Rinu Vimal

Chief Doer of Things

As his job title suggests, Rinu Vimal is the kind of person who gets things done. He’s Seed Waikato’s voice of experience, our people leader, and our number 1 fan. Rinu is also incredibly kind and cheerful, two qualities that were clear to us when he took some time out of his busy day to answer our little list of existential questions. Read on to find out what keeps our Chief Doer of Things moving.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My wife Sherin and I are originally from God's Own Country - the wonderful coastal paradise of Kerala, India. Did you know that Columbus was looking for Kerala when he accidentally discovered America? We're famous for our spices - cardamom, black pepper, cloves, star anise, you name it, we have it. I digress, but this brings me to the topic of food. I love trying new food. If you ask me what my religion is, I'd say it's food. Food has the power to transcend cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, enthnicities, nationalities, language and pretty much any other barrier! Very few things unite us like food does.

I landed on the shores of the The Mighty Waikato in 2009, on a quest to complete a Masters in Business and Management at the Waikato University. The beauty of the Waikato and our tangata have resulted in me remaining in the region 10 years on!

I’ve had a very diverse work life, having been in customer service, client management, operations management, university lecturing, research, management consulting etc. This, along with the opportunity to have worked closely with people from a plethora of different cultures has given me a deep appreciation for life, and people in general. I love hearing about practices and customs in different cultures, and am often amazed at how similar we are, as we look to the core of many of our cultural practices, and the emotions we experience.

Who inspires you?

I find my inspiration from the stories of courage and resilience of ordinary people like you and me. The greatest heroes often never feature in the news – because they just chip away at what they do without making a fuss about it. We only need to look around us to see the many heroes who have stories that would beat many an epic!

Where is your favourite place in the Waikato?

The Te-Waihou Walkway in Putaruru. What an absolute beauty! Also, the Taitua Arboretum in autum.

What’s the best thing you bring to Seed Waikato?

That would be a question for the Seed Waikato whānau to answer!

What do you spend your time on?

Chilling with my lovely wife Sherin, reading, and researching. I like to keep myself updated about the latest learning coming out of research streams in different areas.

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Wow, these questions are deep! Hmm, can’t think of anything courageous enough to mention at this point.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

I have embarked on a personal journey to build my knowledge of Te Reo and Te Ao Maori. There is so much that is unique about Māori culture, and so much potential for NZ to integrate more of that into our worldview, practices, and relationships!

What colour crayon would you be?

I’ve never asked myself deep existential questions such as these. Hmm…If you melt all the crayons and make a crayon out of that mix, I think I would be that colour. I like to think of myself as a collection of the experiences and relationships I’ve had so far. So, I guess, I would have a bit of every colour in me.

 What inspired you to join Seed Waikato?

I’ve been following Gemma Major and Seed Waikato’s work on enhancing the wellbeing of rangatahi in the Waikato for over two years now, and was quite amazed at the level of change that a group of young volunteers can affect in a region. I have recently been envisioning a project to enhance the wellbeing and learning outcomes of children in lower decile schools. However, I have had little experience in the NZ not-for-profit sector. The Chief Doer of Things position at Seed Waikato opened up recently, and I thought maybe the universe was giving me a small nudge. And voilā! here I am.

What does Seed Waikato mean to you?

Seed Waikato to me is a testimonial to the immense possibilities that often lie dormant in people. If like minded people get together, focus on addressing issues faced by our peers or our society, and put in a ton of hard work, there are no limits to what can be achieved. Hat’s off to the many volunteers who’ve brought Seed Waikato so far, and to the co-founders for their vision. The change you are affecting is immense.

Are you interested in learning more from Rinu? Want to touch base with him about anything related to Seed Waikato? Then you can reach him at Rinu.Vimal@seedwaikato.nz