My Story

As a young adult I was naturally inclined towards introspection and focusing inward rather than outward. Though I had a few friends at school, I was my own best friend and loved spending time with myself lost in thoughts. No one else at home mirrored this nature of mine and I consider this to be my best gift.

In my early twenties, I started putting down some thoughts on paper in a small notebook. Now that I think back, this is when Adios was really born, so it has been around 25 years in the making now. These were thoughts that I resonated with from my own personal Contemplation about life in general. I was never much of a reader but I did write once in a while in that notebook.

These writings were not very regular, so I wasn't really writing regularly like a writer does. I penned my thoughts intermittently as they arose and it was normal that many days would pass between two thoughts. In some cases, the gaps extended for months or years.

In my late twenties, I came across a book by J Krishnamurti that caught my attention. In that book, I found material that explained what I was doing naturally for many years so it resonated with me quite well. I read a few more books by him for a few months but gravitated more towards my own inner reflections to find my answers so stopped reading them after some time.

While doing this, I was also trying to pursue my studies but could never find a discipline that really interested me. I found myself learning things that were out of my curriculum while ignoring my official curriculum. I also realized I was a natural teacher at heart and was able to explain complex ideas in a simple form so I also started teaching those out of curriculum topics unofficially at a business school. So here I was, someone who did not have any formal degree myself but was teaching people above my grade, limited topics that interested me personally. I was blessed to find two great mentors who helped me tremendously with my out of curriculum topics during this time - Mr BL Pandharipande in Nagpur, Maharashtra and Mr Ved Puriswar in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

My first job was with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the next one was with Pedigree dog food. I finally landed in a consulting profile helping companies design their employee stock option plans.

Out of nowhere, drums came into my life in 2007 and in 2008 after a 7-day stay in San Francisco and visiting Guitar Center each day for around 4 hours, I decided to pursue drums as a passion. Until the SF trip, it was just a hobby. This is how I differentiated it. A hobby is something you pursue once in a while, but do not invest much time in improving yourself in that craft. A passion is where you do it more than once in a while and invest time in improving yourself. A profession is when it also pays you. I wanted drums to be my passion, not a hobby, not a profession. To get some serious training in drums, I shut down my stock options consulting firm temporarily in 2012 and went to Musicians Institute, Hollywood, Los Angeles to study drums as a full-time student.

Around the same time, I joined hands with a few talented musicians and we did some gigs here and there and also wrote some original instrumental music. Here are a couple of clips:

Later on, I wrote some music on my own and produced a mini-album of sorts. Here it is:

While these things were going on, the inner dialogue was constantly taking place, but it intensified significantly after I came back from Musicians Institute. I also started asking myself - if I could balance my passion and work and it had brought me so much fulfillment and peace, why were others unable to do so? This led to me starting the Dot Movement in my living room on one Saturday evening, which soon became a weekend initiative to enable people to pursue their hobbies on a regular basis.

I figured there were two primary reasons why people did not pursue their hobby - lack of motivation and fear of judgement. The Dot Movement was created to solve these two problems systematically - add motivation and delete judgement.

It was a place where you found motivation to pursue your hobby regularly but without any judgement from anyone. If singing makes you happy, you should sing, even if you aren't the best. That ethos helped many people who came together every weekend to get motivation to pursue their hobbies. We created a system to enable people to help each other pursue their hobbies, and it worked fairly well. We ran it for a year, held multiple events (music, dance, art, theater) and some people created lifelong friendships.

The first Adios Contemplation workshop was held in 2015 with the Dot Movement participants. It was a single session workshop where I gave the participants some prompts to sit quietly and think about, with no participant discussion after the workshop. The goal was to enable people to create a connection with themselves and find their answers on their own without depending on anyone else.

In 2019, my father was diagnosed with brain cancer in early January and we lost him a few months later. As he started to forget the names of people and things, we made the gloomy environment at home lighter by creating a menu for him so he could point at the item he wanted and say - I want that. I was fortunate to be by his side and being able to take care of him throughout this period.

In January 2020 when I was thinking about what I should do next professionally, the Adios workshop I had done in 2015 came to mind. But one workshop wasn't sufficient so I spent the next few months defining the Adios program, the system and the product around it. My founding team member, Manish Malviya, was with me throughout this journey working as a volunteer to build the entire software and significantly contribute to the product definition. He is now such an intimate member of our family that he is closer to my mother, my sister and my dog (we have a pug called Jazz; Manish and Jazz are inseparable). Adios would not exist today without Manish. Not a chance.

I started training people in the Adios program in February 2021 and we simultaneously kept improving the product. The goal was clear from the very beginning - to create more contemplative and peaceful individuals, organizations, cities and nations. We want to enable people to find the right answers for themselves so that they make the right choices, on their own, without depending on anyone else, for the rest of their life. You can take external inputs and guidance, but using Contemplation and the Adios principles, you will be able to find the answer that is right for you - may not be right for me or someone else, but right for you. The approach from the very start was - if you train your inner counsellor, you will never need to depend on an external one.

As I trained individuals in the Adios Contemplation method, something else was constantly gnawing at me, an itch that just wouldn't go away. Because of my stock options consulting work, I was familiar with the startup ecosystem, though not deeply involved in it. I was seeing too many founders taking up the startup path without much clarity of thought in terms of purpose, but for the purpose of raising VC capital.

So I decided to create an Adios framework for organizations that will help business owners create inspiring companies using Contemplation as their key habit. The five-tier framework is as follows (read from bottom to top):

5. Compensation

4. OKRs

3. Culture

2. Non-Financial Vision

1. Values

The goal was to train business owners to first deeply connect with themselves using Contemplation, use the Adios principles to make the right choices for their personal and professional lives, and use the above framework to build an inspiring and successful business where success is not just defined as financial success but as creating a fulfilling, purposeful and peaceful life.

In September and October 2022, I visited Silicon Valley to discuss these ideas and I found strong resonance with what I was proposing in a few quarters. I met Chris Yeh at an event entitled "The Identity Crisis of Silicon Valley" at HanaHaus in Palo Alto, where he was moderating a panel of guests that was discussing what possibly went wrong over the last few years. I remember one particular guest, who was also an ex-founder, specifically mentioned, "When I was running my company, all I could think of was a billion dollar exit" which he later realized wasn't the best way to look at things.

The Adios method for building startups was - replace only Restless Execution and Hustling with Contemplation + Relentless Execution. Execution doesn't need to be restless. It can be relentless, but calm and peaceful. You do not need to run around stressed like a headless chicken all the time. You can work as hard as you want, but still stay calm, centered and peaceful. No unnecessary restlessness. No unnecessary stress. Complete clarity on your Values, your Non-Financial Vision and your Culture.

I laid out my model in the audience Q&A section. Here is the public recording of the HanaHaus event:

Once the session ended, I met with Chris Yeh. Chris had written the book Blitzscaling along with Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, ran an academy called Blitzscaling Academy and a VC fund called Blitzscaling Ventures. So he was someone who practically ate, slept, and breathed scaling fast, whereas my model prioritised going slow periodically so you could build something deep and inspiring, and also suggested that going slow periodically will also help you go faster because you are clearer in your mind. There is a saying in the navy - Slow is Smooth. Smooth is Fast.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that someone whose entire life revolved around scaling fast resonated with what I was saying and wanted to dig deeper into the model. That day I experienced the essence of Silicon Valley first hand - the authentic openness to consider ideas that might run counter to conventional wisdom. We signed a friendly contract at that event to improve the way startups are built over the next few years. Here is a copy of our handwritten contract at HanaHaus:

Chris and I met four days later at the Palo Alto Cafe and discussed the model in detail. I mentioned to Chris that I wanted to set up a startup decelerator to train founders in Contemplation, to slow down, get clarity on their Values, Non Financial Vision and Culture, before they stepped on the gas. Chris suggested the name Founder Decelerator ( for the decelerator, which is now set up and working with specific founders and training them to build startups in a manner that is fulfilling, purposeful and peaceful in addition to being financially successful.

The long-term vision of Adios is to create more contemplative and peaceful individuals, organizations, cities and nations.

We wish to work with individuals to help them use Contemplation to make the right decisions with respect to their relationships, work, parenting and other dimensions in their life.

We wish to work with educational institutions, corporations, NGOs, and other entities to create contemplative and inspiring institutions.

We wish to work with aspiring political leaders who wish to be the future Presidents or Prime Ministers to train them to be deeply connected with themselves, so they can build trust with their people and create a fulfilling, purposeful and peaceful world.

We wish to work with research corporations to use Contemplation to find new insights and scientific discoveries.

We wish to work with serious athletes and artists to take their game to the next orbit using Contemplation.

We wish to work with prisons to help inmates resolve their mental webs and choose the right path that will make them more fulfilled, purposeful and peaceful so they can better integrate into the society.

Our journey has just begun and we have our work cut out for at least the next few decades. We are building Adios to be an institution that outlives all of us and upholds our method and motto long after we all are gone - If you train your inner counsellor, you will never need to depend on an external one.

We clearly cannot accomplish all of this on our own. If you resonate with our vision and would like to be part of this journey, let's have a conversation.