The core focus areas of Gamata Marketing are the financial and non-financial empowerment of small scale entrepreneurs, offering them opportunities to transform their aspirations to reality. While the University of Moratuwa significantly contributed to the project by designing the blueprint at the inception, SLIM shouldered the responsibility of executing the same. The Gamata Marketing programme proved to bridge the gap between upcoming rural entrepreneurs and SLIM, which in return has opened a whole new world of opportunities for budding marketers. Since the very first year saw the project on a trajectory of robust growth and progress, delivering exceptional results that far exceeded expectations, SLIM decided to move forward with rejuvenated strength and focus to empowering rural entrepreneurs and enterprises.

Under the guidance of Ms. Neluka De Alwis, Project Chair -2011/12, the maiden project of Gamata Marketing ‘Refined Cane’ was successfully conducted. SLIM was able to create a market for cane products through the Refined Cane project. The second project ‘Una Bamboo’ was yet another pioneer project focused on promoting naturally biodegradable bamboo products and assisting the manufacturers to reach their target audience.

As the thriving partnership with the University of Moratuwa came to an end in 2015, SLIM joined hands with the University of Ruhuna to carry forward the project. During the same year, SLIM conducted a special programme themed ‘Fish Bonanza’, which was focused on creating opportunities to the local fishing industry as empowering small and medium scale entrepreneurs is one of SLIM’s sustainable approaches in contributing to Sri Lanka’s economic prosperity. Due its success and popularity, Fish Bonanza was carried out annually for four consecutive years since its inception in 2015.

Yet another project carried out under Gamata Marketing, ‘Liyaka Mahima’ is one of SLIM’s pioneering projects executed with the intention of empowering grassroots level entrepreneurs, with a special focus on women. Through this exclusive programme, SLIM aimed to create a favourable environment for women entrepreneurs to thrive in the market place. The ultimate expectation was to make a significant contribution to the progress of the national economy through their business ventures. Moreover, this project was carried out in collaboration with the South Asian Association for Home Base Workers (SABAH) as well as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Club of Derana. While the former identified potential beneficiaries (women entrepreneurs), analysed their needs and offered necessary training facilities to enhance their knowledge on the dynamic business environment, the latter assisted them in promoting their products through various media platforms and bringing forth strategic partners.

As the apex body representing the country’s marketing fraternity, SLIM is dedicated to create a path for these budding entrepreneurs to understand their right ground to establish innovative businesses and enable them to achieve their vision. Accordingly, a host of special training programmes have also been conducted under Gamata Marketing to provide them a thorough understanding about marketing essentials in order to devise creative and futuristic marketing strategies to compete with existing cash-rich ventures.

Gamata Marketing will continue to focus on uplifting impoverished communities who are optimistic about their future and have confident on their ventures, which are in their embryonic stages. Despite economic headwinds created by the COVID-19 global pandemic, Gamata Marketing remains optimistic about the potential of local SMEs (Small & Medium Scale Enterprises). Our confidence is derived from the strong foundation that are in place, clear strategic direction that steers this special project, and the value of resilience that is embedded in the organisational culture of SLIM.

The Pillars of Strength

Gamata Marketing is a collective effort, which was initially envisaged by Mr. Thushara Perera President of SLIM (2011/12) as an approach to empower rural communities. Today, Gamata Marketing has evolved into a holistic platform that enriches rural communities, makes dreams come true and fulfils long-held aspirations.

Year President Project Chairperson Project Name
2011 – 12 Thushara Perera Neluka De Alwis Refined Cane
2013 – 14 Gamika De Silva Suranjith Swaris Una Bamboo
2014 – 15 Kalana Ratnayake Suranjith Swaris Thala
2015 – 16 Ruwan Liyanagamage Suranjith Swaris Fish Bonanza
2016 – 17 Upul Adikari Leonard Jayasinghe Fish Bonanza
2017 – 18 Karthik Elangovan Leonard Jayasinghe Fish Bonanza
2018 - 19 Pradeep Edward Kaushala Amarasekara Fish Bonanza
2019 - 20 Suranjith Swaris Dr. Dilhan S. Jayatilleke Gamata Marketing
2020 - 21 Roshan Fernando Dr. Dilhan S. Jayatilleke Liyaka Mahima