“I want to be an influence around the world” - Prassanna Pathmanathan
by Menaka Indrakumar
Prassanna Pathmanathan, one of the top trainers in personality development in Sri Lanka, is growing in phenomenally with his power packed training session in different sectors.
This year he was awarded The Trainer of The Year 2017 at the recently concluded the best employer brand and leadership awards.
Recently, he sat down with Ceylon Today to narrate his story of success and how he plans to venture into IT and the upcoming fashion shows he will be organizing.
As an influential person, how do you feel?
I am recalling a quote once said by Michelle Obama, "Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives". When I started training corporate I thought about the people who need my support but can't afford my training. Due, to that I started an initiative named "MAKE IT HAPPEN" to train school students, university undergraduates, graduates, soldiers, underprivileged women in Sri Lanka and youth around the world. I speak to them to build their motivation, help them to start their career, help them to start a business etc. The response I receive around the world and in Sri Lanka is overwhelming and me able to influence and inspire these youngsters is a great blessing. I will continue this initiative till the end of my journey and influence as many as I can.
How has the journey being so far?
The Journey was indeed overwhelming. As corporate trainer, lecturer and an entrepreneur I was very successful to achieve it all. At the same time I play so many roles in the fashion industry was well.
It hasn't been a bed of roses; going through so much pain and with much hard work I was able accomplish what I wanted. For me every day is a learning curve and hope to achieve as time goes.
What made you get into training?
This wasn't a choice of career for me. In 2010, I was a head of marketing department in an advertising company. Later I was offered to conduct personality development training for a company and thereon like they say rest was history.
You had no backing, but how did you manage to make it?
Yes, I had no backing any at all. The main reasons for my success are careful planning, personal branding, the right network, and of course my parents and God's blessings.
Even though I had the least amount of support, certain people helped me get where I am today. I am a very focused person, I work hard to get what I want and reach my ultimate goal. I give 150% to everything I do.
When it comes to training, who is your competitor?
I don't consider anyone as a competitor because everyone has a unique style and are knowledgeable in their subject areas. I can't compete with them in their expertise and vice versa.
I always try to do the best for my clients and do that extra bit which others don't do. In which case I feel I am different, I converse in all three languages and am able to handle any level of training.
Having already bagged many awards, tell something about your recent one.
It's an honour to win many awards in a short span of time. I started the company four years ago. I confidently applied for the awards based on my credentials.
In 2016 I won the most outstanding Corporate Trainer in South Asia competing with the contestants from eight countries at the South Asian Business Excellence Awards and Partnership Summit.
The same here; I was awarded the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Sri Lanka Award under the Humanitarian Category for my "MAKE IT HAPPEN" initiative of conducting free trainings islandwide.
In 2017 the World HRD Congress picked the top 100 world leaders in training and Development and I won that too. The recent one is the most memorable "Trainer of the year 2017" award at the Sri Lanka Best Employer Brands and Leadership Awards held at Taj Samudra recently.
You have recently started a new venture in IT; tell us about it?
Being an IT graduate I always wanted to start this venture. The only issue is the time factor due my other commitments. I am planning to specialize in IOT devices and embedded services. Thus, we are also in software, mobile and web development as well.
What you consider your major achievements in the fashion/beauty industry?
Not having proper fashion background, but it always interested me. Starting off as a fashion journalist, I have interviewed many fashion personalities locally and internationally. I have done many shows in Sri Lanka and overseas.
I was a judge for the Mr. Earth in 2011 and was a part of the London Fashion Week in 2015. I won the Young Entrepreneur Fashion and Design Award in 2012. Having the opportunity to work with Sir Paul Smith in London and to move around with many international fashion personalities was a thrilling experience for me.
In 2013 I had the privilege of meeting His Royal Highness Prince of Wales, Prince Charles for my creativework. Now, I am the President of Colombo Fashion Council and I feel very good about my journey in fashion and beauty.
You have travelled extensively regarding work; which has been the best place?
I have travelled to all the continents in the world for work through my Training and Fashion Company. The best, life changing place for me was Alexandria, Egypt. I was invited by AIESECC Alexandria in 2016 for two months to train the school students and the university undergraduates.
After all this, what will you be planning to do?
I don't plan anything; I go with the flow. Most of what has happened was totally unplanned. At this stage I want to take my IT and training company to global standards and gain international recognition.
I want to inspire many and be an influence around the world.
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