How's my Luck now?

Reflections, views and descriptions during my stay at IIM Lucknow from July 2004 to March 2006

Location: India

Monday, July 11, 2005

'Chhoti si Baat'

Having some free time today, I re-watched this '70s Basu Chatterjee film starring Amol Palekar, Ashok Kumar, Asrani and Vidya Sinha, with a friend. After being in a B-school for a slightly more than a year now, we viewed this film, and particularly Ashok Kumar's character in a new light. The following is not meant to be serious :).

Arun (Amol Palekar) is having trouble wooing Prabha (Vidya Sinha) because of his shy nature and extreme diffidence, even though Prabha is positively disposed towards him. Nagesh (Asrani), who is Prabha's colleague at office, adds to Arun's problems by making aggressive moves toward Prabha.

Viewing Arun and Nagesh as rival firms in a market where Prabha is the customer, Arun is not aware of his capabilities, while Nagesh has developed several competencies (like possessing a scooter to ferry Prabha, having expertise in chess & table-tennis, being street-smart, etc.) and is quite customer-centric. Having made bad investments in a bid to impress his customer (like buying an antique, run-down motorcycle), Arun also tries out penny consultants (astrologers, magnetists) before turning to the big consultant firm of Col. Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh (Ashok Kumar). Col. Singh offers diversified consulting services to a wide customer base, including politicians and filmstars worried about managing their income tax.

Col. Singh quickly diagnoses Arun's problems, in true consultant style, as 'lack of self-confidence', 'ineffective global communication' and 'paranoidical frustration' :). He takes up revamping Arun's firm as a turnkey project, and in 20 days, has equipped Arun with various skills to match and better Nagesh's. Col. Singh has thus been an external change agent and a turnaround artist. Arun is also taught intrigue in business (delaying tactics and sledging in chess & table-tennis, salvaging bad investments by artificially increasing their price, etc.) The rival firm of Nagesh tries desperately to counter this transformed firm of Arun, but to no avail. Finally, as Arun wins over his customer, Nagesh also turns to Col. Singh for similar transformation. Will Col. Singh's transformation process framework become commoditized, with so many firms wanting to use it? Material for a sequel, perhaps.