The Management Club of Colombo and CIMA Sri Lanka conducted a free webinar titled “Building management skills and resilience for today’s business world” on 25 June, via Zoom to discuss the implications and solutions to the Marketing, Human Resource and Finance aspects of a business.
The panel of speakers consisted of Lanka Hospitals Diagnostics Ltd. Chief Executive Officer and Asia Marketing Federation Secretary General Dr. Pradeep Edward, Ebenezer Double Edged Solutions Ltd. Managing Director Roger Talayaratne, DSI Samson Group General Manager – Strategy and Corporate Planning Mahesh Amarasiri, FCMA, CGMA, and moderator CIMA Country Manager Zahara Ansary, ACMA, CGMA.
Pradeep provided an insight to the dilemmas faced by managers today and then focused on advising those in marketing and sales management. He emphasised on investing in marketing and brand building at this point in time than holding back, whilst Roger spoke about investing in people and in upskilling them. Mahesh spoke about cost optimisation, the use of digital skills and across the board, the participants heard about how they need to adhere to work ethics whether one works from office or home.
“At the given moment, despite the size of the company, it’s time for all leaders to think positively,” said Pradeep, who continued to say that Sri Lanka is a proud nation that has come out of tough situations before. He continued stating that it’s important to think positively and stand together as a country. He added that companies should start to relook at their businesses specially consider diversification to adapt with the times and the importance of using the right words to communicate, for example, like cost optimisation instead of cost cutting, and as leaders to keep the morale of your people high.
Roger said, “Move on, don’t keep your eyes on pre-COVID times and what your business was then, you need to know that none of us are in control of what happened, and it happened, now move on.” He stated that companies will be living in the past if they start to focus on the things lost and on things that could have been.
He continued to say, “If you start meditating on your past losses, your past successes and all that you have missed out in this new normal, you’re not going to be very successful. Because you’re going to miss out on a lot of good things if you’re still hooked on the past, but leaders who are listening to this, challenge your teams, get them involved with the strategy, look positively ahead and go full steam.”
Using the stock market as a reference, Mahesh brought attention to the fact that as soon as it opened on 11 June it crashed within seconds of opening, however, thereafter we have seen reach a high in just a few days.
He continued stating, “There are two sets of people, those who think this is the end of the world and shying away and another set of people who are thinking these are the best opportunities to get into business; so what we’re seeing in the market is an equilibrium of these two mentalities. We can see that things are recovering slowly and the recommendation is to be cautious in the short run, but this is not the end of the world and we will overcome this so we need to be optimistic.”