Watawala Plantations PLC, a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC, emerged the winner of the award for Institutional Building at the Asia Pacific HRM Congress (APHC) awards ceremony held in Bangalore, India on 7 September. Its parent company Sunshine Holdings PLC, a diversified holding company, named amongst the LMD top 50 has interests in Healthcare, Plantations, FMCG, Packaging, Leisure and renewable Energy among other growth industries. The group’s key portfolio includes plantation infrastructure across palm oil, tea and rubber, along with mature healthcare products in pharmaceutical, surgical, diagnostics and wellness supported by a dynamic proprietary distribution infrastructure with an island wide reach.
The Group’s Watawala Plantations won the award for institutional building by the Congress considering its long-standing commitment towards capacity building, which incorporates institutional building and individual development of employees. With the award, the APHC acknowledged the success achieved by Watawala Plantations on the capacity building front, particularly as an organisation operating in the plantation sector.
The Asia Pacific HRM Congress, which has the representation of HR leaders of renowned Indian and international organisations, is considered one of the most prestigious HR summits in the world. In addition to the award for Institutional Building, the HRM Congress presents awards for categories, ‘Organisation with Innovation HR Practices’, ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Cause of Education’ and ‘HR Outsourcing’. Awards such as ‘Exemplary Leader’, ‘CEO of the Year’ and ‘HR Professional of the Year’ come under the Individual category.
This year’s summit was conducted under the theme ‘HR – Building Future Leaders’. The event also covered some important subthemes such as compensation and benefit trends, HR leadership, translating HR strategy into action and building future leaders in the organisation.
In addition to evaluating excellence of organisations and individuals, the Congress provides a platform to review evolving trends in the field of human resource management. It also provides the opportunity to acquire skills to maximise competency and become a more knowledgeable contributor in the HRM field. At the same time, the summit gives an insight into understanding important workplace issues that can affect the viability of an organisation in the fast-moving business environment.
Watawala Plantations CEO Dr. Dan Seevaratnam was also awarded at the Asia Pacific HRM Congress, under the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ category for his contribution towards human resource development in his illustrious career in the plantation sector. Having received his education at Trinity College, Kandy, Dr. Seevaratnam joined the plantation industry as a Trainee Assistant Manager. In his 40-year career in the industry, Dr. Seevaratnam climbed the organisational rungs swiftly and ended up as CEO of Watawala Plantations in 2008 – the highest position a planter could aspire to reach.
He has been widely acclaimed as the Chief Architect in the ‘turn around’ of three Plantation Management Organisations – Maskeliya Plantations PLC, Namunukula Plantations PLC managed by John Keells Holdings and Kahawatte Plantations PLC managed by Forbes Plantations PLC.