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WorkInSriLanka Annual Conference on Dec. 22

10 December 2015 03:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The third annual WorkInSriLanka (WISL) conference under the theme of ‘Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges’, will be held on December 22, 2015 at The Kingsbury Hotel. 
WISL is a volunteer-led initiative working to position Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for individuals contemplating relocation. This year’s conference hopes to provide expats, recent returnees and corporates seeking highly skilled individuals with a platform to network and exchange views on career prospects in Sri Lanka. 
Under the theme, WISL hopes to break cultural and sociological barriers that may discourage potential returnees and help to bridge the gaps between the existing employees and the returnees. Many of these returnees may have spent their formative years overseas and relocating will always pose readjustment issues, which will be addressed at this conference.
This year’s speaker roster will feature eminent personalities such as JKH Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunawardane, Dunamis Capital Managing Director Manjula Mathews, Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC and Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC Director and CEO Suresh Shah, Brandix i3 Chief Executive Officer Arjuna Sirinanda, Ants Global (Pvt.) Ltd MD/Engineer Tilak Dissanayake, Unilever Sri Lanka Director Human Resources and Corporate Relations Sameer Nagarajan, Blue Ocean Ventures (Pvt.) Ltd Founding Partner/Managing Director Prajeeth Balasubramaniam and Urban Development Authority Director General Nayana Mawilmada .
Through their sessions, they will address topics such as the country’s vision for the public and private sectors and the new chapter of Sri Lankan development along with its implications on the workforce. Panel discussions featuring prominent industry personalities will highlight employment and entrepreneurial opportunities and touch on competing with regional and global corporates. There will also be detailed discussions on ‘returnee experiences’. 
Last year’s conference brought together a large number of highly skilled potential returnees from 25 countries, including a significant number of persons from the USA, Australia and the UK. Previous speakers included industry authorities such as Hemas Holdings Chairman Hussein Esufally, Brandix Chief Executive Officer Ashroff Omar, Dialog Axiata CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Virtusa Chief Operating Officer Keith Modder, Hatton National Bank PLC Chairperson Dr. Ranee Jayamaha and Jetwing Travels Managing Director Shiromal Cooray. 
This year’s conference Chairperson Shobhana Kagoo said, “We have seen increased interest within the diaspora who are already thinking about moving back. Having had a sufficient amount of feedback from the corporate sector on the issue of recruitment, it is evident that there is, in fact, a need to reverse brain drain and attract top talent back. We believe there is a dearth of information regarding career opportunities in Sri Lanka amongst the diaspora and will focus our efforts on bridging this gap.”  
WorkInSriLanka was formed in May 2013 to provide a support network to returnees and expats and to also provide them with relevant information to enable them to make informed decisions about working in Sri Lanka. This volunteer-run, apolitical initiative has come a long way over the last two years, with activities including maintaining a comprehensive information website (www.workinsrilanka.lk), hosting quarterly networking meet-ups for returnees, engaging with government and industry organisations to address challenges, and working with corporates and government agencies to identify job opportunities and future skill requirement.  

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