AIMGSL boosts ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’


The Association of International Marketing Graduates in Sri Lanka (AIMGSL) successfully held its second Professional Series for 2022, on 31 August, at Barnes, Jetwing Colombo 7. The event hosted marketers from around Sri Lanka, to provide them an opportunity to hone their knowledge and expertise via a look at ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, as well as to expand their network of specialists and industry leads.

At his keynote speech, veteran marketer – Chief Digital Officer, EFL – Ahmed Irfan, stated: “Every business today is a challenge – that requires innovation. In my experience you have to be very comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to work successfully in innovation, because our landscape and the ways in which we market are ever evolving. Many of us believe that in today’s context that innovation is firstly all about technology. Let me first address the difference between innovation, invention and creativity. Innovation is the process of turning a new concept into commercial success or widespread use. Invention is the creation of a new idea or concept. Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. However, to me, I believe that your success story as an entrepreneur begins when innovation uses the power of invention, and the power of creativity, to create value in the market, creating an impact and more importantly, allowing you to capitalise and make money through innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Speaking on the principles of innovation and on performance driven innovation management, Chief Corporate and Innovation Officer, SLT-Mobitel, Prabhath Ambegoda noted: “SLT-Mobitel is a tech driven-company. We do not call ourselves an innovations company, but that does not mean we do not use innovation to better our offering and services, and improve upon our tech. I believe innovation works hand-in-hand with technology most of the time, but I do agree with Ahmed that it is not the technology that guarantees success but making use of the technology as a driver of innovation that builds success. So why is innovation so important? Why is it a word that is just thrown around as the answer to all our business and entrepreneurship challenges? Firstly, we need to understand when innovation is needed, and when common sense is needed.

Secondly, we need to understand that innovation is important – because the world is changing, our consumers are changing, our industries are coming together and efficiency and identifying needs and desires even before they become one, are important. And thirdly, once you have a winning idea or innovation – it’s time to take the idea into the value creation and implementation phase – which requires the management of innovation. This is where many companies tend to fall short as they do not understand or are not willing to understand the holistic requirement around going to market with innovative ideas. Nothing happens in isolation and innovation management is just as important as the innovation itself.”

The event was concluded with a panel discussion with Chief Digital Officer, EFL, Ahmed Irfan, and Chief Corporate and Innovation Officer, SLT-Mobitel, Prabhath Ambegoda, moderated by Strategy Consultant, SME Mentor, Board Director and Associate Professor in Business Management, Dr. Nirmal De Silva.

The discussion delved into the role of marketers in the ‘boardroom’ by virtue of their ability, as opposed to their function and skill set, embracing the industry meld to allow your skills to grow, appreciating the role of technology in entrepreneurship and business growth.