OMG - Oh My God! is a film that taught us several important lessons about God, religion and the whole concept of showing our love to Him / Her. Here are 7 additional lessons that the movie taught us, in terms of life and business.
OMG – Oh My God! is a story of a man, Kanjibhai (Paresh Rawal) challenging God in the court of Law and ultimately discovers faith with a little help from Lord Krishna (Akshay Kumar). Critics and the audience have applauded the bold theme, deft handling of a sensitive subject and Paresh Rawal’s performance. Beyond the obvious lessons about established religious practices, blind faith and humanity in general, there are some other learnings from the movie, which can be applied in life and business.
1. First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win
When Kanjibhai went to Court, after he failed to claim money from the Insurance Company, the Insurance Company and the hired opposition lawyer tried to ignore him and ridiculed him for not reading the fine print in the documents and for filing a bogus case and thereby, wasting valuable time of the Court. After they failed to dissuade Kanjibhai from pursuing the matter, they fired all available ammunitions at him and tried to crush him. But, Kanjibhai stayed on course and finally emerged as the winner. If you attempt anything daring, be ready to be treated in the same way. The world will resist change, and especially, established conventions with all its might. But, if you persist and persevere, and your intentions are noble, and follow Gandhiji’s words (in this lesson) there is a pretty good chance, you will be having the last laugh.
2. Advisors can show you the direction, the journey is yours
When Lord Krishna rescued Kanjibhai from the goons on his bike, and after some daredevil stunts, rode him to safety, Kanjibhai asked him to drop him to his home, which was nearby. But Lord Krishna told him that his task is to show him the direction and not complete the journey. The journey is personal and each one of has to embark on our own journey. Similarly, in life and business, advisors and mentors can guide us and show us the direction or path to take, but, ultimately, we have to undertake the journey with all enthusiasm. The decision to make choices and live our lives should be entirely our own, which helps us in enjoying the journey and ultimately leads to a satisfying life.
3. Knowing your customer helps you sell
Kanjibhai was a great salesman and we are not making a comment about morality and ethics here. We see Kanjibhai in action, trying to sell a figurine as antique to a customer in his shop. But, when he is not able to close the deal, he looks outside to find that the customer had come in a car with Rajasthan number plate and had ‘Om Sai Ram’ sticker on his car, giving away valuable details about him. He quickly adds an anecdote about the prospective owner of the figurine with this newly discovered information and sells the statue. Whether, you are trying to sell an idea to an investor or a product in the market, it’s very important to do proper research about your prospective investor or the target group, so that valuable resources (time and money) are not wasted in making pitches to the wrong audience. And, knowing more about the person sitting across the table and weaving a story or anecdote in the sales pitch, which gives it a personal touch can often be that elusive clincher.
4. Address customer pain point(s): Start with yourself
When Kanjibhai decided to file a case against God, he thought he was alone. But, soon he realized that there are many others who are similarly aggrieved; they joined him in the battle, thus clearly swaying public sentiments. If you are looking at starting something, look inwards and try to find out ways, in which you can solve some of your own problems. When Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith, were working on a web-based database, they realized the potential of a web–based email system to communicate, as they were working at different companies and thus came up with the idea of Hotmail. Even, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook to connect students at Harvard University, which came from a personal need. Closer home, Phanindra Sama thought about starting Redbus, when he couldn’t get bus tickets to travel to his hometown during Diwali. The greatest impact is made from addressing pain points, which are genuinely experienced in real life by many others. Of course, it can’t be some personal quirk or idiosyncrasy and the addressable market has to be large.
5. Communicate well: media is a powerful ally
When Kanjibhai was losing the plot and the case was tilting in favour of the Opposition, he realized that the latter have been communicating with various stakeholders regarding their position and have been able to attract a sizeable number of followers, who were fanning the cause in their favour. So, Kanjibhai decided to give them a taste of their own medicine and went to the media with his side of story, and with his logic and emotional appeal, was able to appeal to a different set of people. Whether, it’s in the office corridors or in the marketplace, there’s no better way to spread the word, be heard and get followers, than communicating your views clearly or talking about your product / company as much as you can. With the growth of social media, it has become even more important to communicate well and give a clear message, and try to get an endorsement from various stakeholders.
6. Read legal documents carefully
Kanjibhai’s troubles started from NOT reading the documents from his Insurance Company and blindly signing them. We all have to sign documents at various stages of our lives. It could be as simple as an employment contract, or a house loan or car loan or something as important as a term sheet for an entrepreneur, when s/he decides to raise money from Investors. It’s important to read the fine print, about clauses, which may restrict your salaries or options, if you decide to quit early in an Employment Contract. In a loan, it could involve pre-payment penalty clauses or discovering that the fixed interest rate is not so fixed after all. In a term sheet, it could be important matter related to the fine distinction between pre-money and post-money valuation or investors’ rights such as tag along rights, or vesting plans or, even anti-dilution provisions or liquidation preferences. So, next time, you get a long set of documents, don’t be in a hurry to put your signature at the end and the initials on the page. Taking some time to read and understand the document will be a good idea. It’s true that many times you can’t change the terms in the agreement; but, being more aware of what you are getting into, may definitely be a wiser option.
7. Impossible is nothing
When Kanjibhai decided to file a case against God in the Courts of Law, everyone thought he has gone crazy, and that it’s clearly a case of attempting the unachievable. The idea itself was considered so outrageous and unthinkable, that no one gave him a chance. Also, it was clearly seen as a case of biting off more than one can chew. However, Kanjibhai was driven by the goal and pursued with dogged determination and focus on the end result and never considered failure as an option. Ultimately, he was vindicated. It also showed that it takes one determined person who can bring about change. Think of one thing which you would like to change in your community, college, work place or in the society, and then get cracking with all the enthusiasm and see for yourself - it’s not an impossible task, after all!
I strongly feel that a movie, bad or good, is a great visual tool for learning several aspects of life. Savor them!
So, these are a few of the things I learnt from my OMG: Oh My God! outing. What about you?
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