John Keells Group partners with Unilever and LSEG for FastTrack
Introduced in 2011, the ‘FastTrack’ summer internship programme of John Keells Group, returns this year partnering with Unilever Sri Lanka and London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) to provide undergraduates with a unique opportunity to participate in a four-week internship. The partnership agreement was signed on 4th July 2022 by Isuru Gunasekera - Chief People Officer & Head of Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management & Group Initiatives - John Keells Group, Pulasthika Wirasingha Head of HR - LSEG and Ananya Sabharwal HR Director - Unilever Sri Lanka Limited.
While the three partner corporates seek undergraduates who are innovative thinkers that will challenge the status quo, FastTrack 2022 will be unique as it will be conducted online, providing the opportunity for the partners to showcase the corporate sector opportunities that exist in Sri Lanka for Sri Lankan undergraduates overseas, and those in Sri Lanka who may otherwise seek opportunities overseas.
Krishan Balendra – Chairman, John Keells Holdings PLC said, “The objective of the FastTrack internship programme has always been to engage closely with those who have the potential to be future corporate leaders in Sri Lanka and provide undergraduates from local and foreign universities, the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the diverse career opportunities within the Sri Lankan corporate sector. This year as well, despite the challenges, we are committed to showcase how companies like ours not only provide respectful and inclusive workplaces, but also contribute to our economy, drive innovation and sustainable businesses, and empower our communities.”
The interns will receive exclusive exposure to the industry sectors of Leisure, Real Estate, Consumer Foods, Retail, Manufacturing, Information Technology, and Transportation which will allow participants to learn and understand the operations of each, first-hand.
In her message, Hajar Alafifi – Chairperson and Managing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka said, “Our youth are the change agents of Sri Lanka's future. As such, we at Unilever are pleased to be a part of the FastTrack Internship Programme to inspire Sri Lankan students studying both locally and overseas to contribute to their homeland through local career opportunities."
She further added "As a company committed to pioneering new models of work and grooming youth to take up space in the corporate world, this initiative will enable us to fast track the learning curve for future-ready leaders by exposing talent early on to diverse work styles & environments and extending their exposure beyond our own industry, to build external orientation and skills which are vital ingredients for effective leadership.”
During the comprehensive four-week programme, interns will receive the opportunity to enhance their soft skills, covering areas such as business etiquette, leadership and presentation skills through directed workshops, and develop critical teamworking skills through a project management experience.
They will be guided and mentored by professionals and interact with prominent business personalities and immerse themselves in practical work assignments that connect their academic backgrounds to actual career experiences.
One of the objectives of FastTrack this year is to retain young talent and bring their unique strengths and talents back to Sri Lanka to support the nation’s progress, the partners additionally stated.
Commenting on the partnership, Fadhil Jiffry, Chief Financial Officer, LSEG Sri Lanka said, “LSEG has welcomed some of the best professionals in the country.That is why we are excited about the FastTrack programme. It is a great opportunity to introduce young graduates to a workplace that is truly shaping the world across 70 countries."
He added "LSEG is delighted to have the chance to provide our future leaders with an extensive, hands-on learning experience that will motivate FastTrack applicants to become leaders in their professions. We are excited to provide them with the chance to connect with industry leaders and bring something special to the projects they will be working on.”
Online applications for FastTrack 2022 are now open via www.fasttrack.lk where you can also view former FastTrack interns, who have progressed in their careers, speak about their FastTrack experience!
* From left to right: Tahanee Harris, Assistant Manager - Talent & Employer Branding - Unilever Sri Lanka; Keshavi Puswewala, Senior HR Business Partner - Corporate Functions and T&O & Employer Brand Lead - Unilever Sri Lanka; Isuru Gunasekera, Chief People Officer & Head of Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management & Group Initiatives - John Keells Group; Ananya Sabharwal, HR Director - Unilever Sri Lanka; Pulasthika Wirasingha, Head of HR - LSEG Sri Lanka; Imani Perera, Head of Learning & Development - John Keells Group, Shanya Fernando, HR Executive - John Keells Group and Thimira Warnaka, Assistant Manager, Group HR - John Keells Group.