Helping Businesses to sustain Growth via the 21st-century Art of Digitalization – Managing Partner of Propylon One – Uma Basnayake

Maintaining a dynamic momentum in the world of digitalisation, Uma Basnayake, the Managing Partner of Propylon One, thrives in paving paths to a better future for growing companies in the digital arena. 

Uma Basnayake, a former student of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, is a BSc (Hons) holder from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Commencing as a novel software engineer at IFS back in 1998, she progressed through her journey into the IT sector. Being well-versed in areas such as Information Management systems and software engineering, Uma graduated performing exemplarily while acquiring a 1st class honours in 2003. After adding this esteemed recognition to the IT industry, she continued to ascend the ladder at IFS, propelling enthusiasm in the field to flourish in the capacity of senior technical and service delivery manager, whilst functioning at IFS R&D Centre in Sri Lanka, IFS Singapore and IFS Defence UK; a joint venture between the BAE Systems and IFS  UK.

Sculpting her path and moulding the backbone of her IT career at IFS, Uma parted from the company, seeking further enhancements within the industry and the opportunity to incorporate a ‘business and service’ perspective. “I wanted to learn how organisations transform their operations through digital solutions from a business perspective. I.e. How does a business utilise an ERP solution and how do they actually benefit from it?” says Uma, when sharing the potential that existed in the following job at a UK system integrator company. “As the Chief Support Officer, I was able to work very closely with some of the remarkable global enterprises in the world, to name a few Medimmune (AstraZeneca), Dynacorp, Seadrill, Shawcor, Serimax, The Wright Bus, Churchill China, GA Telesis, The Binding Site, Tomra, AL Rabie etc.”

With the sudden shift in events back in 2019, most companies, including the UK organisation that Uma was employed with, were affected financially during the pandemic. Contemplating the instability and the uncertainty of her career, she was devastated by her mom’s passing, further disrupting her inner peace. “Being a mom of two growing kids, my mother was my main support system. I could always attend that overseas meeting knowing my kids were safe with her”, adds Uma when sharing her critical moments down her career lane, forcing her to choose between a ‘stay-at-home mom’ or being a business entrepreneur. However, her impeccable desire to advance in her career and do righteousness by her little ones as a role model and a trusted mother strengthened her decision to pursue a novel venture in her life. She also deepens her gratitude towards late Mrs Chloe De Soysa, the Founder Chairwoman of Women’s Chamber of Commerce, who uplifted Uma’s motivation to incline towards success; “she always encouraged and praised me for being both a parent and a professional, and it felt just the right thing to do”.

Channelling this audacious perspective, Uma stepped into a life-shifting decision, inaugurating the journey of Propylon One by July 2020. Laying the foundation based on four cornerstones of Trust, Quality, Professionalism and Reliability, Propylon One stands as a ‘Boutique System Integrator’. “Prioritising quality over quantity, we provide the full spectrum of services in transforming manual business operations into digitalised processes using comprehensive ERP solutions”, she adds, deliberating on their speciality in Acumatica cloud ERP and Microsoft ERP solutions.

Driving her primary focus to incorporate internationally standardised practices and local insight to the Sri Lankan system integrators’ community, Uma relies on providing her customer’s a fulfilled and contented service. “We focus a lot on assuring customer success in every piece of work we do,” she states when acknowledging their motives in providing the most authentic products of unrivalled services from the very beginning of Propylon One. Accumulating the latest trends like Cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to accommodate the digitalisation of growing businesses has been very convenient both to Propylon One and their customers. This further assisted in a pandemic supporting businesses to adapt efficiently whilst providing them with a digitally resilient and evident possibility to “Access their solution from anywhere”.

Uma is delighted to partner up with Acumatica, introducing novelty into the Sri Lankan ERP industry, “giving more and better options to local growing businesses to leapfrog their competition”. With its hard-earned reputation in the industry with over 8000 customers worldwide, Acumatica cloud ERP is trusted to be a reliable and effective cloud-based solution to provide the customers of Propylon One with a highly satisfactory customer experience. This prime choice in partnership has paved collaborations with Design Studio, a prominent garment manufacturer Design Studio caters for European high street retailers including Primark, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, ASOS, Next and River Island. We are proud to have them in our portfolio, within this short period.”

Progressing into the future, Uma highlights some vital areas that are chosen to expand within Propylon One during the next two years. Firstly, she hopes to expand the product portfolio whilst “becoming an ISV for Acumatica where we add-on solution capabilities to the core product, to cater specific areas of need of the local and global clients in the manufacturing industry”.

Secondly, Uma endures growing Propylon One under the essence of strong mentorship. “I have taken close to 100 individuals under my mentorship in the past two decades, and I take immense pleasure seeing them being successful professionals”, she adds, contemplating on the victory portrayed by her team. In addition, she desires to launch management trainee and internship programs to fabricate a “resource pool of certified consultants”, to face hurdles through the industry’s best practices and technical products. Furthermore, Uma plans to expand footprints into the APAC and Middle East region while developing its current interest in the Sri Lankan and Maldivian Market. Also as a socially responsible business, Propylon One pledges 5% of profit for CSR, giving back to the local communities. She also shares the dates of their first CSR project scheduled to initiate in January 2022.

In conclusion, Uma shares a personal quote she accepts as true motivation to progress in life and business. “You cannot halt change. Every aspect of our lives changes with time. Look at change positively, and you will be amazed by the new paths and opportunities that it will lay in front of you, and it is “OK” if you are a little not ready to take it on. You could never enjoy your journey fully if you know exactly what’s going to happen.”

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