Posts By :


The Road To Success
The Road To Success 650 450 ramgi@user

“Expecting life not to be unfair, just because you are fair to everyone is like expecting a lion not to eat you just because you don’t eat lions”. This social media post I saw describes my life perfectly.

When I started my professional life as a young Management Trainee in 1992, I had no idea just how many challenges, setbacks, and failures life would throw at me.

If I did, I would have been indignant — how can life be so bloody unfair???

Today, when I look back at my life, the one thing I realise is this — hard work is only the bare minimum that is required to find success in life.

A few of the other qualities that are essential are

1.    Growth Mindset – the belief that any ability can be learned. That one can learn anything and from anyone. That failures are not a reflection on you, but only your lack of preparation

2.    Resilience — the ability to quickly accept reality and then to try and maximise the reality instead of expending energy on resenting reality

3.    Ownership — the belief that ultimately, you need to take complete ownership for your own life. And that whatever action that is needed to be done to make your life a success needs to be done by you or through your influence

4.    Social consciousness — the understanding that we are all interconnected and that the only way to success is through giving and taking help from so many people.

Did I have all these qualities in abundance when I started my professional life? Nowhere near as much as I have now. After all, life is the best teacher. All you need is the mindset to absorb the lessons life dishes out— in plenty.

Would you agree?

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

#BoundlessWithRamG  – Click here for more!

From Malayalis to Martians
From Malayalis to Martians 150 150 ramgi@user

Engaging with different cultures

One of the most important abilities I have learned is how to connect with people whose background is very different from me in an engaging way. What moved me from being someone who was apprehensive of mingling with those different from me to someone who relishes differences?

This ability is what has helped me get invited to four consecutive sessions at JP Morgan. This time for a session to a mix of online and in-person audiences to people in 3 countries — India, the US and Philippines.

The journey started when I joined IIT – I was 16. A Malayali who had never stepped outside Kerala before, and who had never spoken a sentence in English.

It took me about 3 months to push myself out of my comfort zone and start mingling with non-Malayalis.

But then I realised how much I can learn from others and how similar we all are. (of course, at that age, one of the key aspect to learn is the way you give ‘gaalis’ (swear words) in all the different languages and what exact intonation to use when delivering it! I did that very well, I can tell you!!)

The next step was XLRI. Coming from a predominantly South India background at IIT M, the sudden exposure to a much more cosmopolitan crowd at XLRI really helped me understand the culture of a far wider population.

The next big step was joining Compaq computers and a slew of MNCs after that.

All of a sudden, I was rubbing shoulders with people from across the world. By then, I was loving the experience of understanding engaging with differences.

So how did I inculcate this ability?

1.    I make it a point to understand cultural cues by listening a lot. The more closely I listened, the more I learned about their hot buttons, taboos, pop culture etc.
2.    I read a lot. And when I read, I don’t only ingest the story. I immerse in the whole cultural context.
3.    I am very careful never to make a joke of someone’s culture.
4.    I respect differences and never for a moment think that my culture is superior to theirs.

So today, this ability has helped me go beyond the boundaries of India as a speaker.

I wish Mars was full of green, four-handed Martians!! How delightful it would have been to learn their culture! And dish out a few choice ‘gaalis’ in Martian to my bosom Martian buddies, while I execute a hi-five to the four hands with my two!!

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

#BoundlessWithRamG  – Click here for more!

From Uncle to Appa
From Uncle to Appa 150 150 ramgi@user

Finding Common Ground

Diversity and Inclusion is a buzzword today in corporate life. But it should start at home. do we practice these with our parents, spouses, children, or our in-laws?

Mr. V. Ramamurti (now Appa) came into my life 28 years back. When I was courting his daughter, Jayashri Ramamurti (Jayu).

There were many reasons why Jayu and I were unsuitable in the minds of Appa and his relatives.

He was a Tamil Brahmin. I was a Malayali Menon. He was god-fearing and believed in temple visits and rituals. I was cynical about both to say the least.  He was a strict vegetarian and I would eat anything (crocodile meat being my ultimate achievement).

When Jayu first told him about me, he threatened to jump from the window (9th floor. Not ground floor, mind you!).

Finally it took a lot of back-end negotiations through the emissary of Jayu’s sister to convince him to explore the alliance. He agreed to meet me as Jayu’s friend.

My two day visit was full of cordiality, but he refused to even acknowledge our romance once. Finally, five minutes before I was to leave, I took matters into my own hands, and apologised to him for falling in love with his daughter without his consent. The master stroke worked and RamG came out with 100%.

Jayashri and I finally got married. And Uncle became Appa.

Appa moved in with us 24 years back when my daughter Ananya was born. And he stayed on. (You can read the full version in my bestseller, From Ouch to Oops)

Life required major adjustments. Initially we stopped cooking non-veg at home. I acted like a martyr who had been forced to give up his faith at gun-point.

Jayu, caught between the warring factions(the war was never expressed. Appa and I were always polite with each other), decided we could order-in non-veg. After the kids were born, even cooking of non-veg started.

Every Diwali morning, I had to get up at 5.30, have an oil bath without shampoo and wear a ‘Veshti’. We had to then visit the temple. I agreed with minor protests. After all, it is a small adjustment for me. But a big deal for Appa and hence Jayu.

Now, I realise that while I thought I was the one making the adjustments, it was much more for him (30 years older)

Having non-veg being cooked at home would have been a huge sacrifice. Having a son-in-law who wasn’t praying every day or visiting temples would have been very difficult.

But both of us realised how similar most of our values were. We chose to look at those rather than the few things we disagreed on.

Today, Appa is my biggest supporter. He goes through all my videos and blogs. Before every important talk, I bow down to him to take his blessings. If he has a problem with social media, I am his rescuer.

Each human has our distinct genetics, upbringing and experiences that make us unique. Life would be so much easier, less stressful, and filled with happiness if we accept this rather than trying to change the other person. Don’t you agree?

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

#BoundlessWithRamG  – Click here for more!

Kindness and Compassion!
Kindness and Compassion! 150 150 ramgi@user

It isn’t always about getting ahead…

This post will resonate with every Indian. Especially people in Bangalore who have to acquire Buddha-like patience in order not to go insane with frustration on the roads of Bangalore…

Yesterday, I was going back home from my office. My driver was driving and I was in the back seat. It was peak traffic time and we were crawling.

The road had a divider. I noticed that about 100 meters ahead, there was a gap in the road and an SUV was trying to take a U turn from the other side and come to this side.

Unfortunately, no car was giving way so that the SUV could complete the U turn. As a result, it was stuck half way into the turn.

This was causing a bottle neck on both sides of the road, because with an SUV stuck perpendicularly, across the divider, half a lane was taken up on both sides. Hence the reason for the extreme slow crawl of traffic, slower than even usual Bangalore traffic.

As I came closer (must have taken a full 5 minutes to cover the 100 metres) I observed an interesting behaviour by the drivers ahead of me.

Typically, each car was keeping about 2 feet gap with the car ahead. But as they neared the ‘stuck’ car, they would close the gap to less than a foot to ensure the SUV wouldn’t nose its way in.

So even if it meant the risk of their own cars bumping into the car ahead was higher, they were all determined not to let the ‘upstart’ SUV sneak in.

My driver, Nagendra, was determined to do exactly that. I saw the distance between my car and the one ahead steadily decrease as we inched closer.

So I leaned forward and told him gently. ‘Nagendra, let the SUV complete the turn. Give space’. Nagendra must have been crestfallen. But he did my bidding.

The SUV driver was also amazed at this act of kindness. Once the fact that Nagendra was giving way struck him, he smiled and nodded at Nagendra and quickly completed the turn.

The cars behind me did what was expected. They viciously honked the horns. In the language of cars, these honks must have been the worst of ‘gaalis’.

The obstructing SUV having moved on, both sides of the road picked up speed. One civil behaviour from us, prompted by kindness and empathy, had eased the way for hundreds of cars to come.

All it took was for one car (mine) to sacrifice about 20 seconds — one car-length worth of time.

This sacrifice saved hundreds of cars substantial time by moving up their speeds. It saved the SUV driver at least 10 minutes.

Compassion and empathy are at the root of civic sense. Teach your children empathy and compassion.

Next time you are in the same situation or at a junction where everyone is trying to shove their noses in without giving way, will you please think of this?

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

#BoundlessWithRamG  – Click here for more!

11 Steps for Overcoming Tough Times
11 Steps for Overcoming Tough Times 640 450 ramgi@user

These are tough times. Big time layoffs have been announced by Twitter and Meta. Many start-ups are also struggling for funding and might layoff people. As someone who has been sacked from a job, let me share some advice.

I remember that day so well. It was in August 2009. I was director operations for India for one of the leading global tech MNCs.

I had joined them barely 3 months back when I became paralysed by a crippling autoimmune condition. The next few months were living hell — going in and out of hospitals; taking toxic medications to suppress my own immune system; my body continuing to degenerate ever day; medical bills of upwards of 20 lacs per annum.

This was when I was sacked. One of those decisions that many companies take with zero humaneness. For the organisation, self-protection is paramount. The protection and happiness of the individual matters as long as that doesn’t interfere with the above self-protection.

Did I blame the organisation? Part of me did. But part of me knew there was no point blaming the organisation. It had to do what it had to. When we sign up for a corporate profession, this is one of the things we sign up for.

Telling myself this helped me get over the feeling of shock, hurt and anger. It also helped me dissociate my immediate bosses from the decision, which had come from much higher up. They were good friends and still continue to be.

With anger, hurt, and shock not in the picture, it was far easier for me to accept the situation, and then focus on maximising this given situation.

It helped enormously that I could talk to my wife Jayashri Ramamurti and pour out my worries. And that I could spend time with my kids, unwinding.

It also helped that I focused on my strengths — experience of having run businesses end to end. Leveraging those strengths helped me get two other jobs.

So here is my advice to anyone going through the trauma of getting sacked.

1.    Accept that this is part of corporate life

2.    If you think the sacking is unfair, you can take legal recourse. But don’t get obsessed with it. Also, don’t let that hinder the following steps

3.    Take your time to go through the cycle of shock, disbelief, anger, anxiety, acceptance. The faster you go through this inevitable cycle, the better

4.    Confide your worries to those who love you. Share the burden

5.    Go for a holiday to cool down and relax. (that picture is of me in Salzburg)

6.    Remember many people get sacked. It isn’t going to hinder your chances for getting the next job. How you comport yourself after getting sacked is what will determine the ease with which you get the next job

7.    DO NOT blame others

8.    Figure out what your strengths are and look for companies that fit those

9.    Spend time in upskilling yourself

10. Tell yourself every day that you are awesome. Several times.

11. Reach out to your network for support if required.

For more click here — #BoundlessWithRamG

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

Finding Fulfilment
Finding Fulfilment 640 450 ramgi@user

CAP – Compassion, Acceptance & Purpose

I never imagined that I would be delivering a talk on a subject that is typically the domain of ‘Gurus’ and Godmen’. But that is exactly the opportunity I was given. I spoke to the leadership team of JP Morgan and recieved a standing ovation at the end of it.

The topic was ‘Meaning and Fulfilment in Life’. The following are the three qualities that I urged the audience to build in themselves, in order to lead a life of fulfilment and meaning.

The three qualities can be summarised with the acronym ‘CAP’.

The ‘C’ in CAP stands for Compassion.

Most of our lives, we pursue ‘value addition for ourselves’ as goals.

Making more money, buying bigger things, more and more expensive experiences etc. I am not saying we shouldn’t.

But, what if, along with that, we keep aside a fraction of our time for ‘adding value to others’? An ever increasing fraction over time, till your main purpose becomes helping others.

The level of fulfilment that it can provide in life is amazing.

The ‘A’ in CAP is Acceptance.

–      Acceptance of one’s own self (being completely authentic, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, being comfortable with that and being open about that)

–      Acceptance of situations (so that instead of getting into denial when setbacks hit, you can focus your energies on finding solutions and maximising the present)

–      Acceptance of people (knowing every individual is a unique mix of genetics, upbringing, and experience; and that it is important to accept that instead of getting frustrated with differences, judging others or even pushing them to change)

The above three help drastically in reducing stress and dissonance.

The ‘P’ in CAP is Purpose.

Have a goal in life that is larger than yourself. Every day, devote some time to get you closer to that goal. Break the goal down to strategies, have weekly and daily action plans for each strategy.

Anyone can build these three qualities. One can start small and take larger and larger steps each day.

By the way, these three qualities, if practiced diligently at workplace, will make you an amazingly successful professional. One who helps one’s colleagues, supports them and get supported in turn, is trustworthy and is driven.

Would you agree?

For more click here — #BoundlessWithRamG

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

An Open Letter to the World
An Open Letter to the World 635 450 ramgi@user

The Start of a Journey

For the last ten years, I have been growing in stature as a keynote speaker. I have made mistakes, learned from them, flopped in high profile talks, learned from the experiences, done extensive research in psychology and neuropsychology and incorporated the learnings into my talks.

Today, I am one of the top speakers in India’s corporate circuit. I have even delivered talks to exclusively international audiences.

But always behind me, and supporting me every step of the way was Jayashri Ramamurti, my wife. Because she was holding down a great job at Google, I had the opportunity and time to build up my career as a speaker.

Last week I got a call from Sanjay Krishnan, the founder of an amazingly exciting startup — Lithium Urban Technologies. The company provides transportation services to corporate employees, using EVs.

Remarkably, the company had managed to survive Covid and the work from home that followed. Now they wanted to conduct an offsite for their team to plan for the huge growth.

Sanjay wanted me to be the Keynote speaker for the program. I was delighted. This was a company that was saving the planet every time they made a sale. This was a company that had travelled a journey similar to mine, gone through great difficulties and risen like a phoenix.

The one condition I had was that Jayashri Ramamurti would accompany me. (She is scared that if I travel alone, I might trip and fall somewhere and injure myself. So she makes it a point to hold my hand all the time).

The session — a fireside chat between Sanjay and I — went brilliantly. But during the hour-long Q&A session, Sanjay managed to get Jayashri also on stage. With her vast experience in HR, she was awesome.

It was a first for us. The two of us sharing the stage.

I actually felt like a celebrity at the end, with many people wanting to take selfies with me.

I hope this is the beginning of a new partnership between Jayashri and I as we scale new heights in helping people grow, just like Lithium is scaling the heights in saving the planet.

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

Humour and Gurglese
Humour and Gurglese 640 458 ramgi@user

It was in 2012, that I discovered the best way to conducting a meeting where everyone is engaged and enjoying the session.

It was then that my whacky, science fiction, Oops the Mighty Gurgle was published. From a Malayalam-medium educated, villager kid who had never spoken a sentence in English, I had become a published author in English. Becoming a published author transforms one’s life. Suddenly people start believing you have pearls of wisdom to impart and start inviting you to talks.

Since ‘Oops the Mighty Gurgle’ got published as a children’s book, it is actually a book that appeals to the mad sense of humour in anyone, any age, I started being invited to schools and children’s book festivals to give book readings. At first, that is exactly what I did. Read the book aloud to the kids.

Luckily, a friend who attended a session gave it to me straight. “RamG, the way you are doing the reading, you are destroying the whole fun element in the book.”

Tough feedback. But one that transformed my life. I applied my creative brain and came up with an amazing plan. I invented a language called ‘Gurglese’ that is spoken by the protagonist in my book — Oops. Oops was a Gurgle, a species of evolved pumpkins.

My book reading sessions turned into crash course sessions on learning ‘Gurglese’. It helped tremendously that gurglese was spoken in a duck-voice, and full of squeals and grunts.

The children loved these sessions. Imagine a middle aged guy standing on stage and squealing and grunting and speaking utter bulls**t in a singsong duck voice. And imagine a hall full of middle school children being given the license to squeal, grunt and scream to their heart’s content with their teachers cheering them on.

The icing on the cake for the kids is when I call all the teachers on to the stage and make them repeat ‘gurglese’ after me! The kids just love the embarrassed giggles and laughter of their teachers before they gamely launch into squeals and grunts.

These sessions were so popular and engaging that I have held sessions for as many as 800 children at a time, packed like sardines into one large hall. And the only sound one could hear is my booming voice in duck voice followed by roars of laughter from the kids and their own collective duck-voice squeals.

I also used the storyline of my sci-fi book to teach the kids astrophysics. Imagine being taught what is a neutron star while you are rolling on the floor laughing! They would never forget the lessons. This experience taught me a huge lesson — make people laugh. They will forever remember you and your message.

Today, every meeting I attend, whether with children or with CEOs, I make sure that I crack some silly jokes and make people laugh. I can immediately sense the mood lighten and engagement level going zooming up. We all need to keep our inner child alive. Do you agree?

P.S. you can listen to more of my stories on YouTube at Boundless With RamG.

#Humour #BoundlessWithRamG #motivationalspeaker #happiness

Writing my First Book
Writing my First Book 635 450 ramgi@user

In 2011, I came back from Chicago, after undergoing a clinical trial. My body was rebooted in the experimental treatment. But I also wanted to reboot my life. And the way I did it was hilarious…

I had always wanted to write. I started with short stories about dogs dying horrible deaths when I was 5. You see, I had just been bitten by a dog and I hated them (Today I love dogs, of course. They are awesome). Soon I started writing poems. I even won first prize in poetry writing in my school.

But then life became hectic — preparing for competitive exams, IIT, XLRI, a hectic career etc.

It was only at the age of 41 that I got back to writing. I was just recovering from a paralysing onset of an acute case of autoimmune neuropathy. I wanted to keep my mind distracted. So I started blogging. The genre I chose was humour. Because writing humorous posts kept me sane instead of being overwhelmed by the way my body was going to pieces.

I had to be admitted to the hospital every two months for infusions of immunoglobulin. I would sit up on the hospital bed and write my blogs. It was only when I decided to go to Chicago for 3 months to undergo the experimental treatment of stem cell transplant that I seriously started contemplating writing a book. Carried away by Harry Potter, at first I decided to write a fantasy fiction for Young Adults. But it was way too boring.

And then the infusion of chemo, rituximab and ATG started. Toxic substances that could put rat poison to shame. It took time for my battered body to recover. But once it started mending, it kept on improving. I felt on top of the world.

This is when I decided I should write a whacky, funny book. The premise of the book was so absurd and so outrageous that every page was a self-discover for me — self-discovery of just how ridiculous I could get my mind to think.

Writing ‘Oops the Mighty Gurgle’ kept my mood bubbling with humour. Thinking of absurd story plots and coming up with progressively more mad humour kept pumping dopamine in my brain. I was on a constant high.

After many rejections, the book got published. It did quite well— as far as children’s books go. But my protagonist, ‘Oops’, the evolved pumpkin from the future who had travelled back in time to save humanity from destruction, had ended up saving my life.

I always say, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get humorous’. Would you agree?

#humour #resilience #BoundlessWithRamG #motivationalspeakers #happiness

My own Body Turned Against me
My own Body Turned Against me 635 454 ramgi@user

It was about 11 years ago, that my body was rebooted.

Back then, I had been suffering from an autoimmune disorder (CIDP) that crippled me and brought me to near-total paralysis of the entire body for over 8 years. Standard medications didn’t work for me and the steroids had extensive side-effects such as cataract in the eyes, brittle bones, bone death in both hips, weight gain of over 16 kilos etc. My doctors had no clue on what to do beyond the standard medication.

Luckily, I knew that the buck stops with me — always.

I tried ayurveda, yoga, diet control and finally after extensive research, Dr. Richard Burt’s clinical trial in Chicago. The cost would wipe out most of our family savings. But with the ever-present-support of my wife, Jayashri Ramamurti, I had little hesitation in going for it. There was a probability of death during the treatment, and a probability that it may not work. But along with end-to-end ownership, risk-taking was the other quality that my parents had inculcated in me.

The treatment was my rebirth. After the treatment, with over 6 months of intense physiotherapy and exercising, I recovered over 90% of my muscles.

This picture was taken approximately 11 years back, when my stem cells were injected into my body to reboot my immune system. My life was also rebooted then. I went on to reinvent my life as a bestselling author, tech co-founder, and a much-sought-after keynote speaker. There are scores, if not hundreds of people who have supported me on this journey. My heartfelt gratitude to all of you. I wouldn’t have achieved anything without all of you.

#gratitude #motivationalspeakers #happiness