WHO WE ARE
Insider Tours was founded by Sivalingam Vasanthakumar (otherwise known as Kumar)
Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Kumar spent his childhood working on the family homestead: milking the cows and goats, feeding the chickens and watering the vegetable gardens.
Kumars parents are originally from southern India. He went there himself to study his B.Sc. (agriculture) at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. His Master's degree in sustainable agriculture (London) took him to England.
Kathy (our Peru tour partner)
Kathy is our lively Peruvian tour partner. She was born in Piura, on the north coast of Peru before moving with her family down south to Arequipa. She studied economics and then sociology at university, before setting up her own tour company (she likes to be her own boss), which she has run for the last four years. Her parents run B&Bs in Arequipa and Cusco.
Kathy adores children, the mountains and jungles of Peru, and traveling and meeting new people. She owns her own small piece of land in the Colca Valley where she proposes to run a small ecolodge.
Palitha (our Sri Lanka partner)
The prime mover in community-based tourism in Sri Lanka, Palitha has traveled the country inspiring and cajoling the countrys lethargic tourism industry into action. Famous for his patience, passion and good humour we feel privileged to be working with him.
When hes not arranging tours on our behalf, Palitha is President of the Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (which he also founded) and a consultant for public and private sector organizations in South East Asia. Hes a man who gets things done as typified by his work along the southern coast, where he has helped establish a series of community ecotourism projects. He was an active member of the Steering Committee for Ecotourism in South Asia (SARCE) based in Sikkim, India, and is involved in international ecotourism and conservation organizations all over the world.
Thomas (our India partner)
Commander Thomas has used his naval background to an advantage. Well organized, universally popular and with a get on and do it approach to conservation and community-based ecotourism, Thomas has built up a network of local projects, offering tourists the chance to really submerse themselves in local culture.
The Executive Director of his own travel company, Thomas is a former Electronics Engineer of the Indian Navy. He has been an active member of the Nilgiri Angling Association and the Tahr Foundation at Munnar. He has also had vast experience in trekking and camping and has been an active volunteer member assisting the Kerala Forest & Wildlife wing in their fieldwork in Kerala.
Lt.General Jimmy Singh (our Himalaya partner)
After spending much of his life located all over India, General Jimmy Singh retired to the remote village of Samthar that nestles in the low Himalayas of Bengal. The village comprises hamlets of scattered homesteads set amidst terraced farmland. General Singh has initiated homestay holidays in Samthar and helped to set up a pre-school facility for local children.
Marta Heilborn (web designer/art director)
Marta is our wonderfully creative and very patient web designer. Originally from Brazil and now based in New York, she has extensive experience as a web/graphic designer and art director for commercial businesses, cultural, educational and non-profit organizations. Her design work ranges from logos and branding, to exhibitions, CD packaging, magazines and newsletters.
Marta is also a fine art painter and has exhibited in Brazil and New York. She has a Masters in Graphic Arts, from New York University.
Daisy (Kumar and Harriet's eldest daughter) is a web and graphic designer. Her businesswWeb site is Daisy Vasanthakumar. She currently lives in Evanston, Illinois with her mother and sister.
Daisy is hoping to get into University in England for this September to study Digital Media.
She is a keen cook and loves trying out new recipes from cookbooks and the internet. She especially loves cooking cakes and puddings. During the weekends she goes out with her mum to do the weekly shopping on their bikes. She also loves music and occasionally goes out with the family into Chicago to listen to blues, jazz, irish...
Molly (Kumar and Harriet's youngest daughter) loves animals, especially horses. Once she has graduated from school in Evanston, Illinois, she wishes to go back to England to study Veteranary Science at either the Edinburgh or Bristol. At the moment she is working hard to get a wide range of animal experience.
TOURS THAT MAY INTEREST YOU...
North India tours
- Click here for our Eastern Himalaya tour
- Click here for our Rajasthan tour
- Click here for our Himalayan tour
- Click here for our North-East India tour