First, a statutory warning: This special edition won't give you an inside track on the secret lives of India's best known celebrities or the shallow entertainment derived from the wall-to-wall coverage of page three parties.
Instead, at its core, this Celebrity 100 special edition is about decoding what lies behind the success of India's biggest creative entrepreneurs.
As someone once said, a celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognised. Yet, tucked away under that grease paint and the cricket helmet is an incredibly fertile mind that is able to intuitively read consumer aspirations and tastes better than any market researcher. The trouble is that we seldom tune in to listen to their innermost motivations, the often piquant twists and turns of their career-and not to forget, the disruptive thinking that goes into their biggest creative bets.
In these pages, you'll come face-to-face with the biggest and the brightest of the lot. Like the man on our cover. My colleagues spent nearly nine hours camping inside Mannat, the mansion that houses India's biggest showman. It was a long wait, but once Shah Rukh Khan decided he wanted to share his biggest entrepreneurial dreams with Forbes India, he cast aside his minders and kept going till almost midnight. Even his peers and closest friends say they can't fathom the rationale behind the patchwork of businesses that SRK has built in recent years. Our cover story, on page 56, is a must read for insights into the mind of one of the country's biggest creative artistes and his bold attempt at laying the foundations of a business empire that could outlive his years as a matinee idol.
Entrepreneurs like Shah Rukh Khan have their eyes on the long-term opportunity. Today, India doesn't quite have a creative economy that is as big and vibrant as a country of a billion people ought to have. As incomes rise and basic needs get covered, spends on entertainment will sky-rocket, as we've seen with IPL cricket. The interplay of technology and new forms of creativity will completely transform the entertainment space over the next decade. It will be one helluva journey!
As this market-based creative economy takes shape, we've decided to occupy ring-side seats to bring you all the action. Along with our stories, we're launching the first Celebrity 100 list in India, which combines money and fame, to arrive at a new pecking order of India's biggest entertainers. Watch out for plenty of surprises when you glance through the rankings on page 38.
Don't wait even a moment. Come, dive into this magical world!