Words : Indika Madapatha Sellahewa
Photos : Nirmala Dhananjaya
Meeting Amali at an event organised by Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Lanka Woman was impressed with Amali’s achievements as well as her vibrant and friendly demeanour and decided to delve a bit more into her background on how she entered into the world of logistics.
Amali, can you tell us about your entrance into supply chain and logistics?
If say I joined supply chain and logistics un knowingly, its correct. I did Bio Science for my ALs to continue my studies in Science. But I did not get the required aggregate to enter the University. So I decided to do an Information Technology (IT) related diploma.
My first job was with Hayleys started as Accounts Assistant. Having a System Analysis and Design Diploma from NIBM and Stage 1 CIMA were the only qualifications I possessed. I decided to pursue my career in IT related Accounting Systems.
After Joining Hayleys Plantations Ltd, I was requested to work in many departments, and only got the chance to work on estate accounts briefly. At the time Hayleys managed 19 of Talawakelle Tea Estates and I was allocated with few estates to do the preparations of accounts. But it never bothered me at the time that work given to me did not necessarily give me experience on what I wanted to pursue as a career.
All I wanted to do was work and I really enjoyed working. There are times, I would request from anybody in any department to give me work if they have in excess to do if I’m idling.
But when I look back now, I rejoice with much appreciation as this was the stepping stone for my career path today. This willingness to work opened many avenues for me to work and learn. I did work on short stints of projects with many experienced managers at Hayleys Plantations in many departments other than the accounts department. The only accounts related activity I carried out was to visit factories with the accountants for audits. We had two ladies as accountants at the time and I accompanied each of them from time to time for these interesting visits. It was a great learning experience for me to visit these factories and to get involved in audits. And my love for Tea and its operations must have got planted as a tiny seed in the back of my mind.
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