P D Dharmawardhane
· Intelligent, highly motivated, creative thinker coupled with a ‘can-do’ attitude and strong business acumen:
My core professional experience of working at International Advertising Agencies on Global brands has built in me the aptitude to see beyond any problem and identify opportunities.
I have been responsible for achieving annual budgets of 4 million GBP with profit margins of 30%. I have a strong head for business backed both by practise, and theory.
I grew up in Sri Lanka, a country that was torn apart by terrorism for three decades. Subsequently I lived, studied and worked in the US, UK, India, Singapore, and Thailand. I have seen the best and worst of both worlds. Coupled with my maturity, and the practise of Buddhism as a philosophy has built in me an inner tranquilly to maintain a cool and calm head in any crisis.
· An ability to think strategically but work pragmatically. Needs Able to work around problems, present solutions and use business case approaches to gain internal buy-in:
Trained in and then trained teams of up to 20 persons in the Unilever Global Marketing Strategic Brand Disciplines, ABC (Advanced Brand Communication) and CCP (Communications Channel Planning). Both strategic disciplines developed to aid strategic thinking that translates into quantitative business and brand results. I.e. http://ddadman.blogspot.com/2011/02/dhammika-dharmawardhane.html
I am a practitioner of the McCann World Group Demand Chain Brand Disciplines. A business and brand model designed in 2003 to aid result focussed strategic thinking. I.e. http://ddadman.blogspot.com/2011/02/example-of-strategic-thinking-by.html
· Superior interpersonal skills with the ability to network, communicate and build strong relationships with various internal and external stakeholders at all levels and make complex concepts understandable:
I have managed from agency side the global brands Nestle, Guinness, Nokia, British Airways, Qantas, HSBC, Unilever reporting to and working within a global network which also included extensive information sharing through intranet.
Working at the National Council of Economic Development (NCED) in Sri Lanka has given me one of the best life and professional experiences. I was the sole marketing and PR person within a team of twenty persons who developed the Millennium Development Goals Report for Sri Lanka. I reported to the Secretary to the Treasury and worked closely with UN line agencies. My main task was to build a bridge between the public and private sectors, international donor agencies and other stakeholders such as Sri Lanka’s business community, local and international media.
• Exceptional attention to detail and ability to deliver first class solutions on time and on budget within an ever-changing and challenging environment:
Team leader in Sri Lanka for the British Airways ‘The world is closer than you think’ global brand campaign where I reported and worked with the BA international brand team within strict brand guidelines and budgets to deliver an exceptional localised campaign.
Architect also to the key part of this launch event designed to build pride and involvement of the whole BA family. The new livery was launched worldwide with a live satellite feed. Each country was requested to design a live event that involved the BA team. In Sri Lanka we raised funds for an orphanage of children who had lost both or one parent to terrorism. Complimenting the ‘world is closer than you think’ theme. I was solely responsible for the country managers speech to the live uplink, BA team coordination, organising the presence of the SL Cricket Team, an auction of crickets bats autographed by them, and a live on-air radio-thon etc. All within strict budgetary guidelines and participation of the BA team in Sri Lanka.
I am proud of my achievements at the Hodders Law Firm in where I was able to develop a first time marketing plan for Hodders to soften the effects of the credit crunch. I have been able to convince them to close two offices for business efficiency, a new brand campaign, several B2B campaigns, diaspora marketing, a referral promotion and an on-going marketing and communications campaign. Part of this has been the redesign of their website and an internal brand campaign to boost staff morale. Convincing a team of lawyers including the key partners at the firm the need for a brand strategy is one of my best achievements. Especially within the challenging and ever changing business scenario in London.
• A strong performer under pressure, a seasoned multi-tasker with a flexible and mature attitude:
As a marketing and PR professional part of my role in management is to work with different actors in the marketing process. From creative thinkers, business professionals and key stakeholders such as a Chairman or MD of a corporation. All towards developing exceptional marketing campaigns to strict budgets and deadlines.
In my contract at the University of Westminster my first challenge was to launch the National Union of Students (NUS) extra discount card. Previously this card was free and it was the first time it was marketed for £10. The University of Westminster Students’ Union under my guidance were one of the first unions in the UK to successfully market this card through an online sales and marketing system. In working with and training a student team of 20, convincing key university stakeholders and students of the cards monetary value, and successfully marketing the card, I practically utilised all my skills in people management, PR and maturity. Especially as I had to launch the card ten days after my contract begun.
· Appreciates and understands working in a culturally diverse environment:
I have been fortunate to train, work and travel in many cultures. From Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom. Working in London and living in England has added professional acumen to my awareness and confidence working in culturally diverse environments. The University of Westminster reawakened my love for meeting, convincing and collaborating with people of diverse cultures.
I compare my cultural experiences to Jazz Music. Every musician may play his own interpretation through his or her instrument, but we all follow the same melody. What the audience hears is a beautiful fusion of music, not each musician’s interpretation.
• Experience in a marketing communications/brand management role (preferably with a focus on employer brand/recruitment marketing) agency-side or in-house with a strong background in strategy, planning and measuring ROI:
Developed successful proposal presented to the World Bank for funding to train unemployed undergraduates in people skills and modern IT skills necessary for public and private sector placement and employment in Sri Lanka. Important sections of the proposal were strategies for private sector placement and adding value to our undergraduates for private sector placement.
Worked closely with the University of Westminster placement office and developed an alumina referral program for graduates.
Solely responsible at Lowe & Partners Colombo for internal brand building and an aggressive head hunting campaign to attract external talent.
I have trained extensively in WYSIWYG website administration, SEO and tracking ROI electronically through mobile and Internet campaigns. I completely redesigned the front and back ends of the UWSU website to track all campaign spends and ROI. http://www.uwsu.com/
· Team management experience:
Led teams of up to 20 persons and was responsible for delivering on annual budgets and business goals of over £3 million with 30% profit margins with these teams.
• Experience of working with or in large complex organisations:
Worked within global brand teams of Unilever, British Airways, HSBC, and Guinness etc.
• Proven budget and project management skills
Developed Sri Lanka’s Millennium Development Goals Report within strict budget and time guidelines.
Team member of Sri Lanka’s tsunami rebuilding effort and architect of developing project to attract talent to the housing and construction industry.
Currently successfully managing a total rebranding project for Hodders Law Firm.
• Demonstrable broad marketing and communications experience spanning research, strategy and planning, brand management, brand marketing, communications and employee engagement:
Frequent qualitative and quantitative research projects with AcNielsen, and Millward Brown.
Practitioner of the McCann World Group Demand Chain Tools, Unilever ABC and CCP.
Sound knowledge of employee motivational and outside talent resourcing through British Airways ‘The world is closer than you think’ and internal ‘Breakthrough’ campaigns.
Worked closely and adapted international Unilever strategies for graduate recruitment.
Team leader for several corporate campaigns translating to latent demand for vacancies and promotion within companies in the Financial Services sector. Launched new brewery in Sri Lanka and handled all brand strategy, corporate communications, share issue advertising, tombstone advertising and a recruitment campaign.
• Knowledge of financial services :
Led the team in Sri Lanka for the new HSBC Lowe & Partners ‘symbols’ campaign.
Launched HSBC credit cards to Sri Lanka.
Worked with grass roots National Bank on rebranding and launch of new products and services.
Over five years experience in insurance brands.
• Excellent English language skills written and spoken:
Although my native language is not English, I have been fortunate to educate myself in English and I read, write and speak English at native level.
My way of kicking back? Visit http://invisiblemigrant.blogspot.com/