A Trek Towards Success, Paved by Resilience – Managing Director of Nandana Tea Factory, Gunasoma Wannigasekara

Gunasoma Wannigasekara, the Managing Director of Nandana Tea Factory, is carrying on the tea industry heritage established by his great-grandfather more than a century ago. When he was a youngster, his father enlisted his help developing their factory, branded as Nandana Tea Factory. Gunasoma proves that competence gained through experience can propel a person to the pinnacle of success regardless of earning tertiary qualifications but with solid 45+ years of work expertise, which has ultimately driven the venture to its golden days.

During this time, Gunsoma and his staff transformed Nandana Tea Factory into Sri Lanka’s finest premium tea factory and purveyor of tea experiences. There have been several awards given to Nandana for his vision, including the prestigious ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards at both the national and regional levels of competition.

Gunasoma claims the Nandana Tea Factory is constantly one step ahead of the competition because of its perseverance, ethics, and sincerity. He stands by the top quality of the products manufactured in his facility, the contentment of his employees, who are compensated fairly, and the notion that the company values are always held well above industry. “We always aim to disrupt and innovate, being one of the first tea producers in the southern belt to introduce concepts of value addition, direct exports and tea edutourism,” he added. 

With Ladalu Mahimaya, the organization has provided 35 years of invaluable assistance to more than 1000 small tea growers so they may expand their output and rise beyond the poverty threshold. However, Nandana’s road to prosperity was not without its share of bumps on the route that threw a wrench in the works. The COVID19 is a significant concern for Gunasoma, but the squad is still thriving despite the challenges. Chemical fertilizer prohibitions and travel restrictions have both challenged Nandana’s growth. Despite this, the team’s strong will and resilience have allowed it to develop and continue to flourish despite the obstacles it has endured.“We, Sri Lankans, are resilient people. We have endured so much over centuries, but that is what makes us stronger and more hopeful. We need to harness this drive into regeneration and innovation to do good for our people, our country, and our planet. ” 

Gunasoma says that success is a relative term that may take any shape or form, depending on the enterprise. He attributes his organizational value to the many obstacles he had to overcome to get his family’s enterprise to its pinnacle of efficiency while maintaining the principles and morality that constitute the foundation of the company’s culture. Investing in extra care and effort to meet the needs of their consumers and therefore gaining a loyal clientele, as well as having a supportive tea maker’s network developed and curated over time, ready to develop and transcend through time, are essential aspects in his view.

While the pandemic has tested the company’s resilience, Gunasoma and the team developed creative and sustainable solutions with the purpose to ensure business continuity. To ensure the safety of his employees and the uninterrupted operation of the firm, Gunasoma has made efforts to vaccinate his whole workforce internally fully. At the same time, innovative offerings such as the Nandana Tea Labs was developed during the pandemic to provide bespoke customized bulk tea orders for loyal clients around the world

With the new skills acquired from the GLX Digital Evolver Program, “the plan is to continue to develop our tourism vertical of the business, including infrastructure development,” stated Gunasoma, giving us a glimpse of the future. The strategy also involves the hunt for new business possibilities concentrating on creating customized encounters for the worldwide market eager to try Nandana Tea. However, to be successful, the enterprise must uphold the principles and ethics at the heart of Nandana. So while obstacles may slow you down, a lesson or two from Nandana Tea Factory may tell you that they can only stop you if you let them.

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