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Dropout Pvt. Ltd. – 10 Management lessons to be learnt from

The brother duo Mr. Raghu Ram and Mr. Rajiv Laxman are back on the small screen, to grill the contestants in their unique style, in a new reality show “Dropout Pvt Ltd.”. This show is being telecast every Saturday evening at 7.00 P.M. on the channel MTV India. It claims to be “One of the world’s first reality shows which will bring into existence a start-up business on the television screen”. With Raghu and Rajiv hosting the show, we can expect a lot of heated arguments, verbal thrashing, mental bashing, as well as, the upsurge of hidden emotions in the form of untold truth being revealed by the contestants (which actually is their motive behind grilling the contestants, be it here or in their earlier show named ‘Roadies’).

No doubt, this show is successful in creating the buzz in a very short span of time. And indeed, it has been able to catch the attention of especially the youths, as it gains its pace, with each passing week. But hey, wait for a second, I am not here to describe or rate the show. I am writing this blog to talk about 10 very important management lessons to be learnt from this show, which in fact, each one of us should try to imbibe in our life. So without bugging you anymore, let me get to the point. Below mentioned are 10 key management lessons to be learnt from this show –

  1. Be Innovative – Be it the very concept of this show or their selection criteria they are innovative in their approach, which I think is one of the reasons behind attracting the contestants, as well as, the viewership. Similarly, we should try to innovate in our respective fields. Breaking the set parameters, challenging the old ways of working, and finding new avenues should always be at the back of our mind. Hence, we should always look for innovation because that is the one thing which helps in standing out in the crowd.
  1. Be Fearless – It takes a lot of guts to start something new ‘innovatively’. One has to get over a lot of fears before coming out in open with their innovation. Fear of failure, fear of non-fulfilment of expectations, fear of non-acceptance, and fear of a dark future ahead. However good an idea maybe, but still a start-up in itself is a big gamble. And, to come up with a reality show like this, where a start-up would come into existence, doubles the gamble. It indeed takes a fearless approach to try something like this. So, do remember that if we want to achieve something remarkable in our life, we have to be fearless in our approach.
  1. Give preference to the Calibre over the Certificates – This show is a live example of giving preference to the calibre over the certificates because they don’t even ask for the certificates or degrees, rather they focus on evaluating a candidate’s real calibre. How many of you think that our present education system hones talent? Forget about honing, does the education system even helps in identifying a child’s real talent? If not, then how can we filter out the candidates just on the basis of the certificates, ignoring the actual potential someone possesses? I agree that certificates and degrees do matter, but to what extent? We can rely on a piece of paper, only when certificates could reveal the real talent, but not otherwise. Therefore, calibre should always be given preference over the certificates, if we want talent to flourish around us.
  1. Recognize the Risk Taking Aptitude – The name of this show starts with the word ‘Dropout’, which in itself shows a person’s risk taking aptitude. If someone is a dropout from somewhere, let it be a place, activity or a circumstance, it reflects their quality of being a rebel. And without being a rebel one cannot choose the path of their willingness. Similarly, only those who have the aptitude and are willing to take the risk can be a good leader. So, if we want to hire leaders in our organisation than we should, without fail, evaluate the candidates based on their risk taking aptitude. It is highly important to recognize the risk taking aptitude of the future leaders. 
  1. Embrace Failure – This show is giving an opportunity and a platform to all those who are stamped as a failure by our society. Isn’t it a big step towards changing the way our society looks upon to all those, who try to do something on their own but could not meet the societies expectations? This show truly exhibits how to embrace failure with open arms. Do remember, that if someone fails it means that they first tried. Herewith, I would like to quote the following paragraph extracted from my other blog “Let us celebrate ‘FAILURE’” – “Since we attach celebrations with winning, so isn’t failure an occasion to celebrate? Yes, it is something to celebrate about, but, if and only if, we are determined to learn from our failures. I believe that “Failure is the best teacher”. So why to disregard one of our best teachers?We should rather give the due respect this teacher named ‘Failure’ deserves from us and the best way to pay back is by embracing the learning that every failed attempt brings with it. I am sure failure pops up a common question in most of the minds i.e. “Why Me”. Instead, we should learn from our failures by asking ourselves the question that “What’s there for Me” to learn from this failure”.
  1. Grill the candidate, but be compassionate enough – The twin brothers Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman are famous for grilling the candidates and that is what they are doing in this show as well. But at the same time, they are compassionate towards the feelings of the candidates. Well, grilling the candidates during the interview could be one of the best ways to evaluate them on various parameters like the ability to handle stress, honesty in their words, etcetera. However, as an interviewer, one needs to be compassionate enough towards the feelings of the interviewees as well. If someone is only harsh towards others and doesn’t respect their feelings then there is a very high probability that instead of learning and respecting them, people will prefer to stay away from them. And mind it this is not only restricted to the interview alone, but it does apply to every other situation where we have to deal with living beings. So along with being strict, one needs to be considerate enough towards the views of others. This point could very well be summed up in one sentence – “Be like a coconut i.e. hard from outside and tender on the inside”.
  1. Don’t let anyone waste our precious time and money by serving us with crap – In this show, if someone acts smart by diverting from the question and not answering it or false boasting about their performance, the jury members don’t tolerate it for too long and show them the door. This is a very important management lesson to be learnt and applied for in our day-to-day activities. Trust me many of the meetings go on for hours and hours without any fruitful outcome and the major reason is someone wasting the precious time of the attendees by serving them with crap. In order to save two of the most important resources i.e. time and money, we need to build this culture of “Non-acceptance of crap from anyone”.
  1. Never lose a talented person – Although, the current selection round being telecast is targeted towards selecting the candidates who have an entrepreneurial spirit, still the jury members keep an open mind and also select all those, who they think, could be of any value addition to their reality show. Similarly, if any organisation, adopts this practice of identifying a talent and not letting them go, then it will surely help the organisation as a whole, in the long run, because it will save a lot of time, money and energy of other recruiters, in the same organisation when they are in need of a talented person like this. And mind it this does not mean just to save the Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the candidate and add to the size of the database, rather it is more than that. The recruiters need to take initiative to find the talent a suitable place in their organisation if at all they think that the person is really talented. Since it is extremely hard to find a talented person, so we should never lose them just because they don’t fit in the current vacancy.
  1. Listen to the instincts – In the show, at times, some of the jury members take decisions to select a candidate, in spite of the fact, that the other jury members didn’t find her/him appropriate. At all such times, those who are selecting the candidates trust their instincts and go against the decisions of the majority. Similarly, many a time, we find ourselves stuck in a situation where there is a difference of opinion between our heart and our mind. What our heart says, our mind rejects, and what our mind thinks, our heart is not ready to accept it. All such situations, lead us into a dilemma, that should we listen to our heart or our mind. However, the reality is that at times we need to listen to our instincts over our mind and take decisions to succeed in our attempt. But do note that before taking any decision based on the instincts, we should first evaluate our thoughts thoroughly on every aspect that we could think of at that very moment and it should never be an unthoughtful decision. Listening to the instincts does pay at times.
  1. Empower Others – This show is all about empowering others. “From Dropouts to Start-Ups”, could only be a reality when people are empowered to take decisions while taking the onus of the same. Only by empowering the selected candidates this show will be able to achieve its purpose of bringing into existence a Start-Up. This, in turn, might make the show a success too. Do remember that a leader without empowerment is of no use. Hence, it is extremely important to empower all those who are managing any activity, in order to achieve the desired results.

The above mentioned 10 Management lessons are my observation after watching the show. I don’t know how much drama is being pre-planned and served in the name of reality shows and above all, how much of it is actually a reality. But for sure, shows like these have a potential to bring a positive change in our society and even if one person changes for good then it is indeed worth a try. I do hope that such shows are able to seed in the thought of embracing failures in our society and all those who take the risk in life are respected by the people at large. At the same time, I do wish that we all are able to imbibe these management lessons in our life and taste success in our respective fields.

“From Dropouts to Start-Ups”…Way to go!

God Bless you all.

Stay in touch.

Peyush Jain