In an increasingly connected world, where time zones and global boundaries are becoming less and less relevant, we like to call ourselves world citizens. Many of us have travelled across the world and have seen various cultures and lifestyles. But if you were to ask me where I’m from, I only have one answer. Bangalore. If you were to ask me where I grew up, again the answer would be the same. That’s because, even after travelling to many cities and villages in different parts of the world, for business, leisure or philanthropy, I always trace my roots back to one or two places where my heart will always be.

Recently, I was in Mangalore for a marriage function. I was invited there by my friend, a well-established real estate businessman, whose daughter was getting married. When I reached there, I learned that he had organised a family event earlier that week in his village in Kundapura. What amazed me was the fact that he also made arrangements to bring all his relatives from the village to attend his daughter’s wedding ceremony. As a businessman, he has achieved a lot in his life, but as a human being, he has achieved even more by staying true to his roots and humble beginnings.

Although I am a proud Bangalorean, my roots lie in a tiny dot on the map, somewhere between Rajahmundry and Kakinada in a small town called Peddapuram, which is my mother’s hometown. The place has had a special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. That’s why I decided to set up a blood bank in the town because the area has seen a recent increase in road accidents ever since the Rajahmundry – Kakinada highway was widened. I also provided support by funding Sri Chanakya English Medium School, in Peddapuram for the benefit of local students. Apart from that, I am also planning to build a residential hostel for students from the backward community in Gudivada, where everything from their food, education and accommodation will be taken care of. Vijayawada, near Gudivada, is the birthplace of my father Sri Kamesh Dakoju.

I believe that success and fame can happen to anyone, but the ones who never forget their roots will be able to grow further in life. And for me, bringing in change all around the world while ignoring my roots, isn’t the right thing to do. While I look back at the years that have gone by, I feel that life has indeed been kind on me and it would only be fair for me to give back to the people and places that have helped me become who I am. I urge you to think deeper about how you can contribute better to your roots. And finally, here’s a beautiful quote I would like to leave you with – “Your branches can only reach high if your roots go deep.”