Ceylon Tobacco Company: Dedicated to developing talent
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00
With a rich heritage of over 100 years, Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) has established itself as a benchmark for corporate excellence in Sri Lanka. Amongst its many noteworthy features is the emphasis the company places on continuous talent development. CTC believes in the importance of providing its employees the opportunity to gain exposure in foreign markets within the British American Tobacco Group (BAT), to prepare them to take up leadership roles in the future.
“International assignments are key to developing the skills and experiences one needs within a vast global enterprise like ours. But for these to be successful, the roles have to be taken up by the right individuals at the right time. We encourage our employees who have consistently shown their potential for career growth to embrace the opportunities and challenges to prove their mettle in the global arena,” says Ceylon Tobacco Company CEO Felicio Ferraz.
Completing yet another successful international assignment, Thusitha Abeyesekera has recently returned after a two year stint in BAT’s South Asian Head Office in Pakistan. He was seconded to Pakistan under BAT’s Leadership Development Program where he was entrusted to deploy BAT’s new Trade Marketing and Distribution strategy in the South Asia area. For his outstanding performance Thusitha was presented the prestigious Tier 3 Award, the highest form of recognition to be awarded to an employee, the first Sri Lankan to be awarded the honour in Pakistan.
“Working in another market is one of those challenging yet absolutely fulfilling experiences,” notes Thusitha. He elaborates, “It’s challenging simply because you are out of your comfort zone and you need start building your network from ground up. Also, the confidence you gain from knowing that you can perform in an unfamiliar and challenging market context is immense. I was responsible for managing an outfit of 1,350 employees and the starting point was to first understand and respect them for their way of life. Once you do this and gain their trust, it’s half the job done. After all, the higher we progress in our careers; it’s more about leading people to achieve the best they could.”
Thusitha returns to Sri Lanka as the Corporate Strategy Manager. In his new role, he will be reporting to the CEO and drive the strategic business agenda for CTC in 2015 and beyond. Thusitha joined under BAT’s global Management Trainee program and since then has held key roles in both strategic and operational aspects of Brand and Trade Marketing. Prior to taking up the assignment in Pakistan, he was presented with the Chairman’s Award by CTC and the coveted CIMA Business Leaders Award in 2012.
“At CTC we see your career as a long-term commitment and invest in your future potential, a true partnership. It’s great to see Sri Lankans been lauded at an international level. It reiterates the quality of talent we produce,” states Felicio in conclusion.