The entrepreneurship bug can bite you when you are just out of college. We see many examples all around us today, specially with start-ups being the flavor of te season.
Here, I am talking about a Bollywood film – Band Baaja Baarat. Bollywood films have been accused of largely being built around stereotypes, where characters, situations and plots are generally driven by stereotypical ideologies. But, one must not generalize, for Bollywood has indeed earned its claim to fame today!
Band Baaja Baarat’s storyline revolves around a girl and a boy, two fresh college graduates who don’t really know each other. They team up to start a wedding planning business. Although the film’s foreground is a love story, the struggles and delusions a startup faces are shown beautifully in the narrative.
Shruti and Bittoo become partners in their very own “Wedding planning ka bijness” in Delhi and in the process discover friendship, love and one another too. So, they start a successful wedding planners’ “binness” – after they finish college. This seems like a good move, no doubt. In the background you have the typical Dilli culture that is always trying to be one up on one’s neighbour, teeming with wannabes angling for the largest house, the most fancy car, people who thrive on spilling money at weddings, with the sole motive to show off personal wealth to the world!
The leading couple makes for an intelligent tag team. But, let’s focus on the heroine – the girl who aspires to be a successful businesswoman, without the trappings of a high-end lifestyle. In this film, the perennial question comes up in the life of Delhi-girl Shruti Kakkar, played by Anushka Sharma. This is when parents ask her to get married, and she, in turn, asks them to give her five years to set her ‘dream’ wedding planning business rolling. She is superbly confident. Her professional ambitions don’t interfere with her conservative personal dreams (kids, marriage, parents’ happiness). She belongs to the typical Punjabi family of Kakkars from one of capital’s old-world middle-class housing colonies. Having planned on exactly how her business would be, she decides to first go to an established planner to learn the ropes, before testing the waters herself. But Shruti and her partner Bittoo Sharma (Ranveer Singh) kick off their own business – Shaadi Mubarak, after she gets put off by the unethical ways of the former. The film shows how they start small and work their way up to the big league. She is the ultimate entrepreneur, put simply. Shruti is not modelled on the stereotype of the bitchy career-oriented woman; instead she is shown brimming with life, energy and love. She is the ultimate image of a woman entrepreneur, who is hellbent on learning the ropes and succeed in her own business!
Delhi is the city portrayed here, and as we have seen, it has inspired many Bollywood films. The dialogues are in colloquial Hindi, ‘slanguage’ more common to the north. The counterpart of Shruti, is the hero – Bunty, played by Ranvir Singh.
The underlying message here is – stay professional, at all times, no matter what the personal relations may be. They do start a successful wedding planners’ “binness” right and they pull off huge weddings, profit from people’s vanities, but the learning here is – stay professional with each other, and truly enjoy your work.
But, one mistake they make here, is when they try to mix pleasure (“pyar”) with business (“vyapaar), for that’s when the story takes a turn. For here there’s a kahani mein twist! But what we see is that the heroine’s focus stays fixed on the technicalities or finer points of the job, and she pursues it tenaciously, determined not to fail in this venture.
The most important message of the film is that entrepreneurs should know how to separate their personal and professional life. The film talks about passion being more important than qualification, and more importantly teaches us to be team players. Knowing one’s customer, business ethics, dreaming big, not bothering about competition, and treating vendors as partners are some other important lessons entrepreneurs can learn from this film.