5+ Indian Movies That Inspire Entrepreneurship

5+ indian movies

Guru (Mani Ratnam, 2007)

Loosely based on the life and times of Dhirubhai Ambani, Guru is probably the most obvious entry in this list. Gurukant Desai is an ambitious middle class boy, who gets married to a rich businessman’s daughter, and uses the money he gets as dowry to set up his own cloth business in Mumbai. He pursues success ruthlessly; and smuggles machine parts for his polyester mills, illegally creates goods, and manipulates stocks to make higher profits. The controversial film follows how he uses his skills and ambition to drive this business to creates one of the richest companies in the country.

The film is reflective of a man’s desire for ambition and success, and how times have changed from the period immediately after the country’s independence to the present we live in. As an entrepreneur, Guru is ruthless, manipulative and cunning, but at the same time, he encourages us to believe in our dreams. While the film’s protagonist may not teach us about business ethics, it does teach us to be persevering, ambitious and commitment.


Rocket Singh: Salesman of the year (Shimit Amin, 2009)

After obtaining just 39% marks in graduation, Harpreet Singh, who lives with his grandfather, gets employed with AYS Computers as a salesman. He is shunned and mocked by his superiors and colleagues, and soon finds that honesty is not the best policy. He bootstraps his own parallel sales company using his company resources and partners with four other employees from the firm, leading to the creation of a fictitious organization – ‘Rocket Sales Corporation’. An entrepreneur is born.

Rocket Singh is another obvious entry into this list. One of the most important lessons the film teaches is that success is not dictated by academic excellence. The protagonist’s hunger for risks, ability to pick the right people for his team, and his value for his customers is inspiring. The film also teaches us to take failure and unfair remarks, and let our actions do the talking. The film shows that the most inspiring leaders are the most humble ones, and are born in the most unusual circumstances.


Band Band Baaja Baaraat (Maneesh Sharma, 2010)

The film revolves around a girl and a boy, two fresh college graduates who don’t know each other, and team up to start a wedding planning business. Although the film’s foreground is a love story, the struggles and delusions a startup faces are shown beautifully in the narrative.

The most important message of the film is that entrepreneurs should know how to separate their personal and professional life. The film talks about passion being more important than qualification, and more importantly teaches us to be a team player. Knowing ones customer, business ethics, dreaming big, not bothering about competition, and treating vendors as partners are some other important lessons entrepreneurs can learn from this film.


Kai po che! (Abhishek Kapoor, 2013)

The story goes around the three friends who start a business, also providing coaching classes and tuition. Omi asks for help with his uncle, who is also a political leader, to start this business. Govind provides tuition classes to some children and Ishaan gives cricket coaching. They come to meet a boy, Ali who is gifted with hyper-reflex. Ishaan then starts special coaching for the boy so that the country gets a new star player. But unexpected things happen suddenly and the story takes a turn.


Manzil (Basu Chatterjee, 1979)

The film follows the ambition of an unemployed young man who has dreams of starting his own company. He starts a galvanometer business but the company fails due to competition in the market, eventually burdening him with huge debts. He had proposed marriage to his girlfriend by lying to her, whose father, a lawyer, now sues him for business fraud. The protagonist mends his ways and eventually emerges a winner.  The film teaches us to be ambitious, and follow our dreams, no matter what our economic background and circumstances are. More importantly it teaches us to accept mistakes and failure and learn to move on.


3 Idiots (Rajkumar Hirani, 2009)

The coming of age comedy-drama film follows the journey of three friends who question the ways of learning and education in a prestigious engineering college. The film questions the regulated study environment and revolves around the challenges these students face when they try to follow their passion, and learn in an innovative and fun way.

The film is distinctive for featuring real inventions by little known people in India’s backyards. The brains behind the innovations were Remya Jose, a student from Kerala, who created the exercise-bicycle/washing-machine; Mohammad Idris, a barber from Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh, who invented a bicycle-powered horse clipper; and Jahangir Painter, a painter from Maharashtra, who made the scooter-powered flour mill. The film questions the idea of students being forced to study in the field their parents want to, in a meaningless routine-bound and regulated way. It also looks beyond classrooms and parents’ expectations and the burdened life students are forced upon. Makes us wonder why so many entrepreneurs were either college drop-outs or bad in academics.


Badmaash Company (Parmeet Sethi, 2010)

Set in the middle class dynamics of the 90s, the film revolves around four young friends who graduate from college and start a business together. Using unorthodox methods, they proceed to make large fortunes by smuggling expensive foreign goods and avoiding the import duty on them.

The entrepreneurs in the film are cunning, over-ambitious and often funny. It shows how entrepreneurs find their niche market and go on to exploit it. Although the film gives important moral lessons on business principles, the film also raises vital questions of ethical versus unethical in a light hearted manner. The film reminds us of the days when a typical Bollywood villain was a smuggler, which became extinct after ‘smuggling’ became legal post India’s economic liberalization.


Any other inspirational movies that should be added to this list?

happy wheels

Posted on January 9, 2016 in Ideas, Movies, Startup

Back to Top