•   Saturday, 24 Feb, 2024
Rohan Jayawardena asia awards

Rohan Jayawardena has bagged Distinguished Achiever Award

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Rohan Jayawardena, is a young entrepreneur who was born to a family with many issues. Since childhood he grew up in an environment filled with fear and tears due to his father’s violent behavior at home. His mother was always away at work by leaving him and his sister to their grandparents. He was often bullied in middle school and had difficulty in his studies since there was no guidance for him at home. His only beautiful memories lies on playing cricket with his best buddy near the house and his grandmother’s delicious dishes. 

Due to constant fights at home between his parents, he was spending most of his youth at his grandparents house. He was more focused on getting into good shape than studies so that one day he knew he could stand against his bullies. He was studying commerce and business studies for his final years at school, but was never interested in the usual school curriculum. Thus he decided not to face his advanced level examinations and joined an institution to proceed eventually with a degree in Software Engineering. 

Though he started his courses in the university, he had struggles in paying the tuition fees every semester which made him do part time work at a taxi service center. He worked day and night whenever he got a free time from his studies, which made him occupied almost 20 hours per day leaving him sleep deprived. That job was his first and the last leaving him with the idea of not following the usual trend of getting into a job after degree. During his undergraduate years he was an intern at a highly reputed IT solutions company. He was only delivering files from one  person to another where he was further determined to not to be the underdog of the company system. 

The turning point to all of his achievements as an entrepreneur and an innovator started in his final year at the university. He came up with an Artificial intelligence application that would assist the blind society as for his final year project. His project was rejected by the entire staff and was asked to proceed with a less complicated project leaving him with the option of changing the project or to drop out and proceed with it. He made the choice of dropping out and working on his project which led to one great innovation. The project did not only change his life, but made him start his own company, ROE.

Being a dropout was not easy for him considering his family situation. His mother was at a huge debt of 1.5 million with no support from the father leaving them with financial issues. Rice and cabbage was the only meal his mother could afford which became the only meal at home. He still remembers how that felt like with no hope, no money, no proper food leaving the hope of no future. He knew that he has had hit the rock bottom. 

While going through all this, he spent almost a year of self learning on Artificial Intelligence Development and Marketing strategies. From middle of 2016 to late 2017 that was his learning phase despite all the struggles he had to face. He just kept going with determination. He still recalls the amount of late nights he had to put in for a straight year, sleeping only 2 hours in the daytime.

Due to the financial issues at home, he couldn’t afford to start company registrations in USA which needed several thousands of bucks. He still recalls how he had to beg bank managers for loans to establish his business which was rejected by every bank simply because he had nothing to prove to repay the loan. Once he confidently stood up to a bank manager and said, “I know I don’t have any - If I fail to repay the loan in 6 months, I’ll give you every cent I earned to that date, no questions asked.” He walked out of every bank thinking he won’t give up. Rejections only made him stronger. He had no other way but do home to home deliveries of facial products to earn the money he needed by a nano cab. He sacrificed his health, friends and his everything to get somewhere in life. 

After a year of learning and practicing he finally made his first sale in July 2017. Even though he made his first sale in July, it took him until December to crack the code. The results were amazing. The grind he put in, started making sense giving him millions of fortune and the happiness he deserved. 

In December 2017 he bought his first car, and the following year he bought his first house with a pool. Recently he bought another house. All debt free, purely with his business income. He was also able to take his mother and sister away from the problematic environment to a new house and give them a fresh start to life. His visions came to a reality making him a self made millionaire who is now capable of owning everything he lost in life. 

The application he developed had a turnover of 150 million in 4 years. It became one of the trending apps for blind community back then, over 250,000 downloads. It clearly changed lives of many blind people. He is now working on his second patent app for the blind which will be launched next year. 

How I feel on receiving the award - 

This award symbolizes my effort & story - how I started from zero to making my way to top. Winning distinguished achiever award would really encourage my journey even more - thank you RULA for the recognition! 


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