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Sri Lanka job seekers should be adaptable, have self-initiative in post-Covid world: CIMA forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Young people and private sector workers who wanted to succeed in the post-Coronavirus environment should be adaptable and have self-initiative and many businesses are demanding information technology skills, industry practitioners said.

The Coronavirus crisis had forced businesses to change the way they did operations, business models and sometimes shifting to entirely new products, triggering sweeping changes across organizations.

“Post Covid has given us huge opportunity to do things differently,” Lanka Orix Leasing Company PLC, Group Chief Financial Officer, Sunjeevani Kotakadeniya told a virtual careers fair organized by the Sri Lanka chapter of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant UK.

“We have given the chance to think how to take our businesses forward and to think about cost effective ways.”

Global Skill set

The virtual festival had industry practitioners speaking on the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Competency Framework, Technical Skills, Leadership Skills, People Skills, Business Skills, and Digital Skills.

“We want to facilitate a platform to access and learn from the people across the world,” CIMA Vice-President Sri Lanka, Melanie J Kanaka said.

“We at CIMA believe the key skills are embedded in our CGMA.”

She said with the CGMA Competency Framework participants will be able to get an idea of what the employers from the industries are focusing when recruiting.

Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Regional Vice President – Asia Pacific Venkkat Ramanan said the perspective of the industries have changed after the Covid pandemic





Employers are more focus on new skills rather than traditional qualifications.

“In the past when we recruit people we always looked at the technical skills,” Ramanan said. “We only focused on that and we thought that every employer was looking from a technical point of view.”

“But now people are looking for various skills such as self-initiative, adaptability, scientific skills and IT skills.

E-Commerce Growth

Sri Lankan Air Lines Group Chief Executive Officer, Vipula Gunatilleka new businesses have started emerging and the e-commerce side was growing.

“E-commerce business is booming,” Gunatilleka said.

Everyone in business had to be ready to change, he said.

“With the post-Covid you’ve got to be adaptable.”

He said business and professionals should be ready to change with the situation and acquire the needed skills in the future, to go forward.

After the pandemic stronger IT skills are being sought by businesses with e-commerce taking big strides.

Unilever Ghana, Finance Director, Priyadarshana Ekanayak said after the Covid pandemic, technology has improved significantly and the businesses and employees should acquire more IT skills in the future.

“The technology has taken a big turn with the current situation in the world.” Ekanayaka said.

Ekanayake said recruiters would look for stronger IT skills in the future.

“Most of the time you will be asked whether you know Excel and Word,” he said. “But in the future, you will be asked about python code, cloud computing or how to do power BI”.


Gunatilleka said young people now were keen to start businesses with new ideas, which was a very good trend.

“Lots of youngsters want to be entrepreneurs, and it is totally ok.” Gunatilleka said. “When you are young take that chance, if you fail so what, do not fear the failure.”

Entrepreneurial young people would also have better chance of progressing if they join big corporations, which are changing.

“It is confirmed that the new generation wants to be entrepreneurs,” LOLC’s Kotakadeniya said. “It will definitely challenge larger corporations because it will be difficult to find resourceful employees.”

“But on the other hand, people who come to the corporate world now have a better chance to climb the corporate ladder easily.”

“In big corporations, there are more opportunities, because the business models are changing and it is more appealing to the younger generation.”

Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC, Group Chief Executive Officer, Gahanath Pandithage said with Covid pandemic, more changes would be in store.

“You have to adapt and change.” Pandithage said. “Be ready to change. With the coming years, there will be numerous challenges and you should adapt and change.”


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