What makes Bharatbala and Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra tick?


‘Timeless ideas will always ignite inspiration’ said Film Director Bharat Bala as he addressed the players from the events world at EEMAGINE 2015, coincidently themed ‘India Inspired’.

Reminiscing about his collaboration with AR Rahman for the reinvention of ‘VandeMataram’ Bharatbala explains that the concept of creating a public service campaign came easy but the challenge was in making it ‘cool’ for the younger generation. Another huge challenge was to generate funds for the project. He says, “we approached several brands with the concept but just couldn’t identify wth someone who carried the same passion as us”.

Owing to his jet-setting lifestyle he had managed to establish fairly cordial relationships with the airport staff. He purpoself would travel business class in the hope to “pull some strings” and be seated next to someone influential who could relate to his idea for ‘VandeMataram’. He adds, “One day I found myself sitting next to Jayaraman of Colgate on an aircraft and I immediately pitched my idea to him. As luck would have it, he was sold. We arranged to meet later and he signed me a cheque of 5.5 crores based on sheer belief on the concept. “

VandeMataram was aired on Doordarshan and several satellite networks causing an almost catalytic reaction. “Brands that were approached earlier but had denied now came forward to try and attach themselves with the campaign, but we refused and held Colgate’s hand the entire way”, adds Bharatbala with pride.

I strongly feel the critical drivers that made this campaign work was our honesty and pure love for the idea.

Calling the ‘Make in India’ campaign and ‘Swach Bharat’ campaign, a wasted opportunity, Bharatbala concludes Brand communication should not just be about ‘communicating’, it should be about communicating with the heart’.

Sharing centre-stage with Bharatbala was Award Winning Film Maker Rakeysh Om PrakashMehra of Rang De Basanti, Milkha Singh and Delhi 6 fame. Putting forth his thoughts on ‘inspiration’ Mehra believes that although his is a proponent of creating ones own path, there are always torches that have lit the way before and one can grasp tremendous learning from individuals who’ve traversed “a road less travelled”.

Talking about the challenges with the government in releasing his rather “controversial” films Mehra states, “The only reason my ideas have ticked with the public is because they came from the heart and were made with sheer love and strong conviction towards an issue.” To complete his stance he concludes, “You need to love and believe in yourself. A group of people make a family, a couple of families make a society, societies make a nation and nations collectively make the world. Start with yourself first, that’s the first step to collective change.”

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