Most of Sri Lanka’s Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) members hold senior managerial positions in local private and public sector organisations, according to its Chairperson Chitrangani Herat Gunaratne.
Chitrangani Herat Gunaratne
Elected at the end of 2010, Ms. Herat Gunaratne, who is also Vice President at local marketing research firm Quantum, added that the CIM committee planned to “showcase these members and invite them to share their knowledge and experience with others.”
Further, she noted that added visibility for CIM in Sri Lanka was also a 20ll goal.With a Sri Lankan chapter that started operations 15 years ago, CIM this year celebrates its centenary (100 years) and, as such, the local office is planning a full-year calender of events beginning this May, including a two-day international conference towards the latter half of 2011 in addition to an awards programme.
Presently having 3,000 students and 1,500 members, with many more part qualified, the Sri Lankan arm of CIM is also its regional office overseeing India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives, and from this base of operations CIM has already started adding members from Bangladesh and the Maldives.
Additionally, and in line with media reports that ‘aggressive’ moves are afoot by CIM Sri Lanka to promote itself in provincial towns, Ms. Herat Gunaratne revealed that the organisation had decided to extend its seven existing study centres, mostly in Colombo, with new venues in “Matara and Galle as we are already established in Kandy and Jaffna.”
“Going forward we will also look at the east. With so much development happening in these areas we too should look at moving there to offer convenience to our students,” said Ms. Herat Gunaratne. While it also emerged that “discussions with the ministry [to] promote CIM at all universities” were also progressing as it was suggested that many signing up for this qualification were university students, such as from engineering faculties, etc.
Meanwhile, Ms. Herat Gunaratne also indicated that an existing programme aimed at helping key industries, CIM Sri Lanka’s Marketing Interest Groups (MIG), would also be widened even further. Elaborating, she said “one area that we are looking at is research. This is of paramount interest to marketers and we should [share] some common knowledge with them. We also have had discussions with our apparel graduates who are keen on having a MIG. It definitely makes sense [considering] that garments are such a large revenue earner for our country.” Currently, CIM has MIG teams working with the leisure, tea, financial services, agriculture and retail sectors.
At the same time, Ms. Herat Gunaratne noted that CIM students paid up to Rs. 350,000.00 to become fully qualified, while annual membership for CIM qualified members was British Pounds Sterling 120 (approx. Rs. 21,700).