Dr. Venu Vasudevan

A native of Kerala and a medical doctor by training, Dr. Venu Vasudevan joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1990.

He has served the Tourism and Culture sectors in a variety of capacities. It was during his tenure as Director, Kerala Tourism, and later as Secretary, Department of Tourism, that Kerala transformed its market positioning and built up a strong private-public partnership, culminating in Kerala being recognised by the National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 ‘must-see’ destinations of the world. Kerala Travel Mart, the biggest international travel mart in India, is his brainchild. He served the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and played a pivotal role in formulating the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

While working in the tourism sector, a key interest area was the interface between cultural heritage and tourism, that led him to invest personal time in exploring spaces for genuine interaction between the visitor and the cultural legacy of Kerala.

Two projects designed by him have won international awards instituted by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). ‘Utsavam’, a project to revive the traditional art forms of Kerala and provide income streams to artistes, won the PATA Gold Award 2008. ‘A Day with the sters’, a guided tour of Kerala Kalamandalam, a school for performing arts, won ‘honourable mention’ in 2005. During his tenure as Secretary, Cultural Affairs, he was instrumental in setting up a new museum, ‘Keralam’. He played a key role in the improvement and upgradations of the museums and archives of Kerala.

He spent 8 years in the Culture sector, serving the Central and State governments in various capacities. He was Director General of National Museum from January 2013 to May 2015. Vice Chancellor, National Museum Institute; Joint Secretary in charge of Akademi’s, Libraries, Archives and Museums.

Actively pursuing his passion for theatre, he is an actor in the theatre group ‘Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre’. With parts in four recent productions, Venu has been touring with the group within the country.