Dilrukshan Fernando, ZENGAGE’s Chief Executive Officer, is a man of many talents. He’s a serial entrepreneur, the CEO of two globally recognized companies, a Keynote speaker, and a 10X business growth guru. But, most importantly, his spectacular results have entrenched his reputation as the go-to consultant for startups and entrepreneurs seeking 10X growth all around the world.
Before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey, he formerly worked with WNS, John Keells Holdings, Central Finance, and Softlogic. However, Dilrukshan had always desired to start his own company, and thus ZENGAGE was established out of his passion for Entrepreneurship.
Dilrukshan, speaking about how ZENGAGE is overcoming challenges caused by the COVID-19 and the solutions used to combat them, says that the pandemic hit hard in March 2020, just like it did for all other businesses. As a result, several consultations and coaching were cancelled. However, he claims that it has expanded the company’s horizons across geographical borders. They conducted market research on global startup brands, and based on the findings, they evaluated the brand’s entire business strategy, which was incredibly eye-opening.
He added they realized it was time to change gears and that the only way to move forward was to embrace technology. As a result, ZENGAGE revamped all of its coaching, training, and consultation offerings to be delivered via virtual platforms. It wasn’t easy at first to keep clients and audiences engaged in virtual forums. However, they collaborated with international consultants and implemented techniques that improved their interaction with their target audience. The brand currently has clients in seven countries, and all of its operations are automated. Dilrukshan expresses that his organization has evolved into a pandemic-proof process that continues to engage uninterrupted.
When asked about the brand’s creative strategies and how Dilrukshan helps firms grow, he answers that the company believes that one solution does not fit everyone. Each entrepreneur is distinct in their way, with specific ideas, products, and, of course, customers. As a result, every client who approaches ZENGAGE will go through a screening process before being offered fitting solutions. Dilrukshan emphasizes that he has a specialized team of consultants who meet with each customer, examine their complete business model or business idea, and then provide an appropriate solution.
He says that at ZENGAGE, they are very clear about the deliverables and make sure that every client with whom they come into contact gets a pertinent solution. For context, during the brand’s Entrepreneurship Masterclass, they promised that each student would launch their business by the end of six weeks. The brand recently celebrated its 150th Entrepreneur launching his own business, which Dilrukshan considers to be a breakthrough achievement despite the challenging times.
On central marketing planning, Dilrukshan believes that marketing is the beating heart of any company, pumping blood to all other departments. He feels that in today’s environment, where uncertainty is the norm, a dynamic marketing plan that can adapt to market changes and achieve customer-focused results is essential. With that in mind, the marketing team at ZENGAGE is heavily invested in researching the behavioural patterns of entrepreneurs and startups both locally and globally. “We analyze their difficulties and predict the outcomes they need, then tailor our product portfolio to meet their needs,” he said. One of the most critical aspects of the brand’s marketing strategy is that they make an effort to interact with customers personally rather than relying on mass media efforts. Dilrukshan claims his executions are simple because he understands the problems that today’s entrepreneurs and startups face and provides the most feasible solution.
In light of the brand’s recent successes, the CEO emphasizes that one of the keys to the brand’s success is celebrating every tiny victory. This year, though, they had several significant milestones to commemorate on ZENGAGE’s calendar. One of the predominant achievements was the debut of two major products, ZENGAGE Masterminds and ZENGAGE Capital. In terms of progress, they recently crossed 500+ startup coachings, as well as the 150th business launch from a Masterclass student, as Dilrukshan previously stated. In addition, he noted that the brand was successful in reaching out to UAE’s Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Business Owners.
When asked what methods he would recommend to CEOs in these challenging times, Dilrukshan says that first and foremost, CEOs must change their thinking. The pandemic is no longer an excuse; it has been a reality for more than a year. Even a toddler learns to walk within a year, yet according to Dilrukshan, some business leaders still believe this is a justification to piggyback. It is not because of a pandemic that someone is strolling on oppressive situations, but instead, they are unwilling to adapt and change. As a result, he encourages, “It’s past time for you to abandon your previous business models and adapt to market developments. Please speak with your teams to gather their feedback. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new.”
Finally, Dilrukshan emphasizes that businesses need not wait for competitors to establish a plan before following them, saying, “Don’t be a follower, be an inventor.” According to him, using the same techniques as a year ago will not yield the same outcomes. Whether we like it or not, the world has changed, and it will never be the same again. Therefore, it is critical to modify strategy, processes and upskill oneself and one’s business using technology and automation. If one wants to be successful in today’s business world, they must make friends with change. Dilrukshan advises being flexible, not clinging to methods and techniques that are no longer applicable in today’s industry, and accepting that this is a new world.