Danesha Perera re-elected as ISMM President

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 00:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Institute of Supply and Materials Management (ISMM) held its Annual General Meeting along with the Technical sessions on 31 March at the Auditorium of Organisation of Professional Association.

At the AGM, President Danesha Perera was re-elected unanimously the term 2012/13 and was inducted. New Management of Council Members were also elected.

Perera is well known in the industry as a highly qualified and recognised professional in the field of operational and supply chain management. He is a Fellow of the Institute and life member of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA). He currently serves on the OPA Executive Committee and on the Forum as an association member of the ISMM.

Perera is also a distinguished old boy of Richmond College, Galle. He currently works at Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt.) Ltd. as Assistant Vice President in charge of SCM. He has vast experience in working in private sector organisations including multinational companies. He was also a versatile all-rounder and sportsman in his young days, especially in cricket.

Addressing the gathering at the AGM, Perera indicated that the ISMM performed very successfully during the year 2011/12, mainly due to the very dedicated and loyal council members including the past presidents and the staff. While thanking the members, he described the activities carried out during the previous year.

ISMM carried out eight consultancy programmes and conducted five continuous professional development/education (CPD/CPE) programmes along with five seminars for GDPSCM/DPMM students. It also conducted two one-day seminars and technical sessions – 2012/13 on 31 March under the theme ‘Railways for Our Future.’

ISMM officials participated in ITC’s MLS – SCM Global Network Round Table 2011 ‘Sustainable Supply Chain’ held in Malaysia and IFPSM World Summit held in Stockholm, Sweden from 15 to 19 September 2011. ISMM officials will also participate in the IFPSM Asia Pacific Council Meeting from 21 to 22 April in Manila, Philippines.

Addressing the members, Perera said that professionals need to focus on frequent market changes. He requested a renewed focus on the demographic and geographical differences.

Finally, Perera urged all members to participate in CPD/CPE programmes organised on FOC basis by the Institute as it is the best way for survival and for improving one’s knowledge in order to meet challenges.

Dr. T.L. Gunaruwan, Senior Lecturer (Economics) at the University of Colombo delivered an excellent presentation during the technical sessions which commenced before the AGM. Dr. Gunaruwan focused on his famous subject ‘Railways for Our Future’ and explained the importance of development of the railways in Sri Lanka.

He said as per the growth rate of nine per cent, Sri Lanka will develop fast and per capita GDP will rise from $2,399 in 2012 to $4,400 in 2015. By doubling the per capita income, people will look forward to more quality and comfort and also more competitive products and services, with wider choice, efficient and quick/fast access.  

Demand for logistics and transport would experience enormous pressure. Doubling of per capita income by 2015 will lead to a parallel increase of the value of time.

With greater affordability, clients will look for quality and comfort. Mobility needs will experience an unprecedented growth and demand for logistics and transport will experience enormous pressure. Sri Lankan ports will have to handle one million TEUs which means (+100%) the doubling of the number of container movements across Colombo city. Therefore demand on logistics can expect to double and pressure on the entire supply chain would double. Domestic trade will also have an up-word pressure.    

The export value of tea rising from $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion will end up with doubling volumes. Rubber and cinnamon and spices increasing from $600 million to $1.2 billion also will double volumes. The increase in the apparels and allied industry from $3.5 billion to $5.0 billion will obviously create pressure in logistics.

Tourism is expected to grow threefold from $600 million to $2.0 billion. This will force the necessity for travel facility expansion and number of vehicles on the roads will increase. The question is whether the road space usage is sufficient and whether congestion, pollution and accidents will increase.

We could also ask if the transport/supply chain will live up to expectations, Gunaruwan went on to say. If the answer is no, then the growth target will become unrealistic. For the growth rate to be realistic, the industry and policies of the transport sector should be geared up to meet the demand.

Dr. Gunaruwan then asked the gathering whether development in the transport sector in the traditional Sri Lankan way by increasing the highway-based transportation could handle the doubling the number of container carriers, buses and cars on our roads within next five years. He also brought to the audience’s notice the environmental pollution which has reached unparalleled levels and most exposed are school children, traffic police and pedestrians. It is reported that the cost of accidents are approximately Rs. 25 billion (UOM estimates).

He stated that the Government needs to shift away from its implicit ‘cars first policy’ to ‘trains first’ policy as said by John Diandas.

Gunaruwan concluded by noting that Sri Lanka needs to develop the railway sector, if it is to face the development challenges in the years ahead. It is important that the development effort be pragmatic, effective and nationally benefiting.