Colombo MBA website launch today
Sri Lankan businesses have been resilient in the face of adversity
and one of the foremost reasons is the leaders behind these businesses.
Businesses that thrive in today’s modern context are spearheaded by
those with immense commitment, passion, integrity and creativity. As a
tribute to such leaders and as a source of encouragement for our
country’s future business leaders, The University of Colombo promotes
itself as a maker of such, thereby introducing a website about current
leaders in the country. The objective behind this is to help the
development of entrepreneurship within the country and to get
inspiration from current leaders in terms of shaping their future
dreams, so that they can become leading people in society and in a
In Sri Lanka it is somewhat difficult to find life experiences of
leading Sri Lankan personalities and entrepreneurs as a collection which
would be helpful for upcoming future leaders. To fill this information
gap, MBA students in 2007-2009 batch of University of Colombo, Faculty
of Management and Finance under the initiative and guidance of Dr. Sunil
Jayantha Nawaratne have interviewed nearly 70 leading personalities in
the country. The MBA batch of 2007-2009 has created
www.srilankaleaders.com, where the interviewed articles will be
published as an e-booklet.
The MBA batch invites all our future leaders to get into this website
to get inspiration and motivation in achieving their dreams.
The MBA batch says that the University of Colombo’s MBA vision is to
“help develop a new breed of future business leaders as those listed in
our website, and to those who will contribute towards uplifting the
lives of many people thereby transforming their organizations to
challenge the impossible of tomorrow’s global world. We want to see
University of Colombo MBA in every future CEO’s business card”.
The Faculty of Management and Finance of the University of Colombo
has been the first and only institution in Sri Lanka who reached this
cardinal height in the academia - listed among the official selection of
the 1,000 best worldwide business schools for the year 2008 by the
This selection is an emanation of a worldwide expertise which was
conducted through research, work of nine renowned international experts
representing nine geographical areas around the world as well as the
representatives of the academic council of the United Nations Systems.
The website launch will be held at the Fingara Town and Country Club,
today at 7 pm, under the patronage of Vice Chancellor University of
Colombo Prof. S.M.K. Hirimburegama and Dr. P.S.M. Gunaratne, The Dean of
the Faculty of Management and Finance, followed by the key-note address
by CEO Cargills Ceylon PLC Ranjit Page and the Joint Managing Director
of Triad Advertising Dilith Jayaweera will be presenting his case on
“Building True Sri Lankan identity.”
Suspended from trading by the CSE
SKM Lanka Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, foreign investor for over Rs. 150
million states that they have invested over Rs.150 million in the
capital market of Sri Lanka from the inception. The company states:
“We regretfully inform that we have been temporarily suspended from
trading on the ground that our net capital has fallen below the minimum
of Rs. 35 Million.
This is a very temporary phenomenon due to the continuing slide in
the values of securities in the Stock Market.”
“Colombo Stock Exchange drew our attention to this on October 20. As
our Chairman/CEO was abroad we could not take immediate action.
He returned to the island on November 3 and the same day we initiated
action to meet the net capital requirement but on November 4 the Colombo
Stock Exchange suspended trading to be reinstated no sooner the firm
complies with the minimum net capital requirement. On the next day the
market went up and even without the increase in net capital referred to
in our letter it is risen to Rs. 34.4 million as at November 4.
“We have not resorted to forced selling because we were quite
confident that the market would rise and that the fall in the market was
primarily due to forced selling of unpaid shares by some brokerage
Major Vijith Welikala, Chairman, Wild
Holidays (Pvt) Ltd.
At a time that the concept of Eco Tourism was not even heard in Sri
Lanka, a young entrepreneur with a military commando background who had
a passion for forestry bought a thick jungle from a village called Ella
in Uva Province in 1999. It was not for a business dealing but to
facilitate his father’s meditation programme. However when the father
was not happy with the place his son Major Vijith Welikala had to think
what to do with the property.
However, he did not want to sell or transfer the property since he
had admired so much the nature. Suddenly an idea struck. In order to
satisfy the nature-lovers he commenced a tourism service namely World
Holiday (Pvt) Ltd.
Today Wild Holidays headed by Major Welikala can be attributed as the
pace setter in Eco Adventure Tourism in Sri Lanka manned by local and
foreign experts and facilitators with state-of-the-art equipment
imported from USA. It was the Ella Adventure Camp in the serene wildness
located in Karandagolla village came into being with an initial
investment of Rs. 3.5 million.
With the success of the first project he ventured into the second
project in 2001 at Unkelipawwa in the banks of Kirindi Oya where
adventure activities are conducted. In this environment the visitor is
surrounded by the mysteries of nature. The tourist resort in consisted
of eco-lodges, tree houses, camping sites and many more.
Then in 2002 it was further expanded with another eco adventure hub
titled Thotupola situated at Piliyandala in the serene and scenic
surroundings facing the Bolgoda Lake. This location became popular among
the people who are prone to meditation.
Because of the prudent management and specially, because of his
sensible thinking to launch varieties that attracted the nature-lovers
his exercise became more fruitful. White Water Rafting Centre at
Kitulgala and Farm Site at Mahiyanganaya and Spiritual site at Arugam
Bay came into existence as a result.
Asked Major Welikala why he wanted to embark upon a project of this
nature he said: I never thought of doing eco tourism as to that extent
but hailing from Uva I had the passion in my life for jungles and
I enjoyed living in tree houses and I was wondering how to give this
pleasant experience to other people. Then I developed it at Ella
Adventure Camp and was able to give that experience to other people.
These tree houses became very popular just by word of mouth which
increased the local demand. Then I extended it to the corporate sector
He said inward bound Journey activities for personal development is a
regular feature at these places.
Tourists absorbing the best spirit of
the nature under a jungle canopy
with cool breeze.
Elaborating the significant features in each site he said, in all our
sites we have a different themes encouraging people to visit and
experience the real nature of that place . At Mahiyangana site out theme
is the farm. People who go there totally mesmerised on environment
without since nothing artificial could be seen.
They participate in all farming activities even watering the plants
,collecting harvest etc. Likewise other places include adventure and
spiritual tranquillity. It is very pathetic that the government has not
identified the huge potential the country has in this industry. We
always promote only the sun, sea and the sand and wild life to some
extent. But the unique selling point has not been identified. We don’t
have to do anything.
We have about Rs 18 million turnover annually but once the peace is
established in the country this will have huge potential to earn
valuable foreign exchange in a big way towards the development of the
country. The company has planned to invest Rs 50 million in the near
future. It has also given employment to 100 people.
This location is attractive to such an extent, the foreigners are
ready to pay huge amount of money merely to spend the night on a mat.
Major Welikala was awarded with the National Gold Award for the
Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003, by the FCCISL Presidential Award for
Tourism Development in Uva Province. In 2004 adjudged as the best eco
adventure stall at the Tourism Fair at BMICH and was selected to
participate at the WTM eco tourism fair held in Germany in 2002 .