6 HR lessons from the movie, Dangal


Learning can be everywhere, so from movies.

The Aamir Khan starrer, Dangal, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is all set to break box office records. It has a very beautiful storyline with some remarkable performances by all the actors. It also has some insights for the HR fraternity.

Change Management

The society laughs at Mahavir Singh’s decision to ask the daughters to be wrestlers.

Perseverance and the repeated sensitisation of the changes is the only key to effective change management. The results that follow the actions will make people understand the importance of the long-term result. HR being the custodian of change management should keep its focus on the results amidst the misperceptions of the employees.

Talent Acquisition and Gender Diversity

Mahavir singh was expecting a baby boy to fulfil his dream of getting an international gold medal.

When his hope of a baby boy diminishes, he decides to work with the existing resources (daughters) and enables them to achieve the target of winning the international gold medal.

As an HR professional, we should understand that it is not possible to get that perfect candidate each time. We should identify the internal talent first and enable them to achieve their goals.

Yes, it’s possible. Women are well equipped and well qualified to take up ANY responsibility.

Training and Development 

Mahavir Singh trains his daughters in-house and later sends them to the National Sports Academy for further training.

We should believe in utilising the internal trainers first before moving on to external training resources. No one knows about the strengths and weaknesses of our employees better than the qualified internal trainers. The external training programmes are obviously very useful to raise the bar and to understand the ongoing happenings in the external world.


Mahavir Singh studies the past videos of Geeta Kumari to understand the reasons behind her failure in international performances.

Effective and useful analysis of the available data is the key to predicting and prescribing future actions. The analysis not only helps to minimise the mistakes but also helps in driving the most appropriate actions in future.

Goal Setting

The national coach sets the goal of a bronze medal for Geeta, while Mahavir Singh sets the goal for a gold medal.

HR is the facilitator of the performance management process. We should be able to help the managers in setting the right goals for the employees considering their potential. Though Geeta Kumari performed poorly in her initial international career, she makes a strong come back with a clearly defined goal set by her father. She not only makes it to the finals of the Commonwealth Games but also wins the gold for her nation by defeating the world champions.

Coaching and Mentoring

Mahavir Singh plays the role of coach and mentor for both Geeta and Babita throughout their careers. He was seen coaching his daughters alongside the national coach. Continuous coaching is as vital as continuous learning. Whatever you achieve in life, you will still need a coach/mentor to take the most appropriate decisions.

(The author is assistant manager, talent management, Raj Group.) 


  1. Good learning! I am observing since ‘LAGAAN’, some or other from HR fraternity writing about learning from Hindi films. No need to squeeze learning from each and every film. This learning from ‘DANGAL’ is apt as it is sports, training and coaching based film naturally. Good one Abhay! Thanks to HR katha for publishing such innovative, inspiring and thought provoking articles.

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