Goodfolks, as an idea, was discussed in late April, as the Covid-19 lock-down began to take hold. We saw that large segments of MSMEs (Micro-Small-Medium Enterprises), despite having winning ideas, were struggling to grow their businesses due to lack of exposure, resources and certain skill sets. This was compounded by the global lock-down. We also realised that we were in a position to help them overcome these shortfalls and challenges and it was our duty to do so.
Goodfolks was therefore set up as an export oriented eCommerce platform to feature winning ideas (products) from Sri Lankan MSMEs. However, it is not the eCommerce platform that is the hero at Goodfolks. It is the process through which the uncut diamonds i.e., the products are refined and elevated to compete in the global marketplace. We refer to this process as the ‘Goodfolks Makeover’. To qualify, the products also need to follow a set of values: be organic in nature, ethical in consideration and sustainable. They also need to be of 90% Sri Lankan origin.
The result is a curated set of products that are authentically Sri Lankan in essence but have also transformed to meet the refined tastes of a global audience. These products are then marketed both online and offline, locally and internationally. Participating MSMEs will also benefit from the ‘Goodfolks Giveback’ mechanism which includes training, workshops and financial or expert input towards achieving standards and certifications.
When a person chooses to buy a Goodfolks product that is because they value the product story, they see a direct return for the people involved and can enjoy a clear conscience that the process was clean and ethical. This growing demographic makes up the target consumer base for Goodfolks.
The company was founded by the brother and sister duo of Dinesh Perera and Anne Perera. Together they count over 30 years of experience in the branding, marketing and advertising industries with added exposure working with MSMEs.
Ultimately Goodfolks hopes to establish a transparent business template that others can follow and demonstrates the fact that a business can think beyond profits and still be successful.