Effective from 10 August 2009, please note my new conditions for delivering talks, and conducting seminars and workshops for academia:
- Speaker-fee: Rs 5,000 for each talk between 45 to 90 minutes.
- Speaker-fee for beyond the NCR (National Capital Region): Rs 10,000 per working-day, for upto 180 minutes of talks. Each subsequent talk or time-slot of 45 to 90 minutes, at Rs 5,000.
- Please also kindly pay for the commute-expenses, on a per KM basis, as well as for toll taxes if any, within the NCR. I tend to drive down in my own car, as I might be coming in, or going directly to, a client’s project-site.
- For outstation: If I choose to drive down, kindly pay the commute and toll expenses incurred, and kindly provide me with clean, comfortable, and airconditioned accommodations on a non-shared basis. I prefer staying on-campus. Some of the places I’ve stayed at have outstanding facilities, but a few other places have rather disappointed me, making me wish my hosts had rather checked me into a hotel. So please discuss this in detail before finalizing a program.
- Silent, peaceful environs are rather important for me, as I tend to meditate in my room. Nights especially have to be quiet, peaceful and undisturbed. Please.
- A room with dampness on the walls and/or with strong and stale odours must be avoided.
- For travel to longer distances (India is a sub-continent!) I only prefer air-travel. My airlines of choice are Jet Airways, and Kingfisher. For destinations where neither fly, please discuss options before-hand.
- Do contact me at least 45 to 60 days in advance as my schedules are usually quite booked.
- Once in a while, the teaching-bug really bites me, and I end up working as a visiting faculty in a college or institution, while still continuing with my other professional projects. Should you wish me to work as a visiting faculty, the above rates may not be applicable.
- Finally, the most precious aspect of my life is my family, and given my schedules and travel, when possible, I tend to take them along.
The above rates are for academia only. Professional training projects and workshops for non-academia and corporate clients, are usually billed at between Rs 1,25,000 to Rs 3,50,000, with some going up to Rs 5,50,000. All other expenses and applicable taxes extra. The nature and scope of such professional workshops are significantly different from the work I do for academia.
I’ve spent 11 years so far, working and interacting with academia in India whenever I can. This has always implied my taking time out of my professional tasks, devoting my free and spare time, and even keeping myself away from my family as well as from my personal pursuits.
Why? I love to teach and to share, and to inspire young minds and hearts with new ideas, new insights, and new opportunities. I spend hours every day researching deeply, learning about new things in my various professional and personal disciples, and love to share these with those keen to learn.
The number of invitations I receive keeps going up, semester-after-semester. This delights me. However, my increased professional commitments, which have also become more demanding and challenging, no longer allow me that luxury of time and energy. I often have to carve time out of my professional schedules, and catch up with deadlines by working harder and at odd times through late in the night.
Should I just hang up my kohlapuris, and call it a day? Should I just draw comfort from some of the more fruitful interactions I’ve had over these 11 unbroken years? I don’t think I’m done yet, but I do need to be more focussed and careful in agreeing to invitations. Especially when I’ve startled myself to discover that the token honorarium-fee offered me is often woefully inadequate, or the travel and/or accommodation rather unsuitable.
Some of you may have seen me through the years make an open promise on-stage to come and interact with any college that invites me, provided our schedules match. Look up my flickr account to see how I’ve delivered on this promise, even though I only started photo-blogging since 2007. According to my estimates, I have surpassed my initial objective of touching the lives and minds of 10,000 students and participants across India. Going forward, some of you from academia may find these speaker-fees rather steep and impossible to accept. My experience, however, indicates the education-sector in India can easily find funds and sponsors for any worthy initiative.