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Financial Lessons from Bollywood Comedy Movies

Shraddha Dedhia Featured Writers
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Shraddha Dedhia

Bada Business Paise Se Nahi, Bade Idea Se Bada Hota Hai – My take on Financial Lessons to be learnt from Bollywood Comedies. 

Comedy Bollywood movies are like a communal hug – a “jaadu ki jhappi” as Munnai Bhai says. The primary purpose of these comedy flicks is to entertain us by emotionally involving us and making us burst into laughter. However, often, these movies and their dialogues have also offered a space into reality by giving us valuable insight into finance and money management. 

Let us take a look at financial lessons from these dialogues of the famous comedy movies:

# 1 - Phir Hera Pheri – 21 Din Me Paisa Double

Raju liquidates all of the trios’ assets and invests in one single scheme from ‘Laxmi Chit Fund’. The idea of believing Anuradha wasn’t wrong, but investing all his funds in a single scheme was. For that matter, he also took credit from an outsider to meet these requirements. As a result, not only did he lose the interest he would have received on this money, but also lost the principal and the asset – bungalow. Had Raju manage to retain their bungalow and invest only available funds, he could have atleast diversified the risk.

lesson

When you think you are ready to play in the investments market, the foremost thing you must remember is to diversify your investment. If you heavily invest in real estate, liquidity may get difficult at the time of an emergency. In contrast, keeping huge amounts of cash with you can be difficult at times of demonetization. You must take up a smart mix of assets from different instruments so that one market crash can be balanced by another market’s hike.

Andaz Apna Apna Comedy Hindi Movie Review

The whole idea of Teja kidnapping Bajaj was so grossly wrong. Teja dreamt of asking ransom from Raveena for kidnapping Bajaj and then build his own poultry farm! Yes, heard that right – “Bread ka Baadshah aur Omlette Ka Raja”. However, little did he have an idea that Raveena would actually have nothing to offer him. Amar and Prem showed us why we should do proper research before starting any venture in life – “Tumhara Plan Hi Galat Hai. Tumne baap ko kidnap karke beti se paise maange? Tumhe beti ko kidnap karke baap se paise maangne chaiye the”

lesson

Do not start a venture without proper research. Identifying your clients and their buying habits is an essential component of starting a new profession. Aside from knowing your clients, you need to also know what your fellow professionals offer. Lack of research is one major reason why most of the start-ups and newly established professions fail in India.

In the early part of the movie, we see how the insurance claim filed by Kanjibhai for his shop destroyed in a low-intensity earthquake is rejected by the insurance company. The reason cited by them is that the insurance cover doesn’t include natural calamities. The branch manager asks Kanjibhai – “Aapne form sign karte time ye padha nahi tha?” to which the latter reverts – “Arre, ye sab kaun padhta hai?”

lesson

The behavior shown here is quite relatable to all of us. We cannot blame the regulators here who always have tried to protect the client’s interest. It is ideally the client’s responsibility to read the documents and application forms in full – be it an insurance proposal, an offer document for an investment, or even loan documents. Again, the accountability lies with the clients in such mishaps, atleast to the extent of reading the contract before signing the financial documents (perhaps any documents). It is never enough to emphasize the importance of reading the legal document and understanding the implications of various clauses, before signing it.

We see the trio planning to demand a double ransom amount from Devi Prasad and making their own share of the money by doing Hera Pheri. While the Game (‘KHEL’ as they called in the movie) is yet to be executed and the trio are yet to get the ‘Chappar Phaad Ke Amount’, Baburao has already planned how to spend the money! Yes, he has planned a detailed list of expenditures like Daaru Ka Nal, informing the creditors to come and collect their money next week. But, their lives take a turn when the first time they attempt to execute the whole Khel, they fail at it. Not only are Babu bhaiyya’s dreams shattered, but his creditors are also waiting to get their money back.

lesson

Do Not Spend Before You Earn. And it’s so easy to do, right? We whip out the credit card too many times and suddenly we get a bigger balance than we can pay. A correct balance of Saving, Investing and Spending the leftover will never let you fail or feel embarrassed in life. Human wants are insatiable, so don’t expect to satisfy all your wants before you start saving or investing.

In the movie, we have seen a perfect combination of an impatient and a patient family member. Majnu Bhai was restless and never kept his nerves calm. He never even waited for the correct timing to execute any action. He had this kill or cure attitude and hence, he could never reach the level Uday Bhai could. Whereas, Uday Bhai behaved patiently in all situations and never counted his chickens before they hatched. Remember the “SEH LENGE THODA” attitude?

lesson

Don’t be impatient. Wait for the correct time. Whether it’s about selling bonds before maturity or liquidating fixed deposits before the due date, it could impose a penalty on you. One lesson we should learn is to invest keeping the tenure in mind from the beginning and not act impatient for early results.

This hilarious movie by Priyadarshan Sir takes a turn when Radheshyam Tiwari decides to settle in Mumbai. We see his legal advisor citing an example of ‘Anandilal Katpitya’ whose children separate from their family because they haven’t really moved with time (they still are of old thinking). If this wasn’t enough, Anandilal Katpitya and his wife are now left on their own terms and have a financial crisis. To avoid the instance happening with themselves, Radheshyam and Anjali Tiwari decide to shift Mumbai and adapt to the new milieu.

lesson

Adapt to Newness and Be Independent in Personal Finance. Whether its personal life or finance, adapting to newness becomes vital. One should always start looking beyond the traditional way of investing and try adapting to the new-fangled ones. This movie also teaches us the importance of being independent of the children in terms of personal finance. Radheshyam, unlike Anandilal Katpitya was living on his own terms and was not dependent on his children to support him financially. There is nothing wrong to expect children to upkeep you financially, but own arrangements should always be covered.

This Govinda movie revolves around a never-ending tiff between a 5-star owner K.K. Singhania and a roadside Dhaba owner Raja. Multiple times in the movie we see how Raja regularly manages to get customers to his dhaba by coming up with various attractive offers. Initially, Singhania doesn’t take his offers seriously, but eventually, he realizes that the small dhaba owner is turning out to be a big competitor for him.

lesson

Never underestimate your competitors. Having a healthy respect for rivals is one of the key attributes of any champion. Sure, you may be superlative in your business, but underestimating your competitors merely because they aren’t as big as you are or they have just started new, won’t help you. Remember, competition is a fact of life and how will you react to it will define your success.

Amongst the many lighter moments in the movie, there is one where Suhas blasts out on Pia for losing a ‘4 lakh ki ghadi’. He was so brand and price-conscious that he could easily hurt Pia’s emotions over money. As they say ‘The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’.

lesson

In life, relations are above money. A trip abroad may cost you in lakhs, but the time spent with closed ones is PRICELESS.

Remember Yashvardhan Raichand in K3G? “Paisa toh har koi kama leta hai, lekin izzat kamaana sabke bas ki baat nahi” !

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