1.The social Network (2010):
2. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999):
This was a made-for-TV movie released in 1999 that covers the early days of the country’s leading technology hub and the eventual rise of both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The documentary-style movie provides an interesting take on the lives of the founders of Microsoft and Apple. This movie provides inspiration from the two iconic pirates.
3. The Pursuit Of Happiness (2006):
Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, this 2006 Will Smith vehicle is one of the most heartwarming and motivational films for entrepreneurs. If you’re not moved by watching Chris and his son struggle to follow a dream, then I am truly puzzled.
Why watch it? Even though he became homeless and struggled to provide for his son, Chris never gave up on his dream. That passion and sacrifice is something every entrepreneur should be willing to embrace.
4. Moneyball (2011):
You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s. Because the team didn’t have the finances to spend on players, Beane had to discover a unique way to compete.
Why watch it? Beane had to be innovative. And that’s one of the most-well known traits of entrepreneurs: figuring out how to make something better. Also, Beane never listened to the naysayers and never backed down from his vision.
5. Wall Street (1987):
In 1987, director Oliver Stone made Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) one of the most infamous characters in cinema history with his motto “greed is good.” The film centers on the illegal and unethical decisions made by Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) to become filthy rich like Gekko, a corporate raider.
What watch it? Don’t sell yourself out just for the sake of money. Remember, being an entrepreneur isn’t just about becoming rich and famous.
6. Swades (2004):
The film revolves around the issues that development throws up at the grassroot level. The film’s protagonist, a bright young scientist working as a project manager in NASA comes to his village, which is heterogeneous, colourful and complex, to find his childhood nanny. The contrast between the highly developed world of NASA, and his world back home in India is seen, and leads to the protagonist’s simple yet meaningful quest to generate electricity for his village.
The film with its tag-line ‘we the people’ gives out a strong message that a country’s strength lies in its people. Addressing numerous burning issues concerning us today, Swades asks that vital question – ‘as responsible and intelligent members of society, what is it that we can do?’ The film teaches us to stick to our roots, and work for a better future, a lesson that entrepreneurs must never forget.
7. Iqbal (2005):
The film’s protagonist – a deaf and mute son of a farmer from a remote village – has a passion for the game of cricket and seeks the tutelage of a washed-up, alcoholic ex-player. The story follows his obsession as he aims to fulfil his dream of playing for the Indian cricket team.
Choosing a career that is already overshadowed by the rich and powerful, the film’s protagonist leaves us bewildered as he treads his path with unmatched determination. The film goes on to tell us that heroes are found in the rarest of situations, as our protagonist — with a strict father, little guidance, poverty ridden background, and physical disability — goes on to make his dreams come true.
8. Corporate (2006):
The film revolves around two corporate giants who compete in order to recklessly maximize their respective profits, and is based on the 2003 pesticides issue in India, when a Delhi-based non-profit organization published a report finding pesticide levels in cold drinks at levels 30 times that considered safe. The film shows the dirty juncture of business and politics and unveils the games which the men in power play to remain on top, and how it affects the common man.
The only film in this list with a negative message, ‘Corporate’ should be watched to know the dark side of doing business. The film should remind entrepreneurs that all is not well with the corporate sector and why it is important to be ethical, just and honest.
9. Guru (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
10. 3 Idiots (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.
11. Rocket Singh (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.
12. Band Baaja Baraat (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.
13. Badmaash Company (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.