Top Sri Lankan business personalities - Marina Tharmaratnam, Nushad Perera, Deepal Abeysekera, Bertram Paul, Indrajit Wickramasinghe and Priyanga Hapugalle were recently honoured with fellowships of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Sri Lanka Region.
This occurred at the organisation's Graduation Ceremony and Membership Investiture 2008 held on July 27 at the BMICH, at which 178 graduates were awarded their CIM diplomas. The graduates received their diplomas from Prof. Narada Warnasuriya, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, who presided as Chief Guest of the ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Warnasuriya highlighted the need for greater interaction by marketers in social marketing projects. Defining social marketing as a way to meet the needs of people who may not have the means to meet their own needs, he cautioned graduates to maintain an outlook beyond the glamour and glitz of the marketing profession by suggesting "have your feet firmly on the ground and have a thought for the poor of your country."
At this crossroads in the lives of the 178 new diploma holders, it fell to Guest of Honour, Member of the CIM Academic Senate, Colin Linton, to impart the opinion that graduation was not the end of the journey for them but rather just the end of one stage. He also took the opportunity to remind the audience that continually updating themselves was of the utmost importance because, as he saw it, the only constant in business is change.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Head of Education for the CIM, Sri Lanka Region, Ajith Mendis, reported on the organisation's progress in Sri Lanka to date. He highlighted a number of noteworthy milestones that occurred in 2008: accredited a new study centre in Colombo increasing the network to 10 study centres island-wide, seven in Colombo, two in Kandy and one in Negombo; agreements signed with two private banks to provide interest free installment schemes; established CIM's The Maldives Chapter; awarded CIM Gold medals and cash prizes to the best marketing students at 10 selected national universities; opened the first CIM chapter at Trinity College, Kandy, of 15 school and 10 national university chapters intended to promote marketing as a discipline; launched a series of programmes aimed at school teachers to create awareness of the marketing discipline, first programme held in Negombo in June with 100 teachers participating.