An Interview with Velou’s Director of Delivery & Operations: Shirmila Ranathunga
Why did you choose to work at Velou?
I started off my career as a finance executive for a US-based finance KPO. Then at a tech start-up, I was involved in support management such as setting up a shared services process for the company, dealing with customers and managing the projects that are to be delivered. I was also a project manager at Sysco Labs Sri Lanka and I worked at MAS Holdings in Project Management, Strategy Planning and heading the PMO function for Group IT and Digital Excellence.
When I heard about the opportunity to work for Velou, I followed my urge to grow my career into a new chapter at a Silicon Valley tech startup. I had just completed my 6th year at MAS and 12th year in the IT industry. I have to admit, it was the kind of career move that created knots in my stomach!
You are heading Delivery and Operations for Velou. What are you responsible for?
I oversee all aspects of Velou's activities in Sri Lanka, where our Engineering Centre is located. I focus on ensuring all our deliveries to customers are done at the right time and at a high quality. This ranges from onboarding a new customer to releasing newly engineered features from our product roadmap and guiding our teams the whole way through.
Another major area of my responsibilities is making sure Velou is resourced with the right talent, tools and practices to advance it’s day-to-day operations. Carefully putting the right amount of processes in place is important, such as knowing what is sufficient at a certain stage while keeping track of the bigger picture.
The next step is to go agile. This is not just in deliveries, but across all aspects of the company because agility is not just a process, it’s a change in mindset - a discipline and a way of operating.
What is it like working from Sri Lanka?
Velou never sleeps! Sri Lanka for Velou is the source of engineering talent. Being here helps me stay connected to anything new happening in the IT industry in Sri Lanka.
Although I am time zones apart when connecting with customers, we have our teams, such as sales and marketing, operating in the US, the UK, and Germany. And now in this new normal working from home, it is easier to communicate. Eventually though, we intend to set up some of the customer support operations in those time zones as well.
“My favorite thing about working for Velou is being in IT Delivery at a company where software engineering and innovation is at the core of the business.”
What is your favorite thing about working for Velou?
My favorite thing about working for Velou is being in IT Delivery at a company where software engineering and innovation is at the core of the business. Trying out new ideas gives me an incredible sense of satisfaction. There is a truth to the saying, “if you like something you’ll find a way to make it work!” I also enjoy the way we apply data-driven decisions to every step of the process and validating the feasibility of a hypothesis, from both a technology as well as an investment standpoint.
What do you like to do for fun?
I read literally anything that’s interesting, although most books are now replaced by Netflix and LinkedIn articles. I like to play badminton and also do nothing whenever time permits. I’m looking forward to getting back to traveling. Sri Lanka is one beautiful island worth exploring!
Which social media platform do you use the most?
Definitely Instagram! I’ve been decorating my apartment recently with indoor plants and this is one of them.
What was the last fashion item you purchased online?
The last item I purchased online was a pair of sliders. However, my favorites were 2 lounge dresses :)