May 10, 2019

Thushari Chandima

Upon graduating from school in 1992, I worked a few jobs before applying and being selected to join the Hirdaramani family as an Accounts Assistant in 1996.

Having already obtained my Chartered Accountancy Licentiate 01 qualification by then, I became part of the two-member Payment team where I performed the assigned duties to the very best of my ability. Hence when the Accounts function was decentralized in 1999 and the Management placed me at the heart of the business at the Ceylon Knit Trend factory in Maharagama, I was thankful. Not only because I was looking forward to the opportunity but also as I had just given birth to a baby girl and was residing in the adjoining town of Kottawa.

I believe my streak of corporate success began when I was promoted to the position of Finance Executive in 2001. I was now part of a five-member team and was entrusted with an enhanced work scope which included handling VAT and SVAT related functions as well.

During the next ten years of my tenure I had the opportunity to be mentored by several senior colleagues at the factory. It was towards the latter part of this period that there began talks of a centralized Finance function at Hirdaramani and subsequently in 2012, H-Connect (Pvt) Ltd – the Finance & Accounting Shared Services operation, was incorporated.

It was during this time that the Management at Knit Trend decided to place me and a few others in my team at H-Connect, with the intention of grooming me to take on the Accounts Payable (AP) function.

This new role proved to be a crucial juncture in my career as I was faced with many challenges, largely due to the lack of positive perceptions created around a shared services operation back then. Around the same time, we underwent a physical relocation as well, moving to a temporary office in Colombo. This was challenging as we were no longer in close proximity to the factories in Maharagama and the commute to & fro taking up a lot of my productive time.

Despite all this, I forged ahead through the next year of my career and worked myself up to take on the position of Senior Finance Executive, along with the expansion of responsibilities that came with it in 2013. By this time, my team had grown to over 20 employees. Managing a team of this magnitude for the very first time was rather challenging. Yet with pure will and dedication, my team and I achieved almost all our set targets for the year.

I believe this paved way for my promotion as Assistant Manager – AP in 2014. Undoubtedly, another significant moment for me at H-Connect. By the following year, not only had I come such a long way in my career but my responsibilities had significantly expanded too, as I was now an official payment authorizer for the company.

By 2016, my payment authorization limit increased further – a clear gesture of trust and recognition extended to me by the Management, I feel, for all my hard work and commitment. This was further proven when I was promoted to Manager – AP by the end of that same year, with my team now expanding to over 35 employees as well as two new functions coming directly within my purview.

Over the next few years, I have been able to grow and expand my experience further by being part of H-Connect’s business expansion ventures – acquiring the AP processes of local clients being an important milestone in 2019.

I credit a large part of my career success to my Finance Director, Dilush Perera who I believe has been instrumental in developing me as an individual to achieve all what I have today. In addition, my peers – Yashika De Silva, Ayesha Ediriwickrema and Chamara Jayan who have worked alongside me right from the inception have also supported me to come this far.

With many such great achievements already under my belt, it’s only onwards and upwards for me at H-Connect.

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