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Ramani Fernando Story
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Ramani Fernando Story

While Ramani Fernando was a young boarder at St. Bridget’s Convent in the 70’s, her spare time was spent messing around with her friends’ hair, little realizing that an unimportant interest and hobby would turn out into a large business.

She is married to ex Sri Lankan Cricketer and now Cricket Commentator Ranjit Fernando and during one of Ranjit’s visits to England in the 70’s she took up to serious work in the trade of Hair and Beauty by being an apprentice at one of London's leading salons Gerrard London/Martin Gold.

She started at the bottom sweeping and mopping floors like all trainees do, but never found the job boring watching the great hair artists at work and learning from them. After the initial training, she joined the Raymond’s Group in the UK, another leading group, as a Junior Stylist and after working for a while returned to Sri Lanka.

Her first salon was just a small room in her home at Elibank Road with one cutting chair and an assistant. Word however soon got around and there was a steady stream of very satisfied clients and her salon moved into the garage and continued to grow from there. Ramani has eight salons and an academy in Sri Lanka and has franchise salons in Bangladesh and India. She has plans of opening a few more in the coming months.

Her staff is now in excess of 170, almost all trained by her in the “Ramani Fernando Way” and she believes in continuous training and being up to date in trends and fashion, which is the key to success in this business.

Her staff too is regularly sent on training courses in Sri Lanka and abroad. Ramani has received advanced training in some of the leading academies in the world such as Vidal Sassoon, Tony & Guy, Graham Webb, Rever, Ruby Hammer, Wella, L’Oreal, Keune and continues to visit these academies with her staff on a regular basis to stay abreast.

She pays close attention to competition in Hair and Beauty work to keep her staff motivated and sharp and her staff has been in the forefront of many competitions both locally and abroad.

Ramani too has won many awards at the Asian Hairstyling and Make up Competition and in the last 15 years has been a senior judge in the Competition. She is now the Vice President of the Asian Hairdressers Association. Ramani is very involved with training and in addition to running her own academy she also gets involved in regular seminars and training programs for hairdressers and beauticians in the country.

Her interest in the fields of Hair and Beauty has prompted an invitation from the Skills Development Authority to serve on the panel to set up standards for Hair and Beauty. In 2006 she was adjudged “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” In Sri Lanka.