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University of Kelaniya emerge winners of Unilever Challenge

The team from the University of Kelaniya won the recently held Unilever Challenge – Lipton Talent Hunt, an initiative launched by Unilever Sri Lanka towards empowering Sri Lankan youth in business practices and sound business ideas generation. The Lipton Talent Hunt saw an enthusiastic participation from some of the country’s leading private and public universities.

“Unilever is committed to investing in young and talented Sri Lankans who form the ranks of future leaders for the country and the corporate world,” said Unilever Sri Lanka Chairman Shazia Syed. “The competition gave them business oriented experiential training and also the opportunity to participate in an internationally recognised atmosphere of business.

” With the Unilever Challenge – Lipton Talent Hunt, the students are able to explore and obtain hands-on experience in brand management as a career option at Unilever, while also reviewing the possibility of entering a world class career with Unilever,” said Unilever Sri Lanka Lipton Brand Manager Azka Waqar.

Real life market scenarios

“We were able to experience real life market scenarios and explore strategic opportunities on this program,” says one of the members of the winning team from the University of Kelaniya. “As a business challenge, we were given a brief that was aimed at inviting consumers who drink tea to switch to tea bags, enabling them to make their own tea to suit their needs of strong or light tea. It was both challenging and very stimulating for us as students, empowering us to participate in actual marketing decisions and market realities.”

Thirty five teams representing some of the country’s best talent from top universities took part in the Unilever Challenge – Lipton Talent Hunt. The Lipton team contributed to the success of the students, conducting multiple coaching and mentoring sessions, while preparing them for the planning and strategic direction phases. The grand finale was held on 30 November at the Cinnamon Grand with four teams who made it to the finals, participating. The participating universities at the finals were University of Colombo, APIIT, University of Kelaniya and National School of Business Management.

Unilever Sri Lanka Director Marketing Foods Ramani Samarasundera, JWT Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Chandini Rajaratnam and Unilever Sri Lanka Tea Division Head Avi De-Silva served as the judges of the evaluation panel. Kelaniya University Team Freshers impressed the judges with their innovative application and a practical approach. The team will be given the opportunity to visit the Lipton Brand team in another country and will also gain direct entry into the Unilever Sri Lanka Future Program at the Company Assessment Centre.

“We are happy with the outstanding success of the Unilever Challenge-Lipton Talent Hunt 2013,” said Waqar in conclusion. “It has captured the imagination of the young university students in Sri Lanka and has also become a benchmark of talent and experience for them. We are certain that it will continue to be a success next year as well and we look forward to that.”

Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd.

258 M. Vincent Perera Mw

Colombo 14

Sri Lanka

+94 (0) 11 4700 800

communications.usl@unilever.com

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