The inaugural APIIT ‘Athwela’ project, by APIIT Business School, in collaboration with Nestlé Lanka PLC, aims to uplift the business of small-scale traders and enterprises. The collaboration was formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions on 5 September 2022, with Dr. Hasuli Perera, Head of APIIT Business School and Jason Avanceña, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka PLC as the signatories.
With the signing of the MoU, representatives of Nestlé Lanka PLC will now conduct a series of focused workshops to train the Business School students on practical aspects of running a small trading business, such as merchandising, stock control, and working capital management as part of this retailer business development programme. In turn, each student will work with one traditional street-based local trader in their neighbourhood to assist this small-scale retailer to better optimise resources and manage operations in the current turbulent environment.
Speaking about the project, Head of APIIT Business School, Dr. Hasuli Perera said that “the ‘Athwella’ project is a unique learning experience that will inspire students to uplift the lives of others, which in this instance is the small-scale trader community, while giving them an opportunity to learn the practicalities of the small-scale retail sector.
Addressing the gathering, the Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka PLC, Jason Avanceña said, “We are pleased to work with APIIT to uplift rural communities by educating Sri Lanka’s future generation – our youth – about the local retail industry in fulfilment of Nestlé Lanka’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for people and communities we work with.”