Book Launch – Ice Drop

We first became facebook friends through our common friend Rajesh Setty. We have only met once over coffee in Chennai. But, we are fast friends….we are what used to be called pen-pals. We don’t write each other regularly. But, when we do….there is a deep connection because we share similar ideas and views on life. That is what has made us fast friends that live 10K miles away.

I call him endearingly Mani.
He is not just Mani.
He is Dr. Mani.

Today, I am delighted to let you know that my brilliant buddy Dr. Mani is launching his new book. It’s called THE ICEDROP.

Who is Dr. Mani?

He is a pediatric heart surgeon, fundraiser, author and entrepreneur. He blogs at and has written sixty-four books including two novels. Most of Dr.Mani’s writing is intended to help readers just like us discover how to find our inner greatness and pursue your dreams to achieve success, happiness and fulfillment. He is actively engaged in spreading awareness about congenital heart disease (CHD) and raising funds to sponsor treatment for under-privileged children in India. His efforts to raise funds involve writing, and a share of the profits from all book sales go towards helping a child live. The Dr.Mani Children Heart Foundation at is a non-profit organization that, through donations from generous supporters, has funded heart surgery in over 120 children – with many more to follow. This was made possible by readers who have bought, read and enjoyed the books Dr.Mani has authored and published.

What is the Icedrop about?

Following in the footsteps of Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, “The Icedrop” is an allegorical novel that shares a story that will resonate within you, and reveal the Truth.

It’s a story for people who are confused and uncertain about whether it’s okay to follow their hearts… people who wonder if they’re the only square pegs in round holes… people who feel instinctively that there’s got to be more to life than what they’ve experienced: they’ll be right there with Adrian as he trickles, flows and then cascades down from a mountain top to the bottom of an ocean… learning, growing and being guided in the same way as a curious icedrop.

Freed from a glacier within which he’s been trapped for years, young Adrian Icedrop is inspired by a mentor to pursue his dream and live out his destiny.

He sets out on a long journey. Along the way, Adrian meets many people, makes new friends and experiences things he’s never imagined. After weeks of adventure and self-discovery, he reaches his destination – 40,000 leagues under the sea. There he will meet the Grand Water Drop… who refers him to a Higher Authority… where finally, Adrian hears a message that stuns and transforms him.

It’s a message that will free YOU, too – as you unlock the mystery and magic of existence. Read “The Icedrop” today.

This is a story to let you fly higher, go further, live bigger than you’ve ever dreamed.

John Harricharan, award-winning author of ‘Morning Has Been All Night Coming’ and ‘The Power Pause’ said this about ‘The Icedrop’:

“I read your new book and found it very exciting, peaceful and ‘Learning Full’. It is a brilliant piece of work filled with wisdom, joy, hope and all good things… If I were to underline the most important parts of this volume, I would have to underline the entire book. Everyone should read this book and share it with those who matter most.”

Links about Dr. Mani, his books and Icedrop

Learn more about Dr.Mani’s books at his author page and
IceDrop Quotes
FREE Sample Chapter

Interview with Dr. Mani

Q: Tell us something about your new book
Dr.Mani: ‘The Icedrop’ is more than just a book, or a guide, or a course. It is all of these and more. Not many times does something change your life and the way you look at it. This book has the potential to do it.
It isn’t something that I put together on the spur of the moment. The message shared in this book took years to learn. It didn’t come to me in a flash of inspiration or enlightenment. Thirty years of life experiences stand behind these timeless concepts.

As a heart surgeon for children, who later changed gears to also take on roles of non-profit fund raiser, writer, entrepreneur and coach, my career has seen many twists and turns driven by ambition, and a desire to face and conquer challenges.

Along the way, I learned many lessons. Some were painless. Others, painful. A positive attitude towards enquiring, learning, testing out and confirming these lessons is what this book is about.

From this rich experience were distilled the concepts which I highlight throughout ‘THE ICEDROP’. Concepts that could change the way you see things – forever. Simple shifts to the way you think, that will help you harness your real power and true potential. Patterns of behaviour that will convince you that it’s ok to follow your heart.

Q: What prompted you to write it at this moment in time?
Dr.Mani: Well, ”The Icedrop” has been almost 15 years in the making!
When I first started writing it, I had returned from extensive travels around the world to finish my medical training. There was plenty of learning compressed into that 5 year period, as I went from London to Australia, and returned to India but moved to a different city – before coming back home.

A few years before this, my friend John Harricharan, a widely acclaimed and reputed author who has penned some classics including “THE POWER PAUSE” and “MORNING HAS BEEN ALL NIGHT COMING”, encouraged me to share my ideas about harnessing emotion to tackle difficult life situations. He urged me to write from the unique perspective of a doctor, a heart specialist.

So I did. And ‘The Emotion Prism’ was very popular among readers. That encouraged me to start on another work with a similar, if not related, message.

I had no idea back then that it would stretch out to so many years, and that the book itself would grow and evolve along with me!

Q: Are these concepts something new, something that you discovered or developed?
Dr.Mani: Absolutely not. These truths, concepts and philosophies are universal. They are eternal, have existed for ever so long. All I have done in my book is to write about these concepts and illustrate them using an allegory – the travels of Adrian Ice Drop.
Q: So then what makes your book particularly interesting?

Dr.Mani: What’s new in this book, and unique too, is that the message is presented as a story – in a way that is enjoyable to read, simple to digest and easy to embrace. As a reader, you’re able to relate better to an Icedrop’s story than a dull, dry discourse or lecture.

Q: I was intrigued by the title – ‘The Icedrop’. How did you decide upon it?
Dr.Mani: The choice of title is representative of the book itself. A water drop is familiar. But an “ice drop”?
Still, think about it. Ice is just another form of water. It melts to flow, then vaporizes to float. It takes different forms, acquires different properties, to achieve different results. Yet it’s essentially the same thing… with the same power, potential and capabilities.

It’s just like that with you, and me, and everybody else.

That’s the reason why we can relate to Adrian Ice Drop. Imagine ourselves as being on the journey he takes. Identify with the different forms he adopts along his travels.

And finally, if ‘THE ICEDROP’ helps reveal the true potential lying within you, it will have been worth writing.

Q: The style of your writing is interesting too. Was it a deliberate choice to present these powerful lessons in the form of a story, as casual conversations?
Dr.Mani: Everyone loves to listen to a story. It makes the process more enjoyable, entertaining, fun. Much more so than listening to a dry discourse or studying a “how-to” manual. Far from diluting the message, this style makes it simpler to follow and understand.

Q: And I’ve wondered… are the experiences you’ve used to illustrate some points actually personal? Did they happen to you?
Dr.Mani: No author can feel strongly about something he or she hasn’t experienced. I use some examples from my own life, ones that have affected the way I looked at things – my career choices, behavior and relationships, financial and business activities, everything. And I think this powerful emotion conveys itself to readers through the book, and adds impact to the message I’m trying to share.
But they aren’t exclusively based on my own life. As a doctor and entrepreneur, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with thousands of people. And I’ve drawn from their experiences, too.

Q: Your life and career has been unique. A heart surgeon treating kids with life-threatening conditions. An entrepreneur, fund raiser, and writer. But not all people will face such diversity or drama or trauma regularly. Is this a limitation of your book?
Dr.Mani: Not really. The examples used to highlight the message, all the lessons, ideas and concepts discussed in ‘The Icedrop’, are equally relevant to everybody.

Q: Tell me, what sort of people will find these lessons useful?
Dr.Mani: In a word – Everyone.
The reason is simple. These truths are universal. They should – and will – benefit you, no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do. People from different professions, ethnic groups, countries, religions and cultures have benefited from them. You can too.

And if you’re thinking this is going to be a complex, lengthy, difficult process – stop. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed the danger with a book like this is that you might think these ideas are too simple to really work.

Q: I have been one of the lucky people to review your book before it was published, and have already started thinking differently. For someone hearing this message for the first time, it is a little difficult to change the way we think about things. Do you have any suggestions to make it easier?
Dr.Mani: The simple concepts that will form the crux of your strategy to transform your life are not at all complicated. To understand and apply them, you don’t need to be a genius. Anyone can learn to use them. But it takes time.
It is always difficult to accept something new, something different. Old habits die hard. But if you persist they can be beaten. If at first you have some difficulty with wrapping your head around these concepts, remember your life will be much better when you’ve learned – and accepted – how powerful you really are.

Oh, and be patient. Don’t give up. Change, especially inner change, can be a slow process. But give it time, and it will happen.

Q: Thank you very much for discussing your new book, ‘The Icedrop’, with us. I’m sure many more people will benefit from the lessons you teach in it. How can one order a copy?
Dr.Mani: The book is currenly available only in electronic format for immediate download from – click here to order now

Call To Action

Support Dr.Mani Children Heart Foundation by purchasing ICE DROP today.

On Purging

Purging is part of life.
We purge body cells every day without realizing it.
We purge bad memories.
It is hard to do..but, we do it.

However, you know what is the hardest thing to purge?
One’s book shelf.
It stores so many memories and so much knowledge.
It is the place that marks how much you have grown over decades.

Anyways, that is what I am doing today.
Boldly and ruthlessly, purging the book shelves.
Trust me.
It requires a very strong heart.

Writing is very Lonely Work

Writing is very lonely work.

You sit at your laptop and bleed your heart out.
(Not my phrase, it is Hemingway’s)

You don’t do it for anybody on this planet.
You do it simply to cope with the craziness of life.
You write to heal yourself.

And, then, you does the most courageous thing.
You put it out on ether.

Most times, you don’t know what happens on the other side of ether.
But, sometimes you do.

A message here.
A pat on the back there.
A “let me buy you dinner” offer.

Suddenly, a week arrives, when you have a triple whammy.
Out of the blue.
For no obvious reason.

You add a flood of subscribers.
Your pins get repinned.
And, then, when you are completely under-dressed and rushing through an aisle, a stranger walks up to you, says “Hello” as if they have known you their entire life and proceeds to explain in detail about how you have touched their heart with a post that you have long forgotten about.

Well, some weeks are good.

Thank you for reading.

Happy Friday!

Book Launch: FOUND: Transforming Your Unlimited Ideas into One Sustainable Business

I met Naveen Lakkur and Dr Liz Alexander under very interesting circumstances through our common friend Rajesh Setty. Each of their life story reads like an Oscar award winning movie. But, I’ll save the story of the meeting for another day.

Naveen Lakkur  and Dr Liz Alexander recently launched a book titled FOUND: Transforming Your Unlimited Ideas into One Sustainable Business in Bangalore, India. The book is aimed at entrepreneurs.


I wanted to give you a “insider” peek into the book and the authors. So, without further ado, here is my interview with the authors.

Ambal: Found is filled with real-life case studies, interviews and stories, combined with helpful worksheets and quality visuals. What is the one thing that you want the reader to take away from the book?

Liz & Naveen: We both strongly believe that no idea is a bad idea. That said, you have to know how best to categorize your ideas in order to take appropriate action. That speaks to the Idea Matrix we feature in FOUND, that helps the reader identify whether they can build a sustainable business, or whether their idea has some other value.

A key message of our book is that not all ideas can or should become viable businesses. The five-step framework of FOUND (an acronym for Freeflow; Orientate; Unearth; Negotiate; and Decide) is there for any entrepreneur, intrapreneur or aspiring thought leader to determine which of their many ideas should be the foundation for their efforts. We want to save readers time, money and work by giving them a discipline with which to accurately identify and pursue “winning” ideas.

Ambal: Each entrepreneur’s journey is so unique. Both of you have such a fun and fantastic life journey before becoming entrepreneurs. How do you think your life and life choices influenced your entrepreneurial journey?

Liz: I was an intensely curious, adventurous, risk-taking child and that didn’t stop when I grew into adulthood. I describe myself as a global citizen: born in Scotland, educated in England, I lived and worked in France for a while, have traveled all over the world before finally settling in the U.S. where I’m now a citizen. On top of that I spend several months each year in India, which I love and where I’ll probably “retire.” It is this willingness to have many, varied experiences and learn from different approaches and cultures that, I think, has ensured I produce a steady stream of fresh ideas both for my own businesses and for the benefit of my clients.

Naveen: My father had a grocery store. Most of my childhood free time was spent in his store and many of my entrepreneurial lessons was learnt on the shop floor, so my father became my role model.

I grew up learning technology and watching successful entrepreneurs such as Azim Premji and Narayana Murthy in India. They became my new role models. With my increased global exposure at work I watched Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos and came to realize the power of technology to simplify things, and the need for solving big problems using technology. Inspired by them, I became a technopreneur myself. Now, as a mentor to several startups, every passionate entrepreneur who is determined to change the world for the better in a smart way, inspires me.

Ambal: Given you both live in different continents, how did you collaborate on the book from inception to launch? 

Liz: Naveen and I met originally several years ago in California at a wonderful event known as Cerebrate (which is where we also met you, Ambal!) By the time we collaborated on FOUND I had already helped Naveen finesse his first book, Inseparable Twins. The fact that I visit India for at least a month each time meant that over the two years we worked on this book we could meet face to face, including at the inception when I helped identify which of Naveen’s many ideas should be his second book.

Technology makes it easy to share materials, documents, and of course “visit” through platforms like Skype and Facetime. So it was easy enough to collaborate, even though we live on opposite sides of the world. Although I think Naveen would probably agree that the fact we could meet in person from time to time significantly boosted the energy, inspiration and excitement we found in working on this book together.

Having said that, I’ve successfully co-authored books with people I’ve never met, including Craig Badings in Sydney, Australia with whom I wrote #Thought Leadership Tweet.

Naveen: Having the experience of building and managing companies with teams distributed in different parts of the World, cutting across time zones, managing global projects, and building relationship with new acquaintances has become the way of life for me. The working relationship with Liz got established over a period of time. When it came to writing this book FOUND, it became a perfect match. She is an expert in translating thoughts into a book and I have the experience in the subject of ‘ideation’ with some of the intellectual properties that I have developed, practiced and guided others. Now with our combined force, this book is a reality, an outcome of many thoughts. We have always enjoyed working together.

Ambal: Who was/is your biggest “entrepreneur” role model?

Liz: I’ve long been a huge admirer of James Dyson, and not just because he’s a fellow Brit. He totally disrupted the vacuum cleaner industry long before that term became known and over-used. Dyson embodies the very best characteristics I see in successful entrepreneurs: that wonderful blend of engineering and design skills; passion and persistence (five years of making and testing prototypes!); self-belief in going ahead and manufacturing his own products when no body else believed in them; and sheer “cheek” (he apparently told his first buyer – a mail-order company – that they should take his product over Hoover or Electrolux because their catalog was “boring”).

Dyson also embodies something we talk about in FOUND, about how the desire to change the world tends to be based on some form of emotion, in his case frustration.

To be honest, if iRobot hadn’t come along with their Roomba, which means I now no longer have to do the vacuuming myself, I’d still be using my Dyson. But, as is the case with any true entrepreneur, his company now offers many other products.

Naveen: It’s hard to pick only one of them as I believe there’s something to learn from each person who has significantly contributed to the world of entrepreneurship. People like Azim Premji who had no technology background at all yet took a small family business to become the global conglomerate, Wipro. Or Narayana Murthy who showed to the world that a person from a simple middle class family background could build a large technology services company, Infosys, the first Indian company to be listed in Nasdaq. He is instrumental in helping many employees become millionaires, not just the top technical people but people who held jobs as secretaries or drivers, or were housekeeping staff.

Consider Bill Gates. There is so much to learn from him about business model innovation and he is now a role model on social impact. One side of an entrepreneur is to make money and the other side is to determine what you do with it. If you take Steve Jobs, an embodiment of passion, drive for design, eye for perfection…Oh! You are getting me excited, I can go on with the list of great entrepreneurs and my learning from them….:)

Ambal: Any book or blog recommendations for entrepreneurs  and wanna-be-entrepreneurs ?

Naveen & Liz: One book we would recommend is Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. This book covers the stories of certain entrepreneurs and their early days of building their companies, their struggles, their passions, persuasion, and many more things. What’s especially interesting are the many commonalities in their journeys, but we found one very unique commonality, and that was this: The way these entrepreneurs achieved their share of success, fame, and money was not always through their original idea. In fact, the learning we got from reading about these entrepreneurs is what inspired us to bring this book ‘FOUND’ to a reality. We wanted to present a five-part process for ideation that would increase the chance of building a sustainable business. So that even when their ideas get challenged or need to change, entrepreneurs would know what to do with the bigger, common problem of generating unlimited ideas.

In addition to that book, the Founder Institute presents a body of knowledge for both entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. You will find useful articles, videos, references to books and courses to learn at

Thank you for this opportunity to contribute to your blog, Ambal!


Do yourself a favor. Get the book, read it and re-read it.

Priced at $9.99 on Amazon Kindle, FOUND: Transforming Your Unlimited Ideas into One Sustainable Business is practically a steal.

What can you learn from some of the best writers in history?

Brian Clark discusses how business people faced with the task of writing for marketing purposes can learn from Ernest Hemingway in his blog post Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well.

Ernest Hemingway was an American Author who had a strong influence on 20th Century fiction. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works, his books are considered classics in American literature.

Henrik Edberg gives advice on how to write better from one the most popular fiction writers of the last few decades: Stephen King. Henrik’s blog post is Stephen King’s Top 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer.

Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television shows, and comic books. King has published 54 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and six non-fiction books. He has written nearly 200 short stories, most of which have been collected in book collections.

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