. “If you see, even in the regular work is what has kept Kapoor going
To this, Kapoor says, “It’s commercial roles, as an actor, he through the vicissitudes of his career.
important for all of us to understand has done well,” Pankaj Kapur points “I didn’t let go of the voice that
that there is a larger issue at hand, out. Shahid’s “intelligence”, he is deep within, which is pure and
and that is the freedom of speech believes, lies in understanding that honest. It comes from your soul, from
and expression; and how tolerant there’s no “mathematics” that can your core, and every creative being
we are as a society… the film should govern a film’s commercial fate. will understand what I am talking
be given an opportunity, and from Rather, his endurance is a result about,” he says, gently nodding
the bottom of my heart I can say of sticking to the basics: Choosing with conviction. “I had times when
that [the film] will only make you the correct script, working with the I was conflicted. But it [the voice]
feel proud about our culture and right directors and taking risks. always came back to me and I always
heritage.” The period-drama stars “I think that’s a great secret pondered, and I always waited.
Padukone as the legendary queen of his success and clearly, going And maybe I took some chances
Padmavati, alongside Kapoor as ahead as well, it’ll hold him in that some actors in my generation
her husband Maharawal Ratan great stead because that gives you would not have taken. I took those
Singh, and Ranveer Singh as the longevity, beyond generations,” chances and they worked for me.”

68 | forbes india january 5, 2018

AnushkA shArmA’s only plan has been to have no plan. And this
ability to take things as they come has helped her wear the many hats
of actor, producer and entrepreneur

By kunAl PurAndAre

forbes india
Errikos AndrEou

c e l e b r i t y 100



january 5, 2018 forbes india | 71

Pari, scheduled for a February 2018 Baaja Baaraat (2010), PK (2014) and
release, or overseeing her clothing line Sultan (2016), Sharma is adept at
NUSH, Sharma has chosen to push accepting the good with the bad that
the boundaries. It is this approach comes along with stardom. Even if it’s
that has allowed the Ayodhya-born criticism… like she faced from certain
actor to not only blend into a close- quarters for choosing motherhood
knit film industry despite being an over pursuing sport in Sultan.
‘outsider’ but also walk the talk. Calling herself a realist, Sharma
“God has been supremely kind to says she has the ability to cut herself
me. I never had any plans of becoming out from such negativity. “You could
an actor and don’t know what I would be winning the Nobel Peace Prize,
have done had this not worked out,” but there’d be enough number of
says Sharma, who started modelling in people to criticise you for what you
anushka sharma has everything her teenage years. “I thought I would do. That’s the strange universe that we
that a 29-year-old can ask for. A model for the rest of my life. But now live in today. To think that everyone
glittering acting career that began with when I think of it, it’s not something is going to like you and people are
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), fame that that I would have enjoyed doing for constantly going to be encouraging of
allows her to make the choices that so many years.” Fashion designer you… you are going to find yourself in
she wants to, money that ensures the Wendell Rodricks was awestruck by constant disappointment,” she says.
freedom to live life on her own terms. her beauty when he spotted her at a The maturity that she displays while
And above all, confidence and clarity denims store in Bengaluru in 2006 dealing with fickleness that renown
that have been constant companions and promised to put her on the ramp brings is a result of her evolution as a
in her journey to becoming an actor if she came to Mumbai. “Anushka person, and something that she says
of substance. Yet, it is time for herself struck me immediately as a person has helped her as an actor too. “My
that she yearns for. “Right now, my aim with star quality. She was a star from personal growth as a human being is

“When you Set Plans For

Yourself, you are just
creating Boundaries.”
is to be able to sleep for seven hours the time I set my eyes on her,” he says. of prime importance to me. I do feel
and work out,” she tells Forbes India The spark in Sharma, then 19, was that reflects on you as an actor,” she
in a crisp telephonic interview on a also noticed by Yash Raj Films (YRF) tells Forbes India. “It’s easy to get
balmy Sunday evening in November in honcho and filmmaker Aditya Chopra stuck in a bubble and create a cushy,
Mumbai before rushing to the studios who offered her Rab Ne Bana Di comfortable environment around you.
to shoot for filmmaker Anand Rai’s Jodi after being impressed with her But it is also a downfall as an actor.”
next, which also features Shah Rukh audition. “I auditioned for the film The individual progress that
Khan—her co-actor in her first film. without knowing who the co-actor she refers to is something that her
Though she is aware of her hectic or director would be. I just happened colleagues in the film world also
schedule and myriad things run to give a good audition and was appreciate. Actor Ranveer Singh who
through her mind, she does not rush shortlisted for it. Everything happened made his debut opposite Sharma
through her answers even once. so quickly… I don’t think I was in Band Baaja Baaraat says: “It’s
Every question is met with a concise prepared for what was to come after wonderful to see how far she has
reply that gives a deep insight into you become an actor,” recalls Sharma. come. She was always amazing as an
the clear vision with which she deals That could be the voice of a actor, but her craft has gotten more
with tasks at hand. Whether it is newcomer, the daughter of an army solid. She’s also come into her own
enacting the character of a Gujarati officer and a homemaker, far removed as a person. She’s comfortable with
girl in Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017), from the film world. Today, having herself and clear about her choices.”
diving into the post-production proved her mettle as an actor for Both actors have a common mentor
work of her next home production, almost a decade with hits like Band in Aditya Chopra, but Ranveer says

72 | forbes india january 5, 2018

actor for the most part,” he says.
Juggling between multiple
commitments can be exhausting, but
Sharma does it with the finesse of a
professional. “I have been able to do
so much because I am open to things.
When you set plans for yourself, you
are just creating boundaries. I have
never created any for myself,” she says.
Singh of NH10 concurs. He says
despite being a first-time producer,
she was supportive of the film. “That’s
important, especially when you are
an actor-producer to realise that the
film is probably bigger than your part.
Often, actors forget that,” he says.
Her screen persona of a charming,
Anushka Sharma proved her mettle as an actor with her performance in Sultan (2016) lively person extends to real life too. So
much so that the child-like enthusiasm
the YRF boss often cites Sharma’s calls Band Baaja Baaraat the turning in her prompted her to give an
example to him to do the right things, point of her career. “I wasn’t riding impromptu high five to her driver after
saying: “Tu nalaayak hai… seekh on the back of someone else in Band she was offered PK. Sharma, however,
kuch Anushka se… (You are useless, Baaja… it was on my own merit that says she is anything but the talkative
learn something from Anushka).” I got praise and so much love from person that people perceive her to be.
As an actor, she is open to be people. I owned my success. It wasn’t “I am totally shy and a huge
vulnerable. That’s an essential and a borrowed from somebody else,” the introvert. I don’t like going out too
great quality in an actor, says Navdeep actor explains. The self-approval much. I like to be in my own space
Singh, who directed NH10 (2015), the only instilled a greater drive in her and enjoy spending time with myself.

prEvious sprEAd: FAshion stylist : AlliA Al ruFAi; WArdrobE: nush Autumn WintEr collEction 2017;
first film made by Clean Slate Films, to do quality work because the first I am a little bit of a recluse maybe,”
a production house set up by Sharma time she saw herself on celluloid, she says Sharma, who recently tied
and her brother Karnesh in 2014. didn’t like seeing herself on screen. the knot with cricketer Virat Kohli
Another trait that hasn’t gone Others, however, had a favourable in a private ceremony in Italy.
unnoticed is her unselfishness. Ranveer opinion. Celebrities like playback Ranveer is aware of the reclusive
hasn’t forgotten the handholding singer Sunidhi Chauhan were gushing side of Sharma and therefore enjoys
from her during the making of Band about her talent. “Whether she’s pestering her even more. He says
Baaja Baaraat. “She was two films old performing on my songs or acting or although they share a “volatile
then and knew much more than me. doing advertisements, everything that friendship”, he gets tremendous joy
But she was gracious, generous and she does on screen, I see an absolute in annoying her. “But we share a

mAkE up ArtistE : punEEt b sAini; hAir stylsit : yiAnni tsApAtori

open-hearted in terms of contributing conviction, hard work and focus great camaraderie. She’s an honest
towards my development. I was in her, in her eyes, in the way she person, almost to a fault,” he says.
completely clueless... I was so raw portrays herself,” says Chauhan, who It was with the same honesty that
that it could get annoying, irritating, has sung chartbusters like ‘Ainvayi Sharma started a beauty parlour at
but she was extremely patient with Ainvayi’ and ‘Radha’ for Sharma. her friend’s house in Bengaluru when
me. I’ll always be grateful to her for As someone who had the she was nine. They even distributed
everything that she taught me when I opportunity to know Sharma a bit pamphlets in the locality and some
was a rank newcomer,” says the actor. more personally, Chauhan says her women came to them, thinking it
Neil Bhoopalam, Sharma’s NH10 co- humility stands out. “She’s inquisitive was a legitimate business. Their
star, expects more surprises from her. about what people think, how they plans were scuttled when their
He calls Sharma his SRK [Shah Rukh like her work and she wants to make parents got to know of it. “It was
Khan], saying he imbibed a lot from it better each time. She speaks less, a disaster. It lasted just two days,”
her during the shooting of the film, especially about her work, and does says Sharma with a hearty laugh.
just as she learnt from the superstar more,” the singer tells Forbes India. Thankfully, the same cannot be
on the sets of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Ranveer calls her a special actor. “She said of her film career. It’s turned
Sharma had a dream debut, but she is naturally gifted. She’s an untrained out to be quite a success story.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 73

Although RajkummaR Rao didn’t make it
to the List, the actor who has made realism
mainstream has become one of the most
bankable stars of neo-Indian cinema

by aveek Datta
PhotograPhs by mexy xavieR

74 | forbes india january 5, 2018

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 75
“When I visited Raj on the sets of Rao (born with the surname Yadav
Omerta, he had become this different, that he later changed to Rao, which
annoying person,” recalls Patralekha, is derived from the title ‘Raosahab’
who has known Rao for six years. by which a lot of Yadavs in Haryana
“There was such an eerie feeling are known) had six releases in 2017
around him and he wasn’t the nice of which five did decent business. He
person he otherwise is. I told him that bagged the Asia Pacific Screen Award
I didn’t want to be there and would in Australia for Newton—which was
see him once his shoot is over.” India’s official entry to the Oscars,
Mehta has known Rao since 2011, but failed to make the cut—that deals
when he first cast him in Shahid, a with the experience of an honest and
biographical portrayal of lawyer and upright electoral officer determined
one of the eagerly-anticipated human rights activist Shahid Azmi, for to conduct free and fair polls in a
films of 2018 is Hansal Mehta’s which Rao bagged the National Award Naxal-controlled area. Rao also won
Omerta, where actor Rajkummar in 2014. The two have collaborated the Best Actor (critics) award for his
Rao essays the role of Ahmed Omar on multiple films—CityLights (2014), performance in Newton at the Star
Saeed Sheikh, a British terrorist Aligarh (2016) and now Omerta. Screen Awards, along with the Best
of Pakistani descent, notorious for Speaking of their latest film, Mehta Supporting Actor award for his role
killing Daniel Pearl, a journalist says Rao, who has pursued a course in in Bareilly Ki Barfi. He was conferred
with The Wall Street Journal. acting from the Film and Television the Indian of the Year award (in the
The film debuted at the Toronto Institute of India (FTII), imbibed the entertainment category) by CNN-
Film Festival in late 2017 and garnered darkness associated with the character News18 (the news channel is a part of
rave reviews. “At the end of this of Sheikh, even when the camera Network 18, publisher of Forbes India).
slickly mounted film, there’s no wasn’t rolling. “He pulled out a dark Though always fond of cinema, the
lack of questions still dangling nor side to himself that you wouldn’t think thought of becoming an actor never
hoped-for insights that fail to arrive. was possible, since he is such a gentle crossed Rao’s mind till he watched
Nonetheless, while you’re watching soul otherwise,” says Mehta. “He Shah Rukh Khan in Dilwale Dulhania
it, Mehta’s freely imagined biopic was mean, cold and slightly reserved Le Jayenge (DDLJ) in 1995. He was
provides a fascinating Rorschach of since that is what the character immediately drawn towards the
a figure who is, unfortunately, truly a demanded of him. We actually larger-than-life world of celluloid and
man of our times,” a review of the film used to keep distance from him.” its first citizens like Khan. “I went
published in Variety magazine states. Bringing an element of “realism” ‘wow’. Look at this guy (Khan). He
The review is not only a tribute to to the cinema that he does is his belonged to Delhi and did theatre
Mehta’s directorial brilliance, but also “forte”, says Rao, who grew up in there. I was from Gurugram and could
speaks volumes of the realism brought Gurugram. “I do whatever it takes immediately connect with him. I
to the character by Rao, the film’s to make the film relatable to my thought, ‘I want this life’. I want to be
lead actor. Rao, 33, has built quite a audience,” adds Rao, who has acted a part of this world that was amazing
reputation for getting into the skin of in 23 films over the last seven years. and surreal,” Rao tells Forbes India.
the characters he portrays on screen. It is this penchant for authenticity, Sporting a lean frame, after
And there is no length to which he catering to an audience that is shedding all the weight he gained to
wouldn’t go to achieve this. So much increasingly looking for depth play Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for
so that Mehta and Rao’s girlfriend of content over just star power, the web series Bose: Dead/Alive, Rao
and actor Patralekha tell Forbes India which has made Rao one of the politely sought permission to rest his
that they could barely recognise Rao most bankable brands of neo- leg on a chair as we sat down to chat.
during shooting. And they weren’t just Indian cinema. His performance He was nursing a broken ankle that
talking about his physical appearance. in 2017 is a testament to this. he picked up while pulling off a stunt

“i don’t bEliEvE in thE

Herd Mentality of trying to
do what Everyone Else is Doing.”
76 | forbes india january 5, 2018
Rajkummar Rao in a still from the web series Bose: Dead/Alive; (right) with Kriti Kharbanda in Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana

in a dance reality show. The surgery, I just wanted to act. Though it was goers is in sync with his strengths as
a titanium plate attached to the ankle, a lot of hard work, I never felt tired an actor. “Content is king today as
and crutches, however, weren’t and really enjoyed those days,” says audiences have access to international
enough to dampen his cheerful Rao. “In fact, I feel I used to work stuff and expect the same quality here.
demeanour as he breezed through much harder then, than I do now.” They discard anything perceived
an hour-long conversation and an Rao feels his presence in cinema to be mediocre. Ten to 15 years
elaborate photoshoot in December. was part of a divine plan. Theatre as ago, very few people were making
But there is a crucial difference an activity had just restarted at ARSD this kind of cinema,” he says.
between Rao and his inspiration when he joined, so had the course at Consumers of content gravitating
Khan, arguably the biggest superstar FTII a year before he decided to apply. towards digital as a medium has also
of Indian cinema since the 1990s. It was FTII that, Rao says, fostered allowed actors like Rao to explore
While Khan has been relatively less his growth as an actor, introducing web series such as Bose. It was
experimental in his choice of roles, him to the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, commercially remunerative and
choosing to stick to the paradigm Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. creatively satisfying enough for the
of the quintessential romantic hero While Khan and DDLJ may have actor to devote five months of his

previous spread: styling: anisha & rochelle; Wardrobe: shirt and blazer: paul smith; trousers :
(Swades and Chak De! India were encouraged him to look at cinema as a schedule, gain 12 kg and shave off half
notable exceptions), Rao continues to career, it was another cult film, Shool his head, “since a wig and prosthetics
explore characters that are as different (1999)—in which Manoj Bajpayee weren’t having the desired effect”.
as chalk and cheese. Sometimes, he is plays a police officer fighting a “Rao is an actor who is not greedy
an immigrant from Rajasthan trying corrupt system—that propelled him about the volume of the role he
to make ends meet in the concrete towards experimentation. Bajpayee gets to play, but about the kind of
jungle of Mumbai (CityLights), at is now a friend, Rao says, after cinema he gets to do,” says Mehta.
other times he is a heartbroken groom they worked together in Aligarh, He is open to try new things, even

nm design; shoes : shutiQ; make up artiste : nitin; hair stylsit : vijay

out to exact revenge on his runaway a critically acclaimed portrayal of if it’s a significantly trimmed role,
bride (Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana), Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras (played like in Gangs of Wasseypur–Part 2.
a pervert (Love, Sex Aur Dhokha), by Bajpayee), a gay professor who Patralekha, who has co-starred with
or a male chauvinist (Queen). was suspended from the Aligarh Rao in CityLights and Bose, says Rao
Born into a middle class family— Muslim University for his sexuality. approaches his part as a collaborative
his father was a government official “I don’t do anything for the heck effort. “If a co-star is struggling, he is
and mother a homemaker—Rao of it. I have never tried to connect more than willing to help. He lives,
graduated in arts from the Atma Ram the dots and chalk out a plan,” Rao breathes and sleeps acting; his growth
Sanatan Dharma College (ARSD), says. “Even as I am doing some big has been tremendous,” she says.
a part of Delhi University’s South budget films, my decision to take Mehta confesses that when he
Campus. While he would pursue up a project is purely based on the thought of making Shahid with Rao,
studies during the day, evenings story and the script. I don’t believe it was difficult to find producers.
were devoted to theatre, first at the in the herd mentality of trying to The film eventually got made over 11
Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts do what everyone else is doing.” months, with the shoot progressing as
and then with the Kshitij Theatre Rao admits that he is probably at funds were raised in tranches. Given
Repertory. “Once I started doing the right place at the right time. The the brand Rao has built for himself,
theatre, there was no Plan B. I knew evolved taste of modern-day cinema that is now a thing of the past.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 77

theTaboo buster
AyushmAnn KhurrAnA’s earnings fall short of the
List’s price of entry this year. Yet, his unorthodox roles have
earned him a distinctive identity in Bollywood
by Anshul DhAmijA

experimental with your craft. unnoticed at the box office and among
Acting and film-making are about critics. He delivered two back-to-
taking risks,” Khurrana tells Forbes back hits Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh
India. “In this day and age, when Mangal Saavdhan in 2017. Shubh
there are lots of options on digital Mangal Saavdhan, where his character
platforms to get edgy content, you suffers from a sexual disorder, is
have to deliver something different an antithesis to Vicky Donor where
to pull people to the movie hall.” he portrays a sperm donor.
The actor, who had made it to The actor admits that the films
from his debut film vicky donor the 2013 Forbes India Celebrity that have worked for him are the ones
(2012), with its witty take on 100 List with net earnings of where he has either essayed a middle-
infertility and sperm donation, to `2.58 crore, adds, “It’s fun playing class person or ones set in small towns.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), taboo characters and subjects.” “If you’re changing yourself in every
which discusses the much-tabooed His offbeat characters and a film, and for every character, you will
topic of erectile dysfunction, rocking debut with Vicky Donor get exhausted as an actor,” believes
Ayushmann Khurrana’s penchant for notwithstanding, Khurrana could Khurrana. “You [an actor] need to
unconventional roles has earned him not make a mark at the box office establish yourself in a particular genre
a definitive identity in Bollywood. with urban-centric romcoms like first before making a shift,” he says.
The 33-year-old says he has no Bewakoofiyaan (2014) and Meri Pyaari And 2018 will see him do just that. In
qualms about being part of films that Bindu (2017). However, his Dum Laga his upcoming thriller Shoot the Piano
explore beyond-the-pale subjects. “I Ke Haisha (2015), with its message Player, he plays a visually-challenged
think you need to be courageous and against body shaming, did not go pianist. While it’s a new genre for

“you need To Be Courageous And

Experimental With Your Craft . acting
Abheet GidwAni

is about taking risks.”

78 | forbes india januarY 5, 2018
Ayushmann Khurrana
says it’s fun playing taboo
characters and subjects

him, Khurrana’s ambition is

startlingly different. “I would
love to do a film which would
require me to go through a body
transformation. [I’m] just waiting
to show off my abs,” he laughs. [In
Bewakoofiyaan he did get a chance
to flaunt his abs, but only briefly.]
Khurrana, who says he wanted to
be an actor from a young age—“I
was always interested in theatre.
In class five, I played Shylock
in The Merchant of Venice”—also
had a few pit stops along the
way: The postgraduate in mass
communications worked as a
radio jockey and anchored
reality shows on MTV, Star
Plus and Colors before filmdom
beckoned. Acting apart,
Khurrana has also earned his
stripes as a playback singer with
one song each in six out of his
eight films. “I would only sing
if I’m required to… if it goes
with the character and narrative
of the film,” he asserts. The
two films in which he hasn’t
sung a song are Meri Pyaari
Bindu and Dum Laga Ke Haisha.
While in the former, his co-
star Parineeti Chopra essayed
a role which required her to
sing, in the latter, Khurrana had
played a character with a lot of
complexities. “I thought I should
separate the singer from the
actor in that particular film.”
He also has his own two-year-
old music band, Ayushmann
Bhava (Sanskrit for ‘blessings
for a long life’) that has
performed live in the US and
Dubai. “That’s my alternative
[career],” says the actor.
Honey, They Shrunk
Your Screen
Why actors—both from the fringes and the mainstream—
are gravitating towards OTT platforms
bY Sayan Chakraborty

thanks to a phenomenon that was Today, the 34-year-old seems
beginning to unfold in India around to have finally found his feet in
that time. It was called the web series, Bollywood, after two seasons of
a show that can be viewed only on Permanent Roommates and Tripling,
the internet. In early 2014, Vyas both on The Viral Fever channel,
agreed to act in such a show, The and Stories By Rabindranath Tagore
Viral Fever’s Permanent Roommates, on Netflix. He recently starred in
despite being paid a pittance. “I a film, Ribbon, along with Kalki
was like, we are anyway working in Koechlin. Next up is Veere Di
till 2014, sumeet vyas, with 14 theatre for free, so it doesn’t matter Wedding, where he will share the
years of acting behind him, was if they pay or not,” he jokes. screen with Kareena Kapoor, Sonam
just another thespian waiting in the The shooting proved to be more Kapoor and Swara Bhaskar.
wings. He had dabbled in theatre, cumbersome than he had anticipated. Vyas is just one of the many
television and blink-and-you-miss “The first season was supposed to actors on the fringes who has gained
roles in films since he was 17. While be a weeklong shoot. But it took mainstream recognition through
Vyas had wangled key roles in about six days to shoot the first over-the-top (OTT) platforms—
some television serials, he says he episode itself,” recalls Vyas, who was Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar,
always wanted to focus on cinema. beginning to get impatient. After Voot, Viu, AltBalaji and TVF, to
There were tiny roles in movies all, engagements that paid his bills name a few. At the same time,
like Aarakshan and Aurangzeb had to be put on the backburner. convinced by the original and
but, says Vyas, “The last thing that It all changed with the third exclusive content available as well as
did decently for me was English episode, which was uploaded on the diverse and huge reach of those
Vinglish (in 2012).” He further tells YouTube one November midnight, platforms, mainstream artistes, too,
Forbes India over phone: “Film and clocked about 4 lakh views by 7 are jumping on the bandwagon.
actors and directors didn’t pay am. “That is when I realised that it For instance, Radhika Apte, Saif
much heed to TV actors. It was was big and not something that you Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui
almost like making a fresh start after could take casually. By the time the will star in an adaptation of Vikram
spending so many years in acting.” last episode came out, people had Chandra’s novel, Sacred Games, on
However, Vyas did not have to started clicking pictures with me, Netflix; Richa Chadda and Vivek
deal with this obscurity for long, complimenting me,” says Vyas. Oberoi headlined Amazon Prime’s

80 | forbes india january 5, 2018

(From left): Tahir Raj Bhasin in a still from Time Out; Sumeet Vyas during a TVF shoot in Manali

Inside Edge; Swara Bhaskar is on multiplexes. Meanwhile, most OTTs OTTs seem to have taken note. “One
Voot with It’s Not That Simple operate on a “freemium” model thing we noticed that we had to build
as is Tahir Raj Bhasin with Time where a large part of the content can from ground up is originals, fiction
Out; and Anil Kapoor, never to be viewed for free while users shell series that are of the highest quality.
be kept out of the game, will be out a monthly subscription between There was a need for content that
seen on Amazon Prime’s Oasis. Rs 80 and Rs 500 for exclusive customers couldn’t find on everyday
For the actors, it is about being content. “Digital doesn’t have the TV,” says Vijay Subramaniam,
where the audience is. “If you have same pressure as films in terms of box head of Amazon Prime in India.
to be a movie star, you have to reach office collections. Also, there is no Netflix, for instance, has announced
out to the audience all the time. The censorship. We can touch upon topics four shows from India while Amazon
digital audience is the youth today which are a taboo. For instance, Inside Prime, apart from announcing 21
and this is the same youth who will go Edge had a caste angle,” says Chadda. exclusive shows, has bagged broadcast
to the theatres to watch your films,” “The downside is that everyone now rights to films like Padmavati,
says Bhasin, who earned his stripes wants to do a web series and all the starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika
in movies like Mardaani and Force content is not up to the mark.” Padukone, and Rajinikanth’s 2.0.
2. “In between big studio films, you Ashish Pherwani, head, advisory, However, monetisation still
have to churn out digital content that media & entertainment, at EY shares remains a hurdle. While Netflix
connects with the youth,” he adds. Chadda’s optimism. “OTTs are alive and Amazon Prime do not feature
Bollywood has obviously taken a and kicking. Consumers want more free content, a significant part of
cue from Hollywood, where artistes content for personal consumption the content offered by homegrown
are, in fact, gravitating towards the and OTTs are the best way to do that. businesses comes for free. Most
OTT platforms to stay relevant in an While TV and living room will always OTTs, hence, are exploring multiple
adapt-or-die kind of an industry. Not rule, consumers are individualistic revenue streams apart from traditional
just the actors: Years after his show and want to watch something of subscription. “The propensity to
Seinfeld went off air, comedian Jerry their choice, not necessarily with not pay is something you cannot
Seinfeld reinvented himself for the the family,” says Pherwani. outrun. Hence you have to be
online platform with Comedians in According to a July 2017 report patient,” says Vishal Maheshwari,
Cars Getting Coffee, which was first by EY and Ficci, the digital medium country head at Viu India.
distributed by digital platform Crackle, is projected to clock a compounded All said, proliferation of cheap
and has now moved to Netflix (also annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26 smartphones and inexpensive
the home for his Jerry Before Seinfeld). percent between 2016 and 2021, albeit internet connections have set the
According to Richa Chadda of on a lower base, as compared to TV, stage for OTTs to flourish. And the
Fukrey and Gangs of Wasseypur which is poised to grow at a CAGR actors stand to benefit. As Bhasin
fame, who recently acted in Inside of 11 percent. But, to leverage this puts it, “Digital is the Indian Premier
Edge for Amazon Prime, OTTs are opportunity, Pherwani believes OTTs League for entertainment. With its
the way forward, given the shrinking need to differentiate themselves from quicker and shorter format, it has
number of single-screen theatres and the rest of the pack with exclusive done to entertainment what IPL
the high cost of watching movies in content, among others. And the did to cricket 10 years ago.”

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 81

82 | forbes india january 5, 2018
Style ASSiStAntS: MAxiMilliAn PArkinSon And PAriS toribio; HAir And MAkeuP: SuzAnA HAllili uSing urbAn decAy And MArio bAdeScu; PHotogrAPHed At tHe ritz-cArlton, boSton
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three years after leaving tinder amid a nasty dispute,
30 under 30 honouree Whitney Wolfe Herd is beating
her old colleagues at their own game, offering women
a dating app that’s designed for them—and entrepreneurs
a blueprint on how to succeed in a saturated field

By Clare O’COnnOr

hen Whitney Wolfe Herd started more than 70 percent year-over-year growth, to
planning an October launch party Tinder’s roughly 10 percent, it’s closing the gap quickly.
for a new product at Bumble, Bumble began monetising via in-app purchases only
America’s fastest-growing dating-app in August 2016 and will cross $100 million in sales
company, she was deliberate in her this year, a figure that—aided by the introduction of
choice of venue: The Manhattan space that for 57 years tailored, hyperlocal advertising—is projected to double
hosted the Four Seasons restaurant, where regulars like in 2018. Herd turned down a $450 million buyout offer
Henry Kissinger, Vernon Jordan, Edgar Bronfman and from the Match Group earlier this year, according to
Stephen Schwarzman created the ultimate power lunch. sources with knowledge of the conversations. And
PHotogrAPH by JAMel toPPin for forbeS

The space now has a new name, new management these sources maintain that Match approached the
and a new menu. And, as Herd insists, a new perspective company again this fall to discuss a valuation well
on business. “The power lunch is no longer just for over $1 billion. This 30 Under 30 honouree retains
men,” Herd announces to the mostly young, mostly 20 percent of Bumble, a stake that makes her a
female crowd, before ceding the stage to the pop centimillionaire. (Match declined to comment.)
star Fergie. “We all deserve a seat at the table.” It’s a stunning comeback. As co-founder and vice
That table surely now includes the 28-year-old Herd, president of marketing at Tinder, which has reinvented
who has changed the tenor of dating dynamics. By letting how people date and mate, she was part of one of the
women make the first move, Bumble has amassed over great business success stories of the smartphone age.
22 million registered users, to Tinder’s 46 million, and at But then she found herself in one of the era’s great

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 83

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public dramas. In June 2014, she

sued Tinder for sexual harassment,
alleging that her ex-boss and ex-
boyfriend Justin Mateen called her
a “whore” and “gold digger” and
bombarded her with threatening
and derogatory text messages, which
she attached to her complaint. She
also alleged that Tinder, owned by
IAC and then by its Match Group
spinoff, had wrongly stripped her
of a co-founder title. The company
denied any wrongdoing, but
Mateen was suspended and then
resigned. Sean Rad, then the CEO
of Tinder, told Forbes in 2014 that
Herd bore part of the blame for
the bad blood between her and
Mateen. The suit was quickly settled
for a sum that Forbes previously
reported to be approximatel`y $1
million. (The settlement bars the
parties from discussing the case.)
There’s no question who the
founder of Bumble is. Rather than
sulk about Tinder, Herd decided to
compete against it. In doing so, she
belatedly entered one of the most
crowded and established digital
fields (over 90 percent of online
dating startups fail) and nonetheless
quickly carved out a lucrative
space by focusing on the needs of
one segment: Women. More than
10 percent of Bumble’s users pay
$9.99 for a monthly subscription
CeO Herd wants Bumble to empower women in dating, friendship and career
to access perks like extra time to
decide whether a suitor merits a they were having full debates about me,” Herd says.
message. At Tinder, just about 5 percent of users pay for a “I wasn’t running for office. I wasn’t trying to be on a
similar service, according to a report from the investment reality show. I was just a girl who left somewhere.”
firm Jefferies. It helps, of course, that her segment also When that abuse turned into rape and murder threats
happens to represent a majority of the population. from strangers, she deleted her Twitter account. Panic
“I just don’t harbour resentment toward attacks and paranoia followed. A Salt Lake City native who
anything or anywhere or anyone—I’m too busy,” attended private school and is a third-generation legacy
Herd says. But if success is the best revenge, at Southern Methodist
then nine digits in three years flat offers the kind University in Dallas, she
of vindication people make movies about. “The power retreated to Texas and the

erd’s path to Bumble was unintended. In the
lunch is no family of her then boyfriend
Michael Herd, who’s
months between filing suit against Tinder longer just for now her husband. “I was
and settling, she experienced the sort of men. We all broken,” she says. Trying
online abuse that’s all too familiar to women to give some purpose to
who make public sexual harassment allegations. “I was
deserve a seat this trauma, Herd began
being told the ugliest things by complete strangers, and at the table.” sketching out a women-

84 | forbes india january 5, 2018

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only social network called Merci, which would focus

on positivity. “No compliments on physicality,”
“What if clause—she took Andreev
up on his offer. He’d make
she says. “Compliments about who they are.” women make an initial investment of
Then came an unsolicited email from someone with
an unfamiliar address and a Russian name, Andrey
the first move, about $10 million for launch
marketing and commit
Andreev. Born in Moscow and based in London, send the first additional funds to fuel
Andreev in 2006 had founded Badoo, an online dating message? And growth, taking 79 percent
network that is today the world’s largest, with over of the company. She’d be
360 million registered users in 190 countries. Herd
if they don’t, the founder, the CEO and
had met Andreev at a dinner in 2013 while she was at the match a 20 percent owner, with
Tinder, and she’d made an impression. “To be honest,
I immediately fell in love with Whitney’s passion and
disappears all the autonomy those
titles imply, while tapping
energy,” says the thick-accented Andreev, who has after 24 into Badoo’s infrastructure
acquired a reputation as a recluse because he rarely hours.” and Andreev’s know-how.
grants interviews. “I thought she was a very cool lady Both have come in handy.
and that I should be watching her very carefully.” At Badoo, Andreev has a
When she didn’t reply, his team emailed Herd’s decade’s worth of A-B tests, data on the effectiveness of
lawyers, wishing her well with her legal battle and adding various monetisation efforts and experience of bringing
that he’d like to work with her. “My original idea was a product to scale that have no parallel in the dating
to get her as CMO at Badoo,” says Andreev, who’s 43. market. When the time came to start charging users
As it turned out, Herd had plans to visit her little for in-app perks, for instance, the team at Bumble was
sister at cooking school in Paris, and she made a pit stop able to develop sophisticated technology to support
in London. She didn’t want any part of his job offer. subscriptions from day one thanks to input from Badoo.
“Dream on—I’m not for hire,” she recalls saying. “I’m From September to December of that year, Herd flew
starting a company, and I don’t want to be in dating.” She between Texas and London around 15 times. She and
did pitch him on Merci, though. While Andreev liked Andreev brought in two of her fellow former Tinder
the idea of a women-centric social brand, he thought executives, Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, to design
Herd should stick to her forte and his: The dating sector. the new app’s back end and user interface. (The two left
They spent days walking around London’s streets and Bumble in April to launch their own agency but still share
parks together, exchanging ideas. Andreev told her the 1 percent of equity not held by Andreev and Herd.)
he wanted to pair her innate talent for marketing and One night, over cocktails, Herd stumbled upon
branding with the infrastructure, capital and resources Bumble’s special sauce. “I always wanted to have a
at his disposal after almost a decade at Badoo. scenario where the guy didn’t have my number but I had
After she settled the Tinder lawsuit in September his,” she recalls telling Andreev. “What if women make
2014—which, conveniently, did not contain a non-compete the first move, send the first message? And if they don’t,

Niche-dating sites abound. These are some of the best known

Christian Mingle Hater Farmers Only JDate Wingman

NEARLy 1 MILLION 250,000 300,000 250,000 10,000
The site for finding a “God- Founded in 2016, the app The dating portal “for farm- The one-stop shop for For single friends too ner-
centred relationship” was lets you find love by com- ers, ranchers and country meeting and mingling with vous to sign up themselves,
launched way back in 2001. paring pet peeves as well folks” has been going fellow Jewish singles went this app lets you send pals
It’s now owned by niche- as interests. Hate Vladimir strong since 2005. Such live during the dotcom on blind dates. The makers,
dating umbrella company Putin? Slow walkers? TV’s has been its success that boom in 1997. Those who design studio Moa DW,
Spark Networks. Among the The Bachelor? Find some- Ohio-based founder Jerry don’t happen to be mem- added gamification: Make
first questions at sign-up: one to kvetch with. Miller went on to launch bers of the tribe can declare the most matches and top
How regularly a potential CurvesConnect.com for the whether they’re “willing to the leaderboard.
member attends church. plus-size community and convert” or not.
Source: App Annie
their admirers in 2016.

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 85

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the match disappears after 24 hours, like in Cinderella, in surprising dividends. Hundreds of thousands of
the pumpkin and the carriage? It’d be symbolic of a women indicated on their profiles that they weren’t
Sadie Hawkins dance—going after it, girls ask first. What there only for love. They also cared about friendship
if we could hardwire that into a product?” It was the and career. Hence BFF, an offshoot that focuses on
kind of brilliant tweak that comes from someone who platonic connections between women, and Bizz, which
understands the target demographic because they’re in launched officially at the October party at the old Four
it. After toying with names, the two settled on Bumble, Seasons in New York and offers a challenge to LinkedIn,
confident that branding details like hives and bees would with the same women-first interface that Bumble’s
prove a marketing boon. The app went live in December users have grown accustomed to. “We’re taking out
2014 and garnered over 100,000 downloads in its first the soliciting nature and the sexism that exists in
month. “Women were ready for this,” says Dave Evans, networking,” Herd says. “We think we have a chance.”
an industry consultant who has chronicled hundreds of Success for these offshoots has been modest so far.
bad experiences women have had with men on dating Bumble BFF has been tried by over 3 million users,
apps. “Women got scared years ago. This goes way back.” but just 500,000 are active

in a typical month. Bumble
t’s 105 degrees outside Bumble’s new headquarters Bumble feels Bizz is too new to evaluate,
in an otherwise residential neighbourhood in north more polite but like taking on Tinder
Austin, Texas. The oppressive August heat hasn’t
stopped passersby from gawking at the building’s
and walled with a product customised
for just under half the
exterior. For its grand opening, artists have covered off, avoiding workforce, even modest
the sunflower-yellow roof and walls with thousands
of oversize pastel balloons. It looks like the inside of a
the unsolicited success carries huge
potential. “To be able to test
gumball machine. Pedestrians take selfies in front of photos that at that scale is something
it; cars linger, drivers asking the name of the company plague online most startups can’t do,” says
inside. At Bumble, even something as ostensibly mundane Evans, the consultant. “They
as a crosstown move is a marketing opportunity.
dating can seed that network with
Bumble has 70 employees, approximately 85 millions of people on Day 1.”
percent of whom are women, including in all the top Of course, there’s at least one other dating startup that
jobs, Andreev aside. The new office reflects that, from also has the scale—and enough men and women—to delve
posters and neon signs espousing various Bumble into such areas. Rad, who is still at Tinder running its
mantras like “You’re a Queen Bee”, “Be the CEO mergers and acquisitions arm, Swipe Ventures, declined
Your Parents Always Wanted You to Marry” and to comment for this story (as did Mateen). But the
“Make the First Move”. When Bumble hands out its company is obviously taking notes on Bumble’s
cream-and-yellow sweaters as gifts at events—the moves: Last year Tinder also expanded into platonic
familiar honeycomb logo on the front, along with relationships with an investment in Hey! Vina, a fast-
the word “Honey”—there’s invariably a scramble. growing female-friendship network. And then there’s
“I think it’s part of feeling empowered, being the keen interest of Tinder’s parent, the Match Group,
proud enough to say ‘I’m on this service’,” which remains the biggest player in the online-dating
Evans says. “On the street, if I was wearing an business in the United States. The publicly traded
AdultFriendFinder shirt, it’d be a different story.” company, which in addition to Tinder owns Match.
The bee theme and Bumble’s signature yellow are com, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish and other niche dating
front and centre in the app, which works like this: sites, would clearly like to add Bumble to its roster.
When two users of the opposite sex match by swiping “Look, Match has been lucky, because they have 45
right on each other’s profile, the woman must send her different brands,” says Brent Thill, who covers the dating-
potential date a message first or the connection is void. app market for Jefferies. “But probably the one brand that
By giving women control over the initial contact, seems to have caught everyone’s imagination is not theirs.”
Bumble feels more polite and walled-off than competitors, Herd wouldn’t comment on the attempted buyouts,
avoiding the unsolicited photos—including the occasional but selling to Tinder’s parent and folding Bumble under
male genitalia—that plague online dating. Last year the same corporate umbrella would, of course, serve as a
Bumble banned shirtless mirror selfies (common in male poetic coda to the ugliness of 2014. Indeed, among those
profiles on Tinder); they were the most-left-swiped at the headquarters dedication were representatives
photos. This doesn’t mean Bumble can prevent all abuse of a high-profile Hollywood production company that
or unpleasant experiences—but it does undercut them. is contemplating making a movie about her saga. It is,
The more controlled environment has resulted Herd acknowledges with a laugh, a pretty good story.

86 | forbes india january 5, 2018

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Cardi B, 25
Musician, hip-hop
Playboi Carti, 22
Musician, hip-hop
Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith,
Tim Luckow, 27, 29
Co-founders, Stem
What never grows old? The burning desire of youth to reinvent Lauren Daigle, 26
Musician, contemporary Christian
the world. That ambition and impatience is on full display in Will Dzombak, 29
the 2018 edition of the Forbes 30 Under 30, an encyclopaedia Manager, Wiz Khalifa
Jackie Evancho, 17
of creative disruption featuring 600 young stars in 20 different Musician, classical
industries. Selecting these youthful visionaries is an annual H.E.R., 20
Musician, R&B
challenge: We vet thousands of nominations, leaning on the Joe Jonas, 28
collective wisdom of Forbes’s online community, ace reporters Musician, pop
Khalid, 19
and a panel of A-list judges. It takes months, and in the end we Musician, R&B
pulled out 20 superstars—posing with their superpowers—who JaQuel Knight, 28
were photographed in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Kesha Lee, 29
Recording-mix engineer
Atlanta. Prepare to be inspired Lil Uzi Vert, 23
Musician, hip-hop
Lizzo, 29
EditEd by CAROLiNE HOWARd WitH NAtALiE SPORtELLi Musician, hip-hop
Marshmello, 25

Playboi Carti, 21 Matt Meyer, 28

Agent, Paradigm
MUSiCiAn Maren Morris, 27
Musician, country
There’s no bigger role model for Offset, Quavo, Takeoff,
Playboi Carti than A$AP Rocky, the 26, 26, 23
Harlem-born rapper who earned Musicians, hip-hop, Migos
$14.5 million last year (and graced
Mike Posner, 29
the cover of 2016’s 30 Under 30 Musician, pop
issue). “He laid out the platform, and
I just went with it,” says Carti, who Phil Quist, 29
joined Rocky’s A$AP Mob collective Agent, Creative Artists Agency
and landed a six-figure deal with Bebe Rexha, 28
Interscope Records in late 2016. Musician, pop
His warbling flow and relentless Thomas Rhett, 27
trap beats allowed his single ‘Mag- Musician, country
nolia’ to clock 150 million Spotify Travis Scott, 26
spins, and his self-titled debut LP Musician, hip-hop
reached No 12 on Billboard’s album
charts. Playboi Carti fans also de- Drew Silverstein, 29
light in his fashion sense: Eccentric, Co-founder, Amper Music
brightly coloured outfits (accented SZA, 28
by designer handbags) have become Musician, R&B
a hallmark of his performances. His Emily Warren, 25
rising stardom resulted in landing Musician, pop
an Adidas video campaign this sum- Hayley Williams, 29
mer that earned him an estimated Musician, rock, Paramore
six-figure payout. So how long until
his earnings put him among the top WondaGurl, 21
hip-hop artistes? “We’ll see,” says
Carti. “Hopefully tomorrow.” Young MA, 25
—Zack O’Malley Greenburg & Musician, hip-hop
Natalie Robehmed Young Thug, 26
Musician, hip-hop
($1,153) ANd LEATHER ANd CoTToN SNEAk- Manager, Logic
ERS ($703) by off-WHITE C/o VIRGIL
dATEjUST WATCH by RoLEx. Judges:
Skylar Grey, singer-songwriter
(Under 30 Class of 2013)
Bob Moczydlowsky, managing director,
Techstars Music
PhotograPhS BY Jamel Toppin FoR FORBES. Creative StYle DireCtor: Joseph DeaceTis. Kevin Olusola, Grammy-winning
StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson anD paRis ToRibio; grooming: suzana hallili member of Pentatonix
using uRban Decay anD maRio baDescu; PhotograPheD at The RiTz-caRlTon, bosTon
(Under 30 Class of 2016)

88 | forbes india January 5, 2018

cRoss boRDeR

Food & Drink Amandla Hollywood

Stenberg, 19 & Entertainment
Erik Brust, Connor Wray, 25, 25 ACTOR-AUTHOR
Co-founders, JonnyPops
Fatimah Asghar, Sam Bailey, 28, 28
Jordan Buckner, 29 “oftentimes when we play black wom- Co-creators, Brown Girls
Founder, TeaSquares en, we have to play either the pain or
Olivia Blaustein, 29
Aaron Caddel, 26 the comedy,” says Amandla Stenberg.
Agent, Creative Artists Agency
Founder, Mr Holmes Bakehouse “just now are we starting to have
three-dimensional, nuanced black Kara Brown, 29
Sommer Carroll, 26 Writer
Co-founder, Dirty Lemon Beverages characters for young women.” After
landing a part as Rue in 2012’s Hunger Steven Caple Jr, 29
Marian Cheng, 29
Co-founder, Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings Games, she starred in an adaptation of Director-writer
the young-adult bestseller Everything, Ben Davis, 28
Benjamin Chesler, 25 Everything, playing, Maddy, a teenage
Co-founder, Imperfect Produce Agent, WME
polymath in an inter-racial relationship.
Ayesha Curry, 28 Eric Fleischman, 28
The 2017 love story grossed a healthy Co-founder-producer, Defiant Studios
Chef-personality $61.5 million on a $10 million budget.
Chase Damiano, She has pushed herself beyond Sabaah Folayan, 27
Jeremy Martin, 29, 29 film and television, co-authoring the Director-producer
Co-owners, Commonwealth graphic novel series Niobe: She Is Jermaine Fowler, 29
Joe Coffee Roasters Actor-comedian
Life—the first to be internationally
Mike Dee, nick Devane, 27, 26 distributed with a black female author, Micah Fowler, 19
Co-founders, Foodworks artist and main character. Actor
Graham Fortgang, In 2015, Don’t Cash Crop My Corn-
Max Fortgang, 25, 28 Sam French, 28
rows, a video about cultural appropria- Head of Strategy & Business
Co-founders, MatchaBar tion she’d made for her high school Development, A24
David Foulquier, 27
Owner, Fooq’s
Peter Yang, 29 history class, went viral. Stenberg, who
has also created two short films, sees
Gigi Gorgeous, 25
CO-FOUnDER, POKéWORKS Digital star
Daniel Honig, 28 herself in the director’s chair soon. “I
Founder, Happy Valley Meat definitely feel it is my responsibility as Amanda Hymson, 29
What’s in a sushi burrito? Like someone who’s been given a platform Agent, United Talent Agency
Victoria James, 27
traditional ones, it contains rice and at a very young age to utilise it in a Riley Keough, 28
Corporate beverage director, Cote,
Gracious Hospitality Mangement avocado, but the similarities end there. way that reaches people and helps Actor
Roasted seaweed wraps replace flour people and makes them happy.”
Laura Johnson, 26 or corn tortillas, and inside are such in-
Joel Kim Booster, 29
Founder, You & Yours Distilling —Natalie Robehmed, Madeline Berg & Comedian-writer
gredients as raw salmon, tuna, mango, Hayley Cuccinello
Justin Kamine, 28 pickled ginger and wasabi aioli. Zoe Kravitz, 29
Co-founder, KDC Ag The idea of a sushi burrito caused Actor
Daniel Kurzrock, so much salivation in America last Daniel Kwan, 29
Jordan Schwartz, 28, 27 year that a video of one prepared at Director
Co-founders, ReGrained Peter yang’s Pokéworks went viral on Sasha Lane, 22
Tracy Lawrence, 28 facebook, accumulating 49 million Actor
Co-founder, Chewse views. from there, his six-seat Manhat-
Juan Pablo Martinez Zurita, 21
irene Li, 27 tan shop had two-hour lines morning
Digital star
Co-founder, Mei Mei till night for the rest of the year. “It
Restaurant & Street Kitchen was make or break for us,” says yang, Madina nalwanga, 17
Marguerite Mariscal, 28 who co-founded the company with Actor
VP, brand and design, Momofuku $150,000 in savings in 2015. Sono Patel, 29
Shawn nagpal, 29 yang’s work is serving up poke— Producer-writer
Founder, Nagpal Restaurant Group pronounced poh-kay—to new clientele. Ben Platt, 24
Grant Pinkerton, 29 The dishes of raw fish are rooted in Actor
Pitmaster-owner, Pinkerton’s Barbecue traditional Hawaiian cuisine, and Poké-
Esther Povitsky, 29
works serves bowls (fish and noodles,
Amanda Pizarro, 25 Actor-comedian
Co-founder, The Salty Donut rice or quinoa), salads (with add-ins
like lotus-root chips, seaweed and Madeline Sayet, 28
Anna Polonsky, 29 edamame) and the aforementioned Director
Co-founder, The MP Shift Yara Shahidi, 17
burritos prepared on a Chipotle-style
César Ponsonnet, 29 assembly line. A meal costs about $12. Actor
Maître d’, Le Bernardin Pokéworks should bring about $15 Alia Shawkat, 28
Grant Reynolds, 29 million in revenue this year. yang, who Actor
Partner, Delicious Hospitality Group immigrated to San diego from China
Trey Shults, 29
Carlie Steiner, 26 at the age of six and whose first job Director-producer-writer
Co-owner, Himitsu was as a drive-through attendant at a
burger joint, hopes to reach 100 stores Kofi Siriboe, 23
Michael Tierney, 28 Actor
Founder, Mikey’s by 2020. “We focus on customisation
because we saw a trend for diners to Hailee Steinfeld, 21
Peter Yang, 29
Co-founder, Pokéworks be more conscientious of what they’re Actor-musician
eating,” yang says. “We wanted to Amandla Stenberg, 19
Amy Zitelman, Jackie Zitelman,
28, 29 have that option for everybody—just Actor-author
Co-founders, Soom Foods the way they like it.” Kaitlyn Yang, 29
—Maggie McGrath, Natalie Sportelli & Founder, Alpha Studios
Maria Zizka, 29
Chloe Sorvino
Cookbook writer
Rachel Bloom, writer, comedian,
Nicholas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, ($128) ANd STRETCH jEANS ($198) by AzRoUëL ($890) ANd SANdALS by
co-creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Nathaniel Ru, co-founders, Sweetgreen joHN VARVAToS. LEATHER SNEAkERS by GIUSEPPE zANoTTI ($845). EARRINGS by (Under 30 Class of 2016)
fRATELLI RoSSETTI ($560). LINGUA NIGRA ($128). Gale Anne Hurd, CEo,
(Under 30 Class of 2012)
Lee Schrager, founder, South beach and Valhalla Entertainment
StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paR- StYle aSSiStant: John anThony Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm
New york Wine & food festivals kinson, Deb milsTein, paTTie baRbosa; bonilla; hair anD makeuP: kaThleen
Christina Tosi, chef-founder, Milk bar grooming: suzana hallili maRsh Mira Nair, director, producer, writer

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 89

3O 3O
Michael Tubbs , 27
cRoss boRDeR Law & Policy Mayor, City of Stockton
Kevin Wang, 23
Erik Altieri, 29 Co-founder, FOSSA
Executive director, National
Consumer Judges: Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws
Heather Weiner, 28
Associate general counsel,
Technology Kayvon Beykpour, co-founder,
Periscope (Under 30 Class of 2017) Lauren Aronson, 29
Office of the Governor of Illinois
Jason Willick, 24
Jim Breyer, founder, breyer Capital Press secretary, House Ways & Assistant editorial features editor, the
Sam Bernstein, Sundeep Kumar, Whitney Wolfe, founder, Means Committee Wall Street Journal
23, 25 bumble (Under 30 Class of 2017) Yaniv Barzilai, 29
Co-founders, LoftSmart Counter-terrorism policy advisor for Judges:
Maia Bittner, 29 North Africa, Department of State Ivan Fong, general counsel, 3M;
Co-founder, Pinch James Braid, 28 former general counsel, department
Oliver Cameron, 29 Deputy chief of staff, Office of US of Homeland Security
Co-founder, Voyage Representative Ted Budd Timothy Hwang, co-founder, fiscalNote
Alexander Chen, 29 (Under 30 Class of 2016)
Abhishek Chandra, Adam
Chekroud, April Koh, 23, 25, 26 Equal Justice Works fellow, National Mike Needham, CEo, Heritage Action
Center for Lesbian Rights for America
Co-founders, Spring Health
Georges Clement, Laurence Tribe, professor, constitutional
Annie Cheung, 28 law, Harvard Law School
Co-founder, Noon Home Daniel Kass, 27, 27
Co-founders, JustFix.nyc
Francis Davidson, Lucas Pellan,
25, 25 Ann Conant, 27 Michael Tubbs, 27
Co-founders, Sonder Assistant to the deputy director,
White House Domestic Policy Council MAYOR, STOCKTOn, CALiFORniA
Daphne de Jong, 28
Technology programme manager, Lisa Conn, 29 few American cities have the same
Amazon Prime Air Strategic partner manager,
communities-civic leadership, notoriety as Stockton, California.
Susan Fowler, 26 Facebook fifty miles from the state capital of
Editor-in-chief, Increment magazine Sacramento, the city has long been
Allison Drutchas, 29
nick Handel, 25 Counsel, autonomous vehicles, plagued by gangs and violent crime (49
Product manager, machine learning, General Motors murders in 2016, down from a high of
Airbnb 71 in 2012). Native son Michael Tubbs,
Chelsea Follett, 27
Susan Ho, 29 Managing editor, HumanProgress.org the city’s youngest-ever mayor and the
Co-founder, Journy first African-American to hold that of-
Rafael García Aceves, 29 fice, wants to change that. He wants to
Matt Howard, Alex Wyler, 28, 28 Former programme coordinator,
Co-founders, EatStreet Transparencia Mexicana replicate a programme pioneered in the
bay Area that pays monthly stipends to
Devin Jameson, Matt Reiners, Artem Goldman, 26 young men determined to be likely to
Jake Reisch, 24, 28, 28 Co-founder, Visabot
PHiLiP & MiCHAEL: StYle aSS iStantS: maximillian paRkinson, sophia chaRles, ka Rina WiDJaJa; grooming: suzana hallili

Co-founders, Eversound engage in gun violence to stay out of

Jeet Guram, 29 trouble and provides mentoring, intern-
Linda Jiang, 28 Senior advisor to the administrator, ships and even travel opportunities. “In
Head of industrial design, Essential Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Products Services a city of 315,000 people, it’s less than
Han Jin, 29 Philip Kimmey, 28 Tsion Gurmu , 29
100 guys who commit 70-80 percent
of our violent crime, meaning less than
Co-founder, Lucid CO-FOUnDER, ROVER Legal fellow, African Services
Committee 100 people control the narrative and
Kerry Jones, Shruti Merchant, the image of our city,” Tubbs says.
28, 24 At a startup hackathon in 2011, Philip Christian Haigh, Eva Shang, 23, 21 Tubbs came face-to-face with
Co-founders, HubHaus kimmey overheard someone pitch Co-founders, Legalist
Stockton’s violent realities in 2010.
Brian Jones, Luke Schoenfelder, an idea: build an Airbnb for pets. He Victoria Herrmann, 27 He had left home two years earlier to
28, 28 walked up to the local Seattle venture Managing director, The Arctic attend Stanford University and had no
Co-founders, Latch capitalist who had thrown out the Institute
plans to return. Then a cousin’s murder
Sneha Keshwani, 24 plan, Greg Gottesman, and introduced Aditi Juneja, 27 changed his priorities. “Made me really
Product manager, LinkedIn himself. “I like dogs—I think I can build Excelsior service fellow, New York think about what was the point of going
this thing,” he said. State Homes & Community Renewal
Philip Kimmey, 28 to a school like Stanford,” Tubbs says,
Co-founder, Rover for the past six years, kimmey has Charlie Kirk, 24 “if it wasn’t for doing something to
led Rover’s engineering efforts as it be- Founder, Turning Point USA
Carly Leahy, Afton Vechery, 28, 28 make my community better?”
came top dog in the pet-care space. Its Brian Miller, 26
Co-founders, Modern Fertility —Jeremy Bogaisky, Christopher
site and app connect owners to sitters Director of legal and public affairs,
WeiHua Li, Arun Saigal, 28, 26 Denhart, Derek Draplin & Avik Roy
and walkers, and more than 140,000 of Center for Individual Rights
Co-founders, Thunkable these caretakers have signed up. Every Travis nembhard, 29
Marah Lidey, 28 four seconds, someone books a service Administrative law judge,
Co-founder, Shine on Rover, and the company charges DC Department of For-Hire Vehicles
George Matus, 20 pet owners roughly $20 for a walk and Rohan Pavuluri, 21
Founder, Teal about $35 per night for an overnight Co-founder, Upsolve
Tariq Meyers, 25 stay, typically taking about 27 percent
Jacob Reses, 27
Head of inclusion and diversity, Lyft for itself. With almost $160 million in Director of strategic
Ali Mohamed, 22 funding, Rover acquired its main com- initiatives, Heritage Action
Founder, Vound petitor, dogVacay, in an all-stock deal for America
in March for an undisclosed sum. Jordan Richardson, 29
Maggie Moran, 29
Head of product, Hopper “The opportunity here is actually Senior policy analyst,
massive,” says kimmey, the father of Charles Koch Institute
Tyler Palmer, 27 a 10-month-old apricot-coloured toy
VP of operations, Patreon Alvand Salehi, 27
poodle. “on Rover, somebody’s going Senior technology advisor,
Chris Smothers, 29 to treat your dog just like you do. you The White House
Co-founder, Spacious know they’re going to love them.” Hernandez Stroud, 29
Scott Sundvor, 27 —Biz Carson & Kathleen Chaykowski Visiting assistant professor of law,
Co-founder, Nima Washington and Lee University
David Walker, 29 PHIL kIMMEy WEARS A CoTToN CREW- School of Law
Co-founder, Triplemint NECk ($39) ANd CoTToN HoodIE ($98) Mary Elizabeth Taylor, 28 CoTToN SHIRT ($870), SILk-ANd-CoTToN TIE ($290)
Ashley Yuki, 29 ($195), ANd LEATHER SNEAkERS by WINGS Special assistant to the president, ANd CoTToN PoCkET SqUARE ($220) by kIToN.
Product manager, Instagram + HoRNS ($355). The White House SHoES by fRATELLI RoSSETTI ($640).

90 | forbes india January 5, 2018

Finance John Traver, 29
Sunil Abraham, 29
Quantitative researcher, Ever watched a facebook video? There’s
Two Sigma Investments a good chance it was made using frame.
Anne-Victoire Auriault, 29 io, a subscription-based web platform
VP, Goldman Sachs for creating videos. It takes traditional
Ben Bologna, 29 editing software and, using a page out of
Managing director, Maverick Slack’s playbook, adds a new layer that
Capital makes it easier for multiple people to
collaborate. frame.io has 380,000 users,
Vitalik Buterin, 23
including firms like Snapchat, Apple and
Founder, Ethereum
disney. “With those higher-end clients
Olaf Carlson-Wee, 28 it’s more pressure to keep the platform
Founder, Polychain Capital developing,” john Traver says. More than
Danielle Cooper, 28 700,000 videos are uploaded monthly to
VP, Bank of America frame.io, which has raised $32.2 million.
Tom Dadon, 26 “People are pivoting to video because it’s
Head of mergers and acquisitions, the preferred way to consume informa-
Kraft Heinz Co tion,” says Traver. “People typically aren’t
reading as much as they used to.”
Wendy De La Rosa, 28
Co-founder, Common Cents Lab —Madeline Berg, Emily Inverso
& Mark Joyella
Michael Dechert, 29
Analyst, Farallon Capital
jACkET by bELSTAff ($1,095), CoTToN T-SHIRT
Michael Ding, 27 by koTN ($30), jEANS by PT PANTALoNI To-
Investment analyst, Coatue RINo ($395), ANd LEATHER SNEAkERS by To
booT NEW yoRk ($375).
Maria Egee, 29 by MISbHV ($1,380), CoTToN SHIRT by joHN
Director, Bank of America VARVAToS ($118) CoTToN PANTS by MARCELo
Quinten Farmer, 27 booTS by HARRyS of LoNdoN ($895). jEWEL-
Co-founder, Even LERy by joHN VARVAToS. CLASSIC fUSIoN
PoWER RESERVE WATCH by HUbLoT ($16,700).
Jonathan Fife, 29
Portfolio manager, BlueMountain
Capital Management Khaled Khatib , 21
Lalit Gurnani , 28 Cinematographer, The White
Associate, Goldman Sachs
Jack Kramer, nick Martell, 29, 29
Jason Guss, 28 Co-founders, MarketSnacks
Co-founder, Octane Lending
Benny Luo, 29
Peter Gylfe, 29 Founder, NextShark
Founder, Bay Street Capital Partners
Charlie neiman, 29
Salim Hirji, 28 Senior content acquisition manager,
Principal, Apollo Global Ryan Williams, 29 Media Amazon Video

StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, Deb milsTein, paTTie baRbosa; grooming: suzana hallili
Management Olivia nuzzi, 24
Amol Jain, 29 Sarah Adler, Washington correspondent,
Analyst, Duquesne Family Office Mackenzie Barth, 26, 26 New York Magazine
What does Ryan Williams think
Thomas Kamei, 27 Co-founders, Spoon University Alexandra Petri, 29
about commercial real estate? Columnist, Washington Post
Senior associate, Morgan Stanley “A pretty jurassic industry,” he says. Laila Alawa, 26
Cadre, he insists, is the dawn of a new Co-founder, The Tempest Phillip Picardi, 26
Charles Korn, 29 Digital editorial director,
Partner, Pershing Square Capital age. He founded the startup in 2014 Emma Allen, 29
Cartoon editor, New Yorker Teen Vogue & Allure, Condé Nast
Management with heirs to the kushner real estate
Erin Lee Carr, 29 Lauren Shippen, 26
David Levine, 29 fortune: Harvard classmate josh, Creator, The Bright Sessions
co-founder of oscar Health, and jared, Documentary filmmaker
Principal, Blackstone Group Jacob Smilovitz, 28
son-in-law of US President donald Brent Chow,
Luca Lin, Christina Qi, Jonathan Sophia Dominguez, 28, 25 Director, M&A and investments,
Trump. Their business offers an online New York Times
Wang, 27, 26, 26 Co-founders, SVRF
marketplace for pre-vetted real estate
Co-founders, Domeyard Marley Dias, 12 Clint Smith, 29
deals: “A digital stock market for real Author
Fahmi Quadir, 27 estate today and for other alternative Founder, #1000blackgirlbooks
Founder, Safkhet Capital Sky Dylan-Robbins, 28 Peter Sterne, 26
asset classes in the future,” says Wil-
Management Founder, The Video Consortium Senior reporter,
liams. It collects fees from investors— Freedom of the Press Foundation
Douglas Schadewald, 28 the company insists they’re 40 percent Aaron Edwards, 26
VP, Barclays Special projects editor, The Outline Ben Taub, 26
less than private equity fund fees. Staff writer, New Yorker
David Sklar, 29 Investors have used Cadre to close Caroline Fairchild, 27
Managing news editor, LinkedIn Jacob Tobia, 26
VP, Bank of America a dozen deals, worth a total of
Saron Tesfalul, 28 $1 billion. for now, Cadre is open to Windsor Hanger Western,
only accredited investors (folks with at Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, John Traver, 29
VP, Bain Capital Annie Wang, 29, 29, 28 Co-founder, Frame.io
least $1 million in net worth).
Ryan Williams, 29 Co-founders, Her Campus Media Lilly Workneh, 26
—Nathan Vardi, Antoine Gara, Lauren
Co-founder, Cadre Cooper Hefner, 26 Senior editor, Black Voices, HuffPost
Gensler & Kristin Stoller
Grant Wonders, 27 Chief creative officer, Playboy Rachel Zarrell, 28
Portfolio manager, Enterprises New initiatives lead, BuzzFeed
Viking Global Investors Judges: Jazmine Hughes, 26
Leon Cooperman, founder, omega Associate editor, New York Times Judges:
Charles Young, 28 Advisors Magazine Jim Bankoff, CEo, Vox Media
VP, Morgan Stanley
Steven Schonfeld, founder, Schonfeld Andrew Kaczynski, 28 Brian Stelter, senior media correspon-
Julia Yu, 28 Group Senior editor, KFile, CNN dent, CNN (Under 30 Class of 2014)
Investment analyst, Vlad Tenev, co-founder, Robinhood Rupi Kaur, 25 Elaine Welteroth, editor-in-chief,
Millennium Management (Under 30 Class of 2016) Author Teen Vogue

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 91

3O 3O cRoss boRDeR

Manufacturing Austin Russell, 22


At the centre of the race to build the

Jeremy Adams, 27 first self-driving car is Austin Russell,
Co-founder, Prestige Custom who has developed an advanced lidar
Manufacturing sensor (similar to radar, only with lasers,
Rachel Benyola, 29 not radio waves) that helps autonomous
Founder, AnneeLondon vehicles see and understand the world
Aaron Birt, 27 around them. Luminar’s sensors can see
Co-founder, Kinetic Batteries ten times farther than other lidar systems
Jacob Boudreau, and with 50 times higher resolution.
Sean Henry, 19, 21 Luminar has spent the past five years
Co-founders, Stord in stealth mode, engineering and manu-
Miriam Brafman, 26 facturing all major components of its
Founder, Packlane lidar system from the chip-level up. “We
were focussed on building up a product
James Cao, Rain Wang, 25, 28
Co-founders, Skelmet that worked, and wanted to show the
world the major advantages that we
Ryan Chan, 26 made rather than just an idea on a Post-it
Founder, UpKeep
Note,” says Russell, a Thiel fellow, who
Robert Davis, left Stanford after three months to ac-
Abbas Haider, 27, 28 cept the $100,000 grant that encourages
Co-founders, Aspetto
budding entrepreneurs to drop out of
Jesse Dombrowiak, school and begin a company.
Zack Hurley, 29, 29 Luminar has raised $36 million and
Co-founders, Indie Source
employs more than 250 people. based in
Karen Dubbin, 28 Portola Valley, California, it will soon be-
Science director, Aether gin a 10,000-unit run out of its R&d and
Michael Eilers, 29 production facility in orlando, florida,
Digital thread leader, GE Aviation for multiple customers, including Toyota
Abraham Espinoza, Matthew Research Institute, developing autono-
Rooda, 25, 24
Co-founders, SwineTech
mous vehicles. “I have a huge passion for
really making an impact on people’s lives
Seema Bansal, 26
Dave Evans, 29 in the sense that it’s creating something CO-FOUnDER, VEnUS ET FLEUR
Co-founder, Fictiv fundamentally new,” Russell says. “Not
Aaron Guan, 28 just like, some type of new app on your you can only stop to smell the roses if
Founder, Boco Technology phone, but something that can really they’re still alive. And a garden-variety
change the way people move.” bouquet doesn’t last longer than one
Jeff Herman, David Pain, 29, 27
Co-founders, Fabric8Labs —Amy Feldman, Alex Knapp week in a vase. The roses from the green-
StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, sophia chaRles, kaRina WiDJaJa; grooming: suzana hallili

& Joann Muller thumbed Seema bansal, on the other

Tance Hughes, 27
hand, last an entire year in full bloom
Founder, Southern Designs You Wu, 27 without water. “We treat them with
Rustom Jehangir, 29 Founder, Pipeguard Robotics our proprietary wax-based solution,”
Founder, Blue Robotics Alexandra Fine, 29
Judges: Co-founder, Dame Products explains bansal, who bootstrapped the
Daisy Jing, 28 New york-based ecommerce business
Founder, Banish Rodney Brooks, founder, baxter Robotics Beatrice Fischel-Bock, 26
Co-founder, Hutch with her now-fiancé Sunny Chadha, 28,
Jemuel Joseph, Cindi Marsiglio, VP, US Manufacturing
in 2015. “but the rose’s texture, its shape
Alexis Rivas, 24, 24 and Sourcing, Walmart Marshall Haas, 27
Co-founder, Need/Want and a little bit of its scent remains.”
Co-founders, Cover Sean Petterson, founder, StrongArm
Technologies (Under 30 Class of 2017) bansal and Chadha grow the flowers
Brent Keller, 28 Cathy Han, nicolas Porter, 28, 27 on a farm in Ecuador, where they’re cut
Co-founder, Via Separations Co-founders, 42 Technologies
before being delivered to New york by
Sly Lee, 28 Rami Helali, Benjamin Sehl, air. from there, “we remove the colour
Co-founder, Emerge Mackenzie Yeates, 29, 29, 28
Tyler Mcnaney, 25 Retail Co-founders, Kotn
from the roses, then we can go ahead
and dye them any Pantone colour,” she
Alexis irene, 24
Founder, Filabot
David Ouaknine, 27
& Ecommerce Founder, Static Nails
says. besides traditional shades of red,
champagne and white, customers can
CEO, CDI Furniture Dylan Jacob, 23 opt for blue, green, silver or lavender.
Sarah Ahmed, 28 Founder, BrüMate Prices start at $39 for a single rose, with
Daehee Park, 29
Co-founder, Tuft & Needle Founder, Warp + Weft Robert Kirstiuk, Joseph Lee, 22, shoppers typically spending between
Seema Bansal, 22 $300 and $1,500 for large arrangements.
Corinne Prevot, 26 Co-founders, Coastline Market
Founder, Skida Headwear & Sunny Chadha, 26, 28 Venus ET fleur is profitable, and
Accessories Co-founders, Venus ET Fleur Andy Krantz, 28 revenue, estimated at $7.5 million,
Jan Bednar, 26 Co-founder, Paravel has grown by 226 percent in the past
isaac Rami, 28
Founder, Karity Founder, ShipMonk Ali Kriegsman, 26 year. by the end of the year, bansal
Henry Burner, 14 Co-founder, Bulletin and Chadha plan to open their second
Austin Russell, 22 distribution centre, in Los Angeles, where
Founder, Luminar Technologies Founder, Buttonsmith Lynn Le, 29
Meghana Dhar, 29 Founder, Society Nine their long-lasting flora is already the talk
Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, of the town. back on Valentine’s day
Kartik Tiwari, 27, 29 Director, retail partnerships, B8ta Alissa Lentz, 28
Founder, HERO New York 2016, khloe and kourtney kardashian
Co-founders, Starsky Robotics Jess Edelstein, Sarah Ribner,
29, 28 posted Venus ET fleur bouquets on
Mike Tomovich, 28 Alex Lin, 26
Co-founders, PiperWai Co-founder, Hush Instagram. “our phones did not stop
Co-founder, Kuvée ringing,” bansal says. “And the emails
Michael Markesbery,
kept pouring in.”
Rithvik Venna, 25, 24
AUSTIN RUSSELL WEARS A CoTToN SHIRT by dAVId doNAHUE ($35), jEANS by PT PANTALoNI Co-founders, OROS —Clare O’Connor, Vicky Valet
ToRINo ($395) ANd LEATHER booTS by HEINRICH dINkELACkER ($925). & Katherine Love

92 | forbes india January 5, 2018

Brad McDonald, 29
Co-founder, Agroy Talia Goldberg, 27
Founder, Label
At first, Talia Goldberg figured she’d go
Jordan nathan, 25
Founder, Vremi down a well-travelled Silicon Valley ca-
reer path: Spend two years meeting with
iyore Olaye, 23 founders as an investment associate,
Product development engineer,
Walker & Co then build her own startup. five years
later, “it turns out I really loved invest-
Akash Shah, 29 ing”, says Goldberg, the youngest-ever
Co-founder, Care/of
vice president at 106-year-old bessemer
Lauren Stokes, 28 Venture Partners.
Founder, Lauren James She works with some of its most
Julia Zhu, 27 promising investments, such as gift-card
Founder, Few Moda marketplace Raise, business video
Amanda Zuckerman, 26 platform Vidyard and ServiceTitan, which
Co-founder, Dormify makes software for home-services com-
panies. In March 2017, she co-led besse-
Judges: mer’s participation in a $48 million fund
Rebecca Kaden, partner, Union Square raise for a korean peer-to-peer payments
firm called Toss; in october, a $20 million
Neil Parikh, co-founder, Casper (Under
raise for shipping startup Shippo. “My
30 Class of 2015)
best days are the ones when entrepre-
Kendra Scott, founder, kendra Scott
jewelry neurs that we’ve spent time with—that
we really want to invest in—pick us.”
Emily Weiss, founder, Glossier (Under 30
Class of 2015) —Alex Konrad & Lilly Knoepp


PoLyESTER dRESS by ST joHN ($1,395) ANd

Venture Capital
LEATHER SANdALS by jIMMy CHoo ($895).
($1,340) by offICINA bERNARdI. GoLd LoVE
bRACELET ($6,300), jUSTE UN CLoU bRACE- Damir Becirovic,
LET ($6,800) by CARTIER.
Dino Becirovic, 25, 25
StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paR- Investors, Index Ventures
kinson, Deb milsTein, paTTie baRbosa;
hair anD makeuP: suzana hallili
Michael Caso, 28
Managing partner, Rosecliff

StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, Deb milsTein, paTTie baRbosa; grooming anD hair & makeuP: suzana hallili
Art & Style Vipin Chamakkala, 29
Principal, Work-Bench
Andrew Farage, 26
Rocco Basilico, 28 Senior associate, United
CEO, Oliver Peoples Talent Agency Ventures
Meriem Bennani, 29
Joseph nahmad, 27
Founder, Nahmad Contemporary Adam Vanunu, 28 Jason Fiedler, 28
Principal, Red Sea Ventures
Vivian Brodie, 27 FOUnDER, COTTOn CiTiZEn Charlie Friedland, 29
Chelsea neman nassib, 29
Specialist, Christie’s Co-founder, Tappan Partner, Geodesic Capital
Maryellis Bunn, 25 When Adam Vanunu told his father Elizabeth Galbut, 28
nicolas Bijan Pakzad, 26
Co-founder, Museum of Ice Cream that he wanted to study fashion Managing partner, SoGal Ventures
Co-owner, House of Bijan design, his dad persuaded him to find
Adam Charlap Hyman, Andre Talia Goldberg, 27
Herrero, 28, 28 Davidson Petit-Frère, 28 his way through the family business, VP, Bessemer Venture Partners
Interior designers, Charlap Hyman Fashion designer, Musika Frère American dye House, a denim-dyeing-
& Herrero and-distressing factory for brands like Wei Guo, 29
Bunny Rogers, 27 Founding partner, Uphonest Capital
Jourdan Dunn , 27 Artist Calvin klein and j Crew. but in late
Model 2009, his father died of colon cancer, Zachary Hargreaves, 28
Diamond Stingily, 27 Principal, Founders Fund
Awol Erizku, 29 Artist leaving the oldest son as the boss
Artist of an eight-figure-revenue business. Jennifer Kaehms, 26
Martine Syms, 29 Unscrupulous staffers embezzled more Associate, Canvas Ventures
Manuel Gutierrez, 26 Artist
Beauty influencer than $2 million. “I didn’t know who to Anna Khan, 29
Ashley nell Tipton, 26 trust,” he says, “but I had to step up”. Senior associate,
Jasmin Larian Hekmat, 29 Fashion designer, Ashley Nell Tipton by 2012, with funding from the Bessemer Venture Partners
Founder, Cult Gaia
Adam Vanunu, 28 factory, he launched Cotton Citizen, a Vivek Ladsariya, 28
Poppy Jamie, Leo Seigal, Suki Founder, Cotton Citizen line of high-end T-shirts and sweats. Partner, Sinewave Ventures
Waterhouse, 27, 26, 25 Celebrities like Gigi Hadid and
Co-founders, Pop & Suki Armando Veve, 28 Sam Lerer, 29
Illustrator kourtney kardashian wear the brand’s VP, General Atlantic
Maria Kazakova, 29 $225 jogging pants and $195 cropped
Fashion designer, JAHNKOY Lauren Wasser, 29 Susan Liu, 29
sweatshirts, and Cotton Citizen sells in Principal, Scale Venture Partners
Karlie Kloss, 25 more than 300 stores worldwide. With
Model Ramtin naimi, 27
Chloe Wise, 27 2018 revenues projected to exceed $15 Founder, Abstract Ventures
Lily Kwong, 29 Artist million, Vanunu says: “It’s not neces-
Landscape designer, Studio Lily Maria Salamanca, 25
Sean Yoro, 28 sarily just one T-shirt that you’re buy- Senior associate,
Kwong Artist ing. you’re buying into the lifestyle.” Unshackled Ventures
Asher Levine, 29 —Susan Adams, Samantha Sharf
Fashion designer, Asher Levine Santosh Sankar, 29
Judges: & Michael Solomon Co-founder, Dynamo
Sandy Liang, 26 Ashley Graham, model-advocate (Under
Fashion designer, Sandy Liang 30 Class of 2016)
Olivia Locher, 27 Cynthia Rowley, fashion designer CoTToN CITIzEN ($65), jEANS by j bRANd ($188) ANd LEATHER booTS by CoMMoN PRojECTS
Photographer Michael Xufu Huang, collector and ($695). GoLd WATCH by RoLEx.
Benjamin Milstein, 22 museum co-founder, M Woods TALIA GoLdbERG WEARS LEATHER bIANCA jACkET ($998) ANd SILk jULIA ToP ($328) by ToRy
Founder, Grey Space Art (Under 30 Class of 2017) bURCH. jEANS by j CREW ($110) ANd PATENT LEATHER SANdALS by GIUSEPPE zANoTTI ($895).

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 93

3O 3O cRoss boRDeR Leah Sibener, 26

The latest weapons in the fight against

Andrew Schoen, 27 cancer: your own white blood cells,
Principal, NEA
which scientists genetically modify
Eric Scott, 29 to attack tumours. 3T biosciences,
Partner, SciFi VC founded by Leah Sibener with research
Ryan Shmeizer, 27 partner Marvin Gee and VC Luke Lee, is
Investor, Spark Capital using machine learning to predict what
Steve Sloane, 27 chemicals would be on cancer cells but
Principal, Menlo Ventures not normal ones. Then it uses a new
Malinka Walaliyadde, 28 genetic-engineering process to modify T
Deal partner, Andreessen Horowitz cells, a type of white blood cell, to target
Olivia Wang, 28 those chemicals. In theory, those T cells
VP, Head of US, ZhenFund should be able to attack tumours in ways
Rei Wang, 29 competing therapies can’t—taking on
Director, Dorm Room Fund/ breast, lung and prostate cancers. 3T
First Round Capital biosciences has reportedly secured in-
Lisa Wang, 29 vestors like Asset Management Ventures,
Founder, SheWorx facebook billionaire Sean Parker, Peter
Brayton Williams, 28 Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Charles River
Co-founder, Boost VC Ventures. “for us, success is helping
Kareem Zaki, 29 people,” Sibener says.
Investor, Thrive Capital —Matthew Herper, Sarah Hedgecock
Muzzammil ‘MZ’ Zaveri, 29 & Ellie Kincaid
Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Caufield & Byers
Stephanie Zhan, 24 Health Care
Associate, Sequoia Capital
Omar Abudayyeh, Jonathan
Judges: Gootenberg, 27, 26
Ann Miura-Ko, partner, floodgate MD-PhD, PhD candidates, Broad
Chetan Puttagunta, partner, New Enter- Institute, Harvard-MIT
prise Associates (Under 30 Class of 2015)
Adelanwa Adesanya, Shuo Qiao,
Brian Singerman, partner, founders fund 27, 27
Sarah Tavel, partner, benchmark Co-founders, Moving Analytics
Waleed Asif, Alamin Uddin, 25, 24
StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, sophia chaRles, kaRina WiDJaJa; grooming, hair anD makeuP: suzana hallili

Co-founders, NexHealth
Science Alexendar Pérez, 28
MD/PhD candidate, Weill Cornell/ Cody Daniel, 28 Manik Bhat, Eric Conner, Daniel
Levenson, Alex Villa, 27, 28, 25, 27
Rockefeller/Memorial Sloan CO-FOUnDER, 3SCAn Co-founders, Healthify
Tyler Allen, 25 Kettering
Tomas Pfister, 29 Andrew Brimer, Abby Cohen,
PhD candidate, North Carolina State Analysing tissue samples is a laborious,
27, 26
University Staff research scientist, Apple manual process that hasn’t changed Co-founders, Sparo
Dinesh Bharadia, 29 Ritu Raman, 26 significantly in a century. Scientists still
Post-doctoral fellow, MIT Sol Chen, Evan Ehrenberg, 22, 24
Assistant professor, University of cut tissues into slices, stain them and
Co-founders, Clara Health
California, San Diego negar Reiskarimian, 28 examine them through a microscope. for
PhD candidate, Columbia University Cody daniel, that’s not good enough. Giffin Daughtridge, 29
Kristi Bradford, 27 Co-founder, UrSure
Senior instrument systems engineer, Peyton Robertson, 16 “We need to develop better tools, better
Planetary Resources Inventor understanding of the world around us ivonna Dumanyan,
and better methods of continuing the Gabrielle Levac, 23, 25
Ritchie Chen, 29 Conor Russomanno, 29 Co-founders, Fathom AI
Postdoctoral fellow, MIT Co-founder, OpenBCI human endeavour here on Earth.”
To that end his company, 3Scan, Kevin Eisenfrats, 24
Cody Daniel, 28 Lauren Sherman, 29 Co-founder, Contraline
Co-founder, 3Scan Post-doctoral fellow, Temple offers a modernised alternative. Instead
University of fewer than ten slices, its robotic mi- Trit Garg, 28
natalya Gallo, 29 Resident physician, Stanford Health
PhD candidate, University of Hao Sun, 29 croscope can turn a small tissue sample
Assistant professor, University of into up to 60,000 slices. Then rather Care
California, San Diego
Pittsburgh than producing stained, two-dimensional Jeffrey Huber, Garrett Spiegel,
Erik Hoel, 29 28, 29
Post-doctoral researcher, Danielle Szafir, 29 images, its machine vision creates robust,
Assistant professor, University of 3d images, which can be better explored. Co-founders, Standard Cyborg
Columbia University
Colorado, Boulder “The opportunity to influence the course Doug Jacobs, 28
Ashlee Howarth, 29 Primary care resident physician,
Postdoctoral fellow, Fred Turner, Sam Parlett, 22, 26 of humanity through clever tools and
Co-founders, TL Biolabs insightful design is a real responsibility,” Brigham & Women’s Hospital and
Northwestern University Harvard Medical School
Deep Jariwala, 29 Spin Wang, 27 says daniel, who has helped 3Scan raise
Co-founder, TetraScience $21 million in funding. Alistair Johnson, 28
Assistant professor, Research scientist, Laboratory for
University of Pennsylvania Liang Wu, 29 —Alex Knapp, Sarah Hedgecock
Computational Physiology, MIT
Patrick Kaifosh, 29 Post-doctoral fellow, University of & Matt Perez
California, Berkeley Moufeed Kaddoura, 25
Co-founder, CTRL-Labs Co-founder, ExVivo Labs
Tomas Leijtens, 29 Amber Yang, 18 Judges:
Founder, SEER Tracking Danielle Bassett, associate professor, Kunwoo Lee, 29
Post-doctoral fellow, Stanford Co-founder, GenEdit
University Zhou Yu, 29 University of Pennsylvania; MacArthur
Assistant professor, University of fellow Oren Miron, 29
Karthish Manthiram, 29 Research associate, Harvard
Assistant professor, MIT California, Davis Sabrina Pasterski, Phd candidate, Har-
William Zeng, 28 vard University (Under 30 Class of 2015) Medical School
Aaron Meisner, 29 Director, software and applications,
Co-founder, Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Rigetti Computing Cody dANIEL WEARS CASHMERE SUIT ($9,050), CoTToN SHIRT ($870), SILk TIE ($290) ANd
Prineha narang, 28 You Zhou, 29
Assistant professor, Harvard Post-doctoral fellow, Harvard
by ToRy bURCH. SANdALS by SAM EdELMAN ($100).

94 | forbes india January 5, 2018

Eric Pahl, Dalton Shaull, 24, 23
Co-founders, HealthTech Solutions Arjun Singh, 29
Co-founder, PrestoDoctor
As a berkeley computer science Phd
Andreas Puschnik, 29 student, Arjun Singh taught Artificial
Fellow, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
Intelligence (AI). but when it came time
Siddarth Satish, 29 to correct his student’s work, he found
Founder, Gauss Surgical himself stuck using decidedly simplistic
Akshaya Shanmugam, 29 tools. “It was like, ‘We’re teaching AI
Co-founder, Lumme and yet we’re still sitting here with a
Leah Sibener, Marvin Gee, red pen on paper grading this stuff’.
Luke Lee, 26, 26, 28 That’s crazy.” With that in mind, Singh
Co-founders, 3T Biosciences developed Gradescope, an app that
Cody Simmons, 29 scans and grades exams—from multiple
Co-founder, DermaSensor choice tests to math proofs and essays—
and provides teachers and students with
Sourav Sinha, 28 instant feedback. “It helps instructors
Co-founder, Oncolinx
understand what their students are do-
Cathy Tie, 21 ing much more effectively. They can say,
Co-founder, Ranomics ‘okay, on question 1, my students got a
R Danae Vachata, 29 60 percent average on it. Why did that
Co-founder, Dynamic Surgical; happen? I need to go back and teach
Mallium that better’.” Some 10,000 instructors
Lea von Bidder, 27 and 300,000 students at 450 schools
Co-founder, Ava Science worldwide, including MIT and Imperial
Andrew Warren, 28 College London, have used Gradescope
Founding scientist, product to pore over 25 million pages of work.
development lead, Glympse Bio —Caroline Howard & Justin Conklin
Travis Whitfill, 28 RoGER NoRES (LEfT) WEARS A WooL-ANd-
Co-founder, Azitra CoTToN SUIT by LUIGI bIANCHI MANToVA ($1,395),
CoTToN SHIRT by EToN ($245), SoCkS by GoLd-
Cheryl Zogg, 28 ToE ($19) ANd LEATHER SHoES by To booT NEW
MD-PhD candidate, health law yoRk ($395).
fellow, Yale School of Medicine, Yale
Law School STAff ($1,495), CoTToN ELASTANE PoLo SHIRT by
boSS ($145), CoTToN kHAkI PANTS by SLoWEAR
Judges: INCoTEx ($350) ANd LEATHER SNEAkERS by To
booT NEW yoRk ($350).
Peter B Bach, director, Center for Health
Policy & outcomes, Memorial Sloan
kettering Cancer Center Rogelio ‘Roger’ Matthew Murbach, 26
Co-founder, Battery Informatics
Cigall Kadoch, assistant professor,
paediatric oncology, dana-farber Cancer
Nores, 28 Lane nelson, 29 Education
Institute (Under 30 Class of 2014) FOUnDER, STOnEWAY CAPiTAL Co-founder, Switched Source
Steven L Salzberg, professor, biomedical Fatema Basrai, 27
engineering, computer science, biosta- It was obvious to Roger Nores that if Jess newman, 29 Executive director, Leadership
tistics, johns Hopkins University School Argentina wanted to end its frustrating
Director of US agronomy, SAISD
of Medicine Anheuser-Busch InBev

StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, Deb milsTein, paTTie baRbosa; grooming: suzana hallili
summer electric outages, it needed Michael Benko,
more power plants. So the young in- Rogelio ‘Roger’ nores, 28 EJ Carrion, 28, 28
vestment manager and CEo of Stone- Founder, StoneWay Capital Co-founders, Student Success Agency
Energy Way Capital set out to build them.
first he negotiated with the
Ethan novek, 18
Founder, Innovator Energy
Vinay Bhaskara, Zack Perkins,
Johan Zhang, 23, 22, 22
government, which agreed to buy Annie Ostojic, 15 Co-founders, CollegeVine
Liam Berryman, 21 whatever power Nores could generate Inventor Yoran Brondsema,
Co-founder, Nelumbo at a fixed price for ten years. With that Thomas Ketchell, 28, 29
Lauren Otto, 27 Co-founders, Sutori
David Bierman, 28 deal in hand, Nores went to Siemens,
Founder, Marigold Power Founder, Laminera
the German industrial giant, and con- Elyse Burden, 28
Cassie Bowe, 28 vinced it not only to get on board with Jake Rozmaryn, 27 Co-founder, Real World Scholars
Associate vice president, supplying and building four new plants, Vice president, strategy and business
development, Antenna Group Xiaohoa Michelle Ching, 27
Energy Impact Partners but also to loan Nores $100 million to Founder, Literator
Emily Callahan, Amber Jackson, get rolling. Then Nores hit Wall Street, Saheb Sabharwal, 29
Allyson Dias, 28
28, 28 and in early 2017, raised $500 million in Vice president, CSL Capital Programme manager, Thiel Fellowship
Co-founders, Blue Latitudes a debt offering bought by the likes of Management
Katie Fang, 26
Maher Damak, Karim Khalil, 27, 27 blackRock and fidelity. His plants, set Tirthak Saha, 25 Founder, SchooLinks
Co-founders, Infinite Cooling to go online by 2018, will power more Grid modernisation engineer,
than 800,000 homes and businesses. American Electric Power Shiv Gaglani, 28
Molly Grear, 28 Co-founder, Osmosis
PhD candidate, University of “If you’re one of those electricity Lauren Salz, 29
Washington companies that focuses on [emerging Jonathan García, 28
Co-founder, Sealed.com Senior director, strategic
ian Hamilton, 25 markets], you’re always doing a public
Yichen Shen, 28 partnerships and external affairs,
Founder, Atlas Energy Systems good.”
Post-doctoral associate, MIT Portland Public Schools
Eli Harris, Hannah Sieber, Lei —Christopher Helman & Aaron Tilley
Adam Small, 28 nick Garvin, 25
Wang, Fan Zheng, 24, 26, 29, 28 Founder, Stackup
Co-founders, EcoFlow Tech Co-founder, Urbix Resources
Justin Whiteley, 29 Emily Graslie, 28
Hannah Herbst, 17 Tian Li, 29 Chief curiosity correspondent,
Inventor Post-doctoral researcher, University Co-founder, Emergy Labs
The Field Museum
Prateek Joshi, 29 of Maryland, College Park
Founder, Pluto AI David Magid, 29 Judges: Andrew Hermalyn, 29
David Crane, operating advisor, Pegasus EVP, university partnerships
Robert Kabera, 29 Founder, YSG Solar and programmes, 2U
Capital; former CEo, NRG Energy
Founder, Credimarks Chadwick Manning, 28 David Freed, project manager, NET Jomayra Herrera, 24
Alden Keefe Sampson, Marshall Co-founder, ElectrIQ Power Power (Under 30 Class of 2017) Analyst, education investments,
Moutenot, 27, 26 Scott Martin, 25 Bryan Sheffield, founder, Parsley Energy Emerson Collective
Co-founders, Upstream Tech Principal, 8 Rivers Capital

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 95

3O 3O
Maxxie Goldstein, 26
cRoss boRDeR Co-founder, MEYVYN
Stephan Goss, 29
Co-founder, Zeeto
Andrew Hill, 29 Anna Hu, 26
Co-founder, LiftEd Co-founder, Brizi
Danielle Hughes, 26 Amir Kabbara, 29
Co-founder, Detroit Speaks Head of marketing automation,
Amazon Appstore, Amazon
Ricky Hurtado, Elaine
Townsend Utin, 29, 27 Jeff Lopez, 27
Co-founders, NC Scholars’ Founder, Gloob Marketing
Latinx Initiative Allen Mask, 29
Melissa Lee, 28 Vice president of marketing,
Co-founder, The GREEN Program intelligence and partnerships,
Jackey Li, Maggie Peng, Jack Tai,
Kevin Wu, 28, 28, 29, 29 Rachel Mercer, 29
Co-founders, OneClass SVP, head of digital strategy and
invention, Deutsch
Justin Ling, 28
Co-founder, EquitySim Etienne Mérineau, 29
Co-founder, Heyday.ai
Raza Munir, 29
Co-founder, Climb Credit Colby Reed Miller, 29
Senior director, sales and content
Mark Pavlyukovskyy, 26 development, Oath
Co-founder, Piper
Eric Mogil, 28
Christopher Rim, 22 Director of digital innovation,
Founder, Command Education Michael Kors
Thea neal, 29
Hilary Shirazi, 29 Social media leader, Hallmark
Senior manager, corporate
development, LinkedIn Colette Patnaude, 29
Co-founder, Expand Entertainment
Arjun Singh, 29
Co-founder, Gradescope Alandha Scott, 28
Head, YouTube Originals product
Jesse Vaughan, 28 marketing, YouTube
Co-founder, Landed
Mark Shore, 28
Tony Weaver, 23 Co-founder, Strike Social
Founder, Weird Enough Productions
Sara Sindelar, 28
Richard Werbe, 24
StePhan anD george: StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, sophia chaRles, kaRina WiDJaJa; grooming: suzana hallili

WW event strategy
Co-founder, Studypool manager, IBM
Richard ‘Prince Ea’ Williams, 29 Everette Taylor, 28
Filmmaker-poet Founder, PopSocial
Ryan Williams, 28 Elizabeth Walton, 29
Co-founder, Jopwell Vice president, marketing, Yext
Judges: Marlowe Williams, 28 George
Charles Best, founder, donorsChoose.org
Senior brand manager, PepsiCo ‘HotshotGG’
Stacey Childress, CEo, NewSchools
Jennifer Wong, 29
Vice president of marketing, Tune Georgallidis, 27
Venture fund Stephan Goss, 29 nina Yiamsamatha, 29 FOUnDER, COUnTER LOGiC GAMinG
Wendy Kopp, co-founder, Teach for All CO-FOUnDER, ZEETO Product marketing manager,
Joe Vasquez, co-director, Runway
Instagram Standing in front of a sold-out Madison
Incubator (Under 30 Class of 2017)
As a Swiss immigrant studying at the Square Garden crowd in 2015, George
University at Albany, Stephan Goss lived Judges: Georgallidis basked in the adoring
off money from affiliate marketing: He’d Andrew Essex, former CEo, Tribeca cheers of tens of thousands of specta-
Marketing advertise companies’ products across Enterprises and droga5 tors. He and his five-person team had
the internet, and they’d give him a Cindy Gallop, founder, MakeLoveNotPorn accomplished something there that the
& Advertising commission every time he sent them a Anda Gansca, co-founder, knotch (Under knicks and Rangers haven’t in years.
paying customer. In 2011, a health care 30 Class of 2016) They’d won a championship—top place
Brunno Attorre, 28 client led him to a lucrative insight. If he Bozoma Saint John, chief brand in the North American League of Leg-
Co-founder, Uru could identify high-value web visitors, officer, Uber ends Championship Series, one of the
such as diabetics, the client would be world’s biggest e-sports associations.
Christina Baldassarre, Rocco
Baldassarre, 29, 28 willing to pay him over six times more, STEPHAN GoSS WEARS A WooL SPoRT Their performance caught the atten-
Co-founders, Zebra Advertisement or $8 per lead, as opposed to the usual jACkET ($498) ANd PoCkET SqUARE ($30) tion of more than just the arena’s fans.
by joS A bANk; CoTToN SHIRT ($295), SILk
$1.25. So he started showing visitors a In july 2017, the business that owns the
Travis Chambers, 29 TIE ($160), WooL PANTS ($450), ANd bLACk
Founder, Chamber.Media one-question survey that asked whether LEATHER bELT ($350) by CANALI; SoCkS by stadium, the Madison Square Garden Co,
they were diabetic. If the users said yes, GoLdToE ($19). LEATHER doUbLE-MoNk purchased Counter Logic for an undis-
Shirley Chen, 29 Goss would show them relevant ads
closed sum. “It’s been a scary, exciting,
Founder, Narrativ
immediately after. That strategy became fun ride,” says Georgallidis. He founded
Melanie Cohn, 29 the basis for zeeto, which has boot- Counter Logic Gaming in 2010 when e-
Senior manager, digital and social
media, Dunkin’ Donuts
strapped its way to 80 employees and Games sports were still a novelty, and he grew
projects revenue climbing by 27 percent it both as the player ‘HotshotGG’ and
Benjamin Conway, 29 to $43 million this year. now as president. He faced the same
Co-founder, VNTANA Anele Andeshmand, 28
Today Goss has about 25 engineers tribulations as player-managers in other
Jenelle Coy, 25 Head, North America partnerships
and seven data scientists working at his and development, Twitch sports, including a rebuilding period that
Founder, Coy + San diego-based company on thorny followed a disappointing 2014, when
William Danilow, 26 math problems, such as determining the Becca Bair, 29 Counter Logic was a game away from
Senior copywriter, David&Goliath series of survey questions that generate Co-founder, Twin Otter Studios being kicked out of its league. Counter
Corbett Drummey, 27 the most ad revenue. “I have never had Caitlin Banford, 28 Logic now pulls seven-figure annual
Co-founder, Popular Pays a boss,” he says. “I’ve never had a job, Technical product manager, Riot revenues and features a full roster of 33
Adam Friedman, 28 actually. I was really able to develop Games players plus coaches, a physical thera-
Executive, global client strategy, everything from scratch.” Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg, 21 pist and chefs.
Creative Artists Agency —Jeff Kauflin & Jennifer Rooney Professional gamer, Team SoloMid —Matt Perez & David Ewalt

96 | forbes india January 5, 2018

Bryce Blum, 29
Founding partner, ESG Law Kelly Peeler, 29
James Boehm, 21 FOUnDER, nEXTGEnVEST
Co-founder, Mixer
Americans owe more than $1.4 trillion
Tucker ‘iijeriichoii’ Boner, 24
in student debt. And kelly Peeler thinks
that whopping figure may very well be an
Ashly Burch, 27 underlying cause of economic instability.
Voice actor She worked at jPMorgan Chase right after
nicky Case, 23 the 2008 crash, and while there, she says,
Game designer “I got my hands dirty understanding the
Lauren Cason, 27 dynamics around the student loan market
Senior artist, ustwo Games and how predatory this whole process was
for the 70 million [Generation z] people
Lester Chen, 29
Global head of e-sports, YouTube who will be entering the financial system
for the first time... I’m a huge believer that
Sam Coster, 28 the next financial crisis is rooted in the
Co-founder, Butterscotch student loan market.”
She left her Wall Street job to found
David DeCarmine, 29 NextGenVest, a financial advice company
Founder, Game Jolt helping Gen z better navigate the financial-
Guzman Diaz, 26 aid process via text message. Its customers
Investor, Index Ventures (all high school seniors and college
Mark ‘Markiplier’ Fischbach, 28 students) can text for advice at all hours
YouTuber of the day—and they do. queries at 10 pm
on Sunday aren’t uncommon. Neither are
Sabina Foisor, 28
ones at 1 am on Tuesdays. So NextGenVest
Woman Grandmaster, US Chess
is staffed accordingly, with advisors avail-
able 24x7. The service is already available
Toby Fox, 26 in 13 cities, and Peeler hopes to be in 25
Game designer more next year. NextGenVest promises
George ‘HotshotGG’ personalised advice honed by machine
Georgallidis, 27 learning based on data points such as type
Founder, Counter Logic Gaming of school and location. NextGenVest uses
Leighton Gray, this information to connect students with
Vernon Shaw, 20, 29 relevant grant opportunities. In all, Peeler
Co-writers, Game Grumps says, customers have saved more than $39
Robyn Tong Gray, 27 million through increasing access to the
Co-founder, Otherworld Interactive more than $2.7 billion in financial aid that
goes unclaimed each year.
James iliff,
—Alexandra Wilson
Alexander Silkin, 27, 26
Co-founders, Survios
Sue Lee, 27 Kelly Peeler, 29
Founder, NextGenVest

StYle aSSiStantS: maximillian paRkinson, Deb milsTein, paTTie baRbosa; hair anD makeuP: suzana hallili
Partnerships associate, Twitch
Erik Martin, 24 Tara Pham, 28
Senior education program manager, Co-founder, Numina
Unity Technologies Eli Pollak, Earl St Sauver, 28, 26
Andrew Maximov, 27 Co-founders, Apollo Agriculture
Technical art director, Naughty Dog Diana Rau, 27
Blake Rochkind, 29 Co-founder, Veterati
Agent, United Talent Agency Victor Santos, 26
Jake Stauch, 26 Co-founder, AirFox
Founder, NeuroPlus Matthew Scanlan, 29
Eric Stirpe, 29 Co-founder, Naadam
Season lead writer, Telltale Games Michael Schoenfeld,
Stanislav Vishnevskiy, 29 Samuel Silverman, 29, 29
Co-founder, Discord Co-founders, EB5 Affiliate Network
Jenny Xu, 20 Social Ohad Elhelo, 28
Founder, Our Generation Speaks
Tenzin Seldon, 28
Co-founder, Kinstep
Founder, JCSoft
Saleem Young, 23
Entrepreneurs Brin Enterkin, 27
Founder, The African Soup
Sheldon Smith, 29
Professional gamer, Most Valuable Founder, The Dovetail Project
Gaming Andrew Foote, 29 Phil Wong, Ann Yang, 24, 24
Alberto Altamirano, 28 Co-founder, Sanivation
Co-founder, Cityflag Co-founders, Misfit Juicery
Judges: Jack Amend, 26
Gator Halpern, Sam Teicher, 27, 27
Arthur Woods, 29
Co-founders, Coral Vita
Shawn Layden, president, Sony Founder, Web Neutral Project Co-founder, Imperative
Interactive Entertainment America
Aerica Banks, 29 Mary iafelice, 28
Co-founder, humble ventures Elvis Zhang, 19
Ralf Reichert, CEo, ESL Co-founder, Beacon Founder, Oxy2
Kim Swift, design director, EA Motive Ebele ifedigbo, 29
Yuja Chang, Watson Yim, 27, 24
Studios (Under 30 Class of 2013)
Co-founders, Aira Co-founder, The Hood Incubator Judges:
Liz Chen, Cristina Leos, 29, 26 Robert Lee, 26 Jean Case, CEo, Case foundation
boMbER jACkET by PHILIPP PLEIN ($4,495), Co-founders, MyHealthEd Co-founder, Rescuing Leftover Cheryl Dorsey, president, Echoing Green
WooL SWEATER by boSS ($215), ANd jEANS Cuisine
Lisa Curtis, 29 Randall Lane, editor, Forbes magazine
by PT PANTALoNI ToRINo ($395). HEAdSET by
LoGITECH ($100). Founder, Kuli Kuli Jay Lipman, Douglas Scott, 29, 29 Teju Ravilochan, co-founder, Uncharted
Co-founders, Ethic (Under 30 Class of 2017)
Arpit Dhupar,
Kushagra Srivastava, 25, 22 Patrick Mateer, 24
Co-founders, Chakr Innovation Founder, Seal the Seasons kELLy PEELER WEARS A CoTToN-ANd-SILk
SydNEy dRESS by ToRy bURCH ($448) ANd
Ashley Edwards, 27 Reyna Montoya, 27 PATENT LEATHER SANdALS by GIUSEPPE
Co-founder, MindRight Founder, Aliento zANoTTI ($1,195).

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 97

3O 3O cRoss boRDeR Julio Jones, 28
Jose Altuve, 27
julio jones is best known for one-hand- Second baseman, Houston Astros
Enterprise ed catches and toe-tap touchdowns, but
away from the gridiron the NfL star has
Canelo Alvarez, 27
Technology been making headlines for something
Tori Bowie, 27
else. He’s a principal investor in a $200
Track athlete, Team USA
iyinoluwa Aboyeji, 26 million real estate development outside
Atlanta that will bring a mix of shops, David Braun, 28
Co-founder, Flutterwave
offices, apartments and condos to an Manager, corporate partnerships,
Syed Ahmed, iba Masood, 29, 28 Harlem Globetrotters
Co-founders, TARA area adjacent to the Mall of Georgia. It
started small, he says, with the intent to Kam Chancellor, 29
Dani Arnaout, Jihad Kawas, 27, 20 create a local destination for Atlanta’s Strong safety, Seattle Seahawks
Co-founders, Abstract Layer
suburban population, a group that Patrick Collins, 28
Kumesh Aroomoogan, includes jones and some teammates. NFL agent, CAA
Anshul Vikram Pandey, 25, 26 “All the guys, we always had to drive like Anthony Davis, 24
Co-founders, Accern
45 minutes to an hour, all the way down- Forward, New Orleans Pelicans
Sabrina Atienza, George town, to do something,” jones says. Giovani Dos Santos, 28
Ramonov, 27, 28 That inspiration has grown into Forward, LA Galaxy
Co-founders, Qurious a massive enterprise that has been
Alison Gallagher, 28
Ethan Barhydt, described as a new centre of gravity for Executive, CAA
Daria Rose Evdokimova, 26, 24 the I-85 corridor. The project, named
Co-founders, VoiceOps Ariston, will include more than 160,000
Dior Ginyard, 29
Manager, player affairs,
Zeina Barr, 29 square feet of retail space, over 500 NFL Players Association
Co-founder, Raise the Barr apartments and a 21-storey hotel and
condominium. jones says it’s just the Braden Holtby, 28
Greg Brockman, 29
Goaltender, Washington Capitals
Co-founder, OpenAI start of his off-field career in real estate.
He’s already proven himself to be Julio Jones, 28
Tiffany Chu, Daniel Getelman,
prolific on the field. Since the Atlanta Wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons
29, 27
Co-founders, Remix falcons traded away five draft picks Gus Kenworthy, 26
to select jones sixth overall in the 2011 Freestyle skier, Team USA
S Zayd Enam, 25
CEO, Cresta draft, he’s become perhaps the best Hilary Knight, 28
wide receiver in the game. His team re- Forward, Boston Pride
Gregory Falco, 29
warded him in 2015 with a five-year, $71 Kyle Larson, 25
Co-founder, NeuroMesh
Joseph Fasone, 23 Joseph Fasone, 23 million contract extension that landed Driver, Chip Ganassi Racing

StYle aSSiStant: John anThony bonilla; grooming: suzana hallili; PhotograPheD at The WesTin, JeRsey ciTy, neW JeRsey.
him at No 43 on last year’s list of the
Founder, Pilot FOUnDER, PiLOT Kawhi Leonard, 26
world’s highest-paid athletes. Forward, San Antonio Spurs
Yuan Gao, 29 —Chris Smith & Dan Kleinman
Co-founder, Mavrx At 16, joseph fasone decided to skip his Jessica Long, 25
senior year of high school and become Swimmer, Team USA
Michael Garland, Percia Safar,
26, 27 IT director at WeWork, a co-working- Christina Milano, 26
Co-founders, WorkRamp space startup. Seven years later, he’s the Director of business development,
founder and CEo of his own promising Excel Sports Management
Enis Gayretli, İlker Köksal, 27, 27
startup, Pilot, a fibre-optic internet Amanda nunes, 29
Co-founders, Botanalytics
service provider for businesses in New Fighter, UFC
Jon Goldsmith, nik Liolios, 19, 20 york City, Philadelphia, Washington, dC,
Co-founders, Tetra Anthony Rizzo, 28
and boston. Pilot takes advantage of the First baseman, Chicago Cubs
Micah Green, 21 unused fibre-optic cables already under
Founder, Maidbot a city. “The infrastructure was there, but Alex Rosen, 28
Counsel, Major League Baseball
Lucy Guo, Alexandr Wang, 23, 20 there wasn’t the right service provider,”
Co-founders, Scale fasone says. Preetam Sen, 29
Pilot has raised $32.3 million to Director, Partnership Sales
Jay Hammonds, 25 (Americas), City Football
VIP Operations, Facebook build a service that’s faster than its com-
Khizer Hayat, 28 petitors by orders of magnitude. Typical
internet speed is around 18.7 megabits Daniel Sillman, 28
Co-founder, ThroughPut CEO, Relevent Sports
per second. Pilot’s slowest service is 100
StYle aSSiStant: maximillian paRkinson; grooming: suzana hallili

Vinay Hiremath, Shahed Khan, Jack Sock, 25

megabits per second, and it offers three
Joe Thomas, 25, 22, 27 Tennis player, Team USA
Co-founders, Loom more tiers—one 10 times faster, another
100 times faster and a third 1,000 times Matthew Stafford, 29
Karson Humiston, 25 faster. Its nearest competitor is Verizon
Founder, Vangst Quarterback, Detroit Lions
fios, which is speedier than Pilot’s base
Richie Hyden, 29 Sloane Stephens, 24
option but slower than its others. Given Tennis player
Co-founder, IRIS.TV telecom’s consolidation craze, Pilot
Leif K-Brooks, 27 looks ripe for acquisition, but fasone PK Subban, 28
Co-founder, Octane AI Defenceman, Nashville Predators
claims he isn’t interested.
Saurabh Ladha, 26 —Helen AS Popkin & Samar Marwan Christian Taylor, 27
Co-founder, Doxel Track athlete, Team USA
Joel Pazhayampallil, Will Song, Anthony Vennare, 28
Sameep Tandon, 27, 27, 27 Judges: Co-founder, Fitt
Co-founders, Drive.ai Stewart Butterfield, co-founder, Slack Zachary Weiner, 25
Soroush Salehian, 29 Theresia Gouw, co-founder, Aspect Co-founder, Overtime
Co-founder, Aeva Ventures
Chris Wanstrath, co-founder, Github Judges:
Erik Schluntz, 24 Steve Ballmer, owner, LA Clippers;
Co-founder, Cobalt Robotics joSEPH fASoNE WEARS A CASHMERE boMb- former CEo, Microsoft
Steven Valencsin, 29 ER jACkET ($6,995), A CASHMERE SWEATER
Simone Biles, olympic gold medal gym-
($1,045), ANd A CoTToN PIqUE jERSEy
Founder, Growers PoLo SHIRT ($475) by bRUNELLo CUCINELLI; nast, Team USA (Under 30 Class of 2017)
CoTToN PANTS by 34 HERITAGE ($175); 997 jULIo joNES WEARS A WooL SUIT ($1,795) ANd
Leo Yeykelis, 29 CoTToN SHIRT ($395) by ALbA. GLoVES by
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Quantitative UX research lead, ANd STAINLESS STEEL RECoRd CoLLECTIoN UNdER ARMoUR ($45). bIG bANG SAPPHIRE ALL soccer player, Team USA
Waymo WATCH by LoNGINES ($2,025). bLACk WATCH by HUbLoT ($64,000). (Under 30 Class of 2015)

98 | forbes india January 5, 2018

Anton ‘Zedd’ Bieber and Lady Gaga and released
solo smashes like last year’s multiplati-
Zaslavski, 28 num ‘Stay’—while becoming the anti-
DJ of the DJ universe. To distinguish

himself from competitors, he created
30 under 30 debut: 2014
a graphics-heavy live show that feels
like watching a videogame projected
Before regularly scoring six-figure
onto a movie screen with a custom
nightly fees spinning thumpy elec-
visual for each song. A cable runs from
tronic tunes, Zedd got his start playing
his computer to the front of the house,
classical music at the age of four. He
Forbes’s annual list of America’s top young learnt how to plan performances with
where a team of technicians makes
sure everything syncs up, including the
innovators always includes famous faces. meticulous detail, an ability that’s
obvious in his carefully choreographed
programme’s lasers and pyrotechnics.
Now we’re putting the spotlight on four shows today, which feature less of
“It used to be really cheap to make a
show—I used to be able to keep all the
the freewheeling song selection used
of these celebrities—two alumni and two by most popular DJs. “I see myself as
money,” Zedd recalls. “Now the shows
cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
newcomers—and their disruption of the an artist who presents a show,” says
Zedd, who earned $19 million this year
As costs continue to escalate in
entertainment industry and beyond and $85 million over the past five.
a musical arms race, Zedd is flirting
with the idea of reinventing the DJ
“It’s almost like when you go to the
model again by turning to something
movies. You’re not going to buy your
with which he’s very familiar: Live
ticket and see a movie and, if you don’t
instrumentation. “I think I will one day
like it, expect the movie to change in
go unplugged.”
real time.”
—Zack O’Malley Greenburg
Zedd has produced hits for Justin

Karlie Kloss, 25 with plans to grow further. It also

sponsored monthly scholarships
Model, founder, Kode with for women at the Flatiron School, an
Klossy adult-education company in Manhat-
30 under 30 debut: 2018 tan where Kloss took an intensive
two-week coding class in 2014.
“I didn’t go into this with the plan to She enjoyed that experience—her
build an education non-profit,” says favourite subjects in school had been
supermodel-turned-philanthropist math and science—but found coding’s
Karlie Kloss, whose Kode with Klossy male-dominated ranks disturbing.
has taught over 500 girls the basics of Kloss figured her audience (she earned
computer programming. “I really went $9 million from June 2016 to June 2017
into all this out of my own curiosity of fronting brands like Swarovski and
wanting to learn what the heck coding Express) made her the perfect person
was because it was building massive to change that. “I realised, here I am
enterprise value for people in a short with this platform and reach to young ZEDD wEArS A coTToN PoLo SHIrT BY VErSAcE coLLEcTIoN ($225), coTToN uNDErSHIrT BY
period of time.” women across the country and around ZANEroBE ($50), AND JEANS BY rAG & BoNE ($195). HEADPHoNES BY DouBLE ZEro ($199).
Kode with Klossy runs a summer JEwELLErY BY VITALY (PrIcES uPoN rEquEST); BrAcELET BY cHAN LIu (PrIcE uPoN rEquEST).
the world,” says Kloss, a 36-time
camp that aims to fix the gender GroominG: suzana Hallili using urban decay and Mario badescu;
Vogue cover girl with 7 million follow- PhotoGrAPhed At THe riTz-carlTon, bosTon
disparity in software engineering. ers on Instagram. “If I could just help
It launched last year as a two-week a handful of girls, that would be really KArLIE KLoSS wEArS A coTToN TwEED JAcKET BY ProENZA ScHouLEr ($1,990), SILK
programme for young women (ages meaningful.” And, Kloss says, she’s just cAMISoLE BY DIor (PrIcE uPoN rEquEST), JEANS BY DrIES VAN NoTEN ($315), AND SATIN
13 to 18) in New York, Los Angeles PuMPS BY GIANVITo roSSI ($675).
getting started. “I plan on building a
and Kloss’s hometown of St Louis and Style ASSiStAntS: MaxiMillian Parkinson and Paris Toribio. GroominG: suzana
big business at some point, too.” Hallili using urban decay and Mario badescu. PhotoGrAPhed At THe
soon expanded to nine more cities —Natalie Robehmed riTz-carlTon, bosTon

January 5, 2018 forbes india | 99

esther Povitsky, 29
3O 3O
Live! and on comedy central’s Key and
Peele before landing a role playing cross border
Actor-coMediAn Maya on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in 2016 (a
30 under 30 debut: 2018 show created by and starring under
30 alumna rachel Bloom)—and then
In her college years, Esther Povitsky shifted to the business side as a show
would regularly take the three-hour creator. Povitsky first wrote a short
train ride to chicago for comedy called Alone Together with Benji Aflalo,
classes at Second city and Improv- another up-and-coming comedian,
olympic, troupes that count Amy about their male-female friendship,
Poehler and Tina Fey as former and then the pair decided to turn it
members. when the Great recession into a TV show. They pitched it to pro-
hit, she dropped out of the university duction companies in the fall of 2015;
of Illinois at urbana-champaign to Freeform, a Disney-owned TV channel,
pursue her passion in Los Angeles. picked up the series order last year. “I
“I watched both of my parents lose didn’t have a plan B,” Povitsky says. “I
their jobs,” Povitsky says. “I was like, didn’t have anywhere else to turn but
‘why am I paying all this money to be comedy, so I had to stick with it.” The
in school, and there’s no guarantee? I network gave her the ultimate vote of
might as well just do the thing I really confidence in october, renewing her
want to do’.” show for a second season before it
The move paid off. She notched even aired.
bit parts in sketches on Jimmy Kimmel —Natalie Robehmed

Kendrick lamar, 30 grown into a force. He has earned two

visits to the white House and grosses
MusiciAn more than $1 million a night on the
30 under 30 debut: 2013 road and even more for big festivals
like coachella. Next up: A slate of
Kendrick Lamar came of age on the international dates from Amsterdam
streets of compton, california, the to Stockholm in early 2018. Meanwhile,
violent landscape that has featured his songs have clocked over 2 billion
prominently in the music created by spins in the past year, more than
scores of hip-hop artists. He drew Beyoncé’s or Bruno Mars’s.
inspiration from his background for Lamar probably won’t return to the
an entirely different venture: A 2014 white House anytime soon, but he’s
partnership with reebok to create using his star power to tackle some of
a signature pair of sneakers—one today’s toughest issues. He decried
red, one blue, symbolising peaceful Photoshop’s creation of unrealistic
coexistence of the notorious Bloods beauty norms on his multiplatinum
and crips gangs. album DAMN, released this past April;
“Any kind of business outside of at last year’s Grammys, he won five
art and culture and hip-hop, I have to awards, including Best rap Album,
have full creative control,” says the and performed in chains and a prison
seven-time Grammy winner. “And uniform to raise awareness about mass
having that control, I always wanted to incarceration.
have something that represents more “It’s really about failure, not being
than just a price tag.” He’s earned in fear of that,” Lamar says. “once you
$78.5 million over the past five years, tackle that and block that idea, and
including a career-best $30 million this you know it’s okay to actually make
year, and inked a new Nike deal this a mistake or to fail at something, you
summer. get back up and try it again.”
In the music business, Lamar has —Zack O’Malley Greenburg
PhotoGrAPh by eTHan Pines for forbes
Style ASSiStAntS: MaxiMillian Parkinson and Paris Toribio.
Style ASSiStAnt: regina cHerePinsky. hAir: doMinique calvillo. GroominG: suzana Hallili using urban decay and Mario badescu.
mAkeuP: kyMber blake. PhotoGrAPhed At tHe riTz-carlTon, bosTon

100 | forbes india January 5, 2018

When children
take centre stage
on celluloid

ReclineR 1 A selection from celebrity photographer Nemai Ghosh’s archive

Farida Jalal
on the sets of
Satyajit Ray’s
film Shatranj ke
Khilari (1977)

photo by nemai ghosh; image souRced fRom dag modeRn

Recliner 1 Photo feature

Set in Time
curated by mexy xavier | PhotograPhs by nemai ghosh

Nemai Ghosh (84) is best

known as the photo-
biographer of Satyajit
Ray, documenting the
filmmaker’s personal and
professional life from
1967 till his death in 1992.
He has also documented
the works of filmmakers
Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose
and MS Sathyu, apart
from a variety of Bengali
theatre, landscapes, and
portraits. A common
element in Ghosh’s
images is an unusual
candidness, which he
achieves through the
excellent rapport he
creates with his subjects
and his gentle demeanour.
His works have been
exhibited globally.

This selection of images

include six from Ghosh’s
extensive archives,
and two from his book
Satyajit Ray and Beyond

On the sets of City of

Joy, directed by Roland
Joffé in Calcutta (now
Kolkata) in 1992, Ghosh
photographed the film’s
three protagonists—Om
Puri, Shabana Azmi
and Patrick Swayze—as
they sat talking during
a break from work
Ray was a common mentor
for Ghosh and actor
Sharmila Tagore. Here
she is sitting on a black
Ambassador while on a break
during the shooting of Ray’s
Aranyer Din Ratri in 1969

sharmila, amitabh bachchan and Jaya bhaduri: images sourced from dag modern

Amitabh Bachchan and

Jaya Bhaduri at the Ritz
Continental hotel in 1973.
Before they married,
Bachchan would frequently
go to Calcutta to visit
Bhaduri, when she was
a bigger star than him

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 103

Recliner 1 Photo feature

Girija Devi (far left), renowned vocalist of the Seniya and Benaras gharanas, and Kishori
Amonkar (far right) of the Jaipur gharana perform in the mid-1990s on the occasion of
Dol Purnima at the residence of businessman Harshavardhan Neotia, in Calcutta

104 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Ustad Bismillah Khan photographed at his home in Smita Patil, on the sets of Abhinetri, at Calcutta’s
Varanasi, in 1989. Ghosh was accompanying filmmaker Indrapuri Studio in 1986-87. Produced by Satyajit
Goutam Ghose, who was making a documentary on Khan Ray and directed by his son Sandeep, Abhinetri
was part of a television series called Satyajit
Ray Presents, based on his short stories

Filmmaker and actor Aparna Sen, in 1981 at Calcutta’s

Indrapuri Studio, on the sets of 36 Chowringhee Lane, for
which she won the National Film Award for Best Direction Rekha, shot on the sets of a Govind Nihalani film in 1982

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 105

Recliner 2 films

Child protagonists
in films do much
more than play lead

The Kids
characters—they hold
a mirror to a world
messed up by adults

a r e (n o t ) By Radhika OBeROi

A l r i g h t

106 | forbes india january 5, 2018

schismatic world is a body that swells the numbers of the feature film What Will People Say is
problematic one. Torn anonymous dead. Commenting on the the tale of a precocious 16-year-old,
asunder by adults unable selection of these films, Ritu Sarin, Nisha, who lives in Oslo with her
to keep peace with who co-founded DIFF in 2012 along regressive Pakistani family. Nisha
political, religious or moral ideals with filmmaker husband Tenzing is sexually aware and exploratory,
that contradict theirs, it is hostile to Sonam, says, “Our main section this and her family is perturbed by this.
children. And yet, they are expected year had a number of films with kids When her father Mirza walks into
to navigate the uncertainties—a as protagonists: Ashwatthama, Land her bedroom and finds her with a
sudden redrawing of boundaries, of the Little People, Village Rockstars boy, he assumes they have had sex.
unrest in the state or neighbourhood, and Communion. Although this was Fearing the censure of Oslo’s Pakistani
violence on the streets, in schools, coincidental, we do have a soft spot for community, he takes her to Islamabad,
or at home—created by grown-ups. films that feature children, so perhaps and leaves her, against her wishes,
At the sixth edition of the there was a subliminal selection with a bucolic throng of relatives.
Dharamshala International Film process happening.” The venue of “It’s a relevant story. It examines
Festival (DIFF) this year, several the festival—the Tibetan Children’s what can happen when someone is
films were preoccupied with the Village school in Dharamshala— in a position of authority or controls
predicaments of children. The child perhaps also called for a befitting your life in some way,” says actor Adil
protagonist emerged either as a roster, she adds on a lighter note. Hussain, who plays the anguished
survivor, or a victim, or merely a Typically, children, and young Mirza. What Will People Say is a

“The best children’s films force us to reconsider

our own certainties as adults.”

adults are befuddled targets and tragic series of decisions that are calamitous
fatalities in dramas orchestrated by for Nisha but seen as appropriate
grown men and women. A poignant steps in a prudish community. It also
example is New Delhi-based director denunciates people who migrate to the
Dheeraj Jindal’s The School Bag, West in search of better opportunities,
which is a fictional retelling of the but carry the baggage of oppressive
2014 terrorist attack on the Army values. With biographical undertones,
Public School in Peshawar; at least Haq’s film examines Nisha’s
132 children were killed in the bewilderment and torment. Ekavali
massacre. In the film, little Farooq’s Khanna, who plays Nisha’s despotic
persistent pleas for a new school bag mother Najma, highlights how
as a birthday present, and his mother’s migrant communities cling to beliefs
ultimate giving in, become a comment that no longer serve them: “They move
on a milieu racked by terrorism. to the West for more freedom, but
The schoolbag—a proud emblem of are trapped by regressive attitudes.”
certitude and discipline—becomes Other child protagonists, in a
the metaphor of uncertainty and vastly different portrayal of human
irredeemable loss. “Whenever you misadventure, are eager perpetrators
read about a tragedy in the papers, of violence. Israeli director Yaniv
or see images, you see footwear or Berman and Palestinian producer
other personal items covered in Tony Copti’s Land of the Little
blood,” says Jindal. “The schoolbag People is about four children who
is meant to be a symbol of something turn an abandoned military camp
terrible that has just occurred.” into an arena of atrocities. When
Land of the Other DIFF films also examined they discover two army deserters
Victor BezrukoV

Little People is about

four children who turn how the tenuous happiness of young hiding there, they plot to reclaim
an abandoned military people is destroyed by outdated social their territory. By far the most
camp in israel into an
arena of atrocities
mores and morality. Norwegian- disturbing scenes are those in which
Pakistani filmmaker Iram Haq’s the four unleash violent acts of

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 107

Recliner 2 films

retribution upon the fugitives. Unlike

the archetype ragamuffin of Hindi
cinema—orphaned and abused,
but lovable despite the sloughing
away of innocence—there is nothing
redemptive about these children. “In
Israel, children mature early as violent
people,” says Berman, adding that in a
society constantly racked by war, “one
prepares a child to be a tough guy”.

ainstream Hindi cinema
has grappled with the joys,
sorrows and perplexities
of children through a variety of stories.
An example from recent times that
suggests itself for its contemporariness
and sensitivity is Taare Zameen Par
(2007), which highlights the havoc
wrecked by dyslexia on children and
their families. The film’s creative
director and writer Amole Gupte
hosted a talk show on Sony TV
called Bindaas Bol in the mid-1990s,
which dealt with the complexities
of parent-child relationships and
peer pressure. “Taare Zameen Par
is a byproduct of sitting and talking
with children for a decade,” he says,
referring to the insights he gathered
through Bindaas Bol. He mentions our
tendency to judge and label children
as “clever” or “dull” or “quick” or
above: The School Bag is a fictional account of the 2014 terror attack that killed at least
“slow”, and hopes that Taare Zameen 132 children in Peshawar; Nisha, 16, with her father Mirza in What Will People Say
Par is a gentle condemnation of this.
“Teachers ought to teach, not judge; ‘Lakdi ki kaathi’ in Masoom (1983)— examples of an imaginative retelling of
in schools, even a slightly different or fantastic elements, such as in folktales and mythology with a moral
child is not tolerated by the staff.” Haatim Tai (1990), Chhota Chetan lesson. CFSI Chairperson Mukesh
Gupte’s subsequent films—Stanley (1998) and Bhootnath (2008). It was Khanna, however, highlights the
Ka Dabba (2011), Hawaa Hawaai also common for child actors such inclination of current filmmakers:
(2014) and Sniff (2017)—have been a as Baby Tabassum, Jugal Hansraj, “The whole point of children’s
continuation of his portrayal of the Baby Guddu and Master Bittoo to films has become festival-oriented;
world through the eyes of children. sing, dance and mouth dialogues directors want to win the Best
Traditionally, Bollywood films in films that were thematically for Director at Cannes!” He talks about a
were indifferent to the child- adults, with oblique references need for films that drive children to
centredness that Gupte ushered to their own joys and sorrows. the theatres: “If you can’t make films
into the mainstream, and dealt with The formation of the Children’s like the Harry Potter series, at least
children, or entertained them on Film Society of India (CFSI) in 1955 make something like Shaktimaan.”
screen, by incorporating slapstick was intended to encourage films In an essay titled ‘The Death
comedy, fantastic elements, or specifically for children. Work of Children’s Cinema’ in the book
comic action scenes. Often this was done under its aegis include Shyam Hindi Cinema: An Insider’s View
done by including incidental songs Benegal’s Charandas Chor (1975), Sai (2009), author Anil Saari rues the
like ‘Phoolon ka taron ka’ in Hare Parānjpye’s Jadu Ka Shankh (1974) swift passing of an enthusiasm for
Rama Hare Krishna (1971), the title and Sikandar (1976), and Mrinal children’s films, which was initiated
song of Yaadon ki Baaraat (1973) or Sen’s Ichchapuran (1970), which are by the Indian New Wave in the

108 | forbes india january 5, 2018

Clockwise from left: Dhanak is about the journey a visually impaired child and his sister must undertake to restore his eyesight;
Stanley Ka Dabba is about a schoolboy’s painful secret; Taare Zameen Par highlights the havoc wrecked by dyslexia on children

1970s, “Regrettably, there were no three films that children identify who, inspired by APJ Abdul Kalam,
new or younger directors waiting to with most were not written for sets about altering his own destiny.
step in once the ‘seniors’ moved out. them. I chose not to dumb down the “I had lost my childhood in the
Nobody was impatient to seize the stories; in fact, I was quite surprised struggles of life. I wanted to tell the
opportunity that suddenly became when Dhanak won an award in the story of a child who creates his own
available. Even more regrettably, of children’s film category at Berlin.” destiny,” explains the filmmaker.
the luminaries of new Indian cinema, Dhanak, which premiered at It isn’t easy, though, to slip under
only Satyajit Ray was to return the 65th Berlin International Film the skin of children and tell their
constantly to children’s films.” Festival and won the Crystal Bear story. “The biggest challenge is
The work of filmmakers such as BV Grand Prix for best Children’s Film, how to filter out the director’s own
Karanth (Chor Chor Chup Ja, 1975), or is the story of 10-year-old Pari, perspective from that of the children.
Kantilal Rathod (Adventure Of Sugar and her visually impaired brother, The most successful films with
Doll, 1964) would become examples eight-year-old Chotu, who walk a children as protagonists are those
of a drive that held promise but did long distance to school every day, that manage to present a worldview
not culminate into a movement. and tell each other stories about that is entirely from the child’s
films of their favourite stars, either perspective,” says Sarin, citing the

reams great and small, and Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan. 1959 French Drama Les Quatre Cents
the obstacles that must The film is also about the arduous Coups (The 400 Blows), directed by
be overcome to achieve journey they must undertake in a François Truffaut, as an example of a
them are the gossamer material of bid to restore Chotu’s eyesight. film that has succeeded in this. “This
recent films with child protagonists. These seemingly insignificant is a difficult thing to achieve; as adults,
For instance, Nagesh Kukunoor’s ambitions of children are also we have lost the ability to think and
filmography—Rockford (1999), Iqbal portrayed in Nila Madhab Panda’s see like children.” The child’s eye,
(2005), and Dhanak (2016)—is I Am Kalam (2011), which hinges or a view of the way things are, or
either about the messy business on its child hero’s question: “Why ought to be, makes for forceful and
of coming-of-age, or about the can’t poor kids go to school, father?” intimate cinema. Says Sarin: “The best
ephemeral ambitions of children. His father’s response, “Destiny!” children’s films force us to reconsider
But the filmmaker says, “These simply isn’t good enough for Chhotu, our own certainties as adults.”

january 5, 2018 forbes india | 109

On StardOm

Overnight stardom
can be harmful to
your mental health.
Yeah. It has ruined
a lot of people.
Whenever I start feeling
too arrogant about myself, I
always take a trip to the US. The
immigration guys kick the star out
of my stardom.
—Shah rukh khan
I have both joyful In rock stardom
and heartbreaking there’s an absolute
moments in life, economic upside to
even now. Stardom self-destruction.
Eastwood: stEphanE MahE / REutERs; Khan: MaRK Blinch / REutERs; Bacall: danny MoloshoK / REutERs; hayEs: BEttMann / GEtty iMaGEs;

doesn’t give us —Courtney Love

—viJay I don’t think about
Sethupathi stardom anymore. I’m
way past that phase.

Stardom isn’t a profession,

it’s an accident.
—Lauren BaCaLL

you would think The main ingredient

BowiE: REutERs; woodEn: adREEs latif / REutERs; MERcuRy: GEtty iMaGEs

that a rock star of stardom

being married to a is the rest of
supermodel would
be one of the the team.
greatest things in
the world. it is. —John Wooden
There is a price
for stardom, and, —david BoWie
unfortunately, one’s
family shares in
the payment.
—heLen hayeS

...All you have in the

end is to look back i won’t be a rock star.
and like the choices i will be a legend.
you’ve made. —Freddie
—Matt daMon MerCury

110 | forbes india janUary 5, 2018

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