Celebrating the inaugural list of CIMA business icons and trailblazers

I am delighted to unveil and celebrate this list of icons and tra­­­il­blazers who have shaped Sri Lankan organisations in these extraordinary times.

In an exceptional year that challenged even the most seasoned of business leaders, these CIMA professionals shined brightly to steer not only their organisations but the profession forward as well.

Some of those whom we recognise through this list are our icons – those who set new trends in the corporate world with their outstanding performances and have stood the test of time to continue to transform the business arena.

This inaugural listing identifies and honours a broad array of thought leaders, change-makers, regulators and business leaders (including prominent C-Suites) who are shaping the profession and Sri Lanka’s economy.

A set of brilliant trailblazers have also been recognised as they too have excelled to reach great heights in leadership at a young age. With time, this listing will seek to evolve into recognising brighter prospects from the CIMA world.

In 2017, CIMA joined forces with the American Institute of CPAs to form the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which is now the leading and largest body of professional accountants in the world.

The Association has enabled the transformation of the accounting profession globally, with its emphasis on futuristic offerings and transformation of the qualifications and credentials it offers across the globe.

With revolutionary new products and an emphasis on lifelong learning, we have helped our students and members wade through the new norms, emerging as heroes who help sustain business and world economies.

CIMA takes great pride in the diversity of its membership. A CIMA qualification helps one succeed not just in the finance and accounting profession but creates business leaders. These leaders excel in IT, marketing, HR, legal and more, and in diverse sectors such as banking, retail, telecommunications and textiles – and even being among our entrepreneurs.

We are proud that our members are also steering public sector organisations as well as regulatory bodies, some of whom you’d see listed here.

CIMA’s theme this year is on responsible financial leadership and why it’s vital for the future of our economy and society. There is now an opportunity to step up to responsible financial leadership and reshape our economies with a longer-term focus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given many businesses pause for thought about how they can reimagine what they do and why they do it – and how they go about doing it. It is making business leaders rethink their business models, to look beyond the quarterly numbers, towards the impact their activities have on society and the environment.

We know from research conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that businesses with this mindset are what the future needs.

The individuals we’re recognising embody these qualities and in turn, bring them to their organisations. They display a commitment to good business practices, and employee and community relations.

They have done this while also establishing themselves as benchmarks for excellence in business. They represent the qualities that we at CIMA and The Association champion in our work, which are evident in the finance professionals who study for our CIMA qualification and CGMA designation.

Indeed, they have proven their mettle with consistency, enabling significant and sustainable growth, resulting in excellent business performance. They serve as an inspiration to others, in turn creating a virtuous circle of successful and sustainable business leaders.

My heartiest congratulations to the 2021 CIMA icons and trailblazers – and I hope you will continue to serve our profession and the nation for years to come!

Thank you for choosing to make the right kind of difference!

Zahara Ansary ACMA, CGMA
Country Manager – CIMA Sri Lanka