From the heart and ‘sole’! | Daily News

From the heart and ‘sole’!

Success cannot be measured purely by good grades. Unparalleled work experience opportunities and real world exposure accelerates the talents and inborn skills in individuals. D K Thuranga Dinesh is a perfect example to this testimony.

The youth had worked under a number of companies and institutes, gleaning knowledge and experience from everything he had encountered. The turning point in his life came when he got the opportunity to work in a shoe repairing and key cutting company which had several braches in Liberty Plaza, Crescat Boulevard Mall and Majestic City.

“I was involved in the key cutting division. As I was engaged in the process I realized that I the work was simple for me as I have been working in similar fields before. As time passed I realized that it was time that I thought about doing something of my own,” Dinesh recalled.

He started a small store in the remote areas of Battaramulla with Rs 46, 000 and some money he had gotten by selling a land which had belonged to his mother. The total amounted up to around Rs 1, 50, 000.

“I used this to pay the key money, rent the shop, build the machines, and buy the goods. I built the machines by myself because I had the knowledge of what is required from them. I did all the work at the shop by myself and save enough money to buy other equipments which will make work easier for me so that I can expand my store. It took time but result was rewarding as I was able to move my store into the Battaramulla town in a short span,” he said.

He notes that it had been no walk in the park since he had to handle everything by himself and increase his customer base. He had only a few clients at the beginning but his amicable approach and quality service soon gained him popularity and more customers.

“I realized that I had more opportunity to expand my store if I moved my store to the town. I rented a store in Battaramulla town and then customers began frequenting my store. If a customer walks in with a pair of shoes that needs to be repaired, he will walk out of the store with a satisfied smile. Later if he discovers that he needs a new key made, he will remember that the store has a key cutting section as well,” Dinesh explained how he built up his clientel.

Though he had never engaged in key cutting at his previous work place, Dinesh had followed a two and a half year course on air condition trade at the Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute. He was able to use this knowledge in his key cutting techniques.

“Some people try to initiate something without knowing anything about it. However I was able to make use of my knowledge and experience in the path that I chose to follow,” he said.

A variety of keys from traditional keys which are used on keyholes to the modern electronic keys which come in the shape of a box are available at the store.

“Companies design remotes in different manners. A remote is more of a safety device than a key in many cases. Therefore it may be difficult to provide a duplicate of a remote at times for something like a roller door. However we do have some dummies with us for vehicles so it may be possible to provide a copy of it,” he expressed adding that they have dummies of 99 percent of the varieties of keys for locks found in Sri Lanka.

Later he moved his store from Battaramulla to Rajagiriya. The store now had three sections: key cutting, shoe repairing and a mini shore room which displays shoes manufactured by Dinesh. Leather and Rexine shoes are made under the brand ‘Master Dinesh’. Though the footwear is made up of Rexine the outward appearance of the shoe is that which had been set off by a leather shoe. The shoes come in a variety of sized up to size 50. He also manufactures casual shoes for youth at the outlet.

“Many do not like to seek employment in these fields because the society looks down upon them. They have a biased opinion about them and refers to anyone who are engaged in this sort of work as ‘shoe repairer’ or key cutter’ in an unsavoury tone. Therefore there are always voids for employees in such fields,” he explained.

Dinesh notes that though the society is prejudiced against these fields, a shoe repairer or a key cutter provides a service which is essential in the society today.

“You seek their help is your shoe gets damaged on the road or if you need a key made. At times they bring shoes which are highly damaged to us and we do our best to amend the damage and present them with a finished version that they can be satisfied with. We even alter things like the height of the shoe so that the customer can feel at ease with their product,” he said.

He notes that many places take a long span to give the product back to the customer – even a couple of weeks at times. Dinesh and his team not only give back the product in a shorter span but also see that the customer gets a quality product that they can be satisfied with.

“That is the key to our success. Our charges are quite reasonable too. We customize the shoe according to the customer’s requirements too. That’s why a client keeps coming back to us,” Dinesh concluded with a smile. 


 

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