October, 21, 2019
A group of 25, corporate leaders and best-performing employees in estate management from Sri Lanka’s leading regional plantation company, Hayleys Plantations, recently returned home after completing the acclaimed AOTS-Japan training programme.
Organised by the Association for Overseas Technical Corporation and Sustainable Partnership (AOTS)-Japan, the highly specialised management and leadership development training programme is customised for employees from Hayleys Plantations. The training session aims to enhance employee capabilities in leadership, business strategy and philosophy, and Japanese management systems, including quality management strategies.
"Traditionally, the plantation sector is one of the most labour-intensive industries in the country, still burdened with archaic HR practices that are fast becoming redundant in an increasingly modernised Sri Lankan economy. By equipping our employees with a detailed understanding of business strategy, innovations, use of quality management tools and best practices in sustainable plantations management, we hope to enhance their skills and capabilities to address future challenges and gain a strong competitive advantage over the long term,” Hayleys Plantations Managing Director, Dr Roshan Rajadurai said.
A collaborative partnership with the Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JATSECA), the training programme comprised of key classroom learning sessions for an in-depth understanding of management concepts taken up by Japanese corporations from strategic management approaches towards innovation, transformational leadership to team-oriented approaches for employee engagement.
“A particular emphasis was placed on the development of progressive leadership skills, as well as the implementation of sustainable management practices adapted from the tried and tested experience of the Japanese private sector – which is considered the global gold standard for efficiency in management. Backed by this knowledge we are confident that Hayleys Plantations will play a pivotal role in enhancing our local industry through the introduction of global best practices,” Hayleys Plantations’ Deputy General Manager- HR & Corporate Sustainability, Anuruddha Gamage said.
Over the course of the training programme, Hayleys Plantations employees were given access to individual sessions on Japanese management techniques including 5S, Kaizen, Total Quality Management (TQM), and the world-renowned Toyota Production System (TPS) in addition to special sessions on transformational leadership, business innovations, business strategy and philosophy. The programme included factory visits to several reputed Japanese business such as TOYOTA, PANASONIC, AVEX and KIRIN BEVERAGES giving participants first-hand insight and practical exposure into effective, sustainable management practices.
The pool of 25 consisted of corporate management team members, including the Managing Director and other heads of operational divisions and emerging leaders in estate management. The training programme conducted at the AOTS- Kansai Kenshu Center (KKC) in Osaka, Japan concluded with the team committing to the ‘Osaka Resolution’ as the way forward strategy for Hayleys Plantations.
The most recent training programme represented the latest in prolonged training engagement. Over the past six years, a total of 16 corporate and estate management employees from Hayleys Plantations have received AOTS training on leadership, organisational management, business innovation and quality management. The year on year investment by Hayleys Plantations has increased significantly to include foreign training opportunities to various employee categories and increased personnel and person-hours in training.
Under the helm of Dr Rajadurai, Hayleys Plantations has driven a radical transformation in its approach to plantations management. Through an unrelenting focus on the creation of a vibrant ‘knowledge-driven’ culture, Hayleys Plantations has emerged as a respected leader in human resource development and sustainability,
AOTS is an organisation founded to promote human resource development through the promotion of technical cooperation and knowledge sharing, enabled through training programmes across the Asian region. It has more than 70 alumni associations over 40 countries across the globe and JASTECA is an alumni of Sri Lanka.
The Hayleys Plantations Sector comprises of Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTEL) and Horana Plantations PLC (HPL). All three companies have consistently been top rankers among Sri Lanka's regional plantation companies in rubber and tea respectively. The sector manages 60 tea and rubber estates, with a workforce of 22000 and 140000 plantation communities. In total, Hayleys Plantations manages over 23,000 hectares of land and accounts for 4.5% and 2.5% of Sri Lanka's tea and rubber production respectively.
The Hayleys Plantations Sector was the proud winner of the National HR Excellence Awards 2016 and, the winner of Great HR Practices at the National HR Conference in 2018 and 2019. Also, they were the winners of the Asia-Pacific HR Excellence Awards for the last two consecutive years and a winner of the Global HR Excellence Awards 2018.
Photo caption: (Above) Hayleys Plantations team at AOTS- Kansai Kenshu Center, Osaka, Japan and (below) Management team of Hayleys plantations sector (inset) Hayleys Plantations sector Managing Director, Dr Roshan Rajadurai
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