The thriving marketing in economic turbulences. 

The SLIM Ignite 2020 was held in a spectacular corridor at BMICH with a high quality execution with voices of legends speaking to ignite a change. It was a direction that was set towards ultimate prosperity by setting the right tone for top professionals in the corporate sector. 

Much respected Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake who was the keynote speaker and the guest of honor was welcomed by Mr. Suranjith Swaris – President of SLIM and Mr. Charaka Perera – Project chair for national initiatives SLIM. Together with the panelist Deshamanya Roshan Mahanama, Deshamanya W.K.H Wegaptiya – Chairman LAUGFS holdings, Dr. Ravi Fernando Chairman

Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability (Pvt) Ltd, Dr. Janaki Kurupu – Business Strategy & Social Research Consultant and Chairperson Mother Srilanka Trust, Mr. Santh Ukwatte – President Hoteliers association of SL and Chairman /Managing Director Mount Lavinia Hotel (Pvt) Ltd. & Ceylon Hotels Ltd , Mr. Graham Marshal – Chief Executive Officer of CIC Industrial Solutions & Non-Executive Director TBWA Sri Lanka 

“We lived on the promise we made at SLIM ignite 2020 by igniting a Nation through the permeating values of SLIM to showcase an ownership towards our country in establishing a knowledge centric power house with voices that will change a turbulent image. It was an event that SLIM executed with a class to change the course of directions towards tomorrow’s opportunities and year 2020 to be the launch pad. The outcome of the inspirational speakers inspired marketers/business heads to build ownership in their respective fields to own responsibility in changing the negative image of our country today by adding new dimensions in driving that change towards economic prosperity” quoted Suranjith Swaris the President of SLIM. 

“It is the marketers who could change the course of the directions towards tomorrow’s opportunities. A slowing economy and the tragic events of 21/4 has made everyone take a wait and see approach to business. Innovation and action has been replaced by caution and procrastination. The time to “wait and see” is over and its time act and unite. As marketers we have a responsibility to change this image and it is only marketers could do it and it is no doubt that this National forum will IGNITE all of us to set a new dimensions in our companies, business that we represent in driving that change towards prosperity. I am very pleased to be part of a transformation in which SLIM migrated to be recognized as an institute to set a tone to the nation in building an ambassadorship in superimposing our brand of “Srilankan” through the essence of marketing” quoted Suranjith Swaris the President of SLIM. 

Charaka Perera the Project chairman of National initiates for SLIM and the brainchild of ignite 2020 said “I am very delighted to see the outcome that not only ignited a Nation but fostered towards building reforms in the likes of economic prosperity. The voices of the all-star cast ignited distinctive dimensions in setting up a promise that can be now unraveled in taking charge in the field of their representations to bring a about a positive attitude, then by own the actions in transforming our negative image of the country towards ultimate prosperity of where our country deserves to be at.  Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing proudly took charge to bringing this change in attitude for the first time in history by handpicking the all-star cast of panelist representing different angles of National security, entrepreneurial visionary, hard hit sectors such as the tourism, values of governing SL, leadership and playing a game honesty  & the economic secrets to manufacture Global SriLanka brands.  SLIM proudly achieved a mission of “Establishing marketing as the Driving Force Which Enhance Business and National Value” from IGNITE 2020 forum. To be able to have rallied the elite business heads to put the country first at it is the only way forward was a remarkable facet that was achieved at this forum. SLIM ignite 2020 brought together leaders and innovators across different fields not just from traditional white collar business but from multiple industries and sectors to ignite as a single unit with much congruence to take this responsibility of changing the dynamics of how we foster things in a much elevated mindset. 

The quotes of our Commander of the Army Lt.Gen. Mahesh Senanayake that were extracted from his inspiring key note address truly inspired a fresh thinking in businesses that we operate. Deshamnaya roshan mahanma ignited the leadership in building value proposition of governance, Deshanamya W.K.H.Wegapitiya ignited us on a committed, charismatic entrepreneurial leadership traits, Dr. Ravi Fernando ignited us on the one belt economic opportunity of SriLanka, Dr. Janaki Kuruppu ignited us about the passion that we need to harness to our country in taking forward, Mr. Sanath Ukwatte ignited is stating that each of us have a responsibility and marketers are the ones who could do it. Graham Marshall, orchestrated and marshaled the all-star cast to ignite a powerful voice of change that truly ignited many. 

The SLIM Ignite 2020 further ignited a message of unity, through real-life and practical examples with shared experience in overcoming business obstacles and challenges in the economy. The thriving marketing in economic turbulences, the forum also showcased as to how marketing and marketers are the key to unlocking the untapped potential in periods of uncertainty. 

It was stunningly exclusive for selected invitees who were the best, brightest and smartest.  it was Unique as there was no other forum yet have brought together such a diverse yet experienced industry shattering panel to  ignite a National voice that changed the way forward.  It was Practical as the stories and experiences that were shared by the all-star cast weren’t in any text books. They were lifelong marketers who haven’t played by the rules” 

 “Being the National Body for Marketing in Sri Lanka, SLIM is wholeheartedly dedicated to taking the initiatives of addressing National challenges in this endeavor of addressing nationally in igniting lifelong trends to. We need to develop a clear roadmap taking into consideration all factors leading to economic stability which will in turn point the compass toward economic prosperity if all variables of the equation add up. Thus, the topic ‘Thriving marketing during economic turbulence’ given that marketing is a major component of the equation.” Further charaka said. 

Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayaka – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka, delivered an insightful key note address adding multiple dimensions of National security and its impact to National economy. National security governance through the principles of best practices of marketing will lead to positive image shift of our country is what he believes.

(A few excepts of the commander’s speech )

“””””As a nation, we are now at an inflection point to determine the future of this nation. This could be the “finest hour” to unite and work collectively under well crafted national plan to take our country into propitious future

National Security in the most basic terms can be identified as “making national environment suitable to progress national aspiration without any hindrance”

Economic potency of the nation is the key pillar of national resilience. We need to look at the economic element of national security from holistic views. Those views shall be included the role of debts, the government stability, industrial capability, diplomacy, energy, science, technology, societal cohesion and human capital etc. If the economic element of national security is neglected and misunderstood, nothing will be more dangerous to the nation than the national survival and its unintended consequences for generations to come.

Strengthening of national security will be a hard political choice.

Therefore, I strongly believe that, to preserve our democracy and other core values, we need to have strong Armed Forces. If the defence is an instrument of national power, then it is equally true to accept that a weak defence instrument makes a weaker nation. Therefore, element of national defense should be based on a very strong foundation to ensure national security. Under present domestic security situation, major threats to our national security would always remain within.

Our country has not made the progress that we deserve. Sri Lanka is still a developing nation even after 71 years of independence and it seems we will continue to develop even after 100 years of independence

We need individually and collectively look into the problem of why our country has not been prosperous? What element has not worked so well?

Ladies and gentlemen, economy and security is inextricably interwoven and cannot be separated In the absence of the feeling of ‘Nation First’ in the heart of each and every citizen, we would not succeed in attaining freedom from the all security threats. Notion of security need to be the prime concern of individuals, groups and state. All government agencies and many elements of Sri Lanka’s broader society should be encouraged to see themselves as being part of a wide-ranging national security community and to act accordingly for the best interest the nation.


The future is defined by choices we make today by foreseeing the future we want.

It is time that we wake up, recognize our reality start making some tough choices in order to take our country drive towards the place it deserved. We deserve better place than we are today. Sri Lanka needs well integrated, forward looking, outcome based strategic plan to get away from the current turbulences” 

Deshabandu Roshan Mahanama known to many as a true Ambassador of the Gentlemen’s game. Spoke of Integrity, honesty and walking the talk in marketing oriented businesses is the only winning formulae for lasting success.  He touched on sportsman qualities to thrive in economic turbulences adding a lot positive image to the country. 

Deshabandu W K H Wegapitiya – Chairman/ Group CEO of LAUGFS. Sharing his knowledge and expertise to withstand market uncertainties and to transform opportunities through entrepreneurial mindsets. He touched statistically the impact for national economy on SriLanka not been a self-sufficient player when our land is blessed with all the natural resources. He further stressed the point of enriching entrepreneurs to economic prosperity.

Ms. Janaki Kuruppu- Chairperson of Mother Sri Lanka – Superimposed the SRILANKAN brand through an art of image based marketing and how her Mother SriLanka initiatives touched many hearts at the grass root level to ignite a passion towards our mother SriLanka. And those voice began to speak volumes of change towards the prosperity of SriLanka, 

Mr. Sanath Ukwatte– A chair from the tourism sector affirmed Marketing as a key function in overcoming the tourism hit by changing its image from the uncertain situations the country has faced with. He too affirmed that a strong leadership is imperative to make a successful shift winning back the tourism and all the business leaders have a responsibility towards this cause. 

Dr. Ravi Fernando– established amazing and powerful dynamics in three tipped strategies to win back a prosperity in our economy. He emphasized the importance as a nation to come out our commodity mind set to be able to manufacture global brands. He stressed there are three natural capitals to leverage towards our national economical drive such as the china one belt one route, graphite and titanium explorations. The two conditions to achieve it through joine venture partnerships of technology and commercialization. 

Moderator Mr. Graham Marshall – Chief Executive Officer of CIC Industrial Solutions. With over 25 years in leading multinationals, masterfully and skillfully probed relevant questions that not only stimulated the panel but ignited a powerful voice of change to audience presented. 

All-star panel and their game changing quotes made at IGNITE 2020

“”Encouraging entrepreneurship is a key factor for wealth generation”
Deshamany W.K.H.Wegapitiya

“Every aspiring nation requires men in uniforms to protect its values”
Lt. Gen .Mahesh Senanayake

“It’s not whether you WON or LOST but how you played the game is what matters”
Deshamanya Roshan Mahanama

“One has to come out from a commodity mindset to become a global brand manufacturer”
Dr. Ravi Fernando

“Every Srilankan is a brand ambassador for tourism”
Sanath Ukwatte

“We need to ignite the passion of our country”
Dr. Janaki Kurrupu 

“A simple ignition can spark a voices of change”
Graham Marshal 

“If each business head does his/her utmost to make their business thrive through effective marketing, igniting as one despite the current situation, the entire economy will gather momentum and propel the country toward stability which is the need of the hour. Which was much endorsed by the super panel of stars at IGNITE 2020. Many took the learnings and for sure they make the right moves to wake up and take charge without waiting for anyone else to take the reins. We are now responsibly to the change towards positive action. SLIM will ignite this change every year. SLIM is determined to take our country to stability and prosperity in events such as IGNITE 2020” further cited Suranjith. 

Joined with SLIM as event sponsorships were Nations Trust Bank, Auto Miraj Group, Nivasie Developers(Pvt) Ltd, Perera & Sons Bakers Pvt Ltd, while the service sponsors were Mullen Lowe Sri Lanka, TV Derana, Wijeya Newspapers, Fox FM & Fox entertainment, Anantaya Resorts & Spa, Ant work, LMD and BMICH.