Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - 2021-11-21


Rohantha wins Rotary top PR/ Marketing award 2021


Marketing professional Rohantha Athukorala was awarded the top PR/ Marketing award at the Rotary Sri Lanka & Maldives award Ceremony 2021 staged at the Grandeeza Hotel, Negombo. Athukorala an award winning marketer conceptualized the project ‘ Rotary Stop the Spread Project’ on to ravaging Covid- 19 virus in Sri Lanka that brought together 15,000 Interactors, Rotaractors and Rotarians to activate four thousand projects across the country that gave definition to Rotary in the year 2020/21. The project was able to garner 184 top sportsman as brand Ambassordors on the theme “Learning to live with Covid” that got string media traction which helped influence behavior change on the focussed segments of society. Separately, over 400+ companies were covid- 19 control Certified by SLSI - an idea conceptualized by Rotary. The companies included Food giants Nestle, Top Dairy company Fonterra, No 1 Tea exporter Akbar Brothers, 125 outlets of Keels Super market chain, Dialog outlets etc just to name a few. This initiative gave cover to over 20,000 people said Rotary in a communique. We are now driving the ‘ Stop the Spread initiative under the Rotary back to school campaign- a partnership with the Ministry of Education announced Rotary Governor for year 2021/ 22 Aruni Malalasekera. The Sri Lankan flag ship project got global recognition by Rotary International and the originator Dr Athukorala, was a recipient of the coveted ‘ People of Action’ award which incidentally was the first Sri Lankan to win this award in the 91 year history of Rotary in Sri Lanka. The multi skilled Athukorala is the Country Head for a top South Asian Artificial Intelligence( AI) company for Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan that does brand mapping using AI technology. In his 20 year career in top British multinationals- ReckittBenckiser, Unilever and DiverseyLever Athukorala Twice the ‘ Marketing Achiever’ award winner of the Chartered Institute of Marketing for strong Brand Marketing when he managed the power brand Dettol and then went on to serve the United Nations( UNOPS) - Sri Lanka & Maldives. Once again in his tenure, Sri Lanka won the best global project. Successive Governments has appointed Dr Athukorala shoulder key National responsibilities such as C h a i r man Sri Lanka Tourism, Sri Lanka Export Development Board( EDB) and the 30 billion rupee retail chain - Lanka Sathosa Board Director Industrial Development Board( IDB), Handictafts Board, Sri Lanka Tea Board( Marketing Commitee) etc. He is the only Sri Lankan to be appointed as Chairman of exports and tourism the two key sectors of the country that connect Sri Lanka to the world and then he was appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers as the Counsellor General( CG) of World Expo based in Milan, Italy. Athukorala was awarded the BJP Abdul Kalam award for outstanding leadership in the public sector on the project Atchchueeli Industrial zone that he conceptualized and received funding from the Government of a India when he served the United Nations( UNOPS). He is an alumnus of Harvard University.


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