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Celebrating next generation of marketers at the SLIM Graduation Ceremony 2021

The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing recently held its Graduation Ceremony on the 13th of December 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo. With a morning session from 08:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and an evening session from 02.00 p.m. to 06:00 p.m., this ceremony recognised the efforts of students who had successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing (PGDIP), the Diploma in Strategic Brand Management (DSBM), the National Diploma in Sales Management (NDSM), the Diploma in Digital Marketing (DDM), the MBA in Marketing and those who achieved the status of Certified Professional Marketer (CPM).

The graduation addressee for the morning session of the SLIM Graduation Ceremony, Lalith Seneviratne, the Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Telecom Group stated, “It is pertinent that we reflect on what they can look forward to in this unique ‘new normal’ period of pandemic times. Unlike their predecessors, today’s graduating class has studied almost entirely online, using what was once considered ‘futuristic’ tools in day-to-day work. It is apt since the focus and drive of their marketing work in real-time will be mostly in the digital arena. Today’s graduates will be required to contribute to the national digital drive, bringing digitally enabled products and services to a digitally aware audience. It is an exciting and largely unexplored frontier, and I look forward to seeing you making waves in the future.”

As the Guest of Honour for the morning session, Rohan Somawansa, MBA, CIM, CPM (Asia), CMA (Aus.), DBFA (CA), gave insight into the diversification of the role of the marketer in today’s day and age saying, “The role of the marketer has changed dramatically in the current business environment due to many factors. The changes in the business models in most organizations as well as unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour are some of the significant underlining factors. You all have a great opportunity to create local brands that would penetrate the region and finally the globe by redefining the branding strategies as you prepare for a tech-savvy and future-ready Sri Lanka.”

The Graduation Addressee for the evening session of the SLIM Graduation Ceremony, Aruni Goonetilleke, the Chairperson of Hatton National Bank PLC shared her thoughts saying, “As we enter a time of rapid change, it is incumbent on each of us to carefully consider how we can adapt and create the agility necessary to be prepared for the ‘new normal’, and in so doing, have a positive impact on our communities and people.

In a post-COVID landscape, with the flourishing of e-commerce, and new technological capabilities, the role of marketing has emerged as an essential pre-requisite to the success of every business and your contribution has the potential to be unparalleled. Through your efforts, and with the support of SLIM, each of you has been equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a notable impact in your careers. You have proved your capabilities and you must now use what you have learned and build on it. Be brave and bold; be ready to evolve and be a lifelong student.

The words of the Guest of Honour for the evening session, Dr Pradeep Edward, PhD, MBA, Pg.Dip.M, Dip.BM, Dip. Fin Mgt, FSLIM, FIMS, FIMM, FCIM, P.Mkt(SL), echoed the aforementioned sentiments, speaking of countless opportunities for the graduates, embarking on their marketing journey. He stated “We are passing an era with numerous challenges of an unprecedented nature, which have affected all the facets of our lives. As flourishing marketers, you ought to be resilient and well equipped with the knowledge and expertise to overcome these challenges triumphantly in the ‘new normal’ circumstances. As Sam Walton once said, you cannot just keep doing what worked once, when everything around you is changing. Rather, you have to stay out in front of change, to succeed.

“Make a difference and bring novelty into all your endeavours as the new breed of marketers, adding your ‘personal brand’ into everything that you do. While paying my gratitude and extending well wishes to SLIM, for its continuous and unstinted efforts in grooming world-class marketers to the nation, I wish all those who are graduating today the best of luck to conquer the horizons of their dreams,” concluded Dr Pradeep Edward.

This SLIM Graduation Ceremony 2021 celebrated the hard work, determination and achievements of the graduands as they stepped forward to collect their scrolls and certificates, having completed their respective diplomas and degrees.

These aspiring marketers, now qualified graduates from a host of different diplomas and degrees offered by SLIM, are ready to step into the world of Marketing as they pursue their dreams. The vast array of academic opportunities, made available by SLIM, encourage and prepare students for the business world.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing (PGDIP) is a comprehensive SLIM qualification on par with other internationally recognized qualifications in marketing. The Diploma in Strategic Brand Management (DSBM) is a practical course to enhance knowledge on the path to effective branding. The National Diploma in Sales Management (NDSM) is a qualification to differentiate SLIM graduates from your conventional salesperson. The Diploma in Digital Marketing (DDM) is designed to educate aspiring marketers on the most important digital marketing concepts, the best practices and emerging concepts in digital marketing.

The MBA in Marketing is offered by SLIM in collaboration with the Wrexham Glyndwr University, providing you with a well-recognised British MBA. Recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC), this fast-track programme has been exclusively introduced for SLIM PGDIP holders and CIM-UK qualified students. Finally, SLIM’s Certified Professional Marketer (CPM) is the highest status qualification in the Asian region in marketing.

Nuwan Gamage, the Vice President – Education for SLIM elaborated on SLIM’s plans for a future with an emphasis on education saying, “We have comprised our five-year strategy with a “Future-Ready Sri Lanka” in mind; set to develop future-ready innovative marketers in Sri Lanka. We believe that education of superior quality is an essential part of promoting the knowledge economy and innovation. SLIM has, therefore, invested in furthering education for future generations of aspiring marketers, and we are planning to obtain university status, implementing a series of new programs. These programs will focus on harnessing the set of skills required for successful marketers of 2030, as we prepare our students for the challenges on their horizon.”

Addressing the graduates of 2021, Thilanka Abeywardena, the President of SLIM, expressed her hopes for the students to “be determined to continue with [your] studies as knowledge creation is the sure way to become a fully-fledged professional, adding value to any sphere as you pursue the career of your choice. In addition, knowledge inculcates self-confidence and enhances one’s personality. To have continuous professional development, a perfect blend of acquired and practical knowledge is required. That is your key to success. Using your intuition, you should convert your learned theoretical knowledge into practical knowledge to overcome challenges as you embark on your journey through life.”

She further elaborated on the mission of SLIM and its prospects, giving insight into “a ‘Future-Ready Sri Lanka’. As the national body for marketing in Sri Lanka, we at SLIM believe in stepping forward to drive this concept of a generation of competent, skilled marketers who are ready to take on the struggles of modern-day businesses.”

SLIM’s effort towards enhancing and continuously developing marketing education in Sri Lanka and its commitment towards the profession is undeniable. Embodying its role as the national body for Marketing in Sri Lanka, SLIM continues to guide students towards their marketing goals, starting them off on their journey towards achieving their business-oriented goals and dreams. Congratulations to the graduates of 2021!  

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