The Maliban Sales and Marketing Convention 2011, held on 5 February, 2011, recognised and honoured the company’s sales force as the country’s premier biscuit manufacturer celebrated a successful year, marked by increased volume growth.
The visionary A. G. Rathnapala Samaraweera, Chairman of Maliban, graced the Convention as the Chief Guest. Also in attendance were A. G. Wimalasiri, Senior Director; A G Kumudika Fernando, Executive Directress; A. G. Tharangitha Samaraweera, Director; A. G. Shanaka Wickramapala, Director; D. L. Weerasuriya, Group Chief Executive Officer; and Ravi Jayawardena, CEO Sales and Marketing; Ashoka Perera, General Manager – Trade, Marketing and Exports; Raja Abeynayake, Maliban Biscuit Consultant; Ashan Kannangara, Head of Sales and Hashan Haputhanthri, Marketing Manager. Regional and Area Sales Managers, Regional and Area Sales Executives, distributors, sales representatives and staff of Maliban were also present.
The main feature of the Convention was the presentation of awards. Awards were presented in the categories of Best Sales Representative, Best Modern Trade Executive, Best Merchandiser, Best Area Sales Executive, Best Area Sales Manager, Best Regional Sales Manager and Best Distributor.
The most prestigious award, the Chairman’s Trophy for the Best Sales Representative of the Year, was won by J. R. S. H. P. Guruge. Sales representatives, N. K. Weerakkody and Manoj Priyanka secured second and third places respectively.
Sunila Chandana won the Best Modern Trade Executive of the Year Award, while K. Varman received the award for the Best Merchandiser. The Best Area Sales Executive was C. N. Pattersoon and the award for the Best Area Sales Manager was won by Dhammika Jayasinghe, while, Kapila Jayasinghe was the winner of the Best Regional Sales Manager Award. A. M. M. B. Attanayake won the Best Distributor (Small), while Upali Traders received the awards for Best Distributor (Medium) and Samitha Distributors, Padduka, for Best Distributor (Large).
The event paid tribute to the founder of the company, the inspirational leader A. G. Hinniappuhamy who founded Maliban over six decades ago.
In addition, the Sales and Marketing Convention also highlighted the significant growth rates achieved by the company in 2010 and introduced the new objectives for 2011, under the theme, ‘Mission R. F. I.’, emphasising on Reach, Frequency and Impact.
Speaking during the occasion, Ravi Jayawardena, CEO of Sales and Marketing, commended the fortitude and commitment of the sales force in taking the company forward.
“Four objectives were set for the sales division in 2010. The first of these was that each sales representative record a 10% increase in sales volume. Surpassing this target, we achieved an increase of 19%,” he stated. He further added that, expiry rate of products was reduced to 0.78%, zero bad debts were maintained and the total number of retail outlets increased to 79,000, in meeting the objectives of 2010.
Also speaking during the occasion, Hashan Haputhanthri, Marketing Manager, explained that much of the success was achieved through the innovative and non-conventional methods adopted in advertising, promotion and relaunch of products. The popular Cream Cracker and Bran Cracker, which have grown into household names, were reintroduced to the market, rebranded as Smart Cracker and Real Brand Cracker following extensive consumer research. Similarly, 2011 will be a consumer-focused year, with new products and relaunches in the pipeline, he added.