‘Hundred & 10%’, the first ever ‘Virtual Career Festival’ organized by CIMA, the world’s leading and largest professional management accountancy body, concluded with high praise for presenting a program filled with timely informative sessions, closely fought competitions and real world winners. The festival, held from the 13th to the 19th September 2020, featured global and local industry leaders speaking on a diverse array of business topics, an elevator pitch competition and a hackathon.
The weeklong event attracted over thousand registrations for seventeen sessions built around Technical, Leadership, People, Business, and Digital Skills, the five skills covered in the CGMA Competency Framework. Over 45 speakers from Sri Lanka and overseas came together to discuss, debate and deliberate on a diverse array of topics important for employability over seven days.
Day One of the event focused on technical skills with sessions on pushing oneself above and beyond, and the importance of the ‘Power of Numbers’ was presented to the participants. Day Two was all about people skills, with a forum discussion on ‘Swimming with the Big Fish’ and a focused workshop on ‘Creating a Winning Impression’ leading the agenda. The day also saw the much hyped ‘Hackathon’ event take place, with over 50 teams applying for the 24-hour event with cash prizes on the offer, followed with the winning team members also being offered employment from a leading conglomerate.
Zahara Ansary, ACMA, CGMA, Country Manager for CIMA Sri Lanka was ecstatic with the response to the Virtual Career Festival. “When we conceptualized ‘Hundred & 10%’, we were focused on building the relevant skills that will help youth and assure their employability in the post-COVID 19 world. Our aim to inspire the next generation of Sri Lankan professionals has been fully met with the first-ever Virtual Career Festival organised by CIMA, as evidenced by the enthusiastic participation of youth and professionals in the many forums of discussion, and competitions.” she said.
Leadership skills dominated the conversation on Day Three, with the timely topic ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling’, starting the day off, with a stellar panel of female leaders followed by a lively discussion on ‘Succeeding Through Collaborations’. The more serious discussions on business skills covering topics such as ‘Guardians of the Money’ and ‘Starting Something Big’ were reserved for Day Four, while the closely contested Elevator Pitch competition with over 25 applicants fighting for 4 spots in the final, and a coveted cash prize for the ultimate winner was the highlight of Day Five, which also hosted the discussion ‘Becoming Entrepreneurial’.
“I am encouraged that the youth of tomorrow are gearing up to go above and beyond in their careers. Every industry leader who participated in ‘Hundred & 10%’, both local and global, gave of their knowledge and experience freely, making the event a truly enriching learning experience”, Zahara Ansary continued, on achieving the objective of the Virtual Career Festival.
The last two days of the event dived into interesting offerings. Day Six was all about diversity, with thematic presentations on ‘Creating Magic’ and ‘Employability in the New World’ capturing talent, diversity and inclusivity in the workspace whilst also showcasing the diversity of the CIMA members who ranged from marketing giants to entrepreneurs. The last day of the festival reminded all participants of the newest and most versatile tool, digital skills. ‘Embracing Opportunities and Riding High’, and ‘Digital Innovation’ were first discussed on Day Seven, which ended on the aptly titled presentation ‘Tomorrow’s Skills’.
‘Hundred & 10%’ – first ever ‘Virtual Career Festival’ organized by CIMA explored the various skills necessary for employability in the future world and aimed to inspire the next generation of Sri Lankan professionals to go above and beyond in their careers. Those who wish to hear what the speakers at the ‘Virtual Career Festival’ discussed, can now access the archives of the event maintained by CIMA on their facebook page at
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Unlimited music streaming platform in Sri Lanka
SLT-Mobitel, the nation’s ICT and Telecommunications Service Provider recently partnered with Spotify, to mark their launch in Sri Lanka. Spotify is a paid premium music streaming app which allows subscribers to listen to music to their hearts content. Both, SLT-Mobitel Post-Paid and Pre-Paid customers will now be able to enjoy Spotify by activating a monthly recurring subscription or one-time subscription plan and access unlimited music streaming and downloading facilities.
The subscription charges will get added to the user’s customary billing, where payment will be deducted in real time. Starting from the payment date, the user will be able to access Spotify and download their favourite songs, for the next 30 days. Users who sign up for their first monthly subscription will receive an additional one month, courtesy of Spotify. The one-month subscription plan is not applicable with one-time subscription plans. SLT-Mobitel data rates, depending on the user’s respective broadband charges, will apply.
Spotify also has some exciting features that will provide SLT-Mobitel customers with the opportunity to listen to ad-free music, access millions of uninterrupted music under one platform, play any song they like, anywhere they go, and also be able to enjoy their music offline.
SLT-Mobitel customers can select their preferred premium package under four categories; Individual, Duo, Family, Student. Each category has recurring and non-recurring plans. After one month of free streaming, the package will activate once the offer period terminates. While both, the Individual and Student premiums are limited to one account user, the Duo package offers two accounts and the Family premium is accessible through six accounts. To view Spotify plans, users can log on to https://spoti.fi/3aLWvce
Sri Lanka using ‘sovereign power’ over economy: CB Governor
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Anyone conversant with the elements of a political economy would know that Sri Lanka is using its ‘sovereign power’ to manage the different dynamics of the economy in a sustainable manner, Professor W. D Lakshman Governor of the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
“Some critics are saying that we adopt a so-called modern monetary theory. That’s not the case. In fact, Sri Lanka is using its sovereign power in a number of economic aspects to honour its external debt repayment commitments as well as to reduce its debt burden in the medium term as well as achieve resilient growth in the medium to long term, he said.
“We make policy decisions to boost our gross foreign reserves, meet our external debt servicing, to facilitate monetary expansion, to boost our GDP growth, to strengthen our current account balance and manage our domestic and external economic variables in a sustainable manner. This is not a modern monetary theory. This is an age-old tool used by central banks around the world when the circumstances demand it, he said.
“Certain trade-offs will be necessary when dealing with an economy which has a big fiscal gap to bridge. There are efforts to push Sri Lanka towards the IMF again which would in turn have influence on our policymaking. We have taken policy measures to stabilize the economy and we have adequate reserve levels to meet our debt repayments. Meanwhile, we are in negotiations with overseas central banks and multilateral agencies to further boost our reserve level and it would materialise within a matter of weeks,” he noted.
“One of the tools the Central Bank has introduced is in respect of repatriation of export proceeds into Sri Lanka and conversion of such proceeds into Sri Lankan rupees in order to strengthen the foreign exchange situation of the country,” he said.
The Governor made these remarks while delivering the keynote speech at a webinar organised by the Veemansa Initiative led by its Managing Director Luxman Siriwardene – the former Executive Director of Pathfinder Foundation.
The webinar revolved round the topic ‘External debt situation in Sri Lanka: Are we heading for a resolution or crisis?’
Professor Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Dr. Nishan de Mel and Dr. Ravi Liyanage were the other speakers on the panel.
CSE on the rebound; indices close positive
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE produced signs of a rebound yesterday with both indices closing positive, though turnover remained low. Central Bank Governor W.D Lakshman’s recent statement on managing foreign reserves gave some boost to the market yesterday, stock market analysts said.
The index experienced a zigzag movement within the early hours of trading; thereafter, it recorded a slight up-trend as it reached its intraday high of 7,439. Later, the market witnessed a down-trend at mid-day, followed by a sideways movement and closed at 7,372, gaining 43 points during the month of February, market sources said.
It is said the banking sector dominated turnover with a contribution of considerable parcel trades in Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and HNB.
Further, the Commercial Bank’s impressive quarterly results during the recent turbulent period also built investor confidence. Commercial Bank was able to register a18 percent net interest income when other banks were reporting a decline. Its share price increased by Rs. 3 or 3.5 percent. On the previous day, its shares started trading at Rs. 85 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 88. Due to the positive growth results, the bank announced a Rs. 4.40 dividend per share, plus a Rs. 2 script divergent for every share.
Further, Sampath Bank shares also appreciated in both crossing and retail. In crossings its shares appreciated by Rs. 1.At the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 154.50. In the retail market, its shares moved up by Rs. 2 or 1.3 percent. Previously, its shares fetched Rs. 154 and at the end of yesterday they moved up to Rs. 156.
Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 104.48 points and S and P SL20 rose by 67.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, where 3.9 million shares crossed for Rs. 602.2 million, its share price being Rs. 154.50, HNB 375,000 shares crossed for Rs. 39.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 105, Pan Asia Power 9.5 million shares crossed for Rs. 33.2 million, its shares traded at Rs. 3.50 and Access Engineering 1.2 million shares crossed for Rs. 28.2 million; its shares traded at Rs. 24.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 450 million (10 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 205 million (1.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 199 million (34.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 191 million (1.2 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 137.7 million (2.8 million shares traded). During the day 101 million share volumes changed hands in 18046 transactions.
During the day, Expolanka, the biggest contributor to the turnover, saw its share price appreciating by Rs. 6.20 or 15 percent. Its share price quoted on the previous day was Rs. 41 and at the end of trading yesterday it moved up to Rs. 47.
Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted wider at 193.50/195.50 levels to the US dollar in the spot next market on Thursday while bond yields remained unchanged, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the spot market at 194.50/195.00 to the dollar on Wednesday.