Hayleys Plantations makes history with first-ever management symposium – Reuters







Dunedin Skimmed Rubber Processing Center Senior Manager Chandana Wanniarchchi (third from left) receives the Best of Best award at the event

Billed as a one-of-a-kind event for the Sri Lankan plantation industry and local businesses, Hayleys Plantations held its first management symposium, showcasing powerful new innovations and best practices developed by its real estate teams in response to challenges recent history.

The symposium, a common practice in academic and scientific circles, was the culmination of a structured program launched across 60 estates and its teams across the island, by Hayleys Plantation Sector HR Division. Fostering a research-driven science mindset, teams were tasked with compiling data and case studies around solving real-world problems, drawing on sound scientific and economic methodologies.
The event brought together Hayleys Group senior management and prominent industry players. The keynote address was delivered by a respected academic, Senior Professor Buddhi Marambe, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, who reiterated the importance of private sector investment in research and development. development.

Commending Hayleys Plantations for the efforts made, Professor Marambe also spoke of the value of partnerships between companies and emerging agri-tech pioneers, to foster the integration of next-generation technologies.
“We have seen our teams showcase powerful examples of innovative thinking, demonstrating their achievements amid unprecedented challenges – a first in our industry’s 150-year history. Grounded in science and evidence-based problem solving, these case studies can support a more sustainable and prosperous future for Sri Lanka’s plantation industry and for the over one million Sri Lankans connected to it” said Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr Roshan Rajadurai.

Hayleys CEO Mohan Pandithage receives the first copy of the Symposium Research Booklet from Hayleys Plantations CEO Dr Roshan Rajadurai

Held under the theme ‘Innovative Business Thinking and Applications’, the symposium recognized the top 10 projects/success stories with three company level winners, one from each of Hayleys Plantations companies and the best of the best winners. Prizes were awarded to teams in the field for high-impact initiatives covering triple bottom line areas such as worker happiness, increased quality, use of renewable energy, innovative eco-friendly solutions environment, maximizing land use and increasing the professionalism of tea harvesters.
A panel of seven judges, led by Dr. Samantha Rathnayake, PIM Senior Management Consultant and faculty member, scored the submissions based on the potential for added value, innovation and creativity displayed.

The wastewater management system put in place by the Dunedin Rubber Skimmed Processing Plant was recognized as the best presented project by Kelani Valley Plantations PLC and was also crowned best of the best winners at the symposium. The estate team reduced the use of wastewater production by 50% with a return on investment in just five working days after implementing the new system.

Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC’s Bearwell Estate has been awarded Best of the Best at the corporate level for its Green Leaf Zipline Transportation Project, which has reduced the cost of transportation, contributed to productivity, health and the well-being of employees and reduces the estate’s fuel consumption. and the carbon footprint.

Fairlawn Estate of Horana Plantations PLC was recognized as the winner at company level, for its weed buyback program. Created during the fertilizer crisis, the initiative offered estate employees extra income to remove weeds, which were then sold to the estate and used as the main input for homemade organic fertilizer.
To foster greater knowledge sharing and skill development for those joining the industry, copies of a research booklet from the symposium including insights from the top 10 submissions will be circulated externally to universities and colleges. plantation industry stakeholders.

Comprised of three leading regional plantation companies, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTEL) and Horana Plantations PLC (HPL), Hayleys Plantation business has 60 tea and rubber estates covering approximately 26,137 hectares of land spanning three distinct agro-climatic regions.

Buddhi Marambe, Senior Professor of Peradeniya University Faculty of Agriculture, lights an oil lamp during the event