Innovation

Vision Meets Versatility: Asela Rodrigo’s Trailblazing Journey in Redefining Smart Spaces

Asela Rodrigo: Mastering Change & Innovation in Smart Building Tech

In the bustling world of tech startups and sustainable business solutions, “Bright Founders Talk” at Temy presents a fascinating dialogue with Asela Rodrigo, the innovative Founder and CTO of Prolojik Limited. 

Hosted by Matthew, this insightful interview delves into Rodrigo’s 22-year journey, from his roots in electronic engineering to spearheading a company that’s at the forefront of IoT and smart building technologies. Rodrigo’s story is a testament to the power of problem-solving and adaptability in the tech industry. 

As he shares his experiences, from the initial challenges of starting a business to the evolution of Prolojik into a leader in its field, Rodrigo’s insights offer a glimpse into the mind of a technocrat driven by customer needs and open standards. This article captures the essence of his entrepreneurial spirit and the innovative strategies that have shaped Prolojik’s success in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

Asela Rodrigo: Mastering Change & Innovation in Smart Building Tech
Asela Rodrigo: The Technocrat’s Journey from Problem-Solver to Industry Pioneer

Asela Rodrigo, with his casual charm and deep insight, dives into the nitty-gritty of starting Prolojik Limited, a journey spanning over two decades. It wasn’t just another startup story; it was a tale of transformation, from a frustrated client to an industry innovator. Asela recalls his early struggles, “I was always struggling to get good strong outcomes from technical problems.” This frustration became the fuel for his entrepreneurial fire. He realized that the cookie-cutter solutions in the market were just not cutting it. It was time for something adaptable, something that truly resonated with the customer’s needs. And so, in 2001, armed with a resolve to do things differently, Asela took the plunge. In his words, “there’s no point asking other people to do stuff, put your money where your mouth is, and go for it.” And go for it, he certainly did.

I was always struggling to get good strong outcomes from technical problems

Asela’s journey wasn’t just about starting up; it was about redefining an industry. He describes himself as a “technocrat at heart,” a problem-solver who thrives on challenges. The early years were about laying the foundation for a company that stood on the principles of modularization and open standards. He detested the idea of being locked into one supplier, a sentiment that led him to develop products that offered longevity and flexibility. This approach led to the creation of a diverse portfolio, marking Prolojik’s ascent from a single-product company to an industry leader with a global footprint, covering everything from compact conference suites to sprawling university campuses.

Staying relevant in a fast-paced industry is a challenge, but Asela makes it look easy. He emphasizes the importance of staying connected, not just with technology, but with people – the clients. According to Asela, their customers are often the best source of ideas, pushing them to innovate continually. Prolojik thrives in this interconnected environment, taking on new technologies and transforming them into standard, accessible solutions. The company’s ability to adapt and evolve comes from a culture of hiring talent that brings fresh ideas and perspectives. As Asela puts it, this practice continually challenges his views and opens up new ways of problem-solving. It’s this blend of customer-driven innovation and a forward-thinking team that keeps Prolojik at the forefront of the industry.

Asela’s Winning Formula: Building a Team that Breathes Innovation

Asela Rodrigo, the brains behind Prolojik Limited, shares the secret sauce to his company’s success – its people. From a humble trio to a powerhouse of over 50, Prolojik’s journey is a story of talent attracting more talent. Asela reminisces about the early days, a blend of technical prowess, sales acumen, and administrative efficiency. The evolution of his team mirrors the evolution of Prolojik itself. “As you invest in people, they bring new opportunities, new ideas,” he explains. This ethos of continuously evolving and embracing change has been pivotal. Prolojik’s team doesn’t just adapt to the market’s shifts; they anticipate and shape them, turning a sketch on a paper to a full-fledged, market-ready product.

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Staying relevant is no small feat in the ever-changing tech landscape. For Asela, relevance is a dance led by the clients. “Most of our clients bring us problems and challenges,” he says, lighting up at the thought. It’s these challenges that fuel Prolojik’s evolution. Every project is a learning experience, a new chapter in their book of innovation. With each job, they refine their approach, absorb lessons, and strive for better. It’s this relentless pursuit of improvement, of turning every setback into a stepping stone, that keeps Prolojik at the cutting edge of smart lighting technology.

You know, it’s kind of your tolerance, your pain threshold, your tolerance, I guess, grows as you go

Asela draws an interesting parallel between his journey and that of a seasoned footballer navigating a crowded midfield – both mastering the art of finding space amidst chaos. Over the years, he’s learned to balance his emotions, to view problems as opportunities for growth. He advocates for transparency, for sharing the good and the bad news early. It’s this philosophy of clear communication and resilience that he imparts to his team. In Asela’s world, emotional intelligence is as crucial as technical skill, a mantra that has seen Prolojik sail through both calm and stormy waters with equal grace.

Asela Rodrigo: Blending Adventure with Business Acumen

In the bustling world of business, Asela Rodrigo stands out not just for his savvy leadership at Prolojik Limited but also for his unique approach to team dynamics and problem-solving. He delves into the art of fostering an open, communicative environment, both within and beyond the walls of his company. It’s a delicate balance, managing the intricate web of internal culture and external expectations. Asela notes, “People have history, and that impacts how they behave in an organization.” He speaks of a continuous process of improvement, a mantra that guides Prolojik’s journey through design, production, and project execution. His philosophy is simple yet profound: anticipate and mitigate issues before they escalate, ensuring a smooth sail through the complex seas of technology and business.

But there’s more to Asela than meets the eye. Beyond the tech genius lies an adventurer at heart, a man who finds his true north in the extremes of nature. Every year, for two to three weeks, he escapes the grind to traverse the wilderness, from the icy plains of Patagonia to the daunting heights of Kilimanjaro. These expeditions aren’t just escapades; they’re a quest for clarity, a way to reset and return with fresh perspectives. “It’s really good to be in an environment where you have to 100% focus,” Asela reflects. These adventures, often tied to charitable causes, are his way of reconnecting with himself, finding that headspace that fuels his creativity and drive back in the boardroom.

It’s about me finding my space and getting my headspace right. That’s when I come back with new ideas and new concepts

The parallels between Asela’s expeditions and his business ethos are striking. He sees a direct correlation between the discipline, planning, and preparation required in both realms. Whether braving the elements in the wild or steering his company through technological innovations, the principles remain the same. This philosophy of meticulous preparation and care resonates throughout Prolojik, nurturing a team that’s not just equipped with skills and tools but also the mindset to tackle challenges head-on. Asela’s approach is a testament to the power of blending diverse life experiences to create a dynamic, resilient business model.

Charting the Future with Asela Rodrigo: Adapting to Change and Embracing Challenges

In a world still reeling from the seismic shifts caused by COVID-19, Asela Rodrigo, the visionary behind Prolojik Limited, offers a glimpse into the future of the commercial sector and office spaces. As he navigates the post-pandemic landscape, Asela’s insights reveal a keen understanding of changing dynamics in how people relate to workspaces. With cities like London displaying new patterns in commuting and office usage, Asela underscores the necessity of understanding these evolving behavioral patterns. “The younger generation has a very different relationship with work,” he observes, highlighting a shift towards a more balanced work-life approach. For Prolojik, this means developing solutions that align with the evolving environmental and utilitarian needs of spaces, blending technology with behavioral science to redefine how buildings serve their inhabitants.

The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, and for Asela, it was a test of resilience and adaptability. Reflecting on the initial days of the COVID outbreak, he recalls the uncertainty and the rapid shift to emergency mode. Prolojik had to reassess and adapt quickly, ensuring the safety of their team while maintaining operational efficiency. They embraced remote working, investing in laptops and internet setups for their team, and by November 2020, had robust protocols in place, aligning with the ‘Immune Building Standard’. This period wasn’t just about survival; it was a catalyst for innovation and reassessment, with Asela leading his team through uncharted waters, turning challenges into opportunities for growth and learning.

Everything for me is around getting immersed and enjoying the best of everything we do. Make sure you enjoy every day

At the heart of Asela’s philosophy is a zest for life that transcends the boundaries between personal and professional. His guiding principle is to work to play and exercise to eat, reflecting his passion for immersing himself in every experience fully. This mantra is more than just a personal credo; it’s a call to action for his team and listeners alike. Asela encourages everyone to make an impact, to challenge themselves and those around them, underscoring the importance of being proactive in shaping the society and environment. His parting message is a powerful reminder: “No one is going to make a change unless you get up and do it yourself. Be part of something.” In these words lies the essence of Asela Rodrigo – a leader not just in business but in embracing life’s every opportunity.

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