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There was a sword hanging over my head: Amitabh
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | October 12, 2003 02:41 IST
Last Updated: October 12, 2003 04:02 IST
It was once called the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited.
On Friday, Big B marked his 61st birthday by announcing the revival of his company, but in a new avatar -- AB Corp.
"It is only my conscience that kept me going," the legendary actor said. "Many businessmen and financial advisers told me that I should give up ABCL and start a new life. But somewhere I felt that I owe people money. People had put faith in ABCL because of my name. Therefore, I could not let it go easily."
"There was a sword hanging on my head all the time. I spent many sleepless nights. One day, I got up early in the morning and went directly to Yash Chopraji and told him that I was bankrupt. I had no films. My house and a small property in New Delhi were attached. Yashji listened coolly and then offered me a role in his film Mohabattein," Bachchan told an attentive gathering at Mumbai's Intercontinental The Grand Hotel.
"I then started doing commercials, television and films. And I am happy to say today that I have repaid my entire debt of Rs 90 crore and am starting afresh," Bachchan said.
The function began with the announcement of his new film Ranveer with son Abhishek Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt. The film will be directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and will be completed by mid-2004. The film will be jointly produced by DMS films along with AB Corp.
The celebrities who attended the function were Anil Ambani, Adi Godrej, Dharamendra -- long time friend of Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Govinda, Sanjay Dutt, Yash Chopra, Prakash Mehra and Samajwadi Party general secretary, Amar Singh.
Bachchan was full of praise for Amar Singh and told the audience that when he was in deep trouble Amar Singh was his strength.
"I am very fortunate that I have a younger brother like him. He gave his hand to me in that trouble and introduced me to the Managing Worker of Sahara Group Subarta Roy and industrialist Anil Ambani. They joined hands not to put money, but they gave me moral support and strength," Bachchan told the audience.
Speaking about AB Corp, Bachchan said, "We want to go for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). We have completed all the modalities and we plan to list the company in three to four months as the markets are also doing well."
Bachchan, however, refused to disclose the issue price of his company. He also did not reveal on how much money he planned to raise from the market.
"We are working on all these details. We will be able to announce by December on these issues. At that time we may also announce two more films for AB Corp," he said.
Asked if this was his second innings, Bachchan said, "You cannot say this is my second innings. I will say that I have got a chance to prove myself again. Hum log chaans bhi phook phook kar piyenge abhi."
"I have learnt to learn from my mistakes. We had gone through bad phase and we accept our failure. Now we want to start fresh," he said.
Asked about mistakes, he said, "There is no point in going into those details now. This time I will be careful to keep financial accountability. At board level we will have a committee and we will not take any individual decision. We had 200 employees at ABCL earlier and now we have only two people."
"This is a very small step I am taking now. Jo hogaya so hogaya. I am only keeping in my mind that I should not repeat my past mistakes now," he added.