As Head of Commercial at Food Studio SL, Louzanne Perera’s professional journey commenced within advertising agencies, where she embarked on a path that would shape her career in marketing and communications.


With experiences both locally and internationally, including stints in vibrant cities like Dubai and Malaysia, she quickly immersed herself in the multifaceted world of communications. Starting from the ground up as a trainee copywriter and designer, Louzanne gradually navigated through various roles encompassing client management, sports and events management, and Public Relations, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the entire spectrum of marketing disciplines. Over time, she ascended to positions where she oversaw entire departments and subsidiaries, honing her skills not only in creative expression but also in finance and business management—a knowledge base she seamlessly applies in her current role at Food Studio.


Transitioning from the agency domain to the corporate landscape, Louzanne found herself drawn to the glamorous hospitality industry, where she took on the role of Communications Manager at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts. It was within this vibrant sector that she unearthed her true passion for hospitality, discovering the connection between storytelling and guest experiences. The move to Food Studio as the Head of Marketing & Communications felt like a natural progression, allowing her to leverage her extensive agency background while delving into another facet of hospitality—the world of food and beverage. This transition marked a pivotal moment in her career, where she integrated her expertise in marketing and communications with her newfound enthusiasm for culinary innovation.


As the Head of Commercial at Food Studio, her role transcends traditional boundaries, encompassing responsibilities beyond marketing and communications. In addition to driving brand visibility and engagement, she is tasked with identifying commercial opportunities for expansion and business development. This entails developing and nurturing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders and cultivating mutually beneficial relationships that propel Food Studio towards sustained growth and success.


Reflecting on the transformative period of 2023/24, Louzanne recalls a standout achievement that marks a key moment in the company’s journey. Five years prior, Food Studio embarked on a mission to establish itself as a food court management company, facilitating connections with aspiring restaurateurs and international food franchises eager to venture into Sri Lanka’s culinary scene. The model centred on subletting spaces to these tenants, envisioning a vibrant ecosystem of culinary innovation.


However, amidst the backdrop of economic uncertainty exacerbated by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Food Studio found itself at a crossroad. In response to unprecedented circumstances and the difficulties faced by businesses operating within their spaces, the company shifted its business model. Transitioning towards developing their own food concepts, Food Studio sought greater control over the tenant mix, paving the way for a new chapter of innovation and resilience.


The year 2023/24 emerged as a defining period for Food Studio, marking the initial realization of its strategic shift. This transformative year bore tangible results, reflecting the success of their revamped approach. Today, Food Studio is a formidable entity with three flourishing food courts nestled within the country’s largest mixed developments, boasting a diverse portfolio of 14 robust restaurant brands. Notably, some of these brands have not only competed effectively against international franchise giants but have also garnered remarkable traction within just a year since their inception.


For Louzanne, being actively involved in building these brands from the ground up has been immensely rewarding. Witnessing the organic growth of these ventures through the eyes of consumers has undoubtedly been the highlight of the past year. This achievement not only aligns with Food Studio’s mission of culinary innovation but also underscores the company’s commitment to adaptability and resilience in navigating evolving market dynamics.


Food Studio approaches the task of cultivating a thriving community of ‘foodpreneurs’ and change-makers with a strategic blend of introspection, collaboration, and empowerment. After five years of operation, the company embarked on a journey of self-reflection, returning to the drawing board to reaffirm its purpose and identity. This introspective process allowed them to reevaluate their path and ensure that their values resonate with every member of the team, laying the foundation for a cohesive and aligned organizational culture.


At the heart of Food Studio’s approach is a commitment to collaboration as a central pillar. The management team have prioritized empowering their chefs, providing them with the necessary training and exposure to excel in their craft. Beyond being mere culinary artisans, all Food Studio staff are viewed as key contributors who feel a sense of ownership in the company’s mission and vision. This inclusive approach extends beyond the confines of the kitchen and permeates the entire organization, fostering a culture of mutual respect, support, and collaboration among all stakeholders.


What truly sets Food Studio apart is the family atmosphere cultivated within the team. This familial dynamic creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie, empowering team members to work cohesively towards shared goals. Additionally, Food Studio prioritizes broadening the horizons of their team members’ palates, encouraging them to explore and embrace a diverse range of culinary experiences. By fostering a deep appreciation for the food they create and sell, team members become patrons of the very products they help bring to life, further reinforcing their commitment to excellence and innovation.


Navigating the intricacies of crisis management and event management within the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry requires a strategic approach grounded in agility, adaptability, and proactive foresight, as emphasized by Louzanne. Given the multifaceted challenges inherent in the industry, ranging from intense competition to evolving consumer preferences and regulatory dynamics, she stresses the importance of staying agile and adaptable. This involves being prepared to divert in response to changing market conditions and staying abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and shifts in consumer preferences. Flexibility emerges as a crucial factor for survival and sustained growth in an environment characterised by constant flux.


Central to her approach is the advocacy for a proactive mindset as a fundamental strategy to navigate challenges effectively. By adopting a forward-thinking approach, Louzanne emphasizes the importance of staying ahead of potential challenges rather than merely reacting to them when crises arise. Proactivity enables Food Studio to anticipate and mitigate risks before they escalate, thereby minimising the impact of adverse events on the company’s operations and reputation. This proactive stance not only enhances the company’s resilience but also nurtures a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, positioning Food Studio for long-term success amidst the dynamic landscape of the F&B industry.


As Louzanne looks ahead to 2025, her aspirations for personal and professional growth are deeply intertwined with the company’s mission and vision. While Food Studio has predominantly focused on the Sri Lankan retail market, she envisions a broader impact within the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry, aiming to facilitate the ease of supply chains in the country. Embracing Food Studio’s core principle of “farm to table,” Louzanne seeks to explore ways to add value to the agricultural process and supply chain management, with a steadfast commitment to sustainability.


Additionally, Louzanne and the Food Studio team are keen on expanding certain retail brands to standalone spaces, both within the country and on a global scale. This ambitious endeavour presents a compelling opportunity within the scope of her professional responsibilities, marking the initiation of her foray into franchising. She eagerly anticipates the invaluable insights and experiences that will enrich her professional journey as she navigates this new terrain.


Having been intimately engaged with Food Studio almost since its inception, Louzanne harbours a personal connection to the brand. This deep-rooted attachment emphasises her individual aspirations and professional objectives, which have become inherently intertwined with the company’s continuous growth and success. The pride she derives from witnessing the strides and accomplishments of Food Studio is matched only by her desire to witness its continuous ascension and success in the years to come.


As Louzanne looks towards the future, she remains committed to contributing to the continued success of Food Studio and its community. Through her strategic leadership, innovative initiatives, and dedication to the company’s mission, she seeks to propel Food Studio to new heights of excellence and sustainability, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of the F&B industry both locally and globally.

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