Best Lessons For Entrepreneurs From Rajinikanth’s Movies

Rajinikanth, the Superstar of Indian cinema is world-renowned for his ability to churn out blockbusters. Apart from his obvious charisma and unique style, one of his major success factors and hallmark plotlines in the 90s and 2000s used to be the rise of the protagonist from the depths that life can throw you into. He is the master of making successful rags-to-riches stories. Here’s a look at some of the best lessons for entrepreneurs from his movies through his legendary dialogues.

Padayappa

Probably the best line for entrepreneurs from Rajini comes in this movie. கஷ்டப்படாம எதுவும் கிடைக்காது, கஷ்டப்படாம கிடைக்கிறது என்னிக்கும் நிலைக்காது (English: You don’t gain anything if you don’t work hard. Whatever you get without working hard will also not last long). In this age, entrepreneurs take a lot of shortcuts to gain temporary success. But real long-lasting success is achieved only by working hard and building something that can stay relevant for a longer period of time. The ground work that goes into building a product or a company is what matters the most. And you have to sustain the work once it becomes a success too.

And of course, என் வழி தனி வழி (Charting your own path), though more of a punch line tells fans they should try to be unique in whatever they do.

Muthu

Muthu

The best learning from this movie comes in the form of a line in the opening song, penned by Vairamuthu and sung by the inimitable SPBகையில் கொஞ்சம் காசு இருந்தால் நீ தான் அதற்கு எஜமானன், கழுத்து வரைக்கும் காசு இருந்தால் அது தான் உனக்கு எஜமானன் (English: If you have some money in your hand, you are its boss. If are swimming in neck-level money, money becomes your boss). This rings so true for well-funded startups of this age, who instead of being prudent with investors’ money, burn the cash till their hands start burning.

Though the movie doesn’t feature a rags-to-riches story as such, it imbibes values on how a rich father would want to bring up his children. The father Rajinikanth(Zamindar), after being cheated by his cousin, when he hands over his baby to the cousin’s wife, asks her to groom him as an ordinary man without any whiff of the riches he could possess. By doing so, he ensures the younger Rajini grows as an enterprising young man, and not one who is spoilt by wealth.

Enthiran

Enthiran

Though more of a Shankar movie than a Rajini movie, Enthiran also had a lot to say in terms of how a creator should deal with his creation in the field of AI/Robotics. Chitti the robot, though being a supercomputer in a human form, still wasn’t completely human enough and was prone to errors and malfunctioning in adverse environments. Though Vashi, the creator realises the mistakes don’t get to rectify it on time, and the intelligent AI gets out of control, threatening lives. It is always prudent to develop fail-safe plans and have contingency mechanisms of killing an infected product once it goes out of control.

Baasha

Baasha

The movie which cemented Rajini’s role as the don of Indian cinema, Baasha has great lessons for entrepreneurs throughout. Be it Manickam’s demeanor (honest, humble and hard-working) or Baasha’s approach to being a don (being smart and ahead of the opponents (கொஞ்சம் அங்க பாரு கண்ணா), authoritativeness (நான் ஒரு தடவை சொன்னா 100 தடவை சொன்ன மாதிரி), inspiration (how he manages to string together a group of followers)), Rajini oozes leadership in this movie.

The dialogue கெட்டவங்களுக்கு ஆண்டவன் நெறய கொடுப்பான் ஆனா கை விட்டுடுவான், நல்லவங்கள ஆண்டவன் நெறய சோதிப்பான் ஆனா கை விடமாட்டான் .(God will seem to give a lot to bad people, but will give them up in the end, whereas God will test good people initially, but will not give them up) is a lesson in ethics to all people, not just business owners.

Annamalai

Annamalai

The ultimate Rajini movie when it comes to handling/thwarting competition in business. The movie, loosely based on Jeffrey Archer’sKane and Abel” had some of the most legendary dialogues of Rajini’s and is still a good watch today. Though it tells the tale of revenge, the movie also is a good example of how trust is important when it comes to friends and business partners. A small misunderstanding creeps in between the best of friends when negative forces conspire to cheat them, and this leads to a fallout between them. It is very important to know all facts before making decisions and especially not to make rash decisions in the heat of the moment.

Themes that recur in many Rajini movies are –

  1. Be in the good books of people who matter (Though it may not be always possible in this cut-throat competitive world).
  2. Build a network of people who back you (A leader is nobody without people who can carry out his/her plans).
  3. Social contribution (Even when you are a big businessman, always be involved in charitable acts).
  4. Don’t be greedy. Success comes from good judgement. Once you succeed, don’t let it get to your head and make mistakes that you normally wouldn’t.

Last but not least, to end in Rajni style

pathinaaru vayathinile
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