Rana Daggubati: A Creative Force & Tech Wizard
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The image of Baahubali’s Bhallaldeva is still so fresh that thinking about Rana Daggubati as any other being can be a tough job. However, once you meet him in person, his off-screen persona can blow your mind away.
No, he isn’t a conventional actor. Coming from the royalty of the South Indian industry, he is anywhere and everywhere trying to create good content to enhance our entertainment experience. Rana Daggubati is the true definition of a complete man - an entrepreneur, an AR and tech enthusiast and much more. To many, this might feel like multiple roles, to him it’s the same. “There is a creative process and then there is a business aspect. That’s the only two separate parts. Sometimes you think in words and at times in numbers,” he said.
Tech is his forte and his investment in blockchain did throw off everyone. His purpose was to create a platform that can bring all the content together and work on the management of its rights. Everything they have done is either to improve the way the films are being made or the way it is distributed and sold.
“I use the simplest form of blockchain. It’s a rights management that we have to build a capability of. Today the real ambiguity of things will start coming because the content is so much and aggregators are so many. You need one system that holds and registers films and say there is one format to it. We hope we can do this in the international market that finally gives a producer a bigger and better way to sell his films,” Daggubati explained.
Rana is always ahead of the curve in creating new ventures. He has invested in AI, VI, blockchain, everything when it comes to technology. The idea behind the launch of Urban-i by Anthill Ventures was to associate with anything related to urbanisation space.
“Today we need tech for everything. Every product in our life is much more different than it used to be. The way we turn on switches and the way we read our morning news have undergone dramatic transformation. The way consumers purchase and the way we advertise are changing. I think that’s the gap we are trying to fill with Urban-i,” he said.
Longevity is the Key
Coming from a 50-year-old family business, he understands the importance of longevity. more than anyone else. In his words, the longer you stay in this business, you start realizing that everything is made for long-term. “Today we can quote 50 films from 20 years ago because they have made a lasting impact on us. The longer you stay, you realize it’s made for the long-term,” he mentions.
Investing in Amar Chitra Katha
Storytelling is something he truly believes in and that’s what made Daggubati invest in Amar Chitra Katha (ACK). The understanding he has of India and culture apart from growing in his family is because of ACK. “I was exposed to it by my mom and that’s where it all started. Post Baahubali, we realized we can make spectacular movies, so why not start picking stories from Indian mythology and there was nothing better than ACK being its ambassador,” he said.
As a serial entrepreneur and the undisputed king of acting, Daggubati has an incredible on-screen presence. But how is he so grounded? The actor believes that being successful and famous is only used as a marketing tool.
“I work in a studio, unlike anyone else. There is no place for vanity because here is where things are getting built. Vanity usually comes in when you are outside your regular society. For someone who lives inside this place, you become vanity proof. At the end of it all, you are going to go back to your desk and run accounts and review. The reality of numbers is also very close to me. So my vanity lies on that number than taking anything away,” he smiled.
(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)