By Cassandra Mascarenhas
The Postgraduate Institute of Management Alumni (PIMA) on Monday felicitated its renowned patron and Institute Director Professor Uditha Liyanage who recently received his professorial appointment from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.
In addition to receiving what most felt was a long overdue professorial appointment, he has also received an adjunct professorship from the University of Canberra.
Held at the Ceylon Continental, the event drew a large gathering of PIM Alumni, most of whom had studied under Professor Liyanage. The Chief Guest was the former President of the ICASL Dr. G.C.B. Wijeyasinghe who praised Liyanage highly in his felicitation address and commended his holistic approach to teaching.
Dr. Wickrema Weerasooriya addressing the gathering at the event revealed a third reason for celebration – the PIM Board of Management had also unanimously appointed the Professor to run the PIM for yet another three years, a decision hailed with great enthusiasm and applause by the audience.
Dubbing Liyanage as the ‘marketing guru of Sri Lanka’, Dr. Weerasooriya praised his work at PIM, which now boasts over 3,000 graduates since its initiation. “Dr. Uditha Liyanage has revolutionised this institute – starting an institution is easy enough, the challenge is to keep it going from strength to strength which is a different thing altogether; but he has achieved just that,” he said.
Professor Liyanage thanked the alumni and the executive committee and spoke of the major crossroads of his life, his mid-career shift into teaching as he realised that it was his true passion although he sacrificed a lot in the process.
Dr. Uditha Liyanage counts over 15 years of experience in the industry, truly earning his title as the marketing guru of Sri Lanka, having held senior marketing management positions in three leading companies in Sri Lanka. He, thereafter, joined the academia and read for the doctoral programme at the Postgraduate Institute of Management, (PIM) where he has been, Senior Faculty, Marketing over the past 13 years, and now, the Institute’s Head, Academic Affairs as well. He has published many articles on Branding and Strategic Marketing in leading journals, both here and abroad, and addressed numerous local and international conferences. He also holds an MBA and is a Chartered Marketer, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
He is also a Marketing Consultant to a number of leading local companies and international agencies and a developer of senior managers. He is on the boards of directors of Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd., Chemenex Ltd., Ceylon Leather Products Ltd and Q & E Advertising, DIMO, and a member of the Boards of Study of PIM and Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, and a member of the Standing Committee on Staff Development of the University Grants Commission. He was Chairman of the CIM Sri Lanka region, and a member of the international board of CIM.