Businessman Raj Kundra was recently arrested by the Mumbai Criminal Police in a case involving the creation and publication of pornographic films via apps. Kundra has been described as a key conspirator in the “pornographic video” racketeering after his arrest.
The 45-year-old company was taken into custody until July 23 and was convicted under several articles of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with the case. As the adult film scandal unfolded, Mumbai Police said there was enough evidence against him to prove his involvement.
At the heart of the controversy are WhatsApp chats and a streaming app called “Hot Shots” linked to the businessman. However, this is not the first time that Kundra, husband of actress Shilpa Shetty, has found himself in the midst of a controversy.
RAJ KUNDRA’S BUSINESS EMPIRE
Raj Kundra has gained name, fame and money from several companies involving Pashmina shawls, precious metals, constructions and renewable energy projects. Some of his biggest companies were linked to his keen interest in sports and technology.
He was instrumental in launching an MMA fighting league and a poker game league, according to a report from BusinessToday.in. He even invested in the Best Deal TV home shopping channel. Kundra also has a keen interest in apps. Previously, he had launched the Jaldi Live Stream app which gives individuals a chance to become a celebrity through live streaming.
But his most popular venture was investing for a 12% stake in Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals in 2009 with his wife Shilpa Shetty. Rajasthan Royals (RR) had won the inaugural year of the IPL in 2008.
Things, however, took an unexpected turn for RR in 2013 when it was discovered he was involved in a spot-fixing scandal. Kundra was questioned by Delhi police following charges against him for betting on cricket matches.
PARTICIPATION IN RAJASTHAN ROYALS AND OTHER SPORTS COMPANIES
During the investigation, Raj Kundra admitted that he had placed bets on cricket matches, claiming that he had bet through a bookmaker and his business partner, Umesh Goenka. However, Kundra claimed he did not fix any matches.
In 2015, a Supreme Court panel banned the Rajasthan Royals from participating in the IPL for two years and Kundra was banned for life from the IPL and related activities. However, Kundra had already started another similar business by this time.
This time a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league which he formed with actor Sanjay Dutt in 2012. The Super Fight League aimed to give MMA a platform in India by promoting local fighters and by bringing in suitors from all over the world. Mary Kom has been named brand ambassador for the MMA league.
It can be noted that the league then produced around fifty live television events, which were broadcast on channels such as ESPN, Star Sports, Colors, Neo Prime, MTV India and YouTube.
Raj Kundra has invested in another similar business known as Match India Poker League or MatchIPL. His company Viaan Industries launched the league in partnership with the International Poker Federation in 2017.
Viaan Industries is involved in games, animation, licensing as well as entertainment. “Our vision is to drive a lifestyle change for the masses through technological offerings. Our unique business offerings allow stakeholders, distributors and customers to be a part of India’s growth story, ”the company says.
Raj Kundra had also launched Best Deal TV, a 24/7 teleshopping channel. Actor Akshay Kumar also owns a small stake in the channel. The Best Deal TV was launched in 2015 and is available as a free channel on all major cable and DTH platforms.
The TV platform provides space for brands that a celebrity is associated with as co-partners or owners. It can be noted that the chain sold a range of clothing and accessories under the brands promoted by Shilpa Shetty.
One of the most successful companies that Raj Kundra has been involved in is JL Stream Private Limited, which was established as part of the government’s Startup India initiative. The Jaldi Live Stream app allows professionals and amateurs to demonstrate their talent through live streaming. The company is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in London and Singapore.
In addition to investing in several business ventures, Kundra is also involved in the NGO Shilpa Shetty Foundation and is a published author. His book “How Not To Make Money” was released in 2013.