Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
03 May, 2015 | 1:59 am
The 38th Annual Convention of the Capital Maharaja Organisation was held at the Stein Studios in Ratmalana recently under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena.
Among other notable guests who attended this year’s Annual Convention were the executives of the Capital Maharaja Organisation, the Maha Sangha, experts from various fields, and politicians.
The highlight of the event was the selection of the Executive of the Year where five executives of the Capital Maharaja Group were nominated for the coveted award. it was Chandana Sooriyabandara, the Channel Head of Sirasa TV who bagged the coveted Executive of the Year Award for 2014 – 2015.
Here is a look at the full speech that was delivered during the annual convention on behalf of the Chairman of the Capital Maharaja Oraganisation,
Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen.
As I was writing this speech, I thought that 38 years is an incredibly long time for any convention to be held continuously, year after year, or for that matter, for someone to be working in the same organization, for that length of time. In fact, my career spans an even longer period than that. What may be more interesting is that I have worked longer in this Institution, than the Founders, my Father and his friend, Mr. Mahadevan, did, and even longer than my brother, who is here with us today, who started before me but retired 15 years ago. Time really does fly.
[quote]There are over eleven hundred executives, and only the very best find themselves on the short list, and finally the best among the best gets the gold.[/quote]
In 1977 when the first EOTY was held in our Office Board Room at Bankshall Street, the numbers of Executives were few, there was no short list and the selection was easy. Today, it is much harder than it was then. There are over eleven hundred executives, and only the very best find themselves on the short list, and finally the best among the best gets the gold.
In comparison, just imagine what it takes, for one person, out of a population of 21 million, to be elected as The President, and that too up against a strong competitor. A tough task, but it was done by someone, who is humble and unassuming, who took up the challenge and won.
Mr. President. Welcome to our Annual Convention. You deserve a big hand for the courage you displayed in coming forward, as the common candidate, against all odds, and for getting the 19th Amendment implemented with an overwhelming majority in Parliament.
You had the courage to be different, which incidentally, Sir, is the motto of our Group.
The defining moment of the dramatic result of our last Presidential election is, to my mind, an event that has as much significance for Sri Lanka and its people, as the end of the civil war.
[quote]we have been very active in this country’s commercial development for the last 85 years, since our inception and, we will continue to lead in all fields.[/quote]
Your Excellency, I hope you will agree with me that your victory, while it is a validation of your beliefs and values, is also a triumph of the will of the people, to make our country Sri Lanka a more democratic, equitable and, progressive one and a country that is more than ready to participate fully, in the comity of nations.
As for our Group, we have been very active in this country’s commercial development for the last 85 years, since our inception and, we will continue to lead in all fields. Additionally, we have provided opportunities to many, who are today highly sought after professionals in the media field.
[quote]We believe that our Media has played a significant role in setting standards in the electronic media culture, whether it be in entertainment, news or politics. [/quote]
On the entertainment side, we have unearthed the hidden skills and talents of young men and women in our country through our Educational, General Entertainment and Reality programmes. In News, we have not only been forthright and fearless, but also balanced and most of all sincere in our reporting.
Today, we play the role of watchdog, which is frowned upon by a few, but acknowledged and appreciated by many, especially our loyal listeners and viewers, who are in the millions locally and internationally.
Besides Media, we have maintained our emphasis on manufacturing and distribution, which is the foundation on which our Group has been built. We will take advantage of the forward thinking policies of the new government and, in the coming years invest further in expanding our Industrial operations.
We are therefore, in an unique position. On the one hand, to report on how the economy is moving, through our effective media and, on the other, play a major role in driving the economy through our multifaceted and diverse manufacturing, trading, distribution and export base. Setting an example for the rest.
[quote]Today, we play the role of watchdog, which is frowned upon by a few, but acknowledged and appreciated by many, especially our loyal listeners and viewers, who are in the millions locally and internationally. [/quote]
As the EOTY progresses today, you will learn more about our performance during the last financial year and, our plans for the future. Sashi, who was appointed joint Managing Director in November 2014, will elaborate on this during his presentation.
The new generation, both Pradeep and Sashi, will continue to take on additional responsibilities and, with the CEO of the Group and the Group Directors, take our Group to the next level. In this connection, I would like to mention that they have already signed up an agreement with Kansai of Japan for the manufacture of Paints. Mr. Bharuka, the Managing Director and Mr. Jain, a Director of Kansai NerolacIndia, who are present with us today, will speak about our joint venture later on this evening.
In life you can look at others and ask HOW, Or question yourself, and say WHY NOT. 85 years ago, our founders, two friends from the Rural North, were ambitious, dreamed big and, asked themselves, WHY NOT. They came to Colombo and realized their Dream.
[quote]we have always had the spirit and resilience, to convert our dreams into reality.[/quote]
My brother & I also, had OUR dreams.
We expanded into Foods – Anchor was born.
We dreamed of providing mobile telephony – Dialog was born.
Our dream to enter the Media, blossomed into MTV & MBC.
Stein Studios is the realization of, yet another dream.
Most of all we kept our dreams intact, by not only surviving but also being successful in the corporate world.
[quote]Therefore, let us continue to dream the impossible, and together achieve what others cannot even imagine. [/quote]
We at Maharajas are compulsive dreamers and so, we continue to dream, because we have always had the spirit and resilience, to convert our dreams into reality.
I am certain that those of you here, who are in your 20s & 30s and, even your 40s, are already dreaming big, which will result in taking our Group to even greater heights. It is my firm belief that, only in our Group do you have the opportunity and encouragement to realise your Dreams.
People like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Richard Branson and Ted Turner decided to chase their dreams and breaking away from convention, gave the world Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Virgin and CNN. They made it happen. Today, those Companies, are at the forefront of the international Corporate World touching every human-being on the planet.
Therefore, let us continue to dream the impossible, and together achieve what others cannot even imagine.
As I said last year, speaking from my heart to all of you, our Executives, we have reached where we have, the hard way. We have to move ahead and remove any obstacles that may come between us and our dreams. Believe in this truth. This is our strength. That is why we stand tall among the Sri Lankan corporates. Our leadership position must never be challenged.
Nothing will or can stop us, as we have the best human capital that can be found in the mercantile sector.
WE ARE THE MAHARAJAS
I leave you with a quote from Walt Disney:
“ All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them “
-Walt Disney, 1901-1966
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