Picture caption: Deshamanya Dr Mahesh Amalean delivering the oration
The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) in a tripartite initiative collaborated with the Post Graduate Institute of Management (PIM) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) to commemorate and appreciate the yeoman service rendered to the marketing fraternity of Sri Lanka by the late Professor Uditha Liyanage, to organize the commemorative oration. The oration was delivered by Deshamanya Dr Mahesh Amalean who delivered an inspiring speech reminiscing his association with Prof. Liyanage. The ceremony was held at the PIM auditorium on August 9, 2019 and the event was organised by the Professor Liyanage Memorial Oration Guidance Committee for which the members were drawn from the aforementioned bodies.
An eminent marketer, the late Professor Uditha Liyanage redefined Sri Lanka’s marketing sphere. His ability as an eloquent speaker, communicator and a lucid thinker enabled him to reach the highest rungs of his profession. Throughout his successful career as a marketer as well as an academic, he always believed in “being focused on the basics.” His public persona portrayed him as exceptional and reliable, but essentially passionate and ambitious. Challenging the status quo, Professor Liyanage came up with a five-fold package of product value propositions: functional, experiential, relational, social and psychological – all of which are beyond the traditionally assigned values of any particular product or service.
Speaking about the late Professor Liyanage and his immense contribution to the marketing arena, Suranjith Swaris, the President of SLIM said that his efforts greatly supported SLIM’s vision of elevating marketing in Sri Lanka. “The marketing definition by SLIM was formulated with his guidance and effort. He also contributed towards the development of the comprehensive entry kit for SLIM Brand Excellence, which to date provides a guideline to local brand custodians to think strategically and build brands with a long term strategic direction. He was an advisor of the Brand Excellence Project Committee and a member of the panel of judges of SLIM Brand Excellence. As we embark on a year of Transformation by focusing heavily on branding to boost the country’s economy by supporting the SME sector with regards to brand development and the application of marketing principles aggressively for the development of SME businesses, the absence of Professor Liyanage is a great loss to us”
“Professor Liyanage was the first ever Sri Lankan Honorary Fellow of SLIM. He was also a member of the Board of Study. Personally, I see him as a strategist and sociologist who prompted many revolutions within the country’s corporate sector and made a commendable contribution to Sri Lanka’s marketing fraternity as well as to the national body of marketing in Sri Lanka”, Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri, the Director/Chairman of the Board of Management of PIM stated. Adding that, “The late Professor Uditha Liyanage needs no introduction, and I would like to call him a ‘Sage of our Age.’ He was an innovative academic with an impressive background in the corporate world as he was at the helm of many leading companies in the country. Therefore, despite being an academic, he always considered everything from a business perspective, as well. Although the majority tend to ignore the fundamentals in marketing, he always encouraged us to go back to basics.”
Addressing the audience at the commemoration ceremony dedicated to celebrate the life and work of the late Professor Liyanage, Eardley Perera, the Founder/Chairman of CIM-Sri Lanka said, “Professor Liyanage was an indispensable part of CIM-Sri Lanka. He steered CIM towards a great growth curve as the Chairman of CIM-Sri Lanka from 1990-2001.He was also the initiator of the CIM Future Marketers Conference’, which is one of the most anticipated events in the institute’s event calendar in Sri Lanka. Moreover, he always lent a helping hand in deciding the annual theme of the conference.” “He commenced teaching with a very consumer centric subject, ‘The Behavioural Aspects of Marketing.’ Even in teaching, his consumer-centric strategy-driven and research-oriented approach was always seen valuable. Thus, Uditha blossomed to be one of Sri Lanka’s most sought-after lecturers in Management and Marketing. He served not only the Marketing fraternity but also the whole nation”, added Eardley Perera, who had also been a student of Professor Liyanage during his higher studies.