TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Dr Bindu Subramaniam: entrepreneur, songstress and educator

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Meet the super-talented Dr Bindu Subramaniam who is an entrepreneur, singer/songwriter and educator. She is the co-founder and CEO of SaPa and the lead vocalist of SubraMania and the Thayir Sadam Project. She has been named an icon of South India 2021-22 by Femina magazine and won the 2022 Women Who Lead National Award for CEO of the Year – Art & Music. In 2021, Bindu received four awards: she was named among Business World’s 40 under 40, Business World Disrupt’s top women achievers, AdGully’s top women disruptors, and the Indian Achiever’s Club’s 40 under 40, and was named among GQ’s 25 most influential young Indians.

Besides this, this deserving lady has won many awards, crossed many milestones, and achieved many feats, no wonder, Dr Bindu Subramaniam is ‘TheGlitz Super Woman’. Read on…

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about your life-changing journey that has moulded you to be what you are today?
I think things look like big milestones when you see them in retrospect. When I started working on the SaPa baby program, I was just looking for a better, more engaging way to teach Indian classical music to babies. I had no idea that it would have the impact it’s had. I was a mom who wanted to make learning better for my daughter and other little ones out there. When I started SaPa in schools, it was an idea that I didn’t want to give up on. I didn’t realize we would have the opportunity to work with tens of thousands of children every day. As a singer/songwriter, every song, every concert, and every release is memorable and takes me somewhere on my journey. As an entrepreneur, I think one of the biggest milestones for me was joining the Stanford Seed Transformation program.

Could you list 3 of your major achievements?
I created a curriculum that would train children as young as three years old to learn music. Our mission through SaPa has been to build the ecosystem to make music education a meaningful part of children’s lives. I founded the SaPa in Schools program in 2014, as an initiative to integrate music into the mainstream academic curriculum. Through SaPa centers (and online) and the SaPa in Schools program, we work with over 30,000 children across a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. I have had the opportunity to travel the world, perform solo, with my family, with my bands, and with orchestras, for audiences of up to 500,000 people.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?
There are the normal challenges around building and growing an organization which I think require time, patience and skill. It helps to have people you trust who can listen to you, and who you listen to. The other challenges which most of us face but don’t talk about are the internal struggles that we don’t talk about – that feeling of not being good enough or imposter syndrome. I think it’s important to acknowledge those feelings but keep powering on.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?
Tenacity, resilience and grit.

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?
Primarily, it’s been my father (Dr. L Subramaniam) and my daughter (Mahati).

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou

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