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SLRA appoints new Council: New President says road ahead bumpy and winding

The Sri Lanka Retailer’s Association (SLRA) held its 6 th Annual General Meeting at the Colombo on the 25 th of April 2023 at Hilton Residencies. The event was attended by members of the SLRA, and Mr. Vish Govindasamy, Chairman Chamber of Commerce and Group Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings PLC as the Chief Guest.

Former President, Mr. Murali Prakash opened the proceedings with a welcome note and then addressed the attendees. During his address, he said, “Our strategy over the past 2 years was to focus on burning issues, so the sector could navigate better. We floated a two-pronged approach, one was creating continuous awareness using traditional media, and the other was focused one to one chats and briefings to authorities by senior members of the executive council.”

Vish Govindasamy, the Chief Guest of the event, addressed the gathering as
well. During his address he said “I would like to congratulate Mr. Charitha
Subasinghe, on his appointment as the new President of the SLRA. It is encouraging to note the impact that the SLRA has had, especially over the last few years. The SLRA has been a strong and effective advocate for the development of the sector, through policy advocacy and several knowledge sharing programmes as well.”

Finally, Mr. Charitha Subasinghe, the President Elect of the SLRA for the year 2023/24 address the gathering as well. He said “As a country I believe we are in a better footing than we were a few months ago. But the road ahead is going to be quite bumpy and winding. It would need a strong resolve, politically as well as Socially to ride through these tricky turns and arrive at the final destination, which is a country and society of greater accountability. This should be the foundation upon which a flourishing and prosperous nation could be built on. In this context we as an association would engage with the relevant authorities in every possible way to
provide them our input and influence the policy makers to stay on course to arrive at the final destination. “

He further said that “As retailers our business activities touch the lives of almost every Sri Lankan directly. The life style of our fellow Sri Lankans would change. If not for the Pandemic and the economic down turn the life style change would have happened at a much faster pace. Unless we continue to be relevant to our customers, our growth will be hampered. During my tenure the focus area of my committee would be to share and support through knowledge sharing as well as linking with external and internal resources persons and organizations to help the member organizations to equip themselves in this direction.”

Mr. Subasinghe also announced the new Executive Council for the SLRA for the
year 2023/24 during the course of the event. The Executive Council compromises of
Mr. Infiyaz M. Ali, CEO of Healthguard Pharmacy Ltd., as Vice President, Mr.
Mahesh Wijewardena, Group CEO of Singer Sri Lanka as Vice President, Mr. Kumar
De Silva, CEO of SPAR SL Private Ltd. as General Secretary, Mr. Asanka
Rajapaksa, Director of D Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. as Assistant General Secretary,
Ms. Ruvini Kariyawasam, Director of Corporate Affairs at Perera & Sons Bakers Ltd,
as Treasurer, Mr. Harsha Maduranga, GM/Head of Marketing of Vision Care as
Assistant Treasurer, Shabier Suban, Director of Fashion Bug, as Council Member,
Mr. Indika Perera, COO, Cargills Foods Company (Pvt) Ltd., Mr. Murali Prakash,
Past President, Sri Lanka Retailers Association and Former President, Mr. Hussain
Sidique.

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