Initially aspiring to be a pilot which evolved into a variety of ambitions over time, Nethni Dhanapala eventually found her true calling in teaching. Longing to establish her own business with the tremendous enthusiasm that she had towards the field, Nethni brought to life Rotherham London College of Education not so long ago.
Born in 1995, Nethni is the eldest in the family, followed by two siblings; a sister and a brother, both of whom are pursuing undergraduate degrees in fashion designing and automobile engineering respectively. With parents who are well established in the Middle East and a husband who works in the pharmaceutical industry, Nethni also mentions having a wonderful daughter by her side.
Gaining her primary education in the College of World Education and secondary education at Atamie International School, Nethni stayed on course with her higher studies, thus graduating from the University of Greenwich in the UK with a degree in International Business that specializes in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As a believer in Christ, Nethni also recalls signing for the choir and participating in jovial church activities, moments that she enjoyed dearly especially due to her deep interest in music since girlhood.
Progressing in life with plenty of rejections and failures, Nethni tried her hand at multiple business concepts, none of which worked out as she intended it to. Upon entering the education and teaching industry, her ardour for youth education is what eventually led her places. Although initially taking a different route by working for several companies including her family business, it dawned on her that Human Resources was certainly not her speciality.
Finally taking on her career trail as a lecturer, Nethni’s role was short-lived. “I had to quit my job as a lecturer because I was pregnant with my daughter”, she explains, “As a mother, wife and as a woman wanting to succeed in the corporate world, I wanted a career where I could prioritize both family and career without an issue”. And so, finding the best ways to make the most out of her situation, Nethni went through a phase of serious planning and consideration that steered her towards establishing her own Academic Centre in 2020. “I started my own education institution as Rotherham London College of Education with the intention of uplifting my local community by primarily focusing on providing quality education for a better tomorrow”.
Nethni navigates her business on the foundation of equality and respect. She highlights the importance of presenting such values in any work environment in order to contribute toward women’s empowerment and advancement across the world. “Being acknowledged and treated with respect contributes to a great work environment in which employees and customers are satisfied, loyal, engaged, and motivated to remain with us and grow”, she states.
Diversity and inclusivity are no doubt beneficial for every business. While products and prices can be emulated, Nethni believes that a great culture of customer service cannot. Treating clients and employees with true respect and decorum requires the application of many more ethics such as integrity, honesty, teamwork and accountability so as to ensure the quality the company provides automatically falls into place.
When it comes to defining women’s empowerment – a title of late that is utilized in many aspects of women’s lives, including the economic, social and political spheres
Nethni finds its meaning through the recognition of powerful work women already being implemented on a day-to-day basis. Nethni also stresses on the crucial necessity for the health and socioeconomic development of families, communities, and nations to empower women with respect and equality. “When women are safe, happy and productive, they can realize their greatest potential. They can contribute to the workforce, their families and raise happier healthier generations.”
Sharing with us her road bumps through the journey, Nethni accepts that challenges are a part of everyone’s life. “I’ve dealt with discrimination and rejection my entire life and after my pregnancy, I suffered from postpartum depression for a considerable amount of time”, she says, “Being a mother while running RLCE is challenging, but I was able to overcome these hurdles with the help of my family and friends, for whom I will be eternally grateful”.
When faced with disagreements, Nethni ensures to handle them by not only being understanding but rather being a good listener and working towards a better solution. “Worst case, if the disagreement continues after all the talking is done, I respectfully leave the table on a good note without any further conflicts and focus on the next best options available in making my plans feasible”.
In the process of building her resilience through all obstacles, Nethni also dedicated her focus to spirituality. “If we do not believe in ourselves as women, we cannot conquer our obstacles”, she says. While discrimination and prejudice continue leaving women who abandon their leadership posts, Nethni encouraged all not to accept the status quo and bear defeat. Sharing with us her own words of wisdom, she says, “Every woman is a symbol of power and dignity. Believe in yourself and put in the effort, there is nothing you can’t do.”