Raj Kundra’s (husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty) rise in the business world has been sort of meteoric, having started with limited means and going to build a vast business empire. Gradually, Raj ventured into Bollywood (having Shilpa Shetty as wife did help) and soon he was owning a team in the glamorous IPL (Indian Premier League).
But with supreme court finding former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team official Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra guilty and suspending both for life from any cricketing activity, Raj Kundra will have to rethink his business strategy.
Born in a family of Punjabi migrants based in UK, Raj Kundra, started his business journey by selling ‘pashmina shawls’ (he even briefly worked as a bus conductor in London before starting his business). It seems Kundra made close to 20 million pounds in his first year of business itself. Gradually, Raj built several successful businesses over the years.
Like most foreign investors, Raj initially made his inroads in Bollywood through film financing (and also financed a reality show), and that is how he got in touch with Shilpa Shetty and eventually married her. He also bought a sea-facing bungalow for Shilpa in Juhu.
For quite some time, the press referred to Raj as the ‘British-Asian businessman’. With growing ambitions, Raj just jumped at the opportunity of investing in an IPL cricket team (Rajasthan Royals).
In 2009 he bought an 11.7% stake in the Rajasthan Royals franchise, and was among the select few industrialists & Bollywood superstars who had bought stakes in the various IPL cricket teams.
With the initial successes, Raj was only eager to spread his wings in the world of glamour and sports.
Soon, he announced his association with ‘Munnabhai’ Sanjay Dutt to start the Mixed-Martial Arts tournament ‘Super Fight League (SFL)’. Later, he would go on to diversify his business, also founding a home-shopping channel (reportedly with Akshay Kumar).
Despite his several businesses and associations in the Indian entertainment and sporting scene, it was his stake in IPL that brought him the fame (that he desired the most).
Also Read: Why is the IPL so popular?
However, with the Justice Lodha committee handing life-long suspension on Kundra from all forms of cricketing activities, for his role in IPL spot-fixing (probably that’s how he manged to amass funds to invest in other businesses in India), probably it is time for Raj Kundra to look at other less glamorous businesses as of now. What do you think?