Transform Sri Lankan economy through micro-small & medium enterprises.

SME’s form the bedrock of Sri Lanka’s economy. As the economy moves from low- to mid-income status, the economic relevance of SME’s will also grow further, with SME’s accounting for an increasing share of both gross national income and employment. Ensuring that SME’s have access to high quality business development services is central to supporting their growth, and by extension, the growth of the whole economy.

The Problem

Due to the continuous and fierce struggle to preserve their narrow profit margins, small-scale entrepreneurs are often locked in their routine work and unable to introduce innovative improvements to their products and processors and cannot look beyond the boundaries of their firms to capture new market opportunities.

  1. Individually, SME’s are often unable to capture market opportunities which require large production quantities, homogenous standards, and regular supply.
  2. They experience difficulties in achieving economies of scale in the purchase of inputs (such as equipment, raw materials, finance, consulting services, etc.)
  3. Small size constitutes a significant hindrance to the internalization of functions such as training, market intelligence, logistics and technology innovation all of which are at the very core of firm dynamism.
  4. Small & Medium scale prevents the achievement of specialized and effective internal division of labor that fosters cumulative improvements in productive capabilities and innovation.

The Solution

Provide networking assistance to SMEs so that they can escape these limitations through co-creative efforts. For this purpose, we should create active SME consortiums & networks.

  1. Mentoring & Training
  2. Business Development Services
  1. The term ‘consortium‘ refers to a group of firms that cooperate on a joint  project – like joint raw material purchase , joint marketing through common brand, cost sharing , capacity utilization , joint participations in exhibitions & marketing tours etc. thereby complementing each other in order to overcome common problems, achieve collective efficiency and conquer markets beyond their individual reach. Market access success is key to technological up gradation. Once they know the market, they will themselves invest in upgrading their processors in order to tap the markets.
  2. The term ‘cluster‘ indicates a sectoral and geographical concentration of enterprises which produce and sell a range of related products and are, thus, faced with common challenges and opportunities.

Once they are convinced of the huge market, they also understand that individually they will not be able to target these markets & may not be able to supply also in large quantities.

Based on these facts, they will agree to work together on joint marketing under a common brand & order sharing concept, the model of which differs from cluster to cluster & even from consortium to consortium within the same cluster.

Why consortia/cluster?

  1. Economies of scale – such as joint sourcing of inputs/raw materials and joint marketing efforts. This reduces cost.
  2. Economies of skill – hire one professional manager for the group who is competent to liaise with buyers and manage contracts. This individual should be able to communicate in English.
  3. Quantity – meet demand for large quantity orders.
  4. Variety – offer a wider range of products than is possible individually with information buyers want.
  5. Learning – hands on experience of the advantage of business to business co-operation.
  6. Cost Sharing – such as cost of booth, travel, marketing for a trade fair or buyer meetups.
  7. Spot light – can generate attention through media and buyers.

Threat to SMEs and the Solution

What will happen to Small & Medium Enterprises ( SME’s ) in case big companies & import products enter Sri Lanka in a big way. Will the SME’s , which generates large employment, collapse ? Will the crime rate go up due to unemployment? Will the social fabric of Sri Lanka get disturbed?

One of the probable solutions is that SME’s need infrastructural, technological & marketing support. Cluster development approach should not run in isolation, but as a science backed by real time data analysis with believable fact & figures on local/international market size.

The cluster development approach envisages consortium initiatives as components of a broader spectrum of support measures to SMEs. This is because such initiatives are frequently much more effective and sustainable if they involve the entire range of actors with whom the SMEs commonly interact. Among such actors are:

  • Suppliers of raw materials , plant & machinery
  • Consumers of goods and services from the SMEs Testing laboratories
    (both private and public)
  • Research and development institutions
  • Industrial Associations
  • Technical , Marketing and management consultancy organizations
  • Training Institutions
  • Regulatory bodies enforcing/monitoring rules and regulations
  • Local Government
  • Financial Institution

 Business Development Services (BDS) for the Micro, Small & Medium businesses

Business Development Services (BDS) are services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete in global market. Business Development Services include training, consultancy and advisory services, marketing assistance, networking, information, financial services, technology development and transfer, and business linkage promotion.

A distinction is sometimes made between “operational” and “strategic” business services.

Operational services are those needed for day-to-day operations, such as information and communications, management of accounts and tax records, and compliance with labor laws and other regulations.

Strategic services, on the other hand, are used by the enterprise to address medium and long-term issues in order to improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete. For example, strategic services can help the enterprise to identify and service markets, design products, set up facilities, patents advisory and seek financing.


However, there is a long way to go still. It is just the beginning of a journey !!!



Learning has become a lifelong practice and will remain important for individuals / organizations as we transform into a “learning society” or “knowledge hub”.

Vision  Build a Responsible Visionary

Promise With sufficient client(or beneficiary) commitment to the process, improvement will be noticeable and measurable on specific behaviors.

Are you a good collaborator? Do you think so? What do the others think? Does your team follow you? Respect you?


  • To mentor and to build 15+ teens, youth and adults into responsible citizens who will be a role model and a transformational force in their communities.
  • Identification of the key behaviors and to continue, to do more, to do less, to start and stop doing to increase life/career effectiveness.

For Whom? Schools, Higher educational institutes, Youth groups, Community focused groups, private circles, Corporates or individuals.

Our Leadership Philosophy

Leadership is a choice not a reward. Leadership is to collaborate & serve not authority.

Introduction to ABLE – Activity Based Leadership Experience

Explaining and understanding the nature of good leadership is easier than practicing it.

Good leadership requires deep human qualities, beyond conventional notions of authority.

Click here > Sample workshop content

In the modern age good leaders are an enabling force, helping people and organizations to perform and develop, which implies that a sophisticated alignment be achieved – of people’s needs, and the aims of the team/organization.

Effective leadership does not necessarily require great technical or intellectual capacity. These attributes might help, but they are not pivotal. Good leadership in the modern age more importantly requires attitudes and behaviors which characterize and relate to humanity.

Leadership is primarily concerned with people. Of course leadership involves decisions and actions relating to all sorts of other things, but the role of a leader is special compared to any other role because of its unique responsibility for people – i.e. the followers of the leader – in whatever context leadership is seen to operate.

The leadership role is an inevitable reflection of people’s needs and challenges in modern life. Leadership is therefore a profound concept, with increasingly complex implications, driven by an increasingly complex and fast-changing world. People who want to be a leader can develop leadership ability. Leadership is not the exclusive preserve of the wealthy and educated.

Leadership is a matter of personal conviction and believing strongly in a cause or aim, whatever it is. Anyone can be a leader if he/she is suitably driven to a particular cause.

The many qualities of effective leadership, like confidence and charisma, continue to grow from experience in the leadership role. Even initially surprised modest leaders can become great ones, and sometimes the greatest ones. Leadership can be performed with different styles. Some leaders have one style, which is right for certain situations and wrong for others. Some leaders can adapt and use different leadership styles for given situations.

Adaptability of style is an increasingly significant aspect of leadership, because the world is increasingly complex and dynamic. Adaptability stems from objectivity, which in turn stems from emotional security and emotional maturity. Again these strengths are not dependent on wealth or education, or skills or processes.

How can you enter in to a psychological contract with your team? As you step out in to society how can you, create an identity for yourself? An identity which will speak volumes of leadership skills as well as confidence, efficiency and productivity?

Learn with us. We ensure that our solutions work!

 Everything starts as a seed. The seed represents the beginning. For any seed to grow it must be properly planted. No seed will mature before its time.  – Shaveen Fernando, Mentor.

Contact Shaveen Fernando – Initiator, on +94 772 428 428 or for more information.

Mentor On Road Sri Lanka


The Mentor on road is a not-for profit, for-purpose program connecting MSMEs and Start Ups in 13 Days, 28 Cities, & a drive driving through 1400+ Kms

Mentor on Road, Sri Lanka, is the first International Mentor on Road project. It was envisaged by Mr. Jagat Shah, who, on this project, travelled through 30 cities in India, driving over 9400 + Kms. Mentor on Road – India addressed over 10,000+ companies on “innovative approaches to grow your business by connecting to the global market”.

The most challenging project of his lifetime has been in Afghanistan where he worked with support of USAID with 20,000 carpet weavers, 6,000 dry fruit farmers & 2,000 handicraft artisans to not only take them out of poverty but to make them into exporters with warehouses & offices in USA, Germany & India. He strongly believes that if change can be brought about in Afghanistan, then it can be brought about in any country in the world.  

Shaveen Fernando Founder, SALT has taken up the mantel to do the same in Sri Lanka, along with Jagat Shah. Shaveen will be travelling through 28 cities, starting from Colombo, driving over 1400+ Kms. He will be addressing several micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in this journey of 13 days, on ways to start and grow business. Several industries segregated through clusters would be advised on how to either start business/exports or build on existing businesses/export for higher profits.

With this Vision, Mentor on Road – Sri Lanka will have 3 bottom lines:

  • Micro/cottage industries should have the confidence by equipping them with low cost tools to start national and global marketing
  • Small Industries work in clusters to form consortia to reach national and global markets.
  • All stake holders receive the most innovative ways and best case practices around the world to start business/export and build relations and network globally.

In this project, major companies will be involved for CSR activities, and various chambers will join hands with Mentor on Road to facilitate such workshops through the tour.

With the rising new economy and industries, Sri Lanka has to capitalize on the strengths of its globalization prowess. Mentor On Road aims to connect the industry clusters of Sri Lanka to the global markets. Through our highly informative and interactive seminars, we equip all participants with the knowledge of “Innovative ways to start business/exports and innovative ways to grow business/exports”.

Click here to know more about Mentor On Road Sri Lanka mission
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Starting from 18th March, 2017, Shaveen Fernando will be travelling, and you can look at the website to know when he will be available in your city for mentoring. Post the tour, Shaveen would have appointed several local mentors, who shall be trained on the same, and who shall serve to mentor the companies that may approach later.

Contact Shaveen Fernando – Country Mentor, on 0772 428 428 or for more information.

“Build Business, People First”



“Our vision of SALT FARM HEROES is that the modern day farmer will work the land with higher purpose. They will be using new seeds, modern methods, they will be young, they will be skilled and have cars outside their houses and market information under their fingertips through modern technology.”


Develop globally competent farming entrepreneurs to produce highest quality organic food.


We aim to make reasonably priced, healthy highest quality organic food affordable and accessible for all levels in the society.

We want to modernize the farm for Farm-stays in open-air chalets and tents.

SALT Farm Hero’s project wants to develop a loyalty based income scheme to help farmers expand organic production for-profit share basis and empower youth to partner for a globally competent professional farming career.

Problem we are solving

  • Reduce the health issues, Improve the quality of life & environment through certified affordable clean food.
  • Attract youth towards a globally competent sustainable organic farming (agriculture/livestock).
  • Maximum utilization of the land with organized clean food farming.
  • Unemployment and Underemployment.
  • Sustainable economic development in the country.

Greater opportunity to IMPACT INVESTING in SALT farm lands:

SALT Farmland investing is an excellent long-term investment.

Since food is so in-grained in our lives it only makes sense that it should also be a part of our investment strategy. Inflation hedging is the main reason why some investors are looking at agriculture.

Unlike gold, which is also a hedge against inflation, organic agriculture is growing very rapidly in industrialized countries, as consumers are increasingly interested in buying food free of pesticides and other chemicals.

Among producer countries, Sri Lanka maintains a reputation in organic crop production and export different varieties of organic products adhering to International standards. For over a decade, Sri Lanka had exported a range of organically certified products.


Shaveen Fernando – Project Initiator – 0772 428 428 or

“Build Business, People First”