Lanka Spice head outlines ingredients of success-By Raj Moorthy
While Mc Currie is one of the recognised brands in the spice sector in Sri Lanka and around the world, the product has proved itself in the global supply chain and not on the strength of branding or the product name, says Nalin Pathikirikorale, Chairman of Lanka Spice (Pvt) Ltd.
Sharing his successful journey into entrepreneurship, Mr. Pathikirikorale made these remarks at a Royal College Old Hostellers Association event held last Thursday.
Mr. Pathikirikorale studied at Isipathana College in Colombo till Grade 5. He then moved to Royal College and was boarded at the college hostel since his hometown was in Galle. He changed his advanced level stream from mathematics to biology but this did not help him to enter a local university. Once he left school, he worked as a medical rep for some time while applying for jobs overseas. He succeeded in getting a job at the Mumbai office of a UK-based company. It was here that he learnt a lot about commodity products – a learning curve that led to the formation of Lanka Spice (Pvt) Ltd.
“Self-confidence is a key attribute to my success. I learnt to live by myself while I was at the college hostel and I played rugby managing my time for both academics and sports activities,” he told the gathering.
Mr. Pathikirikorale said as an ardent fan of sports, he had travelled the world and watched almost all cricket, rugby, tennis world cup finals and past eight Olympic Games.
He said he encouraged his employees to be punctual, never to procrastinate anything for tomorrow, discipline themselves, believe in team spirit and perform the duties the right way at the right time.
“As an entrepreneur, I always anticipated the worst, trusted no one unless they prove themselves right, didn’t go in between hidden meanings, never showed my employees that I’m their boss, left all ego at the gate, learnt a lot from experience than from the books, always took calculated risks, treated people equally, always said sorry when I did something wrong,” Mr. Pathikirikorale said.
He said his advice to students would be: Many have brilliant ideas, but not many execute them. He then went on to say: “A good reader makes a good leader. Take up a sport all your life. Your destiny is in your hands. Within yourself deliverance must be sought. Never carry a grudge. Forget, forgive, acknowledge and let go. Take initiatives, moderate risks, be flexible and creative, have problem solving ability, be hard working and take leadership.”