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“Today’s business leaders who fail to Rethink to Revive will soon be yesterday’s business leaders,” Priyan Fernando tells 35th National Conference of Chartered Accountants

Business leaders who fail to rethink to revive will soon be yesterday’s business leaders, warned Priyan Fernando, Chairman of Brandix Lanka Limited, while delivering the keynote speech at the inauguration of the 35th National Conference of Chartered Accountants, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).

Addressing a 1000+ audience of the country’s corporate glitterati including top business leaders, renowned accounting and finance professionals at the Water’s Edge on 23rd October 2014, Mr. Fernando highlighted that while rethinking in a room or at office is easy, it’s reviving by implementing that takes courage.

“It takes leadership. Leadership is what drives the culture of a company. And it will be our leadership that defines our success moving forward,” he told the audience which also included His Excellency Geoff Q. M. Doidge, South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony.

He noted that there was no doubt that the world was changing, and for centuries, businesses have innovated and adapted through reconstructions, and industrial revolutions. But, Mr. Fernando emphasized that what sets today’s change apart, even more than its scope, is its speed.

“The world is changing with such tremendous, unprecedented speed that before the dust can settle from one change, another has already taken its place,” he said,

Citing reasons for his claim, Mr. Fernando noted that in the 20th century, the speed of change was measured in terms of decades. “The decades between the radio, the television and the personal computer; the record, the cassette, and the CD. But the 21stcentury, is very different.”

Mr. Fernando pointed out that this accelerating pace of change means that getting better is no longer enough. “Today, if you aren’t getting better faster… you’re actually getting worse,” he noted.

“Nothing remains sacred. This means that your traditional competitor today could be the least of your problems tomorrow.And this is why now, more than at any time in history, incumbency is not a guarantee of success,” he said.

Mr. Fernando pointed out that although confluence of globalization, technology, and innovation has placed everyone in a very volatile global business environment, the changing times are also an opportunity for all, except for those who fail to see them.

Addressing the high-profile audience, Mr, Fernando, declared that the time has come for everyone to join together and redefine Sri Lanka’s brand to the world.

“The war has ended and recovery has begun. The canvas of our national brand remains an unfinished work. But already, the scrutiny of the international community is upon us. If we are timid, if we entrench ourselves in business as usual, our brand is at the mercy of activist shareholders, overzealous regulators, and even disruptive elements who seek reasons to steer companies away from Sri Lanka,” he said.

“But, if we are bold, if we rethink to revive our own businesses, then together, we can redefine Sri Lanka. To ensure that no matter what political noise surrounds us, the world looks to us and sees strong governance, world-class talent, and unmatched integrity,” he said.

“Our nation needs it. Our people are counting on us. Now is the time to rethink to revive. Each of us.All of us. Together,” he told the high-profile audience in conclusion.

Over the years, the conference has attracted an unprecedented number of participants, making it the largest corporate level conference in the country. This year too the conference, which centred around the theme ‘Rethink to Revive’ saw over 1200 participants during the two days of technical sessions which concluded on 25th October 2014, while the live webcast feed of the conference proceedings attracted over 135 registrations from chartered accountants both in Sri Lanka and abroad.