As one of the UNC’s younger office-holders who seems to evade the direct spotlight as it relates to his personal life, I was intrigued to understand the interesting details beyond the public façade of MP Arnold Ram. Join me as I share this journey of ‘Getting to Know Arnold Ram.’
On speaking a bit about Arnold Ram’s family background :-
It was a sentimental moment for 41-year-old Ram as he begun our interview by first paying respect to his parents, whom he acknowledges as the foundation for all his achievements. He stated,
“We were not at all affluent growing up. My Dad was first a farmer, then a labourer, then a plumber and then became a salesman until the time of his retirement, a few years ago. In the early days, whilst working his main job, he would also work as a Taxi driver.”
He cheerfully added that “Maybe the diversity in the job portfolios my Dad held influenced my outlook and approach to employment, as I will enhance on, shortly.” MP Ram then spoke on his mother’s commitment to raising him and his three other siblings:- Terry, Lisa and Neela, while also indulging in the trade of eggs and watermelon.
Of course, I had to inquire as to whether he assisted his parents in their respective duties as he grew from a young boy to which he cheekily responded, “Yes, I helped many times. My parents struggled so much to ensure my siblings and I were properly schooled and invested in our lives to the point that every single one of us are well-accomplished in our respective fields. We owe everything we have to them and we are very grateful that we are still blessed with their presence in our lives. They also inculcated proper morals and values into our upbringing and ensured we understood the value of humility.”
“You are a recent Father; a fact many do not know as you are very guarded with your private life. (chuckles). How does this recent role addition to your life make you feel?”
MP Ram beamed in his response to this question as he answered, “Elated! Overjoyed and definitely the most important role I have in this life. The role of a Father is so critical to the development of a young one into this world and as you know, I have a Son- a ‘mini-me’, he joked– “I feel like I have a renewed purpose in this world.”
“Before I set a good example to anyone else, I must be able to set a good example for my son.”
“What do you think is most crucial for the proper upbringing of your son in this world and what do you foresee as posing the greatest challenge?”
“Surrounding my son with love, stability and inculcating good values and a solid moral compass in him. Education, of course, is very important. The greatest challenge I foresee is the possible lack of opportunities for him and the other young ones of the future generations. With the direction our economy is headed, it is certainly a frightful and worrisome thought for all parents when they meditate on the future for their children.” MP Ram responded.
“You mentioned that you have three siblings. Can you tell me a bit about your childhood memories with them and what you do to nurture and maintain your strong sibling bonds in a very hectic world?”
“As you would know, we four are extremely close from childhood to now and share a very solid and supportive bond. In our early years, there was always some competition in cricket and all-fours with the two girls versus my brother and me. We all share a love for cricket and all-fours games.”
“We ensure that we never miss important dates, events or family traditions at all and we speak on a daily basis. Our dynamic has never really changed from childhood to now-despite my sisters and brother being married and living in other households. Our family has just expanded to include two additional brothers and a sister and my nieces and nephews are all very close.” Ram replied. “Now, they have a new cousin to play with”, he heartfully remarked.
On speaking about one of Ram’s biggest inspirational figures in his life :-
Arnold Ram has utmost reverence for his grandfather, who was an orphan at the age of nine years old and lived and worked on people’s estates to feed, clothe and shelter himself.
“What he was able to achieve spiritually and materialistically for himself by the time of his demise was nothing short of extraordinary. He was well-read and self-taught in Hindi and Arabic whilst raising nine children and building assets for his family”, Ram reflects.
From Ram’s response, the affection, respect and admiration held for his grandfather is glaringly evident. The idea of disappointing his grandfather or his parents is his biggest fear.
On speaking about his proudest personal achievement :–
“Graduating with Distinction from my MBA with a specialism in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I needed 144 points overall to graduate with the Herriot-Watt Distinction and all rested in my final two courses. I was very worried because Grammar was/is my weak area and that is heavily needed in post-graduate programmes. My brain is wired more systematically, than grammatically. In the end, I had a total of 161 points and got my Distinction.” Ram says.
A fact that is not widely known about Arnold Ram is that his first degree is in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He practised as an Engineer for quite some time before doing his MBA. He then pursued his Bachelor of Laws Degree and subsequently completed his Legal Education Certificate and embarked upon the practice of Law.
In discussions about that professional transition to the field of Law, he describes Law as a field that is constantly evolving and it certainly challenges him, as there is always more to learn.
On speaking about what’s next on his list of Goals and Projects :-
Academically, MP Ram is currently weighing his options in pursuing either his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a Master of Laws degree (LLM). As for his other professional goals, he light-heartedly responded “I keep those close to my chest!”.
However, the one thing that is guaranteed is that he aims to continue improving himself and challenging himself, while being of service to the country.
“With a schedule like yours, balance is quite important to ensure you function optimally in all spheres of endeavour. What destresses and brings you back to center?”
“Yes, of course- Balance is key. I thoroughly enjoy all sporting disciplines, but the fields I am most active in (literally and figuratively) are Cricket and Football. I do weekly Football/Cricket sweats in my hometown of Arena. I am also part of the West Indies Lawyers’ Cricket Association. I also enjoy watching Basketball.” Ram responded.
“Time management is really critical for me to achieve all I’m required to do, in terms of my political, professional and personal duties.”
Concluding the Interview
“This was an absolute pleasure, MP and would definitely be quite enlightening to our readers, as they will now be able to understand the personality behind the title of MP for Caroni Central. Before we end, can you leave us with one driving factor in your recipe for success?”
“I would say the marriage of Time Management and Discipline is the driving factor for me. To accomplish anything in life, you must practise proper time management, be focused and disciplined and be committed to the cause.”
– Interviewed & Written by: Shastra Maharaj