Bollywood Celebrities Who Sought Entrepreneurship

Inspiring Stories

12 November 2016

Bollywood Celebrities Who Sought Entrepreneurship

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

bollywood-celebrities-who-sought-entrepreneurship

“Do what you love,” is a principle most entrepreneurs live by. Many Bollywood celebrities follow the same thought. Apart from their booming career in show business, they have various other interests that they have pursued. Some have survived the rigour of entrepreneurial life to form successful businesses and brands that are now known widely.

#1. Salman Khan’s Being Human

Salman Khan successfully used his stardom and image as a “mass man” to propagate his charitable trust, Being Human. It works towards providing education and healthcare to underprivileged children. The Trust also leveraged Salman Khan’s image in the eyes of the masses. An interesting revenue model was all this foundation needed to reach great heights. Salman Khan entered a licensing agreement with Mandhana Industries Ltd. In 2009 he released the Being Human fashion line during the India Couture week. The brand has been performing exponentially well ever since. It launched in Europe in 2012. Since 2015 it has been available online as well as in exclusive retail stores in Europe, India, Middle East, Nepal and South Africa. All of the royalties received go towards the Being Human cause. Being Human Clothing is now a Rs. 100 crore brand. His revenue model and his stardom are a combination that can only make success an unstoppable feat.

#2. Shekhar Kapoor and A.R. Rahman’s- Qyuki

A.R. Rahman’s passion for music and creation is well known amongst most Indians. Therefore it was not surprising when he collaborated with Shekhar Kapoor and Samir Bangara to start a new Social Media platform for creators called Qyuki. Qyuki invites inventors to use its wide variety of facilities (recording rooms, animators, etc.) for free to create their content and show case it on the website. Sometimes it reserves the Intellectual Property rights and helps in the distribution process as well. To further satisfy his passion for music, A.R. Rahman launched Jammin’ through Qyuki. With Jammin’, musicians from the Bollywood industry could scout talent on YouTube to create a musical blend never seen before by India. This also gave Bollywood a chance to move away from mainstream music and explore a plethora of options. Qyuki can connect creators with organisations and vice versa. This is a one stop shop for Indian creators to sign up and launch their careers with a strong starting point.

#3. Deepika Padukone’s Live, Love, Laugh Foundation

The story behind the start of this organisation is a very famous one. Deepika Padukone being a victim of depression herself has established this foundation to help all those who suffer from the same predicament. This is a cause that ignites a lot of passion and has been overlooked in the Indian Society. Recently they have come up with two major campaigns ‘You are not alone’ and ‘More than just sad’ that assure depression victims that there is genuine help and a group of people who understand their adversities. Queen of Bollywood by profession and social entrepreneur by heart, Deepika Padukone has definitely made her mark on the world.

#4. Kunal Kapoor’s Ketto

Kunal Kapoor was determined to support charities when he started Ketto along with his partner Varun Seth in December 2012. Ketto is a crowdfunding platform where anyone can connect with and support charities by donating to them. More than 500 campaigns are thriving with the help of Ketto. It has the power to save lives and make community fundraising a simpler process for NGOs. The simple procedure of setting up your campaign and active members allow for generating quick funds during emergencies. Whether it is supporting a loved one during times of trouble or fundraising for a social organization, this platform is effective in solving any dilemmas.

#5. Malaika Arora, Sussane Khan and Bipasha Basu’s The Label Life

Through their style, business acumen and charm, these three strong Bollywood personalities have started a business that caters to their primary interest: Fashion. Whether it is fashion at home or fashion outside, you can rely on their store, The Label Life, for an eclectic and elegant collection of home décor, clothes, shoes and accessories. Their main aim is to promote an inspired life filled with style.

#6. Ronit Roy’s Ace Security and Protection Agency

Ronit Roy’s ownership of a security agency was an unexpected surprise. His highly sophisticated connections in the Bollywood industry landed the agency many high profile clients like Yashraj Studios, Amir Khan Productions and Ashutosh Gowarikar Productions. They have also been of service to many Hollywood celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Naomi Campbell and John Travolta through their visits to India.

Several celebrities are turning to social entrepreneurship to support causes they truly care about. Some are using entrepreneurship to support their industry while some are exploring extremely different interests. There are countless celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Malaika Arora, Shilpa Shetty who have started their own enterprises that are thriving. Following their heart and taking a calculated risk comes naturally to so many of India’s personalities. There is certainly something to learn from how they leverage their passion and personal brand to achieve their business goals.

Entrepreneurs are not made, they are born. You need to find the right inspiration for it and for that you need a right working space. Choose co-working space in Churchgate, Mumbai or shared office space in Connaught Place, New Delhi

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How the lockdown taught us collaboration & other management lessons

Inspiring Stories

07 July 2020

How the lockdown taught us collaboration & other management lessons

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Unlock 1 has seen many get back to their office spaces and adapt to the new normal of masks and social distancing. It’s a good time to reflect on the many lessons we’ve learnt during the lockdown and how we can apply it to our corporate lives. Sometimes, all it takes for change to take effect is the lack of choice. As we grappled with being locked at home, we geared up to learn new skills, find new ways of entertainment and we collectively managed to remote work effectively. Here’s a look at some lessons we can take back to work with us:

Are we all Digital yet?

Somewhere between forgetting to switch on the mute button and switching off the camera, we all grew up to be digital. The world before the lockdown was divided between the Digital Natives and the Digital not-quite-there-yet. What stopped us from adopting technology which existed to make our lives simpler and help us work more efficiently? And yet, how come when it came to personal usage, we easily figured out Firestick/Chromecast streaming and the latest cell phones? Learning happens out of interest or necessity; and at a company level the interest must trickle top down. The leadership team and managers need to bring in a culture of systemic learning and that begins with them upskilling to lead by example. This serves a dual purpose – one that accepts not knowing everything is normal and second that it’s never too late to learn.

The Key Takeout: For organisations to innovate and evolve, there needs to be a culture of learning. The ‘why fix it if it ain’t broke’ philosophy is the biggest roadblock to innovation.  

Workload equals loads of work?

It’s fascinating how we seamlessly divided house tasks based on innate ability – the younger ones for physically-intense housecleaning, the ones who knew cooking took up kitchen work and the rest did dishes and groceries. Some people rotated duties but each family found its own rhythm. Each person was accountable for their work, knew the others’ tasks and trusted them to do it. Of course, things work differently in the corporate world with its clearly demarcated job profiles and associated qualifications; however, we can take a leaf out of this and relook at how we can assign work beyond qualifications. Align teams to a short-term common goal, clearly define how they’re contributing to it individually and collectively, and acknowledge that effort and result.

The Key Takeout: Working collaboratively by its very nature takes away the sense of ‘it’s not my job’ and builds a system where each one is aware and thus appreciative of the work the others are doing.

Time: Too much of a good thing?

Humans are creatures of habit which is why when faced with what seemed like infinite time, we used it exactly the way we are accustomed to spending it. The workaholics worked, the fitness freaks worked out, TV addicts binged and almost everyone learned to bake! But at some point we got a sense of too much, even if it was something we enjoyed, we started missing the office, the routine. How does this apply in the corporate world? If you let people chill and do what they love for some time, you’ll get them more refreshed and charged up to work rather than restricting them to strictly work during work hours. By forbidding things, we make them more appealing. This is not a carte blanche to slack off but a more lenient work style where half an hour on YouTube or a game of Scrabble is acceptable and doesn’t have to be done behind the boss’ back.

The Key Takeout: If work is no more restricted from 9 to 5, why should fun have set timings? Set boundaries but don’t make work and life mutually exclusive.

Focusing vs flexibility?

The easily distracted, and that’s pretty much all of us, will find a distraction worth their time. Pets and children replaced colleagues, chores replaced coffee breaks and SOs replaced bosses. On the other hand, we were saved from focusing on what to wear, what is she wearing, where to go after work, the meeting that should’ve been an email etc. The lockdown brought home the truth on how much time and energy is wasted on things of little or no significance. Despite the increase in daily chores, the lack of an office environment, and distractions at home; most people reported being more productive while working from home. Should this mean an end to office as we know it? Yes and no. The office as we knew it – singular location, fixed timings, everyone & everyday reporting – needs to give way to a more flexible, work from home and work near home approach. The flexibility may differ between industries, organisations but the core approach needs to evolve.

The Key Takeout: Focus on what’s essential and become a more outcome/goal-oriented workplace. Does it really matter if the person delivers an exceptional presentation wearing trousers or pyjamas?

When the lines between office and home are getting increasingly blurred, there’s merit to introspect and apply learnings from home and family to help teams work better.   The lockdown tested and demonstrated our potential to trust, collaborate and handle a crisis; and it would be a shame to not carry some of this back with us as we head back to office.

Why do Leaders Swear by Thinking Fast and Slow?

Inspiring Stories

27 April 2020

Why do Leaders Swear by Thinking Fast and Slow?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

According to Daniel Kahneman, human beings have fractional thinking – System 1 and System 2; where System 1 is the gut, intuitive thinking, and System 2 is analytical, problem-solving and reflective decision making. Overall, both aid our judgement, where for some situations system 1 (fast thinking) provides the foundation for System 2 (slow thinking). But in many conditions, these work independently – for example, first impressions are formed solely by fast thinking. However, best decisions are made when both these methods are running simultaneously.

Hence, leaders swear by thinking fast and slow because it provides multiple business advantages such as:

Error Minimisation: Leaders encourage employees to indulge in fast and slow thinking because it reduces errors. If a person applies any of the two independently, there is a higher chance of tilted decisions. For example, when a person thinks too fast, it leads to cognitive biases, leading to erroneous results. For example, A project demands the regional sales of X product. But an employee registers only ‘sale’, conducts a quick search and quotes global sales while providing no figure for region-wide sales.

Enhanced Productivity: When a person effectively balances both slow and fast thinking, productivity rises sharply. This promotes wise thinkers who analyse situations rather than rely on quick judgments. For example, in a team, two employees do not get along and indulge in ruthless competition. A leader, who applies fast and slow thinking, will adopt a sound strategy to form better relations between the two, such as joint mediations or a combined project. But alternatively, in a quick response, if a leader fires the underperformer, it will be a loss to the team.

Rational Decisions: Decision-making is the basis of management and hence, needs to be made rationally. For example, a team needs to vote for a leader. Some employees, instead of carefully assessing the candidates, might make an unreasonable judgement based on superficial qualities. This will lead to the selection of a wrong candidate, which could be avoided through balanced evaluation based on multiple factors, including appearance, attitude, career trajectory, team spirit, etc.

Quick, Calculated Response: Hasty decision making or slow thinking can both result in a disaster independently. Hence, employees need to be quick but also calculated in their responses. Assume a scenario where a client is angry, and the employee reciprocates with the same emotion or worse. In such situations, the employees should be prompt yet calculated with their replies, calm the client and ensure error rectification.

Better Negotiation: For leaders, negotiation is an everyday task. One of the most important factors that can help a leader win a negotiation is how well he/she understands the opponent. The principles of thinking fast and slow help one to better understand the opponent and ultimately win an argument.

Thinking fast and slow advocates a healthy balance of the gut and factual thinking.

How to Harness the Power of Lateral Thinking to Enhance Creativity?

Inspiring Stories

20 April 2020

How to Harness the Power of Lateral Thinking to Enhance Creativity?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As working professionals, productivity and creativity come at the apex of keeping a business going. The world out there is competitive, the industry stops for no one, and innovation becomes the key. Therefore, it becomes vital to continually engage with unique techniques to produce out-of-the-box ideas. Lateral thinking can help you work those grey cells and keep the creativity flowing.

What is lateral thinking?
The term was first coined by the famous psychologist Edward de Bono. He summarized the need for lateral thinking by saying, “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.”
Once you are presented with a problem, how do you get to thinking about its solution? Lateral thinking can help you break the barrier of age-old solution-driven techniques that have become redundant in the modern age. While practising lateral thinking, the answer is searched in indirect and creative light. When your perception about the problem is tweaked, the solution-driven mind is forced to think of alternatives and come up with solutions that are unique to one’s experiences.
Steps to harness the power of lateral thinking
A few things that can help you execute lateral thinking perfectly are –
1. Stay curious. The only way one can look at the question/problem from a new perspective is when they are questioning everything enough. Ask yourself questions about the whole concept before working your mind towards solutions.
2. Since lateral thinking has only one rule, i.e. think outside the box, there are no restrictions on the order in which the thought must proceed. You could also ideate solutions first and then think backwards. It will help you garner creativity.
3. Switch personas. Sometimes thinking differently could be difficult. An effective technique would be to think of yourself as a different person and run your thoughts as if you were someone else.

Why should you practice lateral thinking?
There are many pros to this technique. Some of them include-
1. It pushes you towards alternatives. When you look at the problem in an unusual light, it naturally will invoke newer solutions, something that will be more creative and unique.
2. It boosts productivity. Eliminating redundancy and monotony, lateral thinking will drive impressive ideas, keeping you motivated enough to not give up and keep working.
3. It makes your solution/product a potential game-changer. Most start-ups or early-stage companies rely on products and solutions that can help them impress stakeholders, including investors and consumers. A novel and out-of-the-box idea is sure to grab eyeballs and get the ball rolling for you.
4. It can be used during interviews to test the creative potential of the candidates. A talent that can drive your business towards incredible heights must be screened well!