The world succumbed to the challenges that arose with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020. As with the rest of the world, Sri Lanka too has strived to overcome the adversities of the still ongoing pandemic including a massive slowdown in economic growth amidst other liquidity challenges and the depreciation of the rupee, amongst many other concerns.
With education at the heart of any country, it is essential that it invigorates and stimulates better future aspirations for budding marketers across the country. Adapting to the challenges presented by the pandemic, e-learning initiatives were organized by schools and universities worldwide. This development has, in turn, had a significant impact on institutions such as SLIM, as global, internationally-acclaimed education giants are now directly accessible to local students through online-based study programmes that were introduced during the pandemic.
Understanding the importance of furthering education, while making marketers future-ready and as the National Body for Marketing, SLIM launched their ‘SLIM Future-Ready Marketer’ webinar series under the SLIM ‘Future-Ready Sri Lanka’ initiative, which spanned over 2 months. These 8 webinars, which concluded in early September, included 5 local speakers, 3 international speakers and recorded over 1100 participants. Moderated by Ahamed M. Aroos, the CEO and Director of RaincoPvt. Ltd., the esteemed speakers from the webinar were MakshoodhMeerasaibu, the Senior Vice President, Marketing (F&B) for Nestle Lanka; Kruthika Sri Krishna, the Senior Digital Marketing Manager for LinkedIn; Haritha Thilakarathne, a PhD Researcher at La Trobe University; Shanil Perera, the Director of Marketing at Singer; Anthony Larmon, the Managing Director, ERA, APAC PR Professional of the Year 2020 by Campaign Asia; ChamithButhgamuwa, the Vice President of ISOBAR; NadheeraUdawatte, the Digital Messaging Experience & Sales Manager of HSBC Canada; and Stacy Seah, the APAC CMO Lead of Microsoft.
The webinar series was of great value to all young and adult audiences, as well as the business community ranging from conglomerates to SMEs, from across the sectors of consumer durables, tourism, finance, industry, export, retail and trade. It also benefits the state sector as it gave a broad overview of a way forward for the economy.
The second phase of the ‘Future-Ready Sri Lanka’ initiative under SLIM’s ‘Restart Sri Lanka’ national campaign is on the horizon. Sharing about it, Thilanka Abeywardena –President of SLIM stated, “This national campaign was envisioned to focus on building a knowledge economy of the country and aims at encouraging target audiences to challenge the dependent, risk-averse mentality and enforce an entrepreneurial, innovative mindset, equipped with right skills and knowledge to drive Sri Lanka towards economic prosperity. We hope to inspire a future generation of marketers to consider SLIM as their trusted institute, to commence education from school entrepreneurship societies upwards on their route to being future-ready marketers of Sri Lanka. The initiation of the webinar series is to motivate Sri Lanka’s future generations to adopt thinking patterns that align with global contexts and business functions, with the hope of inspiring generations of future-ready Sri Lankans.”
With the second phase of the initiative, the second season of the ‘SLIM Future-Ready Marketer’ webinar series will be launched, with more thought-provoking topics and featuring the insights of more renowned local and international speakers.
“The necessity for innovative thinking and an innovative mindset with enhanced skills and knowledge is indisputable. Keeping in mind our ‘Future-Ready Sri Lanka’ campaign, we hope to create and inspire new aspirations towards entrepreneurship, starting new businesses (start-ups), the introduction of innovative products, processes or services as well as an overall knowledge-based business mindset. With SLIM as the trusted marketing body to be associated with as a member, interested individuals have access to a range of useful services for national events, training and so on,” explained Sanath Senanayake, the CEO/Executive Director of SLIM.
Youth involvement is of undeniable importance since through the development of their skills they stand to benefit from the new employment opportunities that the digital economy has to offer. The country needs more entrepreneurs and individuals with IT-oriented skills that are motivated towards ideation and independent thinking. With the second season of the ‘SLIM Future-Ready Marketer’ webinar series, SLIM intends at inspiring new minds to embrace the progress towards a future-ready Sri Lanka.