“Excellence: The Amitabh Bachchan Way” by Virender Kapoor

In a country where 15 to 24 year olds make up more than 35 %  of the population  there is a strong need to have effective role models. In my view, the famous actor Amitabh Bachchan qualifies quite comfortably to be such a role model. Fortunately too in India “Bollywood” the world of Hindi cinema had tremendous influence on the minds of people so it is not at all surprising that Virender Kapoor chose to write a self-help/motivational book based on this super star. 

Excellence: The Amitabh Bachchan Way” as the name suggests draws lessons for the reader from the life of Mr Bachchan starting from his early days as a struggling actor to his reaching the pinnacles of success. His life was not however a bed of roses all through. He had his bad times when his business floundered . It is well-known how he became bankrupt and had to build his career and fortunes all over again. The man who has won four prestigious National Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and been nominated forty-one times clearly has a lot to offer to those who seek concrete actions on how to succeed. In this book Kapoor, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and a respected educationist, has used stories from Mr Bachchan’s life to drive home life lessons and lessons in management which will readily appeal to the general public in India, especially to the youth of the country.

At the end of each chapter about Mr Bachchan’s life, the author draws up a crisp summary of lessons that one can draw from the stories that make up the chapter. The areas covered include, amongst others, ” Handling Health Issues With Your Chin Up”, ” Old Values, Modern Outlook,” and ” Charisma And Panache.”  This slim book of just 115 pages ( Rupa, 2017) however has a wealth of nuggets which can motivate those who look up to their idols in the reel world and the real world for inspiration.

Mr Bachchan’s capacity for hard work  and his tremendous patience, dedication and discipline have helped him weather many a storm in so many decades of being in the limelight in a country where film stars are considered almost like gods. What is appealing about Mr Bachchan’s life is that he had no godfather to back him when he entered a fiercely competitive film industry. All that he gained came through his own professionalism and his skills which he took great pains to develop and hone over the years.

This book is interesting for film buffs in India ( and who isn’t one?) and for students of management alike.


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