Start-up saga | Daily News


Start-up saga

Winning the Speech Olympiad
Winning the Speech Olympiad

Startup stories are not all about sunshine and roses. They are founded on setbacks and challenges. Dulinda Perera’s venture is no different. Though he calls his entrepreneurship something which happened by “accident”, IKON Marketing founder and CEO says that he has always always loved being an inspiration to others and to prove that the greatest power comes within you.

The 24 year old thoroughly believes in the fact that what makes you a star as well as what draws you back is the same force that originates from within you.

“My journey as an entrepreneur has always been to inspire and reiterate the fact that if you have a strong will, you can make it out there and if I can, you most definitely can and will too!” he says.

He spearheads the full stack digital media company backed by a team of 31 employees. Their clientele includes top brands like Unilever Sri Lanka, Capital Maharaja Pvt Ltd, Ceylon Cold Stores, Hatton National Bank, Indian Summer Global Chain etc. He is also the Managing Director of Green Able Pvt Ltd, an entity dealing with waste water treatment and waste management, the Non Executive Director of IKON Impressions, a full scale production house specializing in digitalizing visuals, and the Director of IKON Labs, a full stack development company dealing with information technology services.

Recalling how he was inspired to find IKON Dulinda says, “From the good old days, I have found communication to be quite an insightful and intriguing art. Since the formation of a brand to the point of a consumer actually engaging with the same is in its own nature a magical process, I fell in love with it. That was the birth of IKON. From that day to date, this is precisely what we’ve been practicing - empowering people who build brands.”

Since its formation back in 2017 IKON has grown beyond his wildest imaginations.

“Back in the day in 2015, right after advanced level I enrolled for CIMA at wisdom business academy. We were quite an energetic bunch back then and were involved heavily in the institute’s student activities. The Group General Manager of the institute, Chinthaka Wijayaratne once very casually asked myself and Lahiru Rambukwella (with whom I later started IKON) to initiate something on social media as a marketing initiative and we being quite active on social media at that point executed a very minute campaign. To our utter surprise, the campaign was a massive success and generated results beyond our wildest expectations. This was our fist eye opener and Wisdom turned to be our very first client. The rest is history,” Dulinda reflected.

What excites him about his line of work most is the amount of youth he gets to inspire. The team he works with is some of the most crazy and talented individuals he has ever met in his life.

After completing his CIM degree

“They are the best in what they do and I firmly believe that they are the reason behind the success we’ve had in a short span. This very success has allowed me to speak out to the Sri Lankan youth via many platforms and each time I do so the excitement behind the eyes of people I meet is priceless. Knowing that I have motivated them to do better and have inspired them to find the inner strength to do more and more is the best and the most exciting thing about my line of work,” he explained.

Apart from running operations in three entities along with IKON Dulinda is also an undergraduate at the Faculty of engineering, University of Moratuwa. He also makes it a point to attend a few functions along the way and speak to people.

“If we actually look into ourselves we waste quite a lot of time on a daily basis. If you plan your tasks accordingly and execute these tasks one by one I believe we could achieve much more than we do at the present context,” Dulinda noted on his ability to multitask, adding that if it is in the heart of somebody and you strongly will it, you will always find time, irrespective of how busy you may be.

After securing the title Champion at Speech Olympiad 2017, he had tried his luck at All Island Best Speaker 2017, the biggest of its kind at the time.

“Ironically as it is, the topic was based upon my crooked nose and read “You are just a crooked nose”. Best Speaker was a massive platform and attracted the best of the best from all over the country. The Final came down to six speakers out of which certain individuals were actually people that I looked up to in terms of public speaking traits. So winning was never in the cards. But I always believe that you should enjoy the moment and that was what I simply did. I can still visualize the stage and all of the people in the audience, the 12 member judge panel and everything else that created that ambience. It was an amazing feeling and to put the cherry on the top, I ended up winning all titles. That is to say, Overall Champion, Best Prepared speech and best impromptu speech,” he expressed.

He believes that his flair for public speaking comes from his mother who used to be the same back when she was schooling.

“Back when we were kids, we used to have small debates at our place between myself and my brother and my mother used to be the judge. That was the starting point to my career in Public speaking. The first notable win was when I was adjudged Champion – All Island Impromptu speech at Future Minds – Talent Tank 2014,” he said.

Queried on what kind of qualities a person needs to possess to become a successful public speaker and Dulinda advises to be genuine and be yourself.

“I see a lot of people trying to imitate a lot of different people, their accents, different articulations etc. What they fail to realize is that people relate to the genuine and raw stories you relate rather than the copied versions of somebody else’s content,” he pointed out.

Speaking at the Youth Biz organised by Moratuwa University

Dulinda’s father, Pradeep Perera, serves as a Senior Chartered Engineer at RDC Pvt Ltd. His mother, Dharshanie Perera, is an Assistant General Manager at Commercial Bank.

His brother, Pravinda Perera, whom he had adored and followed since childhood, serves as a Senior Software Engineer at Sysco Labs.

“I am quite passionate about driving away the Insecurities of Sri Lankan Youth. I firmly believe that if not for these insecurities that a lot of our youth has, our lives would have been much better. I’ve already started the same through my personal Instagram and facebook platforms and hope to continue the same,” Dulinda said.

IKON commended operations in Dubai, UAE from February 18 along with a strategic partnerships of one of the biggest PR and Communications agency in the region, N Factor Global, this year. They now serve a clientale spread across seven different countries and spanning across industries from Real Estate to Immigration Consultancy.

The latest addition to his social media presence is “Make it count”. It is a platform created for a topic that Dulinda is passionate about.

“In my line of work I meet many people who fight daily battles with themselves to overcome the internal insecurities that hold them back from doing what they love. I’ve always being passionate in proving that they are bigger than their insecurities and they have what it takes within themselves to find a power to overcome them and win life. You don’t get to live life twice, so make it count!” he quipped.

His advice to other youth with potentials is simple.

“The same force that resides within you has the ability to help you rise to the top or to force you to fall to the shadows. Learn how to make yourself immune to what the world may tell you and find your passion by doing what makes you smile after a long day. If after a long day at work even with an empty wallet, you still have a smile on your face with a bunch of people to go home to, trust me! You are on the correct pathway irrespective of what people may tell you,” he concluded.


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