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



Wishing the Best for InterviewDesk on its Launch.

Today evening, I’m hosting and moderating the launch event of InterviewDesk, a marketplace which aims to be India’s largest community of interviewers. This is the entrepreneurial venture of Pichumani Durairaj, who comes with over 15 years of HR experience in companies such as Amazon and KLA Tencor.

It’s a fascinating experience to see the kind of planning and preparation that goes into the event. Multiple planning meets, conference calls, minute-by-minute scheduling, group updates over WhatsApp. This level of preparedness is a good indication of the attention to detail that will be invested in the new company.

Here’s wishing InterviewDesk and its team the very best.

The New President of the Global Speakers Federation

Congratulations Shirley Taylor on taking over as the President of the Global Speakers Federation. She succeeds the awesome Nabil Doss, who did a stellar job. This handover took place at Influence 2017, the annual event at Orlando, Florida, conducted by National Speakers Association.

Shirley was earlier the President of Asia Professional Speakers Singapore. She is a ‘Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), awarded to only 11% of professional speakers who have proved their mettle. More about her at http://www.ShirleyTaylor.com

On behalf of PSAI, wish you an amazing year of leadership, Shirley.

Work Productivity Workshop

Conducted a collaborative & interactive workshop on Work Productivity. The participants were heads of all departments at NotionPress, the book publishing company. 
I love the unconference methodology because the team gets to open up on problem areas, growth opportunities and the best part is that they put their heads together to suggest solutions and strategies for implementing them. The team committing to ideas and solutions on their own is far more powerful than an external person telling them what they need to do.
I peppered the event with fun activities as a way to infuse in energy. We ended the event with everyone committing to areas of improvement for their team as well as themselves. We recorded these on audio as a reminder for the team and will be useful to gauge them when we reconvene next week for the second half of the workshop. Eagerly look forward.

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Farming

It was a proud moment for me to be dressed in Dhoti, our traditional attire and address the Rotary Meeting. This was the last meeting under the leadership of the current President of the Club and he wanted this talk to be a special one. I chose a topic that is not only unique but also one that’s close to my heart: Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Farming.

Wasting Food is Easy. Producing it is so Damn Hard: There are many times I have plonked in way too much food on my plate, way more than I could eat. I would empty the uneaten food in the bin without any remorse. It’s only after I started growing paddy at our farm did I fully realize the extent of work it takes. Planning, Ploughing, Seed germination, Transplanting, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting, thrashing, dehusking, packaging and selling. And this is just for one cycle of a crop. Now, my family and I are a lot more sensitive to our food. When we go to a buffet, subconsciously, we only serve food that we can finish.

Don’t Lose Long-term Vision for Short-term Benefits: About a decade ago, there was a construction boom and a huge demand for bricks. The price of bricks had shot up and my Dad decided to capitalize on the demand to make a quick buck. He hired brick makers to make bricks and sold them for a decent profit. Little did he realize that this short-sighted move will haunt us for many years to come. You see, the most fertile part of the land is the first one feet of soil. When that was dug up and used for baking bricks, the land lost its fertility. We are paying the price for it even now. Plants grow very slowly and we are painstakingly trying to regenerate the fertility of the soil which unfortunately will take us a few decades to catch up.

There is No Perfect Land. You get a Land and you Make it Perfect: A few of my friends who have an interest in farming are on the look out for buying farm land. One common thing I have noticed among them is that it takes a very long gestation period before they settle on one. They spend many months and in some cases, even a few years, before they nail the perfect piece. One strong realization that I’ve had is that the real joy lies in making the land the place of your dreams. It’s the time you spend with the land that gives you greater joy than the land itself. The journey is better than the destination.

The Importance of Being Idle: I host a leadership podcast show titled, ‘Movers and Shakers’ at The Hindu Businessline and this gives me an opportunity to meet with achievers. During the conversation, I’m always curious to learn the tips and techniques that made them successful. In addition to the cliched answers like hard work and focus, I also get very unique ones. Like this one: Just Do Nothing! Whaaat?! Yes, Sridhar Vembu, the founder of Zoho, said he does not believe in working for long hours. He stressed the importance of down time where one does nothing. This time is needed for thinking and ideation. Daydreaming is actually good. When I go to my farm during the weekends, I mix working in the fields and also take the time to relax. Some of my best ideas come when I simply lie down and think.

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