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5 Key Secrets of S.S Rajamouli's Moviepreneurship useful for aspiring Entrepreneurs

Learn these 5 Key secrets from S.S Rajamouli's moviepreneurship useful for aspiring Entrepreneurs

Sunday September 11, 2016,

14 min Read

His long beard shows - his solid-commitment to much-awaited and blockbuster movies; His smile gives a quality of being humble; His persistence to work till last-minute is - a school of perfectness; His series of hit movies is - a Learn-Grow approach model; His way of pursuing movie projects reflects - an Institute of Hollywood movies; His movies merchandising model is - a case study to B-schools; His detail to stories is - a pragmatic curriculum model to Film Institutes.

Your guess is right! He is S.S Rajamouli - Baahubali of Indian Film industry, who bagged Best Film and Best Special effects at India's 63rd National Film award for the year 2016; a director of 10 Blockbuster movies in a row; a techno-genius director using more than 4,500 VFX shots in the Baahubali movie creating a benchmark in Indian cinema history; a creator of Baahubali Brand equity rather than a movie itself and Bahubali merchandise comic books, novels, animation and video games.

Also Read: 4 Key Brand Equity lessons - Startups need from the journey of S.S Rajamouli's Baahubali Movie to Baahubali Merchandise

'Movie-Innovator' is the synonym given to his role as a director, who scaled up the standards of Indian regional language movies - to blockbuster Indian film - to screening the movie internationally in - Spain, France, Taipei, Estonia, Paris, Poland, Hawaii, Belgium and Cannes film festivals. From the article "The Best Entrepreneurs Think Globally, Not Just Digitally" by Michael Schrage, it is the thoughts' and traits' of the Great entrepreneurs' that are globalised and attract global attention.

Although, there might be many pages that strike on magnum opus work and records created by S.S Rajamouli, but in this article you'll find a new dimension of S.S Rajamouli's 'Moviepreneurship' and key lessons useful for aspiring Entrepreneurs -Persuasion, Leadership, Personal accountability, goal orientation and interpersonal skills. 


He entered into film industry with no idea in his mind, except to work dedicatedly. Right from his first step he worked in all movie departments - editing, rerecording and so on, he took every offer that came across as a great opportunity and hard worked relentlessly until he was satisfied with the end results. This particular work experience laid a massive platform to work as a serial director and to reach as one of the successful directors in Indian Film Industry.

Indeed, working for more than one department has helped him to know better about technical, managerial, behavioural, non-technical, communication skills required for a film making (product or project).Consequently, he acquired deep understanding about a film's project completely. In fact, it will be a worth of full-time film making practical course gained from a good institute. Also in the due course , he began to nurture his vision for a movie in a better fashion and increase audience experience beyond expectations and enhance the scale of a story matchlessly for every next project he's taking up.

 Robert Kiyosaki - Leadership is what you need to learn next and recommend young people to seek work for what they will learn, more than what they will earn

Secret you want: Never see an opportunity to work for other departments as an hindrance, but, think and work on the task or project with more energy and acquire prolific skills to drive a bigger task in your next job dreaming for. So, be alert, you may be offered such tasks in your 9-5 pm job or current project which may be irrelevant to your aspirations. It is the best formula to accept it and bag in all rich resources and skills you want for your final destination.


For persuasion, innovation speaks more about persuading a project headed by a leader. Rajamouli knows clearly what specifically audience wants on the screen. For example, the story of Baahubali is only a folklore story that we listened and read during our childhood days (chandamama tales) and the story of Makhi (Eega )too relies upon, a tiny-fly-made-chaos and its vengeance . But, what made an exquisite experience to audience is its capability to match audience imagination to a perfect story read during childhood days and then onto the screen. Which means he has fulfilled viewers wild imagination coming in real with techno-intelligence (visual effects). Collectively, he targeted for a 5-star visual recipe that became unusually directed movie in the context of contemporary Indian movie world. Five-star quality doesn't mean an extended dish found at a luxury restaurant which means pricey with no alluring taste, but it is a quality that rewards with outstanding taste and found exclusively at a good restaurant that no other chef is able to replicate the excellence of a recipe.

"The public has an appetite for anything about imagination - anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible" - Steven Speilberg.

In this fashion, Rajamouli drove the entire Baahubali team into his vision with much reliance on his story and other elements or tools that garnished a perfect screening.

Secret you want: Is a strong and crystal clear visionary thoughts to support (persuade) a team and build a sturdy institute to make a project come true. Now, jot down your clear points on your startup's vision. For which, try to find answers for the following possible questions-

What is it for?
What pain points will it solve?
What will it be in few years?
How will it grow in near future?
How are you going to do?
What do you need and want to acquire - key skills, knowledge, research and development?

Definitely, answers to the above questions will help you to map all dots to figure out a perfect startup vision.

Personal accountability:

Another asset of Rajamouli's traits is his assessment of weaknesses and strengths, while working on a film, he always have fixed budget for a movie as a necessary backbone to reach his dream of bringing script to life. He says that he never takes up a project from a producer , who says budget is not the criteria, because he firmly believes and observes if a producer has utmost interest over the subject which implies him to discuss project cost in all terms and fix it appropriately. Also, it said he increases the production cost while directing the subject deeply, at those times he is so accountable that his remuneration wouldn't elevate proportional to the movie's project cost.This personality of him accounts him as a captain of the ship, who hold responsible for the end results. For this, he undertakes utmost commitment before watching a perfect picture onto the screen. So, it took more than three years to build Baahubali subject and watch on silver screen. The huge success and fame gained by such movie is itself a perfect reflection of his accountability towards having control over - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats around the subject.

Secret you want: It is important to be accountable to oneself in several ways - meeting targets, recruiting right talent , producing quality work, tracking your financial budget, assessing your weaknesses and strengths (as a team too), your competition towards your competitors (or peers), society and many more. Also, it is wise to get a team who possess accountability which can be a greatest asset for a team and leader.


He turned up every viewer with spectacular 'awe-inspiration' by moving characters from a book of ancient folklore stories to a silver screen unbelievably. Never a person could imagine the luxurious empires and their premises stretched across countless acres until his movie made a project that glittered the glory of ancient empires and with genius architectural constructions. This completely drew the entire world attention to watch his movie mandatorily and feel the surprise and beauty of Indian dynasties and their warfare , artefacts. From every page of script, he always wanted to watch an outcome which could mirror his crystal clear imagination. This trait of imagination started sprouting up while reading the great epics Ramaayan, Mahabharath and Amar Katha chitra. 

He prepared Bahubali script while he was emerging as a leading director and pursuing Chatrapathi movie (2005), since then he didn't deviate his nature of work or give up the story and think as an impossible attempt in term of - casting, dynasties richness, outstanding wars, technicians, visual effects and marketing 'Baahubali' across nation. This tells about how to gather all resources, knowledge, tools and conduct research and development to seek the goal and hold the core values of the project ( by not killing the authentic subject of a product). Although it takes long years and perfect time management, it is important to have controlled track to set up a platform and to pursue a gigantic project. For this, the movie has undergone pre-production plan before 2 years.

Secret you want: It is important to undertake a good research and development, which is a key part in goal-orientation, before pursuing a project or a venture. After research and development you get a flow ---chart of strengths (e.g- time, opportunities, knowledge, tools, resources, sources) and weaknesses (your competitors and their products, market, change management) to figure out a best plan and a vision to achieve goals. In the whole process you're orienting every action towards targets in short-term calendar and goals in medium-term or long-term period.

Inter-personal skills:

He has the attitude of a common employee who wants to progress in his career and work as a newbie with bunch of pre-requisite skills- communication, listening , attitude and deportment, with every new project he is working . There must be some reason for every team member of his movies who say that they couldn't miss a chance to work with him again and there is the other group who dream and want to pursue as any small project possible. How is it possible to have a "dream-to-work" status with techno-guru movie director and his film projects? The simple answer lies in with his attitude that attracts his team members which makes him as an apex movie director in the Indian movie industry. He says that he never thinks much high or low of himself - a priceless quality to have and practise it in multiple ways. Interpersonal skills are further explained using - Communication, Listening, Attitude and Deportment.

Communication: When you consider communication, it doesn't tell you about proficiency in the language, but it speaks more about self-confidence, politeness, empathy, flexibility and composure. He thrives to communicate with the above abilities in a pattern to make other member to work for him and understand the motive of his project. This trait certainly attracts any team to imagine and work hard for the vision targeted by him, which made him to gather 600 artists work of massive historical movie with 4500 VFX (visual effects) shots in a single movie.

Secret you want: Try to learn the power of communication to motivate and inspire others but not proficiency in a language. It can be learnt from your favourite personality in this world and observing their speeches. Anyone whom you preach had reached an extraordinary position with a better communication and right words they choose to speak with others. Thus, forms as a face of a brand and followed by millions.

Listening : The real meaning of listening is the ability to pay attention and a tool to better a decision making - a key to successful business leaders. Yes, leaders only have the habit to be able to learn and understand what others perspective is and judge their expertise- what they're good at and what they're not. Such skill is qualified as 360 degrees listening, which means listener keenly focus to a speaker's views and knowledge and they even list out what he/she presents and not in a meeting, then questions the speaker to create validation of the subject discussed.

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" --Peter Drucker

A research says that leaders are able to refer to third-party on what they remembered and significant insights by the speakers. S.S Rajamouli might be having a good subject to make a movie and there might be a lot of challenges too, while directing intense scenes and thrived hard to get a better tuned solutions , for which he focused and discussed any small issue to individual experts to unleash more outstanding results, thus creating an implicit learning incubation centre - developing skills and knowledge for entire team .

For example, while making Baahubali movie there were times he got stuck with some work , but he was resolved with the work by seeking his wife advice at critical times. At this juncture, he showed respect and kept quiet for a moment and capable to get a problem solved. There might be hundreds of obstacles faced by the team,but there's an absolute team leader like S.S Rajamouli who listens to his colleagues during downtimes and bring better solutions to not only to tough tasks, but amplify the beauty of whole project.

Secret you want : Learn and grow approach complements a listening skill, which is observed in many leaders traits till today.One can improve or learn listening skill as a key trait by bringing patience to what they learn and pursue , which is important for an Entrepreneur to produce qualitative work . Indeed, it is very much important to gather listening skill (learning aspect) into a decision making that could be from any person irrespective of their age or background or education , which shapes as a better leader to empathise others feelings, knowledge and experience.

Attitude: He says that he knows better about his strengths and weaknesses for which his wife pushes his efforts much higher by turning up his weaknesses into strength.He says that he worked for all departments before he was given an opportunity as a serial director. He took each chance as a learning curve and honed each skill to develop as a leader. If at all he stopped to work for a different project he could have stopped with some skill set (editor, other technician) and work as a any other technical employee for a movie. What he hasn't stopped is to learn and move further to take up new projects with necessary skills learned and become an expert to make a delightful movie. This attitude fits and work for any job he aspired for , because a person with wrong attitude and right skills don't get into a shape as a leader, but ,rather a person with learning attitude as a right attitude can fit with right or wrong skills so he can correct and develop those skills appropriately .

Secret you want: Here, eagerness and hunger to learn new always is a key to be innovative and a strategy to generate brand reputation of a personality. A perfect way to nurture and to be nurtured by a passionate person , irrespective of one's career and aspirations. This is why there are only hundreds of best companies in the world and leaders, who thrive to learn new studies and experiment new models and innovate relentlessly till today and through their businesses.

Simply said, it is - learn to know what others know

Deportment: He says that he keeps his feet grounded enough every time with no juggling towards praises , critics and failures. This tells an implicit deportment of a person's way of leading life. And, explicitly, all the traits mentioned above - Leadership, Persuasion, Personal accountability and Communication do build his state of manners and carry his charm and spread to others contagiously. For example, his ingenuity to make a movie with an upcoming hero accompanying with small budget and that of making a movie with a super star don't make him low or high with no changes in the success of the movies, which seems to be an unusual to many of his peers and movie industry. Until now, he made eight big movies which saw the graph raising, in terms of - story success, box office collections, fame, Rajamouli's movie Brand equity, depth of the stories, visual appearance of movies. Being successful, uninterruptedly, is not a piece of cake which just happens with money, story and expertise to direct a movie, but it's beyond these all building him as what he is today is - by understanding and learning and growing in every way possible and pursuing his passion and to make his imaginations come true with movies with sheer commitment and hard work.

Secret you want: There should be tough training inside from your heart to carry a finest personality and lead others with your charisma. That can be your - discipline to pursue things, hard work till you see exceptional results and finally a right attitude to learn and grow in any given circumstances.