The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st Annual General Meeting, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd President. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.
The Annual General Meeting was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.
Thilanka Abeywardena, who was appointed to the helm, currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka. She was the former Head of Marketing at Etisalat Sri Lanka and Corporate Brand Manager at EWIS. An eminent Marketing Professional, Abeywardena holds multiple awards and accolades under her belt—Effie, PR Awards Asia, Brand Excellence and Manthan Awards, which have been received in recognition of her work in both local and global contexts. She has been recognized by the Women in Management and the International Finance Corporation (World Bank group) at the sixth Professional & Career Women Awards for Leadership Excellence in Marketing in 2016. Ms. Abeywardena has been with SLIM for over a decade and has undertaken various honorary roles and chaired some of the key projects of the Institute.
The President, Ms. Abeywardena holds an MBA from the University of Wales – UK as well as a BSc. (Special) Honours Degree from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology. She has completed the post-graduate Diploma in Marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). She studied at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya. She has also completed an Executive Education Programme conducted by the Kellogg School of Management – U.S with a distinction in the course based on Modern Marketing which incorporated Content, Automation and Analytics to Drive Growth.
Nuwan Gamage, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications – Arinma Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., was elected as the Vice President – Education, Chinthaka Perera, Sales Director – Hemas Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd and Hemas Surgical and Diagnostics (Pvt) Ltd. was elected as the Vice President – Projects, Gayan Perera, Senior Brand Manager – Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC and Dr. Jayantha D.N, Senior Lecturer – University of Sabaragamuwa were appointed as the Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer respectively. Sathika Wickremasinghe, Category Manager – Fonterra Brands Lanka was elected as the Honorary Assistant Secretary for the year 2021/2022.
The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:
Nuwan Thilakawardhana, Marketing Manager, Union Bank of Colombo PLC; Dr. Dilhan S. Jayatilleke, Director – Northwood Consulting Private Limited and Head – Business Development & Marketing – Arogya Life Systems Lanka Private Limited; Charaka Perera, Executive Director – FUCHSIA Retail (Pvt) South Asia; Asanka Perera, Chief Executive Officer – Arugambay Beachwear (Pvt) Ltd; Manthika Ranasinghe, Director – WeddinGo Destinationz and Managing Partner – MarketingGo Consultancy; Channa Jayasinghe, Senior Brand Development Manager – Kelani Cables PLC; Asela C. Gunasekara, Brand Development Manager – Metecno Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Niyas Mohamed Shiraz, Assistant General Manager Sales & Marketing – FENTONS Limited; Dr. Thesara Jayawardane, Head/Senior Lecturer Department of Industrial Management and Director Business Research Unit – University of Moratuwa and Kavindra Rajapaksha, Vice President/Head of Marketing – Softlogic Life Insurance PLC.
The newly elected President, Thilanka Abeywardena, expressed her appreciation to the outgoing President and the Executive Committee as well as the Council of Management for the confidence placed in her to lead the Institute. She pledged to continue the good work initiated by the immediate past President and other subcommittees and to uplift the marketing fraternity of the country. Commenting on her appointment, she stated, “SLIM is built on the solid foundation laid by the past Presidents, Council Members, Executive Committee Members as well as SLIM employees. With the new Council of Management and the Executive Committee, SLIM will continue its efforts in enhancing the marketing fraternity in the country, providing quality education, recognition, and inspiration to the marketers of Sri Lanka. As we embark on the ‘Future-ready Sri Lanka’ national vision to drive Sri Lanka towards a knowledge economy, we look forward to elevating the national body for marketing through a 3-pronged strategy; internal upliftment, stakeholder transformation and national advocacy. I firmly believe that the diverse and dynamic Executive Committee with multi-disciplinary exposure will further raise the bar of SLIM”. She also thanked everyone who contributed to the progress achieved by SLIM.
SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970. It is a member of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) and Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL). SLIM also has received ISO 9001:2015 certification in recognition of its superior quality management system and ISO 2990:2010 for Learning Service Provider (LSP), providing non-formal education and training services.