SLIIT Faculty of Business: Nurturing Industry Ready Professionals

Commencing its operations as a department in 2007, the SLIIT Department of Business Management was upgraded to the Faculty of Business in 2012. It is the nurturing ground for about 1000 students at present. The faculty facilitates UGC approved BBA Special (Hons) Degree Program under the specialisations of Human Capital Management, Accounting and Finance, Marketing Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics. The institute ensures that the graduating students are industry ready, which allows them to secure employment in the business world.

Heading the Business Management Department of the Faculty of Business is D.T. Kingsley Bernard, who has over 35 years of experience in the corporate sector. He is also currently holding the position of Non-Executive Chairman of Bimputh Finance Plc.  Bernard has also been a visiting faculty member at a number of universities for the past 25 years. Bernard joined as a full-time academic staff member of SLIIT in 2014 and was appointed as the Head of Business Management Department in 2015.

To date Bernard serves as a Senior Lecturer at the faculty apart from heading the department and he continues to teach Marketing Management, Consumer Behaviour, Strategic Management, Brand Management and International Marketing. He is a veteran Marketer and a reputed Management-Consultant and was among the first batch of graduates from the Jaffna University in 1974 earning a B.Sc. in Statistics. A product of Ananda College, Colombo Bernard went on to claim many firsts during his academic and corporate career progression. In 1982, Bernard obtained a Distinction in Diploma in International Marketing from Colorado State University, USA and in 1986 graduated from the University of Colombo as a post-graduate, earning a Gold Medal for Marketing Management completing a Master’s in Business Administration. Bernard also received a diploma from CICC- Japan in Computer Systems Design in 1986.

With his humble beginnings as a management trainee at Volanka Ltd Bernard has not only contributed his expertise in the private sector, but was also involved in the public sector serving in the positions ranging from Senior Manager/CEO to Group Director in organisations such as Unilever (Sri Lanka), Dankotuwa Porcelain, Maharaja Organisation, Daya Group of Companies, Bimputh Finance Plc, Walker and Greig Ltd, Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Agricultural Development Authority and Sri Lanka Export Development Board.

Bernard has made a significant contribution to Sri Lanka’s Export Development and has held responsible positions with the Export Development Board (EDB), Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation, and National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka. His contribution towards organising ‘Expo ‘92’ the first ever International Trade Fair held in Sri Lanka was significant. Bernard was also a member of several Chambers: Chairman of the Joint Business Forum (2004-2005), President of the National Chamber of Exporters for two consecutive years until 2006, President of the Ceramic Manufactures and Exporters Association (1998-2000) and Secretary of the Association for Corporate Social Responsibility. He was appointed as the Vice District Governor (2007-2008) and District Governor (2009-2010) for Lions International District 306B2.

The Degree programs of the SLIIT Business Faculty not only focus on providing theoretical knowledge in Business Administration but also inculcates the hands on practices of the corporate world. “Though we are still a young education service provider in the industry, we ensure that our students are equipped with the required industry skills such as communication skills, business etiquette. Furthermore they are encouraged to seek internships and present case studies based on the businesses they intern for,” Head of Business Management Department Kingsley Bernard explained.

While there is a plethora of education service providers who offer attractive degree programs, the faculty has identified a niche segment of students who enrol with SLIIT. These students come from all across Sri Lanka and receive their academic knowledge from highly qualified and experienced lecturers who have contributed their expertise towards the betterment of the corporate sector.

What is more exciting to know is that the Faculty Advisory Board includes industry experts who are also at the helm of their careers at reputed businesses in the country. The eleven members of the advisory board, assist in developing the programme, changing the curriculum to suit industry requirements and create an employable business graduates. An advisory board of this manner, helps strengthen the relationship between SLIIT and a variety of industries.

SLIIT Business Faculty conducts ‘Soft Skills+’ for the past four consecutive years for students from Grade 11 – 13 representing state, private and international schools. These soft skill workshops are conducted with the intention of instilling skills such as team work, problem solving, leadership and creative thinking. This year’s event was attended by children of over 25 schools and 35 teams took part in the preliminary round.