COMMUNICATION CAPACITY BUILDER
It all started with a business model drawn on a tissue paper in a coffee shop.
I have always been in communication. This has ranged from running my own PR agency and publishing house specializing in public-private-partnerships and inter-governmental communication in Southern Africa to a re-branding exercise as lead communication officer for a World Bank founded program in New Delhi.
But I wanted to do more. I wanted to take what I had learnt in my Bachelors in design and Masters in PR, and my years of experience to a more meaningful level. And bingo, it dawned on me in that coffee shop in October, 2013—the why, what, and how. I knew I wanted to build capacity in communication, share knowledge, and empower Indian professionals.
And hence, The Communique took birth in February, 2014, in Mumbai. Since its inception, I have run programs, both onsite and webinars, with the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, The Boston Consulting Group, and MSL Group, amongst others. For open programs I currently partner with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Confederation of Indian Industry, and Branding Institute.
I have been travelling all my life. Born in Frankfurt, I grew up in Kandy, Tokyo, Delhi, Accra, and London. I have worked in Botswana, South Africa, and India.
Through my adult life I have travelled solo for weeks in China and South Africa, explored the nooks and crannies of England, unravelled Bombay, my current home, and taken the roads less trodden in Iran and Bhutan. My first independent travel was from Abu Simbel to Alexandria in Egypt. I was mighty proud I could afford it on my own!
The truth is I have learnt more about life, myself, humanity, and spirituality through travel than through college or a textbook. And what I have definitely learnt is that travel is not a check list or a bucket list; the journey is never complete.☺
In an attempt to hold on to and express my learnings, I write about my travels in my blog and through travel features in the media. The latter include Hindustan Times and Druk Air’s in-flight magazine Tashi Delek.
My blogs are journals of my learnings.
I’ve been blogging since 1999. Yup, it has been a long time!
In July 2016 I consolidated all my personal blogs and created ramaarya.wordpress.com. I blog about travel, contemporary Indian art, and giving back initiatives in this—all my pet passions.
My second blog titled 'Rama Arya's Little Black Book on Communication' is at ramaarya.tumblr.com. Here I share tips and techniques from my programs to help one become a better communicator in the workplace.
[Please note: I do not do Fam trips or Reviews. My blogs are deliberately not monetised. I write 2 to 3 posts a month on my WordPress blog, and every Wednesday on Tumblr.]
Once an art student, always an art enthusiast. I did my O-level, A-level, and Bachelors in Fine Art. Art has, thus, stayed a part of me since. I did not take it up professionally but that has not diminished my love for it. A Van Gogh can still make me teary-eyed. J.W. Waterhouse, the modern pre-Raphaelite, will always remain my favourite artist.
Contemporary Indian Art and I were introduced to each other in 2012, when I moved to India. It is a fascinating mix of experimentation and Classical Indian Aesthetics, entwined to create a visual language unlike any other.
My many a weekend is spent browsing through an art gallery, or deep in conversation with an artist in an attempt to connect with their art empathically and deconstruct it logically. If enamoured enough by an artist and their visual language, I translate the meeting of art and my appreciation into a blog post.
The young man sitting in front of me was visually impaired. I was reading out aloud to him his course books to help him sit for his O-level exams later in the month. I was 15.
This was not the first time I was volunteering. I started at age 12 with a couple of childhood buddies. We created a free library with our story books.
Over the years I have volunteered as a fund-raiser for Child Rights and You (CRY) and as a media volunteer for Art of Living.
Let’s just say, I “enjoy” volunteering. Whether it be with the inmates of Kalighat, the Home of the Pure Heart [Nirmal Hriday], or proofing content and evangelizing the idea for Daan Utsav, Joy of Giving Week, or being a registered organ and tissue donor, or being a mentor to an underprivileged adolescent girl through Mentor Together. I enjoy it, and there has been no dearth of opportunities to gratify this pursuit.