For many, reaching the top of the leadership tree is central to their ambition. But after getting there, a change of priorities to foster future leaders is essential, according to Anushka Weeratunga.
When it comes to inspiring leadership, Anushka Weeratunga, Pacific Managing Director at Ingenico, feels he has been lucky enough to learn from the best. And now that he’s in such a position himself, he is determined to put all that his role models have taught him into action.
“Leadership to me is about empowering others to be their best and creating a safe space for collaboration,” Weeratunga says. “I recognize the key role that each individual plays in achieving our strategic priorities and provide the support needed to bring it all together.
“I am not the expert in everything, so it’s all about building diversity of thought, having different frames of references. Ultimately, I abide by the statement ‘I am here to create more leaders, not more followers’.”
“Leadership to me is about empowering others to be their best and creating a safe space for collaboration.”
Ingenico is a global leader in the payments industry, offering a comprehensive suite of in-store payment solutions including smart point-of-sale terminals, managed solutions and services and a cloud-based orchestration platform. Its wide range of products and services allows merchants to cater to diverse customer preferences, payment methods and payment-linked commerce services.
The company has a significant global presence, active in 37 countries, a strong distribution network and demonstrated success adapting to local payment regulations and preferences.
“The breadth of expertise of our people truly sets us apart in the marketplace,” Weeratunga adds. “Collectively, we have decades of industry experience combined with passion for innovation and customer outcomes.
“We will always have the best team to support our customers and people in the very dynamic industry we operate in. We aim to solve real challenges faced by our customers, while always considering the environmental and social impacts of our operations.”
As a brand, Ingenico stands for quality, reliability and security, enabling clients and partners with end-to-end solutions to help them navigate the increasingly complex payments and commerce landscape.
“We have had the distinct privilege of being a trusted partner in the Pacific market for many decades, and we’re committed to living up to the promise of our brand,” Weeratunga says.
Finding the best ways to help customers, wherever they are, comes from a diverse team working well together. Weeratunga acknowledges that being part of a team is what inspires and pushes him to constantly elevate.
“Our employees are at the heart of what we do, and working with them is incredibly rewarding.”
“What truly gives me purpose is being a part of a cognitively diverse, highly skilled and passionate team that consistently goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional results for our customers,” he says.
“Our employees are at the heart of what we do, and working with them is incredibly rewarding.
“Together, we share a united purpose – to make a meaningful difference in the lives of everyday people and shape the world of payments,” he continues. “We will always have the best team to respond to the ever-changing landscape of payments and commerce.”
Finding a supportive team was non-negotiable from the outset of his appointment.
“One of my first priorities was to build a robust and cohesive leadership team that were the experts in their respective fields. It was all about further building the trust, both within the organization, with our customers and in the market,” he says.
After building such a dynamic team, the challenge is always to keep the innovation and energy sustained. Weeratunga has taken steps to foster a culture in the workplace which keeps the ideas coming and people confident in coming forward with their suggestions.
“We encourage our team to stay curious, to challenge the status quo and to always look for better ways of doing things,” he says.
“Those who have worked with me would understand that my leadership style is authentic and I prioritize honesty. Change can be uncomfortable, but it’s essential for staying ahead in a rapidly changing industry.
“Everyone at Ingenico shares the responsibility of strengthening our culture, and our leaders take ownership of this important aspect.”
“I’m not just focused on the challenges. I’m also excited about the opportunities that change brings. If we are not making mistakes in a considered way, and learning from them, we are not pushing hard enough.”
With a people strategy aligned to creating an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to work while performing at their very best, hard work is celebrated with a recognition program and open, honest, two-way communication.
“It is crucial that we foster a sense of belonging, which is why we provide opportunities to connect socially and have fun along the way,” Weeratunga says. “Everyone at Ingenico shares the responsibility of strengthening our culture, and our leaders take ownership of this important aspect.”
With these strategies proving effective, Weeratunga hopes he is not only creating future leaders, but future teachers because for both Ingenico and the business community as a whole, ongoing education and mentoring is essential.
“I have had the opportunity to work with some great people that I have learned from,” he reflects. “Learning and growing opportunities exist in everything we do and people we interact with, so always be open to listen, learn and debate.”