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The real stories that inspire us

The Story of Mrs. Shah

In 2009, our Managing Director Sanjay Gupta was in Surat when he met Mrs. Shah, the wife of a local jeweller.

Mrs. Shah had always secretly harboured an ambition – to be known not just as Mr. Shah’s wife, but as Minal Shah, the jewellery designer. However, tradition and her conservative upbringing meant that she never acted on that ambition. That was until she discovered a show on Star Plus that completely changed her perspective of the role of women. Inspired, she convinced her husband to let her become a partner in the business and design her own range of jewellery. When Sanjay met her, Minal Shah’s designs were the jewellery store’s biggest draw. A television soap opera was the push she needed to go from traditional housewife to unique designer.

“As a leading media network, we believe that the stories we tell have the potential to fire a billion imaginations. Every day, we do our best to create stories that inspire the change we want to see in the world. Every so often we come across a story – like Mrs. Shah’s – which inspires us.”

Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India

We cherish listening to the stories of impact our shows have on its participants and viewers. It reminds us why we’re doing what we do. Our Chairman and CEO Uday Shankar met a kabaddi player who made him realise how the Pro Kabaddi League had changed players’ lives. “It was his first visit to Mumbai, so I asked him what he did on the free day before the event,” remembers Uday. “He said, very innocently, that he’d never seen the insides of such a luxurious hotel. It had a bathtub, fancy beds, television, room service. He told me, ‘I thought I should go and see Mumbai, but instead I just stayed in and experienced the room.’ Take the story of Shimla’s Shipra Khanna. Married at 19, Shipra faced harassment over dowry before being suddenly evicted from her husband’s home and barred from visiting her two children. She began cooking as a way to escape the frustration and misery of a lengthy custody battle, and became a competitor on Season 2 of MasterChef India. At the end of the season, she walked away with the title, a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, and her own cooking show on Star Plus. She’s now a celebrity chef who runs her own restaurant in Ahmedabad.

Shipra Khanna
Saubhagyavati Bhav

Whether it’s the four generations of women from an Indore family who were inspired to take the pallu off their heads after watching ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’, or the parents who realised that they need to be more diligent when finding a husband for their daughter after seeing the grim realities of domestic abuse in 'Saubhagyavati Bhav', every story reinforces our commitment to create content that influences society positively. We believe it’s our responsibility to be an agent of progressive change, to make life better for as many people as possible: a responsibility we take very seriously.

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