The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) in collaboration with the Export Development Board (EDB) conducted an awareness seminar for the applicants of the ‘Erambuma’ credit scheme. SLIM, in keeping with its sustainable approach to business, joined hands with the EDB to educate local entrepreneurs on marketing and essential business practices.The National Budget 2018 provided an opportunity for youth to build their own businesses through the “Erambuma Credit Scheme” to commercialize and accelerate the growth of the economy. The above loan will be provided on the merit of a business plan and a viable business idea. The above seminar was provided for “Erambuma Credit Scheme” applicants eager to obtain marketing knowledge for their business start-ups.
There were many speakers representing SLIM, the EDB, the Ministry of Finance, People’s Bank, the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel (SLITA), Bank of Ceylon, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd., the University of Wayamba, and Vital Hub Innovations Labs who attended the programme to share their knowledge with the audience. Moreover, presenters from SLIM enlightened the audience of budding entrepreneurs. In the morning session Sumith De Silva, the Marketing Manager of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, spoke on areas such as entrepreneurship.
Fundamentals of marketing were elaborated by Kasun Gunarathna, the Marketing Manager of Elephant House, Ceylon Cold Stores PLC. Approaching export markets was the key topic addressed by Charaka Perera, the Chief Operating Officer of Laugfs Salt & Chemicals of Laugfs Holdings Ltd, while business and finance planning were discussed by Elangovan Karthik, the Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Unisons Capital Leasing. The introduction on the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing was done by Sanath Senanayake, the CEO / Executive Director of SLIM. Explaining the reasoning behind this initiative, the President of SLIM, Suranjith Swaris said, “I’m glad to have been a part of the ‘Erambuma’ Credit Scheme from the beginning as I was given the opportunity to get involved with the EDB as a member of the Technical Evaluation Committee.
What I have witnessed is that most of the startups applying for this scheme do not have any marketing knowledge, which is essential to develop a sustainable business, because marketing is the driving force of any business, without knowing the market dynamics and without applying marketing skills, most businesses would be adversely affected. My point of view, is that the nation should focus on three main areas to expedite the economic development of the country. These three areas are Entrepreneurship, Branding and Exports. As the national body of marketing, it is our responsibility to assist local entrepreneurs in establishing their own sustainable business with the proper application of marketing.
It is through the development of start-ups that the country will develop. By understanding this need, SLIM has introduced the Certificate in Entrepreneurial Marketing (CEM), a 5 months programme for those who are prepared to transform their entrepreneurship into a sustainable entity. Entrepreneurship and its development is a crucial requirement for the nation, which we have identified through the effective use of marketing strategies. They can survive and grow their businesses while contributing to the national GDP by engaging in this initiative by SLIM to overcome this problematic situation.” Sanath Senanayake, the CEO/ Executive Director of SLIM stated, “SLIM always prioritises national need.
Accordingly, empowering small and medium scale entrepreneurs is one of SLIM’s sustainable approaches in contributing to Sri Lanka’s economic prosperity. The institute’s members are top marketing professionals and we conduct interactive programmes to share their knowledge with the general public. Moreover, SLIM’s Certificate in Entrepreneurial Marketing course also provides the necessary marketing knowledge to budding entrepreneurs. SLIM is honoured to produce educated and sensible individuals to the market where entrepreneurship is acknowledged as one of the upcoming trends in the modern world.” Commenting on the seminar, Charaka Perera, the Project chair of National Initiatives of SLIM said, “We are pleased to take part in this awareness programme as it empowers the beneficiaries of the credit programme, while also creating value for both organisations.
As we consider today’s situation in the Sri Lankan context, the most critical requirement is to develop entrepreneurship in the country and to harness their knowledge for export value additions. Moreover, the start of their own business would not be successful if they are unable to survive and sustain market growth. Thus, SLIM has contributed towards these start-ups by lending a helping hand in terms of marketing knowledge in a more international spectrum, developing a sustainable brand and marketing insights on how to win global markets.” He also reaffirmed that SLIM hopes to uplift the lives of community members through similar educational programmes in the future. SLIM is the national body of marketing in Sri Lanka, and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970. SLIM is mandated to uplift the marketing profession in Sri Lanka, thus providing marketing studies and conducting many national level events and projects, and contributing to the country’s economic prosperity.