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Cut through the BS and focus on What’s Real

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by Sarinda Unamboowe

My corporate career now enters its 33rd year. Apart from the fact that many of you reading this were not even born, my career began at a time when mobile phones didn’t exist, neither did e-mail; most communication took place either by ‘snail mail,’ telephone or via what was then a miraculous new technology, the fax machine.

During this time, I have had the privilege of working in some great organizations under some inspirational leaders. On this journey, the greatest privilege I have had is to have been given the responsibility of ‘starting up’ two companies — one as a green field project and one a brown, both of which I am proud to say are considered global leaders in their space.

I hope to document the experience of setting up such organizations at a later date; however, this note is a reflection on some of the conversations I have had with many of the very smart people I have worked with and a common thread that has weaved its way through many of their thought processes.

I like to set up times to have chats with small groups of my colleagues. In one organization, it was to welcome them as new recruits, and in the other, to clarify the path the ‘new’ organization was heading down, and in both, to answer any questions they may have.

One of the common questions I would ask both groups was, “why did you want to work in this organization?” And the answer almost always something on the lines of “working for this group has been a dream of mine,” and “I want to be a part of the success of this company,” etc. I probe further, “what’s the real reason?” and usually I get a bewildered look back, but the truth is, we all have a deeper reason as to why we pick jobs. So when they persist with their answers of love for group, company or wanting to be part of a winning team, I look at them and say “that’s a lot of Bull Shit” and laugh, the looks I get are pretty comical.

This is not done with the intention of humiliating or belittling anyone, but it has been a method of ‘shock value’ that was used primarily to bring the focus on the true meaning of why we work.

We work for the betterment of our own lives. The fact is, we all have a deeper need that drives us to seek suitable employment and most times we lose focus on that. While it’s important to enjoy your job and to find fulfilment in that role you play, the true success of our effort is in achieving our personal goals.

Granted for some, this could be linked closely to the organization’s goals, but for most, it would link to a milestone they hope to reach in their life. Building your own home, being able to give your children a good education, traveling, buying a vehicle, or even ensuring health & safety needs are taken care of, are all priorities that we place in our lives. Therefore, while I perform to the best of my ability at my chosen job and ensure my contribution is relevant, meaningful and of value to the organization, I ensure I don’t lose focus on what’s truly my measure of success.

The career we chose is the vehicle we travel on to achieve our life goals. Our effort, commitment, skill, etc. in how we execute those roles, will, in a fair and structured organization, help us succeed and progress in our career, thus giving us the opportunity to stay on track with our life plans. If not, don’t hesitate to switch job roles or organizations.

Have a dream, have a plan, commit yourself to working smart and achieve success in your career, but never lose focus on the factors that true success is measured by — your life’s journey. Make that the ultimate barometer for all you do.



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MN Group becomes the Best Business of the Year at Pinnacals Awards

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The MN Group won the Best Business of the Year Award at the Pinnacals Sri Lanka award ceremony at the Waters Edge Hotel, Battaramulla. Managing Director of MN Group of Companies (www.mngroup.lk), Roshan Wewage accepted the award on behalf of the organization. MN Group of Companies has previously won many awards including Lanka Business Awards (LBA) and Shramabimani.

Customers can obtain any construction related service from MN Group at a reasonable price. The company is also willing to finish half completed houses and commercial buildings at agreeable terms. MN Group understands that the tough economic circumstances have placed great pressure on the people and the company is committed to understanding their needs and to provide a warm and professional service. Roshan Wewage invited those who need to renovate their buildings to reach out to them.

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Dilmah Adjudged Best Corporate Citizen for the Third Consecutive Year

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Dilmah was awarded ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability’ in the category of Businesses with Less than Rs. 15 Billion Annual Turnover, for the third consecutive year at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability (BCCS) Awards organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; recognizing that Dilmah has successfully achieved a sustainable balance between social, environmental, and economic performanc, a company news release said.

Evaluated by an independent & expert panel of judges, the awards are Sri Lanka’s most prestigious, scrutinizing and recognizing ethical and sustainable businesses. Dilmah was honoured as one of ten ‘Best Corporate Citizens’ of Sri Lanka, won the Award in the Environment Beyond Business Category, and was lauded for continuous commitment to the environment surpassing the realms of business.

“The annual BCCS Awards is the premier corporate citizenship award, highlights sustainability champions in the national corporate arena. The awards promote corporate citizen sustainability ownership and initiatives that deliver social and environmental benefits while pursuing profits. This recognition validates Dilmah’s emphasis on delivering social and environmental impact by sharing earnings through the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation,” the release said.

“In 1988, Merrill J. Fernando founded Dilmah, a family business, to serve humanity with kindness to people and nature, while sharing his passion for taste and goodness in tea. Over the years Dilmah has delivered over Rs. 7 billion for humanitarian benefit through the work of its charitable arm MJF Foundation and environmental arm Dilmah Conservation.

“Ensuring economic, social, and environmental sustainability exists at the heart of its operations and is integrated to every operational aspect of the business, Dilmah’s purpose is further extended through the work of the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation (MJF Foundation) and Dilmah Conservation (DC) by driving life-impacting initiatives.

“The MJF Foundation works directly with estate workers and underprivileged communities to uplift lives and empower them to pay-it-forward to their communities. Some of its core initiatives are the countrywide MJF centres, small-medium enterprises with over 2,000 small entrepreneurs, ‘Empower’ Culinary & Hospitality School, and ‘disABILITY’ teletherapy app.

“The sustainable development of people goes hand-in-hand with the planet. Dilmah Tea is a carbon neutral product manufactured at a carbon neutral facility. Further, Dilmah has pledged to achieve zero-emissions for its manufacturing process by 2030 through science-based targets. Dilmah Conservation functions under three main categories: environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and education and awareness. As such, Dilmah Conservation initiatives range from butterfly to elephant conservation, climate research, adaptation and mitigation, rewilding tea gardens, conserving mangrove forests, and promoting nature-based entrepreneurship through seaweed cultivation and empowering agro-entrepreneurs.”

Winning the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2022 is considered a top honour in the Sri Lankan corporate field. Each year, submissions are evaluated by an eminent panel of local experts, thought leaders, and academics. Dilmah considers receiving the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2022 an important milestone in its journey as a truly sustainable brand with a purpose beyond profit.

Across the shores, Dilmah has been recognized for its attempt to take Ayurvedic wellness and goodness to the world with the help of tea. The Arana Range of Herbal Infusion Teas was voted the Product of the Year 2022 in Australia. Meanwhile, Dilmah on its 7th Consecutive Year was awarded Most Trusted Brand in New Zealand in 2022.

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DSI Tyres bags two awards at SLIM Brand Excellence 2022

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Sri Lanka’s premium tyre brand, DSI Tyres won two prestigious awards at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2022, held recently in Colombo. DSI Tyres, who has already made a mark in the international markets too, won the Silver Award under the Product Brand of the Year category and the Bronze Award under the Local Brand of the Year category. These mark another important milestone in the company’s journey spanning three decades. DSI Tyres has also remained within the top three brands in Sri Lanka for three consecutive years, a significant achievement in a very competitive arena.

DSI Tyres’ role as a leading local tyre manufacturing company that continues to promote its brand in an eco-friendly manner through the use of state-of-the-art technology and continuous research and development which enables them to identify customer needs in a timely manner is the key reason behind its continuous achievements. DSI Tyres has been able to place its products optimally among the local and international customers using the latest marketing strategies. The company also places great emphasis on sustainability and has been able to expand its local and international market share maintaining continuous customer loyalty even at the most difficult periods. DSI tyres are becoming increasingly popular in the online sphere as well, due to the facilitation of online orders at the convenience of customers as well as the use of attractive digital marketing. “DSI Tyres has a special place in the people’s hearts.

We have won the people’s trust and it is the highest award we can receive. It is a great privilege for us to receive these awards, which a mark of appreciation for the work we do to maintain customer loyalty,” Managing Director of DSI Tyres Kavinda Rajapaksa said. SLIM Brand Excellence Awards is the Sri Lanka’s premier celebration of Sri Lankan brands that rewards the outstanding efforts of marketers. This gala event for this year was held at Grand Monarch Hotel, Colombo. The Chairman of DSI Tyres, Ranatunga Rajapaksa received the two awards on behalf of the company. Previously, DSI Tyres had won SLIM Turnaround Brand of the Year, Product Brand of the Year, Local Brand of the Year and many SLIM DIGIs awards.

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