Emerging from Elpitiya, located in the Southern province of Sri Lanka, Namal Senaratna, the Founder and Managing Director of Asia Pacific Technology Systems Pvt. Ltd., developed the motivation to start his own business from scratch. He chose to push through the hard times for the sake of his daughter, even though the doctors had given up hope for her survival.
Despite having started his profession as a sales executive, Namal had taken over the company almost two years later. “You need to be in one industry to have a successful career,” he shares. Entering the field with a modicum of knowledge at the age of 20, he considered it an “unbelievable change”.
Upon the birth of their second child; who he mentions finding the definition of courage from, Namal made the firm decision to start up his company with a mere note of 500 rupees in his wallet. While Namal struggled a great deal initially with barriers such as the need for a hefty registration fee and much more, he “strategically, from time to time and step by step” overcame his obstacles, thus moving forward and carrying on with life.
Moving on to attain a partnership registration from the Provincial Council with what little money Namal had in hand, opportunity knocked on his door a few weeks later when an ex-customer requested a network card. Consequent to collecting a couple of things from his previous company, Namal fulfilled the request for a price of 2750 LKR. Following the gain, he established Asia Pacific Technology Systems in partnership and changed his strategy to service provision. Currently making revenue and profits from services alone, he manages over 250 local and international clients.
“Our speciality is that we change strategies based on the current situations”, Namal explains. For example, having faced the aftershock and business impact post-Easter Attack, he launched into privatized cloud services, therefore recovering successfully and becoming a competitor towards Industry Giants. Taking into account the pandemic, he mentions earning his highest profitability in the year 2020. “When challenges come, we see it as an opportunity”, he says.
Stating with tremendous confidence, Namal explains that if the company had to close down for the next few years, they could pay the employees’ salaries. “You don’t know what will come your way; you need to be prepared for any circumstance”, he expresses. “Our strength”, he says, Asia Pacific Technology Systems has not undergone any salary cuts, even amid the pandemic, and stands to be a strong organization till today.
Namal doesn’t believe in investments and rather has an in-depth belief in trust and relationships. Paying off every penny that he owes, he has changed exceptionally over the last thirteen years of his life. Having reformed into a straightforward and basic man, he is passionate about helping people, especially small organizations, businesses and people struggling to stand on their own feet. “I know the pain when I didn’t have money to feed my kids”, he relates. “Give more to the poor”, he advises, “Don’t curse a busy life and opportunities.”
Namal lacked a single sense in regards to finance, accounting, marketing strategies or even marketing behaviour when he first set off on this pathway. He proudly mentions some of the basic talents and positive spirits that he had instead, such as working on time, respecting people and thirst for knowledge. “If you teach me anything, I’ll be happy to learn”, he informs. Whilst he didn’t know English at the beginning of time, he didn’t consider it a challenge, “Whether it’s your business life or personal life, know your basics, and you won’t go wrong; people will respect you.”
When asked about his advice for those seeking entrepreneurship, Namal says, “Have an end to end control in your business and minimize your dependency”. He talks about the necessity of education due to the need for having an idea of the industry according to the relevant eras. After being abandoned by people when he needed them the most, he learnt to create his own strategies.
Following some of the most encouraging quotes like “Faithfulness always brings you reward…”, “Walking in truth” and “demonstrate love”, Namal talks about applying them in his day to day life within the organization. He goes on to explain the important roles employees play in an organization and as such he holds a deep-rooted bond with them. Every company needs to possess all the right ingredients in order to have victorious entrepreneurship.
Not attaining the opportunity to enjoy the beginning years of his entrepreneurship, Namal focused on growing the strength and building the foundation in his company. He considers his wife to be his greatest support and one who truly had his back through the tough times. He focuses immensely on savings. Choosing to put 30% off of every hundred thousand into the savings, he lives and enjoys life from the remaining 70%. Not making changes or upgrades through every increment, he prefers including the amount into his savings too. While he believes in maintaining the class, he doesn’t encourage wasting it and taking the risk of falling into trouble. Namal manages his income strategically, helping him to grow at a steady yet prosperous rate. “Your decision-making point is your strength”, he states.
While Namal did indeed begin with nothing in his hand but hardships and struggles, he grew into a triumphant businessman and a father who flourished greatly in saving his daughter. “If you keep trying, your character builds and in turn your expectations grow, which helps you create a life to look forward to”, he informs. Accomplishing on a grand scale in all aspects of his life within the last decade and a half, Namal continues to set examples for both his kids and his employees, building a home and an organization that was stronger than ever.