58 Minutes with Ajit Gunewardene

Spread the love

58 Minutes with Ajit Gunewardene

Written by – Siyathma at OmeBiz

Omentra’s first inaugural session of ‘58 Minutes With’ corporate talk series was held on the 20th of June 2018 from 6:00-7:30pm at Royal College Skills Centre Auditorium. The corporate talk series is held at a convenient period of time for busy executives, who will be able to get the maximum return on an investment of just LKR 2,000.

58 Minutes with Ajit Gunewardene

The first esteemed guest speaker was Mr. Ajit Gunewardene who spoke on how to become a disruptive corporate leader. The event was a huge success and it was completely sold out.  So, if you missed out on what happened here are some of the highlights that happened during ’58 Minutes with Ajit Gunewardene’.

To get to know more about Mr. Ajit Gunewardene

Top 7 Facts about Mr. Ajit Gunewardene for your Inspiration

Everything, as you know, would change

Mr. Gunewardene started off by telling us about his experience at John Keells Holdings in 1982 where everything was done manually. Now, every process has a machine in its production line;

Agriculture – Agritech is a wide variety of technologies and innovations that farmers, distributors and food companies can apply to increase the ability to grow more food for the ever-growing population, in a way that would limit damaging environmental resources. Agritech startups have started to disrupt the status quo by genetically modifying seeds and manufacturing fertilizers and pesticides.

Hospitality – The hospitality industry has been changing over the past few years. Airbnb has brought a competitive edge which has challenged the formal hospitality industry.

Moreover, a recent change that has been brought to the hospitality industry is the collaboration between Amazon and Marriott International where they have introduced Alexa to help guests. Amazon Alexa is a virtual assistant which will provide assistance to hotel guests at the Marriott with room service, information needed, control connected devices and more services. Such innovations lead to less human error and more efficiency.

Healthcare – Robotic surgeries and digital diagnostics have completely changed the game and will continue to make drastic changes that were never thought possible.

Vehicles – We have all seen Autonomous cars in futuristic movies and marvelled at them. Now it has become a reality though AI technologies. Companies such as Tesla and Uber are known for their driverless cars.

As you can see the world is advancing at an accelerated pace and it is very important that your company stays in the race as well and be ahead of the curve. This requires companies to hire Data Scientists and AI Scientists. Companies that refuse to change would simply fall behind and run out of business, eventually.

It is vital that a company keeps up with the trends and has the sufficient knowledge of things that would be leading in the future such as Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.

How to be Disruptive

  • You must find new markets where old markets do not exist. Companies must constantly innovate themselves. The best way to stay ahead of the competition is to always be paranoid about new and better players entering the market.
  • Failure is vital as companies are required to constantly experiment in order to come up with the next best thing. The experience gained by failing will be a huge advantage for the company in the future when further research needs to be carried out.

The PickMe Story

What made Mr. Gunewardene invest in PickMe?

He first considered the market size and how many rides would occur per day. The transportation industry is worth billions as it is a necessity, which means revenue earned per day would be drastically high. Especially in Sri Lanka, there is inefficiency when it comes to transportation and Pickme would be the ideal solution to this problem which is the perfect way to disrupt the market.

Mr. Ajit’s pointers for anyone looking to invest on an individual and their idea was to

  • Make sure that you can trust them. Trust is the most basic and important thing to ensure that your money is all going into the business.
  • The individual must have a mentality of ‘eating grass and drinking water’ when starting up a business.
  • Many companies would have the same idea but it is all up to the execution to ensure that the idea becomes a success. Capabilities and execution are vital!

For an entrepreneur looking for someone to invest in them,

  • It is important that you do not pick the first person who is willing to invest money in your idea.
  • The mindset should be able to understand a startup will not make profits right away – an investor needs to understand that a startup would invest the initial money to build up the business.
  • The investor should not just invest in the first round but should be willing to invest in round 2 and so on.

58 Minutes With Ajit Gunewardene

58 Minutes with Ajit Gunewardene

Networking Session at 58 Minutes with Ajit Gunewardene

The talk show was followed by a networking session and refreshments. Stay tuned for the next episode of 58 Minutes With.