If you want to know the world’s top 100 DJs Dj Mag provides you a list of best 100 artists from around the world. For market leaders, website ranking realtrends.com eases the job. For almost every profession there are various ranking websites that highlight leaders of their niche.
There is no one way to measure excellence when you consider a diverse range of career paths. But when leaders are highlighted for their amazing work done in their niche, motivation blooms like anything. The motivation for the leaders to keep up the good work, motivation for their followers to follow a likewise path as well as motivation for others who couldn’t make it to the highlights for that time.
For the media and entertainment industry that stands out to be approx. $3 trillion includes a diverse range of career paths (from boardrooms to editing bays) it becomes really difficult to track down achievements and leaders from this dynamic industry. Let’s complicate things a bit more, it becomes even more difficult to track down Indian leaders who can make a difference globally.
Variety 500 is an American company owned by Penske Media Corporation. Founded in New York in 1905 by Sime Silverman as a weekly newspaper reporting on theatre & vaudeville. In 1933 it added Daily Variety based in Los Angeles to cover the motion picture industry. Variety.com features breaking news on entertainment, reviews, box office results, cover stories, videos, photo galleries and archive content dating back to 1905.
This year Variety.com released its 3rd annual list of top 500 people who did amazingly in media and entertainment industry and 10 faces from India can book a spot in the list this year (12 in the previous year). One amazing thing about Variety 500 is their generosity and respect given to all the leaders. A short bio section Is dedicated to all the honourees. They have mentioned an amazing thought on their website:
“Once you’re off the list, you can always work your way back. Maybe Variety500 will have even played a part in providing the motivation”
Just like Variety 500, we have taken out some time to appreciate our 10 faces. I’m sure facts about our respective leaders would amaze you (baffle in some cases). Here the list goes:
- Uday Shankar: Walt Disney’s President for Asia Pacific unit has got to be on the list. Disney doesn’t need an introduction. For generations (and for coming ones) Disney remains the favorite pick for kids and adults. But the journey for this man to become president of this conglomerate has not been an easy peasy ride. Uday appeared in civil services and even cleared prelims and mains but somehow, he got rejected in the interview round and then he got enrolled at Times School of Journalism Delhi and started his career in journalism as a political correspondent for Times of India and then worked with environment magazine Down to Earth as editor. He began his career in the TV industry at Zee TV as news produces then moved to Home TV, Sahara Samay, Aaj Tak & then he became chairman & CEO of Star India. For 3 consecutive years, he has been honored on the list.
- Kalnithi Maran: Chairman & founder of Sun TV, this man comes from a political family. He’s the son of India’s former Union Minister Murasoli Maran and grand-nephew of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. But this vegetarian man had a different set of ambitions. He started a monthly magazine in Tamil Nadu Poomaalai and he founded Sun TV on 14th April 1993. Sun TV got listed on BSE on 24th April 2006 upon raising approx. $133mn, he was a billionaire by then. When US President Bill Clinton visited India, he was among the few representatives at the roundtable. By 2010, he was the 17th richest Indian having a net worth of $4 bn and was the highest-paid businessman in India. He has a strong foothold in the media industry owning television channels, newspapers, weeklies, FM Radio stations, DTH Services, and a movie production house. Kalnithi also had a major share in Spice Jet from 2010-2015. He’s also the owner of the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was honored in 2018’s list.
- Ronnie Screwvala: This man has amazed by blockbusters like Fashion Kai Po Che!, A-Wednesday and many others. But there is a lot more about him which is why he has been honored several times at different platforms. He was featured on Esquire’s List of 75 most influential people of the 21st century and ranked 78 among 100 most influential people in the world on Time 100 (compiled by Time Magazine, 2009). Fortune Magazine highlighted him as 25th Asia’s Most Powerful People and titled as Jack Warner of India by Newsweek. In 2013 he and his wife scaled up their Non-Profit The Swades Foundation whose aim is to work with a million people in rural India, empower them and move them out of poverty 6-7 years and then move to another geography. He also co-founded Up-Grad an online education portal for higher education and specialization, built a sports company (U-Sports) spanning Football/Esports and Kabaddi. He’s also the author of Dream with Your Eyes Open. Rohinton Soli “Ronnie” is a first-generation Indian entrepreneur & philanthropist. He deserves to be in the top 500 list.
- Shah Rukh Khan: This man needs no introduction wherever we go. In fact, in some countries, Bollywood or Indian movies are recalled because of Shah Rukh Khan. From being a romantic king to a negative role he has done it all and he’s one of the most versatile actors of Bollywood industry. SRK has a fan at Los Angeles by the name of Paige Wilson, she makes clay statues of SRK and her recent statue portrayed his Jab Harry Met Sejal. He’s very superstitious about numbers and believes in angel number theory. All his cars end with 555 numbers. He’s the only Indian to have a statue at Grevin Museum (after Gandhiji) and only Indian who was invited at Yale University. He currently holds a record of the longest-running movie of Indian Cinema (DDLJ). If we talk about his charity work, it’s behemoth! At Nanavati Hospital (Mumbai) he has made a special department for Cancer and Children ward in the memory of her mother who passed away due to cancer. He works closely with Make a wish foundation and fulfills dreams of children all over India and he’s the only India who was awarded by UNESCO for his charity deeds.
- Ekta Kapoor: If all the housewives had to be thankful for their entertainment through TV series, it needs to be Ekta Kapoor, a producer, filmmaker, director and creative head of Balaji Telefilms. She started her career when she was 15 years old as an intern with ad and feature filmmaker Kailash Surendranath. After getting finances from her father she set out on a journey of being a producer. Her 1st Bollywood movie was Kuyki main jhooth nahi bolta along with a couple of other hit movies like Shootout at Lokhandwala, Kya Kool Hain Hum. Her recent Bollywood hit was Judgemental Hai Kya. In 2012, she started the Institute of Creative Excellence a media training school through her production house. She has created and produced more than 130 Indian soap eras under Balaji Telefilms and entertained all Indian families from time to time. She also launched 40 web TV Series through her digital app ALTBalaji. Guess people quoted her right as Content Czarina.
- Kishore Lulla: He’s the chairman of the world’s biggest Bollywood distributor Eros International plc, the first Indian Media & Entertainment company listed on NYSE. His contribution to Eros dates back when he was 16. 42 years of hard work has made this man what he is today. Lulla keeps himself at a distance from India, basing himself in a splendid mansion in Central London, having “conservative English values”. In 2010, Lulla and his family set up the Eros Foundation for the education of children and worked towards equality for women in the workplace.
- Siddharth Roy Kapoor: Sir Amitabh Bacchan (Shahrukh Khan) was the true face behind the success of Kaun Banega Crorepati but the man behind the amazing market strategy for the show’s success is this man. A Mumbaikar, Siddharth began his career with P&G in brand management, then moved to START TV as a strategic planner. After a short stay in Hong Kong as part of Newscorp Executive Development, he flew down to Mumbai to work on the launch of Kaun Banega Crorepati season 1 on Star Plus. Due to record-breaking efforts for this show, he was nominated for the Team Newscorp Global Excellence Awards. He joined UTV in 2005 as Senior Vice President Marketing & Communications across Motion Pictures, Broadcasting. He was the man behind the marketing success of hit movies like Rang De Basanti (2006). In Jan 2008, he took over as CEO of UTV Motion Pictures and after integration of UTV with The Walt Disney Company (India), under his leadership, Disney not only emerged as one of India’s leading media and entertainment companies but together they produced blockbusters like Dangal, PK & Jungle Book.
- Amir Khan: Bollywood’s perfectionist and an actor who can fit any role (no matter how old or young, how fit or fat). Aamir Hussain Khan got a breakthrough in Bollywood from his movie Quyamat SE Quyamat Tak and he brought his first car Maruti 800. Aamir stopped studying after school although his parents wanted him to focus on studies. Mr. Perfectionist was highly disappointed for not being awarded as Best Actor for his film Rangeela at Filmfare Awards 1996 (Shahrukh Khan was awarded as the Best Actor for his film DDLJ) and since then he has been ignoring award shows for a while. From an actor, director to a host at a talk show, he has done it all.
- Aditya Chopra: To keep up his family’s successful business into film making, the man on the front is Aditya Chopra. We should be thankful to this man for helping us to see romantic from a whole new angle with movies like DDLJ & Mohobbatien. He’s the elder son of Yash Chopra and started his career in film making when he was 18 years old as assistant director.
- Mukesh Ambani: The man behind the digital wave in India is none other than Mukesh Ambani. With JIO, Mukesh Ambani not only gave India another telecom operator, but it gave its customers almost free access to the world of the internet. JIO’s investment in this sector stands at approx. $40 bn. Ambani mas has stocks in OTT Players like Alt Balaji & Eros Now. Not only this, he has major stocks in Viacom 18 network which controls the Indian version of MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central.