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Tapping a Niche with Anita Dorai

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Anita Dorai’s presence creates a stir and her beauty makes heads turn wherever she goes but what really woos people to her is her bubbly personality and a smile that lights up a room! She also exudes elegance and class.

Anita’s name came into prominence following the brilliantly choreographed ‘Threads of Time’ show in 2018, featuring the famous Kavita Thulasida’s collection of haute couture. It was an event of epic proportion. The most recent event she organized was ‘Kumarsutra’ which gave Sri Lankans the opportunity to witness the best of Singaporean stand-up comedy by the celebrated comedian Kumar. Since laughter is considered the best medicine, each one received a surplus dose of it. “I see so much potential in Sri Lanka and wish to tap into the niche in various categories such as access to the Singaporean or Far-East oriented entertainment among others.”

Born and bred in Singapore, Anita hails from a close-knit family consisting of her parents and sister. What was your childhood like?

My parents were not really conservative and we girls were encouraged to pursue our dreams. I pursued a career in sales and marketing as I was interested in that field. Subsequently, I started by own business in a niche field or an area which was hitherto untapped by women and that was the automobile sector. I acquired knowledge through experience thrived especially due to my passion for marketing. Her clients consisted of the crème de la crème of society who admired her resilience, integrity and business acumen.  Her no-nonsense attitude and strict adherence to the rules and regulations and the authenticity and credibility of the product itself earned her steady stream of customers.

How long ago did you relocate to Sri Lanka?

Five years ago

What made you move to the island?

It was my love and marriage to my Sri Lankan husband Prithiv Dorai.

She reminisced about their initial encounter with a smile that spread to her eyes and I understood that they share a special bond. “My husband is my best friend and pillar of strength. He is very supportive and offers the best advice,” remarked Anita endearingly.

Did you adapt easily to life in Sri Lanka or was it an uphill task?

It took me awhile to get accustomed to the laid back lifestyle which is a world away from the fast paced Singaporean life which I was used to. I still do miss most of the things back home but I have adjusted well and forged some lasting friendships in Sri Lanka which makes me feel blessed to be here.

What prompted you to offer the best of Singaporean talent to Sri Lanka?

Since I arrived I saw an opportunity to showcase the best of our region as the Sri Lanka audience was very appreciative and welcoming of other cultures and while there were many events showcasing the cultural aspects of many countries, there was nothing that promoted the many versatile facets of Singapore.

How did the ‘Threads of Time’ unfold and what are some of the plans you have for Sri Lanka?

Kavita is my childhood friend and destiny ensured a chance meeting during one of her visits to Sri Lanka as she was involved in a charity project in the island. Subsequently the wheels in my head started spinning (excuse the pun) and I inquired if she would be interested to showcase her designs right here and she agreed! I value unique trends and her creations were exemplary. The show was for invitees only and consisted of various categories titled, ‘Great Gatzby,’ ‘Maharaja,’ ‘Grecian,’ and the ‘Garden of Eden’. Everyone was astounded and appreciative of the grandeur, style and presentation which consisted of 3D backdrops and more. Surmise it to say, it was poetry in motion and the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive and I valued it as it was a first for me!

I must also add that I received tons of support from many Sri Lankans from my husband onwards who introduced me to the right people in order to present such a beautifully choreographed event. Even ‘Kumarsutra’ was the first time a celebrated Singaporean stand-up comedian had performed in the island and Kumar literally brought the house down with his humour!

Proceeds from ‘Threads of Time’ were used to donate 100 specially designed wheelchairs to ‘Wheels for Wheels,’ an initiative by ‘Around the Pearl’ – a charitable organization which aids those who are afflicted with cerebral palsy. Similarly, the Sri Lanka production of ‘Kumarsutra’ was another opportunity to donate towards Wheels for Wheels.

Yes, the islanders travel often to my homeland and often it is for the shopping and entertainment in terms of theme parks and to watch a favorite singer or band perform but Singapore has much more to offer in terms of cultural scope as it’s a melting pot or a cultural confluence comprising of Indian, Chinese and many more with talented individuals creating the most vibrant art forms in terms of literature, fashion, dancing and many such genres of entertainment.

This is what I wish to showcase to my Sri Lankan compatriots and did through ‘Threads of Time’ and ‘Kumarsutra’. I feel that I can do so much for Sri Lanka!

By Rochelle Palipane Gunaratne

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