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DateLine Wednesday, 04 April 2007

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Women in business by Ruwanthi Abeyakoon Mother-daughter beauty-creating duo

TALENTS: Mother and daughter both are equally talented in adding beauty to the lives of many around them. Hasini Harshika Gunasekera, daughter of famous beautician Deepika Gunasekera is the directress of the International Academy of Beauticians.

Together with her mother, she has come a long way adding joy to many lives, making the occasions memorable.

Deepika Gunasekera


"It was the family business which my mother initiated. She started off as a hobby and gradually it turned into a business. My father was the backbone of the business. He supported my mother and shared the responsibilities. My mother had to contribute a lot of time to work, as people were keen on auspicious timings," she said.

After studying Business Administration and Beauty Culture in Thailand, Hasini decided to follow her mother. "They never pushed me. At the beginning it was easy as the job was flexible. It is an interesting job for a woman. There is a lot of pleasure and you meet a lot of people," she explained.

"For a woman, it is not difficult to do a business being a housewife. Women are good at multitasking. They don't complain. There are so many women involved in businesses and they are doing well," she said.

"There is high responsibility although the timings are flexible. Sometimes it is stressful but as a woman you have to cope up with everything. At present society has changed. Women are no longer meant to be at home. The attitudes have changed.

There is a huge difference now. Women are capable of running a business and they can do a lot more," she explained.

Beautification in action

Hasini loves her job and enjoys making people beautiful. Her main concern is the Academy. She spends most of the time teaching young people to carry on the beauty business.

"I simply love my job. My aim is to support somebody to stand on her own one day. It gives pleasure to see a student start her own business. It is the drive and it gives a lot of pleasure to see them succeed. There are lots of students who have started their own salons. It generates employment and creates ideas," Hasini said.

"I find my work very exciting. Every day is a challenge and days are colourful. There is something to look forward to each day," she added.

Hasini did not want people to recognise her because of her mother. Thus she qualified herself winning several awards in Beauty Culture.

"My mother had a name in this field. But I entered with a lot of qualifications. This business was not anything new. But I wanted people to identify me alone not because of my mother. I trained myself from the age of fourteen.

When I look back I have come a difficult way. Sometimes I had to teach elderly people. They were not sure what a young person like me could teach them. Once they realize that we can contribute their attitudes change," she said.

Deepika Gunasekera who has always gently been behind Hasini added that she, will retire from the job. "I missed a lot of things even though my work was interesting. I missed my leisure time. After twenty-seven long years in the field I feel like I should retire. I have confidence in my daughter and she can take what I started forward," she said.

Hasini hopes to turn her academy into a campus. "I want to provide a high education. We received three affiliations from Thailand. I believe in giving a solid training and to develop a person to meet every challenge. The courses in the academy are improved. We teach English and management subjects also.

"When a student walks out of the Academy she can start off alone confidently. I hope to open up the academy for international students as well. Government has accredited our courses and students can get loans of Rs. 250,000 to start off their business after completing the course," she said.

Hasini is involved teaching basic hygiene and beauty culture to the women in the garment factories together with MAS. She hopes to enhance her business in the future turning the passion for beauty into a career.


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