CA Sri Lanka’s 41st National Conference goes virtual 18-20 Jan.

Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Event filled with exciting line up of speakers and panellists

An exciting line up of thought leaders, high-profile speakers and panellists will set the tone for the 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), as they help defy the ‘new normal’ and inspire Chartered Accountants, including Business Leaders and C-Suite Executives, to overcome the challenges following COVID-19. The three-day conference will be held from 18 to 20 January. 

The National Conference dubbed ‘Sri Lanka’s Biggest Business Summit’ will be inaugurated on Monday, 18 January, under the patronage of State Minister of Money, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal and University Grants Commission Chairman Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, at the Shangri-La Hotel – Colombo with a limited number of special invitees in line with health protocols.  

However, over 1,700 participants from Sri Lanka and overseas will connect virtually with the proceedings of the conference, which will be held under the theme ‘Abnormal’. The conference is held on a virtual platform for the first time in its four-decade long history due to the ongoing global pandemic and the related regulations imposed by health authorities. 

The conference which will conclude on 20 January following two days of technical sessions will feature locally and globally acclaimed speakers and panellists who will deliberate the changes, opportunities and abnormalities stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, with the aim of stimulating the intellectual curiosity of the participants, while also exploring new business and professional practices to succeed in these abnormal times. 

The three-day event will kick off with an inspiring keynote speech delivered by Business Development SELYN Exporters Director Selyna Peiris, who will revolve her speech on ‘Walk the Talk.’ In her keynote, she will share her experience on managing the culture, operations and most importantly the people within the organisation, especially during these challenging times and how her leadership helped the business remain steady and relevant. 

The technical sessions will kick off on 19 January, with the first session on ‘Defying the Normal’ with Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Chairman/CEO Dr. Ravi Fernando paying focus to how the pandemic has exposed cracks and left business with little choice but to regroup, rehash and revitalise. 

During the session, Dr. Fernando will help craft out the different elements of the triple bottom line and set out a practical framework which 21st century leaders can follow while meeting the expectations of stakeholders with the unique ability to rise to face unforeseen challenges successfully. English Tea Shop CEO Suranga Herath and Citizens Development Business Finance MD/CEO Mahesh Nanayakkara will contribute as panellists, while Hela Clothing Group CFO Moiz Rehmanjee will moderate the session. 

COVID-19 has pushed the world towards deep recession, the impact of which has been devastating. Governments across the world responded to this by offering huge stimulus packages defying all known theories. The second technical session on ‘New Economic Order’ will feature Verité Research Executive Director – Head of Research Dr. Nishan de Mel, who will shed light on the effects of these bail-out strategies in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

Global Rubber Industries MD Prabash Subasinghe and CHEC Port City Colombo Head of Strategy and Business Development Thulci Aluwihare will share their insights as panellists, while SANASA Insurance Chairman/Amana Bank Director/Moore Stephens Consulting MD Tishan Subasinghe will moderate the session.

The third session on ‘The Perfect Link’ will showcase WiLAT Global Chairperson/CILT Immediate Past Chairperson/Singer SL Non-Executive Independent Director and Management Consultant Gayani De Alwis, who will speak on the future of supply chains and the increasing need to rethink and innovate flexible supply chains with new models. The session will be complemented with two panellists Expolanka Holdings Group CEO Hanif Yusoof and Hayleys Agriculture Holdings MD Jayanthi Dharmasena, while Finance and Operations Consultant Channa Gunasekera will moderate the session. 

SDB Bank CEO Thilak Piyadigama will steer the fourth session on ‘Adopt Me’, where he will shed insights on how technology is forming the bedrock for businesses to navigate through the pandemic and the increasing need for businesses to be more digitally ready if they are to stay ahead and wish to future proof their business. MAS Holdings CEO Suren Fernando, AIA Insurance Lanka CEO Nikhil Advani, and zMessenger Co-Founder and CEO/ MYMED International Chairperson and Women’s Chamber for Digital Sri Lanka Chairperson Jayomi Lokuliyana will contribute as panellists while SECQUORO Founder/CEO Naresh Abeysekara will be the moderator. 

The fifth session on ‘Financial Integrity in Uncertain Times’ will be jointly presented by CA – SL President EY – SL Senior Partner Manil Jayesinghe and CA – England and Wales President David Matthews, who will emphasise on how Chartered Accountants should maintain financial integrity and sustain the reliability of information reported to stakeholders amidst the volatile business environment. The session will be moderated by Aitken Spence CFO Nilanthi Sivapragasam. 

‘The Most Valuable Resource?’ will be the spotlight of the sixth and final session, where the challenges faced by companies due to the COVID-19 global pandemic will be discussed at length, along with how companies are adapting to the future dynamics of work. The session will be presented by Infosys McCamish Systems LLC Associate Vice President/Head of Client Business and Talent Integration Dr. Archana Arcot. The session will conclude with a panel discussion featuring Lanka Tiles MD Mahendra Jayasekara, Virtusa Vice President – Human Resources Chandi H. Dharmaratne and Postgraduate Institute of Management Director/Chairman of the Board of Management Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri as panellists, while Brandix Apparel Senior Manager – Strategic Services Shyamali Kirinde will moderate the session.