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CA Sri Lanka kicks off mentoring programme to nurture aspirations of Chartered Accountants

In a fresh initiative aimed at nurturing the aspirations of newly qualified chartered accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), recently kicked off its inaugural mentoring programme ‘Nurturing Aspirations’ where 100 chartered accountants were mentored by 10 distinguished corporate leaders.

The programme aims to maximize the potential of newly qualified chartered accountants, who were given the rare opportunity to listen and learn from senior chartered accountants, who are also members of the institute and have successfully climbed the corporate ladder and hold distinguished positions across leading companies in the country.

President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Arjuna Herath addressing the mentors and mentees said that the senior members of CA Sri Lanka, who are chartered accountants enjoy top positions in both the public and private sectors. “We want to ensure that this trend continues,” he said.

Mr. Herath noted that the young chartered accountants are the new ambassadors and flag bearers who will take the profession and the institute forward, and having understood their role, CA Sri Lanka decided to create a platform to impart the knowledge, experience, wisdom and skills possessed by senior members to the new members. “We need to share this knowledge with our young members as they have to carry forward our profession and the institute to the future,” he added.

The mentors of the programme were; Mr. B. R. L.  Fernando - Former Chairman, CIC Holdings PLC, Mr. Lalith Fonseka - Joint Managing Director, Mackwoods Ltd, Mr. Trevine Jayasekara - Group Finance Director, Brandix Lanka Ltd, Mr. Mahendra Jayasekera - Managing Director, Lanka Walltiles PLC, Ms. Coralie  Pietersz - Finance Director, Finlays Colombo PLC, Mr. Mano  Rajakariar - Group Financial Controller, John Keells Holdings PLC, Mr. Suresh Shah - Director / CEO, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, Ms. Nilanthi  Sivapragasam - Chief Financial Officer, Aitken Spence  PLC, Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah - Director / Chief Executive Officer, National Development Bank PLC and Mr. Nihal Welikala - Financial Consultant.

Vice President of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe, addressing the gathering emphasized that to reach the top, a professional needs knowledge, skills and support.

“This programme will enhance the quality and the future of young chartered accountants,” Mr. Wickremasinghe said.

He noted that mentoring is considered an important element in career progression, and young professionals can achieve success with the help of the seniors from the profession.

Chairman of the Professional Accountants in Business Committee of CA Sri Lanka, Mr. Nandika Buddhipala said that the programme was very important for new members as they will receive important insights and tips which will be of great use for their professional journey.

He also thanked the ten mentors who readily accepted the invitation to be part of the programme and share their knowledge and insight with the younger generation of chartered accountants. “I am certain this will be a very important and useful programme for our young members, and I hope you take advantage of this programme,” Mr. Buddhipala told the mentees.

Alternate Chairman of the Professional Accountants in Business Committee, Mr. Heshana Kuruppu said that four primary roles were expected of a professional accountant, and they were the roles of value creator, value enabler, value reporter and value preserver.

“We are very good at being a reporter and preserver, however some have weaknesses when it comes to the strategy aspects. Yet, these mentors have achieved holistic success in successfully carrying out all four roles,” he said. Mr. Kuruppu also said that exposure is also essential for success in the professional life, along with experience and education. “That is why we thought of exposing our new members to senior members who have been value creators and value enablers,” he added.