Mumbai, Aug. 21: Shah Rukh Khan is part of the Jet set, if anyone had any doubt.
The actor has been roped in as additional director of Jet Airways, whose boardroom will now showcase a collection of figures usually brought together on a K-movie set.
Yash Chopra, the filmmaker with whom Shah Rukh has some of his biggest hits, and lyricist Javed Akhtar are already on the board.
Now, if only Karan Johar, who wears his ties with Chopra and Khan like a badge of honour, and Amitabh Bachchan, a must in any frame that includes these four, join them, the family would be complete.
Karan is already a director, and not just of films that have a penchant for Ks. He’s on the board of a company, and so’s Bachchan. (See chart)
But neither is with Jet, the country’s largest airline which has run into one air pocket too many in recent times.
The company announced Shah Rukh’s appointment in a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange today. Rumours of him joining the board had started doing the rounds months ago, in late 2005.
It has also appointed Pierre J. Jeanniot, director general emeritus of the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), as another additional director.
Others on the board include Ali Ghandour, Victoriano P. Dungca, Iftikar M. Kadri, Charles Arthur Adams, P.R.S. (Biki) Oberoi, Aman Mehta, Vijay Kelkar, Sam Pitroda and Saroj K. Datta.
Naresh Goyal is chairman.
Industry watchers say the airline is looking to repair its image that has got a little frayed after the merger with Air Sahara fell through, it reported a loss of Rs 45 crore in the first quarter of 2006-07 and then an employee was arrested in Britain for alleged terrorist links.
Shah Rukh, variously known as King Khan and the Badshah of Bollywood, endorses brands such as Pepsi, Tag Heuer, Hyundai and Compaq. He is also the global brand ambassador for ICICI Bank.
The actor, among the first to go big on endorsements, is said to charge anything between Rs 5 crore and 7 crore for lending his name to a company.
But this is the first time he has joined the board of one. Chopra, whose son Aditya’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge starring Shah Rukh is still running 10 years after it was released, had joined this April. Akhtar, with whose son Farhan the superstar is trying to rework the Don magic, has been on the board since March 1993.
Is the glitter rubbing off on Jet already' The share price of the company, which had hit its 52-week low on July 18, gained 2.4 per cent today, ending the day at Rs 588.60 against previous closing of Rs 574.80.