CEO forum focuses on entering the corporate arena
The American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) organized a CEO forum
titled ‘Entering the Corporate Arena’ on January 8. The objective of the
forum was to provide students with an insight into Corporate Sri Lanka,
and identify the skills and competencies required to build their
The forum also provided an opportunity for students to interact and
network with three of the leading CEOs in Sri Lanka.
Amcham Vice President Vijaya Ratnayake,
Dialog Telekom Group Chief Executive Dr Hans Wijayasuriya,
Group Director MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Dian Gomes, Virtusa
President Asian Operations, Roger Keith Modder, Amcham
Secretary Prasath Nanayakkara.
The Speakers who addressed the forum comprised Dialog Telecom Plc
Group, Chief Executive, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, MAS Holdings Group
Director Dian Gomes and Virtusa, Asian Operations, President Roger Keith
Modder. AmCham Vice President Vijaya Ratnayake delivering the welcome
address said that the forum was organized to create a dialog between the
present and future leaders of the Corporate Sector of Sri Lanka.
Addressing the forum, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya spoke on ‘Insight into
corporate Sri Lanka and what career opportunities are there’.
He emphasized that the students need to make an important rational
decision after they graduate, whether to go overseas for work or to stay
and work in Sri Lanka. He further emphasized that students need to
update themselves with new technology while understanding their
weaknesses and be open minded if they are to become the driving force of
the new social world.
Keith Modder, addressing the forum on the subject, “You can acquire
global exposure in Sri Lanka”, emphasized the saying, “measure twice
before you cut once” where students need to think twice before they make
a decision to go abroad for studies or work in Sri Lanka. Emerging new
players such as China and India have changed the level playing field,
hence the need to become ‘globally savvy people’ who can work in any
Dian Gomes addressing the forum on “Skills we look for in a graduate
and how to prepare themselves”, emphasized the importance of being multi
skilled, willing to adapt to different working environments, communicate
effectively and the ability to work in teams.
He also emphasized that students need to understand their ‘Blind
Spots’ as well as their strengths and to get involved in sports and
other extra-curricular activities so that they learn how to accept
defeat and to work towards becoming winners.
Answering a question on what differentiates an average graduate from
a star graduate who would eventually get employment, Gomes explained
that organizations were looking at graduates who are multi talented, who
can challenge the status quo and are passionate about what they really
He further emphasized on an internship program that is being
presently conducted by MAS Holdings, Deutsche Bank and Dialog for
undergraduates (preferably in their final year) to give them exposure to
the corporate world and to develop their soft skills.