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Saturday September 30th, 2023

Facilitation Meets Innovation: How Snap Ark Global is Transforming L&D in Sri Lanka and Dubai

Daniel Thambyrajah Co-founder and Director of Snap Ark Global Daniel Ferdinandusz Co-founder and Chief Executive of Snap Ark Global Nadiya De Lanerolle Director – Operations of Snap Ark Global

The learning and development agency is shifting the paradigm of learning and development by focusing on facilitation for a greater impact.

In the realm of learning and development, Snap Ark Global, co-founded by Daniel Ferdinandusz (also its Chief Executive) and Daniel Thambyrajah who is also a director, is driving a significant shift by emphasizing facilitation over traditional instruction. Their distinct and hands-on methodologies are making notable strides in the L&D industry in Sri Lanka and Dubai. Through signature workshops and a strategic global expansion centred on innovative skill approaches, Snap Ark Global consistently demonstrates its unwavering commitment to adaptive, learner-centred solutions. Accompanied by their Director of Operations, Nadiya De Lanerolle, this interview delves into Snap Ark Global’s purpose, methods and transformative impact on the L&D sector domestically and internationally.

Why and how was Snap Ark Global conceived? What’s the story behind Snap Ark Global?

Daniel Thambyrajah: Snap Ark Global emerged from a vision to prioritize facilitation over traditional teaching and training. With over 20 years in the training and development sector, I realized the need to shift my perspective on personal and business growth. Together with my business partner, Daniel Ferdinandusz, we founded a learning and development agency dedicated to fostering a culture of facilitated learning rather than conventional instruction.

Why is Snap Ark Global’s approach to L&D unique? How do your methods impact your clients and help them transform?

Daniel Thambyrajah: We built Snap Ark Global on the principle of embracing non-traditional learning approaches. These include experiential learning, travel-based education, collaborative learning, project-driven learning, and spontaneous learning. Such methods promote greater engagement and ownership from the learner. As a result, workshops have evolved from obligatory sessions to insightful experiences. This approach has empowered our participants to undergo profound shifts in their leadership styles. They craft their own action plans, taking greater responsibility so that their growth is driven by genuine insight and open dialogue rather than merely adhering to a strict curriculum.

Your workshops are bespoke and highly interactive. Could you share an instance where this tailor-made approach resulted in significant transformation or unlocked new opportunities for a client?

Daniel Ferdinandusz: We collaborated with the local branch of a leading INGO on a leadership development initiative. After conducting an in-depth needs analysis to pinpoint the core challenges faced by the team, we crafted a tailored experiential programme to tackle these areas. The programme coupled with subsequent interventions like one-on-one coaching led to a marked transformation in the team’s leadership approach, organizational structure, and overall effectiveness. This positive change was observed and acknowledged by both the staff and the senior leadership.

How did your global expansion take place?

Daniel Ferdinandusz: A driving force behind our overseas expansion was the enthusiastic response to modern skills and business development subjects, like design thinking, applied improv for business management, and unstructured peer learning facilitation (UPLF). Additionally, the burgeoning demand for e-learning services abroad was a significant lure. As our business grew, diversifying our revenue sources became imperative, particularly considering the domestic climate at the time.

How has Snap Ark Global changed as a business over the last few years? How did you get into eLearning and LMS Development?

Daniel Ferdinandusz: Our business has expanded and diversified into allied domains, teaming up with global partners who share our vision. These collaborators infuse our efforts with fresh insights and a rich depth of knowledge and experience.

When the pandemic struck, we observed that while eLearning was indispensable, its implementation often missed the mark. Many platforms and courses were overwhelmingly tech-centric, overlooking the need to be learner-focused and incorporate core principles of adult learning. Recognizing this gap, we capitalized on our proficiency in creating learner-centric programmes and adapted them for the digital realm. Today, numerous INGOs and governmental bodies seek our expertise in this sector.

You offer unconventional consultancy solutions, including Design Thinking and Improv for Business. Can you share a little about these areas and how these methodologies assist your clients?

Daniel Ferdinandusz: Design Thinking, though not a novel concept, remains underutilized, particularly in Sri Lanka. At its core, Design Thinking is a holistic problem-solving approach rooted in human-centred design. It’s versatile, applicable from product development to UX and even broad business challenges. In our work, we incorporate Design Thinking principles to strike a balance between innovation, user appeal, practicality, and business relevance.

In contrast, Improv challenges the conventional business mantra of strict strategizing and planning. Instead, it arms individuals with the skills to adapt on the fly within set boundaries, navigate volatile and uncertain scenarios, and lead authentically.

As a company, what are the values that drive you and set you apart from the crowd?

Nadiya De Lanerolle: We deeply engage in the learning journey alongside our client partners. Our facilitation approach, grounded in innovative methods, proves more effective in real-world applications. Our mission centres on fostering organizational cultures that are both equitable and efficient. By partnering with forward-thinking young teams, we integrate technology into our strategies, always emphasizing the value of learning from life’s experiences.

What’s next for Snap Ark Global?

Nadiya De Lanerolle: We prioritize providing our client partners with an unparalleled experience, from the initial onboarding to online coaching after participating in our signature programmes. We’ve introduced media training for corporate communications teams and CEOs, along with access to Crisis Communication strategies, marking a pioneering step in Sri Lanka.

Daniel Ferdinandusz: We also aim to bolster our presence and fortify our strategic alliances in Sri Lanka and the Gulf. This expansion will enable us to engage broader audiences and offer comprehensive, end-to-end solutions. Furthermore, we’re keen on enhancing our footprint in the UK market, with a particular interest in the Government sector.