The legendary Sri Lankanවිශ්ව කිර්තිදේශබන්ධුRamanayake,J. C.
The road to the success in Japan winning used car exporting industry.
Figure 1 :
Brand new cars awaiting for the shipment at the port Japan is known to be the world's most famous country for the quality cars at affordable prices. The automobile industry in Japan is systematically segmented ensuring equal opportunities for all stake holders involving in. Mainly cars industry could be categorized in to four, new cars, almost new, used cars and heavily used cars. The mother companies (OEM's) usually don't interfere in to business of their subordinates. The manufactures of any brand have their own show rooms almost in all districts specializing for one particular category. E.g. Toyota Motor Company has it's show rooms for brand new Toyota Premio cars and Toyota Axio cars separately in the same district but not operating together.
Secondly the company owned subsidiaries operate car centers for pre-owned cars (almostnew), thirdly again mother companies operate their nominated or subsidiaries to deal used cars and then for heavily used cars. Though the automobile manufactures operating in red blooded ocean, find it very difficult to generate considerable incomes for themselves, they never used to change their policies of management of their subsidiaries. In other words, the mother companies used to export only brand new cars specially made for exports, never attempts to export used or once registered cars in Japan. That exports of used or registered car industry are completely operated by the local or foreign based companies without any collaborations of the original manufactures. Apart from the Japanese car makers, all most all the world renowned car manufactures operate their car show rooms in Japan.
The success of the Japanese automobile industry basically lies on the Using behavior of Japanese citizens. The beginners used to own very basic cars, then teenager's mystery utility cars, just married couple medium cars, girls or new mothers use different cars,next family type vehicles, company owners or big business men uses luxury European cars, senior citizen use little bigger cars while vans and trucks are exclusively used for transportations, So the needs for the different ages and different purposes are well differentiated and accordingly fulfilled.
Exporting industry of used and registered cars
Jagath C.Ramanayake, hailed from Nalanda College in Colombo 10 up to his Advanced Levels in Mathematics stream. He was a energetic all rounding player though he captained Rugby team in 1985. He showed unusual enthusiasm towards sports than studies. He had been involving in their parental business of car imports while studying. Young Jagath showed unmatchable leadership qualities coupled with some extraordinary innovative ideas. Yet being a student, he was very instrumental in introducing and developing new business strategies in the yet young but very prestigious cars importing Business. Ramanayake Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd. has been one of the pioneering automobile importers eversince the open economy was introduced.The business was run as a family business by his parents.
Jagath was a key player still hunting for further studies. Immediately after his Advanced Level examination in 1985, he obtained Scholarship to enter in to the Japanese Language school. Young Jagath entered in to the Japanese Language School and was very curious in to new environment and became crazy about how they carry out their day today activities. Impatient Jagath was heavily impressed by the whole Japanese system such as culture,society, management practices, general attitudes, disciplines. He made himself to compare how the differences Japan and Sri Lanka in all aspects are. Having settled in no time, Jagath began to think how he could assist to his parental business giving unmatchablecompetitive advantage. While he was attending to the Japanese college, he tried to understand the international business practices in the already red blooded ocean where the Japanese and Pakistan nationals dominated. In no time, Jagath mastered the business and set up his own company named Rama D.B.K Ltd at the age 23 years with the support of Japanese company own named NatsuoAihara since the students were not allowed to register companies in Japan, but the promising entrepreneur broke the icebergs and changed the history and open up his company with the support of Natsuo Ihara. Step by step he had been a grave threat to the existing exporters in Japan. Simultaneously, the local company Ramanayake Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd had been outperforming the local importers owing to the competitive advantages shared by the Jagath's Rama DBK. Ltd. being upgraded in every hour. In no time, Ramanayake Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd. had emerged as one of the pioneering and reliable importer among the exciting players in Sri Lanka.
This sudden emergence of Ramanayake Automobiles became a eye opener for other large scaled importers in Sri Lanka. Subsequently, they realized that the young entrepreneur is behand the success.Sooner they started chasing behind the young entrepreneur. It was honeymoon time for both Rama D.B.K. Ltd. and Ramanayake Automobiles together with other prominent large scaled importers. The company was gearing up and firing its all cylinders and expanded with Sri Lankan and Japanese staff. The young entrepreneur was not stopped and initiated to take his business to the rest of world where R.H.L cars are used except Sri Lanka. His dedicated staff members took the Rama D.B.K.Ltd to the world as the trusted name among the used car exporters in Japan.
Since then the entrepreneur has been maintaining a very good reputation within the big competitors in Japan and in Sri Lanka and appreciated locally by awarding prestigious විශ්ව කීර්ති දේශබන්ධු titleand held some prestigious designations in business and socio-cultural associations in Japan. He has been very instrumental making business and social bridge between Sri Lanka and Japan. Consecutive governments used to appreciate untiring contribution of Jagath to the nation and finally was appointed as the wise chairman of Naita in April 2018.
Ramanayake Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd.
The company was set up about 35 years ago by Mr. K.P.W Ramanayake and Mrs Nanda Ramanayke. Where Mrs. Nanda Ramanayake was a curriculum developer, and Mr. Ramanayke was a traditional businessman. Mr. Ramanayake, a very practical risk taking businessman, before the open economy was introduced in 1978, used to go to Jaffna by train with bunch of drivers to find carefully used cars and brought several cars and took to Colombo and sold with good margin. Because those days, it was a common belief that the cars used in Jaffna are superior quality than that of in the other parts of Island. Initially the company was started at No 21, DharmaramaRoad, Wellawatta, Sri Lanka as a home based business. After the economic policies were liberalized, in additional to locally used car business, the unused (imported from Japan)cars were purchased through third party who directly imported from Japan.
Jagath was seriously concerned as to why the company was purchasing locally instead of direct importing. The company had to rely on the direct importers. Thereby low profit margins and high lead times were huge concern to small strategist Jagath who continuously complained his educated mother to import cars directly from the suppliers in Japan. The directors company were little reluctant to import cars directly from unknown suppliers in Japan. The ordering from Japan, L/c opening and documentation, custom clearing and other logistic procedures were seen as undue risk by the family based company and continued to purchase from local importers in Sri Lanka.
Student Jagath was frequently complaining his parents as to why they were not going to import directly. Curiosity of Jagath was not been able to be stopped.The Japanese principles were seen as very reluctant to initiate business with unknown company due to trust issues. Further, many fake foreign national owned companies used to operate as Japanese in the guise of Japanese names.
Therefore, conservative minded parents didn't want risking with unknown Japanese exporters. Nevertheless, Jagath continued his endless struggle until the company started to import directly from the Japanese suppliers. Initially it was a huge challenge as most of the Japanese principles can't speak English and local directors can't speak Japanese. The communication barrier was seen as huge obstacle for the success.
Student Jagath then realizedimportance of learning Japanese language and strategies of backward integration (Though the term was not recognized at that time). Jagath wanted to go to Japan and source cars directly from Japan car centers in order to reduce the lead time and increase the profit margin, Jagath was very keen to study Japanese language and became very accustomed both in Japanese and English ending the communication barrier. The company directors laid their next hidden plans to send Jagath to Japan to further study after his A/L's . Jagath was very impressed and prepared to fly to take the During this period, the reborn company was competing with existingrivalrieswho has already been in long time. Unstoppable Jagath started to think how to gain a competitive advantage over the existing big players in already red blooded ocean. He realized that the only option was to go to Japan and being a principle supplier. Backward integration was not so popular in those days but Jagath who lead a super luxury life in Sri Lanka decided to take challenge to go to Japan alone and study further to be knowledgeable businessman in Japan.
Figure 3: Ramanayake Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd. Rathmalana showroom
Emergence of Rama D.B.K.Ltd.
Figure 4: Jagath C.Ramanayake, CEO of Rama D.B.K.Ltd.
May 1988, Jagath was accompanied to Japan and admitted to Suzuki Japanese Language school. He was given 2,000,000 Japanese Yen for his school expenses, lodging, accommodation for the first year. During these days, eldest sister of the young entrepreneur was reading for P.Hd in USA while first younger sister studying for medical degree in Russia. The student Jagath was very concerned about the financial burdens which his parents may face to maintain these three students. Exactly this is where Jagath wanted to invest his 2,000,000 Yen immediately to earn, study and help his siblings. It was not easy task to student Jagath to be familiar with uneasy extreme weather conditions in Japan. Nevertheless, unstoppable Jagath had been manage to live alone without his beloved family members yet in unconducive situations.
Spending every hour was used to discover the things in Japan how to be good businessman under ethical grounds. The young student started to lay out his plans one by one to fulfil his thirst to be principle supplier. He came to know that foreign students are not allowed to operate business or work in full time. Further the young entrepreneur realized that all most all the big principle exporter are of native Japanese or very few people married Japanese ladies and used their names as company name because the importers all over the world were in the belief that the Japanese people never cheat or never involve in frauds in this business. This business is very risky for either parties, since the cars were exported to never seen importers and vice versa. Therefore, all the importers relied only in Japanese exporters. Young entrepreneur realized immediately the importance of a Japanese director'sinvolvement. He then recruited a Japanese very kind hearted partner Mr.NatsuoAihara who was the legal president of Rama D.B.K. Ltd and was held responsible for all legal procedures in Japan. With Aihara being appointed as the president, the Company Rama D.B.K. Ltd. was initially registered in 1989 at small apartment on fourth floor of Obata Building, Oguchi Town, Yokohama City in Kanagawa prefecture.
During these years, the existing big players identified as newly entered Jagath could be formidable yet unstoppable competitor. Japan has been known to be very lawful, calm, peaceful and ethically balanced country where all citizens native or not have equal rights and benefits unlike other developed countries. The sober characteristics of Japanese nation created easy atmosphere Jagath to go to his targets faster. The student entrepreneur used to study in day time and work at his home office night times. While improving his business gradually, he completed his first year in the language school and became very proficient in Japanese language. His eager to be knowledgeable continues and he then entered to "SogoDesnshiSemmonGakko" ( Sogo Electric Technical College ) and completed two years before he entered to KanthoGakuin University at Yokohama and graduated in 1996. During these years, the company has been well within the top ten exporters in Japan importantly presided by a Non-Japanese.
Figure 5: Rama D.B.K.Ltd, the head quarters in Yokohama, Japan:
The company was being well managed by the dedicated staff with or without physical presence of the young entrepreneur. When contacted the Udaya Thalagala the former export Manager of Rama D.B.K. Ltd. It was informed that Jagath's simple, direct and practical management styles were main reasons for the company success. Jagath was a practical example for all the key activities.
The young entrepreneur showed the way forward to his loyal life time employees. The one of the main KPI identified is the genuine and honest hardworking dedicated staff of Rama D.B.K. Ltd who used to work with or without directions or advices from the young entrepreneur.
The senior management was adequately empowered to take decisions as the company wanted. The young entrepreneur, didn't want to waste his time in the office when the business has been very smoothly improving by attracting the business inquiries, partners from all the Common Wealth countries. Then he wanted to further study and international business where he completed his Master of Business Administration in degree in 1998 in Tokyo Information College.
KPI's of Rama D.B.K.Ltd
Combination of leadership qualities.
The leadership qualities of young entrepreneur caused a lot and made a solid foundation to the company. He never sticks in to one or few styles, instead always keeps changing according to atmosphere but yet in his basics. The young entrepreneur could be considered as a born leader but yet a made leader in the light of real circumstances as and when demanding. The young entrepreneur is a born leader with inherited traits such as:
- Adaptable to situations
- Alert to social environment
- Ambitious and achievement-orientated
- Dominant (desire to influence others)
- Energetic (high activity level)
- Tolerant of stress
- Willing to assume responsibility
Jagath never used to define role for his own comfort instead for the betterment of the organization or in order align with common objectives of the firm. He never tried to assign difficult roles to others and comfortable roles to him. Instead, the company's objectives have been considered as paramount all the times. The young entrepreneur used always be strongly focused the task but with due care and concern for the people, with a comfortable and friendly environment and collegial style since the low focus on task may give questionable and undesirable results. Jagath is participative leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including subordinates, peers, superiors and other stakeholders. Often, however, as it is within the managers' whom to give or deny control to his or her subordinates, most participative activity is within the immediate team. He used to assess how much influence others are given thus may vary on the manager's preferences and beliefs.
He never wanted to be fully autocratic leader instead decentralized decision taking to the team of full delegate
When a decision is needed, The young entrepreneur does not just fall into a single preferred style, such as using transactional or transformational methods. In practice, as they say, things are not that simple. Factors that affect situational decisions include motivation and capability of followers. This, in turn, he concerned all affected by factors within the particular situation. He used to believe that the relationship between followers or subordinate and himself may be very important another factor that affects his behavior as much as it does follower behavior.
He always believed that he leaders' perception of the follower and the situation will affect what they do rather than the truth of the situation. The leader's perception of themselves and other factors such as stress and mood will also modify the leaders' behavior.
The entrepreneur has a great ability to lead is contingent upon various situational factors, including the hiss preferred style, the capabilities and behaviors of followers and also various other situational factors. He strongly believed that there is no one best way of leading and that a leadership style that is effective in some situations may not be successful in others instead he believed the principle of contingencies The young entrepreneur is having some transactional leadership qualities and works through creating clear structures or frames whereby it is clear what is required of their subordinates, and the rewards that they get for following orders. Punishments or demotions are not always mentioned, instead employees are also well-informed and formal systems of discipline are usually in place. Due to his transformational leadership qualities, Jagath used to believe that thePeople would follow a person who inspires them.The young entrepreneur with vision and passion achieved great things. He used ways to get things done is by injecting enthusiasm and energy.
Jagath's Transformational Leadership qualities caused wonderful and uplifting experience to the company. He used to put passion and energy into everything. He used to care about his staff always and want them to succeed. At last, Jagath's leadership qualities could not be explained by existing leadership theories since there are mixed of all more characteristics. No single leadership theory could best explain what leadership qualities Jagath possess. Sometimes, he is transactional, transformational, situational so forth. He never intentionally jumped in to comfort zone instead he used to take the lead from front
The young entrepreneur's curiosity for innovativeness seemed to be never ending, always tried to be competitive than existing players. He has been trying to hold a competitive edge over the existing rivalries in a ethical way. The export used car business has been very profitable and respectable business in Japan. So many companies wanted to start car exports full time or part time basis.
Threat of new Entrants
Since there is no any entry or exit barriers, the threat of new entrants is very high, no big investment is needed, only the bank support is required. No managerial or technical expertise or special know-how is required. In the car export industry, even the office space or parking lands are not essential, you may have a virtual office, cars can be straighter way parked at the port premises or bonded areas for daily payment or rental basis. Further pay back of periods or ROI are not applicable. Most of the companies used to buy cars for orders
Power of Suppliers
Since the cars are to be purchased from auctions and dealers, the power of suppliers are extremely high leaving no options to exporters. Therefore, they have limited all type concessions such as credit periods, free parking, free transports etc.
Power of Buyers
Since there are plenty of exporters (operated even virtually), the power of buyers are extremelyhigh. Further there are plenty of other car makers such as Indian, European, English, American, Korean, Chinese etc. For high quality and branded cars, they are looking for European car brands while India for cheap cars. Japanese cars are branded as quality cars at affordable prices. Due to stiff competition among the exporters of Japanese car exporters and among the other car makers, the buyers have very high demands yet with low budgets and maximum benefits. They are looking for everything possible such less prices, quality, fast delivery, better after services, credit periods etc
The cars are not inelastic items. Therefore, it is not essential item though many people prefer to own cars. Further as mentioned above, Cars of other country brands keep exerting high pressure all the times. Further due to weak buying power of buyers, they tend to use public transport instead of owning cars. Further, consumers used to keep their vehicles as long as possible without going for new cars due to the weak buying powers, hence the purchasing cycle gets delayed.
Power of Existing rivalries
One of the another great factor causing Rama D.B.K. Ltd to be competitive. Big Japanese owned companies have competitive edge of being Japanese, getting huge favoritisms from suppliers and financial institutions over the non-Japanese small companies. Importantly, the importers spreading all over the world have a great trust on the native Japanese companies that they are never cheating importers by sending inferior quality cars or making delays. This is one of the most critical factor the company has to address.
Due to all above factors and due to some other very critical factors, Rama D.B.K. Ltd. needed to have clear competitive edges to outperform their suppliers in order to win the hearts and minds of the importers and buyers in all over the world.
The young entrepreneur has been striving to find technology based innovations and other kind of competitive edges. The company then looked forward differentiation strategies (Though term is not popular in that time). The young yet formidable entrepreneur using his vast hands on experience and educational qualifications tried to analyze the backward, forward and horizontal integrations in order to find competitive edges. The master brained young entrepreneur's main concern is not just to maximize the profit margins but to give much quality service to the customers such as fast delivery, high quality, good customer relationship importantly at low cost.
The external and internal scanning
The strength of the company mainly lies on the young entrepreneur. The dedicated multi-lingual staff has also been contributing ever since they were recruited. The president showed no difference to its employees instead treated as a same family. Annual entertainment programs, financial prizes keep motivating the staff at no extra efforts. The staff is self-directed, self-motivated keen to work less or without being supervised. The president's vast business knowledge and technical knowledge helped company to prosper. The advertising power caused to boost the sales all over the world. Multi-lingual staff always kept the company above its competitors.
The trust and good will created among the competitors and importers around world gave a superior advantage to be more competitive. Business units were well divided and responsibilities were scientifically shared. Supply chain management is well looked after. The head office and vehicle yards are very conveniently located in the heart of Yokohama (themain harbor city of Japan) and very close to main capital Tokyo, almost all the banks are around the company. Transport to the company is very easy through trains, busses or vehicles (The main Tokyo express way is passing near the office which connects northern and southern express ways. Shin Yokohama, the high speed train station is just two stations from the company, which gives overseas buyers to easy access to the office and then to port. The Haneda international airport is away just 30 minutes' drive. The overseas buyers could directly arrive at the airport. These are some of the main strengths of the company.
The president's eager to apply green and ethical practices, causes company is being accepted by the local government authorities. The best Japanese business and ethical practices were well employed without concerning only profits.
- Lean Management
- Lean Management
- Agile Management
- Postponement Practices
The company is financially not stable when compared to other giant companies. Therefore, keeping enough stocks are little difficult. Due to strong power of suppliers, the credit periods are almost 2/3 days from auctions and 2/3 weeks from dealers. But the shipments are not always right after purchase due to shipment scheduling delays or not finding buyers. The irrevocable letter of credits is used for transactions with the main markets like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc. To get the invested money back, the vehicles should reach to destinations and take the documents from the bank. So it takes almost more than 60 days to get the money back to company. So cash balancing has been very critical issue due to quick outflow but very delayed inflows. Therefore, the auction purchases are sometimes postponed till the L/c's payments are enchased.
One of the major weakness of the president, according to himself is that his reluctance to refuse less-favorable or unfavorable business decisions. In business decision taking applications, this could have caused huge inconveniences to the company according to the president himself. In Japan, the native Japanese or native English never hesitate to reject or refuse unfavorable or less-favorable decisions in no time for no valid reasons. They used to say yes immediately to favorable business deals and no to unfavorable or less favorable decisions unlike culturally disciplined young entrepreneurborn in Sri Lanka.
The cars prices vary in hourly, nearly 6 out of 7 days having used car auctions in Japan. More than 5,000 units are traded daily. The prices of the similar featured cars vary from auction to day to day, sometimes our to our, may be car to car. In the meantime, in the importing countries, they have some high demand seasons. So the company must understand seasonal trends and keep buying cars when the prices are down in the auctions. The company must be well familiar with country's rules and regulations in order to better prepare. Further Company could gain huge profits identifying foreign exchange patterns.
One of the major threat is that the overnight rules and regulations changes in importing countries without any prior notice. This is a systematic business risk and causes for the whole industry at large causing Millions of Dollar losses or bankrupting lot of companies in over nights. Foreign exchange fluctuations may also hit very badly. Unless the fluctuations patterns are well understood, it may cause huge losses. Japan currencies are basically strong against all major trading currencies in the world. Therefore, importing countries are very much concerned and vigilant on the Japanese currency fluctuations patterns. The currencies of the developing countries used to depreciate against US Dollars and hence against strong Japanese currencies. If the pattern could be noticed in advance, the importers used to go for forward booking strategies paying extra amount at the beginning itself.
Characteristics of Lexus / Technophilia
The young entrepreneur has always been striving for success through ethical and strategical business practices. He is known to be technology lover he is technophileindividual who loves to be a "First Mover". He is branded as Lexus type individual and keep believing that the technology could rapidly change the complexion of the global business picture. He realized that the ICT would be the next business changing champion. Disruptive innovation has to be identified and employed according in order to enjoy a sizable competitive edge before competitors grab the advantages of technology development. When the computers were yet to new in to the Japanese used car exporters, the prolific young entrepreneur bought a English Windows 3.1 installed desktop computer to the company in 1994. The English soft wares were yet to be installed in Japanese computers. The entrepreneur who is well armed with technology background installed all the English supporting software in his office IBM Raptiva computer such as Lotus 123, Office packages, Winfax. The visionary leader didn't waste his time to use the computer to ease the business activities done manually up to now. Instead it was Jagath Ramanayake the great entrepreneur who first introduced internet based used car exports in Japan followed by IBC Japan.
The complexion of the business atmosphere changed up right in no time. People all over the world started browsing cars on line through www.ramadbk.com
web site and ordered by emails giving full stop facsimile based car exports. Totally new page got turned in to the used car exports industry. Many people started moving to internet based used car exports after young entrepreneur introduced the technology based business. The photos of the cars were simple snapped by digital camera and sent to the importing countries by email or put in the on line sales hitting hundreds on interested parties all over the world. Not only reputed large scale used car importers, some knowledgeable individuals used to import their cars through on line creating technology based new business trend.
Having completed couple of years, the internet based car exports became so popular among talented Japanese exporters with the young entrepreneur loosing first mover advantageous competitive edge. He then realized that the integration management ismuch needed to mitigate the risk of losing business upper hand. The smart Japanese keep copying every strategical business plans in no time.Keeping competitive advantages for long time in Japan has been very difficult as every companies keep investing heavily for R & D activities. The prolific entrepreneur once again started to think all the activities in the entire value chain and tried to itemize all the activities in the supply chain into smallest possible activities
The Primary Activities:
- Inbound activities
Long term contracts with vehicle suppliers(Auto auction memberships), transporters and supply agents(Authorizeddealers), efficient and easy storage facilities.
Re-conditioning, Pre-inspection certifications, Customclearing, Storing cars for ready for immediate shipment.
- Outbound activities
Stock yards in the less expensive areas, long term contracts with suppliers, regional vehicle collecting agents or dealers.
- Sales and Marketing
Well-structured approach to understanding the requirements of individual and whole sale customers.
- After sales
Easy availability of spare parts, Effective and cordial complain management systems.
Strategically convenient location, strong leadership, Best in-house facilities based on technology.
Keep investing sizable amount for R & D activities in order to maintain employees and infrastructure up-to-date with latest technologies.
Vast pool of technically competent managers and technicians. Focus on development of technical competency, Strategical planning in the everyday morning meetings.
Long term relationships with stable and loyal pool of suppliers and Technology driven procumbent (On line auction).
Having studied the entire value chain thoroughly, the strategic thinker identified that the custom clearing activity is very critical activity and realized that the time span for custom clearing must be reduced and reliability of passing entries must be ensured. The clearing activities of many other large scale exporter's customs were studied and not found anything different. Yet, the curiosity was not ended and continued further browsing. Finally, it was unveiled that some companies are having their own customs clearing departments only for their own products exports. Nevertheless, it was very long and tedious process involving custom departments. Unlike in Sri Lanka, even native Japanese companies find it very difficult and be scared to work with government agencies as they need to be 100% using ethical and legal practices. Once any company is found tobe illegally or unethically practicing, that may lead to shut down their companies forever.
Therefore, Japanese exporters didn't seem any interest of having their own custom clearing agencies. The young non-Japanese entrepreneur didn't hesitate to take the challenge and went on finding the basic and prerequisites. It was informed that they boding area within the port premises is must and is very expensive. Having compared pros and cons, the entrepreneur decided immediately to start their own the custom clearing agency under newly recruited Japanese employee. The department was attached to Rama D.B.K.Ltd and custom clearing activity was extremely smooth than never before and reliable. Most important factor, having custom clearing agency is shipment of cars at the last hour. Because the basic rule is that the cars must be kept inside the custom boding area at least 7 days prior to the custom clearing, just before the shipment. Own custom clearing agency eased the activity passing custom entries in front of harbored vessels.
This in turn, the purchasing department was able to purchase cars at the last moment when other rivalries stopped purchasing resulting Millions of Yen profit margins. (Due to strict rule by Sri Lanka, the age of the cars/vans must be within three /five years at the time of shipment date. The first ever revenue licensefor cars/vans are usually given for 3/5 years by the government from the manufacturing date and they usually use till last day in Japan if not intending to extend their license for next two years. Eg. Just three years and one-day old car exporting to Sri Lanka could be purchased at half of the price spent before completing three years due to Sri Lankan age limiting rule).
Due to the extensive benefits from backward integration, the reborn Rama D.B.K.Ltd attempted to be more competitive in Sri Lanka and revamped their own car show rooms in Rathmalana and Kandy. They open new show rooms in the center of Colombo to sell directly to end users bypassing their own importers. Rama D.B.K. Ltd. had their own separate business unit in Sri Lanka operating parallel with parental company Rama D.B.K. Ltd. to date. The reborn Rama D.B.K. Ltd has been widely accepted as one of the most trusted Japanese exporters for used and re-conditioned cars in Japan by many countries resulting strategic partnerships in most countries sometimes acting as brokering commission agent.
Apart from the Car Exports, the company started to export engine/body spare parts in the beginning for their own importers. Due to the heavy demand by trusting services of Rama D.B.K.Ltd, the company expanded their spare parts exporting division as a separate business unit under the umbrella of Rama D.B.K.Ltd. The visionary unstoppable leader foresaw that there would be high demand for heavy machineries and construction machineries due to the booming situation of road development and building construction industries. He realized that the profit margins are very high due to the entry barrier is very high due to the heavy investment cost, high managerial and technical know-how and high handling cost. Further it was noticed that the rules and taxation policies for construction machineries are not rapidly changing as of used cars. The company immediately went on to start exporting machineries through a separate business unit. The margins were quite high and less competitive as well.
The company realized that they are operating in in red blooded ocean and needed to be diversified in to unrelated areas to mitigate systematic business risks such as government fiscal and taxation policy changes for vehicles etc.
Though neither profitable norconvenient as of car exports, the company went on line shopping for Sri Lanka products in Japan, Rama Travels and Tours (Ticketing agency and tour operators), Live radio broadcasting corporation in Japan ( Drive Japan ), importantly IT based projects in collaboration with conglomerate John Keels. Unfortunately, none of these businesses have been successful like his own blood business. The entrepreneur initiated a water purifying project in north central province as a charity based service for life threating Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients. It has been very successful than initially planned. As a result of huge demand, the new business unit was created to serve more in to the affected areas supplying domestic type easy use to maintenance free water purifying units headquartered in Kelaniya under direct supervision of the matured entrepreneur.
Massive project in Progress
The unstoppable entrepreneur, decided to concentrate more towards his own motherland after completion of fifty years' mild post in his life. He wanted to apply his own experience in Japan after supplying hundreds of cars to free port in Dubai where South Asian country businessmen /individuals could freely visit, buy and drive their cars from Dubai free port. Having studied the concept thoroughly was converted in favor of Sri Lanka. The entrepreneur in collaboration with two more business giants in Sri Lanka have been setting up a free port in Hambanthota. For which the business map has already been strategically drawn and lands are acquired. This new massive project involving foreign principals would certainly be a turning point of Sri Lanka thanks to one of the most outstanding but yet a simple entrepreneurial Ramanayake Jagath Chandana ( 52 years ).
What inspired young entrepreneurial Jagath to be successful businessmen in Japan.
Young Jagath wanted to be an entrepreneur of outbox thinking. He had certain qualities that would help good leader to survive and eventually succeed in business. The qualities of a good businessman always pave the easy way to be successful, Jagath' sincomparable qualities helped him to be a very successful business in the world most developed country in no time
Jagath has beeninborn persistent. When there are issuesto be answered that can help his business grow, the entrepreneurial Jagath pursues those answers until he finds proper answers. He was able to convert all unfavorable conditions to in his favor. If a decision-maker denies a Jagath an opportunity, then Jagath used to continue to pursue that opportunity until all possible decision-makers are approached in his favor.
Thick Skin (Ability to withstand)
When Jagath was pursing business success, he had some losses and had to face some herculean type challenges that could threaten his company's future. In all such times Jagath stood firmly up to the challenges and addressed them accordingly and eventually used the negativity as an opportunity to improve
Successful entrepreneurial Jagath was able to rely on himself to get the job done when it becomes apparent that no one else can help. He used to encounter situations where he has strict deadlines and tough competition and he applied his own strategies to do something completely on his own to meet that challenges. He used to manage and run his company through his own ways to sustain success in the business world.
One of his main characteristics.His quality of leadership encompasses the ability to lead employees, to put together business networks that benefit his company over his competitors, and to inspire others to want to help your business succeed. His leadership allowed him to be a persistent spokesperson for his company and to find the people and programs that can help his company grow faster than others.
Jagath had enough confidence to make quick decisions each day that can affect the future of his company and his career, He is very confident with his abilities and used to spend time developing his knowledge and understanding of his industry .He used to deliver decisions with conviction his employees, customers and business partners who were forced to have faith in your choices.
Young entrepreneurial Jagath knows that there's always a new product or feature to learn about, a different sales closing technique to study, or an accounting rule to become familiar with. He is a very smart person who is always looking to learn something new to their success
Jagath has aability to negotiate is critical to the success. He knows how to work with people to achieve mutually desirable results, to get the upper hand in a negotiation, and how to close a negotiation. The deals he makes on behalf of his business can help increase his revenue and grow his company.
Turning to be charity and social services
The entrepreneur has been one of the main contributor to Sawarathe first Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in Japan. Being a strong Buddhist devotee Jagath Ramanayake is financing to erect first ථයිරවාදී දාගැබ in Sawara temple. This is a million worth religious based non-profitable project handled by Ramanayake. The Sawara temple has been very old and famous temple and popular for helping poor and needy Sri Lankans in Japan. In Sri Lanka , Ramanayake has been a silent social worker involving in many social and religious activities. In apprenticing his contribution to the nation, he was awarded many titles and privileged names. විශ්ව කිර්ති දේශබන්ධු නාමය is one of those titles he received in Sri Lanka as a proud Sri Lankan served to the world.
In appreciating his untiring invaluable service to the Sri Lankan business community in Japan, he was appointed as the president of Sri Lankan business council in Japan ( SLBCJ). The president of Sri Lanka Automobile Exporters Association in Japan (SLAEAJ) (Recognized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan, A self-motivated, non-profit making social Organization that is functioning while interacting with the Embassy of Sri Lankan in Japan and the Sri Lanka Government authorities ) since 2012. Ramanayake Jagath was very fortunate first non-Japanese person to be nominated as the director of prestigious Japanese Used Motor Vehicles Exporters Association ( JUMVEA) the only body affiliated by the government of Japan.
Figure 6: 22nd Anniversary of JUMVEA
Ramanayake, Jagath was widely recognized as cum business personality both in Japan and in Sri Lanka . He has been a bridge connecting business promotional activities between two countries.
His trilingual ability of speaking Sinhalese, English and Japanese has been instrumental in achieving his diplomatic success in either country. In order to utilize his vast business and social experience blended in Japan.
He was nominated as the vise chairman of National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority ( NAITA ) in Sri Lanka. The great Sri Lankan wholeheartedly accepted the position denying vehemently all the perks and benefits provided to him.
Leadership theories associated:
- Great Man Theory
- Trait Theory
- Behavioral Theories
- Participative Leadership
- Situational Leadership
- Contingency Theories
- Transactional Leadership
- Transformational Leadership
A case study by Eng. Priyantha R. Morapitiya