Paving the Way to a Worthwhile Change – the Founder of Velox Partners, Lihini Fernando

Dedicating herself to the service and betterment of others by a leading choice, Lihini Fernando, Lawyer, Politician, and Founder of Velox Partners, a firm specializing in Legal Outsourcing leads the many roles she plays as a woman with quality and substance, remaining true and authentic to her personality. While she looks to flourish her inner self with the thoughtful motive of establishing a real change, Lihini looks back at her journey and paves the way to a new future of hope as she involves herself in the journey wholeheartedly with diligence. 

Introducing herself as an attorney at law by profession, a politician by choice, a businesswoman by thought and action, a devoted wife and a caring mother by love, Lihini embraces the different roles she plays with affection and commitment. She runs her own legal firm named Velox Partners with a devoted team of lawyers, primarily focusing on building the legal process outsourcing services within Sri Lanka. Focusing on clients in Sri Lanka as well as overseas, the firm objectively looks forward to building and establishing the business in such a way that it can venture to provide more opportunities to the lawyers and paralegals in Sri Lanka and bring in supplemental revenue to the country in the long run.

While Lihini occupies the high seat of a leading law firm, her passionate heart, which inspired her to be involved in making a factual change that society could benefit from, drove her to become a politician. She is currently a local municipal council member representing the Municipal Council of Moratuwa . She entered the field of politics in the year 2018 with the belief that if she wanted to make a change, she would have to be the change. She doesn’t stem from a political family and it is her sheer grit, gut, talent and passion for change is that makes her survive in politics.

“I noticed that in Sri Lanka, women need to take a more central stage when it comes to leadership, especially when it comes to politics. The representation of politics in Sri Lanka’s parliament is 5.3%. But if we take the population of women in Sri Lanka, it’s close to about 52%. So, the question remains whether the voice of women is truly represented in the decision-making spheres. I joined politics with the motive of bringing in an effective change in women’s leadership. “ 

As Lihini strongly claims, in order to make a lasting change, you need the right kind of people making the right kinds of decisions in the right places. And with the visionary thought of providing leadership to that cause, she took the bold decision of entering the predominantly male-dominant field of politics. In a not-so-easy journey as a lady politician looking to make a genuine change, Lihini has thrived to tackle the many challenges she faced within the rather male-dominant, male-centric, and patriarchal political space, with her strong personality supporting her astute decision-making process. In order to make even a slight change, with the objective of bringing a women’s point of view Lihini stood solid on the slippery grounds of political leadership and continued with an honest mindset to cater to her vision of revolutionary transformation. Apart from all this, she also assists her husband in his businesses as a co-director, putting her best efforts into handling their family business of Finez Furniture and Interiors, while embracing her most valuable role as a mother to her son. 

“There are multiple roles we as women have to play, and it is not easy. Nevertheless, if you make up your mind and strive hard, you can succeed. Be determined and never give up. Always believe in yourself and believe that you are doing the right thing. Be an example to others. Maintain an attitude of believing there’s always room out there, there’s always an opportunity to grow as an individual. Your success lies in how hard you work.”

When it comes to women, a pathway to a career is not created easily as they have to overcome the challenges while challenging the conventions. Within a patriarchal culture that is progressively accepting the changes, Lihini claims that women are required to strive hard and carve their own path and persistently continue on their journey. 

“You have to have a goal in mind while also believing in the journey you are taking; it should be a journey that inspires the people around you, which will result in getting more people involved in the journey you are taking towards a real purpose. It is not only about becoming a leader but leading together. Taking the steps of the journey together, while getting people to believe in you and your purpose, is very important. Women must always support each other so that we rise together” 

If one remains authentic, and if things are done in the right way with the right intention, others will see through it and it’ll reflect in one’s actions. Though it is hard for women, Lihini believes women can certainly change the dimensions of leadership. As she sees it, women take a far more empathetic approach to dealing with challenges and crises. They are able to look at issues in a more holistic manner and with an inclusive perspective. So, even though times are tough and have always been hard for women, Lihini truly believes that they can strive to make a change and keep at it for the betterment of society. 

The potential for contribution remains expansive, as Lihini states the probable prospects for women are still to be engaged in with the evidential statistics. In a country where 52.8% of the population are women and 56% are university-educated women, the statistics of women who are employed remain at 30–35%. As Lihini highlights, there is a huge gap in the number of women employees who have the qualifications to contribute immensely to the growth of the country’s economy. Highlighting the possible space for effective change, she suggests bringing in a more regulated system that is inclusive where one respects all religions races, irrespective of political affiliations and where issues and problems can be resolved without political biases. Sri Lanka needs proper governance systems structures, policies that focus on taking the nation forward, putting her maximum efforts to bring the suggested change into action while maintaining her authentic self keeps Lihini on track as a leading figure on a journey of change that hopes to be led on to the correct destination.

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