No Straight Line: Kshemani Perera

No Straight Line: Kshemani Perera

We are back with our No Straight Line feature. This month, we talked with Stretchline Sri Lanka’s Deputy General Manager Strategy Implementation, Kshemani Perera.

Kshemani has been with Stretchline since 1998 and has brought her passion to different departments, from Sales, Operations to Product Development. Check out her journey with Stretchline and the industry below.

How did you start in the industry?

My career in the industry began at Stretchline as a Merchandiser in the Sales and Marketing Department. My diploma in Apparel Marketing led me naturally to sales, marketing, and customer service. However, I was able to shape my career path over the years with many great opportunities in different departments.

What is your current role at Stretchline?

I oversee the delivery of strategic projects in Sri Lanka, including our ongoing Sri Lanka Transformation project.

How does your role differ from what you set out to do?

I had no set plans when I started at Stretchline because the industry was new to me. I was eager to join and see where it would take me and learn along the way. Beyond that, there was no real plan. I just came prepared to work and put in the hours to grow and progress.

Reflecting on my journey over the last 24 years, I have learned so much about this industry and worked closely with the local and global teams to execute my current role effectively. As the business evolved, I was fortunate to develop with it. I believe this was largely due to exposure to both customers and their ever-changing and growing needs, as well as internal company cultures and people.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

I would advise my younger self on a few things. Firstly, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Working hard is good, but exposing yourself to new experiences and developing your skills are important. Create contacts and establish relationships by networking, both within and outside the organisation. And finally, be human-centric; the heart of every company is its people.

My biggest advice for young people entering the industry is simple – don’t be one version of yourself. That means you shouldn’t limit yourself to one area of expertise. You must be ready and agile to jump on new opportunities and work in and with different departments to succeed. Learning about the business and the people you work with is the best way to advance your career.

What advice do you have for your future self?

Never turn down an opportunity for growth or a chance to improve the business by taking risks. Be persistent and consistent in your efforts to achieve your goals.

Manufacturing is a team sport. Ensure that everyone you work with is supported and cared for. Teamwork makes everything possible!

Kshemani’s story is a testament to the power of being open. Narrowing yourself to one field of expertise is not the only way to succeed. Having worked in different departments, she now strategically connects the threads to help us achieve excellence in our service and products.

Did you find Kshemani’s career path interesting? Then, keep an eye out for more deep dives into the not-so-straight lines taken by Stretchline family.

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