Known for his Bollywood movies which rake in hundreds of crores, his tussle with the law and fellow stars, Salman Khan is also known for his softer, charitable side. His Being Human foundation is a registered charitable trust which works in the areas of education and healthcare for the underprivileged. And apparently, almost all the profits his movies make, and the profits made by his clothing brand ‘Being Human’, are pumped into the charity.
Now, Salman Khan is busy picking investors for his smartphone venture, in which he may take a majority shareholding directly or through his family. The actor has registered the ‘BeingSmart’ trademark for smartphones which will be targeted at the entry level and mid-range segment. He has also selected the Chinese facility where these devices will be manufactured, along with initial devices, which will be based on Android and cost below Rs 20,000. He’s currently building an operational management team to be headed by a professional with leadership stints at Samsung and Micromax. Like the Being Human apparel line, proceeds from the profit BeingSmart generates will be routed back into charity and social work that Salman Khan does with his Being Human Foundation.
The BeingSmart smartphones will initially be sold online and later through strategic partnerships with a few large cellphone and electronic retail chains. They may also be sold in Being Human stores. Salman Khan had floated the idea of entering the smartphone business two years ago. A few Indian brands had then shown interest, but eventually backed out due to the high royalty charges he demanded.
The brand will find many takers no doubts, but folks in our office have already come up with jokes. For instance, they wonder if the Google assistant on BeingSmart phones will talk in a unique accent. Or if maps on the phone will specially highlight places where pedestrians sleep, or where Black Bucks hide. Or if a software on the phone will make all your selfies go shirtless. Whatever it might be, the possibilities are endless.