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.

Evaluating the Final Results of Digital Marketing Exam

Finished the marathon exercise of evaluating the final results of Digital Marketing Exam for 93 students of BIM, Trichy. While correcting these papers on a flight, a SpiceJet air-hostess must have sympathized with me for she offered me a complimentary coffee and said, ‘Professor, I felt you needed this drink’.

The daunting task of correcting the answer sheets. My students put in a lot of work and I take the corrections seriously.

At My Class – BIM, Trichy

What do you do to stop your students from dozing off? Get Balloons !! They work like magic! At BIM, Trichy, I had to teach 5 hours each day and had to figure some fun activities to break the monotony. Before the class, we secretly taped the balloons under the chairs. Mid-way during the class, I asked them to fish the balloons out, blow them and hit them around. 100 balloons flying around with just one rule. Even if one touches the ground, the entire class loses. You should’ve watched the fun. Two minutes later, we were back to the lessons refreshed. — at Bharathidasan Institute of Management

Discrimination over denims?

For the record, this is exactly how I went dressed for my talk at RMD College of Engineering. (minus the mustache). I still can’t believe they would send me back for ‘inappropriate dressing’.

BTW, this incident has made it to today’s edition of The Hindu Newspaper. Here is the full article in verbatim.

Discrimination over denims?
CHENNAI: Dress code is serious business in many city colleges – so much so that even prominent guests invited to deliver lectures are asked to leave if they are not dressed ‘appropriately’.

On Wednesday at 8:30a.m, when city based blogger Kiruba Shankar arrived at R.M.D College of Engineering to deliver a lecture on entrepreneurship, he was informed by college officials that the pair of denims he was wearing was ‘not allowed’ on the college campus and that he would need to change into a pair of formal trousers before he gave his lecture.

“I was dressed in my signature attire – formal shirt, corduroy jacket, blue denims and suede leather shoes. This is the similar attire I have worn for all my teaching assignments and corporate meetings….Never once had I faced a problem.” wrote Mr.Shankar on Facebook. When contracted, Mr.Shankar said he had no problems with the college, but was upset that the authorities refused to let him speak to students.

He said he was offered formal clothes to change into but refused to do so. “You cannot impose your dress code rules on a visiting entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to Bangalore are dressed in casuals. What matters is how hard they work, and how different they think.” he also said he had never been told about the college’s dress code.

R.M.D College officials however, said that they had informed Mr.Shankar about the dress code. “We are very particular about our rules and expect everyone, including guest lecturers to follow them,” said a senior official.


The last paragraph is very interesting. All this time, the college professors were apologizing to me for not letting me know about the dress code beforehand. Now, as soon as a press correspondent called them, they did not hesitate to lie otherwise. Hmm!

Other than this, I have nothing against the college or the authorities. The staff have been kind and cordial. I only hope they start respecting their guests better and put their students’ interest before lame rules.

276 comments. 559 shares. 1322 Likes for the FB update on the incident. There is clearly a message from the public and the students. I sincerely hope the college authorities are listening and have the positive attitude to change.

The Hindu Newspaper Article link: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-blogger-kiruba-shankar-not-allowed-in-college-for-wearing-jeans/article5023240.ece

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