Reaching high

Saturday, 4 June 2011 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ramani Fernando-Sunsilk Hair and Beauty Academy within a short span of time has earned a reputation for being one of the most professional and best training institutes in the country.

With its high quality courses and teaching skills displayed by the tutors, the academy is committed to provide a high degree of knowledge and techniques to its students.  

 “A training unit to keep your senior staff updated in the new techniques and changing fashion in the industry, and to upgrade the juniors is vital, when you run a group of salons where your customers are extremely discerning. The challenge however was finding someone in Sri Lanka, to set it up and run it. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. That type of person has to be trained and virtually fashioned out”.  You will appreciate that any academy is only as good as those running it” said Ramani. “When it comes to training and organization, she is not only my right arm, but my left arm too” says  Ramani Fernando, and the reference is non other than  to, Lucky Lenagala, who heads the Ramani Fernando-Sunsilk Hair and Beauty Academy.

It was by chance that Ramani Fernando was introduced to Lucky Lenagala; by the personal development Guru Dila Hettiarachi, and Lucky was one of those people prepared to accept any challenge. She had no Hairdressing or Beauty Culture background at all. She was however armed with plenty of experience and organizational skills by working and coordinating all in-flight training at Srilankan Airlines, and this stood in good stead to begin shaping Ramani’s training academy, from scratch.

 “We want to be looked as being world class” said Lucky who is now the Managing Director of Ramani Fernando Training Pvt Ltd. “This goal was already achieved when Gayani Surendra, one of our students was adjudged the best in the world at the City & Guilds examination in 2010, when she   received the medal of excellence in the Diploma in Hairdressing .This was a first time that a Sri Lankan student has won this award, she continued. A milestone such as this keeps Lucky and her team of Nishika, Anushka,  Anusha, Gayani, Shivanthi and Ari, motivated and committed to what they do.

“Right at the beginning Unilever were very impressed with our thorough approach and in what we were doing, and quickly came forward to support and brand the venture with Sunsilk and the Ramani Fernando-Sunsilk association was born. The offering of lucrative scholarships by Unilever to a number of deserving and talented youngsters every year, having potential to take up Hairdressing as a career has been a boon to these youth. Unilever even went to the extent of setting up business, for some of them. These scholarships are offered under the Unilever Social Responsibility Program, and it is a great satisfaction to see almost everyone who had passed out, being gainfully employed in the trade, and many have made very good progress”. Said the happy Directress.

 The Academy believes that having plenty of knowledge about Hair and Beauty and work experience in the trade is totally different from teaching it and imparting this knowledge to others, and as such has continuous teacher training for the tutors, who are practicing senior Hairdressers and Beauticians. “We had to take one step at a time, learning to impart knowledge in a structured way. The City & Guilds authorities have been most helpful, and continue to support us in this aspect”

“Ramani has been our guiding light, and her standing in the trade has gone a long way to make the Academy what it is today. Despite her busy schedules she manages to devote a lot of her time during the courses” were Lucky’s comments, which were echoed by the rest of the staff. Most of the courses were initially tailored to upgrade the skills of the staff, who found it invaluable, but now the Academy covers all types of courses in Hair and Beauty such as Diploma Courses, Advanced Courses and Specialist Courses such as Tinting, Perming, Cutting, Styling, and Bridal Dressing etc.They even cover aspects of Personal Grooming and English, and also offer programs in Training skills for anyone wanting to pursue a career in teaching & training. 2The close association with City & Guilds as one of its accredited centres has enabled the Academy to cater to world wide recognized qualifications and the Diploma Courses are structured to achieve this. Additionally the SriLanka NVQ qualifications are also covered by the syllabuses.

Their pride is that they have been able to achieve a near 100% success rate with City & Guilds and any student that achieves the diploma status should be capable of meeting the C&G test.

Lucky Lenagala’s career has taken a different path, from working in an Airline to Managing students and she is determined to make it a huge success. Lucky Lenagala does not leave the learning to her students only, but she herself has engaged in continuous learning and has achieved plenty of laurels. She now has qualified in Hairdressing by receiving her Licentiateship award in Hairdressing and received her city & Guilds senior Award in UK .She has also received her Specialist Advanced Diploma in teaching, training & Assessing Learning from City & Guilds and insists that her administrative staff too follow in her footsteps.The highlight of the year has been the Ramani Fernando – Sunsilk Academy’s Graduation Day each year, which is sponsored by SUNSILK. The Hair Show presented by the students with the help of the tutors has been a big hit. It is an International standard presentation and gives the students tremendous confidence when they leave. People like Michael Wijesuriya, Senaka De Silva and Graham Hatch who are closely associated with Ramani have been a part of this successful hair show.

A Diploma Certificate is only the end of the beginning says Ramani, When you are armed with the fundamentals , with hard work, commitment and enjoying what you do could take you to the top.”Never be afraid to innovate, while sticking to the basics. This is the only way that you could bring forth your own talents” is Ramani’s advice.