Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 – Bandara Dissanayake

My father was clever in both farming and selling. But he was not a landowner by birth. We felt like our mother’s family is wealthier than our father’s family but my father was a successful entrepreneur. He could start a job, improve that and increase earnings. I couldn’t realize it but I must have inspired him. Also, thanks to my mother who helps father so much my childhood was simple and enjoyable even with little shortcomings are there

Sadly, my father died when I was only 8 years old. Our family became unstable. I was studying at Paniyankadawala College and my two brothers and elder sister were studying at Anuradhapura Central College. After the death of the father, our economic situation was so bad. Mom hadn’t enough money to enter me the school of the town. Even in that much worst situation, our mother could still manage to raise us well. Then there was a rebellion. It started in 1971 when I was eleven years old. They thought my two brothers working with J.V.P. rebels. They were arrested and prisoned for two years. That was a really hard time for us. When my brothers are released, I was sent to the school of the town.

I have done a lot of jobs. I have farmed, worked as a tea maker in my brother’s friend’s store, and worked as a cashier. We also earn extra income by providing accommodation. Several teachers who are come from Colombo stayed at our house. That was one of my reasons to became a teacher. Even I came to Colombo first with one of them. My sister entered the University of Kelaniya while I going to the University of Sri Jayawardhanapura. The main reason for that is she had to leave the central college and enter the small school in our village. She couldn’t get enough results.

I received some money from my brother who was farming at that time. I started teaching as a home visiting teacher in my first year but I also hold group classes at that time. After I finished university education I got a job as a teacher at a school near my home village. My subject was mathematics and I had to teach 2nd-grade students, even I had a management degree.

My only dream was to improve my tuition classes. I had to go to Colombo on Friday and came back on Sunday evening. On Saturday and Sunday, I hold classes. This loop has happened for two years

I could withstand challenges thanks to my social, economic, and political problems L has faced in the village. That helps me in the campus and the tuition classes. I was going to teach on a bus and came to the accommodation on foot. A tea was given by the houses I hold classes is valuable than money at that time. It was that much hard time.

I have never missed a class that time. I still remember in our last year when we went on our badge trip everybody stayed at Kandy. But I came back to Colombo by bus to hold the classes. I haven’t the ambition to be the best bypassing others. I only want to do my works better.

I never have unnecessary satisfaction. Yesterday or tomorrow. I never spoke about religions and politics with my students. I wanted to do my best for the students who pay me.

I got married in 1992. She was my biggest helper since then. She dismissed her university education for me. We had only one room. She typed my tutees with a typewriter in our house. I distributed those between classes Sometimes those were roneoed ones and I brought them by bus. I had a time I stuck posters by myself. Rashi is still working hard for me. She wakes up at 3.30 AM and she irons my clothes and prepares breakfast. Maybe I couldn’t succeed if I hadn’t her.

Now I am a teacher who taught most people in Sri Lanka. I am a loved one by millions of students. It will continue to be so. An entrepreneur should do many sacrifices in his life but I should make my life simple. But to do that I must give up my students. I can’t do that now. But I know I should do that in the future.

– Bandara Dissanayake –

(Content Writer and Content Owner – Our Economics)


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