Jul 04 2014. view 2510
After initially running a business as a bulk cinnamon supplier and exporter, Heshan Edirisinghe realised that trading in bulk cinnamon was not his cup of tea. He then realised that it would be viable to focus on value added cinnamon items. Starting with two employees his company H-Mark Trading now provides major supermarkets and hotels with various value added cinnamon based products. Here he relates his business story.
What is the single most important reason for your success?
I would say I’m still a work in progress. Pure persistence plays a big part. Rolling with the punches and evolving every step of the way plays an even a bigger part.
How did you come up with this idea?
I loved the idea of entrepreneurship. I was looking for an opportunity and thought bulk cinnamon would be a good market to start off. As it turned out not to be I moved to value added cinnamon products.
How do you balance work, life and friends?
I think for every startup person, business has to be engraved in his/her day-to-day life. I cannot separate it as work and life. If you’re passionate about something, it will be part of your life 24/7.
What were your most difficult obstacles when starting your business?
Lack of experience, lack of domain knowledge, lack of proper contacts, lack of capex and the list goes on.
Any advice for young people who don’t have the courage to start up their business?
Do it only if you are willing to make a sacrifice. Initially it will not be easy, you will at times run without a paycheck for months. Are you ready for that? If yes, you very well should go ahead with it.
How old were you when you started your business?
When did you first get the idea for your business and what did you do towards making it a reality?
It was my final year project at college. It was an online startup project.
If you could add a famous entrepreneur to your team who would it be and why?
Upali Wijewardana as he had an incredible vision for his country and company.
How did you get the capital to start up your venture?
My savings plus money from friends and family.
What is your “Golden Rule” in business?
Life is not fair, but persistence will always win.
Where do you hope to see your business in 5 years time?
To have a global presence.
By Tina Edward Gunawardhana