I am a Sri Lankan, A serial Entrepreneur, A creative and a disrupt-er
2.What are you truly passionate about?
I am passionate about the creative process of a product. From pre-launch to the product lifecycle I am extremely close to the creative aspect of the product and how it’s seen in the consumers eyes. At the end of the day marketing is how well we decide to tell our story to our consumer. The medium is important but the process is more important.
3.What was the original source of inspiration for you to become a entrepreneur?
In my youth I have wasted a lot of time in my life, time I could have used to do great things with. I’m also a person who doesn’t dwell on the past. There’s no point of looking back. My inspiration for becoming an entrepreneur was to have the freedom to creatively drive products to the marketplace. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I was able to make it as an entrepreneur. The freedom to express myself through a product was a major key. Also having to listen to another terrible boss making bad decisions and ruining a great product was something that I didn’t want to go through anymore.
4.What work are you most proud of?
SNEAKERTUB was my first company which started in early 2016. Through SNEAKERTUB i was able to change a mundane, retail sneaker business that hasn’t changed for a long time. The people on top in the leading retail companies are dinosaurs. They still think this is 1990. So to come in to a very challenging market which hasn’t really moved from traditional brick and mortar and SNEAKERTUB being able to challenge the status quo was a major achievement for me. No one took me seriously in the beginning. Some companies still don’t. That doesn’t bother me. “I don’t care what you think of me, I don’t have the time to focus on your feelings, I keep moving forward only worrying about myself.” People can say whatever and my life doesn’t change based on their feelings. I’m in it for the long game. I’ll keep playing for as long as I can.
5.Whats your philosophy about entrepreneurship?
It’s simple. You work hard and you succeed. It’s not for everyone though. I have people messaging me on facebook and asking me to give them ideas to start a business. If you don’t even have an idea to start with, you can’t be cut out for the tough road ahead. It’s really not easy. People tend to think about the glory, money, cars and women that come with the game. The road to get there is tough. So focus on the process not the treasures. They will come if you pay your dues. Just work your butt off. Don’t message your fb friends every morning and say hello. It’s a waste of time. Do something with that valuable time. You have to do it for your self. Not your mother, not your father, not your brother, not your sister, not your girlfriend/boyfriend… It’s you … who’s gotta put in the work. No one else will do it for you. Lazy is the cousin of death.
6.What is the positioning of Sri Lankan entrepreneurship in global scenario ?
The world is connected. So every entrepreneur who’s online can play on the global field. Start with Sri Lanka but cast a wide net. It’s not like the 80’s or 90’s this is the easiest time to get your product out to the world. I’ve met so many Sri Lankans playing on the global level. It’s great to see how many of us are out there.
7.What charity is closest to your heart?
I love animals so any charity that helps animals.
8.What is one thing you cannot live without?
Technology. I’m a slave to technology. I’m always on my phone, laptop or ipad. Those are my weapons on my global business battle field. Also my wife and my dog roamer if your talking about living things 🙂
9.Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur or just advice in general about careers?
Put in the work. It’s as simple as that. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before launching your business. Try to be first to market. Launch first and then you can figure everything out. Also just work your butt off… believe in yourself. Nothing can stop you from going all the way up.
10.What are your future aspirations and goals?
I recently launched another company called The Kit Grid, and also launching an influencer marketing agency called “King Coconut” in 2018. Getting these companies into the playing field will be the next challenge. I also want to somehow create a way to give back by putting aside some of my profits to invest in young Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and businesses. So I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to do that.