Leading global management consulting firm Stax recently conducted a webinar on ‘Management Consulting in the 21st Century’, providing a comprehensive overview of trends in the profession and its future growth potential. The webinar drew over 200 participants as the excellent lineup of panelists shed light on the evolution of the consulting field and also spoke to the need for adopting international best practices. The session was insightful for both newcomers to the field as well as experienced professionals, with opportunities for growth and innovation in the field being discussed.
“The infusion of new blood into the profession is an essential process”, stated Stax Managing Director Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera, kicking off the webinar. “As one of the foremost organizations in the field of Management Consulting, we see it as our responsibility to raise the standard of the entire industry. This webinar is aimed at experienced professionals and new entrants alike, aiming to give them knowledge to steer their careers, transform themselves and make a mark, especially at one of the most dramatic times in human history.”
The panel for the event included Prabodha Shawn Silva, a mechanical engineer turned management consultant, counting 16+ years’ experience. He provided a snapshot of the evolution of management consulting while also outlining its importance in the business world. For those looking to enter the field, he specifically highlighted how one can leverage their varied backgrounds and skills for a successful career in consulting.
Thivanka Bandara, a young leader at Stax with 9+ years of experience, enlightened the audience on multiple growth opportunities at Stax. He highlighted how the organization has structured its key practices, allowing individuals to carve their own career journey, from a very early stage, based on individual competencies. Stax Alumni Firaz Markar, a veteran consultant with over 14 years in the field, elaborated on the positive professional and personal transformations witnessed throughout his career. The honing of many useful and transferrable skills such as being solution-oriented and applying structured thinking, were some core areas discussed by Firaz.
Rashmi Peiris Paranavitane, CFA with over 15 years of experience, stressed the importance of personal autonomy and having the tenacity to carve your own path, in order to be successful in this demanding field. She elaborated that while the ‘Working from Home’ trend necessitated by the pandemic has been challenging for many—especially for those simultaneously caring for young children at home—that there have also been unprecedented opportunities for individuals to redefine their own work-life balance, and that companies will be expected to continue making allowances for more flexible work environments.
As businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis new ideas, tools, work processes, and frameworks will be essential for navigating this ‘Great Reset.’. Stax Inc. is a global management consulting firm, headquartered in Boston and offices in Chicago, New York, and Colombo. With more than 25 years of experience, Stax advises the world’s largest public and private corporations, private equity firms and their portfolio companies across a broad range of industries covering 40+ international markets. With a growing client base in Sri Lanka, including diversified conglomerates, blue-chip industry leaders, large family businesses, government organizations, and NGOs, Stax inspires organizations to dream big, think outside the box, and complement gut-based decision-making with fact-based research. For more information, please visit www.stax.com.
ESOFT Metro Campus holds Graduation Ceremony 2021
The Annual Graduation Ceremony of ESOFT Metro Campus was held at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall (BMICH) on the 23rd and 24th of November 2021. A total of 1,800 students graduated at this year’s event. Successful students received their Pearson BTEC Higher National Diplomas, Pearson Level 7 Qualifications, London Metropolitan University (UK) Degrees and MBA’s, Kingston University (UK) Degrees and MSc’s.
It was held across two days and split into 9 sessions, to be in full compliance with health guidelines. In addition to the conferring of degrees, batch tops were awarded gold medals and special awards were made to the top achievers of the programmes.
Keynote addresses were by an eminent group of academics and industry leaders including Mr. Conard Dias CEO, LOLC Finance PLC, Mr. Thushera Kawdawatta – CEO, Axiata Digital Labs, Dr. Dayan Rajapakse – Chairman and Managing Director of the ESOFT Group, Dr. Sampath Wahala – Chairman, Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, Mr. Tishan Subasinghe – Managing Director and joint Managing Partner Moore Stephens Consulting (Pvt) Ltd and Moore Stephens Aiyar, Prof. A.A.C Abeysinghe – M.Phil. PhD Programme Coordinator, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Management & Finance, University of Colombo.
Foreign delegates from the University Partners were present virtually and delivered their speeches and wishes for the graduates via video. The Virtusa careers team were also present on both days in order to provide career opportunities to the young and successful graduates. ESOFT prides itself in producing graduates who are work-ready and able to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new economy.
ESOFT has a rich history of 21 years and is the largest private sector higher education network in Sri Lanka, and offers a variety of programmes through an extensive island-wide network of over 40 branches and serves over 40,000 learners each year in a range of programmes from school leaver courses to postgraduate programmes.
ESOFT partnered with Kingston University London in 2012 to offer undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in engineering and soon established a dedicated College of Engineering in Katubedda. In 2013, they partnered with London Metropolitan University to offer a range of programmes leading to undergraduate and postgraduate awards in Computing, Business, Hospitality, and Travel & Tourism. A range of MSc programmes in IT and an International Doctoral programme for IT, Science and Engineering research areas, has also been introduced via Kingston University.
The ESOFT Group has won local and international awards from Pearson (UK), BCS (UK), NBQSA, National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka in recognition of their academic excellence and business performance. Their pinnacle accomplishment was to be recognized by the Sri Lankan Government as a Non-state Degree Awarding Institution in 2019.
Coconut industry products raking in forex to the tune of $ 7000 yearly – State Minister
By Steve A. Morrell
Earnings from exporting coconut products amounted to $ 7000 annually. Such exports include jaggery and treacle, which are key products relating to the coconut industry, State Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion Arundika Fernando said.
Although coconut, as part of the plantation industry, was not given due recognition, it was now a distinct contributor to forex earnings and was of significant importance to the economy of the country, Fernando said.
The State Minister added: “Development of the coconut plantations includes value addition promotion to its various products, which are now key to sustaining the coconut plantations.
“Such development included propagation of 600,000 nursery plants for distribution among smallholders and large-scale plantations to add further progress to the industry. As a result, the coconut industry is part of the mainstream economy.
“The coconut industry made a substantial financial contribution to the economy of the country. Value addition in all products was key to development. Coconut products, used extensively in allied local industries, were contributors to value addition. This is efficiently handled by the private sector.
“Collaboration with the Jaffna University was on-going to develop kitul and palmyrah.
“Soil testing and further inputs were envisaged for development.
“Export markets would include Europe, Canada and the US. This is particularly true of kitul treacle and jaggery. Value of these exports would reach approximately $ 2 million.”
INSEE Cement’s 360-Degree Approach Eases Cement Shortage in Sri Lanka
Operating at maximum production capacity with optimized distribution channels for a number of weeks, INSEE Cement has successfully helped to mitigate the cement shortage that was prevailing in the local market. INSEE Cement’s concentrated and immediate contingency measures across its entire operation at the onset of the shortage ensured an uninterrupted market supply of cement, while also logging a record-high 700,000 MT production output during the third quarter of 2021 for the company.
“As Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer, INSEE Cement took on the responsibility to ensure the local construction industry’s post-COVID-19 revival remained on its trajectory,” stated Gustavo Navarro, Chief Executive Officer at INSEE Cement Sri Lanka. “We continued to fully support government regulations and industrial policies to first stabilize the market, and were able to deploy our island-wide distribution and dealership network to ensure an uninterrupted supply across the island. The loyalty and patience of our customers gave us that extra encouragement we needed to overcome the challenge.”
INSEE Cement operates at a 3.6MT maximum capacity, with a 1.5MT production at the Galle plant, a 1.3MT output from the Puttalam facility and a 0.8MT import capacity at the Colombo Cement Terminal. To mitigate the shortage the company introduced two more additional import vessels to its logistics operation to accelerate production and distribution cycles.
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