Mr. Athula Piyanandana Jayarathne

Managing Director

Saw Engineering (Pvt) Ltd


By Saman Piyasinghe [2007-09 MBA/G1]
 
 


CHILDHOOD

Mr. Jayasinghe was born as the fifth of the six member family in Rambukkana in January 05, 1971. He is a past pupil of Dutugamunu Central collage, Pothuhara.  He was dreaming to be an engineer during his childhood.  As per many youth he too had a very tough time during 1988/89 and moved from place to place for safety.  He was successful in the Advance Level examination held in 1990 and was qualified to explore the word and knowledge at university of Peradeniya under Physical Science stream.  He was fortunate enough to complete a diploma in electrical engineering at the Open University of Sri Lanka and Auto mobile engineering diploma during the three years waiting time to enter the University of Peradeniya
 


 

CAREER PATH

Soon after completion of bachelors degree, He joined with Ancell Lanka (Pvt) Ltd as a management trainee under Tharuna Aruna Program. From there he moved to few other companies where the whole process was production oriented. Being fed up with the production oriented processes, he shifted his directions towards the study of environmental physics and joined with leading organization which was engaging in lightening protection solutions.  Next he moved to Richardson as a project manager.
During his tenure at CEL Lanka and Richardson Projects, he had the opportunity to participate in workshops conducted by leading academics such as Dr. Chandima Gomes (UOC), Dr. Chandana Jayarathne (UOC), Mr. K.R. Abeysinghe (Director – department of meteorology) and various foreign and local consultants. He was encouraged to read more and more on environmental Physics and find new methodologies to provide effective solutions earthing and lightening protection.
At this time Sri Lankan telecommunication sector (especially mobile communication sector) was booming. Service interruptions due to lightening damages, is one of the major problem, all these telecom operators faced. Due to the geographical conditions and the tropical climate it is not possible to avoid lightening, however the effects could be minimized with effective lightening protection solutions. Mr.Jayarathnee saw the ample opportunity available for professionals who could perform better in this field and determined to form a new business in Protection against Lightening.
After one year service at Richardson Projects, he resigns with the prime aim of forming his own business in the field where he collected experience and knowledge during the last four years.

Though he was determined to open up his own business his parents were anxious about him and whished him to be a government employee. By putting all these paradigms away he gave birth to SAW Engineering with the support of his beloved wife who was a national diploma holder at University of Moratuwa.
 

 

INDUSTRIAL CHALLENGES

With the limited initial capital it was difficult task for him to run the business. Also the oversea manufacturers were reluctant to appoint SAW Engineering as their local agent as the business was at its primary stage.  At this time the competitors have positioned their products in a way that the customers are asking the solutions giving the brand names of some products.  Therefore his solutions were not competitive compared with rivals. However he was successful many occasions where his alternative solution was attractive to win the customers.
In order to overcome this problem further he offered total lightening protection solutions and he started to modify the some existing products, improve the efficiency, improve the appearance and manufacture them locally so as to minimize cost of production.

During the initial stage it was required to minimize operation and administration costs; hence he himself worked as the project manager of the company and inspected all the sites where his teams were working
 


 

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY AND PRINCIPLES

Business philosophy of Mr. Jayarathne has built by encircling the customer satisfaction. He needs his team to understand the values of their customers and treat them. 

  • Customer satisfaction through on time service delivery
  • Acceptance of customer values
  • Long term customer relationships
  • Innovative products
  • Accept the challenge from competitors
  • Believe himself
 


 

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Mr.Jayarathne believes that the customer satisfaction is the key business strategy and also following strategies clear the barriers in the path for his successful journey,

  • On time service delivery
  • Quality of service
  • Satisfied employees
  • Innovativeness and cost effectiveness
  • Business diversification
His advice to all team members of SAW engineering is never leave any client unhappy.
 

 

SUCCESS FACTORS

He believes that personality of leader has influence over the success of business.  Following personal traits lead him towards this successful journey.

  • knowledge or expertise about the subject
  • readiness to face challenge from the competitors
  • strong interpersonal relationships
  • Self-Confidence
  • Hard work and commitment.
  • Dedication towards service delivery and customer satisfaction
Eager to innovate products
 


 

TURNING POINT OF HIS LIFE

He believes that,

  • Not to sit for the Advance Level Examination to achieve his childhood dream
  • And the Decision taken in 2004 to start his own business
are major turning points of his life.
 


 

PRESENT POSITION OF THE BUSINESS

Today SAW is in the growth stage of the business and had an annual turnover of Rupees 400 million last year.  As per Mr. Jayarathne the company has overloaded with its core business activities. However they are not in a hurry to grab the work and complete it rather they are committed towards achieving core business strategy.  
SAW is diversified its business areas into,

  • Civil engineering construction where they erect communication towers.
  • Trading business - Power related items related communication industry.
 


 

HOW FAR HE IS SATISFIED NOW

He is fully satisfied with the achievements so far.  However he believes that he has far long way ahead to go and his young team is capable to take SAW into that distance.
 


 

FUTURE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE

SAW Engineering will be further diversifying its core business activities into,

  • Be Total solution provider for Telecom operators including Power AC/DC, Batteries, Telecommunication equipment etc
  • Green Power solutions Specially for Telecom radio Base stations
  • Moving into Civil Construction industry.
SAW engineering is expected provide solutions to foreign (India) countries (initially).
 


 

ADVISES TO UPCOMING BUSINESS LEADERS

He believes that Sri Lankan   youth has more opportunities to become a successful leader, however emphasize that, upcoming young leaders shall have a clear vision on where he is going and shall be fully committed to deliver the results. Also young business leaders shall understand the dynamics of the business environment and should find the opportunities available.
His advice for the upcoming business leaders is to be simple and to have,

  • Clear vision
  • Understanding the business environment
  • Analytical skills
  • Proper planning
  • Hard work & Commitment
  • Accept the challenge from competitors
  • Clear understanding about his own strength and weaknesses.
Avoid conflicts between Personal life and Business life
 

 



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