Rise & fall of Powerstar

Last Updated : 14 September 2013, 14:34 IST
Last Updated : 14 September 2013, 14:34 IST

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Even Rajinikanth had to patiently wait for years to get tagged as the ‘Superstar’. But Srinivasan, or Powerstar as he is known across Tamil Nadu, didn’t even wait for a day.

Right from his first film, he is being ‘hailed’ as Powerstar, for he didn’t expect anyone to sobriquet him. Instead, he himself did it. And his marketing techniques (which deserve a case study in top B-schools) took him to stardom in a matter of months, and he became the talk of the industry in no time. But his fall was as fast as his rise, since the doctor(?)-turned-actor is now cooling his heels in a prison.

A graduate from Madurai, Srinivasan is said to have obtained ‘doctorate’ in acupuncture from a university in China. After practising for some time in the temple town, he, along with his (first) wife, came to Chennai in search of better prospects. Srinivasan reportedly set up shop at a busy area in the metropolis, and started advertising himself as one-stop solution provider for all ailments. But lack of patronage forced Srinivasan to venture into multilevel marketing.

Business tactics

It is said Srinivasan, along with his accomplices, started making quick money in multilevel marketing as his ‘innovative ways’ made people invest money in his schemes. By this time, he had reportedly married another woman, and of course, this time too, it was a love marriage. As more and more people invested with Srinivasan, he found it tough to give them the assured returns. Following this, complaints and cases were filed against him, but somehow he managed to escape from trouble.

Aprt from his marketing strategies, Srinivasan would also provide loan to businessmen who were in urgent need of money, claiming that he would fulfill their demand within days through (bank) loans, but they had to give him a percentage of the amount sanctioned. It is said Srinivasan had an arrangement with some loan agents and through them he achieved what he wanted. But soon, he found himself in soup, as he could not honour his promise to some entrepreneurs, after taking money from them. Again, complaints were made to the police, but Srinivasan managed to stay out of prison.

Politics & cinema

Srinivasan always had the dream of becoming a popular figure. For that, the means he chose were politics and cinema. He also firmly believed that becoming a film star would make him influential and powerful. Even as he joined a political party, Srinivasan ventured into cinema. He started making guest appearances in films such as Unakaga Oru Kavithai, Mandapam and Neethana Avan. But Srinivasan wanted to make it big and hence, he started producing a string of movies and played the lead roles in them.

Srinivasan sobriqueted himself as Powerstar and ensured that his heroic venture Latika (the film was named after his daughter) ran 100 days. In fact, he hired a cinema hall in North Chennai to make the film touch the 100-day mark. Soon, Powerstar became the talk of the town, and he celebrated the success of Latika at a grand function, which was packed by ‘hired fans’. Even as he aggressively marketed himself, his videos started storming YouTube. Since our ‘hero’ is ‘zero’ in acting, his emotions and reactions made people from across the world watch his clippings in awe. By this time, he was in no need of ‘hired fans’, as many became real fans of his funny ways.

Srinivasan’s USP was that he encouraged people to treat him like a joker, with all seriousness. And it worked well. At one point of time, his popularity was so high that Google searches claimed Srinivasan as the only Powerstar, by pushing down Pawan Kalyan and Puneet Rajkumar, top South Indian actors, who also share the same title.

Ace Kollywood comedian Santhanam booked Srinivasan to play one of the leads in his maiden production venture Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya, and the film became a runaway hit, just because of Powerstar. After this, producers and directors wanted him to act in their films, at least in one song or a scene. And top filmmaker Shankar is no exception, as he signed Powerstar to be part of his upcoming film I.

However, when all was going well, trouble started brewing again, as a string of complaints were made against Srinivasan. Some entrepreneurs alleged that he had cheated them of crores and Powerstar was finally lodged in prison after he was arrested under one such case. But sources close to the actor claim that he would bounce back soon with renewed vigour by successfully settling all the disputes. A string of filmmakers too are eagerly waiting for his release. And so are his fans.

Published 14 September 2013, 14:34 IST

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