September 19, 2020: Vish Govindasamy, the Group Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) for the year of 2020/21. He takes reins of the national organisation for the employers by succeeding Pravir Samarasinghe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Overseas Realty.
Govindasamy has pioneered Sunshine Group’s diversification into newer but key economic sectors such as consumer goods, agribusiness, and renewable energy. His international experience, coupled with his innate managerial capability and innovative qualities enabled him to transform the plantation business, achieving perceptible improvement in quality, production standards and penetration into new markets. Under his managerial direction, the company has established several new brands and consolidated and expanded its share in both domestic and international markets.
Delivering his first speech as the Chairman, Govindasamy stressed that he wishes to work closely with the membership, the Director-General and new council members of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to usher in a new era of sustainability and resilience for employers of the country in a post-COVID economic and social landscape.
“I am assuming the chairmanship at a time when the country is faced with much hardships owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am looking forward to steering this ship safely to its shore. I would like to see this opportunity more optimistically. It is the beginning of a new era where all of us must think and act differently, and the world of work is not an exception. In this regard, I would like to work with all of you to usher a new era of sustainability and resilience for employers,” said Govindasamy.
During the lockdown period, Govindasamy asserted that the secretariat has continued to assist members through a portfolio of services both in terms of those linked in maintaining industrial harmony at workplaces. It also has introduced new value-added services which are focused more on nurturing and enhancing the sustainability of our enterprises.
“The development of new standards relating to working from home and distant locations, while ensuring work-life balance for employees as well as a modular approach for restructuring still stand to benefit all employers across the country. Furthermore, partnerships with experts in other areas linked to employment such as finance and health have enabled us to provide services to a vibrant membership who have favoured a one-stop service approach. We are currently exploring the possibility of providing services in the areas of taxation, business registration and potential value-added startups. Our efforts not only ensured the sustainability of businesses but also the livelihoods of many valued employees,” Govindasamy opined.
As the national employers’ organisation, Govindasamy emphasised that the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon is placed in a unique position, not only to represent the interest of its members and the employers in general but also to be involved in formulating national policies in respect of all matters relating to employment, labour law, and human capital development in Sri Lanka.
The federation has, over the years, contributed to the socio-economic development of this country by ensuring industrial harmony. As the employers’ constituent in the International Labour Organisation (ILO), EFC has not only propagated values of the ILO Conventions but also being a practitioner of social dialogue in a manner that reflects our commitment in such ideals. The recently-concluded tripartite agreement to pro-rate wages is one such initiative, said Govindasamy.
He also said the new government under the leadership of the President had created new opportunities for EFC to further the interest of all the employers and to formulate new policies to create an enabling environment.
“This includes the implementation
of the much-needed reforms for our labour market. We will continue to extend
our support to the state in its efforts to create gainful employment
opportunities while ensuring the welfare and development of those whom we
employ. We also welcome the emphasis put forth to enhance productivity and
competitiveness by the new Minister of Labour as these are essential elements
for businesses to thrive in a post-COVID world,” Govindasamy said.
Vish Govindasamy holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Hartford, USA. He is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers of Sri Lanka.