The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) achieved its Golden Jubilee milestone last year and to mark this achievement SLIM launches its first ever novel SME Development Awards (SLIMSMEDA), in addition to its already awarding ‘Brand Excellence’ and other annual awards. To announce this novel ‘SLIMSMEDA’ a media briefing was held last week at the [...]

Business Times

SLIM launches awards for SMEs

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The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) achieved its Golden Jubilee milestone last year and to mark this achievement SLIM launches its first ever novel SME Development Awards (SLIMSMEDA), in addition to its already awarding ‘Brand Excellence’ and other annual awards.

To announce this novel ‘SLIMSMEDA’ a media briefing was held last week at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the country’s economy and 45 per cent of the workforce are in the SME sector and contributes 52 per cent to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of the country.

Yet, the SMEs appear to be stagnant at the same level even for 50 years in some cases and this explained the very purpose of initiating this novel award scheme, Roshan Perera, President, SLIM said. He noted that this is not just another SLIM Award Scheme, but it is an attempt to incentivize the SMEs to reach the next level, preferably to the large scale by recognising the performances on marketing, sales and branding.

Though SLIMSMEDA was to be launched in 2020, Mr. Perera said that due to COVID-19, routine businesses of all categories were disrupted. He said that this award scheme would encourage SMEs to rise to the next level and overcome the challenges as “they play a dominant role in uplifting the economy and thus facilitating their development is our priority”.

Ravi Bamunusinghe, Management Consultant, Postgraduate Institute of Management, Sri Jayawardenapura University and an active person involved in developing the SME sector said, that they are being in continuous consultation with SMEs and SMEs are reluctant to move up fearing that when they move up the next level, they would face unnecessary involvements such as ‘income tax’.

Though in fact, he said that, they would be having a broader vision, but what is sad is that they were not having a background to move up. He said that SLIM would assist them to achieve that vision. And thus he said that they could fulfil their desired purpose of pushing the SMEs to the next level.

These SMEs are also not normally involved with such areas as auditing, research and things like preparing annual reports etc as they do not give much importance to those areas.

Asanka Perera, Project Chairman queried as to why these SMEs are stagnant at the same level. Their brand is more valuable than the establishment itself, he pointed out. He was emphasizing that they were actually not intended to go for another awards scheme, but the concern for SMEs and their stagnation was in their ‘drawing board’ for some time.

 

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