Successful Business Ideas for Sri Lankans – Part three

In my previous blog posts, I discussed some ideas to start a flourishing business in Sri Lanka. And business, as we all know, is a huge arena in which options are virtually endless. So today, I’m going to share some more business ideas that have the potential to be a good success in Sri Lanka. The ideas mentioned below were successful business ventures in USA but are currently not available in Sri Lanka. So aspiring businessmen, this is your chance to bring these products down to Sri Lanka, assured that it can bring you success. Otherwise, I hope these ideas can inspire in some way to embark on your own unique business journey.



Smartphones are changing our lives in so many ways with amazing apps that we use on a regular basis. In today’s technology-driven world, they have even changed door locks- that’s how big an impact technology has had. There is this new product known as the UniKey which is effectively something that enables you to unlock the door with your Bluetooth-enabled Smartphone. The lock has no key and no digits to punch into a keypad. All you have to do is walk to the door with your Smartphone in your pocket, touch the lock and voila- you can open your door. If your phone battery dies or you forget to bring your phone, the lock would still work normally with a standard metal key.

Interchangeable Straps

trimi-tanksWomen have plenty of wardrobe woes where they tend to feel that no matter how many dresses they have, it stills feel insufficient. This is where something like the TriMi Tank, which is a basic tank top that comes with removable, interchangeable straps. Every tank top comes with three sets of straps to mix and match, making it practically a 3-in-1 dress. Needless to say, the ladies in Sri Lanka will be obsessed with something like this!

Truck Mattress

products-airbedzTake your favourite mattress anywhere you go with this original truck bed air mattress. There are some custom designed air mattresses that are especially designed in order to fit in the beds of pickup trucks. The mattresses also have cutouts on its sides, making it easier to go around and over the wheel wells. It also creates a sleep area that uses the entire bed of the truck. A simple built-in pump can deflate or inflate the mattress with a mere push of a button.

Sippy Cups

sippy-cupMany pediatricians advise the use of straw cups instead of the usually sippy cups because the dental benefits of using straws. Many kids’ bottles also have spill-proof valves that make it really difficult to drink from and also a tiresome job of cleaning. Moreover, little kids also struggle with straw cups because it only works well if held upright. The cup illustrated below removes all these challenges by using a flexible straw with a heavy end, keeping the bottom of the straw in the liquid at all times. This also allows your toddler to drink easily when the cup is tilted to its side. The handle is very easy to hold and could be removed with a quick twist, making this cup perfect in a cup holder as well. This award-winning cup is designed very creatively and looks awesome as well so your kids will love it. Mums in Sri Lanka would no doubt love it too!

Instant lifts for shaping arms, tummy and thighs

Weight loss is a huge challenge and sometimes, no matter how much we diet, those unsightly cellulite just doesn’t disappear. Skinnies offer a quick solution to this problem. This product is a clear skin adhesive that provides amazing smoothing and lifting results. It’s very easy to apply and can be worn the whole day with no discomfort at all. Simply remove it once you’re done. Because Skinnies are transparent and designed to be worn on bare skin, it doesn’t need to be hidden under the clothing and wont make you feel bulky as well. Moreover, it’s sweat proof as well and won’t budge, even in Sri Lanka’s humid climate. Those who have lost weight of recently had a baby knows what it’s like to have excess skin on the belly, the flabby arms and so one. Skinnies is the instant, invisible lift that can make women looks perfectly in shape. Need I say that the women in our country would love this?

Technology enabled clothing

Techy people know that they have plenty of gadgets to carry around with them and this can be a real trouble sometimes. You’ve got to carry your phone, your digital camera, laptop, tablet, headset, etc and TEC, or Technology Enabled Clothing, allows you to carry and access all your devices from hidden pockets in the lining of your clothing.

Dryer attachment

This is a very simple device can not only save energy but also your money. The device filters and directs the hot air that is needed to dry your clothes. This dryer attachment doesn’t waste any energy and allows the hot air that is usually send through a vent to be used in order to heat your house during cooler climates.

Clip for glasses

products-readerestEyeglasses are expensive and losing or damaging it can be a huge loss. For people who don’t wear eyeglasses all the time, there is the common worry of misplacing their glasses. You could hang it on the neck of your dress but it almost always slides on to the floor when you bend over. Even if tuck your glasses into your dress pocket, it can fall off and if you place it on the top of your head, you search for it everywhere except where you put it. With a Readerest clip, all these issues can be resolved. The small clip attaches to your dress by a magnetic steel plate and the arm of your glasses fits perfectly in the clip, keeping it safe from any damages. It’s a very simple clip but it can go a long way in allowing you to never lose hold of your glasses again.

Last Lid

last-lid-garbage-coverSomething as simple as a missing garbage lid that can potentially turn into a thriving business? Exactly. The Last Lid is a testament to this. A fabric replacement for your garbage cover, Last Lid is the last garbage lid you will ever need. It is made out of military grade flexible polyethylene and is machine washable, weather proof and animal proof as well.


ShowNo Towel

showno-towel-2This is a great product that’s actually a towel that allows for some privacy when changing the bathing suit and functions as a coverall. The towel has a slit at its center through which your child’s head should go through. The rest of the towel can be draped around the child’s body, keeping them covered while they changed out of their wet clothes. The product will also keep children dry at the pool or even during bath time.


Clean Bottle

clean_bottleAlmost all of us have a reusable water bottle that we take around with us. This is a great thing to do, even from an environmental perspective, but it comes with one annoying problem- you can’t get to the bottom of the bottle to clean it thoroughly. Bottled that are used frequently can get dirty very soon and Clean Bottle is the world’s only bottle that can be unscrewed from the bottom as well as the top so it can be cleaned perfectly. Because the removable bottom and top allows the bottle to dry out quickly, it ensures that the bottle is clean at all times. The drinking nozzle could be removed and sanitized as well. This is really something school kids, in particular, would need.


Are you a successful person? Stereotyped myths about a successful person


Every entrepreneur wants to be successful in whatever field they are interested in but most of us don’t actually believe that we have achieved a level of success. Success is defined differently by people and everyone has their own ideas as to how it can be achieved. Sadly, most of these ideas are based on common lies that we have been fed upon either by stories, movies or media. Owing to this, most people have a very distorted image of what success actually is, how it is achieved and what it brings to us. Below, I have listed the biggest lies we tend to believe about success.

  1. If you have all the answers, success will come

    People tend to procrastinate trying to achieve success by saying that they can only be successful if they have all the answers to their questions. And until they find all the answers, their journey to success is at a standstill. The truth, however, is that successful people don’t start off with having all their questions answered; rather, they have simply learned how to find answers to what they know by taking to road to achieving success.
    People who have achieved the success they desired have done so through trials and learning from their mistakes. Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. Rather, take action today. Mistakes will happen, but don’t give up.

  2. You don’t need to earn money to be successful

    People define success when they earn lots of money. Entrepreneurs set they are successful when they see money, working class tends to pretend success when they earn more money in their job. Listen don’t just define success with just monetary term. I have seen most of the people tend to act strange when they didn’t earn something. Remember success is not always what you see.

    As an Entrepreneur you may not have earned what the society thinks as success. But the experience you have earned is more precious than money. The lessons from the struggle you go through, a satisfied client, a small news about you in a paper are some that matters more than money.

  3. You don’t have to make any changes

    There is an old quote that says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. This is true but it should be noted that there is actually a very fine line between insanity and perseverance. To be successful, you have to be aware of when you need to makes changes. You have gone through a lot to get to where you are right now and if you want to be in a higher position, then you have to make changes whenever the need arises. Adaptability is key.

  4. Success comes without sacrifices

    Does everything you want in life come to you? Yes, if you try but not all at once. You have to make the choices about what you want right now. Our life is never going to be perfect so we need to choose what to sacrifice in order to have what we want. With each phase in our life, our priorities shift and with this shift, we should also make some sacrifices on the way. If we believe that success can come without having to make any sacrifices, then we’re only in for disappointment.

    I have seen hard working entrepreneurs who have scarified their personal lives, friendships and relationships and much more. They have even reduced the tie spent in sleep, shower, food, health and much more.

  5. Success comes overnight

    There are movies and media stories that talk about overnight success and we all love reading a good story about how someone with basically nothing achieved success overnight. If we imagine the same thing will happen to us, then it’s a delusional. What we need to understand is that overnight successes are only achieved by those who have been struggling to refine their skills, trade and business for a long time. And then finally, they received recognition, which in that particular context, refers to success. To be successful, you have to work hard to get there.

    As an Entrepreneur, building a company from 2 people to 20 people in 5 years time, I can firmly tell nothing comes over night.

  6. Only rich people can be successful

    Are successful people born only into rich families? Of course not. In fact most people who have earned success have actually comes from ordinary or even difficult backgrounds and toiled hard to get to the position they are in now. Every ordinary person can be successful. All it takes is to develop habits to bring about consistent improvement, day after day, year after year.
    There are many stories out there about people who succeed without even a single cent. They worked hard, focused fearlessly, faced challenges and kept only the target in their minds.

  7. Success will take all our problems away

    Every single person has to deal with their own share of problems, and this includes successful people. People who are successful face their own problems but they generally have the strategies and resources to help them deal with it better. On the road to success, there will be problems and in order to be successful, you need to learn to solve your own problems. And while most of us probably won’t believe it, the more successful you are, the greater your problems will be. The bottom line is that life isn’t going to be easier when you are successful. You will only be more capable in dealing with problems.

  8. If you are successful, people will like you

    It’s very common for people to criticize others because of their success. Because in a way, your own success can make others uncomfortable with the fact that they aren’t as successful as you and that naturally causes envy. So will people like you more after you are successful? The truth is quite contrary; you are more likely to lose friends after you have reached success but there is good news too- with your success, you will now have the opportunity of making new friends.

  9. Success will make you happier

    Can money buy happiness? To a certain level yes, but it’s only for a short-term. There is only one way in which success can make you happy and that is if you are grateful for every moment, good or bad. Only people who are deeply satisfied can be grateful, regardless of their circumstance. So don’t wait until you are successful to be happy. Choose to be happy now because success won’t always make you happy.

Holiday in Sri Lanka

Sometimes when on holiday you desire for culture, history, nature and a profusion of places to go sightseeing without investing so much money. Sometimes you just wanted to lie down and enjoy the sounds and smells of the nature without the disturbance of civilization noises. Sometimes you wanted to enjoy food which is nourishes with spices of eastern culture and garnish in western style.  Other times you just wish for a stunning beach and plenty of fine dining along with peaceful and safety dives. If this is what your heart desires then welcome to Sri Lanka, Pearl of the Indian Ocean as it is more commonly called by the keepers of the sea.

Sri Lanka is the most natural sightseeing friendly island in the Indian Ocean and the popularity and number of tourists coming to the island keep on and still continues to grow and grow. One of the reasons for Sri Lanka to be most attractive tourist destination in Indian region is because it boasts the finest beaches in the world which enable tourist to do diving, swimming and coral sightseeing. Crystal clear waters which come and conquer the sands of srilankan shores will make our feet feel like silk cloth between the toes.

Not only is the ocean there is also another secret behind the success story of srilankan tourism. The secret is none other than the heritage historical places of Sri Lanka which illustrates the nation’s history and the importance of such an island in the middle of Indian Ocean. Anuradhapura, Polannaruwa and Kandy are growing as most popular tourist spot which resides in Sri Lanka. The historical importance of these places keeps on attracting tourist who is more interested in learning the culture of Sri Lanka.

Other than the beaches and historical importance, Sri Lanka is also an island which defines convention. According to island bio-geographic theory, small islands don’t have large mammals. Regrettably for theory Sri Lanka is an exemption, as the largest terrestrial mammal in Asia, the Asian Elephant, is found on the island. Sri Lanka is beyond hesitation that the best place in Asia to see the Asian Elephant. Uda Walawe National Park, to the south of the central mountain massif, and the tourists are assured to see elephants. During September and October an annual concentration of elephants, called ‘The Gathering’, takes place on the receding shores of the Minneriya Lake in Minneriya National Park.  ‘The Gathering’ is surely one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet.

The tourism merchandise in Sri Lanka is growing and so too does the infrastructure of Sri Lankan transportation and accommodation facilities. There are mountains to tramp and hills to trek. These hiking spots are improved so that the tourists can enjoy the trekking of mountain with the worry about the safety of the lives. Sri Lanka is not only about the beach and what lies beneath the brilliant blue waters. It’s the culture which prevails in Sri Lanka which makes it special. Ever smiling, generous and always obliging people of Sri Lanka make the tourist feels they are welcomed to this wonderful island- A promise like no other.

Sri Lankan Presidential Election 2010 – Battle on online

Now it’s an election fever in Sri Lanka. When compared previous election campaigns, this time it is getting hotter and hotter every day. As I already mentioned in a post about the use of online marketing in political campaign, and US president Barack Obama’s one was the great success in this regard.

In that post I just queried when Sri Lankan politicians will start doing the same. I am really delightful to note the use of emarketing techniques in the upcoming presidential election campaigns. This quite amazed me and I would like to make few suggestions which are important for them to take up their online branding.

While writing this post just got a message to my inbox saying “Sri Lanka Elections is now following you on Twitter!” When I visited the site it is the official site for Sri Lankan election. I’m pretty surprised with this. But globally use of Twitter has going down, it seems in Sri Lanka it’s picking up. (Are we late majorities in adoption process?)

The website of both candidates seem good and interesting. According to my knowledge I assessed both web sites.

President Mahinda Rajapakse

The site is well designed with corporate colour, but seems bit slow and it has a loading issue as well. The tag line of the election is “Bright Future” is well placed in the site and most prominently as well. If you do a campaign towards a target market you should satisfy all their behavioral aspect. Especially in Sri Lanka there are three languages spoken. There are people with internet knowledge either understand Sinhala or Tamil. The other plus point in the site is, it is in all three languages. So the viewers of the site will definitely go through the contents. The symbol of the part and the election logo is also well positioned. The use of Social media profile are also quite interesting, but the designer should have shown the “subscribe to newsletter” in the top or first glance of the site view. The recommend and share option also placed next to the banner which is a positive sign.

But the site is not SEO and search engine friendly. Meta title is fine but Meta descriptions and Meta keywords are not placed in the site. They should have done this in order to get the search engine visibility more and I have a concern in the site title too. “Official Website Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidential Election Campaign 2010” – not sounds well for me, the title need to be reworded I guess.

Use of other social networking sites

The use of social networking sites is great in President Mahinda Rajapakse’s campaign. In Facebook the fan page contains 24,000 fans and it seems pretty updated regularity. While I was listening to a song in YouTube, again I saw an advertisement in the Youtube as well.

General Sarath Fonseka

The site also looks fine but there are some negative points I would like to mention here. The site uses flash 10, which is not loading in all computers. They should have used the older version of the flash player instead of the new one. Because you can’t assure it is available in all machines.  I was unable to view the banner section. The plus point is the option placed prominently in the site, but which creates two actions for the viewer. When people click on “Join our mailing list” it opens a new window which is not a good practice. They should have kept loading the entire field by default in the page. Name and e-mail would be fine. Make a donation button is more prominently placed in the site, in my point it will not give a good impression about the site. It would have been placed as a tab in the navigation bar with full explanation. The footer links are missing and it would be nice if the designers can use some thumbnail images for latest news section. For the viewers it might look a cluttered one because it contains only the text. The footer links are missing but importantly the designers placed the privacy policy which is a good stuff.

I also received a personal e-mail from General  Sarath Fonseka, which is also a good signal.   I’m publishing the e-mail below

My Fellow Sri Lankans,

Wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

It is with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude that I write this letter to thank you for your unwavering commitment to make Sri Lanka a great nation. I am more encouraged and energized than ever before knowing that each and every Sri Lankan regardless of their ethnicity, religion or political affiliations have come forward and united with us to change and regain this great nation from the claws of terrorism and political tyranny.

Today we face more daunting challenges than ever before. WE need to change the destiny of our nation to achieve greatness, WE need to rebuild our nation to be prosperous, WE need to make our great nation stand with respect and dignity and be a key actor in the international arena. I know WE can achieve these goals, not as individuals but as Sri Lankans working together in unity and harmony.

I also want to reach out to my fellow Sri Lankans who live in far off nations, and still have a deep sense of affection and belonging with this great nation of ours. YOU stood by us when we faced the ruthless terrorists; YOU were our best diplomats defending the image of our beloved nation by your words and deeds in the international fore. Today I ask you to stand with me to develop our great nation as the most trusted and effective representatives of change.

While there are many challenges ahead of us, I have more faith in the spirit of voluntarism and commitment of my fellow Sri Lankans. Together WE can undertake development projects that benefit every Sri Lankan, not just a few; together WE can reform our judiciary, law enforcement agencies, administrative, transportation and health sectors to serve every Sri Lankan. We will make this change a reality for every Sri Lankan.

At this critical moment in the history of our great nation, I want to reach out to you, as a humble Sri Lankan with a proven record of accomplishments, to work with me to change the destiny of Sri Lanka. I seek your support to reach out to every Sri Lankan, spreading the message of change for our great nation by volunteering with our campaign, recruiting more volunteers to campaign in your neighborhoods, signing up for our manifesto updates, Facebook updates, email and mobile alerts, sending out emails to your fellow citizens encouraging them to vote for change and to send us your valuable feed back to make this movement for change a reality.

Sign onto our movement for change for every Sri Lankan:

Join the Sarath Fonseka Facebook fan page: We salute your spirit of commitment and voluntarism

Let us work together for a prosperous Sri Lanka!

Sarath Fonseka

My views and comments regarding the branding will follow in the next post.

Why word of mouth doesn’t happen

Sometimes, what you do is done as well as it can be done. It’s a service that people truly love, or a product they can’t live without. You’re doing everything right, but it’s not remarkable, at least not in the sense of “worth making a remark about.”

What’s up with that?

Here’s a smörgåsbord of reasons:

  1. It’s embarrassing to talk about. That’s why VD screening, no matter how well done, rarely turns into a viral [ahem] success.
  2. There’s no easy way to bring it up. This is similar to number 1, but involves opportunity. It’s easy to bring up, “hey, where’d you get that ring tone?” because the ring tone just interrupted everyone. It’s a lot harder to bring up the fact that you just got a massage.
  3. It might not feel cutting edge enough for your crowd. So, it’s not the thing that’s embarrassing, it’s the fact they you just found out about it. Don’t bring up your brand new Tivo with your friends from MIT. They’ll sneer at you.
  4. On a related front, it might feel too popular to profitably sneeze about. Sometimes bloggers hesitate to post on a popular source or topic because they worry they’ll seem lazy.
  5. You might like the exclusivity. If you have no trouble getting into a great restaurant or a wonderful club, perhaps you won’t tell the masses because you’re selfish…
  6. You might want to keep worlds from colliding. Some kids, for example, like the idea of being the only kid from their school at the summer camp they go to. They get to have two personalities, be two people, keep things separate.
  7. You might feel manipulated. Plenty of hip kids were happy to talk about Converse, but once big, bad Nike got involved, it felt different. Almost like they were being used.
  8. You might worry about your taste. Recommending a wine really strongly takes guts, because maybe, just maybe, your friends will hate the wine and think you tasteless.
  9. There are probably ten other big reasons, but they all lead to the same conclusions:

First, understand that people talk about you (or not talk about you) because of how it makes them feel, not how it makes you feel.

Second, if you’re going to build a business around word of mouth, better not have these things working against you.

Third, if you do, it may be a smart strategy to work directly to overcome them. That probably means changing the fundamental DNA of your experience and the story you tell to your users. “If you like us, tell your friends,” might feel like a fine start, but it’s certainly not going to get you there.

What will change the game is actually changing the game. Changing the experience of talking about you so fundamentally that people will choose to do it.

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