ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ram describes himself as a ‘passional.’ He created this term to describe people like himself, people who have no professional qualifications or relevant experience but have become experts in a sector. Passionals create new concepts not based on the foundation of professional qualification or years of work experience, but on the foundation of their passions.
Ram had been an advertising and marketing professional for two decades. His long career in advertising and marketing took him to global companies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, and Publicis and Standard Chartered Bank. He spent most of his professional career outside India in the Middle East. Ram was a Shopper Marketing Specialist with the Saatchi & Saatchi X Team.
In 2006, he returned after a 17-year stint outside India and founded Our Native Village, an eco resort just outside Bangalore in South India. Our Native Village was the culmination of his dreams and passions, as well as decades spent in research.
Ram’s childhood memories of growing up in a household where thrift and prudence were everyday principles were rekindled when he observed certain heart-wrenching aspects of ‘man-made poverty’ amongst farmers in his neighbourhood. While the urban world is known to have little respect for environmental issues, he realised that rural India had been stripped of its inherent knowledge of how to harness nature, and is made to rely upon undependable promises of resources.
With no background in sustainability, Ram’s dream of developing a fully sustainable living model was put to test with Our Native Village. In a world filled with good intention, great ideas, and eager consultants, the attempt at total sustainability in Our Native Village was recognised at the time of its inception as the only commercial working model of sustainability. Our Native Village has since been recognised with global and national awards, having been featured by much of the world press, including Asia Geographic Magazine, MSN, India Today, Outlook Traveler, and BBC.
Ram has been involved in events that have had a lasting impact on him and those around him. In 1995, he cycled across Lebanon, raising money for two children’s charities in Beirut and Dubai. Following this, he cycled close to 4,000 kms across India from Jammu to Kanyakumari, raising money for the Neelbagh School, run by the Aashraya Trust. Ram and his wife also started the Fertility Support Group and an informal adoption support group when they lived in Dubai, running it for a decade.
Ram is a certified ‘Climate Leader’ after undergoing an intensive training programme, personally conducted by the Former US Vice President, Mr. Al Gore. He is a regular speaker at sustainability conferences and seminars. He spends a lot of time spreading the values of sustainability to students, the corporate world, and to all those around him. He now lives in Bangalore with his wife Lalitha and their kids, Aakanksha and Akshay.
Ramkumar has been featured at epaper.deccanchronicle.com