Business Profiles

by Rodney Wayne

last updated 20/06/2024


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Mullets, Mates and Making Memories

by Rodney Wayne

last updated 20/06/2024


How Wellington dad-of-two Dinesh is triumphing – and turning heads – by following his passion for hairdressing

Dinesh Gunarathana - Rodney Wayne franchisee

Dinesh Gunarathana, or DG, as he’s known, is not only gaining a strong reputation in the Wellington world of hairstyling; he’s gaining a reputation as the coolest dad at his children’s school. The Sri Lankan-born father-of-two is turning heads – literally and metaphorically – as the owner of two Rodney Wayne salons in the capital. He’s also plying his trade on his own kids, and their schoolfriends want in.

‘I love to create my own takes on new trends,’ says Dinesh. ‘On other people and on myself! I’ve had very long hair and cut it off super-short, I’ve had blended styles, a mullet, highlights... the lot! I love to experiment.

‘I also like to style my children’s hair. Their friends always seem to be impressed! When they get asked, ‘Wow, who did your hair?’ I don’t think they expect my kids to reply - my Dad! They think that’s pretty cool, apparently.’

A young love of hair

Dinesh has come a long way since his early childhood dream of working in the hair industry. ‘When I was small, I really loved to do things to my hair. I used to cut and style it in different ways. I’ve just always had this passion to do hair!

‘I told my Mum and Dad I wanted to be a hairdresser and I’m grateful they said, ‘OK, do whatever you want to do!’ It was quite different from the aspirations of other children who wanted to be doctors or lawyers or bankers, but they supported me and encouraged me to do what I loved.’

Following this passion has led him from a small village in Sri Lanka to Wellington, where he now employs 14 staff as the owner of both Lambton Quay and Manners Street salons. It wasn’t a direct move, however.

Clear cut career

After starting out by gaining his diploma in hairdressing while working at a small salon in his home village, Dinesh developed his trade through advanced training at the Toni & Guy

Academy in Singapore, before moving on to Dubai where he bought a salon based in a five-star hotel. He expanded this to three branches. It was here that he met his wife, Janani – a Sri Lankan banker, who lived in the UK.

In 2019, Dinesh moved back to his native Sri Lanka to lead the Toni & Guy franchise in his homeland. He moved to New Zealand in 2020, just before the first Covid lockdown.
‘I thought it was a good country to raise a family in,’ he explains. ‘The people seemed very friendly, and there is a good education system and plenty of opportunities for children here.’

Bringing his art to Aotearoa

What sold this highly experienced, international stylist and salon owner to the franchise opportunities being offered by Rodney Wayne here in New Zealand? ‘As a business owner,

Rodney Wayne makes everything really easy for you. Their franchise system is brilliant; it’s run really well. They make sure we really care about our clients – above absolutely everything else. Becoming a part of Rodney Wayne has honestly been an incredible experience.’

Dinesh cites the personal support he continues to receive from Rodney Wayne CEO Julie Evans, Angeline Thornley and Rodney Wayne himself. ‘They really, genuinely care about their franchisees and their customers. It’s impressive how much support they give to franchisees. To have Rodney Wayne himself helping with the training of staff and sharing his product knowledge is amazing.’

To find his feet in the franchise, Dinesh began as a stylist in Wellington’s Queensgate branch, where he scoped out the systems, set-up and style of the business. When he was confident in all the workings, he bought in. He initially purchased 50/50 shares in the Lambton Quay branch and worked there doing what he loves – styling hair.

‘When I’d gained a lot of experience in this salon, I went on to buy this franchise. I then also became the franchisee of Manners Street salon a year ago.’

Results, rinsed in

His results, in terms of revenue and return clients, have been phenomenal, he says. ‘Business has grown really, really well. My turnover has doubled!

‘I have so many regular clients, it’s wonderful. I love nothing more than being on the salon floor, helping people to achieve the looks they want or inspiring them to be bold and create something they may not have considered.’

As an experienced international business owner, Dinesh seemingly knows when he is onto a winner. ‘A business owner with Rodney Wayne doesn’t have to worry! They have created a franchise system that works so well. It is run so smoothly and nicely, from the top.’

Being bold in buying into the business hasn’t just brought rich rewards for Dinesh and family; his franchisor is very happy, and his clients benefit from the kind of confidence that Dinesh infuses into his work every day.

To find out more about franchise opportunities with Rodney Wayne, email us today.  

See this advertorial on page 67 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 33 Issue 2

Contact details for Rodney Wayne

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Funding info

Pre-purchase Report

Listing information is supplied by that particular entity. You are advised to confirm the accuracy of the listing and the FANZ membership status of any entity. Neither the sponsors of this Directory nor FANZ nor the publisher accept responsibility for any omissions or errors.

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