Rekindling the ‘Sri Lanka-ness’ through a memorable touch on the taste buds, Janith Kashan, Chairman of Thambapanni Spirits aims to achieve a lasting taste of liquor for years in the spirit industry!
Setting off as a pioneering venture, Janith conquered an entrepreneurial streak. Being a proud alumnus, he completed both his primary and secondary education at Sussex College – Galle. Flying to New Zealand to pursue his higher education was the next big step in his career. Balancing the gained overseas experience and qualifications along with his attitude to express his skills in new avenues, Janith found new opportunities for him to apply his knowledge into. “I am an open-minded individual who is keen on socialising and networking with new people from all walks of life”. Keeping up an upbeat persona seems to be his go-to, engaging in new proposals, challenges, and hurdles without being demotivated. “Taking up challenges is exciting. I face them as a learning experience instead of simply wavering in the face of it.”
Janith also has widened his knowledge by engaging in few other successful projects in the fields of e-commerce and hospitality, before commencing Thambapanni Spirits. Some such initiations are the Travel Hub Asia (Pvt) Ltd and Trip Geni – A hotel rated Distribution Company established in 2016 and currently serving 600+ Hotels.
Establishing Thambapanni Spirits started in 2020 amidst the pandemic, with all the odds stacked up against it. Enduring an audacious attitude to reach remarkable altitudes, Janith marks the presence of the company in onshore as well as the offshore markets, as a flavoured spirit made using organic spices. Sri Lankan spices already having a strong reputation in the international market, Thambapanni Spirits ventured in making sure that the world diverts a new wave of appreciation for it!
“A first-timer enjoying the beverage, without a doubt, will feel the smoothness with a craving aroma to top it over,” Janith expresses his passion demonstrating the key aspect of starting a business and about what is offered to the market.
Thambapanni Spirits offers an array of products, each with a different flavour for the consumers to experience. Cinnamon Vodka, a specialty of Thambapanni Spirits, is one of the highlyrated products among consumers. Janith recommends his spirits proudly and is very keen on receiving feedback from their new client. “Feedback is great! It opens vivid angles to help fuel and invest in the future development of the brand”. As an entrepreneur who is keen on feedback, Janith cares more to offer his best to the market, instead of the bare minimum. Protruding quality over mediocrity, Thambapanni Spirits drives the company towards a change for the better. The company is invested in allocating funds to research and development of beverages, by blending new techniques with traditional ones, to sustain its recognition in the global arena.
In a nation facing the adverse effects of history’s worst economic crisis, Janith believes that the export-oriented businesses extend a larger support towards supporting the economy. Thambapanni Spirits prides itself in providing employment opportunities to people both directly and indirectly, further expanding the job market. Furthermore, Janith says, “We are looking into the stakeholders from the agricultural sector to provide them support via increasing their business through Thambapanni Spirits operations. With the fall of the forex reserves of the country, export oriented industries such as ours can provide the support intended in bringing foreign currencies into the nation. Therefore, the agriculture industry is a good place to start with”.
Being a daring but calculated risk-taker, Janith likes to consult his ideology and arrive at a decision, based on the requirements and challenges of the situation. Abiding by the true characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, Janith himself takes multiple risks to develop the Thambapanni brand, by repelling comfortable paths. Instead, he channels intellectual thinking into the decisions, to prosper towards making the brand an undeniable one!
People driven towards success do have their roots deepened in the bonds that they cherish the most, and for Janith – it’s his family. Reflecting back on his early years he believes that his father played a vital role in shaping him into the man that he is today. A parental figure who identified his potential strengths and mentored him to cultivate them further to face both the business and personal facets of his life. His wife, daughter, parents and his siblings are whose opinions that matter to him the most in his life. “As we all know a minute, hour, a day which goes by cannot be brought back. So, I always dedicate my free time to cherishing my family”, Janith elaborates, proving the importance of bonds rooted and created along the way. Another mentor of his is Indika De Alwis, the former CEO of Bookings.lk. To Janith, this is the man who edified him in marketing and business by inducting him into a dynamic team.
The global pandemic, a universal obstacle faced worldwide, has also left drastic effects on Thambapanni Spirits as well. The current political instability and the economic crisis that has constantly plagued the nation is a driving cause for concern. “Starting a business amidst a global pandemic, with instability haunting each move, was quite risky. Our personal networks were also discouraged by endless risks mounted up against us”, Janith explains. But, like all entrepreneurs who believe in their vision, he too stood by his decision to initiate his business in uncertain times, functioning against all odds. Stepping out from the common trend to simply practice “survival”, Janith chose “growth”, enduring all the risks attached to it.
The mind and heart warring against each other, Janith had to balance the notion of ‘postponing’ the establishment of the business or ‘persisting’ towards growth. However, his unfathomable persistence to take up the challenge bore fruits with time. Reflecting back on it, Janith stands glad that his decision has saved his company a vast amount of money. “If I hadn’t started during the pandemic, the hyperinflation that the nation is facing today would have had a massive impact on the planned budget”, Janith states. He is happy to announce that the company is in continuous operation from the day he took the stand in the spirit industry.
As an individual with the right expertise to take on a daring industry, his advice to the budding entrepreneurs is to “be accountable in whatever field you choose to immerse yourselves in. Be it technology, finance, marketing, or a business of your own making, being accountable for your actions and
never limiting yourself to one role. Instead, diversify and have a learning mind-set”. In conclusion, Janith wanted to reaffirm the importance of obeying policies and regulations of the industry you are in, which is crucial for one’s growth to become a better leader for tomorrow.