Think positive, enjoy your profession | Daily News

Think positive, enjoy your profession

Creative Head of Triad (Pvt)  Ltd Varuni Amunugama Fernando.  Pictures by Rukmal Gamage
Creative Head of Triad (Pvt) Ltd Varuni Amunugama Fernando. Pictures by Rukmal Gamage

None would like a leader, who runs around like a headless chicken when panic and unease spread like a wild fire in their working environment, making it tough for anyone to focus. Best leaders stay calm and refrain from showing any cracks that appear. This is exactly how Varuni Amunugama Fernando appears – serene on the surface and wrapped in simplicity.

The Creative Head of Triad (Pvt) Ltd, Fernando is also its Co-Founder and serves as the Joint Managing Director. She is an Attorney-at-Law and LLB graduate from the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and has countless years of experience in the field of advertising. Together with Dilith Jayaweera who is also a lawyer by profession, Fernando set up Triad Advertising in 1993 with a team of just three people and steered it to be the most awarded indigenous advertising agency in Sri Lanka.

“I always believed in that ethos that Sri Lankan can be successful. We can create value for the country. At the beginning I had team of inspirational people who worked together as partners. We took the leadership and redefined the landscape completely in local communication industry,” Fernando said.

“Over the years Triad has evolved from just creative advertising to providing its clients with creative solutions to overcome their business issues. Over two decades, Team Triad has grown to over 100 and the agency has transformed into a fully integrated total communications solutions provider through the strength of its subsidiaries. We are a unique company who have not taken a single dividend but have pursued a backward integration strategy, establishing many subsidiaries,” she added.

The agency has since then enjoyed local and global recognition. In Sri Lanka, Triad rose to supremacy when it bagged six awards, including three Golds, at the industry acclaimed Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing Awards (SLIM Awards) in 2004 followed by 21 awards at SLIM 2005, including Best TV Commercial of the Year. 2006 saw the advent of the “Chillies”, the newly launched industry ad awards. Triad shot itself to the highest echelons of the industry and cemented its position as the local agency that best understood the local consumer by emerging the first at three consecutive award shows. The focus on real strategies that solve real problems has seen the agency become one of the most awarded at the Sri Lankan ‘Effies’ for effectiveness is advertising. Triad’s foremost international recognition came in 2008, when it was awarded a Bronze at the Asia Pacific advertising awards – AdFest 2008. In 2009, Triad was nominated for a Cannes award while also netting three USA-based Hermes Awards. Sometimes it is hard to think how a woman can be behind all this success.

“Ambition fueled by right ethics and financial discipline can pave way to such success. Today we see more and more women are establishing their own careers. Our economy is now independent. Women have emerged as decision makers of the country and have created equally strong partnerships. Women at present have a say in their life. Parents understand that the society has evolved and that their girl child no longer belongs in the kitchen but they can conquer their dreams,” Fernando explained.

She says that a woman by nature is more artistic and scientific. “Women possess soft skills. They are passionate about what they do. They can express creativity be it fashion, interior designing, teaching, nursing care, banking or engineering.

Commenting on women entering politics Fernando pronounced that it is a good opportunity for younger politicians to have view of what they say. “The young set both men and women have to come into the framework. I see only a very few politicians who have made a statement but the majority is unpatriotic and have improved themselves instead of the country. Little by little this layer has to move out. The dynamic young politicians should be exposed. They have new ideas and a new thinking. They are digitally savvy and I believe is the only hope for the country. Change in politics is a good thing,” she commented.

Fernando says to women of all ages that it is fortunate to be born a woman. “Being born a woman is a blessing and an advantage. We should switch our mindset and not underestimate a woman. Unlike in Western countries where women has to fight for equal rights, here in Sri Lanka a mother is the center of the family. She is the most respected. She is superior in certain aspects and is benevolent manipulator. She has the ability to use these skills for the betterment of the family and the country.

However a woman should always respect her spouse. If you are a career woman you should plan your day and never neglect the needs of the family. Family comes before the career,” she explained.

She advised women to think positive and enjoy doing whatever the profession they are involved in. “At present there is an opportunity for every woman to be an entrepreneur. Even the stay at home mother can create her own brand of jewellery and market your product online around the world. While you do something that you enjoy, you will be financially rewarded,” she said.

Finally addressing young career girls she said never delay to enter motherhood because of the career. “All women are created to be mothers, creating another human life is something someone can be proud of. I strongly believe work life and family life should be well balanced. The smart girl knows how to do it with self-discipline and self-regulation,” Fernando concluded.

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