Hola people!! Hope all of you are doing well and had a great weekend! Thank you so much for showering Ms. Pavithra with your birthday wishes! :-)
January was great for us.. Our MD Ms. Pavithra YS was awarded Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar (you can read about it here) by IMC Ladies’ Wing association. It was followed by a business trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Vindhya was a proud participant in MY EO (Entrepreneurs' Organization) Engage Social Impact Business Summit 2019 held at Hilton Hotel, Colombo. Ms. Pavithra was invited as the Keynote speaker.
What is this EO? What do they do?Let me tell you...
EO is the only global networkexclusively for entrepreneurs. EO helps leading entrepreneurs learn and grow throughpeer-to-peer learning, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and connections toexperts. (Source: https://www.eonetwork.org/)Since its establishment in 1987, EO has been instrumental in transforming andguiding the lives of entrepreneurs who are set out to change the world forbetter.
It is spread in 58 countries with13000+ all around the world. EO Summit is an event that connects entrepreneursfrom various countries, provide a platform for them to share their successstories and discuss the ways to achieve the task that they are set out for. Itgives a great opportunity for budding entrepreneurs who need guidance andknowledge transfer that would help them in succeeding in their businesses.
This summit, titled, My EO EngageSocial Impact Business Summit was held for 2 days, Jan 11-12th 2019.It was to recognise members who have made or are making a social impact intheir communities and localities and are working towards implementing UnitedNations’ Sustainable Development Goals. (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/)
Day 1 of the summit saw membersgather and share their journey on how they have managed to make an impact intheir society and the experiences associated with it. Members from around theglobe were in attendance. There were panel discussions on Profits with Purposethat saw entrepreneurs explain initiatives that they have taken keeping socialimpact in mind.
Ms. Pavithra was one of the 2 keynote speakers, the other being Mr. Kushil Gunasekera, Founder / Chief Trustee of “Foundation of Goodness”, Sri Lanka. She delivered an inspiring speech on the inclusive journey of Vindhya, the social impact it has in the society and the measures that were taken towards SDGs. People in attendance were speechless after witnessing an inspiring video on Vindhyans’ that showcases their sheer grit with which they overcame all the hurdles. After her speech, everyone promised to hire at least one person with disability in their organization and initiate the inclusion! Isn’t this great? Taking steady steps towards realizing the dream of having an inclusive workplace!
Mr. Kushil spoke about hisorganization, Foundation of Goodness and the commendable work that he does in bridgingthe gap between the rural and urban sector in Sri Lanka. It left a profoundimpact and was very moving! His speech was rich with meaningful one-liners.Quoting a few of them:
“Harness the waves of compassion to suppress thewaves of destruction”
“Harness the talent in abundancein the village boys and girls!”
“Work style can be copied but notthe passion!”
"Adversity – can break you down or make you break records!” and many more!"
Panel discussions saw participationfrom entrepreneurs, Mr. Nikhil Hirdaramani (Hirdaramani Group, Sri Lanka), Ms.Smita (Indivillage), to name a few and representatives of United Nations whoexplained about the initiatives taken by the UN towards implementing SDG andthey reiterated the point that UN is always ready to help any person ororganization working towards it.
As rightly said before, thissummit served as platform for entrepreneurs to get meet and greet their fellowsand thereby continue to stay in touch and help each other.
Day 2 – visit to Hirdaramani’s MihilaFactory
Hirdaramani’s Mihila Factory is located in Agalawatta, 70 kilometers southeast of Colombo. ‘Mihila’, which gives the meaning of ‘Planet Earth’, is an apparel facility, which provides an excellent case study for environmentally sustainable development, especially due to its location- surrounded by lush green fields!. This custom built, state of the art apparel factory, which employs one thousand workers and specializes in knitwear, emits 48 % less Carbon Dioxide when compared to similar facilities of its size. It saves water by an equal percentage. (Source: http://www.tilaksamarawickrema.com/Architecture-1/index-4.html) Through these factors, Mihila factory has managed to be in line with UN’s SDG in many ways.
We were explained about the processes followed in the factory that caters to the well being of its employees and the services offered for them to keep them healthy and happy. We walked through the operational floors where we got to see people bustling around, stitching and checking the quality of the clothes. Floor was properly split process-wise and works in an orderly manner. It was a great learning experience for all of us.
An enriching visit that was! The main take away for all of us was, “Gone are the days of being just an entrepreneur; all of us must see ourselves beyond that and start being a social entrepreneur!!”
Images source: My EO Engage Team