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31st International CA Students’ Conference on “Transmute, To Transmute” concludes on a high note

The 31st International CA Students’ Conference which revolved around the theme ‘Transmute, to Transmute’ concluded on a high note with over 600 CA students from across the country as well as the South Asian region participating, where the importance to embrace change in the current dynamic global environment was underscored.  Organised by the CA Students Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), the conference on 05th April 2017 at the Cinnamon Lakeside, also brought together 21 student delegates representing India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe, President of CA Sri Lanka, chaired the conference as the Chief Guest while Mr. Aruna Alwis, the Chief Executive Officer of CA Sri Lanka, and Mr. Reyaz Mihular, the Patron of the CA Students’ Society were present as the guests of honors. The inauguration also witnessed the participation of Mr. Jagath Perera, Vice President of CA Sri Lanka and Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakshe, Past President of CA Sri Lanka.

Mr. Jayashan Grero, President of the CA Students’ Society, welcoming the delegates and special invitees, highlighted the importance of continuous change required within oneself in order to remain competitive in the current context.

Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe, President of CA Sri Lanka, in his speech highlighted how technology has impacted the profession in ways never imagined, and therefore there is a growing need for all professionals including future professionals to keep up with these technological advancements, to be ahead with changing times. “The world we operate in is changing, yet as a profession we cannot stop these advances, instead we must collectively work to embrace the change and progress with times, which is very important if we are to remain relevant,” he said.

“I can see that  the CA Students’ Society has in fact lived up to its motto today, they have transmuted themselves,” said Mr. Reyaz Mihular, Patron of the CA Students’ Society and the Managing Partner of KPMG Sri Lanka, congratulating the Students’ Society in developing to what they are today. He also gave the young audience an insight of the future with recent developments such as self-driven vehicles and 3D printing, and how they would impact the global community.

Mr. Asoka Peiris, CEO of Singer Sri Lanka, during his session continuously stressed out on the fact that accountants have to change from their conventional ‘number crunching’ mind-set to add value to the business. Ms. Veronique Koken, President at Aurora Aerospace, touched on a key aspect that is imperative for a person to change himself, attitude. She had an interactive session with the crowd by sharing her personal experiences.

The expert panel discussion was chaired by moderator, Mr. Travis Roche who is the Finance Controller at Interblock Limited along with Mr. Thumilan Sivaraj, Founder and Chairman of Blue Ocean Group of Companies, Mr. Samitha Perera, CEO of CBL Foods International, Mr. Thivanka Jayasinghe, Partner at PwC and Mr. Preethi Jayawardane, Senior Deputy Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors. The panel shared their views on ‘Grooming to be enablers’, which was followed by a question and answer session.

The student panel discussion proved to be one of the most informative and technical discussions of the day which was themed ‘CAs, the way forward.’ The panel consisted of Mr. Ashaff MSM, moderator, Ms. Yasasthi Ranasinghe, CA Student Panellist from Sri Lanka and the student presenters, Ms. Ramya Iyar, Sri Lanka, Ms. Sanskriti Agarwal, India, Mr. Araib Sultan, Pakistan, Ms. Arupa Saha, Bangladesh, and Ms. Akrity Acharya, Nepal.

Mr. Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, enlightened the crowd with an economic approach. He also brought forward several examples of companies in the local context who have changed the conventional business practices. His speech was followed by a speech from Mr. Iftikar Ahamed who is the Managing Director of Softlogic Life Insurance PLC which proved to be a thought provoking session for the crowd gathered.

Mr. Tishan Subasinghe, Partner at BDO Partners, focussed specifically on the profession and the change required for Chartered Accountants. He also highlighted that the society has a positive and high standard perception with regard to Chartered Accountants and that everybody should therefore act accordingly.

The 31st International CA Students Conference also went down in history with the launch of the first ever mobile application and the launch of the Fusion Business Magazine for the year 2017. The entertainment items at the conference included performances from winners of Ingenio 2016, the talent show organized by the CA Students’ Society.

Ending the conference, Mr. Asanka Senevirathne, the Educational Secretary of the CA Students’ Society, thanked the guest speakers, CA staff, SAFA delegates and the CA students in his vote of thanks. He also thanked the sponsors for their generosity and corporation for making this event a success.

This year Bank of Ceylon and Imagine Entertainment partnered with CA Students’ Society as the Platinum Sponsors, while People’s Leasing and Finance Co. PLC and Softlogic Life Insurance PLC were the gold sponsors. Thilakawardhana Textiles was the Silver Sponsor and KBBS Campus, IAS and Tokyo Cement joined hands as Bronze Sponsors. The organizes also appreciated the efforts of Mal-Key Rent-A-Car, the Official Travelling Partner, Ada Derena 24x7, the Official Television Partner,, the Official Media Partner, VEVRA, the Official Photography Partner, Threeoh, the Official Creative Agency Partner, and GroupM, the Official Media Agency Partner.

“Infinite thanks to the CA Students’ Society of Sri Lanka for their dedication, effort and hospitality. I’ll always be grateful to you all,” said Mr. Jayed Ahmed Shaon from Bangladesh.

The 31st CA Students’ Conference - ‘Transmute, to Transmute,’ emphasized on the requirement of continuous change, as a person and as a profession within a dynamic global environment, where the world changes in every second blowing new opportunities in all directions. This conference provided the ideal platform to trigger the change in young professionals to cater to the changing expectations of the world. Finally, efforts, support and guidance from all the eminent personalities of CA Sri Lanka, including staff and all the participants of this conference were thanked for making this conference a remarkable success.


Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe, President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Jagath Perera, Vice President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Reyaz Mihular, the Patron of the CA Students’ Society and Mr. Aruna Alwis, the Chief Executive Officer of CA Sri Lanka, being ushered in by Kandyan dancers. Mr. Jayashan Grero, President of the CA Students’ Society is also in the picture.

Members of the CA Students Society

Sponsors of the 31st International CA Students Conference

Student Panel Discussion in session.