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


Kiruba Shankar

Theni Fire Accident

The Theni Fire Tragedy is heart-wrenchingly sad. I don’t watch TV but I did watch a video on YouTube of people who have been charred from the fire and writhing in pain. 20 seconds into the video, I could no longer watch it.  That girl squirming in pain could very well have been my daughter. In fact, my plan was to ask my daughter to join a long trek after her public exams are done.  I can only imagine the pain and agony the parents must be going through with the loss of their dear ones.

This is an accident. No one would have anticipated a disaster of this magnitude. Even with all the precautions, its not easy to escape a raging inferno. That’s why I don’t think its right to criminalize an organization like the Chennai Trekking Club. I’ve known members who have been part of the organization for the past ten years and they are among the nicest folks I’ve met. They are so full of life and energy. They are law abiding and very eco-sensitive. I really wish the Chief Minister or the Media can take into consideration the amazing work done by this passionate community over the last decade.

It’s also very easy to victimize the leader. Peter Van Geit has earned the respect of tens of thousands of people for selflessly helping others and to help build an amazing community of volunteers. It would be very wrong to punish him for an accident which is beyond his control. If that’s the case, then the Minister of Forests and Minister for Environment should also be held accountable for failure to prevent the forest fires in the first place.

Here’s hoping that positive measures comes out of this tragedy. Better forest fire measures. Better safety precautions on adventure treks. I really hope the spirit of Chennai Trekking Club continues to live on and I would whole-heartedly sign up for the next activity as a sign of solidarity.

Goodbye Aircel, My Old Friend.

I feel bad for Aircel. Today, I initiated efforts to cut ties with it after being a customer for over 18 years.

I’ve been a loyal customer and stuck with them through thick and thin. There have been sporadic outages but overall their service was decent. Not great but decent.

As a professional speaker, Aircel has been my client and I have had opportunities to speak at their HQ and got to meet their top brass. They are nice people and I can only imagine what a tough time they would be going through right now.

I would have stuck on had the connectivity not been this bad. It started to affect my business and that cannot be tolerated.

However, getting out of Aircel is proving to be a lot tougher than I thought. To port successfully, I need to pay this month’s bill but the payment link is not working. I heard from other Aircel customers that they are not approving the porting from their side. Here’s hoping a smooth transition.


Taking Inspiration from Tony Robbin’s Namale Resort in Fiji

Over the last few years, my family and I have been focused on greening up our farm. We have painstakingly planted hundreds of fruit saplings in our vision to grow a healthy food forest.  The reason my wife and I put in so much heart into this place is that we know that we are sculpting our own retirement place. We are also conscious of the fact that this place cannot be an expensive hobby. Make no mistake. The farm does suck away a lot of money. In order to make sure that the place pays for itself,  I have thought through many business ideas. One such is by starting a farm stay business where people can come to experience rural life.

Recently, I watched a video tour of Tony Robbin’s 525-acre resort in Fiji.  It is not only a resort but also (one of) Tony Robbin’s home. I love how he build a business around his dream that is a profit center. It is also a place where he conducts one of his signature workshops.

This is pretty much what I want to model Vaksana Farms. It should be a place for me to conduct workshops and people can come over to stay at the farm. Currently, I have thought of having 11 small homes that act as accommodation for the farm stay business. It doubles up as a reunion spot for our family and friends. One of the things I enjoy most is having people I love come over and stay.

This is the next project that I’m very excited to start working on.  If you are an architect, a resort aficionado, a farmpreneur or an eco-enthusiast, do connect with you and I would love to share my ideas and take your views.

Natural Boulder Wash Basin at Vaksana Farms

For over two years, I’ve been wanting a natural wash basin outside our farm house. The bamboo pipe is made from bamboo that was grown in our farm. It took many months to see this idea comer to reality. This long process deserves a separate blog post. Will share shortly.