As a child, Adhisha Dahanayake was viewed as the wild child within the family due to her tomboyish and somewhat stubborn nature. A little way along the road following the end of her schooling career, Adhisha pursued a diploma in Management in Australia. She returned home before completing it as she realized that this may not be the right discipline for her; Adhisha then switched paths towards HR and Psychology at an institute in Sri Lanka. While pursuing this newfound passion, she was under part time employment which made her understand that a traditional 9 to 5 situation just wasn’t right for her. This led her to try her hand at agriculture by working at the family spice garden in Kandy. However, this was short lived as she lacked a green thumb. According to her, after being exposed to multiple disciplines, her mind was all over the place.

Eventually, as it is with all success stories, Adhisha stumbled into the thought of setting up the unique and sprawling operation that she now runs. Due to the fluctuating nature of her body type, it was a challenge for her to find fitting clothes. Plus sized individuals often have little to no choice when it comes to apparel and thus never get the chance to express their individuality through their clothes. Even when shopping with family, Adhisha often felt left out as a choice for her did not exist. In essence, because she had no choice when it came to shopping for clothes, she realized that she couldn’t be the only one faced with this issue. What followed was a discussion with family regarding the viability of setting up a retail platform for plus sized individuals and the idea was then brought to life with her partners, Priyan and Deminthe.

Adhisha Dahanayake powerlifiting

Adhisha says that today, the Double XL brands stands as the best thing that has ever happened to her. She confidently says that not only is she doing what she loves, she loves what she does. Having her own retail platform means that she has no ceiling, she is able to execute anything that she has in mind, further capturing the attention of her appreciative target audience. While Adhisha has come to learn that any business venture has its ups and downs, she compares it to a roller coaster ride. Every scarily exciting peak along the ride has been viewed as a new opportunity!

Aside from her daily work life routine of visiting the Double XL store, conversing with staff and tackling strategic meetings, Adhisha has a rather unique pastime; powerlifting. She says that in addition to making one feel as if they can take on whatever life throws at them, it is the perfect medium to vent away stress from a long day of work. It is more than just a hobby though, for Adhisha has even represented Sri Lanka as a national athlete at last year’s commonwealth trials! This is yet another example of how body size will not restrain you from pursuing your goals. As Sunday rolls around you’ll find this empowered entrepreneur soaking up the sun in Mount Lavinia, recharging herself for the challenging week ahead.

An individual who is as driven as Adhisha must certainly have a mentor; to her, it has always been her father. She recalls that he would always tell her that speed does not matter, for life is all about heading in the right direction. From work hassles to personal issues, her father has been her rock, always encouraging her and never allowing her to give up on her goals. It has been four years since his untimely passing, but not a day goes by where Adhisha doesn’t miss his presence.

When asked about what her message is for a new generation of entrepreneurs, Adhisha seeks to encourage them to think out of the box and provide a solution for people in need. After all, people don’t buy a product, they invest in a solution to better their lifestyles. Adhisha would also like to humbly request the new generation to be grateful to those who support their endeavors. She understands that without the support of her family, friends and talented team, Double XL would not have reached such great heights! She also stresses on the fact that the backing of her partners, Priyan and Deminthe, was crucial in order for her to come this far along.

Editorial

The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.

Clayton Durant

Editorial

The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.