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



The Welcome Email to My Students

This is my 18th year of teaching. Tomorrow, I begin my class at Bharathidasan Institute of Management in Trichy which is ranked amongst Top 20 B-Schools in India. I want my class to be very effective, purposeful yet fun. It is customary that I send out a welcome email to my students before I begin my course to set the right expectations. Here is a copy of that email.  Do read my email and let me know what you think of it and how I can improve it. Thanks.

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for choosing the ‘Digital and Social Media Marketing’ (DSMM) elective. You have various other choices and the fact that you chose this subject shows the interest you have in this domain. I truly appreciate it and I promise I will do my best to make it a worthwhile experience for you.

Our classes begin on July 19th at 8:30 am and I look forward to meeting everyone in person. Before that, it is customary for me to send you an email before we meet up. This helps set the right expectations and make the most of the course. This email is going to be quite long and hence I seek your patience to go through it in detail.

Activity Driven Learning: My classes feed on interaction and collaboration. Expect quizzes, case studies, student presentations, live projects, group projects etc. Be mentally prepared to do a lot of activities.

Groups: Our entire class will be divided into teams of 5 participants. You get to choose your own team mates. So, feel free to make your own gang. Once frozen, there can’t be any changes. The teams will remain the same until the end of the course. You will need to be seated in the class together with your own group.

Punctuality: I’m a stickler for time. I come to the class ten minutes before the start. I expect my students to do the same too. Please note that I will lock the doors when the class starts and no one will be allowed to step into the class after that.

Attendance: If you are in the class, you get attendance. If you are not, you do NOT get attendance. As simple as that. So, please don’t come to me with any excuses seeking attendance. Unless you are getting married…in which case, I’m hurt you didn’t invite me! 🙂

Assignments: As you probably would have guessed by now, you need to submit your assignments before time. Not on time. * Before Time! *. Every assignment will be graded and this will add up to your overall marks.

Connectivity: Ours is a digital media class. Hence, there needs to be proper WiFi working. I also urge you to bring your 4G enabled phone or Data Router to the class. The Internet is an absolute must because you will be required to do a lot of activities in the class. For every class, you will need to bring your laptops. However, there are times when I will call for a ‘Lids Down’ which means you will have to shut off your laptops and smartphones and focus on the class.

Pre-reads: A day before every class, I will send you reading notes for you to read through. Please do take the time to read. This will make our classes a lot more efficient.

Freedom: By now, you probably have this impression of me as this strict guy. You are partly right. I’m also the guy who respects freedom of speech. You are encouraged to voice your opinion. Our collective goal is to make this course an awesome one. So, feel free to open up and speak.

About Me: I’ve 22 years of work experience and every single day of that has been in the digital space. (the year I graduated was the year Internet was privatized in India). You can read about me at http://www.Kiruba.com/bio. I’ve been teaching for 18 years and here are the places where I have taught at. http://www.kiruba.com/teaching/universities/
Here’s where you can find me online.
My Hindu BusinessLine Column: http://www.bloncampus.com/hangout-at-bloc/movers-and-shakers/

Alright, everyone, I look forward to meeting everyone on Wednesday,19th July. Our class starts at 8:30 am. I will be there at 8:15 am. See you then.

Training the ‘Little Journalists’ on Blogging

A wonderful initiative by the Hindustan International School and Hafiz Khan’s eZone to train school students on the nuances on media. The kids get trained on positive journalism which includes broadcast, Radio, Print and Online journalism. 

I look forward to interacting with the young minds and ignite their interest in blogging. 

Live Counseling Today on Digital Career Opportunities at DinaMalar.com

Over the last few years, I have regularly gone in front of the camera for a ‘Live Counseling’ session on Career Opportunities in Digital for students. It’s a live call-in show for two hours where I answer questions from students and parents.  The show airs LIVE today between 10:30 am to 12:30 pm today. The live video feed will appear on www.DinaMalar.com.

Every year when I go live, I have this feeling that some of my friends will make a prank call and embarrass me on screen! That feeling still stays. It’s a good thing this is a delayed broadcast! 🙂

Most Kashmiri Students are Not Stone Pelters (a.k.a Don’t Believe the National Media)

Think of students from Kashmir and you would think of stone pelters and agitators. Atleast, that’s what the national media wants us to believe. That’s definitely NOT the case and I saw this first hand.

A few days ago, I was invited to give a guest lecture at Central University of Kashmir. It is one of the 13 newly established central universities in different states of India in 2009.

The Dean of Student Affairs and the Head of Placement was among the audience when I delivered a lecture at the Digital Marketing Summit in Srinagar, Kashmir. Over dinner that evening, Dr.Fayaz come over to me and said he would one day like to invite me over to the MBA department for a lecture. I told him that I’m staying over at Srinagar for two more days and would be happy to come over. I was interested to see what this whole media hulla bulla was all about. He fixed a guest lecture the next day and invited the students from the School of Business Studies and the School of Tourism

My first impression?  It was business as usual. The university was bustling with students and it looked at just like any other busy university life.

Over the one hour session, I spoke on one of my favorite topics: Personal Branding using Digital Medium. I’m a life-long learner of this subject. I noticed that the students from this university are quite bright (only meritorious students are selected). However, because of the unrest in the Kashmir valley, private industries, and multi-national companies are almost non-existent. This meant that there are not many job opportunities and many of the youngsters are forced to seek employment outside the state.

My talk focused on using the digital medium to seek global opportunities. The medium lends itself very well to working on international projects without leaving the city. I was pleasantly surprised that almost all the students were active on social media. I reason why I was surprised is because this is in spite of the fact that the State Government has blocked most of the social networking sites in order to curb the unrest. Students are smart and everyone has figured how to circumvent the Internet ban using VPNs.

I expected a very conservative crowd. But I was pleasantly surprised that the students were very interactive and responsive to questions. Also nice to see that the boys and girls were mingling socially, something that’s a welcome change in a Muslim majority state.

Kudos to the women for being very proactive and very participative.

Kashmir Observer, one of the largest English Dailies in Kashmir, did a coverage of the talk. (please scroll to the second half).

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