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About entrepreneurship

Mr. Dhammika Perera

Most powerful and successful businessperson, Kulappuarachige Don Dhammika Perera’s story is very important to get to know as young entrepreneurs.

Offering out into business at the age of nineteen without having an entrepreneurial family and starting with five hundred rupees in his pocket. Now, 51 years later he invested for several industries including white goods, power projects, hotels, logistics, banks, casinos, plantation, ships worth several USD billions of rupees and holds ownership of more than 200 companies.

His achievements are numerous. He has the 100% stake in Greener water Ltd, and has a 51% stake in Delmage Ltd, 55.96% stake in Royal Ceramic Lanka PLC, 51.75% stake in LB Finance PLC as subsidiary companies. The Fortress Resort PLC is a sub-subsidiary company and has an 18.02% stake of the company.

He has several associate companies under the Vallibel One PLC and holds 100% stake in Nilano Garment Pvt Ltd, 100% stake in Rocell Pty. Ltd, 80.30% stake in Lanka Ceramic PLC, 100% stake in Royal Porcelain Pvt Ltd, 61% stake in Rocell Bathware Ltd, 62.19% stake in Lanka Waltiles PLC, 99.83% in Vallibel Plantation Management Ltd, 100% stake in LWL Development Pvt Ltd, 68.22% stake in Lanka Tiles PLC, 100% stake in Uni-Dil Packaging Ltd and Uni-Dil Packaging Solutions Pvt Ltd, 51% stake in Horana Plantation PLC, 100% stake in Beyond Paradise Collection Ltd, 47.80% stake in Swisstek Ceylon PLC and 87.38% stake in Swisstek Aluminium Ltd and the list goes on.

Very interesting to elaborate his story of success..”,

When he was 11, his mother gave him eight rupees after buying a pumpkin on his own farm which cultivated by himself. That was his initial startup of his entrepreneurial life.

In 1987 when he was nineteen, his mother offered him five hundred rupees to purchase a pair of shoes. Meantime, he selected to study a diploma at ‘University of Moratuwa’ on electronic, electrical subject areas.

However, campus was closed most of the time due to the JVP actions and troubles. He was born at ‘Kalutara’ and had his school education from ‘Horana, Taxila College’. During this period, he was staying with, his relative and he had a restaurant at ‘Pettah’.

He founded seller in the pavement, infront of Mr. Perera’ uncle’s café. He, borrowed money to hawker and asked him to share his income according to the investment he made of five hundred rupees.

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The seller worked hard, from morning until night. At day end, seller returned two hundred rupees as income sharing on daily while Mr.Perera’s initial investment remaining as same. After three months of time, Mr. Perera earned seventy four thousand rupees as profit instead of the investment he made of five hundred rupees.

Then Mr. Perera turned his mind to investment on Jackpot machines, and hired few and installed them at his uncle’s restaurant at Pettah. He had a good partnership with the owner of this machines and he had a 30% margin through with the investment. Then he keen to know about the Jackpot equipment and he went to overseas to learn them. Then he returned after six months of time.

At that time, he has initiated to make his private Jackpot machines, and placed those machines at his, uncle’s restaurant. Then he gained 70% margin out of them since he was the only owner of Jackpot machines. After that, he earned big kitty out of them. Furthermore, at the age of 23 in 1991 , he had billions of rupees in his kitty with two hundred eighty five machines (Jackpot Machines) in his operations. And he exploited opportunities in property, developments.

However, at that time, he dropped out from, the ‘University, of Moratuwa’. He had a restaurant in front of the university, named ‘Vishaka Hotel’ and worked more than 40 people under him.

In 1996, with the invitation of the CEO of the ‘Bartleet House’, he started to explore his share market life. CEO has requested to invest of 100 million rupees as his initial investment at CSE but he proposed to invest 1 million as his pilot project. Then the CEO has refused to agree for that deal and introduced his subordinate to engage with Mr. Perera and he started his investment in

share market by investing only three hundred thousand rupees. Further, he studied the share market for further four years’ time and got to know about the inside out of the share market.

When denoting on his other investments, Mr. Perera said in 1998, he expanded his business venture by investing USD 2 million for 2 ships, which uses for cargo transportation. And also he invested on several projects such as 2 power projects, plantation projects etc.

He wanted to form a corporation with 100% stake or solely owned by himself and named it as Vallibel Holdings. Late 1999 when he was thirty-two, he developed a plan for twenty years as his business plan to be the leader of each and every sector in Sri Lanka by 2019. As at now, he has already achieved his target by becoming the leader of each sector apart from Hospital and Insurance sectors.

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The skills and characteristics of the entrepreneur

Continues Learner

“If you are rich in knowledge, you are not poor” – Mr. Dhammika Perera

He is very keen to learn new things and never stop learning one of the Mantra of him which he follows till date. He is updating his knowledge to date. In addition, he is a great inventor and genius in every business, technology and entrepreneurship.

Innovativeness

Innovativeness refers to the tendency for enterprises to adopt and support creative processes which may bring new products, new technologies, new services, new inventions and new tests. Innovativeness refers to feature of coming up with new ideas and indulgence in experimentation and endeavoring for technological leadership in both products and processes. Innovativeness encourages enterprises to increase investment to carry out technology innovation activities such as new technology acquisition and new product development. It leads to improve enterprise technological innovation ability. Furthermore, Mr. Perera promotes enterprise reform and innovation such as AI, IBM Watson, monday.com etc., to accelerate the flow and transformation of new knowledge and contribute to the generation of new knowledge and technology, which improves enterprise innovation performance.

Visionary

“To achieve uniqueness through diversity, leadership, creativity and inspiration.” – Vision of Vallibel One PLC (http://www.vallibelone.com, 2019)

He has developed a plan for twenty years to be the leader of each and every sector in Sri Lanka by 2019. Therefore, had a plan in his mind and work hard towards it to achieve expected outcomes. He has already secured the leadership in all sectors of Sri Lanka except Hospital and Insurance sectors with the exploit of his career.

Risk Taking

Risk can be divided into three categories:

• Business risk – relates primarily to the ability to enter or create a new market or industry successfully or to develop new technologies.

• Financial risk – means high financial investments or a high input of resources for a business

• Personal risk – refers to the individual who makes a decision for the company. This risk relates to the company and the individual himself. The risk potential of the entrepreneurial orientation refers to the willingness of a company to take a chance, whose outcome is uncertain and the willingness to act without knowing the consequences in full in advance.

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Risk taking factor describes the ability of the manager to take considerable risk with the intention to follow a potential opportunity with reasonable possibility of achieving the desired goals at the same time when there exists a possibility for a costly failure.

It also refers to the tendency for enterprises to take bold action in order to pursue high reward and it can be explained from two aspects of technology and market. In terms of technology, risk-taking reflects the willingness of enterprises to invest resources for technological innovation strategies or projects with a high risk of failure and uncertainty and is closely related to entrepreneurial risk preferences and attitudes towards new technologies.

In terms of market it reflects the willingness and tendency of the enterprise to undertake the uncertainty risk of entering a new market and is closely related to the risk preference of enterprises. Under this tendency, enterprises often act positively when they cannot predict the future market, and constantly seek, discover, and make use of new opportunities to create the first-mover advantage and get the benefits of innovation.

Self-Renewal/ Autonomy

The above factor refers to the independent actions of a person or a team, from the beginning until the completion of a business concept. It is an essential for innovative ideas, which have their origin in the creativity and proactiveness for actions of individuals and is therefore regarded as the driving force of new ventures of a company within the company.

Autonomy means encouraging teams or individuals to come up with and establish new ideas, concepts or visions. In general entrepreneurship has grown and prospered because of the independently thinking individuals who have left the shores of safety and comfort in the search of finding and promoting new ideas or new ventures. Mr. Perera is also having same thinking pattern as I explained above.

Proactiveness

Proactiveness means the ability to anticipate future possibilities and threats alike and start taking actions to either exploit opportunities or prevent failures and threats. Mr. Perera is a person with good ability to anticipate the future possibilities and threats. He took his decisions based on his anticipation but with the numbers which provided by his data scientist and data analyst.

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