A Sri Lankan expat living in Adelaide, 31 year old Nilan Mihindukulasooriya has made it to ‘South Australia’s 40 under 40 – 2022’ list, annually compiled by the CitiMag – the Adelaide based print/digital magazine. An entrepreneur, a business leader and an accomplished IT professional, Nilan moved to Adelaide just 3 ½ years ago and founded Firehouse Technology whilst also taking up leading roles in several other initiatives. It was his remarkable work during the Covid – 19 pandemic which aimed to ‘democratize technology’ to support SMEs that earned him this coveted recognition on Australian soil.
CitiMag held the ‘40 under 40’ awards for the fifth consecutive year and this year’s gala event took place at the Adelaide Oval amidst due celebration. In line with their goal to recognize and appreciate the talented young business leaders with outstanding entrepreneurial vision in South Australia, the eminent judge panel had selected the final 40 stars from across multiple industries.
Having arrived in Adelaide just in time before the onset of the pandemic, Nilan’s work was somewhat cut out with the challenges posed by the pandemic. He was the leader behind a number of successful software solutions created during this period that addressed key issues in certain critical areas. One such product that catered to SMEs ‘Mortar Initiative’ was a revolutionary analytical platform that combined customer data with programmatic advertising which equipped SMEs with top level enterprise technology at an affordable price. His other applauded initiative was livestock trading platform for overseas farmers whose trade has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
“It gives me great pleasure and a tremendous sense of achievement to be recognized as one of South Australia’s ‘40 under 40’. Although my journey in Australia started just over 3 years ago, the foundation was laid back in Sri Lanka and many people were part of it. My parents, my wife, friends and family as well as my alma mater Mahanama College, Colombo and all the teachers and mentors deserve the credit for this. A special thank must go to my two business partners Nisal Karunathilaka and Grant Baker, my team as well as my clients for their unwavering support’’ Nilan stated of his achievement.
Nilan started his journey with a First Class Honors BSc in Information Systems from SLIIT and another BSc in ICT from University of Colombo. At present he counts over 9 years of experience as a Product Owner handling over 30 projects in 5 different countries and managing multiple agile teams both locally and remotely. He currently leads a team of over 50 professionals in Sri Lanka, Australia and Ireland. His establishment in Sri Lanka is one of the budding local IT Companies, generating much needed revenue in USD at this critical point.
Speaking to CitiMag of the range of challenges from securing funds to the scarcity of human resources during a tough time which truly tested the entrepreneurial skills in him, Nilan says “my philosophy was based on the idea that greatness does not come overnight but is achieved through sheer striving to do a little better everyday. Patience and resilience are key to success in the face of challenges.’’
Although based in Adelaide, Nilan is heavily connected to Sri Lanka, operating multiple projects and leading teams based here. He is optimistic about a brighter future for the country and strongly believes in education and entrepreneurship as key to securing this future.