Sri Lanka’s Spa Ceylon co-founder says small businesses should find unfulfilled consumer needs in niche areas
Director and Co-founder of Sri Lanka’s Spa Ceylon, Shalin Balasuriya has reportedly said that local small businesses venturing overseas should look at gaps in the market, identify unfulfilled consumer needs in niche areas and use branding to differentiate themselves from competition.
“You have to have that unique identify – that’s the need for creating good brands, which means you are more resilient and can ask for premiums,” Balasuriya has been quoted as saying in the media.
He has made these observations at a recent economic forum in Colombo organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Spa Ceylon, which is known for its luxury ayurveda spas and produces herbal products, operates in 14 countries.
Balasuriya has explained that small and medium enterprises should look at not only technology but further afield as there were a lot of other opportunities.
“You need to identify them and make sense to the global consumer. You need to focus on branding so you can go out and stand out and be unique. Only when we become unique we can start demanding premiums and become more robust,” he has noted.
“We started as an SME, took a product, ayurveda, which has a history of 5,000 years, we tweeked it, made it relevant to our audience, and one that could be exported and managed to make it a successful export.”
According to Balasuriya, the key thing for SMEs is to start looking at brands and looking in a global sense.
Sri Lanka’s Spa Ceylon is a success story of a small business that has now created a global name for itself by identifying niche areas to carry out their wellness business. As stated by the co-founder of Spa Ceylon small businesses could look at unfulfilled consumer needs niche market segments given the potential for growth in many economic sectors in the country. Hence, this indicates the opening of business opportunities for foreign businesses/investors to explore possibilities of forming partnerships with local businesses with the aim of venturing into the global market.
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