Lawyer-Turned-Businesswoman – Nimisha Welgama, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs of Ideal Group

A proud product of Ladies’ College, Nimisha Welgama, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs of the Ideal Group, is a well-rounded lady who is an experienced Lawyer. Before joining the Group in 2017, she completed her LLB at the University of Warwick, UK and thereafter she completed the Bar Vocational course at Lincoln’s Inn, London, before pursuing her legal career by practicing as a Solicitor for many years at two prestigious law firms in Sydney.

As the Director Legal and Corporate Affairs, Nimisha is responsible for the Group Legal team and the Group Marketing teams, and her main broad responsibilities are to mitigate/manage all group legal related matters and to manage the group marketing and communications. 

“I’m lucky to have two hardworking teams reporting to me. With group marketing, we manage most of our work in-house, with our very creative team, and in legal, we have a very experienced and diligent team. Given that the Ideal Group is a diversified conglomerate present in several sectors, it is crucial that these two group shared services cater to all requirements. Apart from these two teams, I also get involved in various new projects with the most recent being my involvement as a director in Ideal Takas Pvt Ltd, an e-commerce platform (Takas.lk) acquired by one of the Ideal Group companies in 2020. I like having a varied role where I can develop myself and learn new skills!

Explaining a challenging situation Nimisha had to face as a lawyer, she said, “During my career as a practicing Lawyer in Australia, I constantly faced challenging situations. I regularly handled urgent cases and then had to prepare and appear before courts within a very short period of time. This was a daunting and huge challenge, especially when faced with some of the best Lawyers as my opponents! I’ve always had to think on my feet, learn quickly, and meet very tight deadlines.” 

“Overall, my experience as a commercial lawyer in Australia taught me to face any situation head on from an early age. Through hard work, discipline, perseverance and good working relationships, I managed to progress my legal career within a short span of time. During this time, I met some wonderful colleagues and the skillset I gained from my legal career, I now apply at the Ideal Group.

Furthermore, referring to an ongoing legal issue, Nimisha stated,

“The current Court system in Sri Lanka tends to prolong cases for years, with hardly a timely solution available to the person/company concerned. I believe this is an issue faced by most companies when considering legal action, wondering if it’s worth it.”

The young Director is an inspiration to young women who are looking to succeed in their careers. She reflects that any success she has achieved, is solely due to her parents. “I was raised in a household where my parents always supported and nurtured my sister and I to be fiercely independent and successful women. My guiding lights and female role models have always been my very strong and resilient mother and my two grandmothers who raised me.

“From a very young age, my father taught my sister and I to be educated, ambitious, financially independent, and instilled in us to pursue our dreams, irrespective of gender. My father, the Chairman of the Ideal Group and the Deputy Chairman, Mr. Aravinda De Silva, are both advocates of gender equality and empowerment and this is testament to the fact that the Ideal Group has women represented at all levels, especially in leadership positions. There is no discrimination against women at the Ideal Group, given that traditionally, the Automotive sector, is a male dominated sector.”

In conclusion, Nimisha stated that her vision for a young woman is to “always persevere, think positively, stand up for what is right and pursue your goals”.

A quote that resonates with her is, “Anything you can imagine, you can create” – this she truly believes especially in the current context where women are being afforded more opportunities and the world is slowly progressing (a long way to go of course!) in favour of gender equality.

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