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Mahamaya Girls College clinches CA Sri Lanka’s 2017 Business Plan Championship

Mahamaya Girls College, Kandy on Tuesday clinched the championship of the 2017 CA Sri Lanka Business Plan competition, beating six other leading schools in the country. The winning team will fly to Australia in May 2017 and will represent Sri Lanka at the BlueShift International Business Case Competition organised by the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

The first runner up at the grand finale was Richmond College, Galle while Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo came in as the second runner up.

A total of seven schools, including Visakha Vidyalaya - Colombo, Royal College – Colombo, Maris Stella College - Negombo, Mahamaya Girls College - Kandy, Richmond College - Galle, Maliyadeva Balika Vidyalaya - Kurunegala and Chundikuli Girls' College – Jaffna competed against each other in their bid to win the championship and the grand prize.

Deputy High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission in Colombo Mr. Tim Huggins, who was the Chief Guest at the event said that entrepreneurs were going to be critical for the future success of Sri Lanka’s economy. “I have been here for 20 months and I have been very impressed by the vision of the entrepreneurs and business people I have met here,” he said.

Mr. Huggins noted that these entrepreneurs will be doing great things for the next stage of Sri Lanka’s growth.

He said that it was possible for a person a person in his 20s to be a billionaire and this has been shown by tech giants who have been behind Facebook and Snapchat. “No longer is age a barrier for business success, as long as it’s your idea, and you have the drive and flexibility,” he said.

“All countries need people to have great ideas, and more than that they need people to take risks in implementing those ideas,” he added.

The CA Business Plan Competition organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Lanka) broke the competition into two rounds; the regional levels and national level. During the regional rounds, schools representing Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy, Kurunegala, Galle/Matara and Jaffna contested to win the district level competition held in January, February and March. Subsequently, the winning team at each district level competition qualified for the grand finale held on 28th March 2017. The champion was chosen following a grueling judging process and the panel comprised of Mr. Saman Bandara, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Accountancy of the University of Kelaniya, Professor Peter F. Green, Head of the School of Accountancy of the Queensland University of Technology and Mr. Mahendra Jayasekara, Managing Director of Lanka Tiles PLC, Lanka Walltiles PLC and Swisstek (Ceylon) PLC.

The guest of honour at the event was Professor Green, and the special guests were Mr. D. Jeevanadan, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Kalum De Silva, President of the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce (SLACC) and Mr. Andrew Paltridge, Deputy Head of the School of Business, Queensland University of Technology.

President of CA Sri Lanka Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe impressed upon the increasing need for the future generation to spearhead change by being innovative. “As the business world becomes more competitive and challenging, there is a renewed need for innovation across sectors, to help transform industries and even disrupt the otherwise conventional ways of conducting business,” he said.

“Today, apps like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, AirBnB and even Whatsapp, have become part of our lives because there was one person or a group who thought out of the box, and who had the vision to not just think but also make sure he or she converted his dreams into reality. So, understand that you have the potential to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, but it’s all about hard work and commitment,” Mr. Wickremasinghe said.

He said that the CA Sri Lanka Business Plan competition can also be an important platform towards creating some of Sri Lanka’s most visionary entrepreneurs and business leaders that Sri Lanka needs in taking the country forward.

Mr. Andrew Paltridge, Deputy Head of the School of Business, Queensland University of Technology said, “The QUT Business School is honored to co-sponsor this competition with the CA Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Australia Chamber of Commerce, and, given the quality of the presentations we have seen today we are very glad that we been involved. The students have shown great aptitude and ability in their business plans and we are really looking forward to seeing how the winning team do when they come to QUT to compete in the final of our own BlueShift business competition in Brisbane.”

Mr. Kalum De Silva, President of the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce (SLACC) which facilitated the partnership between CA Sri Lanka and the Queensland University of Technology said that SLACC was proud to partner with the CA Sri Lanka Business Plan Competition, as it was part of SLACC focus on developing the next generation of leaders in both Sri Lanka and Australia. “The CA Business Plan Competition is a groundbreaking and exciting program that transforms high school students into real, confident global entrepreneurs. By fostering such cross cultural partnerships, SLACC endeavors to cultivate young professionals who are geared to drive and support growth in our communities,” he said.


CA Sri Lanka President Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe addressing the guests

A section of the students who attended the competition to cheer on their teams

Deputy High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission in Colombo Mr. Tim Huggins addressing the guests

From Left to Right (standing) Second runner up - Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, the winning team – Mahamaya Girls College, Kandy and the first runner up - Richmond College, Galle

Seated: Mr. Tishan Subasinghe, Mr. Aruna Alwis, Mr. Andrew Paltridge, Mr. Kalum De Silva, Mr. Tim Huggins, Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe, Professor Peter F. Green, Ms. Coralie Pietersz, Mr. Asoka Peiris, and Mr. Thivanka Jayasinghe

The winning team, Mahamaya Girls College receiving their award