The recent workshop conducted by the IOSL (Institute of Shipping and Logistics) was very successfully completed at Hilton Colombo, with a very well attended audience representing the Shipping and Logistics Industry.
IOSL CEO Gihan Warusavitarne making the welcome address mentioned that this was the very first time that a specific workshop for marketers in the Shipping and Logistics industry was being organized. He expressed his appreciation to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Sri Lanka for collaborating with IOSL to organize this workshop with a certification to participants being issued by CIM SL.
He thanked the dignitaries who graced the occasion namely; Chief Guest Saliya Senanayake (former International Vice Chairman of CILT, UK); Guest of Honour Wista Chairperson Swabha Wickramasinghe; CIM Sri Lanka President Brian Selvanayagam; and Business Chamber of Commerce Secretary General (Former National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka Secretary General) Jagath Savanadasa. A special message sent by Guest of Honour, SLFFA Chairman Jagath Pathirane was read out, as he was unable to attend the event due to overseas travel.
The Chief Guest Saliya Senanayake made a very inspiring keynote speech where he advised all young marketers in the logistics industry to develop their skills as well as to become professionals in the field, through obtaining qualifications in the industry, as well as participating in workshops such as these. The highlights of his address were are as follows.
Points raised by the Chief Guest during Keynote address: (a) Rapid changes in the industry has resulted in the market being unstable and volatile. This is particularly over the past few years when technology and IT developments had been introduced with sustainability in mind, and to overcome a very dull freight market; (b) Liner shipping will be the most affected in terms of manpower and jobs due to consolidation of major shipping lines (According to a recent article, the CEO of Maersk Line was quoted as saying only five or six top carriers will survive further consolidation coming up in the near future, whereas there were nearly 20 lines operating independently 24 months ago); (c) The Logistics industry will probably have more options and opportunities, even though consolidation will take place in this industry as well; (d) In the Sri Lankan context, this is very much the prevalent with shipping agency services being under threat mainly due to consolidation and other forces locally, but the opportunities are arising in Logistics; (e) Hence, the best option for the industry practitioners is to gain all round knowledge rather than be narrowly focusing on one area and in one industry. This is my advice also to companies, who have been previously structured independently; (f) A Marketer must know the industry very well, as persons can differentiate themselves by their knowledge and professionalism; (g) Hence, I advise all young marketers to develop your skills as well as become a professional in the field, through qualifications in the industry, as well as participating in workshops, where you will be challenged to meet the standards; and (h) Use all networking and knowledge sharing opportunities to your advantage, a this will give you an edge in this highly competitive environment.
Concluding the workshop, IOSL CEO Gihan Warusavitarne announced that the next 35th anniversary intake of their certificate and foundation Diploma courses in Shipping and Logistics are scheduled to commence in early October. He said that in addition to their regular courses, a new ‘Diploma for Marketers in the Shipping and Logistics’ industry would be launched in the near future. He thanked all the resource persons namely; Senior Marketing Professional Dilshan Perera, Senior Shipping Professional Rajesh Fernando and Wista Chairperson Swabha Wickremasinghe for their valuable presentations at the workshop.
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