Renuka Marshall

In conversation with Ashwini Vethakan


Born in

The 20th century (got you!)

Alma maters

I don’t believe in retirement but would like to see the northern lights

St. Bridget’s Convent and Ladies’ College

Family members

My husband and our two boys – or the ‘three boys’ as I call them

Wanted to be

An architect


A nonconformist and actively involved in the communications sector


My hubby nuts

Moments you would like to go back to

My first encounter with snow in Vienna

Best advice received

Actually there are two – the first is: “There is only one life so live it.” And the other is: “Life gets complicated only if we complicate it!”


Happy place

Home sweet home with the boys

Likes to play

Sudoku and Candy Crush Saga

Qualities you look for in a friend

Trust and honesty

Likes to watch

The world go by

Most unforgettable event

Giving birth to my two sons

Success to you is

A journey that comes with hard work, commitment, perseverance and sacrifice; it is not merely a destination!

Purpose in life

To be happy and a good human

Three languages you’d like to learn

The language of animals – i.e. dogs, birds and big cats

Items on the bucket list for the next six months

COVID-19 has disrupted most plans; however, the doable ones would be to camp or stay in a wildlife park, hot air ballooning and just chilling out

Items on the bucket list following retirement

I don’t believe in retirement but would like to see the northern lights, take a cruise to Alaska and set up an establishment to empower rural women


Mantra to unwind

Watering the plants – it works every time!

One new thing you tried this year

Baking – eclairs, pies, bread… the works!

Most hated chore

Putting things back where they belong after they’ve been left out by the boys

Impressed by

Hard work and humility


Nature photography, birdwatching and craft (cross-stich and ribbon embroidery amongst others)

Pet peeves

Tardiness, dishonesty and stupidity

Greatest extravagance

Anything that gives me family time as I really treasure the time spent with my boys… and my designer bag collection

Unlikely food combination

Marie biscuits and Marmite

Workout preferences

If I have to, I’d walk outdoors

Three must-haves

Common sense, grace and my other half

Ideal romantic date or outing

To sip a glass of wine under the stars with the sound of lapping water – and no mosquitos!

One thing you would change about yourself

I’m quite happy with myself, so there’s nothing… being patient however, would be a good thing – more for others than myself!


Days of the week

Friday, Saturday and Sunday


Yellow, peacock blue and emerald green


Anything cooked by my mother-in-law – the crunch pudding with stewed pineapple tops the list!


Thambili; lemon, lime and bitters; and Moscato wine (sweet)… chilled, please!

TV show

Netflix at the most… sorry, but I don’t watch TV regularly


Queen (Freddie Mercury), Sir Elton John and ABBA
(yes, it’s a group)


Anything from those listed above are among my favourites

Chill out spots

Mount Tamborine in Australia, SunnySide Lodge in Ella and Tempo Bungalow in Horana (sadly no more!)

Civil servant

A traffic cop on Galle Road… a little eye candy never hurt anyone in the morning


Jason Momoa, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.


The Notebook and The Blind Side


Nora Roberts, James Patterson and Steve Berry (to relax)


I’m not particularly awed by brands

Obsessed with

Punctuality and picking up ‘spellos’

Likely retirement destination

South Africa


The first thing you need after waking up


The first thing you notice when meeting someone

Attire, shoes, eye contact, punctuality… the list is endless!

Recently laughed out loud when

I was typing this

Last gift to someone

Words of comfort and a smile

You’re challenged by

My children and the nutters at work daily

You know it’s going to be a bad day when

A client calls out of the blue

The best part about working in advertising and communications is

Having the power to make change ‘for good’

A new technology that will transform the future


Children are

A loan to us from God – enjoy them but set them free to live their lives!

Sri Lanka in a few words

It’s all in the mind so I’m not most productive at any specific time

A paradise island with so much potential and so little done to capitalise on it

Your least favourite month in 2020

The whole year!

Your New Year resolution

A redo of 2020


Computer ability

Can’t grumble – thanks to Google, anything is possible!

Most productive in the morning, noon or night

It’s all in the mind so I’m not most productive at any specific time

A leader or follower by nature


Cook or foodie


Quality or quantity


The glass is half full or half empty

Half full

Work or play after retirement


The most delightful phrase you can think of

‘B*tch puhlease’

Your most used word or phrases

‘Really now?’ and ‘yes, no, maybe?’

Role model

Ammi – because she has had a huge impact on who I am today

Yourself in a few words

Simple, down to earth, rational and God-fearing – what you see is what you get!

Renuka is the Managing Director of TBWA\Sri Lanka