CIMA Director, Andrew Harding and Director of Strategic Development, Rick Sturge spoke to the media on CIMA in Sri Lanka and its presence as the regional hub.
Q - How strong is CIMA's regional outlook?
A - We have been here in Sri Lanka for almost 44 years and CIMA itself celebrates 90 years. CIMA has a strong market presence in Colombo and with globalization and development across regions, want to export the things we have done here. This will enable us to take the entire region as a whole. Colombo will be the operational hub for this region which we call the South Asia & Middle East. So, Colombo has a very important role to play and the team here will support the anticipated regional development.
Q - Any specific reason to choose Sri Lanka as the regional hub?
(A -) - When choosing a country as the regional hub we need to consider many factors including the availability of best resources and the ability to deliver. Sri Lanka matches with this criteria and have a great committed workforce in Sri Lanka Chapter office in Colombo where their skill levels are high. We have experience working in this country and for us that works perfectly fine. Sri Lankan team is led by an excellent Chief Executive, eminently capable in taking the CIMA forward in the regional context.
Q - Why not include the South East Asia in this regional plan operated from Colombo?
A - Well, it is a regional strategy and we have carved the world into different parts where the Asia Pacific is a separate part of this plan. Kuala Lumpur hub is looking after the South East Asian Region. So in this hub setting, away from United Kingdom, Shanghai is leading the back office operations for China, Johannesburg for Africa, the new one will come on board will be the São Paulo which will look at the Latin America changing lives.
Q - How does CIMA change lives?
A - Throughout our history CIMA has given opportunity to young people to realize their potential and to take up their position in business leadership and to have successful and rewarding careers. In a way, without CIMA they will not be able to do it.
I think there are many examples here in Sri Lank of people who achieved high positions with CIMA becoming the starting point. It is a fact that there are 4,000 Sri Lankan CIMA students and members who are working overseas. We are continuously broadening CIMA's acceptance in the world. In less developed countries around the world bringing in CIMA skills will support the development can be helped maintain sustainable growth.
Q - What are your plans to improve the current curriculum to match the futures demand?
A - The new syllabus which is more flexible will come into effect with first exams held in next year. And it is an evolution of our current syllabus and more relevant to the modern business world.
In terms of doing this differently, we are looking at getting more students from the rural areas so that we are attracting students from regional centers in Sri Lanka. CIMA is the passport to the world and now with other connections it has multiple visas. According to independent research conducted by the University of Bath School of Management, CIMA's syllabus and examination structure are the most relevant to the needs of business of all the accountancy bodies assessed.
Q - What are the brand reinforcement plans?
A - The strategy is to talk with companies, Governments, and multinationals to really show that having CIMA skills at heart of business will change the ability to compete and take effective decisions. With economic troubles around the globe much more focus is on the financial discipline and there is an ever increasing demand for people who could analyze taking better decisions for risk management.
CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its qualification, professional experience requirements and continuing professional development to ensure it remains the employers' choice when recruiting financially-trained business leaders. CIMA is committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards of members and students, and to maintaining public confidence in management accountancy.
CIMA is proud to be the first professional accounting body to offer a truly global product in the fast-moving area of Islamic Finance. CIMA has been awarded Superbrand status in the UK for a third year in a row this year and for the first time in Sri Lanka.