Ranil de Silva felicitated for monumental achievement
The International Advertising Association (IAA) Sri Lanka Chapter held its Annual General Meeting last week to reflect on the past work for the association as well as forthcoming opportunities. Most significantly, the IAA reinstated its old Board of Members.
The Board of Directors at the meeting comprised of Renuka Marshall; President, Thayalan Bartlett; Vice President, Ramani Samarasundera ; Vice President, Chrishani Kotalawela; Secretary, Sahan Rajapakse; Treasurer and Directors Rohan Rajaratnam, Sheron Jayasundara, Saranga Wijeratne, Stefan Beckmayer and Hasrath Munasinghe.
A look at that past of the IAA shows that the association has traditionally dedicated a lot of time and effort to educate the industry in several aspects of advertising and marketing, which were discussed during the meeting.
The IAA conducts programmes every year under three banners, with the first being education. The key focus of this is to groom the leaders of tomorrow, an ideal that was reiterated during the meeting. Educational initiatives conducted in the past were ground-breaking initiatives such as the ‘Evening Programme: ‘Wild Fire’ – Ideas that travel,’ Master Classes 1 and 2, Brand Mantra and the Cannes Predictions.
The second banner under which programs were conducted is the dedication to ensuring and improving the standards of the industry. The IAA functions to ensure fair trade and governance in the fast paced industry of advertising, providing a much needed common ground to the various agencies in the country.
The third banner is social responsibility. The Board of Directors reflected on their association with the 4As, with whom the IAA pioneered several initiatives for social responsibility such as self regulation of the industry, new business policies, operating ethics, etc.
The meeting was made special by the felicitation of Ranil de Silva for his recent achievement of winning the IAA Global Medal of Merit. De Silva has been in advertising since 1981 and has grown in the industry through the decades. He revived the IAA Sri Lanka Chapter and later assumed the mantle of President in 2005 and served two terms in this capacity.
He also served on the Worldwide Board of Directors of the IAA. During his tenure he gave the IAA a voice and led several initiatives to give the marketing communications fraternity a rightful place in the business world.
He was responsible for initiating the IAA leadership forum which brought to Sri Lanka leading personalities to facilitate a dialogue between the CEOs from the industry.
Rohan Rajaratnam, CEO Words and one of the Directors on the IAA Board, said: “I believe that we should have given him an award in Colombo before the IAA recognised him in Moscow and awarded him the IAA World Merit Award 2010, in recognition of his contribution to the advertising industry.”
“This industry locally needs talent recruitment, needs education and knowledge enhancement and here Ranil has made significant contributions,” Rohan added.
The AGM was also an opportunity for the Board to decide on future education programmes, continuing the IAA’s initiatives into the next year.
A complete and detailed programme plan was drafted by the Board of Directors to ensure that the all the challenges of 2011 could be overcome and continue to enhance the stakeholder value of the IAA.
The schemes included forums, a leadership series aimed exclusively at IAA members, a continuation of both the Master Class series and The Mantra series.
On the whole, whether it was the IAA orchestrating the future plans to take IAA Sri Lanka Chapter to the next level, or reinstating the old IAA Board, or celebrating the achievement of an advertising icon, it was an AGM that may very well mould the future of the advertising, marketing and media industry in Sri Lanka.