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Sunday Special : From Bankruptcy to Crorepati; Amitabh Bachchan

He carries success and fame like a drape on his shoulders. His charisma makes people go week in their knees. His voice gives you alluring feel and yet he is the most grounded man you’d ever see. The man needs no introduction, undoubtedly the angry young man of Bollywood, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan is oved by all.

Like every success story, his became inspiring and popular not because of the success he has today but because the struggles that led him to carry himself forward and make success out of it. Rejected for his voice in All India Radio, Mr. Bachchan has now lent his voice in innumerable movies right from Lagaan to the latest, Begum Jaan. Rejected for his abnormal height once, people go in awe today just by standing close to him.

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But was this success only curbed till making a remark in the industry? In 2000 , at the age of 57(when common man is thinking of retirement), he had Financial crisis when he almost lost all that he had.

In the year 1995, he started Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd which featured specialization in movie business and event management. Mr. Bachchan had a vision of expanding this company on the grounds of Hollywood studio. The company came in limelight in 1996 with the commencement of Miss India Pageant, brought by ABCL. However, the hurry and thirst to expand the company didn’t go very well and stretched itself too much only to burst back.

In keeping with the vision the group moved fast, recruited 150 people, launched 15 films with cost per film ranging from Rs 3 to 8 crores, got distribution rights for Bombay and Bandit Queen – both of which were successful at the box office – got into music with Aby Baby, Diljale, Rakshak, Tere Mere Sapne etc, and ofcourse on the event side the Miss World Pageant & and the BPL Dandia.

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However, in the second year, troubles starting shooting up due to non agreement between the personals and the man himself. Nothing leading to a better outcome, ABC started dooming.

In 1999, the condition of the company worsened and liabilities never seemed to stop. Payment weren’t made on time and Substantial funds were blocked in production and distribution of films.

ABCL approached the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction to seek protection under the bankruptcy laws.
The Bombay high court restrained Mr. Bachchan from selling off his Mumbai bungalow ‘Prateeksha‘ and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were dealt with.

“In the year 2000, when the entire world was celebrating the new century, I was celebrating my disastrous fortune. There were no films, no money, no company, a million legal cases against and the tax authorities had put notice of recovery on my home,” Amitabh Bachchan.

However, not deciding to quit, he stood up again and started walking with a new hope and a vision which never looked back. “Our friends advised us to close this losing venture and move on but we decided to clear all our debts despite huge losses and re-start the production of films,” he had said.

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Mr. Bachchan then became a part of Television by hosting the much acclaimed quiz show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. He had explained that Jaya (Bachchan) wasn’t too sure about a superstar going in TV and he had said, ‘Beggars don’t have options’.

He then starred in Mohabattein continuing the paradigm of angry young man and then there was no looking back.

“There was a sword hanging on my head all the time. I spent many sleepless nights. One day, I got up early in the morning and went directly to Yash Chopraji and told him that I was bankrupt. I had no films. My house and a small property in New Delhi were attached. Yashji listened coolly and then offered me a role in his film Mohabattein,” Mr. Bachchan explained.

Starting his film career in 1969, he continues his unstoppable journey 47 years later.

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His dogged spirit, the numerous failures that made him tronger, and the quality of rising from the ash has what made Mr. Bachchan, the man of cinema today. Mr Bachchan is a role model not just for Bollywood and the movie world, but for anyone who has the desire to dream and the will to make those dreams become reality.

Written By – Paridhi Tripathi

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