Selling dreams and more… lessons for entrepreneurs from the Badshah of Bollywood…


It’s no secret that starting a new business can be a daunting task. There are myriad issues a new entrepreneur will encounter: legal, financial, marketing, product development, intellectual property, human resources – the list is endless. And, it may happen that he can get overwhelmed…but, he needs to maintain the balance. There are some attributes that seem to help entrepreneurs to attain success, regardless of age or experience. 

If we look around there are celebs, who have made a clean sweep in investing wisely and starting off as successful entrepreneurs. Take Shahrukh Khan or ‘King Khan’ as he is fondly called.  This Indian film actor, producer and television personality has a significant fan following in Asia and the Indian diaspora worldwide. LA Times titled him “The World’s Biggest Movie-Star”, and Newsweek named him one of the top fifty powerful and influential people.

As a businessman, Shah Rukh Khan is owner of his production house Red Chillies Entertainment, co-owner of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and has also invested in Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel T20 cricket team of the Caribbean Premier League. What are the real world lessons we can learn from him?

Here are six lessons:

  • Pick a great name for your business

First and foremost, finding the right name for your startup is important. Plus it can have a significant impact on your success. The wrong name could result in insurmountable legal and business hurdles. Red Chillies is certainly catchy, and has recall value; so did Shah Rukh’s first venture – Dreamz Unlimited.

Passion rules

“I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people,” said Shah Rukh Khan in his famously inspirational TED talk. We detect passion here. Passion is the most important trait of the successful entrepreneur, who genuinely love work. The deeper the passion, the greater will be the chances of getting goals achieved and SRK knows it too well. Developing a six-pack abs in his 40s for Dard-E-Disco in Om Shanti Om is really something, to which can be attributed his driving passion!

All entrepreneurs have a passionate desire to do things better and to improve their products or service. They are constantly looking for ways to improve. They’re creative, innovative and resourceful – take the case of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

  • Motivate the team

The entrepreneur has strong communication skills to market the product and motivate employees. A successful entrepreneur knows how to motivate the employees so that it has an impact on the business growth; and he will always be looking for ways to improve the business.  Successful entrepreneurs want to see what the view is like at the top. They know how to encourage their employees, so that their business takes off, as a result.

The fact that love triumphs all is clearly visible in the life and times of the Badshah of Bollywood. “I have realised that whatever moves you, whatever urges you to create, to build, whatever keeps you from failing, whatever helps you survive, is perhaps the oldest, and simplest emotion known to mankind, and that is love,” he pointed out in his talk. 

  • Open to change
    When an entrepreneur knows something is not working, he or she knows it is time to change. Entrepreneurs know the importance of keeping on top of their industry and the only way to being number one is to evolve and change with the times, specially if a new opportunity dawns. Shah Rukh started with Dreamz Unlimited but when it did not work, changed to Red Chillies Entertainment.
  • Strong work ethic
    Strong work ethics will be prominent in a successful entrepreneur and we see this in Shah Rukh Khan in his attitude to work. The successful entrepreneur will make sure that an outcome meets expectations; and his or her mind is constantly focused on the work, whether in or out of the workplace. This does not mean that keep ‘personal’ time aside. Shah Rukh does take time out – like spending time with the family. After all, it’s all about good time management!
  • Determined to succeed
    This trait was clearly visible in the superstar at the beginning, when he landed in the Maximum City with just Rs 1500 in his pocket! And, even when his business ventures failed like Dreamz Unlimited, he did not falter; he didn’t lose hope even after KKR was not successful. He kept on inspiring and motivating his team. There were instances when the controversy of selling the KKR team was raised too, but he insisted – “I won’t sell it. It’s not just the money that I’ve put into the team, I’ve bet my heart too.”

So, ultimately it’s the big idea that rules. Entrepreneurs need to constantly come up with new ideas and actively look for ways to develop, promote these ideas and ensure that these ideas  ring in the cash register too. Then only can the entrepreneur can meet the challenge of starting out on his own!

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