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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008

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Lankan entrepreneurs lack motivation, says award winner

Sri Lankan entrepreneurs lack motivation to develop their skills and be innovative in manufacturing products that will attract international buyers, said the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner and Chairman Laugfs Holdings W. K. H. Wegapitiya.


W. K. H. Wegapitiya

He was addressing a ceremony to launch "The Sri Lanka Entrepreneur of the Year 2007" organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries of Sri Lanka (FCCISL).

Wegapitiya said the world economy is undergoing a major transformation from an isolated to an integrated economy known as globalisation. Emerging economies have broken cross-border barriers to promote trade and investment.

"Sri Lanka is a backward nation compared to India, China and certain other countries in the region due to political instability, corruption, high inflation and interest rates and lack of a consistent policy", he said.

According to an international business survey of 137 countries Sri Lanka is ranked the 60th in doing business. The business and industrial community should take a cue from other countries which are ahead of Sri Lanka in developing their businesses.

President FCCISL, Nawaz Rajabdeen said it is important to recognise and reward entrepreneurs since it will help to motivate and develop the skills of the SME sector entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of a vibrant economy.

Rajabdeen said the Chamber will recognise and reward disabled entrepreneurs who have made a contribution to the economy. A special feature of this year's awards is the inclusion of the 'Young Woman Entrepreneur'.

Managing Director Lanka Bell, Prasad Samarasinghe said the company became a leading telecommunication solutions provider because of its commitment to be a truly Sri Lankan company.

The company's aim is to be a leading global player in the telecommunication sector.

Lanka Bell which commenced operations three years ago with 50,000 customers has over one million customers today through its islandwide network.

Registered businesses who have been operating for a minimum of five years prior to the closing date of applications can apply for the awards. Enterprises will be categorised as small, medium, large and extra large for the regional and national awards.

Chairman, Samson Group (DSI), Kulatunga Rajapaksha, Chairman, Tri-Star Apparel Group of Companies, Kumar Devapura, Chairman, Flexport (Pvt) Ltd. P. N. Nandadasa, Managing Director, Daya Group of Companies, Daya Gamage, Chairman, Hands International Gretian Gunawardena, Chairperson, Odel (Pvt) Ltd. Otara Gunawardena, Chairman and Managing Director KIK Group of Companies, Lalith Kahatapitiya and Chairman, Raigam Marketing Services (Pvt) Ltd. Dr. Ravi Liyanage are some of the past winners.

The FCCISL will hold its 13th annual awards ceremony on December 11 at the BMICH.

LF

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