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Business


Furthering the art and science of management

By Quintus Perera
In 1945 Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade in Britain appointed a Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir Clive Baillieu, President of the Federation of British Industries to formulate detailed proposals for the setting up of a central institute for all questions relating to management
Following the recommendations of the Baillieu Report, the British Institute of Management (BIM) was formed in 1947.
The UK’s first Diploma in Management Studies was introduced by the BIM and the Ministry of Education in 1951.
BIM merged with the Institution of Industrial Managers (IIM) in 1992 to form the Institute of Management (IM). The awarding body status of the IIM was transferred to the new Institute.
In 2000 the Institute accredited its 250th approved centre to deliver IM management qualifications.The Institute of Management was awarded a Royal Charter in 2002 and became the Chartered Management Institute.
Accordingly the Institute’s management qualifications were recognised as part of the UK’s National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education.
Though there were a large number of CMI members in Sri Lanka heading various establishments it was only in 1996 that three members - Sunil Deheragoda, Gamini Karunaratne and Prins Nayagam initiated to form the first branch of the CMI here.
Sunil Deheragoda who is also the current President of the Sri Lanka Branch said that CMI has around 90,000 members while there are more than 200 members here. “We interact with one another, exchange views on management to further the art and science of management across all managers in Sri Lanka,” he said.
“To facilitate greater participation, CMI initiated the Management Club where managers in public and private sector could join irrespective of whether CMI members or not. Two such clubs have been already formed with over 400 members”.
“CMI is the champion of management in shaping and supporting the managers of tomorrow by sharing latest management norms and setting standards in management development where CMI helps deliver results”.
CMI lays down stringent entry requirements and with the awarding of the Royal Charter to maintain high standards of its members entry is ensured only for the most suitable persons, he said.
“There are three categories of members – Associate, Member and Fellow and of course it is quite difficult to become a member. Once the entry qualifications are fulfilled, the application is scrutinized by an evaluation Committee in UK to assess whether the person is within the ambit of a proper overall managerial level.
For Sri Lankans to become members of CMI they have to be first in some kind of overall managerial level”.
“Those with managerial experience and a University degree or equivalent professional qualifications are eligible to apply.
Others with managerial experience will have to sit for an examination to consider for membership of the CMI”.
“CMI educational process has now been fully developed in UK. In Sri Lanka we are now in the process of organizing to offer professional training on management.
Those who acquire such management qualifications could straight away apply for managerial positions or may be in the first instance as management trainees”.
“Though there is no direct linkage with the Institute of Management of Sri Lanka (IMSL), there are cross members and in fact currently the First Vice-President, CMI is the President, IMSL.
Whenever CMI has any programmes IMSL members are eligible for the same facilities as CMI members”.
“As at present our members are generally involved in overall managerial positions, but we are now giving some thoughts to cover specialized management areas, like human resources management, financial and industrial management within an establishment”.
“The role of the manager is to manage his establishment profitably, adhering to accepted norms. In general our managers manning companies have shown skills and capability.
Thus they have become part of the economic progress of the country, through the skilful handling of the organizations profitably,” he said.

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ACBIT graduation
Professors agree on peace and development

Two great academics one now in politics and the other pursuing his academic career agreed that the war should be stopped and that all energy to be utilized to maintain peace and unity for the same of country’s development.
They were Prof. G. L Peiris M.P and one time minister and Prof. V.K Samaranayake, Chairman, Information and Communication Tecchnology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). Prof. Pieris was the Chief Guest at the Graduation Ceremony of the Preston University, USA Campus, run by AIMS College of Business & Information Technology (ACBIT), Sri Lanka at the Trans Asia Hotel Colombo while Prof. Samaranayake was the Guest of honour.
Speaking as the guest of honour Prof V K Samaranayake said, “Today’s development in the world is such, the bank accounts and tax forms of Americans and some of the other developed countries are handled in Sri Lanka as technological innovations have so well adapted here with educational and cultural boundaries in the world removed But with all these development activities taking place, it is difficult to understand as to why we are fighting in this little country while most other similar nations have forgotten what they were, to make use of technological advancements towards development”.
He stressed the importance of working with everybody together as one nation. The government’s attempts to work on a common agenda is good.
He said, graduation ceremony is important and joyful as a reward for hardwork. It is the beginning of another stage of life and this second advanced degree is a recommendation to continue the work in serving the country and the world at large.
He said, around the world today so many things are happening, which nobody expected as no one thought that a US University Degree could be obtained in Sri Lanka and is due to technological advancements and predicted that many more to come. There is no reason as to why Americans should not study in Sri Lanka, in the same manner American degrees could be obtained in Sri Lanka.
Prof G L Peiris MP, who was one time the Vice Chancellor, Colombo University said as Chief Guest, “though these graduates have received foreign degrees they all belonged to this country and their origins are here and urged them to not to leave the country for greener pastures as Sri Lanka has ample opportunities for them”.
He said Sri Lanka was the first country in the region to open up its economy in 1977 and the first country to liberalize adhering to Article 8 of the International Monitory Fund. A highly developed infrastructure is in place in the BOI for the investor. But, he said, if we are to realize the full potential of the country with a unique human resources, peace and tranquillity in the country are absolutely necessary. Then only the investors, and the tourists could be attracted to the country.
He said “Certainly, it is a matter of satisfaction because the major political parties in this country have agreed to discuss about the problems in earnest.”
Prof Harry Haenisch, CEO Preston University who has specially flown to Sri Lanka to participate in this Graduation Ceremony said his University has 50 affiliated Campuses in 25 countries. He said these graduates during their studies had to make sacrifices in neglecting their families, and friends and now it is time to make amends for such sacrifices.
Prof. Haenisch said “You are now joining the fraternity of the Preston University Family and we welcome you to our family. Think of the quality of your achievements and the degree is quite a worthwhile one. I thank you for your hard work in achieving this.”
Kithsiri Manchanayakke, Chairman/MD, AIMS College of Business and Information Technology (ACBIT) affiliated Campus of Preston University, USA said ASBIT is a fully owned subsidiary of AIMS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd established in 1987 initially started as a computer training school in Negombo and afterwards diversified into several other areas.
He said they have started four branches for computer training and English proficiency courses, and to train for British Computer Society Examinations.
He said today 26 senior executives of various establishments have obtained the Masters Degree.
ACBIT, affiliated Campus, Preston University conducts courses for Bacholars, Masters and PhD programmes and have also started Master of Buisness Administration courses. (QP)

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ALaRM holds first meaningful discussion on garment industry and workers

The country’s garment industry has been confronted with the emerging markets and giants like India and China and there is heavy competition for survival with number of garment factories in Sri Lanka closing down and thousands of workers being rendered unemployed.
Therefore, before discussing living wages or anything else we have to be mindful of keeping the cost of production as low as possible and the garments to be of highest quality, at least to maintain the current quantity of garment sales, said Dhammika Dias, Quality Supervisor for Wal Mart Global Procurement (Buyer’s representative) indicating the industry view at the first full- scale discussion on Sector Specific Living Wage for Sri Lankan Apparel Industry Workers, held at the BMICH last week.
The discussion was arranged by a group called “ALaRM” consisting of a number of Trade Unions, Labour NGOs and Observer Organizations affiliated to the apparel industry which has been formed to fight for the rights of women workers in the industry.
Dias said whatever happens here, the buying prices would not change while the increasing cost of production due to the ever increasing high cost of fuel and electricity and other costs have to be born by the producer and those who cannot balance the income and expenditure have to close up and go. He said, though the employers like to pay the workers little more, they are precluded due to various cost factors. What is important is the increase in productivity.
After the quota system for garment industry was withdrawn in 2005, though the major portion of the industry handled by large companies managed to survive, many small factories faced the difficulty of getting buyers for their products and some of them in fact had to close down. On top of this calamity the garment industry had to face the toughest test of survival competing with giants in the trade like India and China as well as the emerging markets like Cambodia, Vietnam etc.
With all these constraints, the industry in Sri Lanka has been accused of neglecting the working conditions and remunerations of the workers. Anton Marcus, General Secretary, Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union who acted as the moderator of the discussion said that productivity does not necessarily mean increase in production, but is a matter of how much one invests and how much he gets in return.
He said there is an unimaginable difference of a workers salary and a managers salary as some managers of garment factories are drawing more than Rs 100,000 per month, while the workers who toil hard day in and day out gets only a mere Rs 5,000 per month. He said “You have to think of these diabolical disparities when you consider productivity.
He said the problem is whether the industry is willing to get the participation of the workers and if the workers could participated in the decision making process, the productivity factor could be tackled, as the worker would have a sense of belonging. He said the workers would then contribute immensely towards the progress of their workplace.
The discussion emanated from an elaborate research paper compiled by R P I R Prasanna and B Gowthaman on behalf of ALaRM.
ALaRM has been concerned of the threat of factory closures and anticipated job losses in the industry and the vulnerability of apparel industry workers, under the pretext of increased competition in the global market and the need for cost cutting.
The possibility of reduction in wages, benefits and bad working conditions and the predicted situation meant that there will be enormous pressure to reduce the workers benefits and erode the workers rights.
The Research paper presented for discussion centred on: fair compensation for job losses due to MFA phase out; living wages to bring to the National agenda and into the dialogue and bargaining with employers and government the concept of ‘Living Wage’ – a social wage that recognizes hidden costs of women workers and sufficient to fulfil basic needs from an eight hour work; better living conditions to ensure a dignified healthy, secure living and working environment for the women workers and unfettered freedom of association and to create an environment which affirms the concept of freedom of association as a basic legal right of the workers.
After the long discussion and listening to all the parties, it was agreed to take into consideration the various matters emphasized such as productivity, maintenance of low cost of production etc.
All the participants agreed that the research paper was well prepared and the initiation of the discussion is a welcome sign for the garment industry at large.
(QP)

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Sisco Systems announces expansion plans

Sisco Systems Inc., a worldwide leader in networking for the Internet has been working in Sri Lanka for the last seven years and has now decided to expand further as Sri Lankan economy is bound to grow further.
Jangoo Dalal, Senior Vice President-Enterprise, Cisco Systems (India and SAARC) announcing the Sisco expansion in Sri Lanka at a press briefing held at the Colombo Hilton Hotel said, they have seen significant growth in the Sri Lanka in the recent past, particularly in the services, banking and small medium business (SMB) and hence their expansion here is inevitable..
Rajkumar Natarajan who has been shuttling to and from India is now placed as the new Country Manager of Sri Lanka who is responsible for driving growth in Sri Lanka as well as in the region.
Natarajan said, in this phase of unprecedented growth, the endeavour of Cisco is to enable customers to make prudent decisions on IT infrastructure investment to achieve productivity gains, cost reductions and global competitive advantage.
Sisco Systems based in the US operates in Sri Lanka through Sisco Systems India (Pvt) Ltd.
The Company has been in existence for the last 22 years and its annual revenue has been US $ 28.5 billion.
(QP)

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HNB Pethum Vimana awards Audi car

The HNB Pathum Vimana Rewards Mid - Year draw was held last week at HNB Towers. H M N D Bandara won the first prize of Audi A4 Car. The other prizes included: 18 refrigerators 45 washing machines and 180 gifts vouchers woth Rs 10,000 each and 225 rice cookers.
At this draw, Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director/CEO, HNB speaking as Chief Guest said the main ethos of this veritable scheme is to teach the people the habit of saving and offering rewards for saving.
Those who maintain Rs 100,000 balance in their savings accounts and those maintain Rs 50,000 balance in their current accounts would be eligible to win a Mercedes Benz car worth several million at the year end Premium Draw.
The novel scheme “Pethum Vimana” was introduced as apart of HNB’s effort to inculcate savings habit around 14 years ago.
Attractive rewards offered on the scheme for the 14 years in succession have made this savings scheme very popular. (QP)