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Monday, 12 March 2012






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Salon Nels latest venture:

Manel making hidden talents bloom

Women have power to withstand adversity and forge ahead. This will power not only proved to be vital it also ensures success in reaching the desired results.

Manel Kotuwegoda

Manel with her family

Pursuing anything closer to heart brings happiness with effortless application. Manel Kotuwegoda provides a shining example in this regard as she continues her passion to make any woman's wedding dream come true.

Being passionate on bridal dressing and related services her two salons Nels at Gampaha and Kurunegala offer a range of beauty care treatment and is growing in popularity. Her latest venture Nels Hotel to provide comprehensive service at a wedding ceremony by offering a spacious reception hall has become an added attraction. The City Brides International Beauty Academy, a long standing beauty care knowledge centre in the country imparts her knowledge to aspiring youth to enable them to make it a profitable avenue of employment. Manel stands tall among the fast emerging beauticians as her personalized service and teaching methodology has benefitted thousands to realize their true potential over the past three decades.

She was interviewed by Daily News Business.

Excerpts of the interview.

Q. How do you describe your line of business?

A. I ventures into the beauty culture industry over 30 years ago furthering my passion in this field. I under take bridal orders and have been providing a personalized service where there is a growing demand. I had the enthusiasm to dress brides from my small days and this took me a long way. I followed beauty care courses locally as well as internationally and constantly update my knowledge to bring out the best in a bride. The foreign exposure gain through countries such as Singapore, UK, Thailand and China gave me valuable input. I regularly follow international courses to keep abreast in the industry developments.

My forte is bridal dressing including the flower bouquet that ensures a glowing bride. Apart from the bridal dressing I also conduct classes in Kandy, Kalutara, Colombo, Gampaha, Nugegoda and Kurunegala. There are two salons in Gampaha and Kurunegala and a hotel in Kalagedihena Gampaha, under the name “Nels” to provide exclusive beauty care treatment and reception facility.

There is a growing interest in the beauty care industry especially in the young generation and my classes cater to this demand where there is no age limit. The students are from different back ground and age groups and work towards becoming versatile beauticians in a filed that is fast evolving.

Q. How do you manage time to handle your personal life?

A. My husband Jayantha plays a supportive role in my venture and his commitment is very encouraging. Our two sons Adeesha and Theekshana provide the vital structural support and this has made my task easy. Though I am occupied in my business activities most of the days I ensure I am there for my family whenever the need arises. There had been no complaints from them as my undivided attention despite the busy schedule is with them.

Q. What motivated you to venture in to business?

Radiant brides dressed by Manel

A. The passion for the beauty care industry from my small days had a big influence in selecting this path. It is always fascinating to see a radiant bride dressed by me. This not only gives a return but is more rewarding by way of self satisfaction.

Q. What are your goals?

A. The venture has grown over the last three decades and at the initial stages we only had limited resources. However, with an excellent track record and quality output we deliver the best to our customers. We intend marinating the same trend where customer centric approach and high service delivery are the key. I undergo training every year in a selected foreign country and take measures to disseminate this knowledge through my academy. My prime concern is student as well as customer satisfaction that lead to benefit them immensely.

Q. How do you face the challenges of competition?

A. I have carved a name in the beauty care industry and as a veteran in the field I have build up a reputation second to none. This long standing relationship coupled with customer loyalty and trust has taken the business to the next level. I consider competition in any industry to help raise the standards and it is applied to beauty care industry too. It makes the players to constantly be conscious of the changes, trends and developments to cater to emerging needs to the clientele.

Q. What example do you provide others?

A. I was never discouraged by the obstacles and faced every challenge with renewed enthusiasm in going forward. As life is not a bed of roses I strongly believe in making best out of any situation. I try to inculcate these qualities in my students.

Q. What is your specialty?

A. As I have been in the field for a long time and still the service provided is in high demand I consider that my talents to be special. We use imported branded products in keeping in mind the utmost care in customer well-being.

Q. What are your achievements in business?

Manel at the inauguration

A. There are a number of awards and accolades in my long journey. Among the precious awards are five awards as the Most Popular Beautician, recognition by the Women's Affairs Ministry for the support in generating jobs, merit awards from the National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka and many awards at District level. I cherish the Presidential Award in appreciation of my service to society.

The “Nels” Hotel in Gampaha has grown in popularity as a convenient reception venue and I have introduced special packages to suit the needs of the service seekers. This is a landmark in my forward journey.

Q. What is your message to society?

A. Have the courage to continue the task at hand till you reach the end. Never give up when facing challenges.

These should be regarded as stimulants and be energetic, active and ambitious in achieving goals.

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