SLIM ‘Gamata Marketing’ is a project that aims to identify and uplift hidden entrepreneurs in rural areas and emphasize the importance of marketing towards enhancing the value proposition of their final products and their living standards.
Having successfully focused on key industries such as cane and bamboo in previous years, ‘Gamata Marketing’ this year will focus on the fishing communities in Matara through ‘Fish Bonanza’.
The main target this time is to attract entrepreneurs of medium scale in the Southern District as means of adding more value to fish products. The project will be launched with the effort of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) in collaboration with the Faculty of Management of University of Ruhuna, and the Institute of Development of Community Strength (INDECOS).
The Department of Food and Technology of the Faculty of Agriculture too has come on board to train these entrepreneurs and to allow them to make maximum use of this opportunity.
A majority of Sri Lankans prefer to consume fish, but due to certain adverse effects, many of them do not. Where on the other hand there is a tendency to consume meat that is high in nutrients. Therefore, fish consumption still remains at a very low level. Fish in all probability ends up being prepared into a traditional fish curry, without much thought to innovation or new recipes. Sri Lanka being an island is surrounded by the sea. Hence fish trade is the main occupation of the communities in the coastal areas. Entrepreneurs directly influence a country’s development and undoubtedly entrepreneurship is the essence of the development of a country’s economy. Their secret to success is the introduction of new products to the market in order to attract a strong customer base. Marketers too introduce new products to escalate sales on a larger scale which presents a huge competition within the business sector.
Dynamic demands and expectations of consumers is a major challenge for marketers to survive in their respective industries. Through projects of this nature, small and medium scale entrepreneurs will greatly benefit due to the training and first-hand experience they receive from experts in the marketing and business community.
President of SLIM, Ruwan Liyanagamage was extravagant in his praise towards the University of Ruhuna and to the Department of Food and Technology of the Faculty of Agriculture, as well as to INDECOS, saying that “Due to the partnership of an educational giant in this project, together with SLIM and INDECOS, it has given the entrepreneurs of the area much needed technical support and know-how in innovation. They have also been equipped with the knowledge of how to capture a niche market in terms of new fish products. It fills me with pride to be a part of such a worthy project where the people of Sri Lanka are benefitting”.
Speaking about the event, Project Chairman Suranjith Swaris said, “In comparison with the rest of the events organised by SLIM, ‘Gamata Marketing’ takes on a whole new perspective. Further, despite the challenges which had to be overcome, SLIM in its perennial style, has accomplished a great feat in organising ‘Gamata Marketing’ with a touch of difference. The benefit lies with the fishing communities. This is our main objective, to give back to the community, in some small measure, and to empower them to contribute to the economy in a positive way”.
A. C. Karunaratne, Head of the Department of Marketing, University of Ruhuna stated that “This project is becoming a reality, due to the positively charged ‘Can-do’ attitude of the organisers, who were tireless in seeing this through. Litro Gas, HNB and INDECOS were stalwarts in joining in, with their sponsorships and support.”
Entrepreneurship within the fishing communities will be given a new lease of life on the 06th of September where all the hard work will be paid off in a gala finale. It’s a different kind of event.