Bollywood’s most eligible bachelor seems set to foray into the lucrative smartphone market with Being Smart, his own range of android phones. Salman Khan, who already owns the not-for-profit entity Being Human, has a tie up with Mandhana Retail, which claims a 5 percent royalty to the charity firm.
According to media reports, Salman has already registered the brand, which will target the mid-level smartphone market. The brand is expected to be in direct competition with the likes of Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo. These android phones will be priced below Rs 20,000. The actor has also chosen a Chinese plant to manufacture and provide the Being Smart handsets.
The profits from Being Smart will follow the Being Human route - they will be redirected to charity and social work under the Being Human Foundation. Salman will be taking majority shareholding in the entity, either directly or through his family venture.
The actor, who is slated to build an operational management team, is showing keen interest in a professional who has been a part of Samsung and Micromax. According to sources, the smartphones will be sold online initially, with plans afoot for them to eventually find their way into brick and mortar stores as well.
Salman had previously tried entering the humongous market for smartphones through partnerships with existing smartphone OEMs, but had to step back owing to high royalty charges. However, it seems the actor is willing to give it one more shot; it is said that he is looking for investors for his latest venture. The Being Smart android phones might enter the market before the festive season this year.
Previously, Salman had invested in Yatra.com and was involved in the marketing campaigns of the startup, in which he holds a 5 percent stake. Apart from this, the actor owns the foundation Being Human, through which he engages in charitable activities, working in the education and health sectors. Founded in 2007, the charity withdraws an over 8-10 percent cut from the sales of the Being Human branded clothing line. According to reports, the brand clocked an annual revenue of Rs 25 crore in 2014-2015, and is expected to rise to Rs 30 crore in 2016. The brand has been prominent in the overseas market considering the actor’s fan following, and a tenth of its revenue comes from online sales.
The actor, who is gearing up for his next movie ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, a sequel to the blockbuster hit ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ opposite Katrina Kaif, is yet to make an official announcement.