Entrepreneurship lessons from the movie Guru
During the summers of 2010 in BITS Pilani, I was asked to take a session on ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ for students of Class 7th to Class 10th. I spoke to a few friends, read some content on internet and started working on presentation. While I thought of focusing on 3 stories — one on innovation, one entrepreneurship and one on social entrepreneurship, I soon realized that the students need something more intuitive. Something they could immediately connect to, and if possible, something they have already come across. So, came the scenes of ‘Guru’ in my mind and immediately included it in my presentation.
6 years down the line, I still believe that the movie has some of the best lessons of entrepreneurship which one can learn from. Here’s a humble attempt to bring out a few of them:
1. Talent cannot be concealed by age : Early in his childhood only, Guru along with hie friend/partner got into the business of making money by selling pakodas and kachodi. He sensed and opportunity to make profits and started right away.
2. Self confidence backs you the most when you’re making tough decisions : There were multiple instances in the movie when Guru decided to go with his confidence rather than what the world told him to do. Firstly, when he decided to leave Turkey to get back to India to start his own venture. Secondly, when he decided to take on Arzaan contractor. Next when Guru decided to fight against the IAS officer for discontinuing the market operations. There were many more instances.
3. When partners are misaligned, then their relevance in the context of company is lost and their departure doesn’t impact the firm : Jignesh couldn’t understand the business much and was always scared to take risks. When he finally spoke about it and warned Guru, to be followed by his departure(willful), nothing changed in the company and its growth was on track.
4. If you know your real value then nobody can make you an offer you can’t refuse : When the big businessman tries to acquire Shakti corporation at any wishful price from Guru, he not only refused to take it, but went ahead and destroyed the people dreaming of this deal.
5. Entrepreneur’s biggest strength is his/her courage: And even after taking away everything, one cannot part an entrepreneur with the courage.
6. Entrepreneur has to be motivating speaker: If there weren’t so many speeches of Guru to his shareholders and team, they wouldn’t have supported him when he needed them in crucial phase of his life.
7. A positive attitude can solve many issues: Remember how Guru mentioned to the merchant in the market that he’ll not only sell beside him but will shut down others’ businesses too. And when he took the golf ball of Arzan Contractor to the hole from his hands. Or when he meets Swatantra Samachar reporter(Madhavan). He was smiling and positive all the time. and never attacked anyone.
8. Wait for the right moment : Guru didn’t speak in the hearing till the last moment. And when his share holders, his supporters and the public was there, he said it all. Because he knew that this will add weightage to his points.
Can you think of other movies with similar inspirations?