Subhash Ghai was born on 24th January 1945 in Punjab. After completing his graduation, he moved to Pune and enrolled himself in the Film and Television Institute of India. After attaining a diploma, he started working in the Indian film industry in 1970.
Subhash Ghai got his directorial break with ‘Kalicharan’ in 1976. He got the film on the recommendation of his friend Shatrughan Sinha, who also starred in the film. The movie went on to become a superhit. Kalicharan was followed by ‘Vishwanath’ and ‘Gautam Govinda’. In 1978 Ghai formed his production company ‘Mukta Arts’. The first film made under this banner was Karz, a musical thriller based on reincarnation, which went on to become a big hit. In 1982, Ghai directed the star studded ‘Vidhaata’ which brought together big names like Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar. The movie is regarded as one of the classics of Hindi cinema. Mukta Arts kept going stronger with every release. Its next film, ‘Hero’ which launched Jackie Shroff was also a success. This was followed by ‘Meri Jung’ with saw Anil Kapoor in the lead. Ghai never looked back and went on to make blockbuster after blockbuster, winning accolades from the public as well as critics. Various media establishments showered him with titles like ‘Showman’ and Dream Merchant’.
Ghai has written and directed 16 motion pictures out of which 13 have been declared as the biggest blockbusters of its time. In the 80s Subash Ghai was at the peak of his career and the 1986 movie ‘Karma’ went on to become a cult film. The film had stalwarts like Dilip Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor in the leads with Anupam Kher as the villain. The then President of India honoured Ghai with a national award for the film. The successful journey continued with films like ‘Ram Lakhan’, ‘Saudagar’, ‘Khalnayak’, ‘Pardes’ and ‘Taal’. Pardes and Taal targeted the Non Resident Indians and featured in the Hollywood top twenty for various weeks. In 2000, Subhash Ghai’s company Mukta Arts Pvt Limited went Public listed on Bombay Stock Exchange. However Ghai’s cinemas started failing in the new millennium. In 2001, he made ‘Yaadien’ with Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor, the movie failed at the box-office and so did his next release ‘Kisna’, which was a bigger flop. He has since then turned producer and has had success with producing box office hits such as Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, Iqbal, Aitraaz (2004), 36 China Town (2006) and Apna Sapna Money Money (2006).
Subhash Ghai received the national award for Karma in 1986. In 2007, he was conferred a National Award as producer for the film ‘Iqbal’ which won the Best Film on Social Issues. Ghai is the chairman and managing director of Mukta Arts Ltd., which is the first corporate film company in bollywood. He is involved in various social activities. Ghai is on the executive committee of the Producers Guild of India and a member of United Producers forum. Ghai has launched his Film Academy-‘Whistling Woods’. It is an institute for Film, Television, Animation and Media Arts and Ghai has been overseeing the setup, academic staffing and smooth functioning of this first-ever privately setup world-class media institute in India. Recently, he introduced Anurag Sinha in a leading role in his film ‘Black and White’. It dit not get much commercial success.
Ghai has given Bollywood many of its best known faces. He introduced many new talents and groomed them into stars. List of his protégées include Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Jaaved Jaffrey, Saroj Khan, Manisha Koirala, Mahima Chaudhary, Isha Shravani, Antonia Bernath, Shreyas Talpade and more. He has also introduced many technicians and contributed to the development of Cinema. Subhash Ghai is superstitious about the alphabet ‘M’ and has worked mainly with actresses whose names start with that alphabet, like Meenakshi, Madhuri, Manisha and Mahima.