Wimukthi Galahitiyawa wins FCCISL award for Brand Centrical | Daily News

Wimukthi Galahitiyawa wins FCCISL award for Brand Centrical

Wimukthi Galahitiyawa is is an award-winning entrepreneur, a strategist and an innovator with a passion to make brands look better and a vision to make people who work with him better, too.

He is currently a Director and Brand Strategist of Brand Centrical which he founded in 2013 with his business partner Diluni who also happens to be his wife.

Wimukthi was felicitated by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016. A self-taught Creative turned Brand Strategist and currently the Co-founder of Sri Lanka's first Branding Agency that focuses mainly on branding, Wimukthi said that his journey as an entrepreneur has not always been a smooth one.

Sharing his story with us, he said that while working full time he also had his own business on the side ever since he left school.

“Being an entrepreneur is challenging. It may require you to step out of your comfort zone, take risks and face a crisis. What's important is however not to lose focus in the process”,Wimukthi said.

Commenting on the industry, he emphasised the importance of companies taking branding more seriously and how branding is a more comprehensive process than merely coming up with a logo and a tagline. According to him, branding is the process of structuring and improving a business internally and positioning in the correct light in the minds of its potential consumers or target audience.

“Branding is about making an impression. It's a 360-degeree approach that involves making a brand appealing to a given audience as well as aligning the internal branding with the outward positioning,” Wimukthi said.

He was of the opinion that Sri Lanka could use better young creatives who are not merely educationally qualified and familiar with the software but who have the capacity to think independently and ‘out-of-the-box'.

In this regard, Wimukthi believed better opportunities should be given to youth in the form of internships to get hands-on experience and discover themselves and their strengths as creatives.

How are you deferent from an Advertising Agency?

Marketing agencies are focused on providing short term Advertising services to announce specific product or service features tough TVC, Radio Spots, and print media.

We no longer live in a world where people choose products or services based on features & cost. In fact people don't “buy” anymore. People like, follow, associate, experience brands as suppose to buying. Thats why people choose their bank based on experience even if products/services are the same as any other bank or people choose to consume certain beverages over other even after its being proven that people can't tell the deference of the competitive beverage during blind tests.

Advertising is the last step of our process of branding. We use research conducted into internal environment of the organisation to understand the gaps and also external markets to understand where the organisation stands in the market. Our solution are crafted by our highly trained graduates in marketing to suite the gaps identified during the research. We focus mainly on how the organisations can be improved internally trough better processors and internal branding to compete with the external markets and also by crafting brand strategies to increase the brand value and association of the target audience.

I focus on strategies that help brands to craft their brand personalities and connect with people on an emotional level. Which results in the target audience placing trust in any product or service the organisation provide and willing to pay for it without being driven by heavy advertising campaigns.

Did'nt you feel starting a business challenging at the beginning?

I started my career at a company where everything was done wrong. This helped me learn how not to treat your people, clients and consumers. When i started my business, i had a strong purpose and passion to work on project that delivered results without being limited by client's budget. Looking back at my journey and how i started, it never felt as a financial or a business challenge but as a challenge to develop businesses through creativity. i was simply enjoying what i was doing. I guess that's why i was able to gain and maintain a high profile clientele from early days.

What prompt you to start the business of this nature?

I was fascinated about the way how design can control the way people behave even during my school years, then I soon realised advertising had the ability to create positive change in communities at large. I think that was the main reason why i wanted to enter the advertising industry.

I started off as a creative and was able to progress to the top in the creative industry during first 6 years and then change the focus into management which helped me to achieve an Directorial position in one of Sri Lanka's leading ad agencies. However my 8 years of experience in the industry made me realise the lack of evolution in the industry compare the rest of the world and requirement for a agency to go beyond marketing services to guide Sri Lankan business to transform.

Backed by our vision, me and my partner was able to form the Sri Lanka's first branding agency.

Are you able to find skilled employees needed for your industry?

That was our biggest challenge from the time we started Brand Centrical. Since our companies and agencies were heavily relaying on advertising for so many years our education system dose not produce employees in the areas of branding. Due to this reason, overtime we have developed systemic policies and our own internal training programs for all our employees. We also have hiring policies in place that ensures the entry standards of all our employees. Our people were the reason behind our success.

What are some of the companies that has placed their trust in you?

We have gained over 40 plus companies during our last three years and 20 plus companies receive continuous consultancy related services to date. Some of our regular clients are Hayleys, Commercial Leasing Company, Baurs, Delmege and Jetwing.

How do you feel about receiving this award?

We benched mark our success in changing the industry itself as the first branding agency in Sri Lanka. Which is evident when looking at Sri Lankan business and also top traditional agencies adapting branding services.

This wasn't a personal achievement, winning this award was an additional recognition to the contribution we made as a small business making an big impact in the industry. We are proud about it.

What are your future plans?

We have introduced three subsidiaries during last 3 years and provide specialised services to business to advance their capabilities. We are also looking at service innovation that help companies create a leading edge in their respective categories. Also we are planing to contribute to the industry by introducing mush needed vocational training in the areas of branding based on our internal training programs. We will continue to provide our services and lift Sri Lankan businesses to new heights. 

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