Bahubali – Leadership and Management Mantras in the making of the Epic

23 May 2017

'Bahubali 2 – The Conclusion’ has the Indian and international audiences smitten with its out-of-the-world grandeur. As fans cannot stop speaking about how magnificent the two sequel drama is, box-office collections continue to blast all known records. While screen-characters Bahubali, Kattappa and Bhallaladeva have all risen to instant global fame, the saga has introduced us to a real-life super-hero – S. S. Rajamouli.

As a brand that works with connecting great talent to fantastic employers on a daily basis, we cannot resist analysing how this blockbuster is obviously a result of great leadership and management. So, Let us dive right in!

A STRONG AND LOYAL TEAM

With all ten movies of his being major hits with critical acclaim, Rajamouli revealed his top secret to making a good one - a strong team. He understands that loyalty needs to be earned, and never leaves a stone unturned in ensuring that the team loves what they do, and are excited about the project. He never finishes an interview without acknowledging their immense support and contribution. In an industry where the male-lead often takes away all credit for the success or failure of a movie, Rajamouli understands that the entire team – actors, support crew, extra artists, writers, music directors, technical staff etc. – is the actual ‘hero’, and knows how to earn their respect. This is evident from the fact that a majority of his team has stuck together since his initial days.

MATTER OVER MARKETING

Bahubali - The Beginning ended on a cliff hanger. The catch-phrase “Why Kattappa Killed Bahubali?” had the audience yearning to find out the truth, from the sequel. The expression went viral with countless memes and jokes, making sure that the buzz never died out. With a vision to launch a prequel novel, an animation series as well as a VR experience of Mahishmati, organic publicity is what got the movie such great reception. We must acknowledge how (as opposed to other Bollywood stars), Bahubali actors did not need to ‘promote’ the movie much, as the storyline itself got the masses hooked on. The rhetoric even found its way into the Indian Prime Minister’s speech, comparing himself to the loyal character ‘Kattappa’.

LEVERAGE POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIPS

Often, some of the best business partners are those who come with diverse strengths and ideologies. If we look at Bahubali as a business venture, its success may be attributed to some such partnerships that got this south-Indian movie, access to the all-India market. The Dharma Productions connection proved highly profitable, given Karan Johar’s popularity, network and understanding of Bollywood. Choosing strong partners was a masterstroke for the movie-makers, with the numbers speaking for themselves - INR 1000CR within 10 days of the release.

TEAM MANAGEMENT

Bahubali – 2 had over 3000 professionals engaged across departments. There were 35 VFX studios involved in the project; we can only imagine how challenging it would have been to manage the workflow without hassle. Brining such a vast crew together, helping them warm up to each other, and enabling processes for them to contribute meaningfully as a single team – required a great leader. Identifying individuals to delegate responsibility, ensuring goals are set in accordance with the bigger picture and constantly providing guidance to stay on track – all this and more – The Bahubali leadership is a true example, of what makes an organization motivated and productive.

These are just some of the corporate leadership lessons we take away from Bahubali - the Conclusion. Write to us, if you can think of more interesting lessons, you’d like to share with our audiences.

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