Arul Subramaniam prefers to play things low key. During the 10 days I was with him in a NLP Practitioner Course – he was a co-facilitator there – he was the live wire, singing, dancing or sending people into peals of laughter with his acts. He is a man for all seasons. He has no airs about him, is very simple and accessible.
The same Arul spearheads the transformation in the lives of more than 1,00,000 children worldwide, every year.
Arul Subramaniam is Director, Training, at Brainobrain. This organization, which was founded in 2003 by three brothers – Anand, Arul and Ashok – now has its presence in 22 countries. The number of franchisees has mushroomed to a very impressive 725, all owned by women entrepreneurs with more than 2000 teachers who impart the program.
Brainobrain is among the world’s leading children’s institutes for self-empowerment. It uses Advanced Abacus, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Personality Development to empower children between the ages of 4 and 14 years to blossom into well-rounded personalities.
The Mission of Brainobrain “is to nurture the children of this world in bringing out the real leader in him/her….”
In the process, it creates entrepreneurs out of women offering them avenues to create wealth and to express themselves as wonderful human beings.
The Vision of Brainobrain “is to become one of the admirable organization in this world in spreading the values of love, honesty, fun, happiness through our children.”
I saw Arul in action at my friend Kamini Ravishankar’s Brainobrain franchise inauguration last month. He was at home explaining to the parents, children and guests about the role his organisation is playing to create leaders of the future by unleashing children’s potential.
I sat amazed, as he took children who were hardly 5 years old effortlessly through mathematical calculations which to me seemed challenging. They had an abacus board to help them initially, but showed they could also get the answers just using their fingers.
What stays in my mind is not that those little kids were able to solve tough mathematical problems so very effortlessly. It was the look of poise and confidence in them.
Imagine kids growing up with the belief there is nothing called impossible! Imagine a world where love, honesty, fun and happiness reigns in the lives of children! This is education – that is what I thought then.
That day, I requested Arul to give me some time to delve into what makes him create so much, so well. He did not hesitate and I got the opportunity to meet him on March 21, at his spacious office in T Nagar.
The Seeds from which Brainobrain Blossomed.
Arul receives me with a beaming face. I ask him how he is feeling. He is very happy and in control of things, he tells me. Besides, he is in the best shape physically, elated he was on his bike for an hour in the morning.
I compliment him on the Mission and Vision of his organization which is all about empowerment, fun and heart. His response is, he and his brothers first lived those aspirations and values and then they fleshed them in words. The spirit and power behind those words continue to guide everyone at Brainobrain.
I have heard that his two brothers, Anand and Ashok are exceptional people too. Anand is a visionary, has the capacity for critical thinking, is innovative, cool headed and mixes with people very well. Ashok is the big thinker, looks at life from different perspectives, is a dreamer and a doer.
There must be surely something very special about the soil in which they grew up and the air they breathed, if all three brothers have made it very big in life, in their own distinct ways. I ask Arul about that.
Arul’s Father and the Power of One.
Arul starts speaking about his father who encouraged his three children to do things. And experiment. He avoided speaking in terms of failures, but only of the lessons to be learned. And he kept them poised on the edge with a mix of discipline and friendly presence. His mother always told them inspiring stories. And she collected quotations and inspirational sayings to share with her sons.
Arul’s father, G.Subramaniam passed away in November last year. He remains a presence in his life even now. He speaks to me for a long time about the profound impact his father has had not just in the lives of his sons but in the lives of everyone he touched.
Arul’s father was a consistent top performer in LIC business for more than 30 years. He was a MDRT member and a significant achiever in his field. At the end of every LIC meeting, he was asked to speak. And, what he spoke always inspired. His thoughts dwelt on possibilities, staying optimistic and achieving…
Arul and his brothers grew up seeing the extraordinary power of an individual to change and transform his immediate world.
His parents sent him to the best of institutions to study. Yet, for Arul, his parents represent the ultimate university – where love, kindness, knowledge and support fused in right measure.
I can’t help being distracted by the persistent thought – what am I doing with my power, as a father and as an entrepreneur?
Carrying forward the Legacy and the Power of Oneness.
For Arul, the continuing success and search for excellence at Brainobrain, is a way of carrying forward the work started by his father. It is also a way of paying tribute.
Just like his father nurtured his three sons to become big leaders, Arul replicates the same nurturing in tens of thousands of children – with love, kindness, knowledge and support, fused in the right measure with fun. The canvas is much larger, it is the nation. Arul is proud that he is involved in nation building.
I ask Arul about the opportunity for women entrepreneurs who stick their neck out and take Brainobrain franchise. They become more confident, empowered and happier human beings. It is this new found enthusiasm and confidence that they share with the children who enroll with them. In the process, they also make decent money.
He tells me, the 2000 teachers and franchise owners are always reminded, “Every child that we meet is a divine encounter.”
So, Arul and his team design syllabus that enable children to pick up learning as they play. NLP techniques are used to ensure what they learn sink deep into them. Arul’s face is lit as tells me, the common refrain of parents from all over India is that their children concentrate much better, do exceedingly well in exams and become more confident after attending Brainobrain classes.
Parents are involved and participate in the growth journey of children. Arul personally conducts several well-attended parenting workshops.
There is a spirit of win-win in everything Arul does at Brainobrain. He travels all over the country and to other countries in the world to spread the good word and keep the enthusiasm levels high. There is a spirit of family that pervades within Brainobrain.
And I find, he is personally looking for new challenges. Sometimes, it is his elder brother Anand who pushes him to explore new horizons – like writing a book. There is a very special relationship they have forged together.
He believes NLP used as a tool is going to play a very important part in helping him unleash the potential in people. He has studied, practiced and taught NLP for nearly 15 years. He sees himself contributing significantly in the years ahead, by unshackling the hidden potential in people using NLP techniques.
Here is what Rahul Vitekar, Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant based out of Mumbai says of his experience in an NLP Training where Arul was a co-facilitator:
“Arul brings warmth, lightness of being, and play to the experience. That is just the way he is! We feel the sun has come out, the cold withers away. The learning experience becomes like a summer vacation, a walk in the park, a delightful game of sorts! How he makes it so light without diluting the focus is the stuff of his personal magic! I do not wish to decode it, simply experience it over and over again. Why? It makes life good.”
Arul has outlined his vision relating to Training using NLP in his website: http://www.arulsubramaniam.com
He loves the following lines from Thirukkural and he is mindful about embodying its message – of chasing the impossible dream – exactly as his father lived his life.
உள்ளுவ தெல்லாம் உயர்வுள்ளல் மற்றது
தள்ளினுந் தள்ளாமை நீர்த்து
(Dream the biggest dream possible. Never let go of that dream even though it has not yet been fulfilled).
Finally, I ask him what else. He tells me he sees himself pushing at new frontiers so that the good does not get the better of the best.