Friday, July 29, 2011

From Kilimanjaro to Dubai, a desert that houses world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa

I had wonderful weather and views from various camps and high places along the summit journey of Kilimanjaro.. I kept thinking about the commitment I had made to Prof Anindya sen about my visit to IIM C campus.
My self and Ravi Kumar (A Young man from UP, his claim to be 1st person from UP to summit Kilimanjaro) reached the summit in the early hours to the mesmerizing views of sun rise savoring the shadow of Uhuru peak (Kilimanjaro) stretched for scores of miles. We descended with out much trouble and walked out of the beautiful Rainforest of Kilimanjaro nestled at the foot of this massive tallest peak of Africa.
After reaching the Hotel in Moshi, I made my plans to go for IIM C campus as soon as I arrive in India. Soon I was in the Campus and sharing details of my various travels, climbs and other pursuits to the earnest questions that several Profs. I guess, I am fortunate to be one of their affectionate students/alumnus. Then I went for a walk round the campus. It was wonderful. Spent time near the "Jetty" which brought memories from the student days of IIM C.

The next day was my talk to the graduating students of First International Batch of IIM C Dubai chapter.
I presented my pictures and narrated my journey.. The pictures were from some of the rare places which evoke awe and amazement in any kind of audience. They are nice to have appreciated my talk as well and gave me a standing ovation which put me thinking ... oh, what was happening!..
Lot of people approached and asked to give autograph.. and amidst this, I guess Prof Saibal and Anindya Sen as well as some those people who were couldn't make it to the take .. suggested ---
"Hey, Why don't we invite him to Dubai? for another talk!".

Around this time is when I met lot of people who warmly extended their invitation to stay with them while I will be in Dubai. It was very warm gesture and i felt smug.

Later I met Mr. Manoj, head of "eSquareWorld Academia" who assured that will extend his invitation and take care of the visas, travel and my Dubai visit expenses. It would take awhile.

then I got busy with planning my other mountain pursuits and Motivational Talk opportunities at various places.. I received a mail from Uma Devaguptapu Chief HR at ITW Signode India. It was went well as well and one of them suggested my name for a talk at another company called "PALL". I did this talk in Bangalore.. mean while I had been communicating with Mr. Manoj and his team who had been working towards planning my visit at one of their events in Dubai.

I think towards January/Feb mid we were able to finalize the event, and my visit to Dubai. I was planning to go for one of the challenging Winter Ascent of Mt. Elbrus (tallest peak of Europe, one of 7 summits).

Dubai, eSquareWorld Academia
Manoj & Aneesh exchanged several mails and phone conversations to facilitate my visit to Dubai and finally I got the opportunity to meet young & ever smiling people of eSquareWorld Academia no matter how much stress they underwent. It was cute to know and watch their vision and passion to make impact in the sphere of learning and education.
finally, I was there in Millennium Hotel, Dubai sharing my experiences showing pictures from various climbs of 7 summits journey. It was another best experience and appreciation I had.
I met lot of people who extended their warm appreciation as well as assured support if I am planning something in Future.

Introduction to Mr. Hanumanth Kumar, MD MCA management consultants
It was after this talk that I met Mr. Hanumanth Kumar, an entrepreneur & Managing Director of MCA management consultants. Mr. Venkatesh, partner of Mr. Hanumath, Venky Kosaraju, Mr. Protap and his friends along with Mr. Manoj & his team and several others extended their warm friendship and solicited to plan one more visit to Dubai after my Elbrus Winter Challenge in Russia.

Thus my association with this Desert landscape that housed the world's tallest tower/man-made feature began to grow stronger... and I still had no firm plans about aspiring for the "tallest peaks of South America continent".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zafco-Malli S.A Summits - Made in Chennai

July 4, 2011, Rain Tree Hotel, Anna Salai, CHENNAI

July 4: As US was in its midst of Independece day celebrations.. I didn't know that the same day would also be significant date in my life.. it's not 1776 though

I gave a call to Mr. Gopi Raj, CEO Zafco( and told him "Sir, I am here at the reception, Rain Tree Hotel. We had an appointment as 6:30pm". He said "Malli, Please wait; I am coming down in 2mts."

I sat down on one of the couches, took out my dairy and began to look at the details of the South America Adventure that I had been researching and planning about. I didn't notice him walking out of the lift and coming towards me. As he walked close to me I felt his foot steps and lifted my head.. and we greeted each other and exchanged formal wishes.

So, you are loooking for the sponsorship for the flight tickets for your South America Adventure. how much is it..?
Malli: close to 15,000$.
Mr.Gopiraj: What's the toal requirement for execution of your S.America Adventure?
Malli: About 75,000$ for 6 months and all countries.

Mr.Gopiraj: What's your expectation?
Malli: I blurted.. and said slowly.. I have the need for entire sponsorship.. I don't know how much do you want to sponsor..

Mr.Gopiraj: Is it okay if we sponsor all of this? and you carry our flags to all these summits and take picture on the summit.. We would like to spread the message of "Care for Nature/Environment" as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility. That's my interest to involve with this.

Malli: I answered it as though he asked me, Did you eat your breakfast.. "Yes." and slowly I began to explain that .. in that case you can have all the exclusivity of the event..

I guess, my initial nonchalant reaction was due to the bad incident I had with Samsung in Delhi in sept 2008.. I was in the office of Samsung in Sep 2008; It was the day before Bomb blasts in Delhi CP and other places.. .. The head of Samsung, Delhi made lot of promises etc..

I forgot this incident and continued living life..

I wanted not to feel the disappointed in case this association will not happen same as Samsung. But here our discussion was very much unlike the one I had at Samsung..

Slowly, I began to ask Mr. Gopiraj.. what will be our next steps if we had decided on the sponsorship support and you are sure that you want to support it.-
I offered that I will be more than happy to have the exclusive association of the event with Zafco.. to take summit pics with company logo, flag....
How to spread the message - Care for Environment and fight to curb Global warming.. I expressed my interest about spreading the message - Health focus..

What Next ?

Go for the Visas.. This required booking of flight.. where I need the money to be transfered immediately..I know that it's going to be a tough job getting visas with Indian Passport.
But, I began to see the reality and happening of "South America Summits"..

And then He asked me what do you want to do next? I guess I was too smug.. and asked myself what do I do? I didn't know that my spons hassles are going to be taken away so quickly..

I shared in low voice that.. I think I will go home for now.. or may be i will think of how to prepare . or may be will research more about mountains..

I remembered the words of "Dubai based Chennai friends".. who assured me while in Dubai that ..Malli, Don't worry.. this will happen..
I extended my heart felt thanks to Mr. Hanumanth Kumar, (partener MCA, Dubai) who introduced me to Mr. Hari Gopal, Ernest & Young - who introduced me to Mr. Gopiraj (Zafco) for doing Motivational Talk for their Employees.

Mr. Hanumanth: introduced me to his friend Mr. Hari Gopal. Mr. Natraj (AlRostamani group), and lot of his friends and companies.. who assured me that - "we will raise the contributions among our friends and see that you will achieve this... "

I allowed myself to drift into the past few months and all the people and incidents that led to this stage..

It was approximately in mid Oct 2010.. and I was in Moshi, Tanzania that I for Kilimanjaro climb... that I received a mail from Prof. Anindya Sen.. which said Malli will you be free in Nov.. can you come to the campus? we would want you to share your experiences and achievements with our - 1st International IIM C batch (from Dubai).. we will pay for your travel expenses.

I replied.. yes. I will be more than happy to see you all and campus. . I will call you when I am in India. and then got busy for preparing to go for Kilimanajaro climb.

- .. more in next post