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Fascination for electronics sees him through life

Young Entrepreneurs

Q: How did you come up with your enterprise?

A: The nature of my business is mainly setting up car electronics such as car stereos, electronic repairs and electrical repairs. We have A to Z solutions for these services except for air conditioning in vehicles. We are not only specializing in car audio but also beyond that.

We started it in 1995 with three people. Currently there are 30 employees working for me. I was always fascinated in learning electronics. I learnt electronics even at the college to experiment how these electronic gadgets worked.


Damitha Eleperuma

Since my father was also involved in a related field I was attracted to electronics. I received knowledge on how to run a business from my father. He was already involved in a business. Whenever there was free time, my brother and I used to examine the cars and their electronics systems.

It was in the 80sí that many cars were imported with electronics such as hifi stereo systems to Sri Lanka. There were mostly cassette players earlier in cars before hifi systems came to be introduced. I thought that I could go a long way with my talents in this field.

I thought that studying electronics will help me a great deal as technology improves day-by-day. There was a need for me to go in parallel with the latest technology.

I started studying the one year course in radio electronics at the National Youth Center.

I also followed a course in automobile electronics and electrical at the German Technical College and then followed a City and Guilds course on Electrical Engineering and Digital Electronics. I studied in Singapore further on the same field.

Q: What were the challenges you faced?

A: The main challenge we face is keeping our knowledge and standards up-to-date in the rapidly changing technology.

I would say there was not much challenge those days but with the improving technology day-by-day has created a challenge to cope with technology.

Newly imported cars have standardized computer systems. Therefore gaining know-how is the main challenge to us. There is lot of work to be done such as gathering information on new technology.

One cannot merely do that by reading a catalogue to configure a stereo system. I gain a lot of knowledge by travelling to countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and China and acquiring the latest technologies.

When I started the business, there were only three companies as competitors. Today there are more vehicles which makes an expanded market. So even if there were many players, competition would not be a challenge.

Q: What are the strengths of the company?

A: The human resource is my strength. We have separate departments in the company and created a management hierarchy.

Q: How do you manage your enterprise?

A: We need to train and update technicians on new technology and always try to cater to the customer demand.

Q: How did you supply with capital initially?

A: The capital I invested on the business initially was nearly Rs 50,000. By the time I started my business with the background created around me, I did not require a large capital to start this.

I started gradually with the available vehicles that were coming to my fatherís workshop. There was no requirement to buy land as I was providing services at my fatherís workshop initially. Today I have my own workshop at Dehiwala.

Q: What are your aspirations?

A: There was an inborn talent in me for sounds and electronics. I wanted to know how sounds are made and how it works. This inquisitiveness made me to come this far.

Q: What are the strategies you adopt to enhance employee efficiency?

A: I always personally attend to every car that comes to get our services before an employee attends to it. There are around 10 installers working under me.

The technology has improved so much that it is not just about playing a CD today but involving a computer system into a vehicle. The Blue Tooth technology too plays a major part in todayís cars.

Many think that when they buy a car they need to include the technology in it as well. One who thinks of the new technology want to install latest technology in their vehicles. There are fewer Sri Lankans who adhere to such higher technology. I would say not even 10 percent of the population uses such technology. Actually we need to be upto that standard.

Q: What is your goal in business?

A: We need to keep the number one place in car electronics even in the future. My company has been leading for the last three years.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: We need to invest in an expansion. We need to have a branch set up in Galle or Ratnapura in the near future.

Q: What is the support you get from your family members?

A: I get the maximum support from my family members.

I leave home about 6.30 in the morning and come back again at around 9.00 in the night.

I am not disturbed in work by any of the homefront matters.

My wife looks after the two children. My father-in-law was also a businessman and I got his support in taking the business to this state.

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