September, 24, 2017
Brand management,The super star way!
01 Dec

P. C. Balasubramanian and Ram N. Ramakrishnan highlight the essentials of brand management by tracing Rajinikanth’s career through their book ‘Grand Brand Rajini’ that was launched recently in Chennai

38-BP-1The first day, first show of a Rajnikanth movie draws fans like nothing else does. And most of them go on to become super hits, riding solely on the shoulders of the superstar. He is a cult in himself, and yet, he has never promoted himself. What makes him a brand? Two of his diehard fans attempt to answer this question through their latest book.

Grand Brand Rajini, authored by finance professionals P. C. Balasubramanian (PCB) and Ram N. Ramakrishnan (Ram) and published by Rupa Publications, highlights the essentials of brand management by tracing the star’s story right from his launch to his latest movie.

PCB, a chartered accountant by qualification and a second time author, is one of the founder-directors of Matrix Business Services India. While enterprise and institution-building is a part of his profession, he is also an ardent admirer of Rajinikanth and one of the authors of the bestselling Rajini’s Punch Tantra: Business and Life Management the Rajinikanth Way. Ram is a chartered and cost accountant and has been a management consultant for two decades. He offers management advisory services in the Arabian Gulf and is also an avid photographer, a self-taught musician and now a writer. The authors, whose common link is their status as devout Rajni fans, mentored each other during their authoring days and wrote the manuscript within 100 days. They share with us this experience.

What was the thought process behind writing these books - Rajini’s Punch Tantra and Grand Brand Rajini  - on Rajnikanth? What does each book signify?

PCB:  The power of his personality and the conviction that I had in the punch lines, which are, in reality, pearls of wisdom communicated in a simple to understand manner.

With regards to Grand Brand Rajini, both Ram and I envisioned so many similarities in an iconic brand’s life cycle and that of Rajnikanth’s career.  It is also our simple gift to our beloved Rajinikanth for his birthday falling on December 12.

While Rajini’s Punch Tantra narrates the fundamental principles in business and life management, Grand Brand Rajini brings out the essentials of a brand, branding and brand management lucidly through showcasing Rajinikanth’s story.

Note: At the launch of the book in Chennai, R. Balki, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer at Lowe Lintas, made a wonderful observation about Brand Rajni, which is highlighted in the book. He explained: “The best thing about Rajni is his originality. While in hindsight we discover what people or brands do right to become a great brand, Rajnikanth built a brand thanks to his simplicity and continuously delivering to his fans. Even as he became a huge brand, he continued to follow the principles of what made him good in the first place. He didn’t change.”

While you are a hardcore fan of the actor, what kind of research did you have to do to understand brand management?

Ram: The extensive research revolved around finding the attributes, qualities, characteristics and the significant milestones that relate to well-known corporate brands and their concordance with Rajinikanth’s career.

PCB: In simple terms, management is what a manager does.  Rajinikanth has been a great manager for his own career and many lessons can be learnt from the way he has managed it. One can pick up management lessons from any huge successes or failures and we saw a great branding story emerging from his career.

38-BP-2It’s no secret that you are a big fan of Rajinikanth. Tell us some things that you have done as a hardcore fan of his during your younger days? 

PCB: I have been a fan right from the time Rajinikanth was launched. I remember during my school days, I woke up very early one morning to see him at Tirunallar temple when I heard that he was passing through the temple town on his way to Sabari Mala and that was the first time I had a glimpse of him. I had a mid-term test the same afternoon at school. And a professor took me to the temple town. It is a day that I will remember forever.

Ram: There is nothing to beat the experience of watching a Rajini extravaganza first day, first show, come what may. Watching Thalapathy after getting completely drenched in rain will remain etched in my memory.

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