Standing from left: PIMA President Denzil Perera, PIM Director Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Dr. Kelum Gamage, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Eardly Perera, Dehan Senevirathna, G.S. Sylvester and Dr. Samantha Rathnayake
Chief orator at the event, Dr. Hans Wijesuriya
The Postgraduate Institute of Management Alumni Association (PIMA), recently conducted the second biennial memorial oration program to honour the memory of Sri Lanka’s pioneering marketing guru, the late Prof. Uditha Liyanage.
PIMA is Sri Lanka’s most active and largest body of MBA alumni in Sri Lanka, with a network of 5,000 professionals and positioned as a leading think tank of a profound community of thought leaders in business.
It has the privilege of Prof. Liyanage being a part of their faculty for over 20 years, becoming their Director and Chairman of the institute’s Board of Management, as well as a key driving force of the institute as a teacher, marketing mentor and advisor to both the faculty and senior professionals who graduated from PIM as well as the PIM Alumni.
Cherishing fond memories of their beloved professor who left a legacy when he passed away in 2015, saw the event being attended by many leading marketing and management professionals of the country who were his former students, including attendees from PIMA, PIM, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM).
Paying tribute to the many contributions Prof. Uditha Liyanage made to the profession in the development of marketing practices and marketing education in the country, PIM Director Dr. Kelum Gamage delivered the welcome address, noting with reverence that “he was a visionary leader and a great asset to the nation”.
The many impressive contributions made by the late professor included in having become the first ever Sri Lankan Honorary Fellow at the Asia Marketing Federation, being an Adjunct Professor of Management of University of Canberra, Australia and counting over 15 years of experience in the industry, having held senior marketing management positions on the boards of some of the leading companies in the country, such as Commercial Bank, DIMO, Chemanex and Ceylon Cold Stores, in his capacity as one of the country’s pioneering marketing gurus.
Prof. Uditha Linanage’s family members including his wife Shriyani Liyanage and daughter Chathuri Liyanage were warmly welcomed to the event as their renowned patriarch was celebrated and remembered. The welcome address was proceeded by the garlanding of a portrait of the late professor by his daughter, Chathuri Liyanage. The attendees fondly remembered the life and work of the professor as they watched a video prepared in his honour by the key organisers of the event, who had associated and worked with the Professor closely in many of his activities at the Institute.
Chief orator at the event, Sri Lankan business titan Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, a close friend and associate of Prof. Uditha Liyanage, delivered an impassioned oration in his honour and stated, “It was a humbling experience to be in his company and bounce ideas off him from time to time. It was also an honour for me to join him on several occasions and share ideas with his students which I treasure as both a fond memory and an enriching experience.” He continued to speak of inclusion, plurality, equity and social empowerment, as something both he and Prof. Liyanage firmly believed in, in the pursuit of value creation.
The event was a fitting celebration of the life and work of a man that was a true credit to the country and to those he worked alongside. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya’s address underscored the importance of this, as he spoke of the Professor’s contributions not only as a competitive business person, but one as a tremendous human being.
PIMA President Denzil Perera as the Chair of the Operations Orations Committee thanked all the committee members contributing to make the event a success including their creative partner Sarva Colombo for their support. The event was virtually patronaged by the largest MBA alumni network in Sri Lanka – PIM Alumni and other invitees from three institutes.
As the series of orations continues, PIMA hopes to share the life and wisdom left behind by Prof. Liyanage, as they seek to enrich the knowledge of the country’s professionals and support the nations businesses through their insights and strategies in these challenging times.