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Monday, 19 November 2012






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Shamila stands tall among beauticians

The country’s beauty culture industry has moved forward to be on par with today’s global trends and many have emerged as representatives of the trade. Having grown up in an environment surrounded by beauty culture related activities, it seemed the natural choice for Shamila Kudagoda to continue in the family business which her mother has been running successfully. After renaming the business as ‘Brilliant Brides and Salon’ in Kottawa, the venture has now become a force to be reckoned with in the highly competitive beauty culture industry of Sri Lanka.

Shamila Kudagoda

Paradigm of the beauty culture has drastically been changed to the modern world and the needs and wants of the customers have also been changed making a specific market. As a result different streams of professionals have emerged due to the various commercial needs who are contributing to the society in this field. Most of the related equipment are advanced and expensive hence entrepreneurs in this field are investing more to provide quality service.As we are aware all TV and Radio channels conduct programmes for promoting beauty culture in view of developing entrepreneurs to reduce the unemployment population in the society. Younger generations are much interested in this field and following courses for starting their own businesses, a salon. However, the related customers of this business should have a certain level of economic background to maintain their status and their requirements. The equipments required for the salon are also sophisticated therefore a professional salon can be started by only the businesswomen having a certain economic level and industry has evolved to be on a high scale from lower economic level entrepreneurs. Shamila contributes for the development in the industry and her venture stands tall among the others.

She was interviewed by Daily News Business.

Excerpts of the interview.

Q: How do you describe your line of business?

A: My venture Brilliant Brides and Salon Kottawa was a result of the business model started by my mother Sherline Demetagoda 25 years ago. Her venture Brilliant Brides was set up in Maharagama and was a huge success. After ending my school studies I was involved in the business. With my mother’s blessing I ventured into business and commenced operations in Kottawa as I was the only child in the family. This venture exclusively caters to women and we provide a full range of bridal services and all types of beauty care and treatment at present. The holistic nature of our services has been the hallmark of the business and this has attracted a steady flow of customers.

Shamila with her two sons

My mother is my mentor but I furthered my knowledge following a number of courses. I value the inputs of Ramani Arsacularatne Beauty Academy in the learning process. I also followed a course in Singapore before venturing into a higher level.

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

A: My husband has different interests and he is not involved in the business. Our two sons Thiven and Javinu Punchihewa school at St. Joseph’s College Colombo. As they are still young, they need constant attention and I have adjusted my schedule to enable more quality time with them. Their needs are well taken care of and I help them in their school work. Most of the mornings are devoted to the business whereas the evenings and the weekend is for my children.

Q: What motivated you to venture into business on your own?

A: As I grew up in seen radiant brides and related activities it fascinated me to delve deep in to the subject. My inherent talents and mother’s guidance gave me the confidence to continue our family business. The flexible nature of the business was also a motivating factor.

Q: What are your goals?

A: I intend continue the business though have no succession plan at the moment. Among the other goals are to expand the business and to follow trends to be on par with the global industry standards.

Glowing bride dressed by Shamila

Q: How do you face the challenges of competition?

A: My firm belief is that if you provide an excellent service and exceed customer expectation there will be more business opportunities. My venture always focuses on service delivery and value for money where customer satisfaction plays the key role. Though, there is huge number of beauty care related business entities, Brilliant Brides and Salon has been able to withstand all storms.

Q: What example do you provide to others?

A: I emphasis on practical knowledge as theory will only helps to boost the education.

It is important to understand the delicate points in the bridal dressing and be artistic in the creation of work. The practical aspect of the service is at the centre stage where trial and error approach is not possible. It should be a perfect job and we meet this requirement covering the entire process.

Q: What are your achievements in family life and business?

A: I consider maintaining and even exceeding the success level of the initial family business as a huge achievement. Unlike in venturing new, sustaining an already running business is somewhat difficult. I have overcome this hurdle and even have been able to add another business venture to the fold.

Q: What is your message to society?

A: Honesty is a very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.

There are people to put you down when they see your success. Ignore them and move forward where they cannot reach you. The hardest test in life is to wait.

Nobody has a perfect life. Everybody has their own problems. Some people just know how to deal with it perfectly. Always look on the lighter side of everything and be optimistic.



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