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Posts Tagged ‘Brand Equity’

Successful organizations which boast of high brand equity follow several sustainable practices. One of these is the practice of treating their human assets with the respect and dignity they deserve. While compassion and empathy govern their HR practices, it would be wrong to surmise that they do so by compromising on their business goals.

This unique species of organizations, referred to here as Homo Organizationum, is envisaged as the one comprising Functionally Humane Organizations, where an optimal balance is  maintained between business results and human relations.

Let me share one such instance from my own career.

High performance vs domestic bliss

A star performer in an IT manufacturing set up had to strike a fine balance between her role as a crucial final quality controller and that of being a home maker. In her absence, high priority shipments could get delayed. At home, she had to take care of an ailing mother-in-law and a kid. Her husband used to work in another set up around 900 kms away and would come visiting once every two months.

On a specific weekend, when an important shipment was to leave the factory late at night, message came that her husband was on his way home. Much to her dismay, a permission to leave the factory at the normal closing time was promptly turned down by her immediate superior.

The grapevine ensured that the incident of refusal of permission percolated upwards to the manufacturing head. The superior was called in without delay and given a dressing down. He, and the head of Quality Assurance, were guided on making alternative arrangements.

Eventually, the woman was delighted to receive a permission to leave the place of work by lunch time itself, adding a few precious hours to her domestic bliss. The shipment also got despatched without any compromise on the immediate business goal.

Several such examples abound. Regrettably, however, these are outnumbered by the kind of instances which involved blatant exploitation of employees. Across organizations, this manifests in so many ways. Inhuman treatment while pursuing an immediate business goal. Depriving the employees their rightful dues. Lower salaries, accompanied by liberal grant of personal loans and advances, thereby keeping the employees perennially indebted to the employer, and the like.

The leaner Davids and the flabbier Goliaths

When I look back at my 35-year exposure to the private sector, one thing stands out. The positive examples were mostly from the larger companies in the organized sector. The negative examples were invariably from the small-scale sector.

Large companies have a better organized way of working. They often carry some flab. Systems take precedence over individuals. On the contrary, the smaller ones tend to be much leaner – though decidedly not fitter – simply because one person gets hired only when three are required!

The Consciousness of Organizations

Members of the species of entities known as Homo Organizationum thrive only when they can add value to their diverse stakeholders. However, to create a brand which is respected by their customers as well as their employees, as also to add value on a sustainable basis, they need to have a working culture which places a higher premium on such values as empathy, compassion, dignity, respect, justice, honesty, openness, transparency and equality.

Their employees then become their brand ambassadors, making it easier for them to attract better talent. This, in turn, makes them more efficient and effective.

All organizations have a consciousness which seeps through all its organs. It manifests itself in myriad ways; specifically, through its culture. It is reflected in the manner in which the seniors conduct themselves. It shows up in the way decisions get taken. Unlike grandiose Vision and Mission statements which adorn their physical walls, it is not easy to articulate culture in words. Nor can it be readily replicated.

Just like a tiger is known by its stripes, an organization is known by the kind of consciousness it lives and operates by. The more humane the same, the higher the probability of sustainable success.

Some crystal gazing

Advances in technology are already re-shaping our organizations. Gone are the control-and-command structures. Hierarchies are getting flatter. Mundane tasks are being taken over by Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Geeks are twiddling their thumbs, trying to cope up with Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, et al.

Besides technology, buyer behaviour is changing. Geopolitics is changing. Workforce attitudes are changing.

But Homo Organizationum face little risk of becoming extinct. On the contrary, it is quite likely that with the kind of changes in the offing, the need for organizations to be humane would only go up in the future.

Time for HR honchos to re-skill themselves.

(A version of this article was published in the IBA Journal, volume 9, issue 2)

 

 

 

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The principles of marketing and branding apply in equal measure to countries as much as they do to businesses. Just like in Swiss Zermattthe corporate world, marketing can merely help a great product to reach its target customer segment more effectively. However, best laid marketing and branding plans can fail if the product or service on offer lacks inherent strengths or USPs which make it useful to the customer.

Switzerland is one of the countries we admire, particularly for the manner in which it has built up a unique brand identity for itself over the centuries. A strong commitment to innovation and quality, an imaginative foreign policy based on neutrality, higher importance to the services sector and an excellent work-life balance it offers to its workforce are some of the USPs which make Switzerland the toast of the planet.

Its population is less than that of the capital of India. In terms of per capita GDP, at USD 45,418, it ranked 9th in the world in 2012. Low taxes, low debt, a reasonable rate of growth, public budgets in the black, low unemployment at 3.1% and a trade surplus – these factors just about sum up Switzerland’s economic stature. The country is home to many large MNCs – ABB, Roche, Nestle, Novartis, Logitech and Tetra Pak, to name a few.

A Multidimensional USP  

For a commoner, it is the land of milk, chocolate and cheese. For the lay tourist, it offers captivating natural beauty which is Swiss naturemany notches above than what the likes of Thomas Hardy and William Wordsworth have described in their works. Placid lakes, snow-capped mountains, leafy wooded greens, well maintained caves and water-falls and a rich culture make up for a heady combination.

The reason why postcards, calendars and movie frames look so appealing is because the real views are twice as dreamy. Take a funicular train at a gradient of 47 degrees up in the mountains, and you get a series of breath-taking views all the way to the top. You realize that homo-sapiens can pierce a tunnel through a mountain, but it takes a divine power to create one in the first place.

For a businessman, it offers a friendly and stable regime, with world-famous banking services to boot. For its citizens, it signifies orderliness, tolerance of neighbors, peace, prosperity and a healthy work-life balance. For the world at large, it stands up for armed neutrality and peace. It hosts a number of international institutions.

For those wanting to hone their skills in hospitality management, it offers several options. There are several institutes of international repute offering courses in diverse streams of sciences and humanities. For centuries, royalty has used its finishing schools to groom its delicately nurtured princesses.

The Humble Origin of the Brand – The Oath of Grutli

The Switzerland we see today is surely not an overnight miracle of sorts. The Roman Empire granted autonomous control to Swiss Federal Charter 1291three regions in the early 13th century – Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. In August 1291, they decided to renew their earlier alliance and took an oath of mutual allegiance. The newborn Confederation Helvetia faced several challenges over the centuries – peasant revolts, civil wars, religious wars, French invasion, liberal revolutions, conflicts between liberals and Catholic conservatives and innumerable false starts in industrialization and revising its constitution.

It has not been in a state of war since 1815. In 1848, the federal constitution converted all the cantons into one federal state with one common military, postal service and legislature. Today, it is recognized as the pinnacle of economic prowess, self-preserving neutrality and racial tolerance. It pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace keeping initiatives globally. It boasts of the highest per capita number of Nobel Laureates in the world.

The Finer Aspects

Foreigners it has welcomed into its fold include many great personalities, like Lord Byron, Charlie Chaplin, Leon Gambetta, Igor Stravinsky, Vladimir Nabokov, Jean Calvin, etc.

The country has over 900 well maintained museums. National Museum in Zurich and the Museum of Photography are not Swiss Federal Palacethe only ones which merit a close look.  Musee d’alimentation in Vevey – owned by Nestle – is all about the history of food. The Museum of Horology in La Chaux-de-Fonds explains different aspects of watch-making. Then there is the captivating Toy Museum at Basel and the Natural History Museum at Lucerne.

Art and culture are an integral part of the life on offer. Public toilets are unbelievably clean. For those from the developing countries, trains are disturbingly punctual.

Tremendous Soft Power

Building and construction, tunneling and excavation, hydro-geology, rail road planning contribute much towards its GDP. Unique topography has led to innovations in all these fields. Swiss architect Othmar Ammam came up with the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Then there is the gigantic Itaipu Dam across the Amazon in South America, not to forget the flyover bridges in Alexandria in Egypt, all of which have come up based on Swiss expertise.

The Swiss are known as hardworking, conscientious, reliable and punctual to a fault. Efficiency of its people is legendary and leads to self-sufficiency.

Keeping the Brand Shining

A vibrant direct democracy, Switzerland has been a safe haven for the wealthy and for business. Banks have had a cult Palace of Nations Euro UN HQ Genevastatus, what with their fabulously wealthy client lists. Where our clients get their money from is none of our business has been their refrain so far.

However, with the signing of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, Switzerland recently became the 58th nation to join the comity of nations which hound tax evaders across borders. By doing so, it is going to break its own time-honored and time-tested traditions of banking secrecy.

The country is now aligning itself with global norms of financial transparency, thereby giving a fitting boost to the morale of tax administrators all over the world. Swiss banks obviously do not have much to worry about. Given their maturity and the political and economic stability of the country, international investors would continue to repose their trust and faith in them.

In the coming decades, the brand equity of Switzerland is unlikely to lose its allure. Therein lies a great lesson for many other countries in the world which could surely do with an image makeover.

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Quite early in life, I discovered that a movie should be selected for viewing not based on its cast Lekinbut based on its director. Each director has a distinctive perspective on life, and the manner in which he/she presents a theme is as unique as, say, one´s finger prints. Admittedly, the core brilliance of a movie is determined by the producer-director duo. But the unmistakable stamp on the narrative is that of the director. To put it simply, if you sit down to watch a movie by Gulzar saheb, you know what to expect. On the other hand, if you are going to see a David Dhawan flick, you already suspect what is in store.

The Brand Equity of a Director

Over a period of time, a movie director builds up a strong brand equity for himself. It comes from the uniqueness of his style, the choice of his scripts, consistency in quality of his directorial ventures, earning a respect from the discerning viewers, crowned by some degree of commercial success.

As a person who has been brought up on a rich diet of Bollywood fare right since his childhood, and maachisas someone who has dabbled in the art of movie making himself, it is not difficult for me to appreciate the complexity of producing a commercial pot-boiler. The cine-goers eventually get to see only the end result on the screen, little realizing the hard work done by all to ensure a high quality product. That is why, a good movie makes me feel fulfilled. I feel like saluting the producers and directors who have invested their effort and money on a worthwhile product.

The CEO of a Dream Merchandise Factory

A director’s role in shaping a movie would perhaps be comparable to that of either the CEO of a company or the conductor of an orchestra. A CEO’s mindset determines the business strategy of a company. His style of functioning and his value system permeates across all levels of the company. Likewise, the conductor of an orchestra blends the notes of stringed, percussion and other instruments, creating a symphony which is unique. Like a CEO guiding a company or a conductor presenting a symphony, the director also balances the strengths and weaknesses of his team members and comes up with a movie which is entertaining – and possibly educative – in the social context.

Surely, a director coordinates and guides various specialists to achieve the level of perfection in hisGaja_Gamini_ product. Apart from the choice of a script and the main caste, no department of movie making would remain aloof from the influence of a director. Screenplay, cinematography, sound design, choreography, music, editing, budgeting, financing, marketing and many other facets of movie making come under a director’s watchful eye, thereby making each movie a unique attempt at story telling. And when someone as accomplished as M F Hussain decides to wield the megaphone, we are in for a stupendous visual treat, as in ‘Gaja Gamini’ and ‘Meenaxi – A Tale of Three Cities’!

A Director’s Take

Exploiting the latent potential of an actor is surely one of the key traits of a director. Look at some of the amazing transformations we have seen on the silver screen all these years! To recapitulate just a few:

  • A villain or a vamp being cast in a positive role: Remember Lalita Pawar in a matronly role in Raj Kapoor´s ‘Anari’? Or, Shashikala supporting the sulking heroine in Hrishikesh Mukherji´s ‘Anupama’? Cut to ‘Abhiman’ and you notice Bindu empathising with the lead pair. Under the baton of Manoj Kumar and Manmohan Desai, we had Pran playing positive roles in ‘Shaheed’, ‘Upkar’ and ‘Zanjeer’. From a staunch villain, Madan Puri became a doting grand-pa in Rajshri Production’s ‘Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaye’.
  • From a flamboyant playboy to a chivalrous gentleman: Yesteryear´s jumping jack JeetendraHum aapke hain kaun becomes a simpleton in ‘Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne’ and ‘Boond Jo Ban Gayi Moti’ under the watchful eyes of V. Shantaram. Gulzar is equally effective with Jeetendra in ‘Parichay’ and ‘Khushboo’. Lately, we have seen Salman Khan being tamed by Suraj Barjatya in ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!’ and ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.
  • From a debonair hero to a villain: Under Brij, Ashok Kumar, the quintessential hero, becomes a villain in ‘Ustadon ke Ustad’; under Vijay Anand, he springs a surprise in ‘Jewel Thief’.

The chemistry between a music director and a director has also produced enchanting results for music buffs.

  • Besides raucous beats in movies like ‘Bombay’ and ‘Rangeela’, A R Rehman comes up withZubeidaa soulful music in ‘Zubeida’ for Shyam Benegal. Likewise, for Subhash Ghai, he composes a different genre of music in ‘Taal’.
  • The duo of Shankar-Jaikishan, when working with Raj Kapoor, left behind a rich repertoire of scores, some of which are evergreen and a treat for movie goers of all ages.
  • Salil Chaudhury, when coupled with Basu Chatterjee, came up with some unique scores in ‘Rajnigandha’ and ‘Chhoti Si Baat’.

Some Directors I Admire

Selection of a script essentially determines the social message that a director wishes to convey through his work. One fondly recollects the following directors who have sought to convey a unique message of their own through their work:

  • Aparna Sen did a great service to the senior citizens by highlighting their plight in the thought-provoking ’36 Chowringhee Lane’. The acute loneliness of Violet Stoneham touched our hearts. In ‘Paroma’, she explored the psyche of a tradition-bound housewife seeking liberation in her own way. In my opinion, her best offering so far has been ‘Mr. & Mrs. Iyer’. It conveyed the message of inter-religious harmony in a very effective manner. Her latest offering, ‘The Japanese Wife’, depicts the true meaning of love, sans any physical contact. One wishes her a long innings of creative offerings.
  • Ashutosh Gowarikar is another director whose work one has come to admire. ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’, ‘Jodha Akbar’ and ‘What is Your Rashee’ were all brilliant offerings. One surely looks forward to more movies from his stable in the days to come.
  • Basu Bhattacharya excelled in depicting the post-matrimonial relationships between couples. If ‘Anubhav’ captured the vacuum felt in the absence of a child and the misunderstandingTeesri kasam created as a result of an ex-lover of the wife walking into the household, ‘Aavishkar’ dwelt at length on the dissappointment caused by the realization that a college romance is so very transient. In ‘Teesri Kasam’, he came up with a classic philosophical treatise, whereas in ‘Sparsh’, he touched upon the challenges faced by the differently abled in our society. Finally, in ‘Aastha’, we saw him covering the impact of a materialistic culture on our morality and social values.
  • Basu Chatterjee‘s movies are classics in their own right. Depicting the dilemmas faced by the great Indian middle class with a dash of humour was his forte. Right from ‘Chameli Ki Shadi’ to ‘Baaton Baaton Mein’, ‘Chitchor’, ‘Hamari Bahu Alka’ and ‘Piya Ka Ghar’, he has regaled us with heart-warming tales, backed by tongue in cheek humour. In ‘Rajanigandha’, the hero, while watching a movie, imagines himself and the heroine as Dharmendra and Hema Malini on the screen – one of the several master strokes of the director. In ‘Chhoti Si Baat’, the hero and the heroine go about singing a song in crowded places whereas all others around them remain preoccupied with their own activities! In ‘Khatta Meetha’, we find an irritated Ashok Kumar threatening to kill Pradip Kumar, the heroine’s father, if he fails to bless her marriage with his adopted son.
  • One has admired some of the B. R. Chopra movies because of not only their socially Gumrahresponsible messages but also for their experimental streak. If ‘Naya Daur’ was about rapid industrialization leading to labour unrest, ‘Gumrah’ was about the perils of a wife likely to go wayward. ‘Humraz’ spoke of the dangers inherent in a situation where one attempts to hide facts from one’s spouse. ‘Insaf Ka Tarazu’ covered the trauma of rape, whereas ‘Nikaah’ was about a woman asserting her rights to choose a husband. ‘Pati Patni aur Woh’ was a humouros take on the proverbial seven-year itch of the male of the species, a theme which was effectively countered in ‘Rang Birangi’ subsequently by none other than Hrishikesh Mukherjee! His experimental foray into the genre of suspense led to two classics: ‘Kanoon’ and ‘Ittefaq’, both of which broke from convention and did not boast of any song, a taboo for the mainstream BollywoodDark Bandini cinema. ‘Baghban’, directed by his son Ravi Chopra, is a great comment on the derogatory attitude adopted by some of the grown up children towards their parents.
  • Bimal Roy gave us realistic movies with a socialistic message. ‘Do Beegha Zameen’ and ‘Bandini’ shall remain etched in our minds forever. In ‘Sujata’, he touched upon the stigma of untouchability in a very poignant manner.
  • David Lean‘s work has left an indelible impression on me. Think of either the elements of nature or the complexity of human relationships and you end up remembering ‘The Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Dr. Zhivago’ and ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ was yet another masterpiece from this great man.
  • Govind Nihalani has given us some brilliant movies over the years. ‘Aakrosh’ was based on a real life incident. ‘Ardh Satya’ captured the realities faced by our police force in stark detail. Much later, the trauma faced by youth involved in the naxalite movement was poignantly captured in ‘Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Ma’. Another unforgettable offering of his was the TV serial ‘Tamas’.
  • Gulzar is another favourite of mine. Right from ‘Mere Apne’, ‘Koshish’, ‘Parichay’, ‘Achanak’Ijaazat and ‘Kitaab’ to ‘Khushboo’, ‘Kinara’, ‘Aandhi’ ‘Angoor’, ‘Namkeen’ and ‘Ijazat’, he demonstrated a finely nuanced grip on capturing human emotions. Using flashbacks as an essential ingredient of his inimitable style of story telling, he has created a series of movies which explore the human psyche with unparalleled depth. For Doodrdarshan, he created a master piece in the serial ‘Mirza Ghalib’, ably assisted by Jagjit Singh and Naseeuddin Shah. Other unforgettable movies directed by him are ‘Lekin’, ‘Maachis’ and ‘Hu Tu Tu….’. What a creative line up!
  • Guru Dutt has left behind a series of thought-provoking movies for all of us to enjoy for all times to come. ‘Pyaasa’ captured not only the frustration of a creative poet who earns recognition only after he is presumed to be dead, but also the angst of the youth dissppointedPyaasa poster by the shattering of socialistic dreams in post independence India. ‘Kagaz Ke Phool’ was autobiographical in nature, and went on to assume a cult status in black and white cinematography. ‘Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam’ looked at the degrading zamindari system and was backed by powerful performances. He also gave us ‘Chaudavin Ka Chaand’, memorable for its music.
  • Hrishikesh Mukherjee is yet another director who has captured the value system of the great Indian middle class in a very effective manner. If ‘Anupama’ portrayed the transformation of a docile daughter into a rebel of sorts, ‘Satyakam’ touched upon the trials and tribulations of a whistle-blower who values integrity and honesty above all else in his life. ‘Aashirwad’ captured a daughter’s longing for her father, whereas ‘Anand’ captured the dilemmas of the medical profession in a heart-wrenching manner. In ‘Guddi’, he touched upon the perils of hero-worship amongst teenagers and the negative influence of movies on those in an impressionable age. ‘Abhimaan’ put the fragile male ego under a microscope. In ‘Chupke Chupke’, he came up with a rip-roaring treatise on the eccentricities of the linguistic purists. ‘Bawarchi’ touched upon the joint family system, whereas ‘Golmaal’ was well-intended pun directed at moustache maniacs. In ‘Khubsoorat’, he drove home in his inimitable style the need of striking a balance between fredoom and discipline in family life, espousing the cause of nirmal anand (unalloyed bliss). His last offering was ‘Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate’ Pakeezahwhich conveyed the value of truthfulness in all relationships in a very humorous manner. One truly misses such directors!
  • Kamal Amrohi came up with virtual poetry on celluloid with ‘Pakeezah’. The whole movie was a work of passion, akin to the rich tapestry of the bright red carpet he had got specially woven for a single dance sequence to be picturized. His ‘Razia Sultan’ was also a rich offering.
  • When it comes to clean family entertainment steeped in Indian tradition, Rajshri Productions has always been very consistent. Right from ‘Aarti’, ‘Dosti’, ‘Jeevan Mrityu’ andmovie Vivah ‘Tapasya’ to ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…!’, ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ and ‘Vivah’, we have lived through good and bad times faced by families we could easily identify with. Several of their offerings have tugged at our heart-strings: ‘Uphaar’, ‘Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se’, ‘Chitchor’, ‘Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaye’ and ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, to name a few.
  • If there is one person who earned money in routine Bollywood pot-boilers and ploughed it back to produce some unique movies, it is Shashi Kapoor. ‘Vijeta’ captured in detail the challenges faced by young officers in the Indian Air Force. ‘Utsav’, directed by Girish Karnad, was yet another master piece, based on the famous Sanskrit play ‘Mriccha-katikam’. ‘Kalyug’ was based on the epic Mahabharata and was directed by ShyamAnkur Benegal.
  • Shyam Benegal started off as a master of alternate cinema, offering such hard-hitting comments on the under-privileged of the society as ‘Ankur’, ‘Nishant’, ‘Manthan’ and ‘Bhumika’. ‘Zubeidaa’ presented an interesting slice of history. However, his recent offerings have been rich public-spirited satires, highlighting glaring deficiencies in the public delivery system and also taking a dig at our age-old misconceptions and taboos. If you have seen ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’ and ‘Well Done, Abba’, you would know what I am talking about.
  • V Shantaram gave us classics which drew on the traditional values and art forms. If ‘Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani’ was based on a real life happening, ‘Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje’ captured the dilemmas faced by artists committed to their profession. ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’ touched on the criminal system, whereas ‘Navrang’ explored in detail the male fantasy of having the perfect female as a life companion. 
  • Vijay Anand gave us jewels like ‘Nau Do Gyarah’, ‘Jewel Thief’, ‘Tere Mere Sapne’ and ‘JohnyGuide_poster Mera Naam’. ‘Guide’ immortalized one of the great works of R. K. Narayan. Performance of the lead pair of Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman still remains fresh in our memories. His penchant for perfection was such that in ‘Nau Do Gyarah’, if a bomb was to go off in seven minutes, the on-screen suspense went on for precisely seven minutes!

Several other legendary directors, like Raj Kapoor, Mehboob, K. Asif, Subhash Ghai, Yash Chopra, Shekhar Kapur and others do not appear here. Their exclusion here is in no way meant to belittle their immense contribution to the art and form of cinema as we know it today. It is just that a majority of their work has come to define what we generally refer to as ‘mainstream cinema’, whereas the idea here has been to capture directors who have been innovative in their own way.

Directors to watch out for

All this is not to say that brilliant work is not being done these days. ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’ directedDor by Dibakar Banerjee, ‘Iqbal’, ‘Dor’ and ‘Mod’ from Nagesh Kukanoor, ‘Tare Zameen Par’ by Aamir Khan, ‘Black’ by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ‘Munnabhai’ series and ‘3 Idiots’ by Raj Kumar Hirani, ‘Chak de India’ by Shimit Amin, ‘Cheeni Kum’ and ‘Pa’ by R. Balakrishnan, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Vishal Bhardwaj, ‘Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge’ by Ashwani Dheer, ‘Chhodo Kal ki Baatein’ by Pramod Joshi, ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ by Habib Faisal, ‘Stanley ka Dabba’ by Amol Gupte, ‘I am Kalaam’ by Nila Madhab Panda and ‘Vicky Donor’ by Shoojit Sircar are all movies which give us the firm hope that Bollywood is finally out of the singing around the tree days, willing to experiment with unconventional themes, that too while keeping the box officeTaareZameenPar registers tinkling.

Rise in disposable incomes has led to the proliferation of multiplexes. Audience has turned younger. In turn, small budget movies have carved out a niche for themselves. Several producers have learnt to minimize financial risks by beating the star system and are instead banking on smarter scripts, thereby achieving better returns on their investments.

Exercising Our Emotional Muscles

Consider this: why do we get hooked on to movies in the first place? Is it sheer escapism? May be, yes, but also coupled with an appreciation of – and fascination with – this genre of entertainment. Identifying oneself with either a character or a situation presented on the screen gives one immense psychological relief. Also, one needs to exercise one’s emotional muscles or skills in a way that may or may not be acceptable in our routine lifestyles!

A director with a strong brand equity surely knows how to touch our heart-strings. In the process, he teaches us to exercise our emotional muscles better and think out-of-the-box when confronted with a real life situation!!

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