Shahrukh khan - Thorns to Competition
I'm the best! That's one line he is known by, said Shahrukh Khan at the launch of my latest book, Thorns to Competition, which I coauthored with my wife Rajita. It was supposed to be a normal book launch with Shahrukh Khan – the man I personally think is the most intelligent, educated, witty and charming superstar the country has. But it turned out to be something else. Not just did Shahrukh launch the book, he also spoke in detail about how he had applied every concept of the book in his life. And his speech became a journey of his life. It sure was special, more so since he is known to be shy and rarely to open up like this in public. I have experienced this special side of him at least a couple of times in the past as well during our events. This time, I felt I must write on it. It’s pure inspiration for one and all to know of this side of his life and it sure will help the masses know this iconic man and his amazing journey better. I thought of writing this piece more so because today morning, when I made a Facebook entry on how I thought Shahrukh was so intelligent, I was instantly barraged by messages asking me to write more on the same.

However, before I write more about what he spoke, let me admit that like a majority of people in this country, I am a huge fan of Shahrukh, and that I feel I have been extremely lucky (it’s my pure luck that I had the opportunity to know Shahrukh from relatively closer quarters, much before he became this iconic superstar, through a very dear common friend of ours, Sabiena) that in every event of IIPM which he has come to, he has spoken about something that people later insisted that they had never heard before. Yes, I know he feels quite relaxed here due to his past links, but I don't think that is what makes him share so much. I believe that when he comes to IIPM, he sees students looking up to him. And he knows he shouldn’t just be entertaining them. Rather, he should leave a message to make a difference to their lives. And the messages have mostly been very, very meaningful, honest and drawn straight from his life’s experiences, as expected out of a man of immense intelligence and education like him. Similarly, when he comes to a book launch, he sees a totally different class of very learned people sitting across the stage, and I believe he gets into a totally different world of ideas and philosophies just to live up to their expectations.

I believe his tremendous habit of reading is what makes him totally different from most others. I have always believed that you can't be a great leader if you aren't a great reader! In fact, I tell my friends – just like in the case of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan – reading Shahrukh's social media entries is a great lesson on how to look at various facets of life and express them through absolutely brilliantly words. Come to think of it, both Shahrukh and Mr. Bachchan are known for their education, extremely brilliant communication skills, their unique way of expressing themselves, and of course, above all else, both of them made it to the top through their sheer sincere hard work and perseverance despite not being traditional good-lookers!

In this book, Rajita and I used ‘T-H-O-R-N-S’ as an acronym for six competition beating strategies! They are: Target it right | Hit where it hurts | Obsess with it | Reinvent it | Nail it | Sell it |

And when Shahrukh was introduced as the star who has literally given thorns to his competition during his entire journey, he decided to speak on what each of these letters stood for in his life! Yes, this is how the Badshah of Bollywood has given thorns to his competition... Read on!

Coming to the first principle; in the book, we focussed on the need to identify and ‘T’arget one’s consumer segment right. For Shahrukh too, targeting it right has always been very important! However, while most stars in the industry will consider the audience whom they wish to please as their key target, Shahrukh’s target has been beyond all this. He said that when he came to this industry, people found him too thin... too dark... thought he spoke too fast, that his hair was like a bear – all over the place – so on, so forth... and questioned him on why he even wanted to be in the film industry. His response always used to be, “To make people smile!” They couldn’t relate to this answer. They insisted that people came to the film industry to make money, to get rich; and said that what Shahrukh was professing couldn’t be true. When they asked him why he wanted to be a movie star, he said, “I want to be a movie star for my late parents... I want to make movies so damned bloody big that my parents, somewhere up in heaven, can sit on some star and see my movies from there too, and say, ‘Hey, we can see his movies from here better than we can see the Great Wall of China... We can see his movies covering the face of this earth’...” And that has been his target. A target that no one can compete with. It’s his own set, standard of excellence. And that's why he feels that he can't be beaten, for he has never fought the battle that everyone else has been fighting. For him, the target needs to have an ideology, and only then, he believes, can one succeed!     Read More....