Jubilant SLIM reaches milestone after six-year effort to bring father of marketing to Sri Lanka
|SLIM President Thushara Perera addresses the media conference to announce the visit of Prof. Philip Kotler. Others from left are Immediate Past President Rohan Somawansa, Kotler Impact CEO Dr. Fahim Kibria, Vice President Thilan Wijeyesekara and Project Chairman Ruwan Liyanagamage – Pic by Kushan Ranasinghe.
By Uditha Jayasinghe
Considered by many to be the father of marketing, Prof. Philip Kotler’s first-ever visit to Sri Lanka is generating much anticipation, with many events being planned to make optimum use of his visit.
Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) President Thushara Perera recalled the long road to motivating Prof. Philip Kotler to come to Sri Lanka.
“SLIM has been working for the past six years to bring down Prof. Kotler to Sri Lanka,” he said, recalling how the first overture was made when SLIM representatives participated in a seminar that Prof. Kotler was addressing in Indonesia.
“The change came when we met him two years ago in Malaysia and suggested a visit to Sri Lanka. After he heard about the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka and the new opportunities opening up he agreed to visit Sri Lanka.” This was seen as the main reason for his interest in the country as it would open exciting opportunities for marketers in Sri Lanka.
The workshops, which will be dualistic in their nature, are geared to address the needs of key personnel. Marketers will have one workshop while the other is for CEOs of companies under special invitation from SLIM.
Certificates will be given following the programmes to give further accreditation for the training received under the marketing guru. SLIM is also focusing on the possibility of having a range of training sessions for special focus groups.
SLIM Immediate Past President Rohan Somawansa outlined plans to have a series of side events have been planned on the sidelines of Prof. Kotler’s first ever visit to Sri Lanka and one might be to meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and senior ministers of the Government.
In addition plans are also underway to hold a special session for parliamentarians, university professors, business leaders and economic attaches of G20 embassies in Sri Lanka. There will also be a charity dinner with Prof. Kotler’s participation.
Kotler Impact Chief Executive Officer Dr. Fahim Kibria remarked that the organisation was interested in a long-term relationship with SLIM and by extension Sri Lanka. Prof. Kotler’s books are to be translated into Sinhala with Sri Lankan case studies and used in marketing classes.
“In addition Prof. Kotler is coming to Sri Lanka with a unique portfolio of the latest marketing trends titled ‘Values Driven Market’ that evaluates the challenges of dealing with Generation G as well as Marketing 3.0.”
Professor Kotler’s book, ‘Marketing Management,’ is the world’s most widely used graduate level textbook in marketing. Kotler has been consulted by many large companies, including IBM, Michelin, Bank of America, Merck, General Electric, Honeywell, Samsung, Coca cola, Hyundai and Motorola — in the areas of marketing strategy, planning and organisation and international marketing.