Entrepreneurial Lessons From “Deewar”, The Indian Cinematic Epic

WITS ZEN  thinks that Deewar is one of the best movies ever made on Indian Celluloid. It’s a cult movie for Indian movie lovers. However, it’s not about entertainment only; it’s empowered with huge dozes of inspirations for various segments of society.

While, watching Deewar, we often contemplate how the movie is full of anecdotes providing lessons to a startup-entrepreneur.   We think that the movie has more to inspire to those who aspire to be an entrepreneur, who dare to dream big, who chart their own course of action. The film has many learning lessons for entrepreneurs/startups running a business today.

The storyline of the movie offers a fertile ground for entrepreneurs. Penned by Salim-Javed duo, the plot tells the story of two brothers, who follow different career paths. Disgraced by the society and vicissitudes of life, Vijay, the elder brother, chose an uncharted terrain and reach top of the echelons, though die in the climax to reflect the victory of righteousness.

Let’s start getting entrepreneurial lessons from the Indian Cinematic epic, “Deewar”:

Lesson # 1. Engage in  emotional labor with emotional intelligence

“Main Aaj Bhi phekey huey paise nahin uthatha” (I, even today, don’t pick coins thrown at me)

This clip shows the value of emotional labor (also dignity of labor), bringing more human feelings and connection to your work. And, it makes your work an emotional work. Whatever the character of Vijay did in the movie was the result of  his emotional attachment. If someone is emotionally involved then he or she puts heart and soul into that work.

The following snippet validates the concept of emotional labor:

And, that is why,Seth Godin says”All artists are entrepreneurs, all entrepreneurs are artists. An artist is not just some per­son who mes­ses around with paint and brushes, an artist is some­body who does  “emo­tio­nal work.” So, as an entrepreneur, if you want to succeed, care about how much love you bring to the work when you get there.

Lesson # 2. Look for a Mentor and learn the techniques

A mentor like Mulk Raj Dhabaria Played by Iftekhar to  make your entrepreneurial journey a successful. A good mentor helps you think through a business idea, suggests ways to generate capital and provides the experience and savvy you’re missing.

Lesson # 3. Know your competitors and learn  how to beat them even work with them to achieve

The snippet shows how Vijay thrusts himself into the lift and shares some “secret sauce” to win Samant’s confidence. As a strategy, Vijay outwit his arch-rival in the business by sharing some inside information and then get some risky proposition done through Samant’s henchmen.

As an entrepreneur, you need to know your competitors, and to do so, you need to understand their motivations, needs and intentions.

Lesson # 4. Intelligent enough to change adversity into an asset

Within every difficulty lies opportunity- Albert Einstein

There is a scene in the movie when Ravi played by Shashi Kapoor gets tip about some contraband materials are getting downloaded in a godown. The way Ravi keeps the goons guessing using his intelligence and glib talking,  buying time for the arrival of the police force at the spot to arrest them without using his pistol.

This scene too has one great lesson for entrepreneurs telling them not to fret over difficult situation and should try to find opportunity in difficulty.

Triumph over adver­sity; it’s the oldest story in the world.

Lesson # 5. Believe in on what you have, not what you don’t have

“Merey Paas Maa Hai”

This one is one of the most defining moments in the movie when two brothers meet at a bridge, where Vijay cautions Ravi, the police man, against the angst of underworld, planning to murder him.

When Ravi doesn’t take seriously what Vijay was telling him, Vijay gets agitated and starts lamenting Ravi about his idealist approach, his meager means, his rented house, etc.  In response to Vijay’s lamentation, Ravi just say” Merey Pass Maa Hai” (Mother is on my side, loosely translated 🙂 ) This one statement about his “prized possession”, Ravi reflects his strength in what he has got.

Startup-entrepreneurs can learn that instead of fretting over what they don’t have, they should look inward to their strengths, their innovative approach, their passion to perform. They should understand what they lose in quantity and experience, they make up for in quality. Being happier and deriving more satisfaction from what you do is always going to be the better option.

Lesson # 6. Have courage in trying times

Isse apni jeb mein rakh le peter, ab yeh taala main teri jeb se chabhi nikal kar hi kholoonga” (keep this in your pocket, peter, now I’ll open the lock from taking out the keys from your pocket) Have a look at the video clips:

So it takes courage. It takes courage to  push forward when pushed back. Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one.

It is the very thing that all leaders share. Courage takes great strength to stand in the face of  adverse situation and without it, your vision, no matter how brilliant or essential, is merely a masterpiece painted on a napkin—a promise that is never fully realized.

Deewar offers valuable lessons in  emotional intelligence, finding a Mentor and mentoring, study your competitors and know how to beat them, transforming adversity into an asset, believing in your strengths, and having courage in trying times.

The bottomline : your entrepreneurial spirit and endeavor is in a constant struggle to be heard and understood in a vast sea of competing messages. If you keep trying and your entrepreneurial journey continues, you need not come to lament….” Aaj Khush Tau Bahut Hogey Tum“….need elaboration! ­­

(P.S.“WITS ZEN certainly doesn’t endorse crime or violence, and we are not suggesting entrepreneur should operate like the underworld. But, there are some universal themes in the movie one can relate to as an entrepreneur. Indeed, the story of “Deewar” has proven a fertile ground for entrepreneurs)

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