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Shahrukh starts his own portal.

Shah Rukh Khan has started his own website and everyone wants to know whyÖ

Shah Rukh Khan held a huge press conference at the Taj Hotel, Mumbai announcing the official launch of his site. Khan has come out of hiding to make this portal, which is designed to be the most comprehensive and the most personal one on the Hindi film industry. Shah Rukh had banned the press after Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani did not do too well.

Excerpts from an interview.....

Why a dotcom venture?
Honestly, I would like to state that I donít have a conclusive answer. Neither do I have a precise one. And the reason is not because we do not know. The reason is that Internet is such a new entity, that people do not even know the questions, let alone the answers. That has not kept us away from trying to venture into this. The fact is that if we do not have an answer now, it does not mean that it does not exist at all. We are going to give it a shot. Maybe we will not succeed may be we will.


It is like how the first rocket was launched. When the rocket was launched, did we get the answers? It can just bring us closer to the answer. Does it mean that it was a failure? No. I donít think so. We believe that if this website can get closer to the answer it is a success.


Why is it called srkworld? Is it a way to publicise yourself?
No. Not at all. I am not sitting in a sandpit and trying to make sand castles. The website might seem like a venture of an egocentric megalomaniac, but it is not. It should have been ShahRukhKhanworld.com then. I have lent my initials to the site, because my name makes a difference. It is a brand and it sells.


How did you hit upon the idea of a dotcom?
The whole thing came about that I used to surf the Net, even when it wasnít a fashion to do so. I surfed a lot of sites and came across many portals and websites, all official and unofficial, which had a lot about the entertainment industry. People who made these sites were not part of the industry or did not know anything about it. Hence it was important for the website to be different and unique from the rest. It will contain content in text and pictorial form. These are coming from the industry people themselves and thus have a personal touch to it. Like I am writing on my site and Juhi or Anil Kapoor who will have a site within the site will also write. Similarly, I have planned to have people from various departments in the film industry to come and contribute in their own way by being a part of the site and passing on information in the right manner from the industryís point of view.


Who are the people who have tied up with you?
I have Juhi Chawla, Karan Johar, Santosh Sivan, Johnny lever, Rani Mukherjee, Namrata Shirodkar, Sushmita Sen, Kareena Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Rekha at the moment. We will get in more and more people into this soon.


How did you convince them to be a part of it when it is called srkworld?
Everyone has been wary. They have every right to do so. Rekhaji was quite wary. She wanted to know why she should be a part of it. I would have called it rekhaworld also. Anil Kapoor said that he had spent 22 years in the industry and he didnít want his name, to be tarnished. All these apprehensions are valid. I would have thought of it, had I been in their position. I would have thought twice before agreeing to be a part of mrhrithik.com or mrbachchan.com. Then I explained the reasons for the portal and they seem quite convinced. They understood what it is to be united in an egocentric profession. They do understand now that the website is just the URL to attract people to come and see information and entertainment about the Indian film industry.


Do you plan to go public?
Not at the moment. First we want to build the portal on our own steam. We do not want to take money from the public. We are not a fly-by-night operation. That is the reason why we have got Bharatbhai Shah and Kishore Lulla from B4U, one a big man from the film industry and the other who is touted to be the next media baron to be a part of the project. While there is an investment of 1 million dollars, we will also have all the films in the library of Kishore Lulla to be used in the website. Once we set up the portal and become big, we will go public and make the company bigger.


Why Kishore Lulla?
Well he has been in the industry for 25 years. He has been an overseas distributor and he understands films very well too.


What will you have on the site?
We have personal information and pictures of the stars. We have whacky cartoons, downloads, and we also have an online shopping store here selling memorabilia. There is also a lot of information and entertainment available on the site. We are also making some animation films and short interactive films for the site.


What about your films?
I have Ashoka The Great, Devdas and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham on the floors. I have two films coming up for release now, K C Bokadiaís Hum Aapke Hain Sanam with Salman, Madhuri and Atul and One Two Ka Four with Jackie Shroff and Juhi Chawla.


Anything else?
I was the one who started endorsing products in a big way and I am still doing it.

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