Meet the team
Rani was brought up on the beautiful island of Mauritius, surrounded by her family who are of South Indian heritage. She has always had a passion for the food, customs, and culture of the Indian subcontinent, and although she has travelled widely, she always returns to the place where she feels most at home, South India.
She has lived in Brisbane, Australia since 2007 and has established a business there, introducing people to the foods of her childhood and heritage. Due to client requests, she started Food and Heritage Tours to the southern states of India and greatly enjoys it. She has always had a strong interest in the welfare of refugees and women whose opportunities have been limited by society. This has led to her incorporating their welfare into all her business activities, ranging from food production to tours. As a result, our organisation is a social enterprise, and based on the profit with purpose concept.
Dilip Kumar Vasudevan
Dilip has been in the travel and tourism industry for past three decades and manages all our ground operations in India. He has travelled widely within India as well as internationally while working for P&O Cruises UK. He has a wide amount of knowledge about travel in India, however, his specialty is his home, South India. Through his travels, he has learned what first time and seasoned travellers to India need to make their visit the best experience possible. His experience and connections within the industry enable him to make the best choices regarding hotels, guides, and transport to keep our tours running seamlessly and to bridge the gap between the guests and the location. He ensures the best experiences for our guests by paying attention to every detail in their visit to India, including transfers, stopovers, and food selection.
Nanda Dilip – Media Creation
Nanda is studying for her undergraduate Commerce degree from a premiere Kerala institute. During her studies, her exceptional talents in compiling and editing of videos and photos have helped in creating meaningful presentations for her college, and now for our company. We strongly believe in employing young people to help them get the best start to their careers. We appreciate her creativity and are very happy to have her working with us. She has a strong interest in working with people and wishes to learn on both a local and am international level.
Bruce Babu - Kerala Food Specialist
Bruce has been in the tourism sector for the past 15 years and now manages our beautiful homestay in Marari, a beach destination of Kerala. His mother is well known for her cooking excellence, and she inspired his passion to introduce guests to the wonders and diversity of Kerala food. His mother-in -law is also a passionate cook and loves sharing her food and recipes. They are two of the inspirations behind our culinary retreats and the dishes prepared at Heritage Marari, and indeed, Rani has learned from them. Through hard work and experience he has become well versed in providing the best local food experience for guests. He is now a sought-after connoisseur of Kerala culinary heritage, and we are happy to have him working with us.
Our mission is to provide our guests with a unique, eye-opening, and thought-provoking, yet indulgent experience. We aim to showcase the warmth and hospitality that is South India by taking guests on a journey that shows them some of the hidden treasures that many had never heard of. We believe that responsible tourism should be a positive force for local development and as a result, we aim to provide these experiences in ways that are not only beneficial for our guests but also for local people and the planet.
We like to promote cross-cultural understanding while using a portion of our profits to support local development. Our tours support local artisans and women’s co-operatives. We will contribute a share of the proceeds from the 2023 and 2024 tours to the WASH project by Anurag Chauhan, to empower local women via education about menstrual hygiene.
We take our responsibility to the land, people, and cultures of the places we visit very seriously. Respect is the core value of our organisation. This includes respect for our guests, staff, people in the local communities that we interact with. This results in a very happy and interactive “family” where people genuinely enjoy working together, which brings about an environment where our guests feel warmly welcomed in a family environment.
The small, family-owned hotel group that we use, CGH Earth is well known for their commitment to sustainability and the environment. In their words:
“We have also come to realise that working with the earth is a two-way project. We need to give back as much, perhaps more, than we take from her to keep things in balance and working well. Eco systems and local environments are delicate and interconnected. It takes a lot of understanding and care to ensure that they are not impacted negatively. This awareness has led to various initiatives to preserve and nurture biodiversity, the most notable of which was the planting of mangroves in Kumarakom to contain erosion of this vast, beautiful but fragile wetland ecosystem that supports innumerable indigenous species of flora and fauna.”
Resource use is critical to achieving sustainability and we take pains not to stress our resource bases, water, and energy, always seeking ways to replenish that which we take.”
The guest’s experience with us, as we move from one part of South India to another, feel like becoming one with the lives of the people and places we interact with, as they encounter and feel the warmth and diversity of the local people and communities.
Through our locally designed and responsible tourism initiative, we support families who engage in traditional backwater village occupations. Examples of such occupations are coir-rope making and toddy tapping. Coir making involves de-husking. stretching and weaving coconut fibres to make ropes that are ultimately used in applications that require rope of decent tensile strength. Toddy-tapping is a highly specialised skill that requires climbers to extract the sap from blooming coconut palm flowers that ultimately results in the unfermented or fermented liquid called toddy. Toddy is then used in cooking and as a beverage popular with the local communities.
We preserve local traditions by using properties that sustain local traditions, from tribal roof thatching in Kerala to kolam making outside of traditional Tamil Nadu homes.