Lagaan Managerial Analysis


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This is an analysis of Lagaan - a bollywood blockbuster - from a Managerial perspective.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Excellent and Superb Interpretation. Observing the Film from this angle of Management is really unbelievable and the interpreter is thus different from common people like us.
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  • Excellent analysis of ’Lagaan’ on entrepreneurship and leadership Natraj ji.

    God only knows how bad the Hindu society needs leadership skills right now.

    A heartfelt thanks to you once again.

    - Sucheta
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  • thanks a lot......
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Lagaan Managerial Analysis

  1. 1. Explain the pursuit of opportunity by BHUVAN in the Q1. “Entrepreneurship” context. An Entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of the profit. However, there is much more to entrepreneurship than this simple definition. Author and successful entrepreneur Michael Gerber once wrote, “The entrepreneur is our visionary, the creator in each of us. We're born with that quality and it defines our lives as we respond to what we see, hear, feel, and experience. It is developed, nurtured, and given space to flourish or is squelched, thwarted, without air or stimulation, and dies.” An Entrepreneur is a founder, opportunity seeker, the creator and initiator, the leader, problem solver and motivator, the strategizer and guardian of the mission, values and culture of the venture. Without this human energy, drive and vitality, the greatest ideas – even when they are backed by an overabundance of resources – will fail, grossly underperform or simply never get off the ground. The core difference lies in the intangibles : creativity, ingenuity, commitment, tenacity, determination, a passion to win and excel and leadership and team building skills. These are the skills that were exhibited by Bhuvan throughout the conquest of his dreams. When Bhuvan was challenged to a cricket match, it was observed that every other person was against the challenge and wanted to back off. Even after having Bhuvan accepted the challenge the villagers initially wanted to beseech the King to ensure withdrawal of the challenge. In this entire furor, only on person remained unruffled and that Bhuvan himself. He was a risk taker and could detect the opportunity in the challenge which was perceived as a problem by all. Bhuvan was guided by his intrinsic and extrinsic values that provided him the right direction and impetus in realizing his goals. Bhuvan is the epitome of determination and dedication and symbolizes effective opportunity identification and assessment. The following diagram represents the pursuit of opportunity by Bhuvan:-
  2. 2. Bhuvan’s pursuit of opportunity can be traced to a series of steps that he followed to realize his vision and aspirations. These steps were in turn supported by certain inherent attributes that Bhuvan possessed, which ultimately led him to achieve the goal that he had set. Bhuvan was quick at identifying opportunities, which was reflected right since the initial scenes of the movie, where Bhuvan tries to save a deer from the British hunters. Furthermore, on being challenged for a cricket match, Bhuvan realized that this was probably the only opportunity that he might get to assuage the community from the burden of tax for three years. Where people saw a problem, Bhuvan saw an opportunity – a window to a more blissful and satisfying life. Challenging the British in their own game, may have been perceived as a big catastrophe by others, but Bhuvan saw the opportunity stealth in the contours of the challenge. Having noticed the opportunity, Bhuvan was quick to assess the risk involved in the venture and the possible return involved in the same. The risk was increase in tax by three fold, but the return was no taxes for the next 3 years. The fact that Bhuvan was able to take a decision after this analysis, under pressure from Captain Russell, community, Raja Puran Singh, is indeed remarkable. This manifests the willingness of Bhuvan to take a risk in trying to achieve the reward. Having accepted the challenge, Bhuvan faced stiff opposition from his community and people from the province, who even threatened physical action against him. Inspite of all the antagonism and hostility, Bhuvan was confident that his decision to accept the challenge was prudent and pragmatic and the only possible way to avoid unreasonable taxes. Stiff resentment and antagonism could not dilute his resolve and fortitude and he maintained to be committed to achieving the objectives that he had set for the community. He employed creative methods to convince his community to support him in his endeavor and also join his team. He initially tried to portray that the game was extremely facile and could be learnt easily. He tried to prove this by playing the game in front of other villagers. Though he failed a couple of times initially, he finally succeeded. His attempt did not go in vain as he received his first support from Bagha. Thus, showcasing how one needs to be creative and innovative in trying to enter a persons psyche and convince him in sharing the same vision with you. Bhuvan was also quick to adapt to the format of the game in which he was completely naïve and had very limited exposure. Throughout the process Bhuvan was aided by his intrinsic qualities. Intelligence and Emotional Stability were key drivers that enabled him to identify an opportunity and seize it. Maintaining one’s calm and posture during testing times is an onerous task and Bhuvan managed to execute it with élan and panache. Bhuvan had a capacity to inspire due to which he was primarily able to attract other team members. This was well reflected in his ability to convince Goli and Ishwar to join the team, which was indeed stirring. Bhuvan was a great leader and led his team from the front. He motivated and encouraged his team to strive and enhance their performance continuously. As a leader he ensured that all the team members shared his vision and worked as a single cohesive unit in trying to realize the dreams that he envisioned. Throughout while pursuing the opportunity, Bhuvan faced many predicaments and impediments. However, each problem made him more mature, focused and committed, reflecting his perseverance and fortitude. Above all factors influencing Bhuvan’s pursuit of his opportunity, the most important one was his Values. Bhuvan had deep rooted value system, which formed the foundation of his venture. He cared for his community and upheld the community’s interest above self. Thus, it can be concluded that Bhuvan was an analytical risk taker, who adopted creative strategies to achieve his goals. Furthermore, he had inherent traits and skills which aided him in his decision making process and achieving his targets unremittingly.
  3. 3. What are the key management concepts applied by Bhuvan in Q2. “Lagaan”? Lagaan enunciates that power of “Team Work” and “Unity” and crystallizes the fact that even with limited access to resources and knowledge it is not an onerous task to achieve the set goals. The team managed to achieve its goal, due to excellent managerial and leadership skills exhibited by the protagonist – Bhuvan. Throughout the film Bhuvan employed various management concepts and practices which eventually led him to achieve his target. Broadly categorizing the management concepts applied by Bhuvan, it can be noted that there are four management concepts that allowed his team to handle the tactical, planned and set decisions. The four functions are : - Planning : - Planning was the foundation of Bhuvan's management and was the base upon which all the other areas of management was built by Bhuvan which eventually led to his success. Primarily, on accepting the challenge put forth by Captain Russell, Bhuvan planned and assessed accurately his current position and what his desired position should be, based on which he determined an appropriate course of action and implemented the same to attain the community’s aspirations. He carefully planned his strategy and tactics to ensure the acceptability of the idea by his community and also attract team members. It was evident throughout the film and cricket match that Bhuvan was cognizant of the fact that Planning was a continuous process and he had to constantly adjust his strategies to face the sudden and uncontrollable external factors that constantly affected his team and target both optimistically as well as pessimistically. Organizing : - Bhuvan showed exemplary dexterity in organizing his team and recruiting the right set of people based on their skill sets. He did not manifest an iota of prejudice in selecting his team members which was reflected in his decision to recruit Kachra – a destitute. He organized all his resources to put into practice the course of action that was planned. He maintained a process of creating structure, establishing relationships, and allocating resources to accomplish the goals of the team. He also ensured harmonization of team members and molded the team to perform as a single cohesive unit. Directing : - Bhuvan was recognized as a leader for his commitment to persist, personal competence, clear communication and capacity for caring for others. Bhuvan directed his team to achieve the set goals and also accomplishing their personal goals, by empowering them through motivation, communication, effective leadership and training. He had the objective clearly set and reiterated the objective to his team members regularly to ensure no loss of focus and determination. He directed and led his team proficiently during the cricket match as well, showcasing fortitude and perseverance. Controlling : - Bhuvan had set inherent performance standards and constantly evaluated and reported actual performance, articulating the areas where his team members needed to improve. The film portrayed that the team practiced and trained regularly to achieve high level of performance. Furthermore, Bhuvan displayed exceptional leadership skills in controlling the outburst of his team members on the deceit of Lakha and bringing harmony and attention back into the team. Bhuvan may have been portrayed as an admirable leader but he was driven by his determination and commitment to ensure the security of his villagers.
  4. 4. Throughout the film Bhuvan had been applying the 14 principles of management enlisted by Henry Fayol directly or indirectly. Following table depicts the method in which Bhuvan applied the 14 principles : - Principles of Detail Management Division of Work Bhuvan ensured that his team members specialized in certain aspects and continuously improved their skills in that aspect. For eg: - Goli was specialized in bowling. Authority Bhuvan had clear authority over others and played the key role in deciding his team members and structure of the team. For eg:- Bhuvan displayed his authority while deciding to recruit Kachra, in spite of opposition from other team members. Discipline Bhuvan provided good leadership and hence received complete allegiance and obedience from his team members. Bhuvan also inculcated discipline through vigorous training, which used to take place during night as well. Unity of Command All team members had just one supervisor and there was no conflict of command. Unanimously team members had accepted Bhuvan as their leader and concurred with his decisions. Unity of Direction Bhuvan’s team members had the same set of activities underlying a common objective. When Bhuvan felt that his team members were loosing sight of the objective, he reiterated that the objective was not to win or lose a game, but to win the battle against the British’s tyranny. Subordination of Bhuvan inspired his team members to see that the goal of the community was Individual Interest paramount, which was reflected by his team members too. Never in his action did Bhuvan put himself before the dreams of the community. Remuneration Bhuvan explained his community clearly that should they be able to achieve their goal, they achieve a peaceful and blissful life for 3 years sans any tax. Centralization Bhuvan had to maintain a high level of Centralization in the team since he had realized that there was huge dependency on his competencies, but at the same time each member had equal rights to voice opinion. Scalar Chain Bhuvan maintained an authority over the team. However, he ensured that there was no loss of communication within the team and everyone felt equally responsible for the achievement of the goals. Order Bhuvan maintained order in the team by careful selection and training of his team members. On the exposure of Lakha’s deceit he did well to bring order back in the team as well as in the village. Equity Bhuvan personified kindness and justice when he drafted Kachra to join the team purely on basis of his skills and potential. Stability of Tenure Bhuvan expressed stability and security to Lakha, which resulted in his high of Personnel performance during the fag end of the movie. Also, inspite of the weaknesses of other players like Ishwar and Bagha, he always encouraged and supported them. Initiative Bhuvan allowed Deva to showcase his skills even though it might have diluted his own personal vanity. Thus, reflecting that he encouraged his team members to take initiative which showcased strength of the team. Esprit de corps Bhuvan backed his team to the hilt, even when they made errors. He was willing to give Kachra a second chance despite the skepticism of others. He knew that Kachra can be a match-winner - and Kachra did eventually prove him right.
  5. 5. Q3. How would you apply the lessons of Lagaan to your life? Lagaan is an epic epitomizing extraordinary feats by ordinary people who rise to the occasion and showcase the strength embedded in the concept of “Team”. There are myriad lessons that Lagaan enunciates, which can be imbibed in our professional as well as personal life. I strongly believe that broadly categorizing, Lagaan has the following lessons for each one of us : - Seize Opportunities : - The protagonist in the movie i.e. Bhuvan was risk taking and it was his village ingenuity that led him to accept the challenge thrown at him by the British. Such risk taking and “thinking out of the box” is required for every new venture or a commercial startup. This exemplifies the fact that opportunities are hard to come by and when they do exist it is prudent to make best use of them. Opportunities need to be hunted for and realized to their potential rather than remain complacent and wait for things to happen themselves. Have a Vision : - Bhuvan shared a vision with his community of being assuaged from the burden of taxes for 3 years. It was this vision that acted as a torchbearer for him throughout his strategies and decisions. As an Entrepreneur it is important for one to foster a vision and plan actions revolving around the Vision. Also, it would have been impossible for Bhuvan to convince others to join the crusade, had he not managed to share the Vision. Thus, to make things happen the way we want, we have to imagine the future, and paint a picture in front of the others of what we want to achieve. Do not underestimate competitors : - Captain Russell was very overconfident on his abilities to lead his team to victory. At the same time he underestimated his opponents and overlooked the ability of the competitors that resulted in his defeat. Hence, it is imperative to carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor and never to underestimate their potential. Put Community before Self : - Not once throughout the film was it portrayed that Bhuvan was trying to achieve a particular personal goal. Bhuvan envisioned the relief of his province and not just merely himself. This quality of Bhuvan was instrumental in him being able to achieve the acceptability and consent of the province. It is thus imperative for one to think beyond self and also focus on community goals and objectives. Each person has responsibilities towards his community and achieving them should be the primary objective.
  6. 6. Select Correct Team Members : - The entire process that Bhuvan followed to select his team members was highly enriching. He comprehended the skills and competencies of each individual and only after careful assessment did he entice them to join his team. This was highly enlightening as it had many lessons in store for us. Firstly, it is extremely important to recruit the right set of people with the right mix of skill sets for the smooth functioning of the team. Secondly, it also brought forth the art of attracting team members and providing responsibilities to everyone based on their adeptness. Lead from the front : - Bhuvan portrayed all the qualities of an effective leader and was relentless in his pursuit of victory. He shared his vision with the team that they can win and get through the tax debt by winning a cricket match. He managed to motivate, train, encourage and treat his team members equally with respect. This brings to light the fact that an effective leader is one who leads his team from the front rather than just provide directions. A leader dons the most important role and is instrumental in the success of the team. A leader is as good as his team. Support Team Members : - Throughout, Bhuvan encouraged and extended support to his team members. He openly supported Kachra and Lakha and even when provided them second chance and all necessary encouragement to prove his capabilities and allegiance. Bhuvan's support for Kachra and Lakha were soul stirring and articulated the importance of supporting team members inorder to obtain their loyalty, commitment and bring out the best in them. Foster Team Spirit : - Bhuvan’s actions manifests the importance of unity and togetherness as well as the importance of operating as a single unit in order to overcome the impediments. Had the team been disjoint and every team member pursued his own personal goals, it would have been impossible for the team to taste victory. Put Team Objective before self : - Except for Lakha all players took part in the match for the upliftment of the village and did not let their individual aspirations overpower them. We also learnt from Lakha’s fate that if one lets his personal aspirations overpower him, then the consequences could be perilous not just for the individual, but also the team. Every team member is life a spoke in the wheel and Be determined in face of opposition : - We always face many impediments in life, but a true successful entrepreneur is one who can overcome those impediments and remain focused and determined to achieve is goals. Not all will accept a novel and creative idea initially, but the true art lies in convincing people and making them visualize the same picture that you dream. Never Give up : - It is extremely important like Bhuvan to maintain a “never say die” attitude and move towards your objective unremittingly. Despite all setbacks before the match and during the match, Bhuvan never lost confidence and determination and maintained his vigor and fortitude, key factors that resulted in his victory. Always remain focused on goals : - Bhuvan ensured that his team members remained focused by reiterating the goal to his team members and community members. There will be many predicaments that one would face in his pursuit of goals, but one should never divert his attention from the goal and lose focus. It is extremely easy to stray away from one’s objective over a period of time, but what exemplified Bhuvan was his goal oriented planning and implementation of the same.