AB Corp is not just about a name change. It is also an attempt
by Bachchan to make a clean break with the troubled past that constituted
the Brand Bachchan firm's earlier avatar ABCL, which went into bankruptcy.
It was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction
(BIFR) and declared sick in 1999. At one time ABCL had 55 court
cases against it. Bachchan has cleared Rs 900 million in debts due
primarily to Prasar Bharti, financial institutions, banks and some
While making his inaugural address, Bachchan said he had three
people in particular to thank for helping him through the tough
times - politician and regular Page 3 socialite Amar Singh (first),
Reliance Industries' Anil Ambani and the Sahara Group's Subrato
Roy. To add to the glitz of the affair, Singh presented Bachchan
with a Bentley as his birthday gift. While expressing his gratitude
to the three, Bachchan was at pains to stress that there was no
funding that had come from either of them as far as clearing his
debt was concerned.
And keeping with the professionally managed persona that AB Corp
is projecting, Leo Entertainment - the specialised arm of advertising
agency Leo Burnett - will be promoting its films.
Head of Leo Entertainment Sanjay Bhutiani has been quoted in the
Hindu Businessline as saying: "We will be developing brand
strategies and advertising for all the forthcoming films produced
by AB Corp."
The latest on AB Corp, meanwhile is that it is in advanced talks
with with AV Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla's Applause
Entertainment for an alliance in feature film production.
According to a report in the Business Standard, the deal,
which is expected to be inked in the next few days, will have the
brand equity that Bachchan and son Abhishek command valued as equity.
Saturday evening was not the time or place to get any answers to
this and any other such questions though (like when Bachchan would
start work on the grand Sahara TV project?). It was your regular
Bollywood "mahurat" party. On a much grander scale of course as
befitted the occasion. And here indiantelevision.com went thinking
there would be a media briefing of some sort. Filmi bashes are not
about such things is one lesson we took away from the Big B's big