Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chak De - “Jo nahin ho sakta hai, wahi to karna hai...” - A Case Study

Chak De India is the story of a coach's fight of making his team, Team India by overcoming their diverse backgrounds, by learning to use everything that life hurls on them as a secret weapon. It's a story about honesty, sincerity and integrity. A story to remind the nation of its National Sport.

"...The recipe for such a success was most wonderfully conveyed by Shah Rukh Khan and those wonderful women hockey players in the movie. Let me recount them here. We have to identify as Indians first and rise above our affiliations with our states, religions and castes. We must accept meritocracy and enthusiastically play the role we are best suited to."

"We must embrace discipline to strictly follow every step required for success. We have to put the interest of our nation ahead of our personal interests, subordinating our egos and biases. Finally, we have to put in tremendous hard work and make shortterm sacrifices for long-term glory."

"I have immense faith and optimism in the youth of this country. But, will we get our leaders to set examples for hundreds of millions of Indian youth? I wish more and more of our leaders see Chak De and learn these precious lessons."

(This was an extract from an article written by chairman and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies in ET.)

Besides his observations, I would also like to add some more take away points from the movie.

· DIVERSITY - The movie is a reminder to all of us about the diversity of our country. Many States, Many Languages, Many Cultures, One Nation…

· PARENTS CARE - Komal and Balbir come to Delhi with their parent(s). More so, Komal even has laddoos in a tiffin!

· TEAM BUILDING - Team building process in the film is very significant. Sixteen players from different parts of the country with different backgrounds and diversity meet for the first time for a common cause and the process.

· GUESTS AT ONE’S OWN HOME - A comment from the players from North-East India signals that we, who have the privilege of being situated in the central part of the country, treat them as 'guests' in their own country.

· PUNCTUALITY - Preeti Sabharwal, who comes late for the training, is not allowed to be a part of the team despite her stressing the fact that she was the captain of Chandigarh team. SRK admits her only after she completes her round in the field in seven minutes.

· DISCIPLINE - Players who do not stick to the rules of the game are made to sit on the bench. SRK does not allow them to play the game till they apologize.

· WOMAN EMPOWERMENT - Preeti does not yield to her fiancé’s (Indian Cricket Team’s Vice Captain, Abhimanyu Singh) wish of leaving hockey. He repeatedly keeps mocking hockey as a game.

· UNITED WE STAND - When some romeos tease two of the girls at McDonalds, the whole team comes together to fight them. SRK deliberately does not interfere in the fight as he wants the team to be cohesive.

· TEAM VALUE - One of the points that appealed to me the most was when SRK says that the TEAM is FIRST, Team MEMBERS NEXT and if after that something remains, that is for an INDIVIDUAL – very important for getting the maximum out of the team (or members of the team).

· TEMPERAMENT - The girl from (Balbir Kaur) Punjab often lost her temper. She was ousted from a match because of bickering with the referee. Towards the end of the movie, she learns to keep calm.

· TIT FOR TAT - The team from Argentina was “famous” for injuring other teams’ players. When SRK observes that the referee is not penalising them, he asks the Indian team to retaliate so that Argentina may not block their way again. This tit-for-tat thing is nicely carried out by Indian girls.

· INDIAN CULTURE - When Indian players reach the finals, team India is dressed in saris despite some of them being uncomfortable in that. We still take pride in our culture.

· CRICKETOMANIA - SRK says that people would do anything for cricket but not for hockey. It’s true considering the real situation.

· SPONSORSHIP - Politics influences sponsorships. This was clear when the committee refuses to give sponsorship for the women team for going to Australia for world cup.

· LET GO YOUR EGO - When you need the best, by pass all your rules, compromise your ego. This is evident when SRK goes and requests Bindia Naik to play when India has to confront Korea. She was the need of the time.

These are some of the lessons which I could recall (watched it quite sometime back).
And here are some facts-

Fact 1: Chak De has gone to the Oscar Library (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences) and has been taken up as a case study in a few business schools….

Fact 2: India retained the Asia Cup, thrashing Korea 7-2 in the final of the seventh edition of the tournament at the packed Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium in Chennai. It won all the matches in Asia Cup this year!!!

Rahul Maheshwari
(MBA Batch of 2008)


  1. I would like to add that the 2009 batch is also taking this up as a Organisational Behavior Case Study..

  2. It is interesting to note that students have transcended from movie-watching for timepass to movie-watching as an academic tool... kudos to all... how about getting together to write a paper on this?

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