CORPORATE HIGHFLIERS’ SHOWCASE
Introducing the second edition of the
who’s who of business in Sri Lanka
Yamini Sequeira says that our Businesspeople Of The Year (BOTY) honour roll “packs a host of surprises”, noting that only four personalities from the previous year’s listing have retained their presence in 2011. Having compiled the 10-page storyline that portrays BOTY’s 2011 line-up, she concludes: “The six new faces debuting in this listing have been extremely formidable during the year, effectively mopping up the rest of the best. An era of peace has given many emerging business leaders the adrenalin fix they need to pull out all the stops.”
And as Yamini observes, “mergers and acquisitions may have been signed and sealed in boardrooms by the bigwigs, but the stock exchange has been their playground. Here, they have played hard and created ripples in the country’s capital markets… ripples that have reverberated in corporate corridors and screamed out from newspaper headlines. Like it or not…this is corporate Sri Lanka’s A Team for 2011!”
For the record, we picked the 10 captains of commerce and industry who have taken their businesses to new heights (by hook or by crook, let it be said) this year, and we did this by inviting the magazine’s esteemed contributors and the in-house team to submit nominations from which we short-listed the 10 businesspeople who have trailblazed their way into Sri Lanka’s biz landscape in the last 12 months… and gone where others haven’t dared to go. The concept, as our readers would recall, was pioneered last year when we walked on new ground once again – in our quest to honour Sri Lanka’s supreme corporate captains, for the first time in this country.
As in the inaugural edition of BOTY, the end-product is intriguing. There was a mix of the young, not-so-young and in-betweens last year, but the 2011 hall of fame is certainly younger.
Like in 2010, there are leaders who are perceptibly aggressive and those who are soft spoken and camera shy. There are more self-made billionaires who are both aggressive and flamboyant this time around, although the quiet achievers are also represented in BOTY 2011. And whilst the ethical-minded corporate citizen is also here, reputations aren’t necessarily built on the niceties of the business world – as we said last year, “some will argue that the mantra to succeed is to do what the Romans do when in Rome, which in Colombo is a case of joining a club that has no rules.”
As one might expect, the conglomerates (especially the ‘new conglomerates’) serving our nation and its economic fortunes are duly represented in the second edition of BOTY. And there is a place for a woman for the first time too.
The missing link continues to be the fact that the BOTY profile is dominated by the big guns and one or two who are knocking on that very door, which means there’s still no place for fledgling entrepreneurs and award-winning professionals in the top 10.
We live in a time when strategic expansion, out-of-the-box thinking and entrepreneurship are the calling, following the advent of peace in this land, although this time around – unlike the business environment at the same time last year – there are ominous signs of financial and economic turmoil on the global horizon.
The big picture at this juncture is one of visionaries who think big enough to venture out of traditional comfort zones and take on new and often daunting challenges calling the shots.
So who’s on the who’s who of our business world?
The photo gallery cum profiles that follow tell the BOTY 2011 story.
CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW…
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BUSINESSPEOPLE OF THE YEAR (BOTY) 2011