Drawing inspiration from the profound champions in the Industry- The Forum

Professional Development Jan 21, 2021

“Are You Ready?” is a stellar event in the Rotaract Mora calendar and the unprecedented flagship project under its avenue of Professional Development. Like in previous years, the 20/21 Rotaract year too kicked off with high anticipation and great ideas of the Rotaractors for the Official Career Fair. However, things took an unexpected turn with the outbreak of COVID-19, putting all plans to a halt. Rotaract Mora takes pride in being able to say that not even a global pandemic stood in its way of achieving great things as it managed to pull off “Are You Ready? 2020” entirely virtually, and more successfully than ever.

“The Forum” was an enriching panel discussion where several dignitaries of the corporate world met to share their business inspiration with our undergraduates, anticipating to set foot in the industry. The Forum brought down four exceptionally remarkable business personalities, who have made their mark in the corporate world and who were no short of an inspiration to everyone who joined the discussion.

The esteemed panel for the day comprised of a lady who conquered the business world crushing stereotypes, Ms. Kasthuri Chelleraja Wilson, the Group CEO of Hemas Holdings PLC; a businessman who has been striving in the mobile telecommunication industry for decades, Mr. Supun Weerasinghe, the Group Chief Executive at Dialog Axiata; a serial innovator who founded a university-based startup incubator in University of Moratuwa, Mr. Heminda Jayaweera, the COO of SLINTEC and finally a tech-whiz and an alumnus of the University, Mr. Prasanna Karunarathna, the Head of Operations of LSEG Technology. With a panel bringing talent and wisdom of this caliber to the table, it goes without saying that the evening was an insightful one loaded with good energy!

Mr. Prasanna was a quite special speaker for the day, as he was the trailblazer of this initiative, who pioneered it way back in 1998. It was indeed our honour to have him as a panelist, and The Forum was off to a great start when he kickstarted the conversation by sharing his memories of when it all started, and how astounded he was to see the project which started out so small blossom into what it is now. Given that The Forum was happening amidst a global health crisis, addressing it and how it changed the whole game in the business world was something that couldn’t be overlooked. And that’s when the real talk got going, where the business moguls voiced about the challenges and curveballs the pandemic threw their way, how they met with the challenges head-on, how they emerged through and embraced the new normal like the true champions they are.

Ms.Kasturi, being the first female Group CEO in Sri Lanka, certainly had an interesting perspective on things. She talked about diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and how the Sri Lankan corporate culture was changing for the better and reforming stereotypical views. Mr. Supun too added to the conversation by talking about 5G and how this promising technology was going to cause a digital stir in the telecommunication industry. Mr. Heminda being a serial innovator himself spoke on the future of startups and how to strategize innovations in a way to exploit opportunities and reap all benefits.

To conclude with the unconventional yet wise words of Ms. Kasthuri; “Your degree is just something to fall back on. It doesn’t have to determine your career and your whole life in the future!”


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