Musaeus College clinches championship at CA Sri Lanka Business Plan Competition 2019

One of Colombo’s leading schools, Musaeus College clinched the championship at the grand finale of the CA Sri Lanka Business Plan Competition 2019 organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).

Musaeus College competed against five other top schools pitching an innovative and eco-friendly business plan in developing an edible cup to win the grand prize to fly to Brisbane, Australia in May to represent Sri Lanka at the BlueShift Business Case Competition organised by the QUT Business School of the Queensland University of Technology along with a cash prize of Rs. 250,000.

Former Sri Lanka cricketer & the Deputy Chairman of Ideal Group of Companies Mr. Aravinda De Silva was the chief guest at the event.

Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo was adjudged the first runner up and was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 150,000, while Bandaranayake College, Gampaha was the second runner up and received a cash prize of Rs. 100,000. The other teams which competed at the grand finale were St. Bridget’s Convent, Rathnavali Balika Vidyalaya, and Bandarawela Central College.

For the third consecutive year, the QUT Business School of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane came onboard as the strategic partner of the CA Sri Lanka Business Plan Competition, which was conducted in association with the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce (SLACC).

The panel of judges at the grand finale was led by Dr. Roshan Ajward, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The other members of the panel were Mr. Andrew Paltridge, Assistant Dean (International) of the QUT Business School, Mr. Kalum De Silva, National President of SLACC Mr. Ravi Jayawardena, Group Chief Executive Officer of Maliban Biscuits Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd and Ms. Varuni Amunugama Fernando, Co-Founder and Joint Managing Director of Triad (Pvt) Ltd.

Speaking at the event, Chief Guest Mr. Aravinda De Silva said that the number one secret to success is passion. “You must understand that sometimes every business plan is not going to be a winning plan but with passion, you can sometimes make it a winning plan.”

He also advised the students to never be afraid of making mistakes. “The only way you can learn is by making mistakes. We have all got here by making mistakes all through our lives, but it is important to remember that must never repeat the same mistake. It is only then will you really progress in life,” Mr. De Silva said.

High Commissioner (designate) of the Australian High Commission to Sri Lanka Mr. David Holly who was the guest of honour at the event urged the students to not only think local but to aspire to go global. “Your ideas through the business plans are ones I hope you will expand not only at a Sri Lankan level but will also think of expanding at a global level,” he said.

CA Sri Lanka President Mr. Jagath Perera said that the primary objective of the Business Plan competition is to help strengthen the soft skills of students and help them gain a better understanding of business matters. “This programme will definitely give a lot of value to all students after you complete your school education and focus on your professional careers,” he said.

Mr. Andrew Paltridge said he was impressed at the level and thought that had gone into each of the six business plans which focused on bringing positive outcomes for both the society and environment. “I was impressed not only at the business plans but also because each of these teams had a reason for developing these plans, stemming from ethical reasons, health issues and environmental concerns,” he said.

Mr. Kalum De Silva said that his chamber has been instrumental in becoming a bridge between Sri Lanka and Australia’s business communities and the Business Plan Competition organised with QUT and SLACC is also one such partnership. “In 2015, the bilateral trade between the two countries was around Aus $ 830 million and today this trade stands at around Aus $ 1.5 billion,” he disclosed.

Chairman of the CA Sri Lanka Media & Communications Committee Mr. Laknath Peiris said that it is a known fact that Sri Lanka needs successful entrepreneurs to create wealth & generate employment. “Therefore, as the National Accounting Body we have taken the necessary steps to develop and harness the entrepreneurial skills among our future business leaders who we hope will go on to become world class entrepreneurs while helping Sri Lanka reach its potential as a global player,” he added.

Around 30 school teams competed at the regional rounds which were held across Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Bandarawela and Jaffna in February and March. The six teams for the grand finale were chosen based on the highest aggregate marks the participating schools received at the regional rounds.