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Proactive approach in a changing landscape

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  • Following is the address delivered by CIMA Chairperson Mahesha Amarasuriya at the CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit 2018

 The Chief Guest Honourable Sarath Amunugama Minister of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training, Guest of Honour Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister of Finance, Steven Swientozielskyj, CIMA Global President, Keynote speaker Prakash Iyer, distinguished speakers, panellists and moderators, members of the CIMA Global Council, members of the CIMA Sri Lanka Network Panel, Chairman and members of the MESANA Regional Board, Organising Committee of the Business Leaders’ Summit led by Rifka Ziyard, Venkkat Ramanan, Regional Vice President Asia Pacific, Geethu Ahuja, Associate Director MESANA, Country Manager for CIMA SL and the staff from CIMA SL, my fellow members of CIMA, distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you once again to the 41st CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit.

Over the years the CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit has brought together finance and non-finance professionals into a forum of knowledge sharing and fellowship. 

This year’s theme ‘From Insight to Impact: Unlocking Opportunities’ was influenced by the dynamism of the global changes and its impact on the business models globally and locally. 

I found some interesting statistics recently. The number of internet users worldwide is presently over four billion. The number of social media users worldwide is presently over three billion and the number of mobile phone users is presently over five billion. 

These are statistics you often come across as digital transformation. What does it mean? On the surface of course it would transpire to mean that more than half the population is online with over 40% using social media and 67% carrying a mobile phone.  Analysing further, what is the impact in terms of business, in terms of people and in terms of evolution?

It means we need to change processes to be more fluid, more responsive, and data-driven, which will facilitate a high level of personalised customer experiences, real-time business, predictive insights that anticipate changing customers and market patterns and people and machine collaboration. It also means changing roles and responsibilities in the workplace to be flexible and adaptable. This was the landscape in which this year’s Business Leaders’ Summit was formulated. In a changing landscape CIMA has taken a proactive approach in its own space as finance and management accounting professionals. Not only have CIMA exams been made online but CIMA has identified the evolving role of finance as technology embraces finance and its key components. ‘Future of Finance’ therefore would be a key discussion area tomorrow in addition to ‘Global Trends in Transforming Business,’ ‘Disruptive Business Models’ and ‘Psychological Impact of the Era of Digital Disruption’. 

The 41st CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit is organised by the Member Development Committee, which is one of four committees coming under the CIMA Sri Lanka Country Network Panel and of course with the administrative support from the CIMA Sri Lanka Division. 

With the formation of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and reorganisation of CIMA globally, this is the first year of the CIMA Sri Lanka Country Network Panel, which is the elected representative body of CIMA members in Sri Lanka and the successor to the CIMA Sri Lanka Board. 

As Chairperson of the CIMA Sri Lanka Network I am happy that we have been able to provide leadership to the CIMA membership in Sri Lanka and continue the good work which was carried out by the CIMA Sri Lanka Council and thereafter the CIMA Sri Lanka Board over the past years.  The CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit is an important event in the annual calendar of CIMA Sri Lanka and I am extremely pleased that the Organising Committee has been able to put together a strategically focused summit with over 500 participants.

On behalf of CIMA Sri Lanka, I take this opportunity to thank our Chief Guest Hon. Sarath Amunugama and our Guest of Honour Hon. Eran Wickramaratne for accepting our invitation and being with us today. I must also specially thank the Keynote Speaker, the other speakers, panellists and moderators for accepting our invitation to be part of the CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit and I do look forward for thought-provoking deliberations tomorrow. 

I take this opportunity to thank and place on record our sincere gratitude to all the sponsors who have placed their trust and confidence in CIMA and for coming forward to be part of this year’s CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit. 

And of course I need to thank the project Chair Rifka Ziyard, the Co-Chairs Rajeev Aloysius and Chamila Cooray and their committee who have worked tirelessly with utmost dedication and commitment, and ably assisted by Country Manager Zahara Ansary and the CIMA Sri Lanka Division to bring together the 41st Business Leaders’ Summit.

I am confident that this year’s CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit will be a resounding success and I thank all of you for your presence this evening.

Pix by upul Abayasekara

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