Many people feel that becoming a competent businessman necessitates a solid business history. However, some people defy the odds and choose to put in the effort required to create something spectacular rather than just taking over something that is already successful. Dilshan Wewita, the Managing Director of Pussalla Meat Producers, comes from a family where his parents were not from a business-oriented background, but rather proficient in their academic fields. After schooling at St. Joseph’s College until his Advanced Levels, Dilshan crossed borders towards Australia to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Monash University, Australia. While most of his friends stayed back and decided to continue their lives in Australia, Dilshan was looking forward to flying back to his motherland and being a part of the family business, his dad initiated in 1985, which is now one of the leading poultry businesses in the country.
According to Dilshan, ‘apart from the monthly salary, my parents were getting, my father started this business to make an extra income just with 50 broiler chicks as backyard poultry farming was the first stage in this triumph tale.’ As he mentioned, he wasn’t ever forced into taking over or assuming responsibility for the firm; rather, it was his genuine passion for commerce and to take forward his father’s untried efforts to success.
Obtaining a business certification before joining the field, he claims, has a substantial impact. It was a medium-scale business with all its operations situated at Kosgama in the Seethawaka region, and its functions were restricted to producing chicks, broiler farming, and meat processing for their own business requirements. At that time, they had approximately 100 employees, ranked approximately 15th in the national level in the livestock industry, and is now the country’s largest and the only fully integrated poultry company, with 100% local ownership. The company has its own Feed Mill, Grandparent Farms, Parent Farms, Commercial Broiler Hatcheries & Farms, Chicken Processing Factory, Sausage Processing facility, and Retail Meat Outlet Chain, employing over 2200 people, spread over 18 farming locations, and owning a reasonable market share in all the sectors of the poultry industry.
Dilshan has played a significant role in the company since 1997 when he returned to Sri Lanka after graduating, and he says he didn’t want to waste any more time overseas because he thought this was the best time to support his family business. Maintaining his strategy of being self-sufficient and forging his path in business, on the other hand, was a risky and wonderful challenge that Dilshan embarked on and masterfully executed. According to him, this accomplishment strategy was implemented progressively, and the tale consisted of a few key milestones.
“Due to a series of unreasonable and unfair events with some of the business counterparts, I managed to convince my father and made a firm decision to stand on our feet running the business, rather than depending on others,” stated Dilshan. He went on to say, “First we started to move out of our operations from Kosgama, one by one to new locations. We built two Parent Farms and three Broiler Farms at the initial stage. Then build a new broiler commercial hatchery, Grandparent farm, and Feed Mill, and so on…. Today we are proud to have the country’s largest grandparent farm, parent farms, Commercial hatcheries, own broiler farms, feed mill, and retail meat outlet chain.”
Their first Meat Shop outlet debuted in 2003, and the firm has grown to own 106 outlets in 18 years. Their items, he claims, reach their loyal client base exclusively through their channels. “Chain wise, we’re within the first 5 companies to have a chain of over 100 outlets in one company,” stated Dilshan.
While the company produces nearly 35% of the total capacity of the Sri Lankan parent stock (PS) market, Dilshan also added that their day-old PS chicks have also been exported to a few countries, such as Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Malaysia prior to the covid19 impact. They are the only company in Sri Lanka to have been able to export livestock.
By the year 2014, the company ventured into the further processed food field, going head-to-head with huge competitors that controlled the field and managed to capture around 12% market share. One of their major tactics for success is to prioritize quality over price. Their key objective is to provide the highest quality items rather than compete on pricing.
By the year 2015, the company took on one of the major challenges, which was the establishment of the poultry feed mill. It now owns the largest feed mill in the country with the capacity to produce 40tons per hour. According to Dilshan, they only use 45-50% of the full capacity, making it clear that they haven’t started to show the true colors of what they can do.
Dilshan considered it a mission to be self-sufficient since he was reliant on other firms for certain aspects and worried about their failure to affect his operation. As a result, their contemporary broiler farms have the highest local output rate. He is convinced that the firm can effectively handle any difficulty that arises as a result of any economic crisis, based on the attainment of such grandiose benchmarks.
Following Dilshan’s steady leadership, Pussalla meat products are achieving major milestones and improvements. While certain elements of the business have already been exported to other countries, he is looking forward to coping with the cost problem that does not match international standards.” Upmarket analyses many processes, such as animal welfare, total quality management, product traceability, and social responsibility, not just price,” said Dilshan, referring to the extensive global markets that he aims at. Whereas Sri Lankan clients prioritize quality standards over-pricing, Pussalla Meat Factory has made it a priority to ensure that their goods are of the highest quality. Concealing or deceiving clients, he claims, does not work. When it comes to enveloping the client psyche, a complete image of excellence and a guarantee of cleanliness always wins.
Further, he added, ‘we have been winning many international and national level local awards on extra-large categories over the past two decades on business excellence, showing our success in the business world and I am extremely fortunate and proud to have a dedicated and honest team of employees working around me for the success of the company’.
“If you feel like there is something out there that you are supposed to be doing, and if you have a passion for doing it, without wishing or thinking about it, go ahead and do it. Unless you decide to make a move, nothing will happen “, stated Dilshan, truly a shining example of perseverance and hard effort resulting in victory.