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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

School children introduced to be successful entrepreneurs

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 23 January, ( At the awards ceremony of the Most Outstanding Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 two exceptionally outstanding entrepreneurs were invited as the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honor which was held at the BMICH.

Ranjith Page, CEO, Cargills Ceylon Ltd, speaking as Chief Guest, elaborated the difficult path he had to take to climb to the top. He said that he first started as a guest relations officer receiving guest at the Airport and selling air tickets, because his father refused to offer him a job in Cargills as he was not an accountant. He became a marketer.

He said that he changed the super market concept in Sri Lanka but his concept based the people at the centre and to make a difference in the people's lives. He said that their target has been youth, the farmers and the consumers. They extended their tentacles in 22 districts and shortly they would establish in the 23rd district.

He said that the concept they have adopted has become a role model where 10,000 farmer families are benefited and several thousands have been employed in their network. At the same time they are able to sell quality products at cheap prices.

Ms Ramya Weerakoon, President, Women's Chamber of Commerce speaking as guest of Honor said that the turning point of her life from being a housewife to be a successful entrepreneur was the assassination of her husband, Army Major Nevil Weerakoon at the hands of insurgents in 1971. She said that she started with few batik clothes and today she owns several factories employing more than 2,000 people.

At the Alumni Discussion arranged during the Awards Ceremony, Ms Anushika Wickramasinghe, a girl from far down in Ratnapura discussing her success story with another three budding entrepreneurs said. “I own around half a million rupees worth of machinery and my by business transactions would be nearly another half a million rupees.

She is one of the National Young Entrepreneurs nurtured from the Child Jesus Balika MV Ratnapura and proved to have picked up the best annals of entrepreneurial prowess harping on niche market. She sells packaged condiments and dried fish. She said that she intend to sell headless sprats. She said that she could employ several village women to remove the heads from sprats.

She said that the barrier for expanding the business is the lending agencies underestimating their capabilities and first refusing to grant loans but only accept them when they show their business.

Ananda Priyankara, Richmond College, Galle was declared as the Most Outstanding Young Entrepreneur 2008, while Kushan Pathiraja, St Joseph's College, Colombo was adjudged the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur 2008 - Boy of the year and Ms Rosanjela N Dias, Kuda Kusum BMV, Bandarawela was adjudged the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur 2008 - Girl of the Year.

- Asian Tribune -

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