Lights, Camera, What? Turbo Lemons Adventures in a War Zone


Imagine you’re selected to be whisked away to Sri Lanka to represent your company and your university as a graduate entrepreneur.  My first thought: isn’t there a war going on there? (which in November, there was).  My second thought: aren’t wars a bit dangerous? Well, as long as I wasn’t placed in any public places or close to any public or potential targets

After much fretting, to-ing and fro-ing, I decided to do it.  The mission was for the UK British Council delegation (handpicked from Buckinghamshire New University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Durham, Leeds Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University and  University of Plymouth) to help to develop Sri Lankan awareness about graduate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education as part of the National Enterprise Week in Sri Lanka.

This would involve going to a large conference (scuppering my no public places plan) with lots of important government cabinet ministers (scuppering my public or potential targets plan), as well as presenting Turbo Lemon Media and my own experiences to a few hundred people. Turbo Lemon Nerves.

A rare sight, in trousers and tie.

A rare sight, in trousers and tie.

What not a lot of us knew, was that also as part of this, we were to be partake in ‘Ideators,’ which is loosely the Sri Lankan equivalent of The Apprentice (minus the firing, no pun intended). So having just about gotten over those thoughts of war=dangerous, I had to then deal with having a camera poking around my orange face (courtesy of the crew’s make-up team).  Turbo Orange Face.

Two teams pitched against each other: the brief, to design and make a shoe that would fix the lulling sales of a particular demographic, undertake the market research and then come up with the long term marketing strategy, graphic visuals and financial forecast for it.  Then present it to the board of Sri Lanka’s largest shoe manufacturer, DSI.  In three days. Turbo Lemon Sleep-Deprivation.


Ideators Orange Team

I won’t say much more about it as you can, to the utter horror and embarrassment of my shyer-alter-ego, watch Ideators below.  What I will say is that as well as it being a difficult and tiring experience, it was also quite incredible, learning from the Sri Lankan students and indeed, working with other UK graduates.  I say working – I jumped in as Orange (how apt) leader and, as best I could, let others lead where their strengths allowed them to do so.

An amazing opportunity, an amazing country, an amazing experience with amazing people.  All superfluous language, utterly justified!

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