The Fragrance of Success
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Ceylon Today Features
“You are never fully dressed without perfume” is a well- known saying and provides enough evidence to show how important perfumes are in today’s society. People of all ages and all walks of life are accustomed to using perfumes in status quo. However, the local production of perfumes is at a very low level which results in billions of rupees spent on importing various perfume products.
Although Sri Lanka in particular has the resources to make such manufacturing operations easily, it is somewhat questionable whether entrepreneurs are working to make the most of them.
In this context, Ceylon Today met with a young entrepreneur who has started a small scale perfume manufacturing business and is enthusiastic about his new business and the endless possibilities it brings with it.
Shifan Najumudeen is a resident of Dehiwala and started his business in October 2019. Although he started it with very little resources and facilities, today, he is proud to say that he has managed to take his business from strength to strength and mark a significant level of success.
Najumudeen worked in the Middle East for nearly 10 years before returning to Sri Lanka. Upon his return, he started a food business with the help of his wife and family. However, he couldn’t sustain it and had to close it down due to the situation that arose in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019, leading to many financial hardships.
While working in the Middle East, Najumudeen gained an extensive knowledge on how to produce and sell perfumes. Since then he desired to start a business of his own wherein he could apply all that he had learnt. Putting his knowledge and skills into good use, he subsequently started producing perfumes with minimal facilities and received great support from his family and friends.
Using his network of contacts he garnered while working in the Middle East, Najumudeen was able to import special products from abroad that helped make his business unique, among its competitors. The specialty of the perfumes he now produces is that they are made using 100 per cent natural oils. Additionally, he ensures that the scent of these perfumes last for a minimum of 12 hours.
Najumudeen said it was a challenge for him to take the perfumes to consumers after the business was launched, but he worked tirelessly to promote his product among consumers who wanted to buy the perfume at a reasonable price. He added that he had set up temporary stalls at various government and private premises to sell the products.
With the potential to sell between 350 and 400 bottles of perfume a month in the very early days, he realised he can grow the business further. Accordingly, he is working to bring his products to the masses through social media platforms which have now become the ideal ways for businesses to market their products given the current scenario. In the meantime, a friend of his, who was facing economic hardships due to reasons such as the COVID-19 pandemic, has joined with him for the business.
Now, Najumudeen, with the support of his wife, family and friends will be open in a permanent outlet in a small building near Dehiwala, which is owned by his friend. The opening will take place on 2 May at No. 68, Ratnakara Place, Dehiwala. He said that by now all the relevant registrations have been completed and his next target is to sell 500 bottles of perfume per month. He also said that he hopes to sell his products wherever possible under a Sri Lankan brand in the near future.
Supporting growing entrepreneurs is the best method to grow the local economy, and the hunger to innovate and succeed is seen through Najumudeen’s fearless strength to work hard at something that inspires him.