One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Shehan Samarasinha

Highlighting young talent in the ad world – one person at a time.

As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a regular feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world.

On tap this week is the Director of Brands at Triad in Sri Lanka, Shehan Samarasinha.

Samarasinha, who is based in Colombo, told us that his approach to his work comes more from experience rather than what the data reveals.”For me personally the actual insight behind a good piece of work comes from my life experiences rather than research.”


The Basics

Name: Shehan Samarasinha
Age: 30
Agency: Triad (Pvt) Ltd
Position: Director – Brands
Hometown: Dehiwala
Current Location: Colombo
Education: MSc. Strategic Marketing, BSc. Business

Seven Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

By challenging the CEO. Joining the company meant taking a hit on my salary and designation. I accepted with one caveat; if I exceeded expectations, I would get an increment in six months. The CEO liked my panache and accepted the challenge. I was confirmed in three months with a hike in designation and package.

What is your personal mantra?

“Somewhere he is training while I am not, and when we meet, he will win.” It’s all about continuous learning and development. The only certainty is the past, today and tomorrow are up to us to win over.

From what person, place, or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?

For me personally the actual insight behind a good piece of work comes from my life experiences rather than research. I feel very fortunate to have had unique experiences that have inspired my work. I always thank one person for this, God. I would be lying if I tell you otherwise.


What do you love about the job?

I believe logical thinking has already solved most of the world’s problems. Whatever problems remaining are unlikely to be solved through logical thinking. To be able to give seemingly nonsensical solutions to problems and see them work better than logic is what makes me love the job!

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

The creative rat race. No matter how hard one works, it’s just not good enough. It feels like a temporary high with the immediate afterthought being “We need to do better! Where’s the next big idea coming from?” The work we do feels like fireworks, you never get enough!

What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

That honor would go to “Life Chant”. The campaign focused on often-neglected strata of society, “slum dwellers” and educated them on how to protect themselves against dengue mosquitos using religious monks and shrines to spread the message.

Any work that transforms an Ad into an Act is work I would be proud of.

If you had to choose another career what would it be?

A full-time inventor. There are many day-to-day problems that have not even been identified. Maybe they have been identified by people, like me, who don’t have the solutions. I would love to use creative thinking and simplistic problem solving to create a range of day-to-day products for the real world.

Want to submit your suggestion for One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight? Feel free to drop us a line: [email protected]

Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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