The Underrated Art of Leading with Heart – the Director / Chief Executive Officer of PrintXcel Packaging, Duminda Perera

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. Bred by the school by the sea, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and impeccably brought up by a family full of warmth and love, a true leader was born, who is now invested in creating not only polished employees but unblemished humans. According to him, his continuous animus towards acceptance, kindness, hospitality, and providing guidance has allowed him to be a man greater than any other. Duminda Perera, the Director / Chief Executive Officer of PrintXcel Packaging ([email protected]),- a company dedicated towards lending a golden hand for the successful completion of their customers printing needs, owes all the good in him to his parents and to his alma mater, who he believes to have shaped him into the leader he is today.

Duminda recounts the school days where he was a star in extracurricular activities, laying the early foundations of leadership and teamwork. He states that he has wholeheartedly enjoyed watching those around him grow and has now brought that valuable quality towards his adult life, actively engaged in shaping and affirming the lives of all that are around him. He found his calling in the printing industry out of the blue, as he was originally planning his ascent towards the legal profession, much like his father. He walked into an interview with Uni Walkers in 1992, as a management trainee, without quite knowing what the company he had applied for was. However, his talent had not gone unnoticed, and he was eventually asked to take up the position of management trainee at Uni Walker Packaging. While he was originally offered a sales job in Uni Walker, Duminda has refused given that his mother does not prefer him on a bike, unprotected and vulnerable to accidents. Recognizing this young man’s promising talents, the chairman at that time has created a job that did not exist in that company at the time as a management trainee in production for Duminda to thrive in. He believes that this opportunity offered him the golden push of experience and learning, where he spent 22 years. During this time, his confidence skyrocketed, having held so many positions and successfully serving many roles, equipping him to face any challenge that may come his way. As of today, I have been in the printing industry for 30 proud years of my life at the age of 49, which is self-explanatory of the service I have tendered to the local printing industry,”Duminda stated, humbly and confidently. He was also the youngest COO at Uni Walker.

The protagonist has completed a diploma in printing and technology management at Sri Lanka Institute of printing, a supply chain management programme at an Indian institute of management in Ahmedabad and has also studied in CIM, UK. After his time at Uni Walker, Duminda joined Printxcel group in 2014, which was then known as Printxcel Commercial Printing and proceeded to co-found Printxcel Packaging which now serves many prestigious clients.

According to Duminda, risks are just challenges that hide opportunities. The way he sees it, the launch of the commercial wing of Printxcel in 2014 would have been a rollercoaster of emotions which he was already equipped to face with the countless difficulties he had gone through in his 22 years of experience. The dream packaging company was in my mind, and that’s what you see today. It is an ongoing process of improvement. I very much appreciate and thank the Group CEO , the board of directors who kept full trust in me to grow this company as per the mind plan which only I knew”. He added. “We print to grow our customers’ business, that’s our prime genuine focus. Then I believe customers will always look after the supplier as a partner. Our customers were a great pillar of our success. We want to serve them up to their expectations, and that’s the key focus at Printxcel packaging as a company. We will continue to give a delightful experience to our customers, with novelty always adding up to the total, without sticking to stale business strategies. We need to run on par with the customer to support them to win the race in any commercial business. All the initial barriers we overcame as our prime focus was to build our customers’ businesses genuinely. , still take this same objective very seriously without any compromise at any cost.”

It is no secret that the protagonist absolutely loves what he engages in. He believes that this passion and commitment, which he shares with other employees of Printxcel, is at the spine of the company’s success. If you do something you don’t like, it is called stress. When you do what you like, it is called passion”, he stated. “The team at Printxcel packaging carries the Lion Attitude. The team practises the 6 key behaviours of a LION in their mental space, as we should always challenge ourselves to support our customers. Namely, six lessons of the Lion; 1. our goal is the only way to survive; 2. fail and evolve; 3. focus is the key; 4. always trust each other; 5. survival is everything; 6. have fun in life. We need to enjoy the journey of life while we are on it , so ‘fun’ is important. ” From Dumindas’s point of view, the company’s mission and vision will only have meaning if their customers’ mission and vision can grow with the help of the company. ” packaging is called the ‘silent seller’. As the CEO I need to look at the visions of the key stakeholders: – the owners or the board of directors, our customers, and our employees. With that, I have made the vision and mission of Printxcel packaging. This is done with love and passion , as we not only gain but also give something in return to society for the betterment of people’s lifestyles. That’s how we do our business.”. Duminda gave his expert opinion. Printxcel aims to become the most innovative, customer-oriented, and dependable printer in Sri Lanka and to create life time customers together with the most innovative and team-oriented set of employees.

The ‘Can Do’ attitude of Dumindas and the team inspired by him has managed to make challenges look like nothing but a chance to advance themselves, making Printxcel a force of nature. Being a publishing company that started packaging in 2014 and an FMCG that started commercial printing to serve the B2B segment has been tough but made easy with a team that is excellent at diversification and takes calculated risks, boldly and fearlessly. Positioning themselves in the B2B segment has been a piece of cake, thanks to the elicited confidence Duminda has placed in his customers with his extensive working experience. The protagonist believes that most of their success is due to the genuine care they have placed towards serving their customers, getting into their shoes when necessary. We believe we need to grow together with our customers as the centric point. We cater to a cream of customer segment, but we do it to delight them. That is one reason that we have never lost a customer who started with us so many years ago,” he added.

As a leader, Duminda takes his role very seriously when it comes to empowering his employees. My role is to build people. They will build the company to gain positive results. A happy employee will always make the company’s customers delighted. That’s a mantra,” he stated confidently. The contentment of each employee is important since every stage of the process matters and influences the success of the venture greatly. In a world where managing partners are focused on profiting and exploiting, Duminda is a one-of-a-kind leader who is determined to see his people rise alongside him and with him.“In the printing industry of SL, I strongly feel and believe we need to enhance the “Can Do” attitude of the industry’s middle men, from assistant operator level onwards. We need to give them confidence and courage. We need to mirror them and polish their skills to achieve their life goals and give a better lifestyle to their families as well. By doing this, we help a larger community group as well. We need to train them to be positive in their mind space, not feel the past failures pull them back, but encourage them to be confident in themselves to face the future with ease. Furthermore, as leaders, we need to produce more and more leaders to take the industry to better levels in time to come. “, Duminda added as a proactive and kind leader who is a rising star in pioneering towards making the corporate world a better place.

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