Ludo Perspectives

SAMIR MARDOLKER draws light hearted comparisons between business situations, etiquette and dialogues from the movie
Ludo (on Netflix)

My team hates it when I binge on Netflix during work hours. But creative work of good directors, comedians, and artists are inspirational. There is so much to learn!  And so much fun as well. Let me poke fun at corporate and business etiquette by using some of the dialogues in the Netflix classic called Ludo. If you have missed this one from Anurag Kashyap, please take 2-3 hours to enjoy and then come back to read this article. Apologies in advance to the non-Hindi speaking audience who may not pick up all the comparisons unless they have been diligently following subtitles from Ludo and/or have a Hindi speaker to provide context.

When someone says ‘thoughts?’

It is my hypothesis that the person who asks you for your opinion by simply saying ‘thoughts?’ in an  interrogatory tone is actually meaning to say: “Look here buddy, I have spent the last couple of days in thinking through these issues and produced this fantastic PPT deck. I don’t think you can add any value. But as part of professional courtesy, let me ask you for your opinion anyway” or they may be out to embarrass you knowing you will not have the depth of opinion on the topic they  have just shared, having put on the spot with their ‘thoughts’? Ludo perspective: “Sawal pucho Jalebi, Jawab chahiye Kalakhand?” (How can you expect a simple on-the-spot answer to your complicated question?)

When you struggle making a choice: Many of us were in this situation in 2020 as we made tough decisions due to the business situation. For instance, choosing between what may seem like morally right versus what the business demands. Unfortunately, morality is the high road that you could  take only if the business survives. Some situations simply leave you with hard choices i.e.  no one alternative is better than the other and yet neither are good options by themselves. Embracing the choice you made and making things work by dealing with the consequences is what life  (and business) is about. Ultimately, it is really a matter of perspective. Ludo perspective: “Tumhe jo 6 diktha hai na dost, mere nazar se dekho tho wo shayad 9 hai!” (What you may see as 6 may be 9 depending on how it is viewed)

When you think everything is going wrong: Again, many of us were in this situation  where business partner relationships, employee/client loyalty were tested. Reflecting on what you could have done  differently as a learning mindset is good. But you need to take it easy on yourself as well and let ‘misfortunes’ be responsible for at least some of your troubles. Ludo perspective: “When  luck sucks, everyone f***s”

When you truly care about your customer: We are blessed to have business partners who really look out for us. I am amazed at the number of occasions they have referred us to their own  competitors for specific services that they believe will be better delivered by the competitors. Such bold, authentic advice only increases my trust in their own areas of expertise. I am trying to give the same courtesy to my clients.

Ludo perspective: “Chiku Khus, toh mai bhi khus” [If the person I care about is happy, that will make me happy] When you lose your cool and it shows: Of course, this can be very unpleasant in a professional atmosphere. Corporate leadership is about calmness and not reacting ‘emotionally’. But being emotional and reacting emotionally to an extent, go hand in hand. The more emotional you are, the higher the risk of reacting in that manner. While the latter is definitely avoidable, one cannot deny the deep relationships that being emotional (high eQ) brings to the table. Acknowledging this balance and finding your own sweet spot is the key. And when you do lose your cool, realise that you are not the only one. Because….

Ludo perspective: “Hum saab ke under ek shaitan hota hai….theek wo soda water ke undar bullbule ke tarah. Buss dhakhan kholne ke der hai” (Everyone can lose their cool every once in a  while because of ‘bottled’ up emotions). End note: I draw a lot of inspiration from the work of film directors, comedians, entertainers, writers etc. They underscore how creative led strategy can  really win the hearts and minds of the market as it did for Ludo on Netflix. However, as we know, for every blockbuster there are probably 100s that don’t make it. Therefore, a strong foundation of insights is critical; primarily, to map the opportunities available and figure out where to play. This provides a strong strategic direction to inspire and evolve your creative strategy (how to win)

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