In 2018, a sportsman was questioning the supremacy of the Bollywood Khans, at least in terms of annual earnings: the hugely popular and ever-consistent cricketer Virat Kohli. Kohli’s march continues this year as he has replaced actors in the pole position for the first time in eight years since the launch of the Forbes India Celebrity 100 List. The 31-year-old is now perched at the top right on the back of some q252.72 crores he won between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019 (our period being considered). For each supported Instagram post, this was through match tickets, the central BCCI contract, brand endorsements, and an eight-figure fee. Actor Akshay Kumar (₹293.25 crores) climbs up a spot to No 2 while Salman Khan, who ruled at the top since 2016, slips to No 3.
Let’s have a look who all made it to the top 10 of the list-
- Virat Kohli– The cricket star is in the top spot on the Forbes India Celebrity list for 2019, with a prolific run-scoring streak and a surplus of endorsements. The Indian men’s cricket captain remains a prolific run-scorer, accumulating 826 runs in 13 test innings, and in 2019, 1,054 ODI (One Day International) runs in 20 ODI outings. He currently holds the top spot in both Tests and ODIs for ICC batting rankings. Kohli, as a business person, has also proved his mettle. Among others, he supports brands like Uber, BMW, MRF, Manyavar and Tissot, while One8, a company he co-created with Puma, has already crossed the Rs 100-crore profit mark. His earnings are projected at around Rs 253 crore in 2019
- Akshay Kumar– The star defeated global A-listers such as Rihanna and Bradley Cooper in the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities ‘ Forbes US list this year. With several releases, Akshay Kumar dominated 2019 and sets many records at the box office. His recent release, Housefull 4, became 2019’s sixth-highest grossing Bollywood movie with Rs 278.78 crore’s global gross collection. Kesari and Mission Mangal, his previous releases this year, received Rs 151.87 crore and Rs 192.67 crore respectively. Kumar’s success at this year’s box office is said to be his best career. A significant portion of his revenue is also generated from brand endorsements. He currently endorses over 20 top brands.
- Salman Khan– Salman Khan fell to number three from the top position on the chart. He had only one film release this year, Bharat. His home production Bharat was the sixth Salman Khan film to earn Rs 200 crore (the film at the box office made Rs 325 crore), though Bigg Boss season 13 continued to shore up his earnings by an additional Rs 80 crore. Many brands, including BharatPe and Emami Cooking Oil, continue to support Khan.
- Amitabh Bachchan-With a successful season of Kaun Banega Crorepati, Amitabh Bachchan has advanced higher up the ranks, making it the top five. Amitabh Bachchan at the age of 77 is still known as the angry young man of Bollywood. After having a mixed year at the box office with Thugs of Hindostan and 102 Not Outgoing unnoticed, he is still a moneymaker, but Badla gets applauded. Bachchan hosted the Kaun Banega Crorepati long-running game show Season 11 and continues to gain multiple brand endorsements.
- M.S. Dhoni– Thanks to his brand endorsements, MS Dhoni is steady at No 5. On the 2019 Forbes India Celebrity 100 ranking, the former captain of India maintains his No 5 spot. During 2018, he saw his sales rise from crore Rs 101.77 to crore Rs 135.93 this year. This is no longer playing test matches in spite of him. He enjoys immense success, like Sachin Tendulkar, as a result of which many brands are willing to be associated with him.
- Shahrukh Khan– On the back of a powerful endorsement pipeline, the celebrity climbed to the sixth spot. Without a single release, the superstar had a quiet 2019. His latest release, Zero, turned out to be a damp squib in December 2018. The movie, made on a budget of approximately Rs 200 crore, grossed at the box office around Rs 185 crore. Yet Khan has lined up a few big releases, including Operation Khukri by Ashutosh Gowariker and Don 3 by Farhan Akhtar. Nevertheless, the moderate performance at the box office did not appear to have an impact on the endorsements of Khan. He endorses 14 brands such as ICICI, Byju’s, BigBasket, Tag Heuer, Lux, and Hyundai. This apart, his production house, Red Chillies Entertainment, has been scoring big with Rs 100-crore grosser Badla and Netflix original, Bard of Blood.
- Ranveer Singh– After the success of Gully Boy and numerous brand endorsements, Ranveer Singh leaps one place on the list to No 7. Ranveer Singh started the year on a high as both the critics and the masses acknowledged his success in Gully Boy. The film was selected as the official entrance to the Oscars by India. In his kitty, Singh has 30 brand endorsements and launched a music label named IncInk to support the country’s raw hip-hop artists. He remains popular on social media.
- Alia Bhatt– Because of her massive popularity in social media, Alia Bhatt has moved the ranking from 12 to 8. While her earnings remained nearly the same, Alia Bhatt has pushed her massive social media presence up the list from number 12 to 8. This year, the 26-year-old actor had two releases— the hugely successful Gully Boy, also India’s official Oscar entry, and Kalank, who received a tentative response. She is also the face of a number of brands like Lay’s, Frooti, Uber Eats, and Flipkart.
- Sachin Tendulkar– Owing to the returns on his investments and brand endorsements, the former India captain maintains his No 9 spot. While his profit has seen a slight dip: from the 2018 Rs 80 crore with 17 brands in his kitty to this year’s Rs 76.96 crore. The only cricketer to score 100 international hundreds remains a favorite brand for the ideals he embodies.
- Deepika Padukone– Deepika Padukone, who ran high on Padmaavat’s popularity and became last year’s first woman to break into the top 5, fell to number 10 this year. This year, the actress had no movie releases and her earnings, from Rs 112.8 to Rs 48 crore, came mostly from endorsements — she’s the face of several brands like Tanishq, Tetley Green Tea and L’Oreal Paris, as well as her own fashion brand All About You.
You can access the full list here.