The Five-letter word

The Five-letter word. Focus.

Two decades ago, I interviewed with AGK, short for Sri.AG Krishnamurthy, an advertising doyen. He was the founder of Mudra advertising that heralded many firsts in the media & entertainment and MICA (Mudra Institute of Creative Arts). The role I was pitching for was that of a digital brand consultant for Byrraju Foundation, the brainchild of Ramalingam Raju. Within minutes of our conversation, he asked me, “Who are you, basically?” I tried to answer that I am a mechanical engineer, software guy, entrepreneur…He cut me off and said “What do you like to do”. I said, ‘many things ‘and tried to support it with some examples from my experience, as if it were meant to be a great thing. That is when he uttered the most important word we should hear during our careers—‘Focus’. He said that everyone has multiple talents, and it is no big deal to have some success around them…one has to pick one and work around it to do something meaningful.

It took me almost a decade to absorb what he said and realize the importance of the word ‘Focus’. Adding my two cents worth here.

  1. Focus helps us look at the details that are involved in the job and most importantly, the effort that is needed and the sacrifices one has to make. This is impossible when you attempt multiple things, as you lose objectivity. (“Always remember, your focus determines your reality— George Lucas”)
  2. Focus helps us to realize the importance of practice. (“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times— Bruce lee.)
  3. Focus helps in time management.(The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities—Stephen Covey)
  4. Focus helps in simplifying your personal brand statement, which is the first thing you want people to think of you. Examples, Amitabh Bachchan-Actor, Warren Buffet-Wealth Management, Chiranjeevi-Megastar, Stephen King- Writer etc


  • Subsequently I met AGK a few times as an entrepreneur developing the website for the foundation. He was at his courteous best at his home and offered some invaluable feedback on the designs, mostly around ‘keeping it simple’. I suffered another rejection at his hand, when I offered my writing services 🙂
  • It is not that one should not aspire to be many in the course of their career or personal life. One at a time, is a good way to approach it. Here is a good book to help you work around your many talents/dreams/wishes—‘What do I do when I want to do everything?’ by Barbara Sher.

Pushpa and a few management lessons

Pushpa – The Rise is a Telugu action thriller film released in 2021, directed by Sukumar and starring Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna in lead roles. The movie revolves around the story of a villager turned smuggler named Pushpa, who gets involved in a fierce battle with mafia and police.

The film’s gritty and realistic portrayal of the smuggling underworld and its characters, makes it a good watch. The film’s stunning visuals, action sequences, and performances of the lead actors, particularly Allu Arjun, who delivers an intense and powerful performance as Pushpa, stand out.

A few management lessons

Pushpa is a film that provides a unique perspective on the entrepreneurial journey, albeit in an illegal and violent context. The protagonist, Pushpa, demonstrates an impressive array of leadership skills that can be applied to any business context.

One of the key takeaways from the film is the importance of identifying opportunities. Pushpa recognizes the value of red sandalwood and finds a way to exploit it through smuggling. Entrepreneurs must similarly identify opportunities in the market and find ways to capitalize on them.

Pushpa also demonstrates the importance of building a strong team. He forms alliances with other smugglers and builds a network of workers who are loyal to him. This highlights the importance of building relationships and trust with employees and stakeholders.

The negotiation scene where Pushpa asks for a share in the profits instead of a fixed salary is also an important lesson for managers. This shows how incentive structures can be leveraged to motivate employees and align their interests with those of the company. It also throws light on the mindset, that of an employee and an Entreprenuer.

Another key takeaway from the film is the importance of being adaptable. Pushpa must navigate through various challenges and changing circumstances, from competition to law enforcement, and must adapt his strategy accordingly. In business, leaders must be flexible and willing to pivot when necessary.

Lastly, the film also touches on the importance of risk management. While Pushpa’s business is illegal, he takes calculated risks and always considers the potential consequences of his actions. In business, leaders must also manage risks effectively and be aware of the potential consequences of their decisions.

In summary, Pushpa is a film that offers valuable insights into the entrepreneurial journey and leadership. While the context may be illegal and violent, the lessons learned can be applied to any business context. From identifying opportunities to building a strong team, from negotiating incentives to being adaptable and managing risks effectively, Pushpa offers a unique perspective on the qualities that make for successful leaders and entrepreneurs.

Neethi Satakam Poem: 40 and ‘Ranidi Radu’

యద్ధాత్రా నిజఫాలపట్టలిఖితం స్తోకం మహద్వా ధనం

తత్ప్రాప్నోతి మరుస్థలే-పి నితరాం మేరౌ చ నాతో-ధికమ్‌ ।

తద్ధీరో భవ విత్తవత్సు కృపణాం వృత్తిం వృథా మా కృథాః

కూపే పశ్య పయోనిధావపి ఘటో గృహ్ణాతి తుల్యం జలమ్‌ ॥ 40

తాత్పర్యము: విధాత నుదుట వ్రాసిన కొంచెము ధనమైనా అది ఎడారి యందున్నా లభించును. నుదుట వ్రాయకున్న ఎదుట ఎంత ధనరాశి యున్ననూ లభించదు. కావున ధనవంతుల గాంచి దిగులు చెందకు. కుండను నూతిలో ముంచినా, సముద్రములో ముంచినా దాని నిండా నీరు మాత్రమే లభించును. సత్యమును గ్రహించుము. అనగా నుదుట యెంత రాసివుంటే దానితోనే తృప్తి చెందాలి గాని దురాశకు పోయినా ఫలితము వుండదు.

Ranidi Radu

ప. రానిది రాదు సురాసురులకైన

అ. పోనిది పోదు భూ-సురులకైన (రా)

చ. దేవేంద్రునికి సు-దేహము పూర్వ
దేవులకమృతమభావమే కాని
ఆ వన చర బాధలా మునులకే కాని
పావన త్యాగరాజ భాగ్యమా శ్రీ రామ (రా)


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