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  • Writer's pictureVikrant Vartak

Leadership Lessons from the Movie The Vaccine War




This blog attempts to draw some leadership lessons from the movie The Vaccine War, particularly from the real-life character of Dr. Balram Bhargava (the ICMR Chief) very effectively played on the reel by none other than Nana Patekar. It also lists some of his remarkable statements which indicate what kind of a tall and inspiring leader he is.


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Last week, I watched the amazing movie The Vaccine War. While the movie is an ultimate treat for mind, heart, and soul, it leaves us super proud as Indians. The movie brings out the epic struggle behind the creation of Covaxine, India's 1st completely indigenous vaccine, and that too in a record duration.


As a management student, I was particularly impressed by the real-life character of Dr. Balram Bhargava {the ICMR Chief (director general)} very effectively played by Nana Patekar. The movie overall, and Nana's character in particular, is filled with innumerable leadership lessons. Through this blog, I am listing a few of his statements.


1) "There are two types of people. Some feel that Mt. Everrest is too tall to conquer, while the other's say, let's at least take the initial steps."


2) "Karna hai to karna hai" - this was his typical reaction when he was given impossible-sounding, never-done-before tasks by his superiors (rather than excuses that others are often shown giving).


3) "Marna hi hai to lad ke marenge"


4) "Underpromise and over deliver"


5) "Why do you always discuss problems, and never talk about solutions?" – he says this to the character played by Pallavi Joshi.


The difference between the characters played by Nana Patekar and Pallavi Joshi bring out the difference between a transformative leader and a more 'typical' day-to-day leader. It also highlights the difference between a wartime leader and a peacetime one.


The most appealing dimensions were his innovative and risk taking attributes as he chooses to make a Killed Virus Vaccine instead of an mRNA vaccine that the western world was largely making.


Please do watch the movie and help me expand this dialogue. The movie guarantees an enthralling experience.




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Vartak Heritage, 100 Ft D.P.Road,

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