Kota Factory Season 3 on Netflix: 3 valuable money lessons to learn from the series

Kota Factory Season 3 explores money lessons through academic competitions and mentorship. Importance of showing working, finding a supportive mentor, and letting go of old beliefs are highlighted.

Manisha lakhe
First Published22 Jun 2024, 10:23 AM IST
Kota Factory Season 3 teaches money lessons through academic competitions and mentorship.
Kota Factory Season 3 teaches money lessons through academic competitions and mentorship.

When an American friend asked me why Kota, a city in the SouthEastern part of Rajasthan became the Coaching Capital of India, I had one answer, ‘The same reason why American desi kids ace the spelling bee year after year!’

Yes, we like winning at academic competitions. We want to be seen as parents of kids who ‘got through’ what is one of the world’s toughest engineering college entrance exams: the IIT-JEEs. It pits lakhs of aspirants - not discriminating on the basis of their economic or social background - to take those tests and come out shining as India’s best.

South Korea and Japan have their cram schools, we have Kota coaching classes. As season 3 of Kota Factory drops, we learn new money lessons from the show.

Also Read: Kartik Aaryan's Chandu Champion: Smart money lessons you can learn from this film

Importance of 'Whys' and ‘Hows’

The best physics teacher Jeetu Bhaiya (Jitendra Kumar, whom you saw in Panchayat) explains in class: when you are answering the board exams, you will need to solve every problem step by step, showing how you came to the conclusion, and when you are solving the IIT entrance papers, you just have to mark the answers, solving the problem in your head.’

Before you decide to invest your hard earned money in a stock, you will do your homework, read about it and reach the conclusions about whether or not to invest in the stock. But if others are depending on your advice, then you will need to show the working as to how you reached a conclusion.

Also Read: Gullak Season 4 on SonyLIV: 3 valuable money lessons to learn from the series

You find your own mentor

When Vartika (Revathi Pillai) is struggling with a physics problem, Vaibhav offers to help. But his explanation is peppered with, ‘Thank goodness you didn’t ask Jeetu bhaiya to help you solve this… It’s a problem a child could solve…’ Vaibhav (Mayur More), who is in the same class and is also her boyfriend in the show, dismisses her problem and makes her feel small. So she finds another classmate to help solve her physics ‘problems’.

On the other hand, Uday Gupta (Alam Khan) who is preparing for his IIT’s inadvertently demeans the problems his girlfriend Shivangi (Ahsaas Channa) is facing with her Botany classes because preparing for medical entrance NEET exams are ‘lesser’ than IIT exams.

A smart investor like you knows his bluechip stocks from the rest, but knows that a portfolio needs to treat all of them with equal respect. And if you are indeed like Vartika or Shivangi, unable to understand the advantages of investing in an instrument that everyone else seems to be getting, I hope you will find a mentor who will explain things to you with patience and not dismiss your fears by saying, ‘Invest now, understand it later.’

Also Read: Panchayat Season 3 Goes Fiscal! 3 hidden money lessons to learn from the series

Nobody is infallible, including Jeetu Bhaiya

This season Jeetu Bhaiya seems to be on a short fuse. Affected by the suicide of a student in the last season, he has chosen to cut himself off - even from teaching - and is moping. His therapist helps him come back to his routine, but he believes he is ‘fine’. He gets irritated easily in class, is practically rude to his partner - the Maths prof - at the coaching institute, and even yells at Uday’s parents which is very uncharacteristic of ‘Jeetu Bhaiya’. The decision he makes at the end seems like a good decision for him, but by then, the viewers are left with mixed feelings. Will ‘didi’ be able to fill ‘bhaiyya’s’ shoes?

Many of us opened a bank account at a particular bank because ‘dad opened an account for me when I earned my first cash prize’. And we are reluctant to make that change even though your salary account is probably in another bank. We get stuck to a particular stock even though it is no longer performing as it should simply ‘because it was the first stock you bought’.

Also Read: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’: 3 hidden money lessons you can learn from this film

We cannot dream of using gold jewellery to get a loan for your business. But you will soon realise that sometimes you have to make a decision to stop sticking with old ideas and beliefs that hold lots of nostalgia, but little logic. It takes an entire season for Jeetu Bhaiya to realise that. But you, dear smart investor, I know are made of sterner stuff.

The dark side of competitive exams and the churning out of ‘rank holders’ is emphasised again and again in black and white. And the lessons are all there to learn. If you ask me, there aren't enough kachoris in the world that will make me put any child knowingly into this grinding machine.

Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. She can be reached on Twitter at @manishalakhe.


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First Published:22 Jun 2024, 10:23 AM IST
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