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BW Businessworld

Rana Daggubati: The Actor, Entrepreneur & Storyteller

I was drawing the inspiration from the people around me; the stories I tell or the stories I have already told. I think we’ll have these big times again where you’ll have to take a back seat, pause, reset and kinda go again, says Daggubati

Photo Credit : Himanshu Kumar


Most of you would remember him as reel life Baahulbali-2 actor-Bhallaladeva; Rana Daggubati talked to BW Businessworld on changing norms of entrepreneurship; the boom of OTT; the idea behind his venture ‘South Bay’ and shared a lot of insights and personal anecdotes in a fireside chat with Dr. Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-chief, BW Businessworld.

Storytelling is something Rana Daggubati truly believes in. While sharing about his recent health condition he mentioned, “I was drawing the inspiration from the people around me; the stories I tell or the stories I have already told. I think we’ll have these big times again where you’ll have to take a back seat, pause, reset and kinda go again.”

Most people would remember him as Bhallaladeva, the antagonist in Indian cinema’s well-recognized film Baahubali-2. Real Life Bhallaladeva; Rana Daggubati has indulged in the conversation with Dr. Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-chief, BW Businessworld on a virtual show #BWDialogue on entrepreneurship organized by BW Disrupt in association with BWBusinessworld.

Key Factors for New-Age Entrepreneurs 

There are a certain set of rules and norms of entrepreneurship that remains eternal and true but this pandemic has caused a wave of innovation and re-imagination in every sense. 

“The fact of using technology in every single aspect of how you conduct your business and to use the internet wisely as it has become a bigger landscape than it ever was,” Daggubati advised. On the same lines sharing about the new rules and needs of entrepreneurship; he emphasised some major aspects which are; 

 1. Looking for newer opportunities consistently and 

 2. Finding ways to reinvent, 

 3. Adapting to the technology 

 4. Being financially sound is the key which is the classic old school way

Indian Stories’ Stature In Global Scenario

These are very interesting times for India and Indian stories in a global scenario. Indian content in a movie format being consumed in a big way globally. From ‘Delhi Crime’ winning an Emmy Award to Malayali film ‘Jallikattu’ being chosen as India’s Oscar entry in the category for the Best International Feature Film. 

Daggubati while sharing his outlook for Indian films on a global map said, He added to the same lines, “Historically, because of the large audiences we had and the large market place that we had in India; the globe really wasn’t the place for us because the globe felt smaller than what India was.” 

The key focus is to bring out the richness of diversified Indian culture and to resent the Indian content in an international setting to be global in a real sense. He added, “I think with the rise of culture which is diversified in modern Indian audiences where they consume a lot of international content and love to watch the Indian content presented to them in the global setting. When we consistently want to make films for the international audience; they need to be extremely local in terms of its narrative but set in a tone which is parallel to the international audience.” 

The OTT Boom in India

Today there is a profusion of content and courtesy where India has seen a plethora of OTT platforms; there are more consumption and creation than ever before.

Daggubati explained the other factors and the trends in the OTT landscape taking place and mentioned this time as the opportunity to create content as It has gone 360 degrees because today people are flexible to make content in all forms, in all languages, durations, in all forms of distribution, various means and much more. 

What’s Different in ‘South Bay’?

South Indian actor Rana Daggubati has launched his own YouTube channel called South Bay, which is focused on creating diverse content. The platform will also focus on deriving regional languages and rich culture from different parts of India

India has so much culture to tell in terms of content whether it is the larger OTTs or global OTTs; they will always working on more mainstream things and sub-culture really didn’t t have a great setting or a place.

While opening up and sharing the core idea behind ‘South Bay’ he states, “The main idea behind South Bay is to identify the gaps in content creation and to see what is needed to curate the best culture from different parts of India and Indians living in different parts of the globe.”

“Basically, the idea is to open up and marry what was mainstream with the subculture and create a platform for everything that’s going on the internet,” he asserts. 

Towards the end of the conversation, the two were talking about favorite directors from Hollywood; Daggubatti referred to George Lucas as top favorite and Steven Spielberg as next favorite. Sharing the concluding remarks and talking about his personal beliefs as an actor; he states, “Whatever I act in; budget doesn’t really take to anything but it’s really about the story we want to tell that defines everything and not the budget.” 

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