The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), the country’s national apex marketing body enters 2011 with greater zeal and determination to further contribute to national growth and progress through its various projects and initiatives throughout the year.
This follows hot on the heels of a phenomenal and buoyant 2010 during which SLIM implemented remarkably successful projects and expanded its reach to regions, while also strengthening its educational activities.
SLIM President Rohan Somawansa said: “With Sri Lanka’s burgeoning economic expansion and growth, the country needs professional and trained marketers to drive the economy on this road to progress. We at SLIM are conscious of this need and are committed to playing a pivotal role in this regard. With 40+ years of service to the nation, we consistently add value and strengthen our core brand values. This year we focus on our attention on our flagship projects and thus enhance our offering.”
Research, marketing, branding and sales are the key drivers of economic development. Understanding the importance of these key pillars, SLIM has programmes to discuss and enhance each of these areas at a national level. Taking pride of place are the “Brand Excellence Awards” which is highly recognised both locally and internationally for its sound evaluation system and judging process. Brand Excellence is also considered as the gateway for local brands to the global arena.
The truly global brand in SLIM promotes is “Effies” which encourages effective advertising while “NASCO” will continue to be the premier event in Sri Lanka that recognises sales excellence, rewarding and motivating sales professionals to achieve greater heights. Organised by SLIM in conjunction with Nielson Company Lanka Ltd, the “Peoples Awards” is a direct feed back of the consumer to the marketers.
“This year we’re also concentrating on taking marketing to the grass roots level and thus enabling all Sri Lankans contribute to the economic prosperity. With SLIM’s expansion to Jaffna up north and Matara in the deep south, we’re touching the pulse of the masses. “Gamata Alevi Karanaya” and “Marketing Rox”, will continue to nourish the local marketers,” Somawansa said.
“Marketing Rox is a novel programme to educate Sri Lankan youth of marketing as a profession through edutainment. This programme was primarily conceptualised to give school leavers and potential marketers an in-depth orientation in marketing as a career. It has been acclaimed as a ‘Sri Lankan first’ where a professional educational institute has launched a community driven programme of this nature, at a national level.
“SLIM’s annual seminar was themed “Making Sri Lanka a Top Tourist Destination” as another initiative which brought key stakeholders on a common platform.
This forum took great importance with — “Visit Sri Lanka 2011” — as we open our doors to the anticipated 750 thousand foreign visitors. 2016 is also not far away with its 2.5 million tourist arrivals. The time is thus opportune,” he added.
“In 2011, we are planning to look at the tea sector, which is another great step as the national body of marketing. Sri Lanka has an undisputed heritage with tea and has created global tea brands to the market. Hence we believe this is another area which we should seriously look at with a long term vision of economic development,” Somawansa added.
In the pipeline are also the “SLIM CEO’s Forums” which discuss a plethora of national interest and importance. Added to this is a new project — “Experience Sharing Forum” — launched for the benefit of SLIM students. This became extremely successful, and, as a result the final experience sharing forum was opened out to professionals as well.
“We are currently revamping the entire Postgraduate Diploma Syllabus. We’re making it contemporary and in line with the latest developments in marketing across the world as well as the changing business landscape of Sri Lanka. All these efforts, I’m confident, will improve the quality of marketers produced in Sri Lanka and create a highly professional workforce who will contribute to national growth,” Somawansa said.