Book Title: Grand Brand Rajini – Brand Management the Rajinikanth Way
Authors: P C Balasubramanian and Ram N Ramakrishnan
Normally i refrain from reading books which cull out lessons from exceptions. But ‘thalaivar’ is different. I picked the book up only because i am a big (really big) fan of Rajinikanth. I am not a movie buff (i hardly see any) but if i pass by the idiot box and his movie is running, it makes me sit down for a while. That’s his magnetic attraction. Ask the critics and they will tell you a hundred flaws with respect to specifics but no one can dare his ability to provide that wholesome family entertainment. Even the critics admire him – that’s his greatness.
The little book from Rupa Publications talks about the brand called ‘Rajinikanth’ and how he has become what he has. It tracks how the brand was born and how it has become a cult. Interesting anecdotes from the business world are sprinkled through the book. But personally i think more than everything else, his life is a great inspiration for every one of us irrespective of our professional field of activity. There are number of situations where his choices (tough ones) have made a tremendous difference. His respect for his mentors, his co-professionals, his fans, and others makes his journey worthy of emulation. It shows what one human being can do if he pursues what he loves with a strong will and a bit of humanness.
I have a habit of writing down notes for every book i read. When i completed i found that i had a lot to take away on personal development as a human being than on becoming a brand. Here are some of those that i take away strongly from his life:
- Hard work and professional sincerity
- Commitment and Consistency
- Tough choices taken with belief
- Learn and allow to be moulded
- Believe and live a life that way
- Always remain humble and honest
- Deliver what you promise
- Remain rooted to your customers
- ABOVE ALL: Be a good human being
It is a little book written in a casual style, making it easy for a quick read. Rupa Publications has done a wonderful job with the production and pricing of the book! It is easy on the hands, the eyes and the reading. I completed the book on my train journey in a couple of hours.
It seems in hindsight that these (above learning) are what most successful people live during their lives – but the facts at large and Rajini in specific declare loudly that its the exceptions who live them. Though the book talks about how brands can learn from this legend of an actor, i feel the learnings weaved out are a bit stretched. There seem to be a lot more value for individual development than for a firm. Overall an interesting read!