The SLRA Executive Council: Seated from left: Treasurer - Perera and Sons Bakers Corporate Affairs Director Ruvini Kariyawasam, Vice President - Healthguard Pharmacy CEO Infiyaz M. Ali, past President Murali Prakash, President Charitha Subasinghe, Vice President - Singer Sri Lanka Group CEO Mahesh Wijewardena, and General Secretary - SPARSL CEO Kumar De Silva
Standing from left: Assistant Treasurer - Vision Care GM/Head of Marketing Harsha Maduranga, Assistant Secretary General - D. Samson and Sons Director Asanka Rajapaksa, Council Members Cargills Foods Company COO Indika Perera and Fashion Bug Director Shabier Suban. Absent Former President Hussain Sidique
The Sri Lanka Retailer’s Association (SLRA) held its 6th Annual General Meeting at the Colombo on 25 April at Hilton Residencies. The event was attended by members of the SLRA, and Chamber of Commerce Chairman and Sunshine Holdings PLC Group Managing Director Vish Govindasamy as the Chief Guest.
Former President, Murali Prakash opened the proceedings with a welcome note and then addressed the attendees. During his address, he said: “Our strategy over the past 2 years was to focus on burning issues, so the sector could navigate better. We floated a two-pronged approach, one was creating continuous awareness using traditional media, and the other was focused one to one chats and briefings to authorities by senior members of the executive council.”
Chief Guest Vish Govindasamy during his address he said: “I would like to congratulate Mr. Charitha Subasinghe, on his appointment as the new President of the SLRA. It is encouraging to note the impact that the SLRA has had, especially over the last few years. The SLRA has been a strong and effective advocate for the development of the sector, through policy advocacy and several knowledge sharing programmes as well.”
SLRA President Elect for the year 2023/24 Charitha Subasinghe said: “As a country I believe we are in a better footing than we were a few months ago. But the road ahead is going to be quite bumpy and winding. It would need a strong resolve, politically as well as socially to ride through these tricky turns and arrive at the final destination, which is a country and society of greater accountability. This should be the foundation upon which a flourishing and prosperous nation could be built on. In this context we as an association would engage with the relevant authorities in every possible way to provide them our input and influence the policy makers to stay on course to arrive at the final destination.”
He further said that: “As retailers our business activities touch the lives of almost every Sri Lankan directly. The lifestyle of our fellow Sri Lankans would change. If not for the Pandemic and the economic down turn the life style change would have happened at a much faster pace. Unless we continue to be relevant to our customers, our growth will be hampered. During my tenure the focus area of my committee would be to share and support through knowledge sharing as well as linking with external and internal resources persons and organisations to help the member organisations to equip themselves in this direction.”
Subasinghe also announced the new Executive Council for the SLRA for the year 2023/24 during the course of the event. The Executive Council compromises of Healthguard Pharmacy CEO Infiyaz M. Ali, as Vice President, Singer Sri Lanka Group CEO Mahesh Wijewardena as Vice President, SPAR SL CEO Kumar De Silva as General Secretary, D. Samson and Sons Director Asanka Rajapaksa as Assistant General Secretary, Perera and Sons Bakers Corporate Affairs Director Ruvini Kariyawasam as Treasurer, Vision Care GM/Head of Marketing Harsha Maduranga as Assistant Treasurer, Fashion Bug Director Shabier Suban as Council Member, Cargills Foods Company COO Indika Perera, Sri Lanka Retailers Association Past President Murali Prakash and Former President Hussain Sidique.