When Shah Rukh Khan turned hockey coach in Chak De! India, he led more than the Indian women’s team to the World Cup. He generated leadership lessons that corporate executives failed to gather after spending countless hours in business schools.
The corporate training industry, worth close to Rs 1 lakh crore, is feeding LCD projectors with scenes, characters and music from mainstream Bollywood films.
<b1>Rajeshwar Upadhyaya of Par Excellence, a learning and development instructor and teacher of leadership lessons at Wharton Business School in US, used Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya to portray failure. "All the characters in the film are failures. Often, companies chasing revenues have failed because they ignored their employees." US giant Enron is one of his case studies.
Arun Nabar, founder of Spectra Intervention, explained corporate risk management using Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, Basu Chatterjee’s adaptation of 12 Angry Men. It showed a young man in a group who risked thinking differently and managed to change the opinion of others.
Parvey Jokhi, a corporate trainer, used a scene from Amitabh Bachchan starrer Coolie where the hero got into a soup after listening to two radio broadcasts — on different frequencies that got jumbled — of a cookery programme and yoga lessons. "We use the scene to explain the outcome of inconsistent communication."
In-house trainers borrowed plenty of material from the silver screen as well. The Essar Group, which invests Rs 200 crore annually in corporate learning and development, used films like Lagaan and Chak De! India for training.
"Bollywood has become the most effective communication tool. It helps us connect staffers from the old economy with new recruits,” said Sujaya Banerjee, chief learning officer, Essar Group.