I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

What is the Use of Listening to Podcasts or Reading Books if I Don’t Act on Them?

A strong realization hit me. All the books that I read, the podcasts I listen to and the conferences I attend are of no use if I don’t act on the knowledge to improve my life or others’ lives.

This realization hit me even harder this morning when I was going through the notes I took in a conference I recently attended. I had written down the four books that the opening keynote speaker had recommended. It’s now over two weeks since the event finished and I had not even so much as even googled for these books let alone buying them.

I then looked at the impressive list of podcasts that I listened to in the last six months. Truly impressive, I must immodestly add. But what’s the use of listening to world-class podcasts if I don’t act on great advice? The same goes for the numerous books I’ve read.

Starting today, I’m making the following changes. 1) I will write down a synopsis with key points of every podcast I listen to and every book that I read. 2) I will put an action plan to implement the advice and suggestions I’ve learned from them.

I will share the important points and my experiments in adopting these best practices openly with you so that you can benefit from them too. Onwards and upwards. Here we go.

Doing an Encore: Announcing the Second Edition of the Himalayan Blogging & Podcasting Retreat

The success of the first edition of the ‘Himalayan Blogging and Podcasting Retreat‘ was very heartening. The participants gave a rating of 4.8 out of 5.

This motivated me and Chetan Mahajan, the brain behind the Himalayan Writing Retreat, to plan for the second edition. The experience in the first edition gave us lots of confidence. The valuable input motivated us to revise the syllabi and introduce advanced topics. We aim to move the bar many notches higher for the second edition.

We increased the duration of the retreat from three days to four days. This way, we can go into greater details and dive in-depth into the subject. One important thing we realised from the first edition was that in addition to the technical nitty-gritties, the art of writing and scripting is equally important. Chetan, the ex-CEO of HCL Learning, a Penguin published author and a blogger himself, will lead the sessions. For the blogging and podcasting part, I dig into my two decades of experience in blogging and a decade in podcasting to share the best practices.

The dates are September 20 to 24, 2017. The venue is the beautiful village of Satoli in the Nainital district, surrounded by the Kumaon mountain range. Yup, the photo you see below is the actual view from the retreat venue!!

The first retreat was a huge morale booster for me. It motivated me to take the ambitious ‘1000 Days Blogging Challenge‘ which I’m very proud of. At the end of the Blogging & Podcasting retreat, I’ve also decided to stay back in the mountains to attend the one week long ‘Himalayan Writing Retreat’ from October 1 to 8. The main reason? It’s led by best-selling author Manu Joseph himself.

Podcast with Ajay Singh, CEO of SpiceJet, on How He Turned Around a Loss Making Airline

Ajay Singh CEO SpiceJet

How do you turn around a business that incurs a loss of Rs.3 crore a day, into one that makes a profit of Rs.1 crore, every single day? The quest for answers to this single question led me on a hunt to meet up with Ajay Singh, the CEO of SpiceJet and get the answers straight from him.

I was amazed that with absolutely no background in the aviation industry, he decided to buy ModiLuft a company that even Lufthansa airlines failed to run. When the Maran brothers of the SunTV fame bought the company from him, they drove the company to near bankruptcy. Ajay Singh bought back the company and turned it around to be one of the most profitable airlines in India? I asked him how and he replied, “Well, we were all young and foolish, and at that point, you feel like you can do anything,” he laughs, adding, “But I did fundamentally believe that there was a market and there was talent to run a business of this sort.” He delves deeper into his turnaround experience and shares a lot more details in the podcast.

Ajay was also the brain behind Narendra Modi’s election-winning slogan, ‘Ab Ki Baar, Modi Sarkar’.

Do listen to the podcast to peek into the wonderful mind of one of India’s savviest businessman.

Upcoming Podcasts at CNN Asia Business Forum

I’m right now in Bangalore to attend the CNN Asia Business Forum, which is an invite only event that brings together key business leaders and thought influencers to assess India’s position in a tumultuous global economy.
I’ve lined up podcast interviews with very interesting personalities. The list includes:

Ajay Singh, CEO of SpiceJet Airlines

Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO of Vistara Airlines

Nandan Nilekani, Cofounder of Infosys

Yesterday I had a very interesting interaction with Sunita Rajan, Senior Vice President, Advertising  Sales at CNN.

In the conversions, I look forward to digging into their career journey, life lessons and explore new ideas and innovations that capture their imagination.

Very excited for the event.

How I Decided to Add Zing to My Business Travels and Make Them Interesting.

Making Business Travel Interesting

One of the better decisions that I have taken is to make my business trips to other cities be worth it. Usually,  I fly in the morning, finish my meeting or my talk and fly out that night. It’s very….err..umm…businesslike and banal.  So, I made two resolutions that added the much needed mojo into my travel.

1) I decided that I will meet up with interesting people in each city I visit. This is where my Podcasts, Kiruba.TV (Podcast with Achievers) , Digital PowWow (Social Media Podcast)  and First Book (Podcast with Authors)  comes in handy. I always have someone interesting people to reach out to.

2) I decided to add at-least an extra day to my itinerary to visit interesting and offbeat places in the city.

Here’s to more travel, visiting more interesting people and places!