Hrithik Roshan, who started his acting career in 2000 with his father Rakesh Roshan’s Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, a blockbuster hit, recently sold the majority stake in his fashion brand HRX to Flipkart-owned Myntra, an online shopping portal. “Myntra believes the strategic acquisition of a majority stake in HRX will help in propelling the brand to the forefront of the active lifestyle-wear segment while also leveraging the strength of HRX’s global digital reach and community,” he says.
With this, the actor, who was recently seen in Ashutosh Gowariker’s epic period drama Mohenjo Daro and is working on his forthcoming film Kaabil, directed by Sanjay Gupta, has some business experience, and money lessons, to share.
Learnings from a business venture
Roshan says building a business is tough, whether you are a celebrity or a serial entrepreneur. “Firstly, you need to clearly define a problem you are trying to solve. Next, ensure you have the right partners. It was important to find experts who know how to launch a fashion-brand business. While my expertise was around the fitness, I needed partners who were experts in brand, business-building, apparel, commercial structuring, and I found that with Afsar Zaidi (managing director of Exceed Entertainment, who has also been managing his work for 10 years) and Sid Shah (chief executive officer of Wild East group, a brand management agency).” You should be open to failure, he says, and be flexible with your plans. “Business is so fluid that you have to take chances and realize that the assumptions you made on Day 1 will be disproven. You have to be agile enough to keep on moving. As long as the overall vision doesn’t change, how you get there is just one of many paths. I can’t tell you how many times we started left, and then had to go right, and vice versa.”
Diversifying his portfolio
Roshan, who started thinking about investment seriously only two years ago, is now looking to invest in new start-ups. “I am looking to collaborate with new start-ups that I believe can be disruptive in spaces that I am passionate about, specifically around fitness, technology, physical therapy, and well-being.” He has spread out his investments in gold, real estate and mutual funds. Roshan, who calls himself a conservative investor, has stayed away from picking and investing in stocks directly. If you invest all your money in one asset class, your investment might collapse if there’s a bad market condition, he says. Distributing your money across various asset classes helps check unexpected risks.
Making goal-oriented investments
When Roshan invests, he always has a goal in mind and clearly lays down his objectives. “(Investing) money to make more money has to have some goal. My focus is not where to invest but the reason to invest. I need to have a goal to work towards.” Any financial planner will tell you that if you have a financial goal, the investing process gets structured. It helps you set your investment horizon, whether it is long-term or short-term, and invest accordingly. Roshan also says that it is important to be self-sufficient and independent. “The moment you are dependent, it just causes a recurring cycle of ups and downs,” he says. He believes money can offer security and experiences (like travel). “Your entire life is about being secure so that you can experience life. Money makes you secure. You have to decide how safe you want to be in life.”
Seek professional help
Since movies keep him busy, Roshan doesn’t micromanage his money. He has a team that handles his financial portfolio. Similarly, if you feel that you don’t have the time to manage your money or don’t have the expertise in handling your investments, you may want to seek professional help. A financial planner can help you build a portfolio, guide you in choosing the right products and work with you towards your financial goal. With the right advice, you will be able to achieve goals effectively.
Don’t forget about enjoyment
He believes that the process of making money can be enjoyable because it is a validation of hard work, security, acknowledgement and a means to experience more than what you already have. “You have your own permutation and combination when it comes to expenses and savings, depending on your lifestyle. In the process of making money, what I have seen is that it becomes like a vicious cycle and money becomes an end in itself. In that you start to lose the true nature of life,” says Roshan.
So, while you save and invest, don’t get stingy. It is important to enjoy and spend on things you want. But make sure you save before you spend.
Name: Hrithik Roshan
Investment philosophy: ‘(Investing) money to make more money has to have some goal. My focus is not where to invest but the reason to invest. I need to have a goal to work towards.’
Investment success: Sold the majority stake in his own brand, HRX, to Myntra in August
Investment interests: Start-ups for growth, gold, real estate and mutual funds for stability
Investment advice: ‘Your entire life is about being secure so that you can experience life. Money makes you secure. You have to decide how safe you want to be in life.’