Supuni Piyumika Bandara says technology will foster entrepreneurship

Q: What are the challenges facing the country, today?
A: As a post-war nation, Sri Lanka faces several gruelling challenges. At the pinnacle, they include uplifting the country’s resilience and the reconciliation process. Equally demanding problems are corruption and the lack of unanimity among the people.

Economic development and strengthening the youth, while nurturing entrepreneurship, should also be given equal attention. Unemployment among graduates, which fosters brain drain, is another critical challenge.

Q: How can Sri Lanka retain the talent that it has?
A: Strengthening the economy and the tertiary sector – which would ensure higher remune- ration levels for the educated, and lead to a higher minimum wage for blue-collar workers – could be a potential remedy.

Looking at entrepreneurship as a panacea for development, and working towards intensifying tertiary sector businesses, would reduce unemployment, especially among graduates – and thus, avert brain drain.

Awareness, especially among university students, about brain drain and the harmful impacts it has on the nation, may help in curtailing the problem.

Q: What opportunities do you see for young Sri Lankans such as yourself?
A: As a middle-income country, Sri Lanka offers immense opportunities for young people. For young leaders, there are plenty of resources that

facilitate professional and personal development.

Opportunities for higher education are significant, due to the engagement of the private sector. The advancement of technology and escalating demand create countless market gaps, and open new doors for young leaders and potential entrepreneurs.

Q: Do we have young leaders who can take the country forward?
A: We have a generation of young leaders who aspire to make a change – in our country, and the world we live in. We will have extraordinary leaders who are talented, educated, skilful, creative and definitely  capable of taking the nation forward.

As a young leader myself, I would like see our future leaders nurturing integrity, respect, compassion, unity and love. A true leader who possesses these qualities will also be upright, educated and talented.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: Ten  years from now, I will be a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), whilst managing my own business. I will focus on the integral aspects of achieving my life goals, and become a luminary in the corporate world.

Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I will be that change. As a leader, I will lead by example; and be a very happy and contented person, as I always am.

Q: How do you view global poverty and war?
A: Global poverty and war are interlinked. While trying to achieve their objectives, extremist groups put innocent

lives at risk, forcing governments to divert funding towards defence. This leaves very little to allocate to the poor, which leads to global poverty.

Another aspect is where poor and ineffective governments fail to care for the poor, because this inevitably leads to the formation of extremist groups – and thus, war. I believe that developed nations should assist developing countries to eliminate war, with people uniting to end global poverty.

Q: Who is responsible for global warming and climate change?
A: You and I. We are responsible for climate change. We must unite, to curtail the harmful impact of global warming and climate change. Science and technology have already found remedies, and we should

The advancement of technology and escalating demand create countless market gaps, and open new doors for young leaders and potential entrepreneurs…

encourage the use of climate- friendly products and systems such as electric cars, biofuels, solar power and natural ventilation.

The world is developing rapidly, with little consideration for the environment. This, in turn, causes detrimental impacts.

Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media, these days?
A: Social media has become an absolute imperative, individually and for businesses. Communica- tion has become oversimplified, and the growing importance of social media has led to the creation of innovative technology.

Yet, social media also has a few negative impacts. People’s lives are becoming too dependent on it, with many young people wasting their valuable time on social media – time which could be invested more productively. Cyber-bullying is another nega- tivity we must be aware of.