SLIM Hosts Inaugural International Marketing Management Conference

The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) recently hosted the first ever International Conference on Marketing Management (ICMM) in view of the Institute’s golden jubilee celebrations. The conference themed ‘Driving Innovations through Sustainability Marketing’, was held in collaboration with the world’s leading publishing body ‘Emerald Publishing’. This was the very first occasion where Emerald Publishing joined hands with a local professional body to organise a research conference of this magnitude.

The keynote speaker of the conference was Dr. Hermanwan Kartajaya, Founder/Executive Chairman, Mark Plus Inc.-Indonesia; Founder, Asia Marketing Federation (AMF); and Chairman, Asia Council for Small Business (ACSM). He is also the co-author of Marketing 3.0 and 4.0. Ms. Sangeeta Menon, Publishing Relationship Manager, Emerald Publishing graced the occasion as the guest speaker.

The conference was held on a blended platform where some of the speakers joined at the BMICH, while the rest of the speakers and attendees joined the occasion virtually through Zoom and Facebook Live Streaming. 22 Eminent researchers contributed to the conference with their academic research, under five key areas; Brand Management and General Marketing, Digital Marketing, Sustainability/Green Marketing, Tourism/Service/Hospitality Management, and Technology Adoption/Purchase Intention. As the Co-Chairs, Professor Nalin Abeysekara (Open University of Sri Lanka), Dr. Jayantha N Dewasiri (SLIM and Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka), Dr. Dinesh Samarasinghe (University of Moratuwa) and Dr. Thesara Jayawardhane (SLIM and University of Moratuwa) managed the entire conference.    Dr. Vilasini De Silva (Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka), Dr. Sujeewi Sapukothange (Open University of Sri Lanka), Prof. Aarti Saini (University of Delhi), and Dr. Nuresh Eranda (University of Peradeniya) contributed as the session chairs of the conference. Mr. Manthika Ranasinghe (SLIM) chaired the project.

Sharing his best wishes, the Marketing Guru of the 21st century Phillip Kotler stated, “I am happy to hear about the inaugural international marketing conference organised by SLIM, which aims to keep the knowledge of the marketing community of Sri Lanka and neighbouring countries up to date on novel marketing tools and tactics and strategies. I believe that Marketing has the potential, when used wisely, to boost any company’s sales and profit.”

Sharing his insights as the keynote speaker, the Asian Marketing Guru Dr. Hermanwan Kartajaya stated, “As the entire world is navigating through unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next two years will be an ideal period to devise and execute recovery strategies so that by 2025, corporates will be able to rise again. Moreover, there are Five Magic Words of 2021 that drive the world; Digital, Human, Local, Global and Balance. While Digital emphasizes on areas such as automation and contactless connections, the Human aspect covers empathy, love and warmth. The Local aspect elaborates on domestication, local communities and neighborhood. Universality, collaborations and sustainability fall under the fourth magic word ‘Global’. Finally, Balance means harmony and synergy.”

“Although more than 225,000 researchers join the research community each year, nearly 45% of the submitted articles are returned to the authors without even reaching the Editor-in-Chief. However, over 30% articles that reach the editor’s desk end up as desk-reject papers, not even passing the peer review stage. Also, more than 60% of articles published by high impact journals do not contribute to the impact factor”, said Ms. Sangeeta Menon during her guest speech. She also shared important aspects to be considered when publishing an article while shedding light on the total process of publishing an article.

“Having recognised the significance of research in the field of Marketing Management, SLIM has introduced a host of other research-based initiatives such as the South Asian Journal of Marketing (SAJM), a peer-reviewed, open-access journal as well as the Research Scholar Programme. Research is one of the key pillars of the strategic organisational plan of SLIM, which focuses on creating a knowledge economy to propel the growth engine of the country. It is important to conduct research on topics that are both academically interesting and relevant to business and it is the responsibility of industry scholars and leading bodies to produce and disseminate research, i.e., knowledge that has an impact on the marketing world.  In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Institute, SLIM wishes to further strengthen its research arm and disseminate a wealth of knowledge—both industry and academic wise—to its diverse stakeholders. Keeping in line with the mission of establishing marketing as the driving force of the economy, SLIM always strives to add value to the local marketing fraternity,” said Roshan Fernando, President SLIM.

Dr Jayantha Dewasiri, Co-Chair of ICMM/ Treasurer, SLIM, stated that conducting this kind of conference is yet another landmark achievement of SLIM.  “Steering research towards real-world business problems is important. Through this initiative, we expect to leverage the efforts put on marketing research. Most importantly, research is one of the key pillars of SLIM’s strategic plan and we always focus on contributing to improve this aspect. Moreover, we have executed the Restart Sri Lanka campaign, a unified attempt at solidarity and togetherness to re-engineer and re-energize the local businesses in order to strengthen the national economy. We believe in the resilience of our nation and our perseverance to bounce back strongly. This is the first time that a research conference was organized in Sri Lanka, ‘free of charge’ for all research presenters and audience, as per the vision of SLIM to foster a ‘knowledge based economy’”.

Speaking at the occasion, Sanath Senanayake, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director, SLIM said, “We are elated to host the first ever International Research Conference on Marketing Management, in commemoration of the golden jubilee of SLIM. As the national body for marketing, SLIM believes that now is the time to lead with a positive perspective, grounded in reality but applied with optimism. We have initiated a national-level campaign named Restart Sri Lanka to drive the nation towards economic stability despite the global uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic carried out under the patronage of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. The objective of this knowledge-based initiative is to uplift the local corporates and SMEs to the next level from where they stand at present through streamlining their focus, attitudes and orientation towards overcoming this economic crisis. I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to the SLIM Executive Committee as well as the SLIM Council for their ceaseless efforts and dedication which made this international conference a reality.”

Best Paper Awards of the conference:

SLIM has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of the marketing fraternity in the country since 1970. The Institute was subsequently incorporated by the Act of 41 of 1980 in the Parliament of the Democratic Socialistic Republic of Sri Lanka in 1980. SLIM has received the ISO 9001:2015 certification in recognition of its superior quality management system and ISO 2990:2010 LSP for providing non-formal education and training services.

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