Enthralled by an impulse to explore the world out there and find what suits her best, Prabodhanie Wanigasundara, Chief Operating Officer at DOK Solutions Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, left behind the rural city of Matale and reached Colombo in pursuit of her dreams. Such a decision also came hand in hand with abandoning her parents’ desires to become a doctor, a conventional desire that is present in almost any family.
Despite getting qualified for the University entrance under Bio Science stream, Prabodhanie opted to trail her higher studies in the field of marketing with CIM, UK. With sheer dedication and belief in herself that resulted in Prabodhanie joining the private sector, she started her first job as a multi-duty clerk in A Baur & Company. “That’s the place where I learnt basic principles of corporate culture and solid business ethics”, she shares.
Upon receiving partial qualification in her line of education, Prabodhanie moved on to Dialog, where she gained the exposure to work for a corporate sales team under a very dynamic business environment. Next, having worked for SLT PEO TV as a corporate sales manager, Prabodhanie was able to enhance her abilities for the better in terms of designing solutions, presenting and convincing the customers with successful negotiations. It was in the midst of it all that she chose to put in the time and effort towards completing her studies, thus graduating with a master’s degree from the University of Wales, UK.
Joining AB Securities which is a member of Abans group as the Manager of Sales & Marketing in the year 2012 led Prabodhanie on the road to a promotion soon after her three years of successful tenure. And so, taking over the subsidiary DOK Solutions Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. – a leading record management and a BPM service provider in the country – was simply the beginning of having come hitherto. Proudly stating her achievement of getting a wide exposure across a diverse set of industry verticals Prabodhanie says, “Currently I count for 22 years of experience in sales & marketing, operations and overall strategic business management.”
Occupying three state-of-the-art document archiving warehouses, DOK is a leading player in the record management industry of the country. It is a fully-fledged document digitizing and data entry center, located in Orion City, Colombo 09 focusing on the BPM services.
Possessing over a decade of experience in the industry, it offers a wide range of process management services including physical archiving, document digitizing/scanning, data capturing, document management solutions, insurance policy management and other business process management services to both, the public and private sector institutes of Sri Lanka. “DOK is acclaimed with the prestigious ISO 27001 certification for information security management which is of paramount importance to a BPM service provider. Further, DOK Solutions is also accredited with ISO 9001 and 45001”, Prabodhanie says.
DOK works on serving a wide range of customers that include leading banks, insurance companies, finance companies, private hospitals, educational institutes, manufacturing companies, retail sector and other corporate establishments. Explaining to us her part within the corporation, she says, “My role as the COO is to provide the operational and strategic leadership to this company where I have managed to grow from 16 staff members to 100+ employees serving more than 100 elite corporate customers across different industry verticals”.
Overseeing the entire operation as well as business development for the company, Prabodhanie has worked for seven years at DOK and has thus far managed to grow the top line by sevenfold ever since. “I always have confidence in my team who are an integral part of the success of the company, and they are the lifeblood of DOK”. Naming the empowerment received by her superiors as the second most critical factor in her journey of success, she talks of the freedom and flexibility entrusted in her to run operations her own way. “The Board of Directors of DOK Solutions has always supported my initiatives and their confidence in me and my team has taken us to where we are today”, Prabodhanie expresses with a deep sense of gratitude.
When asked on the uncertainty in the macro environment, which is one of the main challenges faced by business leaders today, Prabodhanie emphasizes on the importance of having a solid business continuity plan coupled with proper risk management methods by any establishments. DOK has invested in technology and the needful infrastructure to face the challenges by reacting fast to the recent events such as COVID 19 outbreak, the political unrest in the country, and the business disruption due to fuel crisis. “We have equipped our staff with the required equipment and the connectivity for remote working wherever possible, in the case of essential services we ensured the minimum staff levels were maintained using relevant passes and even by operating from alternative locations’’, she says.
One of the Critical success factors of DOK is its agile business model with the flexibility to facilitate their customers’ demands fast. Especially due to providing their services to clients’ falls under the essential service category quick response and high availability are key demands of the clients. Furthermore, the company also applies lean operational models in all services by minimizing the waste to the best possible level. “Initiatives such as warehouse management automation which we deployed way before the pandemic and other challenges really became saviors during this turbulence, which helped us identify many redundancies and improve our process efficiencies and effectiveness to a greater extent”, Prabodhanie explains. She also goes on to voice that being a solution provider instead of a mere service provider has given them the upper hand in maintaining strong business relationships with the customers. “This has ensured our sustainability through storms in this BANI – ‘brittle’, ‘anxious’, ‘nonlinear’ and ‘incomprehensible’ – world.”
As a company that not only maintains equality in terms of gender but rather in race, age, social class, etc., DOK welcomes members from a diverse socio-economic background including school leavers and fresh graduates, who are all provided with solid training programs that are allocated to them. It helps in the evolution of their job-related skills and competencies as well as gain other soft skills that help mold them in the face of the demands in the corporate world.
Giving us an insight on the organization’s special internal initiative called “DOK empowering female leaders”, she says, “We recognize the best performing female employee annually and recognize her parallel to women’s day celebration every year thus taking them to the next level leadership roles”. Providing the female workers with necessary exposure in order to help in the development of their career, DOK assigns challenging projects involving independent site operation management while also building and maintaining effective relationships with the customer. “As a female leader I always want to contribute towards grooming the next level of female leaders and I have provided equal opportunity for female workers in their career progression with required mentoring, training, and exposure”. Prabodhanie says.
An entrepreneur no doubt needs to be fearless in taking calculated risk and making decisions at the right time. Seeking to advise all the upcoming entrepreneurs out there Prabodhanie says, “Get closer to your target market and have a sound understanding on their likes, preferences, demands and especially on where they see value”. With the market being all about value creation, Prabodhanie encourages all to co-create value by hearing the “voice of customers”.