Ideas to start a successful business in Sri Lanka

Stepping into business is a tough choice that could either be a success or a failure. However, the outcome of your business lies in doing enough research before starting out. The road will definitely be long and even daunting at times but as a developing country, there are some great prospects to start a business in Sri Lanka. The below business ideas have been incredibly successful in other countries and have the potential to be a success in Sri Lanka as well. These ideas could give you the head-start to start on your very own thriving business journey.

Toilet training for your kitty

This is a system in which cat toilet training is make easy with a special training seat that fits any toilet. The training seat includes four rings that are filled up with cat litter and after one week, the first ring could be removed, creating a little hole in the litter pan. Each week after that, you can remove the additional ring, eventually widening the hole to the toilet below. After all the four rings have been removed, your cat will be fully toilet rained and you don’t have to use a training aid any more. And what’s more, you can finally get rid of your litter box for good because you kitty will now be perfectly toilet trained.

Young Sri Lankans, in particular, love cats as their pets but dealing will the litter could be a messy and hateful job. Manufacturing and importing a product such as this can go a long way in saving time and money for cat lovers and it can make traveling with your cat easy too.

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Child seat-cum luggage

Traveling is a stressful event all on its own with a whirlwind of worries- have I packed everything? Are the tickets there? Can we make it to the destination on time? And traveling with a toddler can make the whole ordeal even worse. This is where a product such as a Ride-on Carry-on can be immensely helpful. It can really take the stress out of traveling with a baby by converting a rolling suitcase into a travel stroller. This wonderful folding seat can be attached on to a rolling luggage and your toddler can be strapped on the seat with a stroller so you can roll on your luggage as your child rides along with it. Sri Lankan parents who travel often wouldn’t want to miss out on such a helpful product and it will certainly be a great hit.


Pogo Sticks

Sri Lankans are beginning to show a lot of interest in extreme sports and a product such as the Vurtego Pogo Sticks isn’t anything like a toy we had as kids growing up. These pogo sticks use a space-age technology to launch its riders as high as ten feet in the air! The center of the stick has a cylinder with compressed air and when you jump down on the stick, the air gets compressed. The natural pushback then propels you up, allowing you to soar to up to ten feet high. Presently, there is nothing of this sort in Sri Lanka but our teens and young adults would absolutely love it!

Make those wild collars stay!

Wurking Stiffs Magnetic Collar Stay is the first magnetic collar in the world to tame those wild collars that just won’t stay. This product is available in many styles as well. Look prim on your office suit with perfect collars and you wouldn’t have to sneak your hands up to tame those wild collars anymore. Male worker can relate to this dilemma and with a product like this, you can look professional all day!


Interchangeable Shoe

The original Interchangeable Shoe is a product that allows you to put your best foot forward. What started off as a few pairs of shoes has now been accepted as an amazing innovation where multiple shoes could be consolidated into one, making packing a breeze as well. You can get more luggage space with the same amount of options too. The product offers a range of soles that can be mixed and matched with your choice of tops. The tops are available in many designs and prints and whether you want to go all-black, floral or practically any design you want, the interchangeable shoe will come up as a must-have wardrobe option that girls would adore. From flip flops to kitten heels and various tops to choose from, you will have plenty of shoes, all in one. This product can take the Sri Lankan shoe business to a whole new level.

Sweeping made easy with a two-in-one broom and scraper!

A broom with a retractable scraper can remove your daily cleaning woes as it allows you to take off gunk spots while sweeping. This product is actually two tools in one that is easy to use. All you need to do is simply push down on the retractable scraper and scrape so it’s great for the cleaning industry of Sri Lanka. Whether it’s for hospitals, schools or even your own home, this two-in-one design is perfectly versatile. The angled broom has a flare at the end of the bristles so it can catch anything that has to be swept away. After you have used it, simply rinse or shake the broom to remove the excess debris.

Nasal screens

Many people struggle with allergies, particularly when cleaning the house, working in the yard or wherever there are small particles floating about. These tiny particles are not just annoying but are dangerous for people who have asthma, bronchitis and heart disease, to name a few. First Defense Nasal Screens are an innovative product that prevents these tiny particles from entering the respiratory system by covering the nasal passages. It is designed to be comfortable and perfectly discrete and helps greatly in blocking particles form entering the nose. People with respiratory problem will find this product to be very handy and effective.

A bacon cooking alarm clock

Wake N Bake is an alarm clock that wakes you by automatically cooking bacon. The idea is that you put a frozen piece of bacon in the alarm clock when going to sleep and ten minutes before your set wakeup time, the clock would automatically start cooking the bacon. Unfortunately, a product such as this isn’t there to be found anywhere but it’s an interesting idea that people will certainly love!


Rental service for toys

Toygaroo is a rental service for toys that works pretty much like Netflix is for DVDs. After your kids tire of playing with one toy, it could be sent back and replaced with a different one, so your child will not have any more toy tantrums. As much as kids would love this, parents would really do with a rental service for toys and since this isn’t available in Sri Lanka as yet, grab it!

16 products to start a business in Sri Lanka

Starting a business is a tempting endeavor for many people. However, when it comes to establishing a business, most people are stumped for ideas. Questions such as “What industry should I pick?”, “Can I handle the workload?” and “How do I actually start it?” will most likely be running through your mind. However, before starting any business, the key is to do some research, pick on some potentially attractive ideas that can actually bring revenue and generate interest and then focus on ways in which you can build your business.

Have the capital to get you started, but running short on business ideas? Here are 16 business ideas for you to implement in Sri Lanka.

Number One- LED Backlit car stickers

Sri Lankans love their vehicles. A great way to generate interest and therefore embark on a business is by encouraging people to use innovative LED backlit logos instead of car stickers for their vehicle windows. These backlit logos will turn on automatically when people drive at night and shut down after parking. When it’s installed, it can really shine through factory tinted windows and don’t require any touching. Because people love to support a cause or an organization with a bumper sticker, they usually display it through a car sticker. However, to take that interest to a whole new level, these innovative LED backlit logos offer a wonderful business incentive. This is presently not availabile in Sri Lanka but it’s a promising possibility with a total market size of 6,302,141. Advertising agencies, NGOs, communities, companies and individuals are ideally the target segment for this venture.

Number Two- Handsfree Umbrella

Carrying an umbrella in a stormy climate could be a nightmare sometimes. This is an interesting innovation in which you can use an umbrella without having to hold it up. It’s simply designed to be strapped to the shoulders and you could talk on your mobile phone, take you dog on a walk, carry your shopping bags and so on with perfect ease while protecting yourself from the rain and stormy winds. You can watch about its efficiency here:

Number Three- Sunbath the comfortable way

Sri Lanka is a beach-lover’s paradise and lying by the pool or the beach is extremely relaxing and most tourists love sunbathing in Sri Lankan beaches as they work on their tan. When they need to sleep face down to get some sun on the back, the position could sometimes be uncomfortable because a towel doesn’t ideally make for a good pillow.

The ideas is a pillow that is creatively designed for the beach or pool. The design of it allows you to be comfortable, regardless of whether you are lying on your back or on your side. It can go a long way in making your tanning session by the beach a perfect one. This is presently not available in Sri Lanka but it certainly has the potential to grab the attention of tourists, travelers and hotels.


Number Four- Heavy duty cleaning wipes

If you have kids around your house, then you know that they love creating a mess. Wiping the mess left behind by kids is a daunting task and something like these Wipes could come in handy. As individually packages cleaning wipes that uses non-toxic and citrus-based cleaning agents, it can handle even heavy duty cleaning. It’s a level higher than you standard antibacterial wipes and is eco friendly as well. Its portable nature makes allows you to take it with you to garages, compartments, drawers or anywhere you may encounter a mess.


Number Five- Creative Bobbleheads

While bobbleheads are usually figurines that are generally made as a caricature of a famous person, making custom-made bobbleheads will be a great idea. Custom-made bobbleheads can be sculpted by hand from photos given by the client and this will be a much-loved gift. There are no doubts that this idea will be incredibly popular and high in demand. Fir further details visit

Number Six- A folding Guitar

While guitars are perfect for a road trip or to have around a campire, it’s not something that actually built for travel. Even though there are travel cases for guitars, it’s usually very inconvenient to carry it around and having it with you on public transportation could be a horrid experience. And then, there is the fear of it being stolen or damaged. However, with a foldable guitar, all these issues would be solved effortlessly. Guitarists would certainly opt for this when it comes to ease of use and its portability.


Number Seven- Branding Grills

These are ideal for BBQ parties because you can now keep track of your steak. Additionally, using equipment like this Grills Charms is helpful when it comes to distinguishing spices, flavors, allergy issues and even temperature preferences.


Number Eight – No more embarrassing moments

Flatulence is an issue many people face and these digestive problems can range from intolerance to lactose to Crohn’s Disease that causes gas build-up in the intestine, making flatulence extremely hard to control. This creates plenty of embarrassing social situations and with a dress designed specifically for this issue, people with frequent flatulence can feel a little more at ease.


Number Nine- Re-invented ice cream float

This incredibly clever attachment is loaded with flavors of ice cream that screws at the top of a plastic soda bottle. This allows the fizz to mix with the ice cream and takes flavor combinations to a whole new level.

You can watch this video to get a better idea:

Number Ten- Costume makeover for your old fridge

We get tired of our old refrigerators, particularly when it’s scratched or dirty on the outside. But still can’t seem to throw it away? This is a common housewife dilemma and if your fridge is in good working order but not polished on the outside, you can give your old fridge a cosmetic makeover instead of spending thousands in buying a new one. This will certainly be a very prosperous business venture considering how many people would dearly love to make their old fridge look brand new. To get a clearer idea, you can check here:

Number Eleven- Hygienic Play-pen

Every mother wants her child to have a clean and safe place to play. Something like a playpen or a play-yard is generally the solution but usually, toddlers drool or spill on their play-pens and because it gets dirty very fast, cleaning it is hard as well. So what’s the solution? A play-pen such as Coverplay, which, in addition to being easier to clean, also protects children from unhygienic conditions. This will certainly be a hit with mothers.


Number Twelve- Educational Flash Cards

This is more of an educational tool that is a fun and fast way to learn and the flash cards can help boost better exam scores. Based on Sri Lanka this can be customized. This product is a hit in USA.


Number Thirteen- Inspiring messages in the gift products 

There’s nothing people love more than personalized messages along with any product they buy. For example, if your business is selling accessories or gifts, it’s always a good idea to include a card / print with a positive and inspirational message. Or you can take creativity to a higher level, such as the product line, “Inspirella”, which is an umbrella with a positive message printed on it saying “You are my Sunshine”.


Number Fourteen- Pushups the right way

Sri Lankans are now showing greater interest in fitness, meaning there is now greater potential in workout training tools and equipments. A device such as Lift Assist will allow people to do pushups the correct way and with far greater ease. The correct alignment also ensures that no injuries occur and it can especially be helpful for those who find it difficult to do even a single pushup.


Number Fifteen- Chopstick Baskets

DIY projects are rising in popularity and research has proven that billions of chopsticks are used every year, requiring 25 million trees of bamboo plants for this demand. This means that a lot of energy and waste goes into producing something that people use for practically only fifteen minutes. To ensure that it’s recycled in a creative way, there are some great artworks that could be done using chopsticks. The basket below is made out of chopsticks collected from restaurants but you could use it to make an array of patterned artwork.


Number Sixteen- Make your kids love medicine

Kids hate taking medicine and mothers spend an awful lot of time in trying to get their child to take the medicine. From the last-minute turn to a dive under the table, parents use so many techniques but, more often than not, the medicine ends up in all places except inside the child’s mouth. A creative way of making you child drink the medicine with minimum fuss is by the method outlined in the image below. Feeding medicines will no more be a nightmare for mums again!


Things you should not do when starting a business


As I am getting more and more inquiries related to starting a new business I thought of sharing few points with the readers who seek for advices and guidances from me. First of all I would like to thank them. I have personally written back to many of them. For the rest of them to whom I haven’t written back, this article may be useful. Let’s see the reasons that majority of them mention as why they would like to start a business. The reasons can be categorised into few segments. First one is requesting for ideas to start a business as they do not have a proper direction, secondly thinking starting a business is a solution to get rid of their bosses’ scolding and temporary work pressure, thirdly having money in hand and looking ways to invest it productively and lastly having a concept or an idea and looking ways to execute it in the real world.

Everything in this world depends on something. A company will invest further believing in it’s financial strength, a student believes in achieving good results believing that the parents and teachers will support, a family remains happy and comfortable believing the husband or father will protect them.

Similarly, as an Entrepreneur, many of us start the business believing in so many things. Hence I am writing this post to say in which you should not depend and start a business. I think this might give some answers to some of my readers’ questions.

With the aspiration to be your own boss everyone believe their gut feeling and leave the current job to start the business. This post will be suitable for who plan to start something without big capital or no capital also to people who believe their strength and skills to start a business.

1- Do not start a business thinking that the society will encourage you or support you.

Entrepreneurs are like inventors who did not fear to jump off a hill to test an airplane, who believed that they can fly despite the society’s criticisms. So when you are thinking of a start up do not just believe that the society as a whole will support you to grow. Society will start assess your failures more than the success. If you struggle at the beginning it will advice to go back to work. Similarly when the society says do not take risk or risk your family’s financial security for the sake of doing a business, you do not have to listen to that too.

2- Do not believe in luck all the time.

Remember, your hard work and focus will bring you success. In my point hard work with luck may bring you consistent success. Always have positive attitude towards anything and believe that positive power will bring luck or success to your business.

3- Do not wait for opportunities.

Create chances and cease thinking that chances and opportunities will find you. This world is full of opportunities. You have to ask for business and you have to find the opportunities. People sit and wait until the opportunity comes and knocks the door rather going extra miles to actively seek for it. When you network you build your personal brand and this will bring you more contacts and opportunities.

Allocate your time to seek for it. People just give up when they face a difficulty in business. In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity says Albert Aientien. If you think you do not have the expected skills then seek for it, develop the skills and then make use of the opportunity.

4- Do not expect others to motivate you.

When you are feeling down you have to do something to cheer you up. If you have kind and supportive people around you, you are lucky enough to move forward with their encouragement and advice. But if there is no one, remember you have to motivate yourself.

5- Do not believe in banks to start your business or to run the business.

In Sri Lanka I have seen most of the banks carry the so called tagline or motto saying “WE SUPPORT SME’s” etc. If you believe this and approach a bank for loan, even with a best idea and a realistic action plan, the results is very less likely to be positive. The banks would say we offer funds if your company’s turnover exceed 100 or 150 million rupees, or you have to produce assets or guarantors working for government sectors and much more. Though the banks say they support entrepreneurship, in most of the cases that’s not helping a start-up or a SME to begin or expand.

The bitter truth is, there are so many people out there without capital and only having the entrepreneurship drive to start something in their own.  Obtaining funds form banks once you establish yourself is easier but by that time you may not need the support form the bank. Though this may be acceptable from the banks’ point of view, the disappointing fact is the banks are not walking the talk. Ideally the banks should advertise as “WE SUPPORT ESTABLISHED ENTREPRENEURS” rather disappointing the start ups with false promise.

6- Do not start a business simply to show-off.

World will automatically recognise you once you achieve something. Do not expect people to come and praise you. Work hard and keep it covered, let your success make the noise.

7- Do not compare others with you when you are in your own.

If you are in corporate then yes, you can do that. When you are in your own you are unique. Do not spend unnecessarily just because your friend is spending, do not show off because your friend in doing so and do not buy items that are unnecessary for you. You have to plan your life and lead it in a way that benefits your business.

8- Do not expect your family to take part in your business.

Most people when they start business they bring their family members into the business or expect the family members to support. Remember that the entrepreneurship life is challenging and not easy as you think. Do not expect your loves ones to carry the burden with you. Let them live their dreams whilst your live yours.

Mondays give Happiness and Fridays make no Changes!

Normally Mondays are supposed to give the blues and Fridays are supposed to trigger off cheer. This phenomenon is usual unless otherwise you are an Entrepreneur.  For an Entrepreneur there is not much of a difference between Mondays and Fridays when compared to an ordinary Corporate Man.

I always wanted to write something for the younger generation, for those who want to become Entrepreneurs. Before that, it is better to know the recent trends emerging among these youngsters in Sri Lanka. Below given trends are widely noticeable:

  1. People starting their own businesses (it may be a formally registered business or something that is started on their own at their home etc.) is increasing at a rapid pace but at the same time the number of close downs or discontinuations are also increasing.
  2. People leave their jobs and start something on their own, wait for some time, if nothing goes as planned or expected they simply quit and start working again.
  3. While working there are many individuals and groups of friends and families who run their own businesses, this includes many top leaders in the corporate world as well.

When compared to the previous era the urge to do something on your own is increasing. One of the biggest proofs that I have is my own blog. I wrote a blog post with the heading “Small Business Ideas for Sri Lanka” in 2009. The post got listed in the Google first page for relevant keywords like “Small business ideas in Sri Lanka” “business ideas Sri Lanka” etc. The visitor stats for the above post are as shown below:

start a business

Remarkably over 500 requests have been sent to the Google doc linked to the post requesting for new business ideas in Sri Lanka, investment ideas in Sri Lanka and guidance for start-ups.

I also receive calls asking for guidance and help, sometimes up to 2 to 3 calls a day.

Surprisingly Sri Lanka is Enterprising!

It is prevalent that Sri Lankans who are living here as well as expats who want to invest in Sri Lanka need more guidance, support, advice and help in order to start something on their own in Sri Lanka. It’s a really loud call for all big / highly successful Entrepreneurs out there.

So here are some tips and thoughts that I can share with you which I have learnt and experienced.

This post is not only for someone who is planning to start something of their own but also for people who are planning to start a business but are in two minds whether to do so or not.

1- Start only if you have the Passion

“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.” – Jeff Bezos

Let me start it off with my story. The reason for me to share my story is unlike any other phenomenon, Entrepreneurship has never been built based on any theories and principles. It’s all about experience and that is why sometimes it’s considered as a black magic and avoided by people though they would like to pursue it. Only if you have the right passion can you explore it and discover the magnificent wonders hidden inside.

You can read my blog which I wrote after completing my first year as an Entrepreneur. “Life as an Entrepreneur” Many of my readers appreciated this post.

My business, Epitom Consulting is in its 3rd year of journey along with its co-brands Epitom Trinergy and Epitom Training. I have seen lots of up and downs and what makes me happy now is when people recognize my company.  Epitom Consulting handles all marketing consulting, marketing planning and market research services whilst Epitom Training handles workshops, internal training programs, courses etc. catering to over 300 clients in a short span of time. My other infant that is just 6 months old is Epitom Trinergy has started operating in four different countries as a registered legal entity in Sri Lanka, Mexico, Nederland and USA.

I admit that the journey of Entrepreneurship is hard, hectic and sometimes isolates you from the rest of the world. At some point you feel you have lost many things compared to your colleagues and friends. But the positive side of Entrepreneurship is the feeling of having the complete freedom of doing what you like and think as right. Simply the passion that you have towards your venture keeps you moving forward. That is why I have titled this post as “Mondays give Happiness and Fridays make no Changes!” when you start working with passion you do not panic about Mondays and are glad about Fridays.



There are big difference between working under someone while helping them to achieve their dreams and being your own boss. I am not implying that there is anything wrong with corporate life compared to becoming an Entrepreneur.  All I am saying is the perspectives of looking at life is totally different in these two viewpoints.

If you are passionate you will not quit the journey no matter how hard it is.

Do not purse an entrepreneurship life if you only want to:

  • earn money
  • get respect in society
  • build an image as a risk taker


  • imitate someone simply because he or she is doing a business  successfully

2- Be ready to come out from Your Safe Zones



If you are comfortable in a place or at a particular state-of-mind there is less chances of enterprising and risk taking. You should be prepared to forego the comfort and safety.

I am out of the safe zone now. I do not have a job or a fixed monthly income. Epitom is my life. So I work day and night for the growth of my own brand.

When you see you have a team working for you to achieve your dreams, when you see you are fighting for your own survival, when you realize you have to answer people who laughed at you at the beginning, when you see you have a better half supporting you at maximum, when you see your parents waiting for your business to grow and when you see each day your efforts boost your brand, you will not expect a comfortable life with weekends and holidays. There is not much of a difference between Mondays and Fridays for you.

I have not taken big risks while I was working, but my risk taking expedition started when I started my own business. As an Entrepreneur you have to seek for big returns that gradually end up in taking big risks. Entrepreneur life is not about sitting and watching whales leap. It’s all about becoming a Whale yourself.

3-How you are going to Measure your Success?

This image is enough to show how success should be measured. Success is not what you see. It’s what you will get down the line. Success in the entrepreneur life is not immediate. You will have to wait while watching others pass you. Do not measure your success in terms of monetary value.



  • Value it based on the level of freedom that you enjoy being an Entrepreneur
  • How much you are content about your current growth
  • The brands that you have created
  • The number of people who work for you and how you look after them
  • How many customers are happy with your products and services
  • What is your contribution towards your society

4- Self-Satisfaction Drives Everything

I know money is important but not everything is related to money. I have seen many of my friends complaining about their work even though they are paid well and given all sorts of fringe benefits.  They are frustrated and badly want to get out of their jobs. But once you become an Entrepreneur you will never hate your life because that path though it’s difficult was chosen by you. You will start loving it. When you see your infant (I mean your brand J ) is growing day by day, you will have real self-satisfaction which cannot be compared to anything else.

Even when working I got a very good salary. Failures were not part of my life when I was schooling, graduating or following my professional studies. But when I started to be on my own, I started to taste the sweetness of failure (I say it’s sweetness as I chose it whole heartedly). Entrepreneur life is not easy as you think. The failures will craft you like a statue. When you move forward you will become competent in handling failures, disappointment and challenges easily.

Whatever it is ultimately if you are self-satisfied with what you are doing, that state-of-mind will drive your business towards success.

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden


5- Monotonous way of Thinking will not Work

New ways of thinking is a must if you want to become an Entrepreneur. You should be always determined to think out of the box and implement new ideas to take your business forward. Dare to think differently even if it’s criticized or convicted.


If you are working under someone, unless you are the decision maker it’s always difficult to implement what you think as correct. Your immediate boss might say NO, or the top level decision makers might criticize your ideas. At the end of the day you will become a confused person and wonder whether you are really capable of doing things? What if my ideas are dump? But when you become your own boss, this is what your role is. Strategize and implement whatever your gut feeling says as correct. Even if you fail you finally end up with a study point.

“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” – Benjamin Franklin


6- Finally Understand and Accept the Black Side of Entrepreneurship

During your tenure as a start-up Entrepreneur sometimes (not always but generally) you will travel along the path of uncertainty. Sometimes you will not even have single cent to take a bus to go home. Or you may have some other commitments like paying a supplier, paying your bills etc. which may force you to spend nothing on yourself.  You may face situation where you will have to walk to your home till you gradually wear out the soles of your shoes.

Despite the hard times, one day your passion and determination will start paying-off in the way that you may have not expected. These difficulties will model you little by little and make you cable enough to think strategically and innovatively.


Small Business Ideas for Sri Lankan

I’m an entrepreneur myself,  and willing to help anyone those who have the real spirit.

(Send me a Request to get ideas and advice)

My Email ID –

  1. 16 Products ideas to start a business in Sri Lanka– One
    (Ideas – LED Backlit car stickers, Handsfree Umbrella, Sunbath the comfortable way, Creative Bobbleheads, A folding Guitar, Branding Grills, No more embarrassing moments, Re-invented ice cream float,Costume makeover for your old fridge, Hygienic Play-pen, Educational Flash Cards, Inspiring messages in the gift products , Chopstick Baskets, Make your kids love medicine)
  2. 9 products and service ideas to start a small business in Sri Lanka – Two
    (Ideas – Toilet training for your kitty, Child seat-cum luggage, Pogo Sticks, Make those wild collars stay, Interchangeable Shoe, Sweeping made easy, Nasal screens, cooking alarm clock, Rental service for toys)
  3. 11 products ideas for Sri Lankan Market  – Three
  4. 10 ideas to kickstart your business – Four
  5. More to come

If you are really keen in starting up your own business, it may be even a very small venture with a very low level of investment,  send me an email to get free advices or make an appointment and meet me at my office.


Click here to know about me 

 Latest Video

View some of the ideas and tactics posts

Life as an Entrepreneur 

Wake-up the Entrepreneur Sleeping inside you

Writing a simple marketing plan for your company

13 tips for small and medium enterprises to build their presence online

Starting your day