Nishan Sembacuttiaratchy, who was born in Germany, is the Chief Executive Officer of the ESOFT Metro Campus. He moved to Sri Lanka in the mid-80s and was educated at Isipathana College, Colombo. Even while in school, he taught IT whenever he was free. He was employed full-time while he completed his undergraduate and post-graduate studies part-time. Then, while teaching part-time, he was also a full-time software developer, webmaster, and SBU head full-time, successfully juggling many aspects that he was exceptional at. His journey at ESOFT commenced in 2006 when he joined as the first-ever franchised branch owner.
He took over as the General Manager in 2007 and switched to a full-time corporate office at ESOFT. Six years later, he took over the position of CEO, while becoming a director of a few group companies simultaneously. He is happily married to Roshini, who is also engaged in the education field and has two beautiful daughters who are just starting to figure out the world. Not to mention, Nishan is a cook as good as a chef, which he almost became after schooling.
According to Nishans’ interesting revelations, the ultimate sacrifices made by parents who are determined to give quality education to their children work as a vital driving force behind their hard work and motivation. People like him, who are willing to work full-time and sacrifice their free time to learn and eventually climb the social ladder, are also another reason that keeps him going. According to him, the dedication, hard work, commitment, and motivation of these people that he truly recognizes give him the strength to be the best at what he does. Adding to that is the sincere happiness he experiences by seeing the success stories of those who have earned their qualifications, experience, and life lessons through ESOFT and thus go on to take on the vices and follies of the world, as a major inspirational method, backing the quality of work he delivers.
Jogging down through the memory lane of how ESOFT first came to be, he added that ESOFT had a long history before he was ever a part of it. It was established in 2000 as a means of support for courses in IT, and for the BIT Degree of the University of Colombo School of Computing, as well as for the BCS (UK) Professional Examinations. The start was very small, but it became very popular for the quality of education it delivered, making a shining name for itself. Thus, it shifted from Kirulapane to Bambalapitiya in 2004. The Kurunegala branch was established in 2005 and the Kandy branch in 2006. This is the time when Nishan enters the picture. According to him, partnerships accredited by the BSC (2007), Pearson UK (2009), Kingston University (2012), and London Metropolitan University (2013) then followed. They polished the reputation of a British qualification, which local students can achieve through cost-effective methods. Starting there, ESOFT is now one of the largest private educational institutes with 40 local locations and an annual intake of over 40,000. It has also been recognized by the Ministry of Education as a non-state degree awarding institution.
Before Covid19 took its full and devastating effect, ESOFT had acted quickly to make the process online, making sure students received uninterrupted and quality education with routers and free data packs fully sponsored by the institute. Taking advantage of the situation, the staff have also focused on developing new course materials during this time. Nishan added that ESOFT is affordable for most people in the country given that they don’t require upfront payments and offer interest-free monthly installment options to pay course fees if necessary.
“Our focus is on quality delivery, and making education available to all irrespective of their geographic location and other factors,” added Nishan. Students no longer have to leave homes to receive education with ESOFT bringing branches to their doorsteps. Language barriers are also dealt with successfully by using a mix of languages to better their understanding. According to Nishan, most decisions taken by ESOFT are driven by a sincere goal of making the customer’s life better.
Within the next decade, Nishan aims to “grow the organization into a fully-fledged university with a multi-acre facility to cater to Sri Lankan as well as foreign students”. The incoming healthy responses from international students have given signs that such a goal is achievable, making Sri Lanka an educational hub, leading to foreign exchange that is much needed. Diversifying the company through projects such as backward integration and international expansion is also one of ESOFT’s many goals.
Nishan believes the ESOFT international campus to be the answer to many issues that many parents and students now face due to the pandemic altering international study opportunities. The ESOFT International Campus allows students to begin their foreign planned education within the country while saving money, allowing the student to transfer to the relevant country or university when the situation allows. “Students will get the best of both worlds, and parents can have the peace of mind that their child’s future is secured”, added Nishan confidently.
Nishan believes in Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends,” yet again proving and believing that nothing in life can be a better savior than a good education.