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  • Writer's pictureBarressential

inspire: ishani gunasekera

Our "Inspire" series returns with Ishani Gunasekera, one of our favourite clients, lawyer & Co-Founder of NDURE, a newly launched brand protection agency in Sri Lanka. Join us for a chat...

1. What inspired you to start NDURE?

My business partner and I were often fielding questions from friends etc. who were creating new product and service brands and wanted information about what they should do to protect their brands and we would joke about how we should start charging for it! With so many new start-ups and new products and services being offered over here we saw that we could add value by working with people at the beginning of their brand development process. So we teamed up with some incredibly creative minds who do really fantastic brand design work in an effort to help clients develop the best and strongest branding concepts possible (that are both creative and legally protectable) and work with them providing advice and services so that as they expand they have the best possible protection for their brands.

2. What risks do you see to brand identity in Sri Lanka and how does NDURE work to mitigate these?

There are so many creatively genius ideas out there that for one reason or another make it harder to get legal protection - for example a brand name that describes your product to a tee but because it is so descriptive you cannot obtain a trademark for it. That's why, as part of our concept, we work with brands from inception to advise on the strengths and pitfalls of their branding concepts so that they don't encounter problems down the road. We've also found that many start-ups and SMEs shy away from getting professional advice on intellectual property issues because more traditional legal resources can be prohibitively pricey for start-ups and SMEs and so what we try to offer is a more practical, economical approach for these types of businesses.

3. As a successful working professional and a mum, how do you maintain a work-life balance?

This was one of the biggest motivators for starting NDURE because it gives me the flexibility to manage my work on my own terms and I do not have to miss out on stuff with my kids. I have also have really wonderful people in my life that help make it work for me, from my business partner who carries more than her fair share of the workload to my husband and mum who help out and pick up the slack when it comes to the kids. I also find routines and schedules are essential!

4. We love having you at Barre, how have we been able to serve you in your wellness goals?

I love coming to Barre, its my haven! Its a terrific way to unwind and reset whilst getting an amazing workout! I've been coming to Barre for almost a year now and I can honestly say I have never been to a class that hasn't challenged me physically! I've also noticed an incredible improvement in my levels of strength, particularly my upper body strength.

I was also lucky enough to take part in one of the first challenges offered by Barressential and I actually really benefitted from that. There were a number of things I learned from that experience that I was able to incorporate into my day to day habits that I feel have impacted in a very positive way on my lifestyle.

5. What is your favourite Barre move?

I really love the plank series because I feel like I'm utilising every muscle in my body to keep my posture right! And of late I'm really enjoying the thigh and seat sets using the barre - it definitely adds another level of intensity to Barre class!

6. Finally, what advice would you give to young people starting out in the Sri Lankan legal system?

I think that sometimes we get tunnel vision in how we approach and see things. We have a set idea about how things are, and while the profession in general is steeped in tradition and its sometimes its hard to conform to the more traditional approach, there are alternatives. If you don't want to fit into the box then you just have to think outside it. There is a world of possibility for what you can do with a law degree or professional qualification and you just need to seek out what excites and motivates you.

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