fbpx

Harpo – On passion, people and the hunger for excellence

| Blog

Harpo Gooneratne – owner and restauranteur of famous Colombo hot spots such as Harpo’s pizza, The Commons, Park Street Mews, and Bay Leaf – visited Fortude recently! He took Fortudites on a fascinating life journey – one that is currently revolutionizing Sri Lanka’s culinary industry.

Harpo got his start at St. Thomas’s Mount Lavinia. He was always the life of the class, and this gregarious trend continued into his college career. His main interest was making good friends, which he did through various activities such as drama, the scouts, and rugby.

A naturally positive guy, Harpo has a passion for people. It’s this infectious energy that has fueled him through some life-changing experiences. Since he wanted a career that would let him work with people, he enrolled in hotel school. During this time, his first job was being a DJ on the southern coast. By day, he was learning the ins and outs of the hospitality trade. By night, he kept the toes tapping and people swaying at a famous southern hotel. His magnetism and charisma carried him far down this path, and he helped create the mobile discotheque culture in Sri Lanka.

Thereafter, Harpo entered the hotel industry full time as an Entertainment Manager (EM) at the Ramada Renaissance. He was the very first EM in Sri Lanka. His job was to book international acts to perform at the hotel. Fashion shows from India, and British and American show-stoppers were among the acts making headlines in Sri Lanka. Later on, Harpo became EM at the Hilton Colombo. There, he introduced the Deli Market at the top of the World Trade Center, which was a never-before-seen concept. Entertainment came easily to Harpo – he set up the famous entertainment park, Millennium Park, which is now Excel World.

Suddenly, his life completely changed track when he was asked to manage The Commons, a popular casual dining spot in Colombo’s recreational space. This was it – he had found his future. He was completely in his element in the F&B industry, and later, he bought The Commons. Thus started one of the greatest restauranteur stories in Sri Lanka, one of quality, consistency, and longevity.

Harpo is well-loved by his staff, coworkers, and customers. He has created some truly innovative culinary and leisure spaces, such as Harpo’s Pizza, The Commons, Bayleaf, and Park Street Mews. His core management principle? He treats his team members like family, which means that once they join the team, they never leave. They haven’t just found a job, they’ve found a passion. A passion with a family that cares about their personal and professional development.

Harpo’s recipe for success is to channel positivity into everything he does. And this simple mantra has tided him through some exceptionally tough times, through chaos during the Sri Lankan conflict, and the unpredictable nature of the industry. Throughout it all, he has maintained a successful enterprise because of two things – quality and consistency. The amount of quality has not declined from the start of Harpo’s Pizza, right up to the present day.

Harpo has big plans for the brand, which includes expanding into the food truck arena, another innovative idea in Sri Lanka, and expanding the pizza toppings count of Harpo’s Pizza to thirty! Harpo introduced the concept of the square pizza, and we cannot wait to see what other delicious ideas his restaurants are going to cook up next!

Related Posts

From insights to thought-leadership

View More

RPA is here to stay. Can companies remain oblivious?

Robotic process automation, simply known as RPA, came to light in the early 2000s. In the current context, its capabilities are extended with the use of several technologies such as process mining, optical character recognition (OCR), analytics, user experience (UX), artificial intelligence (AI), big data, machine learning (ML), and speech recognition technologies.

Enhance productivity with ERP integrated AI Chatbots

Due to the pandemic, businesses were forced to adapt to new norms with disruptions to usual business operations. The sudden boom in e-commerce has created new requirements. Certain products and services were in high demand, and some businesses struggled with staggering volumes of customer queries and complaints.

Quality Gates: Why all the fuss?

What are quality gates? And what is the role of a gatekeeper? Read our latest blog post by Senior QA Lead Rochana Herath as she details why investing time in identifying quality gates is important and how quality gates significantly improve the success and quality of your software projects.

Move data to Infor’s multi-tenant cloud faster and reliably with M3 Data Import Tool for Multi-Tenant (MDI-MT)

MDI-MT provides a faster, flexible, and feature-rich interface for migrating data from legacy ERP to Infor's multi-tenant cloud built on AWS.

Building business-ready applications with Infor Mongoose: 4 success stories

In the previous blog post, we discussed building low-code feature-rich CloudSuite applications with Infor Mongoose. In this article, we explore applications developed using Infor Mongoose at Fortude.

ASP.NET Core Dependency Injection and Service Lifetimes

ASP.NET Core supports the Dependency Injection (DI) software design pattern that allows registering services and controlling how these services are instantiated and injected in different components.