Every day is a happy day at JKH!

By Dakshith Jayawardane

It all started when I suddenly came across an advert posted on social media by JKH that said, “Work Readiness Workshop for School Leavers (Arrow 2018), Interested Applicants please forward your CV!”. This made me pause for a while as it was coincidental that few weeks before I was going through several articles published by Daily FT and many other newspapers about “John Keells” and its pivotal role in contributing to the Sri Lankan Economy. This made me completely fascinated to apply for the program. As a school leaver I felt that it was the best programme for me to enhance my know-how on the corporate world.

After a phone interview I was notified that I was selected to participate in the programme. The selection process in place to identify the most suitable candidates to participate in the work readiness programme provided insights into the quality of JKH’s processes and practices.

“Arrow 2018” , provided a golden opportunity for to understand the aspects and expectations of the corporate world while it also contributed towards bridging the gap between school and work. The program was articulated in such a way where I was able to enhance many soft skills such as problem-solving skills, critical thinking, listing etc. which are quite important for me in my current role. Moreover, the facilitators of the program provided valuable insights into the processes and operations of various business units within the organisation across seven industry verticals. The workshops were conducted by resource personnel within JKH, who shared their many life experiences with us, that helped us picture the corporate culture at JKH
Upon the conclusion of the program the participants were offered Internship opportunities in different sectors but due to several personal commitments I had to delay the start of my corporate journey. Joining JKH was one of my childhood dreams. Joining as a Category Management intern was the start of my journey at JKH and my journey since then has been full of fascinating challenges and opportnities that helped me grow and mature as a person.
As a category management intern at Keells, I was involved with the pharmacy business at the Keells supermarket chain and my primary job role was to liaise with the pharmacy operators by understanding the requirements of the end consumers. In addition to above I was also involved in Beverages, Liquor, Tobacco, OTC (Over the Counter) medication range-development & category management activities which provided me great understanding about category management and its holistic approach towards Modern Trade Retail. More towards the end of my internship programme a fellow collogues referred me to a vacancy available at John Keells Logistics (Pvt) Ltd (JKLL) as Business Development Executive. After successfully facing the interview I was able to secure the job and at present I am engaged in handling marketing related activities within the BU while maintaining the company’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) activities, initiate & execute all Digital Communication activities , Market Research to identify new opportunities , brand management related activities , Sales & Business Development.
at JKLL over the past year I was always encouraged to make the right decisions independently. Working alongside colleagues attached to various Business Units of JKH has not only provided me an opportunity to learn and grow but has helped me in building lifelong friendships that adds to the many list of things I have gained while being employed at JKH.
In addition to my professional career I always get involved in a number of actives which are outside work such as participating In Open Mic forums, Volunteer Programmes etc. Currently I am part of a team working towards initiating a Speakers’ Club at JKH in which our ambition is create a platform for passionate speakers within the group to come and share their inspiring stories with the rest of members to foster a culture of continuous improvement.
It’s been one and half years at JKH and ever since day one there is always something interesting on table every day that requires us to think out of box to come up with feasible solutions to meet the needs of our stakeholders at large. Thus far I am grateful to my mentors in the company for guiding and assisting me to be the person who I am today.
JKH is Indeed more than just a Workplace, as for me it is similar to a university that guides me towards excellence!

A capture taken from “Work from a Different BU “initiative -JKH Career week 2019