Sri Lanka Institute of Directors CEO Lilani Perera, John Keells Holdings Group Finance Director Ronnie Peiris, International Finance Corporation Representative Graeme Harris and Sri Lanka Institute of Directors Chairperson Shiromal Cooray
Isuru Tillakawardana, Pasan Madhawa Edussuriya, Piyal Hennayake, Thusharie Wijemanne, Viran Corea, Panduka Weerasinghe and Daya Hettiarachchi
By Shehana Dain
Sri Lanka institute of Directors (SLID) inducted its second batch comprising of 10 graduates recently giving boost to these individuals to enforce good governance measures in their respective board room.
This is the only professional program available in Sri Lanka that leads to the certification of directors. Ordinary members of SLID become graduate members of SLID, with the entitlement of the usage of the post nominal ‘GSLID’ after their names.
This program is designed using the material developed by the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) Global Corporate Governance program and is endorsed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka.
Being an instrumental figure in the materialisation of this qualification John Keells Holdings Finance Director Ronnie Pieris was the Chief Guest at the event. He emphasised on two key areas namely independence and professionalism. Whilst urging the new graduates to exercise their independence while uncompromising professionalism.
“We have governance codes and I think rightly we have to make these tangible and visible. Yet all these are pieces of paper ultimately independence for me comes from your heart to need not be influenced by someone to do the wrong thing. It’s up to you to say no. This is what we lack here in Sri Lanka we have to cultivate this in our minds.”
Moreover speaking about professionalism he stressed: “We are talking FCID and about all the frauds and corruption that happened during the past decade, but the real question is where the professionals were?” he asked.
Reflecting on the future projects in the pipe line for SLID in cooperation with IFC SLID Chairperson Shiromal Coorey said: “We are doing more programs with IFC and we also have an ongoing agreement with IFC where we have just done one program last month on difficult board room conversations. We got resources from overseas and people with lot of experience came over. Next month we are planning to do a program with SMEs about nominee directors, women on boards and family business.”
Additionally she noted that with the IFC SLID is taking the message of good governance to the outskirts; to Batticaloa, Mannar, Ampara and so forth.
“It’s amazing to see the interest that we are receiving, they’re all small units and we want to encourage and make them aware that they can do it in a different way,” she added. IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives Senior Operations Officer Graeme Harris who was also present at the event noted that corporate governance has been core for IFC’s operations in Sri Lanka: “From an IFC perspective good corporate governance is extremely important as it helps people to access capital and safeguard against mismanagement. Every IFC investment around the world since 2011 has been subjected to corporate governance review.
Meanwhile SLID CEO Lilani Perera stated that the third intake for the program is underway. The qualification constitutes of four main parts; namely corporate governance, the board, strategic leadership and financial stewardship and accountability. Each part will cost Rs. 30,000 for SLID members and Rs. 40,000 for non members. A special offer is in place on a first come first serve basis where all four parts for members would cost Rs. 130,000 and for non members it would amount Rs. 150,000.
Pix by Upul Abayasekara