Just after the conviction, Salman Khan’s defence pleaded for a lower sentence citing the work done through Being Human-The Salman Khan Foundation in education and healthcare. Counsel Shrikant Shivade said while people usually do community service after conviction, Salman has been doing that “since 2007 and has disbursed Rs 42 crore in the last 3 years” through the foundation.
One of the sources of Being Human’s funding is sale of apparel, for which it has a tie-up with Mandhana Industries Ltd. Shares of Mandhana fell after the verdict — 4.74 per cent at one point. Though this seem to suggest investors felt negative publicity would hit sales, this came on a day when the larger market too fell and Mandhana’s crash might have been part of it.
Being Human apparel currently accounts for 10 per cent of Mandhana’s global sales, and the latter expects a sales growth of 50-60 per cent year-on-year. For the nine months ended December, Mandhana’s sales grew 12 per cent from a year earlier to Rs 1,204 crore; its net profit rose 89 per cent to Rs 63 crore. In 2014-15, Being Human apparel brought in Rs 170 crore, up 29.7 percent from Rs 131 crore a year earlier, a company spokesperson said in an email response.
Brand consultants feel the conviction can potentially harm the brand. “Any big business can sustain controversies but in this particular case criminality is involved. And this can destroy Khan’s apparel business,” said a consultant who do not wish to be named.
Harish Bijoor, chief executive of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, said the conviction is a negative judgment against “brand Salman”. “His integrity is being questioned and in such cases brands usually pull out,” Bijoor said.
Mandhana Industries is optimistic. “The goal of Being Human is much more than just being a popular brand. Salman has made it very clear that the philantrophic work through Being Human will continue with or without him,” said Manish Mandhana, managing director. “As of now, I don’t see any immediate impact on our sales. Our business has grown by leaps and bounds in the last three years and will continue to grow.”
(Also read: The ‘human’ side of Salman Khan)
In 2011, Mandhana Industries signed a deal with Salman for a nine-year commercial licence for Being Human. The company paid him Rs 1.5 crore, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies. Under the agreement, the company pays the foundation royalty less than 5 per cent on sales of Being Human apparel. In November 2014, Mandhana de-merged retail into a separate company, Mandhana Retail Ventures Ltd.
The other partners of Being Human Foundation, according to its website, are Akshara High School, Aseema Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd, Fortis Foundation, Maaya Foundation, Marrow Donor Registry India, Suzuki Motorcycle and The Max Foundation.
According to Mandhana’s 2013-14 annual report, there are 17 company-owned Being Human stores, six franchised outlets, 99 store-in-stores, 60 distributors that feature the brand and 100 international outlets that sell Being Human apparel.