Going higher, stronger A Sri Lankan entrepreneur takes her digital solutions to the world
By Waqas Rafique, Public Information Officer, ITC
Achini Perera makes sure she is carrying her protective facemask as she sits behind the wheel of her car, ready to take on another day at work.
Making her way through busy Colombo traffic, she soon arrives at the premises of Web Lankan, the company she co-founded with her husband.
She now serves as Director of Digital Marketing and Finance of Web Lankan, which provides web development services and digital marketing solutions to clients in Sri Lanka and abroad.
I am glad that we have managed to create an environment where we all flourish together.
Young, educated and with an open mind, Achini has always had ambitions.
Achini recalls her urge to do something meaningful with her life.
“I knew I could do much more than just keeping a job. Thinking out of the box enabled me to become an IT entrepreneur.”
She goes around the floor, briefly discussing the issues at hand with her strong workforce of 25 men and women.
“I am glad that we have managed to create an environment where we all flourish together.”
Our sales have increased two-fold.
Providing innovative web-based solutions is not an easy task.
As is the case with most start-ups, Web Lankan had its share of teething problems.
“Finding sources of funding, engaging suitable human resources, obtaining market insights and keeping pace with competitors were matters that needed immediate attention when we started.”
Within a few years, the start-up has grown into a stronger and more competitive business than Achini could have hoped for.
“Our sales have increased two-fold.”
Consultants from the International Trade Centre put us in the right direction.
Finding the right technical support for her company was an urgent and real need.
Achini succeeded in getting help by enrolling in the International Trade Centre’s EU-Sri Lanka Trade-related Assistance Project
Working with the project, Web Lankan achieved greater heights, especially through meeting international market requirements to cater to customers abroad.
“Consultants from the International Trade Centre put us in the right direction. We received inputs for obtaining the required security certification as we planned to go international.”
Achini and her team also received sector branding guidance to build and position the company brand next to developing promotional material including brochures and visiting cards, which grabbed the attention of potential customers.
Despite COVID-19, Web Lankan was able to seize opportunities in the digital space.
The company expanded its customer base through targeted support.
“We identified digital marketing as an ideal solution for clients during the pandemic. It works well for gaining new clients who are still with us today.”
After a few more meetings, Achini is ready to go home to her husband and children. Family is her priority, but she also has a clear vision for her business.
“I want my company to be the best digital marketing agency in Sri Lanka, catering to clients from all over the world. We are also in the process of developing a product that will target the international market.”
The entrepreneur believes in taking everyone along.
Empowering and building capacities of her young work force is Achini’s true reward. “Achieving this, Web Lankan will continue to grow.”
Hundreds of small businesses in Sri Lanka, including Achini’s Web Lankan, increased their trade competitiveness in the European Union and regional markets with the support of the recently concluded EU – Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance project.
The project has strengthened the Sri Lankan macro-economic framework, expanded the export economy and promoted investment within Sri Lanka’s National Policy Framework.