Otara Gunewardene took some time off her busy schedule for an exclusive to the Sunday Leader to talk about her future business plans and to divulge some interesting tidbits on her busy life.
Odel is on the verge of becoming public with 11.5% of their equity up for grabs in a soon to be released IPO. Otara, who casually and truthfully quips that her company ‘started out of the boot of her car’ is offering upto 16 million shares which she hopes will raise upto rupees 250 million to help expand Odel.
The retailer has net assets worth roughly 2.3. billion rupees and in recent years has expanded to include a number of stores in the greater Colombo area. The expansion has raised doubts as to how the chain is going to preserve its upmarket brand image; Odel is known for its savvy and innovative approach to retail and its flagship store at Alexander Place has become one of Colombo’s key landmarks and ‘in’ places to be seen at.
The management of the 0rganization has recently seen a change in structure and more changes may be due in the future. But Otara says nothing drastic is on the cards; ‘i believe in planning for the future but i also think one must focus on the present, a healthy mix of both is what i ideal’.
For the full interview read this Sunday’s edition.