From left: Andrew Leon Hanna (the winner of the Bracken Bower Prize 2018), Christian Busch (finalist) and Piyumi Kapugeekiyana (finalist)
STAX has long been known to attract top talent from some of the world’s most prestigious universities and corporates. Its Head of Research Piyumi Kapugeekiyana is a testament to this.
Piyumi was recently selected as one of three finalists across the world for the prestigious and coveted Bracken Bower Prize.
The Bracken Bower Prize, organised yearly by The Financial Times and McKinsey, awards £15,000 for the best business book proposal by an author under 35. It’s a dream come true for any budding business writer looking to get off their feet. Apart from the attractive cash prize, the organisers conduct a masterclass for all finalists in London, where leading publishers provide guidance and advice on how to take an idea from proposal to shelf.
The finalists are selected through a rigorous process where each proposal is reviewed by executives from The Financial Times and McKinsey and passed on to the judges only when a green light is received from both parties.
Piyumi’s proposed book One Billion in Reserve makes a case for rethinking both work and workplaces with a view to including the global talent pool of people with disabilities and the neurodivergent (people with learning and cognitive differences).
Commenting on her journey, Piyumi said, “I’m thrilled to have made it to the top 3 of the Bracken Bower Prize – it’s such an excellent platform for aspiring authors. I’m especially grateful to my colleagues and mentors at STAX. Ours is a company with a rich history of advising and cultivating double-bottom line companies – ones with both economic and social impact – and I’ve long enjoyed a wide berth to explore and test new ideas. Looking forward, I’m hopeful about the prospect of mainstreaming disability and neurodivergence inclusion in workplaces worldwide. For the most part, this is an area that gets little attention in the broader discourse on diversity and inclusion, where race and gender diversity almost always get pre-eminence.”
Stax Managing Director and head of the Colombo office Ruwindhu Peiris said: “We are truly proud of and delighted by Piyumi’s significant global achievement. This is a true testament to our STAX purpose statement of ‘Freedom to Dream, Power to Make It Happen!’ What an exciting time for Piyumi. I cannot wait to see her dream unfold and am happy we are able to give her the power to make it happen.”
STAX is driven by a leadership team that encourages a culture of social responsibility. As STAX Founder and CEO Rafi Musher emphasises, “I don’t think you need to wait to be innovative in driving social benefit – in fact – you need to be impatient, rather than patient.”
STAX DevCorp, the social arm of STAX, embodies this spirit by creating and supporting new startup companies and joint ventures to address significant needs identified by the company’s strategy consulting practice. A case in point is STAX DevCorp’s role in supporting ULTRA Testing – a New York-based provider of software testing services whose competitive advantage stems from employing teams of individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Through a research-driven approach, STAX DevCorp guided ULTRA to successfully launch, secure customers and secure funding.
In 2017, Piyumi also reached the finals of the Peter Drucker Challenge organised by the Global Peter Drucker Forum for her essay on inclusive prosperity ‘Navigating the Battlefield of the Mind’. Piyumi holds a PhD in Politics, History and International Relations, and is the Head of Research at STAX Inc. STAX is a global management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, with branch offices across Chicago, New York and Colombo. With a rich client base comprising 30+ local conglomerates and family businesses, 15 of the top 20 global investors and 25+ Fortune 500 companies, STAX prides itself on being a full service consulting firm – from strategy to implementation.