Sumesh Mangalasseri, Chairman & Managing Director
Sumesh Mangalasseri hails from a small farmers family from rural Kerala, started his career as software professional. The experiences he gained through working with communities and environmental movements changed his destiny and later turned as an active campaigner, researcher, policy analyst and consultant for sustainable tourism.
His 16 years of experiences in community development, action research, policy level interventions and national and international NGOs particularly in the context of tourism helped him to envision the voluntary organisation “KABANI – the other direction“. His knowledge in running and facilitating community tourism initiatives has lead to the development of many sustainable social entrepreneurship models including Kabani Community Tourism & Services, with the involvement of the host communities in India.
Sumesh is an active partner of a larger international network working on sustainable tourism and related issues, contributing to various international discourses and negotiations such as climate change, sustainable development and international trade. He has contributed his vision and views to many publications and journals and has led numerous projects in various international and national organizations critically intervening in tourism and development.
Sreejith. P.Nair is an Electronics and Communication Engineering graduate and has 10 years’ of experience in software engineering with multinational companies such as Philips, NDS and Cisco. He is an extensive explorer and avid blogger.
“I chose to work with Kabani team to do something meaningful for my community. I have always been passionate about travel, photography, and people; thereby, working with Kabani is the perfect fit between my professional expertise and personal aspiration. My life philosophy: Commitment to your community brings meaning to your life”.
Oamjie John, Director – Research and Training
Oamjie John is a social organizer, community trainer and researcher. He has 30 years of wide background in grass roots organizing, training, research and data collection. He is something of a polyglot speaking four languages, studying subjects as wide as journalism, screen plays and counselling and has a deep experience with coastal communities. His interests range from philosophy to creative writing and he has worked with issues ranging from climate change and globalisation to women’s rights.
The red thread that has run through his life has been an interest in people and the potential of a more just world. With this as his guiding vision he has published twenty articles on the connection between social and environmental issues and has translated books on the importance of spirituality for effective personal development. He has many years of experience as trainer and Kabani and communities associated with Kabani is benefited from this rich experience.
His life philosophy merges love and prayer. In his search for explanations and solutions he learns by interacting, observing and reading – critical skills for the work of rural empowerment.