Everyone is born as an entrepreneur and everybody has the potential to become an entrepreneur. But not everyone gets that chance. I believe that entrepreneurship has a beneficial effect on our lives and it has the capability to change the industry for good.
Successful entrepreneurs consistently manage to master the problems of entrepreneurship and build-up their industry to the next level. Besides interviewing experienced entrepreneurs, we will also report on prospective entrepreneurs who have just started their enterprise. We believe that comparing both viewpoints might evoke your interest.
Many people work for someone else throughout their lifetime. Meanwhile, people who take risks, start businesses and properly manage them make their lives successful. This is an interview with Noeline Pereira, a business owner and an entrepreneur in Sri Lanka. She is an ideal example of whom I like to call a “practical entrepreneur.” She is a courageous person who sees opportunities in typical tasks that no one else wishes to do.
Noeline’s story is an excellent example of learning a particular skill set (that has a high demand) from the bottom and eventually maximizing earnings with modern marketing strategies. Her narrative also contains a few very common-sense Suggestions like work hard, think different, don’t become satisfied with specific experiences, pay attention to the essential things and only dive in the Ideal time.
Let’s find out the renowned entrepreneur: Noeline Pereira. The Director of the CameraLk. We are thankful to Noeline for her valuable time as she shared her successes to inspire the other entrepreneurs all over the world.
Tell us a bit about yourselfMy name is Noeline Pereira , I’ve forever been fascinated by the world of color, art , fashion and sports .I come from a family of four , I have one older sister who has led me and guided me through all my childhood. I am very attached to my mom and dad , in fact I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by my immediate family , my mom has guided my spiritual life whereas my dad has always been my number one motivator at whatever I chose to do.
Where did you grow up, edu, current business role likewise?I was born in Sri Lanka and was raised here in Lanka in my early adolescence stage, later my whole family migrated to Canada where I completed my secondary education and completed my undergrad. Graduated at University of Guelph – Humber with honors, emphasizing Finance and later HR. After pursuing double degrees, I was exploring my options for my post grad, however life directed me towards a different path during the search and led me to where I am today. My husband and I together were able to create a difference in Sri Lanka’s imaging industry.
Who is the messiest person you know?I would say my husband, however I must add, he is only messy when I am around , I think I’ve pampered him way too much.
What’s a typical working day for you?I usually start my work at 8:30 am, collaboratively plan my day, and make sure that the most urgent work gets done first.The most interesting part of what I do is that there is no ‘typical’ day. One day I would be busy scheduling meetings and the other day I would be supervising my employees. Maybe the next day I would be busy making presentations or visiting branches.
How do you achieve work-life balance? (Personal and Career)I pride myself on giving 100% of my attention to whatever that I am doing. So, I’m not the kind of person who’ll be checking Facebook or taking personal calls while I’m focusing something at office or while I’m at work, But I make sure to apply that same thinking to my time at home or gym —giving all my focus to my family and friends… or when I’m at the gym, I give all my concentration and energy to that one thing. I never shy away from taking my personal time off, my breaks and 8 hrs goodnight sleep. I’ve found that allows me to recharge well so I can give my all during the workweek without burning out.
What was Your Dream Job?When I was young, the thought of working as an entrepreneur appealed greatly to me. The list of things I’d consider doing was endless: start a clothing boutique, nail spa, real estate, open a temporary employment office, create an organic brand, freelance consultant, singer, etc.! The possibilities stretched to the sky. But the point is I always knew I wanted to work on something that’s mine .
What Were Your Greatest Failures and What Did They Teach You?I think this was the turning point of my life , when I was younger not being selected to a certain team made me heart broken and unhappy , to overcome my failure I put in double the work than the students who actually made it to the team and I was able not only to be selected to that same team but also to represent the national team and be the captain of that very team, that taught me the greatest lesson of life ; the most important step we can take towards achieving a goal is taking action! When pursuing our dreams, we have to do it the old fashioned way, give in all you got -101% . Ever since, my perception of life changed, I always had and have a can-do attitude towards anything in life.
How did you get your idea or concept for CameraLK?CameraLK was a small startup that my now husband, Anushka Gunasinghe started in the year 2010. It all started with an unexpected Singapore tour in 2010 where he was asked to bring some Cameras, and that laid the foundation for this business. Then he began pre-orders and continued to import cameras at a low rate and was able to promote the small business through CameraLK Facebook page. CameraLK was officially launched in 2011 and later we were able break the then monopoly market by dropping the prices of cameras which were priced even higher than the international price rates by three or four companies. We found a gap in the market and started catering to it, both of us together, were able to take our small home business into the largest multi branded showroom in South Asia and the largest Sony showroom in South East Asia.
What makes your CameraLK team so effective?Actually, I see my team as my family, we take care of each other, we respect each other. In most workplaces, there is a hierarchy, whereas we focus on egalitarianism, by giving our staff autonomy, we are showing them that we trust them to do their work and meet deadlines. Not only does this encourage our crew to work harder, it also fosters a sense of self-achievement and self-worth. There really is no need to micromanage or breath down people’s necks. A combination of solid leadership, communication, and access to good resources collectively contribute to productive collaboration, but it all comes down to having people who understand each other and work well together.
How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?We at CameraLK have always paid greater concern on customer affairs and we are always committed to giving the best service to our valued customers. We believe in making customers, not sales. That’s what led us to be the industry leader today and always being novel and innovative set us apart from our competitors. Moreover, our loyal customers backed by our amazing staff has brought us where we are today.
As a woman, what advice can you offer women who are seeking to have their own business?The same advice that I would give to men, there is no magic formula other than hard work and perseverance, let it be a man or woman. Like I said earlier the most important step we can take towards achieving a goal is taking action. Ultimately, having confidence in yourself is extremely beneficial to entrepreneurship. Dream bigger, do bigger, and then surround yourself with people who will support you in achieving that bigger vision.
Do you think women feel intimidated in business?I would like to think it the other way around, men are more intimidated by intelligent women in business. The reality is that power and authority are not inherently determined by a person’s gender. Instead, the idea of power and authority is influenced by a person’s gender as defined by society.
What techniques keep you focused and motivated? It will help to someone just starting outIf you want to stay motivated and achieve your dreams, first you have to eliminate procrastination from your life. It’s not easy. But it’s necessary. Then set your long-term and short-term goals with milestones, always visualize the results. Don’t forget to reward yourself for achieving the set targets. Stress is inevitable, but learning how to cope with it is vital. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercising can have a highly positive impact on your mental health as well as physical health. Last but not least always be willing to learn new things, read, research, watch and finally be grateful. Happiness is a state-of-mind. We can all be happy if we look for the things that we’re grateful for, be determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation you may find yourself in.