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Entrepreneurs Catch The Kabali Fever - Know What They Learned From The Movie In the startup world, who wouldn't like a story where a man in shambles rises to the top

By Ritu Kochar

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Rajnikant needs no introduction! He's the only man who could beat Chuck Norris in his own game, while smoking a cigarette like a boss.

The south Indian superstar is always in news and his movies are like gifts for his fans. Fans wait for them for months and you must be really lucky if you get a ticket for the, first day-first show. Rajnikant's most recent movie; Kabali, had also created hugeexpectation, just like his other movies, before its release. So much so, that the movie joined the Rs 200 crore club even before it was released, via selling merchandise and other marketing collaborations. When released, it had the highest worldwide opening weekend for an Indian film and the movie's box office gross value reached 600–675 crore in no time.

It isn't a surprise really when Rajni's movies do well, but Kabali has created an impact way different than other movies. It's a rage among entrepreneurs as well.

Here are some of them telling us how Kabali inspired them and what they have learned from the movie.

A man in shambles rising to the top - Ketan Kapoor, Co-Founder and CEO, METTL

There is a huge fascination around this movie, with many startups either booking entire cinema halls for their employees or giving them a day-off on the release date. I heard of FreshDesk doing it. It's testament to Rajnikanth's status as iconic among a burgeoning breed of entrepreneurs with qualities such as hope, an undying spirit and inspiration.

Kabali reminded me a lot of the startup ecosystem. I would love to draw from Rajnikanth's larger than life persona; it's a tale of talent, ambition and self-belief. Honestly, it pushed new energy into my veins, as it must have to several other entrepreneurs in an otherwise grim startup ecosystem.

Kabali is symbolic of a man in shambles rising to the top, battling against a ruthless drug lord. The movie subtly plays as a fine game of chess between two smart businessmen. It also plays at the subtleties that come with being a businessman, like when Rajnikanth's wife in the movie asks him to wear a suit to display a strong sense of power and authority.

Never go for "wait and watch and then spend mode' - Karthik KS, founder and CEO, Avagmah

As a target of the marketing blitz, I was also pushed to watch the movie. I would otherwise have not gone for this movie and that too within the first week itself. I admired the breadth of the marketing campaign. It was complete with direct ads, content marketing by pushing small trailers, online and offline PR, and they kept the hype alive by announcing new marketing channels every 2-3 days, announcing the large number of theaters it would be screened, the 5 Star model was surely a push.

What I learnt about entrepreneurship is that if you have the money and you wish success at any cost, you should not go for a "wait and watch and then spend mode". One should go to the hilt. The closest analogy I can think of was the first IPL launch. There were unprecedented spaces of marketing viz. display ads on the hovering camera etc.

They recovered the money in a single show - Prakash Dantuluri, Founder and CEO, Bulbul Apps

I got carried away with the Kabali fever as well. The trailer was awesome and it reminded me about all those great moments I had in theaters in 80s.

The trailer was deliberately cut to create maximum impact than to actually reflect what the movie was about. The marketing was done cleverly to leverage social media. That's a great move on the producer's front. They recovered the money in a single show.

But it's a big dent to brand Rajni. The movie left millions and millions of people disappointed. Unfortunately it was done deliberately. It's difficult to excite to non Rajni fans to this extent for the next movie.

Do extensive marketing only - Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, Silly Monks

Kabali fever did not affect me, but I was astonished by the marketing that was done by not only the producers, but also the fans.

Lesson learnt is to do extensive marketing only when one is sure of the product, as it creates expectations and if it fails to deliver, then it impacts the brand negatively.

Age is no bar for pursuit of success - Sheela Panicker, Founder and Celebrity Management Consultant, enRight Direct

Failure is not final. Age is no bar for pursuit of success. Style and mass connect is never-ending. This is what the super star Rajanikant stood for many years and continue to do so.

And, that's why there is always a euphoria and fever before any of the movie release that has this name behind it (Thalaiva as he is called).

The most unique aspect of Rajanikanth is the curiosity 'What next?' behind the star and that was beautifully exploited by the producer of the film. Right from designing the highly impactful trailer to all the social media buzz that followed before the theatrical release. The support for brand was overpowering with airlines and chocolate brand creating unique theme based products. These are the takeaway lessons for any entrepreneur or celebrity.

What were your takeaways from Superstar Rajnikant's new movie Kabali? share with us on our official Facebook page.

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.
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