Two dynamic and exemplary individuals; Hasrath and Fiona Munasinghe have set standards to what success is and define determination and hard work to a great extent. They portray a glimpse of their success stories enlightening one of their contributions as a power couple.
Hasrath Munasinghe, the Deputy General Manager Marketing of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, initiated his journey to success as a 19-year-old Royalist hunting for a professional career. He first served as a Marketing Executive MBC Networks and later progressed to ABC Radio, J Walter Thompson, Hemas Marketing, and Dialog Axiata, where he continued to work in the marketing industry. His current position at Commercial Bank has allowed him to involve and interact with the company’s core operations. During Hasrath’s 27 years of experience through the ups and downs in life, he has been an enthusiastic learner, experiencing the interactions and the challenges which has molded him into the pioneering individual he is today.
Hasrath describes the progress in this pandemic to be ‘very difficult’ standing second only to the World War II era. Yet values like integrity, hard work, focus, commitment, persistence, resilience, self-motivation, teamwork, consistent learning, and self-development are few principles that he instills within his work amongst the bank’s foresighted strategies and perspectives that guide him in business planning and customer orientation within the company.
Being an award-winning marketer with experience of over two decades, Hasrath advises young marketers to enhance their knowledge and ‘be fast’. His exact words were “speed is the name of the game in modern management.” He also points out a famous quote from Klaus Schwab “In the new world, it’s not the big fish which eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish which eats the slow fish” which is closely related to his mantra. Amidst all these professional challenges and responsibilities, Hasrath manages to accomplish his duties as a husband, father, and son and also engage with friends and family while progressing academically. Hasrath ends his statement with a strong and reliable quote; “have gratitude, which is one of the fundamental entities linked with humanity.”
Speaking to Fiona Munasinghe, she is currently functioning as the Marketing Director at Hemas Consumer Brands. Having commenced her journey as an old girl of Ladies College, Fiona progressed her way through the marketing field from working as a Management Trainee in Hemas Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd to her current position, where she builds strong Sri Lankan brands alongside multiple stakeholders, orchestrating a positive impact within Sri Lanka. In between the years, she was also an MNC, gaining experience across brands with both global and regional footprints. Amidst all this, Fiona is a wife and a mother of three who loves to travel, read, eat and spend time with family and good friends.
According to Fiona, a marketer must desire to understand people’s perspectives and their motivations. As every strong marketer has said, marketing is initiated by having an open and attentive mindset while being able to visualize the bigger picture. She also emphasizes the abundance of connection and bonding when working with people on different projects. Fiona also says “I love seeing our goods and communications come to life on the shelf and being utilized by customers”, which is the true spirit of a genuine marketer.
Yet, the bigger question here is how can one both excel and maintain a steady growth? Fiona’s answer towards this is simple but quite inspiring; “I was driven by possibility and not merely by targets or past trends.” This statement might have knocked on most minds, questioning one’s perspective and understanding of success. But can a leading female individual manage success, enjoy personal life, and also prioritize listening to consumers? To this, Fiona humbly states that she is always open to feedback and suggestions to further enhance her productivity and also focuses on teamwork whenever needed.
When questioned about her strengths, Fiona classifies herself to be understanding, focusing and creative, while being able to execute the needed actions when required. She finds herself strong on numbers and this has helped her greatly with other departments and when engaging in business issues and impacts to P&Ls. Meanwhile, as every individual does, Fiona is learning the true art of balancing work when working in a team. She mentions being aspired to being open-minded, agile, and a strategic thinker to help progress her learning journey. Fiona adds her final statement “Be passionate in what you do and continue to push yourself to be the best version of yourself” which is vital for every individual regardless of the field.