7 Important lessons I've learnt about Life & Business from 'Happy New Year'

Pritam Roy24 Oct 2014

Shah Rukh Khan is back again with 'Happy New Year', produced by Red Chillies Entertainment. Here are 7 lessons we can learn about life and business from this entertaining movie, which has generous doses of romance, comedy, action and references to his earlier movies.

Happy New Year is the Big Diwali movie release from Shah Rukh Khan, this year. It has all the ingredients of a masala entertainer and the trappings of a big budget Bollywood movie. Directed by Farah Khan and starring Shah Rukh, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani and Vivaan Shah, the film also offers some invaluable lessons in life & entrepreneurship.

1. Everyone can win

The movie’s trailer started with the line that, there are 2 kinds of people in this World, ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. And, life gives every loser an opportunity to become a winner. This basically means that everyone can win. There are no permanent losers in life. If you haven’t succeeded in something in life or so far in life, doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful in the future. All the characters in the movie were considered as failures in their regular avatar, till they come together as a team and succeed. And, if they could succeed, so can you!

2. Timing is crucial for a venture

Shah Rukh started working on his plan, 8yrs after his father was wrongly convicted and jailed. He waited for the right opportunity to strike back at Jackie Shroff who had duped his father, leading to his conviction. There are many examples of products not succeeding as the market wasn’t ready in terms of consumer demand or ecosystem or even necessary infrastructure to fuel demand. Similarly, if you’re a late entrant to the market, where there are already a few established players, success is difficult to achieve. The right time to attack a competitor could be, when you can inflict maximum damage or the competitor could be spread too thin or busy with other things to think about your plans.

3. Motivation is important for success

While forming a team, motivation plays a very important role. So, if you’re looking for co-founders, it’s important to look for people who’re motivated to join. It’s important to note, that people may have different motivation to join. While Boman came on board, because of his friendship with Anupam Kher, Abhishek joined to pay for his mother’s treatment and Deepika joined to get out of her bar-dancer life and start a dance school for young girls, thereby earning respect in the society. Entrepreneurship involves a high degree of risk. So, it’s important to look for team members, who have the right reasons to join to avoid early desertions and disappointments.

4. Respect is a crucial adhesive in team formation

Every team member brings different skill sets to the team. For a team to operate smoothly and ensure success, it’s important to acknowledge, that in a team, no role is less important than another. Also, a team member’s current role is more important than what s/he was doing earlier. We find Shah Rukh not giving enough importance to Deepika’s role because of her earlier avatar as a bar dancer or not taking Abhishek seriously for being an illiterate fool, who was a laughing stock as a drunkard, too. In founding teams, often few roles are given more importance than others during a product lifecycle. It’s important to give respect, where it’s due and take everyone along.

5. You need to have an exit plan

Shah Rukh makes a very elaborate and well thought out plan to carry out his mission. However, there are no assurances in life. He also needs to think of Plan B if plan A doesn’t work out. And, if there’s an unassailable risk in the project, you need to have an exit plan. Similarly, in business, one needs to have back-up plans and an exit plan ready. Exit plan is not only for contingency planning, but also important to take your venture to a logical conclusion. For Shah Rukh, it meant getting the diamonds and all team members safely out of the country and harm’s way.

6. Keep everyone in the loop

As we observe, Shah Rukh considered a few of his team members as unequals and didn’t keep Deepika in the loop about the entire plan. At first, he kept Deepika in the dark about their real plan. Later, when Deepika accidentally came to know about their plan, he shared only parts of his plan. Trust and effective communication are important for a team’s success and a team may fall apart, if some key team members are not informed about a plan in its entirety. For a venture to succeed, it’s important to have all key team members on the same plane and not in the dark about parts of it. Selective dissemination and sharing of information and more so, by the team leader, may lead to mistrust, wrong moves, and eventually cause failure.

7. Kismat badi sahi cheez hoti hai

Throughout the movie, we hear ‘Kismat badi kutti cheez hoti. Kabhi bhi palat sakti.’ This implies fate plays a very important role in our lives. Only in the end, we hear ‘Kismat badi sahi cheez hoti hai. Agar irado mein dum ho, toh saali palat hi jaati hai.’ Only in entirety, we discover the full meaning. While we can blame fate / luck / destiny for the upheavals in our lives, with strong conviction, purpose and determination, it’s possible to turn fate on its head and achieve success. Like Shah Rukh and his Indiawaale team, any self respecting entrepreneur will attest to the fact, that our future is in our hands and as a matter of fact, our hands, only.

So, these are a few of the things I learnt from Happy New Year. What about you?

Tags: Happy New YearShah Rukh KhanDeepika PadukoneOpinionFeature

Pritam Roy is a movie lover. Pritam likes watching all kinds of movies: the good ones, the average ones and bad ones. He likes discovering trivia and especially bloopers in movies. He is an ardent believer in movies as a powerful tool to influence people. Pritam also believes, there are some lessons in life and business that can be learnt from all kinds of movies.

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