HAPPINESS from Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

HAPPINESS from Sri Lanka

I love entrepreneurship. Especially, the social economy concept to give real value to community. I honestly believe that we have done that throughout the years

Digital collaboration connects people, information and communications in one convenient place. Communities are now part of the digital experience. One of the perks of digital collaboration is that it connects a broader network of participants who can accomplish much more than they would on their own. #HAPPYSRILANKANS is one such digital community collaborative platform designed to spread happiness of Sri Lankans living across the world. In an exclusive interview with the Young Voice, the founder, Manoj Alwis revealed the story behind #HAPPYSRILANKANS and what it had done to the community over the years by providing a platform for the fellow Sri Lankans to share their happiness from wherever they are.

What is #HAPPYSRILANKANS?

#HAPPYSRILANKANS is a digital community collaborative platform to spread happiness of Sri Lankans in the country and all around the world. We believe that we were able to change our nationality from Sri Lankans to Happy Sri Lankans on digital platform. We really want to use new technology to connect people and make people happy to show Sri Lanka is the best place in the world.

Directly and indirectly this will add more value to our nation and country, especially unity.

In the past #HAPPYSRILANKANS did a lot of digital media campaigns for top Sri Lankan companies/government and NGO’s to connect and collaborate with positive thinking Sri Lankans across the world including fields like sports, travel and tourism, education, media and charity.

How did you start it and how has it expanded over the years?

The thought to initiate #HAPPYSRILANKANS was mainly inspired by Pharrel Williams’ Happy Song.

I am the founder of #HAPPYSRILANKANS and it was officially started in 2014 October in Colombo and now we have operations in Sri Lanka, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, mainly based on the Sri Lankan communities in overseas.

Kasun Sameera is the co-founder of #HAPPYSRILANKANS based in UK and we have Lahiru Withanage(Director), Kavindu Wijewickrama(Director) and quite a lot of volunteers from different countries.

Why did you think of starting something like this?

I posses a degree in IT and completed my MBA at Rajarata University. Currently, I am working as a software engineer in New Zealand.

Since I have a background in software engineering and business I thought of initiating a new venture. I love entrepreneurship. Especially, the social economy concept to give real value to community. I honestly believe that we have done that throughout the years.

How was the response when you started and how different is the response now?

From the beginning itself we had great support from Sri Lankans and people who love Sri Lanka across the globe and we were able to create our brand, a standout name. We acquired copyrights for name and logo under intellectual Property.

What we are mainly focussing now is to increase our fan base across the world and give something valuable to the community in return.

What kind of criticisms have you faced when you were just setting the background to start #HAPPYSRILANKANS?

I have faced a lot of problems when trying to explain our idea and vision behind #HAPPYSRILANKANS. We are not like a fully profit oriented organization and mainly consider country and people of Sri Lanka and their happiness. Also, we are not a traditional digital media company and we have our own ethics and principles in day to day business activities. So, I would say it was mainly about the nature of our site and what kind of work we do for the Sri Lankan community.

How would you describe the support you get from your family members and people around you?

My father was a businessman and I believe that I got the same interests in business and entrepreneurship. I am interested in new trends and opportunities in the world. My mom is the one who motivated me and gave all the support to achieve what I have today. If not for her, I do not think this could have been possible. Also my friends and Sri Lankans who live across the world have been very supportive and encouraging from the beginning. I am so grateful to all of them.

What kind of events does your website feature? How do you select them? Is there a specific criterion? What kind of content has the most response? Why?

Our website www.happysrilankans.com covers original Sri Lankan content about travel, sports, entertainment, business, history and culture and entertainment. We make sure that our content is positive to Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka which is one of our core principles. We receive a lot of content from Sri Lankans overseas. #HAPPYSRILANKANS have over 10000 visitors per day and also we have a huge fan base on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram

We have huge engagements with photos and videos; especially, we cover photography and videos of the happiest events in Sri Lanka and some of our fans sharing their happiest moments with us.

What is your opinion on other sites of the same genre? Do you think there is a healthy competition?

Yes, we believe that there is a huge competition out there. But we are happy to say we are not like a traditional digital marketing company and we have our own identity. #HAPPYSRILANKANS has already made its mark in a unique way in the digital marketing world. However, we are planning to improve more and to be better in future.

What kind of developments can we expect from the site? Any plans to expand?

We are actually planning to connect more with content creators locally and internationally to give best digital contents related to Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans. We already have content creators from UK, Germany and New Zealand.

How can a person contact #HAPPYSRILANKANS if he/she is willing to get an event featured in your site?

To get our 360 digital coverage and engagement with the Sri Lankan community locally and internationally ,contact [email protected] . We do photography, digital marketing, video creation, content writing and 360 digital coverage. They can also connect with us from our social media accounts mentioned below.

 

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