From a Hindi teacher to a cab driver to future content creator :)

Last month on my way to Delhi, I met Yakub, a cab driver. He had been here for 3 months and passionately talked about going back to Ranchi, to start his own Hindi tuition centre for classes 1-5. ‘Teen saal mein teen lakh’ was his goal, to save enough to return back and kickstart his little startup…

He spoke passionately about what he taught kids back in Ranchi. After a pause for few minutes, I asked him what if he could save that money in half the time? He looked back confused, until I pointed to keep eyes on the road..

‘Do you know how many people want their kids to learn Hindi, around the world?’ Confused still, he peeked into the rear view mirror at me. ‘How about you start teaching Hindi on YouTube, make videos for every little topic’ and focus on getting online tuition classes from people who find your video, and when you start getting parents from across India and abroad, you do online tuitions in your free time after the job, it can take sometime but you’ll do the work you love, and when you’ve hit your 3 lakh mark, with savings from the job and online classes.. you go start your centre… 

His eyes lit up, still looking through the mirror. By this time I was at my destination, as I got out.. I gave him the book (always carry a copy in my bag), gave him Rs. 1000 to invest in a tripod/ring light to start creating videos from his phone and told him to learn everyday anytime he gets.. 

Learn about how YouTube works by watching YouTube tutorials, watch what others teachers have done to see it’s not difficult and learn ‘what’ and ‘how’ to make videos from the book and call me when he has attempted his first video. He kept staring at me as I patted his back and got out. 

If you can find someone you can help, with skills you’ve learnt over the years.. don’t just give gyan.. but give an action plan and a little support.. once the extra wheels come off.. off they go empowered to thrive.. and that’s the India 🇮🇳 I love.. working hard with a twinkle in their eyes ♥️

Do share your stories, if you’ve had a similar experience 😊

The first video – Gurgaon Toll Surprise

This day eight years back, I released my first ever video. It was the happiest and the scariest moment of my life, happiest coz it was my first ‘viral’ experience and scariest coz if I did not build on that, if I did not figure out, learn, deep dive, obsess about why it worked.. then I’d be back to the rat race, nothing but a one hit wonder.

The journey and the obsession since then has resulted in 76 videos which went viral, 470M views and a best-selling book.. which for a college drop out, written off as a failure.. was beyond my wildest imagination. Results are never in our hands, but our action and performance is, and one brick at a time, compound effect works like magic. Life always gives you signs, shows you doors, but what matters is if you run through them.

And when that tiny door opened on Feb 18, eight years back.. I ran through it like my life depended on it.


Super Grateful for everything that came after :)

From a College Dropout to a University Speaker!


I kept a little secret for many years, something I was too ashamed to mention in conversations in my twenties and had perfectly camouflaged in my confidence. For years I dodged LinkedIn asking me about my education to complete my profile, and bank forms for customer information. So I never finished my degree, dropped out of college in the second year and technically still have only a high school credential. It was the dotcom boom of 2001, an exciting time to be experiencing internet for the first time and riding a revolution around the world.


I had been building websites since I was 16, and was hopelessly optimistic about the future and studying something which for years I had only hacked my way into. A square peg trying to fit into the traditional round hole. At college, the exams were about cramming up borrowed notes, classes were about theory and computer labs had an AC. The dream died a slow death, when after two years, I just stopped going to college. I had read somewhere that just like a blind man has super sharp hearing, you got to make the weakness irrelevant by building on other strengths.

The Moment I’ll Never Forget

I remember the exact moment when those feelings of ‘not-good-enough’ were smashed forever. I was at a traffic light, frantically waiting for it to turn green, I had to run home to check the numbers. Numbers of a video which became the biggest success I had ever tasted. I fired up my iPhone browser, keeping an eye on the traffic lights and there it was.. my first Million views!

That day, when the counter hit the six zeroes – I had my degree.

That one video went on to become Asia’s most shared branded Facebook post and won awards. This had come after a long wait, decade of working in the darkness, starting and closing businesses, attending film school, working in sales to managing social media for brands. My career had taken a new direction, and this was the first day of the rest of my life. I had come out of the ‘drop-out’ closet with a very public success. Working at ixigo was a strong reason as well, with a full license to experiment. Little did I know that in a year, I would win Content Marketer of the Year too :)

Oh The Taboo!

Back in the day, it was not easy living in India being a drop-out. A taboo, it was like a blot on your resume and your life. When friends were discussing about doing MBAs and applying for masters, I was tinkering with websites, lapping up skills and knowledge from the Internet. One thing being a drop-out taught me was to find your own path, chart your own course. I remember once I sold a web app idea to a client in Canada without knowing a thing about that technology. After a few days in the library and hours playing with the code, that project was delivered and at fraction of what competition was quoting. That’s when I started maintaining my success journal, a book with a list of my littlest of achievements, my version of ‘degree on the wall’.

Speaking At a University, Hell Yeah!

Few weeks back, got an invitation to speak at a well respected University. The email was about doing a talk on ‘Viral Videos’. The little degree-less boy who lived with-in me, shouted ‘Hell Yeah’ with joy, it had come full circle. The talk was attended by their Grad students and the sought after ‘Young India Fellowship’ students. I learnt from the admissions office that their entire admissions process was based on meticulous interviews and a curriculum rooted in liberal arts. Ashoka University, with their world class campus is a vision of India’s top entrepreneurs.

So there :)

PS: I’m writing a book, about viral content marketing, about all little things that lead to the crazy millions! Sign-up for the mailing list :)

The power of content, kindness and crowd-funding!


Take a good look at this photo (left); That’s the kid you’ve seen in countless memes around the web. Popularly known as the ‘success kid’, a baby with fistful of confidence. Turns out the baby is 8 year old Sammy Griner and his father needed a kidney transplant.

With in a week of adding a crowd-funded campaign on GoFundMe, the Internet gave back $94,000!!! Thats’s the power of content, kindness and crowd funding! What a story! :)

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The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention – Oscar Wilde