Simple things.. Are they Really Simple ?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Rajinikanth - A Strategist Actor???

Rajinikanth - a known filmi personality in whole of India. An actor with grand success and marching forward in full swing. Still makes enough media attraction, retains a huge mob of fans and finally gives loads of money to the producer. Recently I read a news item in the 'Economic Times' which says that Rajinikanth is only next to Jackie Chan in Asia in terms of pay he gets for one movie.

After disappointing 'BABA',I watched 'Chandramukhi'- his latest in which he played a doctor's role. He did a decent job. Rajinikanth without cigarette - unimaginable, but he still stealed the show. If my memory goes right, I never have seen him conversing with people patiently during the end part of movie. Invariably all his movie would have a fight sequence at the end. But in this movie he was conversing with other key characters about a treatment for the patient.It was good to see. I was able to see an actor's decades of experience and expertise on the screen.

In my personal opinion I don’t see the real Rajinikanth in recent movies of him. I am not able to see the anger in his eyes. But yes, I understand, he also grows old, those stuff would have been gone down. But in this movie I was thrilled to see a Rajinikanth whom I have never seen in the recent past in a song portraying a king's role.

I am a fan of Rajini and Kamal. But for quite a long time I am observing Rajinikanth - what is the reason behind his huge success? This remained as a question in me and never bothered to find an answer.

Only in the recent past I was able to get few solid reason for his success. There may be quite a lot of reasons, but I see three critical reasons that have been his key success factors.

1. Core Competence: Once during his birthday, Kamalhaasan wished him on a satellite television. He appreciated Rajinikanth for the decision he took before several years. The decision was to bet on his mannerism. So he had tremendous confidence on his skills. Even Kamalhaasan told that he was quite skeptical. He identified his core competance which eventually became his USP (Unique selling proposition).

2. Bottom of the Pyramid: One year back I came to know about 'Bottom of the Pyramid' a concept developed by CK Prahalad - a management guru of Michigan Business School, US of A. According to his concept, when you place any countries economy, particularly the developing countries like India, China in a pyramid (triangle) and see it as three parts, you will find a heavy base in the bottom and going upper it will be lighter and lighter. So now apply economics - the rich are at the top belongs to the small portion and the second part - little heavier than the top belongs to the middle class (upper and lower). Then the bottom the heaviest part belongs to the poor. So he says when you are able to cater to the poor, you can very well go up and cater the remaining two segments. The bottom is where the market is.

So I started looking for a real time case. It just flashed me - Rajinikanth just adopted this strategy - knowing or unknowingly.

Today Rajinikanth has fan circles in all economic segments, but in the beginning he started in the bottom. He played 'angry young man' roles in most of the movies and that attracted fans who are all by and large poor. Then slowly over a period of time he was able to capture fans from all the economic segments. So he understood in the beginning itself that where the market is. Having understood the market he sold himself successfully knowing their needs and wants.

3. New Segment: When I was a kid I liked Rajinikanth a lot. I use to dance before all in the home whenever they play a song from the movie 'Murattu Kaalai'. I remember once I was imitating Rajinikanth in front of a mirror with a spectacle in my hand, my dad saw me and gave nicely.

But the amazing thing is still he is able to attract the kids. I know a kid who remains silent when 'Baasha' movie being played. So whenever the kid does too much of mischief they play the movie. This happens for several times it seems, and it goes on still successfully. Some of the children would have seen Rajinikanth for the first time only in the 'Chandramukhi' , but still they are getting attracted.
One of my friend who was working for a resort company told about a star performer in his team. That man's strategy was to convince or attract the kids in the home wherehe goes for the call. So wherever he attracts the kids with the product he has, he was able to win the deal.
Now-a-days the children in the home do involve themself in the decision making process. This particular trend started before 10 - 15 years particularly in the urban socities. So companies target children and try to attract them through TV Ad, gift offers etc. It is great that he was able to attract this segment in its 'Sunrise' (early) stage.
So in my view these three factors played a crucial role in his success.
So it looks very much necessary for a artist to market himself successfully. I recently noticed a document in the web and it is all about the marketing plan for a musical artist. So this particular trend of making a formal and scientific approach to market oneself would become a order of the day in the near future. People taste are changing in the rapid pace, without scientific methods, it is tough to gauge the people mind set.
Rajinikanth was smart enough to be successful because of the above said critical factors. So understanding the fact people in anybusiness for that matter need to look at things scientifically and get pave their way to success.


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  • At 4:38 AM, Blogger Raj said…

    Its really nice to use BOP concept to an actor. The only thing is that concept is for measuring the economy of the market at three levels. But you have used it for measuring the reach of an actor. It shows your understanding of that concept and knowledge of application.
    I want to show my piece of mind to you in this regard.
    1)Before this film Rajni has given a failure movie. That's why he has choosen this "Chandramuki" film(a mega hit Remake film). Can you comment on the strategy of why he has chosen this?
    2) One more observation is about his political inclination. Everybody wants him to step into the political field. Also he had certain amount of negative experiences with the current C.M. Eventually he made his mind very clear about not choosing political field and also without EGO he has started admiring the C.M. Such a matured person he is. I think it's also one of his secret of success.


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