Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is gearing to venture in to smartphones segment with his new line-up of Android devices under ‘BeingSmart’ brand in India.
The report said that either Salman or members of his family will take direct shareholding in the new venture. “He’s currently building an operational management team to be headed by a professional with leadership stints at Samsung and Micromax, two top industry executives told ET,” the report said.
The Bollywood superstar, who owns the Being Human clothing brand, has registered the BeingSmart trademark for smartphones targeted at the entry-to-middle market segment. He has also selected the Chinese plant and initial phone models that will run on Android and cost below Rs 20,000.
“BeingSmart will be positioned against the Chinese smartphone brigade Oppo,Vivo and Xiaomi at a time domestic handset makers such as Micromax and Intex are facing tremendous competition,” said one of those cited above. “And, like the Being Human apparel line, proceeds from the profit will be ploughed back into charity and social work that Salman Khan does with his Being Human Foundation.”
The smartphones will be sold through online channels and ‘Being Human’ retail stores initially. ‘Being Human’ is another business venture endorsed by Salman Khan.The smartphones would also be made available in major electronic retail chains as part of a strategic partnership.
Salman Khan had tried entering the smartphone arena through a partnership with existing smartphone OEMs. However, the brands who initially expressed interest backed off because of high royalty charges that the most bankable superstar of Bollywood Salman Khan demands. ET reports that he is looking for investors in this venture where he will be the majority shareholder.
Both Salman Khan and his sister Alvira are closely engaged with the Being Human business and its product offerings. Mandhana Retail pays 5% royalty on sales to the Being Human Foundation. In 2014, Mandhana Industries demerged its retail and trading businesses and hived off the business of Being Human brand to Mandhana Retail Ventures.
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