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Live Blog – Work in Sri Lanka Conference 2013

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The WorkInSriLanka conference will bring together recent returnees, expats living in Sri Lanka as well as people considering returning or moving to Sri Lanka to discuss the opportunities and challenges in making Sri Lanka the preferred work destination. The overall structure of the day is as follows:

  • The first session will layout the public and private sector vision for Sri Lanka for 2020.
  • Next a group of returnees and expats will showcase their stories, followed by a panel discussion.
  • Then we discuss some of the challenges with making Sri Lanka a top work destination and bring in a panel of experts to discuss what is being done about each of the challenging areas.
  • Finally a panel of leading CEOs will discuss opportunities that exist in various industry segments for knowledge based work and entrepreneurial activity.

The day will end with a cocktail event to provide ample opportunity for attendees to network with each other.

Event info : http://digit.lk/event/work-in-sri-lanka-conference-2013/

 

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:51 pm

And with that, this event concludes.

See you guys at some other event.
diGIT team signing off.

Have a pleasant night.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:48 pm

Nayana thanks each everyone of their Partners.

The organizing team of 12 is being asked to come to the stage.

Nayana concludes and welcomes everyone to join them for the Cocktail reception.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:42 pm

This panel discussion comes to an end as well.

We have now reached the end of this event. Nayana Samaranayake is a Software Engineer at Google Inc; Member, Board of Directors at SL2College and will deliver the Vote of thanks.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:38 pm

Before we wind up, Prof. Malik will share his thoughts on the topic.

We are on the verge of taking off and this is the best time to return to Sri Lanka. – Ashraff Omar

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:25 pm

Kanchana Ambagahawita brings up a question. Isn’t this panel Discussion gender biased? A rather mocking question actually.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:14 pm

As far as possible, we have a fair mix at Dialog. Local graduates, foreign ones and so on. – Hans.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20135:02 pm

3 questions from the audience were taken and are being answered. A fellow participant from Pakistan asked a question regarding Internships in Sri lanka since he obtained the Degree from a Private Institute in SL.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:53 pm

The floor is open for questions and Lakshman is very strict about it seems. Only 3 questions he said. :P

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:51 pm

Technology is morphing the changes in the industry. – Hans.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:45 pm

We compete with the world. 6/10 are western countries and which we cant to capture the market in. – Omar.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:43 pm

We are setting solutions and value, apart from we manufacture lingeries at Brandix. Omar cracks a joke.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:38 pm

There is a huge shortage of very high quality hoteliers and chefs in both of our oversea destinations. – Rohan

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:36 pm

Rohan Fernando, Member of the Board of Directors at Aitken Spence also joins the Panel Discussion.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:32 pm

Number of IT graduates in Sri Lanka is 10000 where in India, they only have 4000. IT is the leading Industry in SL and our people are as good as anyone. – Keith Modder

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:29 pm

Where are we placed in the global ranking in IT industry? What are our Strengths? Asks the moderator, question directed at Keith.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:27 pm

Opportunities will come, but not quickly. There is always opportunities in Sri Lanka. Life is too short to debate. – Malik

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:20 pm

Telcos in Sri Lanka are becoming the wider service providers. Says Hans.

Malik says there is a huge demand by students and Parents for Higher education and MOHE is working on it.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:16 pm

From the link below, you can clear your doubts regarding the VISA issue.

http://www.gic.gov.lk/

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20134:08 pm

We are back after the Tea break. 3rd and the final Group discussion will take place now.

Mr. Lakshaman Bandaranayake- Chairman, Vanguard Media will moderate this session.

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya – CEO, Dialog Axiata
Mr. Keith Modder – Chief Operating Officer, Virtusa
Mr. Ashroff Omar – Chief Executive Officer, Brandix
Prof. Malik Ranasinghe – Former Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa

will be the fellow panelists.

This group discussion will focus on ‘Opportunities for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Professionalism’.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20133:39 pm

Thats the end of the Panel Discussion 2. We are breaking for a Tea break now. Will be back soon. Keep an eye.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20133:36 pm

A question from a foreign participant, and the panel doesn’t have anyone from from the BOI to answer it. They say this is exactly why the Portal was launched to address the pressing issues.

I don’t think we are there yet. We are yet to reach there..

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20133:24 pm

Since we are running short of time, audience QnA session is up next. The floor is open for questions.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20133:15 pm

Samarajiva says SL still has slow Data Connections and it needs to be addressed.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20133:07 pm

Lankan Angel Network is being explained by Prajeeth. He says there are about 300 investors in their network from India, SL, Australia and UK as well.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20133:02 pm

Sujeewa add on to that and talks about tax numbers and shares his experiences all around the globe.

There are countries where you have to pay taxes for your global earnings. Sujeewa says.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:53 pm

Shanaz is explaining how you can bring foreign revenue in to SL via your NRFC or Capitol Accounts.

In 1997, we attracted FBIs due to this misunderstanding. Shanaz recalls and old incident to which they had to face.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:41 pm

Ranjith addresses the issue which the people of Sri Lanka face, regarding the dual citizenship matter and Visa entries to the country.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:39 pm

Mr. Prajeeth Balasubramaniam – Co-Founder & Managing Director, Blue Ocean Ventures
Shanaz Kamileen – Assistant Controller at Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Mr. Sujeewa Mudalige – Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ranjith Wimalasooriya – DEPUTY CONTROLLER at DEPT. OF IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION

are the fellow panelists for this discussion.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:30 pm

Problems do exist, so do solutions and opportunities.

Rohan concludes.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:28 pm

Those who we hire, should be better than us. Should have the potential of over taking us. – Rohan

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:25 pm

Negative mindsets affect investments and returnees. And it is a problem. Rohan says.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:21 pm

Rohan recalls an incident where his daughter went to India and broke up with her boyfriend. Crowd wakes laughs.

He also stated that Dual Citizenship process which was stopped for a while in Sri Lanka has been resumed from today, as far as he know.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:15 pm

Rohan intends to talk on ‘ Attracting investments/returnees’.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:12 pm

Kanchana reads out a very long Profile about our Feature Speaker for today, Dr. Rohan Samarajiva – Chair at LIRNEasia.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20132:07 pm

We are back after Lunch. And the 2nd Panel Discussion will take place now.

Moderator : Ms. Kanchana Ambagahawita – Senior Economist, Central Bank.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20131:03 pm

Panel discussion now concludes.

And now we are breaking for Lunch.

be right back. (Y)

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:55 pm

It is a great feeling when you are helping out a growing cause. – Eranga

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:51 pm

Chandika sheds some light on SLASSCOMs’ 1000 start-up project by 2020.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:38 pm

It is better to getting adapted to the system rather than fighting it, says Dinesh.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:24 pm

A question from audience, directed at Chandi. Since Sri Lanka is making big strides, don’t you think that there is a Rat race here as well?

She says it was much difficult in Manhattan, but the lifestyle is pretty much the same, she says.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:19 pm

I see people here working 24×7, which is not happening in Switzerland. – Briggite

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:11 pm

We got people who can help, which was beneficial for both of us. – Chandika explains further.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201312:05 pm

Chandi Dharmarathne explains her trade-off while she made the decision to move back to Sri Lanka where Dinesh says he came to give the culture experience to their children.

It was an opportunity for Briggite, she says.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201311:51 am

Each Panelists are explaining what brought them back to Sri Lanka.

Some got personal reasons and some, corporate decisions and Chandika says he came for the FOOD.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201311:44 am

Arj calls each panelists to the stage and asks to introduce themselves.

Ms. Brigitte Duerr – Senior Director Cloud Marketing, WSO2
Ms. Chandi Dharmaratne – Director – HR Virtusa
Mr. Chandika Jayasundara – Co-Founder & CEO, Cinergix
Dr. Dinesh Arunathilaka – Head Integrated Technology Services IBMs
Mr. Eranga Jayewardene – Director, MAS Intimates
Mr. Hiran Embuldeniya – Director, York Street Partners

are the fellow panelists.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201311:31 am

Mr. Arj Wignaraja, Head of Operations at Remote Sensing Metrics, Senior Advisor at Stax will moderate the first panel session which will be focusing on ‘Making the Decision to Work in Sri Lanka’.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201311:25 am

We are back again with the proceedings.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:59 am

We are now breaking for a tea break. Will be back soon.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:56 am

What we need is a tweak and a momentum to go forward. The stage is all set.

Today you have the platform to make investments in this country.

Ajith congratulates the organizer of this event and concludes his speech.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:50 am

There is a consistent pipeline of investments coming into Sri Lanka. – Ajith

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:48 am

Husein concludes.

Now we have Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka will address the audience. He was the keynote speaker of the Inaugural launch of this initiative.

Ajith will share his thoughts on ‘Economic opportunities in Sri Lanka, Asia’s Next Knowledge Hub’.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:39 am

How can you help this initiative?

Work in Sri Lanka.
Return home and start up a business.
Bring people who might have interest in this country.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:34 am

Husein sheds some lights on why one should invest in Sri Lanka and gives 10 reasons in a macro view.

Health Care Indistry

Leisure Industry
Hotel Chains will change the way we look at the Leisure Industry once and for all by the time they are built.

Apparel/Garment Industry
$5B export revenue is expected by 2020.

Logistic/Silk Route Industry

Knowledge Hub Industry
Perhaps by 2020 there will be some Foreign Universities coming down to SL and setting up here.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:17 am

Mr. Gotabaya concludes with wishing this initiative a good luck with their future proceedings.

Mr. Husein Esufally – CEO, Hemas Holdings PLC will outline some thoughts on ‘Private Sector Role in Asia’s Next Knowledge Hub’.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:10 am

Studies are currently being conducted how to manage Solid Waste of this city.

Slides are being played on the screen now showcasing graphical images of SkyLine of Colombo by the time 2018 and 2021.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:05 am

Now that Sri Lanka is overcoming the issues it has been having, for its part, Government is very keen to create an environment for the departures to return back to Sri Lanka.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 201310:03 am

Sri Lankas Apparel/Garment Industries are know to their best practices all around the globe.

There are IT companies in Sri Lanka which create World class Applications and outsource them.

Gotabaya also talks about UoM being selected as the most number of Students winning the Google Summer of Code Program.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:54 am

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa – Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development is being welcomed to the stage now and will talk to us on ‘Sri Lanka’s Readiness to Become Asia’s Next Knowledge Hub’.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:52 am

The main goal of this conference is to bring back the one who have left Sri Lanka – Gillian Dass concludes with that note.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:44 am

Gillian talks about how they came up with the idea of creating a portal for unbiased information about WorkInSriLanka, which was launched in May, 2013.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:43 am

Ms. Gillian Dass will address the gathering now. She is the Chairperson -WorkInSriLnka 2013 Conference Project.

This is an none profit, non government, volunteer lead initiative she says.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:41 am

Following dignitaries are welcomed to light the oil lamp and everyone is asked to rise for National anthem as well.

Gotabaya Rajapakse
Ajith Nivard Cabral
Husaib Yusul Ali
Sanjeewa Weerawana
Nayana Samaranayake
Gillian Dass
Kanchana Ambagahawita

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:28 am

It was announced that Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama – Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning won’t be joining us today for some reasons.

The event is yet to start. Stay tuned for mere latest updates.

From Press From Press Dec 23, 20139:26 am

Good Morning.

diGIT team is Live from the event, ‘Work in Sri Lanka Conference 2013′, happening right now at Taj Samudra, Grand Crystal Ballroom.

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