The Cosmo Guy: Shalin Balasuriya Spills All The Beans - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka
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The Cosmo Guy: Shalin Balasuriya Spills All The Beans

Star-power through and through!

Credits: JEHAN D ADAHAN

Shalin Balasuriya, the charismatic Director and Co-Founder of luxury ayurveda brand Spa Ceylon is all set to embark on world domination. Read all about how his evolution of the well-loved brand, his go-to outfits, and his tips on how to have the best relationship with your partner. Talk about star-power!

Q/ Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs looking to kick-start a business of their own?

A/ The big idea (or the big dream) is the starting point. Turn that into a big goal and then set smaller objectives to get you there. It’s also important to surround yourself with people with a wide array of skills. Remember that no entrepreneur is good at every aspect of the business. Constantly keep learning from everything and everyone—your competitors, employees, and most importantly, your customers.

Whatever your business model (product or service) always spend time looking at every aspect of your offering. Start with the customer and work your way backwards. You can make the most fantastic product in the world, but if it doesn’t add value to your customer’s life, it will fail. In a Sri Lankan context, there has never been a better time to get started on whatever you want, because after a 30-year war that held us back, we can finally go out and make things happen. So, don’t wait too long to put your idea into action. After all, we live in a time where trends and technology are constantly changing. Bottom line: Don’t wait for others to create the path for you; go out and build your own.

Q/ What’s next for you and Spa Ceylon?

A/ Right now, Spa Ceylon is continuing its international expansion so by the end of 2018 we’re looking to be in a hundred locations. We’re also planning on entering Europe and the US in 2019, so there’s a lot going on. Locally, we’re also opening way more stores, increasing our product range and adding lots of interesting things. We’re becoming more of a lifestyle brand than just a spa or a cosmetic brand.

Q/ Walk me through a typical day in your life.

A/ Lately, there’s no such thing as a “normal” day because work involves plenty of travelling, both intentionally and locally. Usually, I wake up, check my emails, work threads, read the newspapers over coffee and head to work. I’m at the office by around 10 AM and finish up by 7 PM. After that, I’ll head to the gym or home. My evenings are spent with my wife and Pugsly, watching TV, cooking and hanging out. We get to bed around 12.30 AM.

Q/ You’re constantly on the go, so how do you stay fit?

A/ As of late, I’ve been a little inconsistent working out. But, I do try to gym as often as possible. I hate running and cardio but I enjoy weight training so I do more of that. I also try to eat healthily, but I keep falling off the wagon all the time, but I try! As I get older, it’s becoming harder to stay on track.

Q/ Do you have any tips on how to pack effectively?

A/ Absolutely not because I’m a horrible packer! Thankfully, I’ve help at home, so there’s someone who puts things together in an orderly fashion, but no sooner than I’ve landed at my destination, it’s an absolute mess. I’m generally a messy person so I’m not one to give tips on packing!

Q/ How did you and Suzanne meet?

A/ We went to school together. She was much younger and I was also friends with her brother. She was the hottest girl in school!

Q/ I hear there’s quite an interesting story behind you proposing to her. I’d love to hear about it!

A/ It was the anniversary of our first date. I picked her up in the morning and told her we were going for breakfast somewhere by the beach. I’d arranged a helicopter ride so we boarded at Ratmalana. When we were near the seaside villa I’d arranged, there was a huge sign on the beach that read, “I love you”. Once we landed, the staff made a beautiful breakfast for us by the beachfront swimming pool. And in the middle of breakfast, I popped the question!

Shalin Balasuriya & Sir Pugsly

Q/ What’s the most memorable date – aside from this – that you’ve been on?

A/ Suzy and I have been together for nearly 19 years now, and all our dates are memorable really. The thing with Suzy and I is that we’ve been together a long time and we really have a good time when we’re together. So we go out and dine a lot together and we also travel together frequently. Every night we go out is a good night!

Q/ Do you have any other tips on how to actually keep that spark going?

A/ You need to live the same life. I’ve seen couples who lead separate lives and only spend time with their significant other when they get home. But, Suzy and I have the same life. We move within the same friend circle, we go out together and we have a blast together. It’s not a situation where one person’s at home and the other is at work. We spend a lot of time together and we do things we enjoy together. We also compromise and do things that the other person likes, too. So, my biggest tip is to have the same life — don’t lead separate lives.

Q/ You’re always so stylishly dressed. Do you have a go-to look for an evening out?

A/ Well, I’ve sorta adapted this look where I wear loafers with chinos and a shirt. If the event calls for it I’ll add a jacket. I also like wearing suits especially because I can hide my tummy! But, I do like dressing up and I think presenting yourself well is very important. After all, when people meet you, that’s the first impression you make so I do put effort into it.

Q/ Do you have any New Year resolutions on your list for 2018?

A/ I’ve got goals at work and home. But, my biggest resolution is to get fitter and explore different ways to go about it.

This article was originally published as ‘The Cosmo Guy’ in the January 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For information on more talented guys, grab a copy of our latest magazine.

 PHOTOGRAPHY: JEHAN D ADAHAN | ART DIRECTION: ADHILA MARZOOK LATIFF
 
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