AmCham Sri Lanka launches an event designed to provide insights on macro and micro economic development and trade & investment climate to inspire & encourage transformational and empathetic leadership.
“The type of business leaders representing AmCham provide many examples of the kind of purpose-driven leadership Sri Lanka needs to get back on the path of economic recovery.”Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America in Sri Lanka, Mr Dough Sonnek
The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) launched its inaugural CxO Forum titled Unlocking 2023, on the 31st of January 2023 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.
AmCham SL President Lakshan Madurasinghe noted “Influence, intelligence and resources to challenge the norms, to innovate, to adapt and to thrive through unprecedented turbulence and volatility has been the cornerstone of our membership services these past years, especially the last few, and we are proud of our direction but more so pleased that we have been impactful to you – this annual CxO Forum, is our latest offering as we continue to do just that”
Chief Guest for the event, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America in Sri Lanka, Mr Dough Sonnek in his keynote speech highlighted that the chamber is dedicated to providing leadership to help Sri Lanka in its economic recovery and reform agenda. “The type of business leaders representing AmCham provide many examples of the kind of purpose-driven leadership Sri Lanka needs to get back on the path of economic recovery.” He said.
Introducing the CxO Forum, AmCham Sri Lanka Head of Chamber, Vrai Raymond said
“It’s an annual event designed to provide macro and micro insights on the current and imminent economic and trade & investment climate and inspire & encourage transformational and empathetic leadership. The past few years have been what you would call a VUCA or TUNA world, and this year, we are set to see the Sri Lankan corporate landscape change forever with the socio-economic challenges facing our country. That is why, we decided on the theme of Purpose-driven leadership, so we can provoke and inspire the right kind of leadership.
The inaugural forum consisted of five cohesive sessions with two business intelligence panel discussions during the morning to provide back-to-basic business environment insights and three leadership sessions to inspire creative, transformational and purpose-driven leadership during the afternoon.
The first panel for the morning, “SWOT-ing the Buzzers” charted a macro view of the economy, trade and investment climate which was presented and discussed as a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). The panel comprised Dr PKG Harischandra, Director of Economic Research of the Central Bank, Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO of JB Securities and Chairman of the Advocata Institute, Economist & Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Deshal de Mel and Sujeewa Mudalige, Managing Partner of PwC. This eminent panel was facilitated by veteran businessman Dinesh Weerakkody, the Immediate Past Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman, BOI and Port City Economic Commission.
Having set the stage with the SWOT, the next panel focussed “SNAP-ing Opportunities” by discussing how threats can be converted into opportunities and weaknesses into strengths by way of a TOWS matrix. This session brought to light how Sri Lanka can use its resources such as strategic location, rich human capital and ability to cater to high-end knowledge services and high-tech manufacturing to attract and retain top-notch trade and investment by leveraging the opportunities resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political events on the global supply chain. The panel comprised, Renuka Weerakone, Director General of the Board of Investment (BOI), Ravin Basnayake, Country head of Citibank NA, Niro Cooke, Member of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council and Thulci Aluwihare, Deputy MD of the Port City CHEC. The session was facilitated by Ambassador Ravinatha P. Aryasinha, former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the USA.
The first leadership session of the event was held under the title ‘A for All Leader’ and was facilitated by Kshanika Ratnayaka, the Founding Director/CEO and Co-Owner of Great Place to Work. Kshanika shared insights on leadership style, and how to bring out the best in teams through effective leadership. The second session was facilitated by Harsha Fernando, senior Attorney-at-Law, who provided insight on unlocking value, maximizing profits, dealing with disputes and avoiding losses through “Facilitated Contracting”. The line-up for the day was concluded with a session titled “Being a purpose-driven leader” by Mimi Nicklin, internationally best-selling author and founder of Empathy Everywhere.
Principal partner of the inaugural CxO forum, NCINGA, represented by AVP Enterprise Business, Isuru Ponnamperuma in his closing remarks commended AmCham’s efforts to further purpose-driven thought leadership in Sri Lanka. “It’s only because of innovative leadership that NCINGA has grown to be a multi-geo IT systems integrator. The “Humanity first” approach sets the tone for NCINGA’s agile culture and seeing what is practised at NCINGA, being discussed at large at the AmCham’s CxO forum under the innovative thought leadership theme made it more relevant for NCINGA to be part of the event”.
The inaugural forum was partnered by NCINGA and LOLC Finance, together with collaborative partners Great Place To Work, LMD and Newsfirst.
With the successful completion of the inaugural CxO forum, AmCham is motivated to influence Sri Lanka’s business intelligence positively, challenging norms to innovate, adapt and thrive through the island’s unprecedented and volatile hours