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How to succeed as Sri Lanka’s top woman entrepreneur: Honesty, hard work, and perseverance

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
This International Women’s Day I chose to have a conversation with a lady who is recognized as the leading Sri Lankan woman entrepreneur, Mrs. Aban Pestonjee.  

Her story is an inspiration to youth (male and female) and women who are afraid of failure and taking risks.

Starting from a modest home-based business, 50 years ago, today Aban is a household brand name that is island wide in Sri Lanka.

The company employs people from different walks of life in diverse jobs from street cleaners to those employed in a mega mall. The business ranges from Electronic Retailing to Sri Lanka’s most Modern Mall, to Logistics, Manufacturing, Environmental Services, and even City Cleaning Services.
 
All this started with a young lady who dared to dream big and defeated the fear of failure.
 
 
In our conversation, Mrs. Pestonjee said that many ask her if she had to face challenges because she is a woman and her response is “No”. She told me that as long as a woman has mastered her line of work and has proven she is capable of her job, she can overcome all other obstacles.

  “YOU LEARN WHEN YOU MAKE MISTAKES, AND THEN YOU COME OUT STRONGER BECAUSE YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESS EVEN AFTER THAT.” – Aban Pestonjee

Interview with Aban Pestonjee, interviewed by Geoffrey Jones, Mumbai, India, July 13, 2017, Creating Emerging Markets Oral History Collection, Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School.

Read more here.
 
Watch our conversation here:

 

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