Speaker launches ‘CPM Professional Management and Entrepreneurship Program’

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


CPM Course Launch

Presentation of ‘Strategic Corporate Sustainability’ publication by Dr. Ravi Fernando to Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya



  • Stresses importance of university and professional education to develop the economy


Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya recently launched the Professional Management and 

Entrepreneurship Program of the Institute of 

Chartered Professional Managers of Sri Lanka. During his address Jayasuriya stressed on the 

importance of university and professional education to develop Sri Lanka’s economy to the desired level.Here are excerpts of the Speaker’s address:

The Institute of Certified Professional Managers is celebrating its 10th anniversary and I am happy to be associated as a Founder Patron of this body when I was present at the official launch in 2009. As a professional management body with a membership of 1,300 with many activities conducted for the development of the

Speaker of Parliament 

Karu Jayasuriya

management profession in Sri Lanka and with affiliations to foreign management bodies and organisations, I wish to offer my congratulations and best wishes to CPM on its decade of excellence in the management profession. 

At the start CPM obtained the assistance of the All India Management Association (AIMA) and thereafter had signed an MOU with the Malaysian Institute of Management, joined the membership of the Association of Management Development Institutes of South Asia (AMDISA) and served on the Board of Management and thereafter the President of CPM Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala was elected as the President of AMDISA bringing great honour to Sri Lanka. 

Its association with the Indian Institute of Management Ahemadabad(IIMA) established in 1961 which collaborated with Harvard Business School (HBS) the top Business School in USA,whichis today the number one business school in India and was the first Indian business school to achieve international recognition in 2002. IIMA jointly with CPM have conductedsenior management programs to develop managerial skillsto take organisations to the next level and achieve global and local success.

I am happy to note that after of a decade of excellence to the management profession CPM has now received the status as ‘TheInstitute ofChartered Professional Managers of Sri Lanka’.This I am confident will enable CPM to reach new goals and aspirations to be the leading professional management body in Sri Lanka and to serve the corporates as well as the Government sector.

Launch of CPM Professional Management and Entrepreneurship Programs

It is indeed gratifying to note that CPM is today launching the ‘Professional Management and Entrepreneurship Programs’ with a fully-fledged syllabus and a practical background. As I stated these are two main areas which are required to be embedded in all educational and post-education syllabuses in all courses of study at school level, universities, MBA and professional programswheremanagement and entrepreneurship are included in the syllabus. This will also enable us to develop a successful Small and Medium Sector and for them to grow into large scale business enterprises contributing to economic growth.

Public sector training and retraining

We also need to expeditiously train and retrain those in the public sector to bring in new technology, skill development, good communication knowledge, and exposure to local and global practices to match the civil service that we had at the time of independence in 1948. While we need efficient services to be provided to the society at large it is disheartening to note that many talk of the deterioration of standards at all levels since we received independence and under our own governments. 

In my own role as the Speaker of Parliament I have been put in a very embarrassing situation when the public speak of the need to maintain high standards and to set an example to the nation whom they represent.In this respect I am of the opinion that professional organisations such as CPM can be a role model for young executives and managers who aspire to progress in their careers to senior positions and also develop entrepreneurship skillsshould also enter the political stage as we need more experienced and educated professionals from the private sector to get involved in running a government.

While we need good management discipline in the work place is of utmost importance. If we look at successful countries or any successful organisation these two good qualities are marked and have enabled many countries who were behind Sri Lanka at the time of independence to overtake us and reach developed country status. I know that Sri Lankans are very talented, capable and prepared to make sacrifices to bring their motherland to the next level of economic development with the benefits flowing to the majority of the people. Hence it is necessary that they contribute to the development of Sri Lanka. 

Benefits of the Management and Entrepreneurship Program

Since today CPM is launching a professional program in Management and Entrepreneurship I see some special features in this professional education program. What many see in the newspapers and hear from the media is that banks have doled out millions or billions of rupees as loans to promote entrepreneurship. But surprisingly this is the first time I see an educational program to educate and develop entrepreneurs and filling a big gap that existed. Hence education and skill development are the first steps to the economic development of any country and the Government needs to pay special attention to this matter.

If you look at India, they have sufficient technocrats, IT specialists, good communication skills, and technical and managerial skills, which have attracted foreign direct investment and made it a hub as an outsourcing destination bringing the valuable foreign exchange to the country and also enabling many to work overseas and obtain top jobs. If you look at the Philippines they too are a very attractive destination for outsourcingand even their foreign employees are conversant in English, skilful, high productivity and receive higher salaries than their colleagues from other countries. We should take a lesson from them.

‘State Corporations Stock Exchange’ to regulate all state corporations

Strategic Management is an area which needs to be adopted by many of the state corporations which are today running at high losses amounting to billions of rupees and a drain on the Governmentwith high borrowings from the banks and will soon be a burden on the government coffers. I am confident that good management with a new model to regulate state corporations with the setting up of a State Corporation Stock Exchange (SCSE) similar to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) where all state corporations fully or majority owned by the Government are listed on the SCSE and making the Chairman and Board of Directors accountable,employing professional management will not only provide the independence for the running of state corporations but make the boards responsible and accountable for any losses incurred by these organisations.

Low percentage of university admission and skill development a major drawback to economic development

One of the major drawbacks to economic development I see today is the very low percentage of admissions to universities in Sri Lanka; a mere 14 to 15% compared to 50% in other countries. Also the age of entry to local universities at 19 or 20 and age of passing out at 23 or 24 or for medical graduates 26 or 27 which far exceeds other countries and is a drain on the resources of the country with an increasing number of senior citizens retiring at an early age resulting in a shortage of qualified graduates for employment due to delays in entry to universities and passing out late.

The other is the non-availability for rural schools of the much hypedSTEM education. This is Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and should include English also the global language. Of course the main stock excuse is that there is a lack of teachers and facilities in these schools which has resulted in a large number of Arts students qualifying at the GCE A/L exams and many getting degrees with no opportunities for employment. 

I know if I give this problem to the private sector to solve they will come up with a solution within a few days. Today we have a large number of qualified youth who are not able to get places in the universities and could be enrolled to degree courses and be utilised for teaching with job security. If the universities start a special program in the evenings on STEM subjects with a special payment to all professors and lecturers in universities I am sure they would have solved this problem of lack of teachers two or three decades ago. I think they should start on this immediately.

Should not the public sector which has all the resources put the ‘can do’ cap rather than get involved in bureaucracy and red tape? This has resulted in today many foreign universities opening up educational centres in Sri Lanka as they have realised that there is a great demand for tertiary education. I also noted that they do not require any approval other than setting up a company with the registrar of companies which may not be the best system but this is what is happening and may have contributed to get a better place in the Doing Business Index. 

Today we have 163,000 students passing the GCE A/L exams and only 25,000 to 30,000 getting entry for university education done by the UGC.But if we have to increase these numbers we need to construct new universities or expand existing universities. But since funds are a major constraint for a country with a very high debt component we can look at models of other countries where public private partnerships have been a success. One good example is the model of the Indian college system where the universities have affiliated colleges and the education is done by the colleges and they sit the exams of the universities.  There is also an absolute necessity to provide degree programs which are in demand, creating new skills in demand and additional numbers required for the IT, Engineering, Science and Technology, Business, Accounting, Management and Services sector for the development of the economy and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). 

Therefore we need to provide a solution to conducta quality university education at an affordable cost to the many who are deprived of a university education in their motherland and to consider solutions provided by other countries. 

One of the best opportunities available for Sri Lanka is to consider the Indian model of having affiliated colleges to universities which has been very successful and has produced a large number of university graduates in India in different fields of specialisation. This system would immediately increase the intake to university degree courses via the college system with the entry regulated by the University Grants Commission and all syllabi provided by the universities and exams also conducted by the universities while the education will be provided by the colleges.

According to data from the University Grants Commission of India some of the largest numbers of colleges were:

Pune University with 735 affiliated colleges and 500,000+ students 

Mumbai University with 711 colleges and 549,400 students

Each one of them having a total of over 500,000 students spread over the colleges. 

The syllabus and the examination are decided by the university and the examinations are also conducted by the university. The final degree is awarded by the university.There is no distinction such as Internal and External for these students who are qualified to enter university and obtain a recognised degree. Which would mean that the 163,104 students who qualified at the GCE A/L to enter universities should all be treated as internal students and no different from those who gain admission to state universities.

Affiliated colleges are the mainstay in the country’s higher education system in India and they enrol 89.3% of the undergraduate students and about 72.2% of postgraduate students. 

I think our higher educational authorities need to give their urgent attention to such schemes which will enable Sri Lanka to expand the intake and become an educational hub. This will also give a big boost to our youth who have no opportunities to blossom out due to lack of obtaining a place in the local university. 

Two youthful Sri Lankan engineers launch first Sri Lankan Satellite ‘Raavana-1’

Sri Lanka’s first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ was launched into space on 18 April 2019, marking Sri Lanka’s entry into the global space age.  The research satellite, named Ravana-1 was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan by TharinduDayaratne and DulaniChamika two Sri Lankan engineers from the Arthur C. Clarke Institute, Moratuwa. 

The satellite is expected to fulfil five missions including the capturing of pictures of Sri Lanka and its surrounding regions. 

This indeed shows the innovative talent of Sri Lankan youth who were attached to the Arthur C. Clark Institute and then proceeded to Kyushu University. A great and significant achievement for Sri Lanka.


I must pay a special word ofthankstoCPM for the launch of the ‘Management and EntrepreneurshipPrograms’ to build an Innovative Sri Lanka, which will be addressed by your keynote speaker Dr. Ravi Fernando Executive in Residence INSEAD Business School France. This Iam sure will encourage and give new directions for promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development in the country. 

I also know that he is closely involved on the subject of sustainability and remember his valuable keynote address made at the last CPM Conference. I do hope that he can contribute for Sri Lanka to achieve the ‘Sustainability Development Goals Agenda 2030’ which is an agenda applicable to many countries who have signed the UN declaration.

I wishto congratulate the President of CPM Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, the Governing Council, Advisory Council, patrons and all CPM members for their achievements and the launch of this valuable program today and the country needs your contribution especially to bring in new strategic management, entrepreneurship, governance and ethics and building professionalism in the public and private sector.

I am sure all of you who are present this evening will support this important program and the activities of CPM in contributing to professionalise management in your institutions whether public or private.

I wish to convey my best wishes to the new ‘Institute of Chartered Professional Managers of Sri Lanka’ and wish them success in all their 


-Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe