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Re-engineering From Business Technologists: YBTER Congress 2014, University of Kelaniya

 

The Students’ Association of Business and Technology (ABT) of the University of Kelaniya has always renowned for groundbreaking initiatives and achievements. In fact, it implies in their motto, “Always Beyond Tradition”. Yet again as always, they recently took up a challenging initiative, a novel endeavor which would desperately drive the evolution of the conventional commerce and management education into new direction, thus paving a new era of outcome based learning to happen.

The Students’ Association of Business and Technology (ABT) of the Department of Commerce and Financial Management (DCFM), University of Kelaniya recently hosted the Young Business Technology and Entrepreneurial Researchers (YBTER) Congress for the 3rd consecutive year with the aim of showcasing the innovative and technopreneurial skills of undergraduates reading for the Bachelor of Commerce Special Degree in Business Technology and Bachelor of Commerce Special Degree in Entrepreneurship. The congress was held on the 06th June 2014 at the faculty premises of FCMS and it was driven under the theme, The Re-engineer: Towards Technological Development in Sri Lanka and hence the congress enabled undergraduates to demonstrate their re-engineered products at the congress.

The event was a successful outcome of the Innovation Management and New Product Development subject taken by undergraduates in their final year syllabus where they were encouraged to develop re-engineered products. Throughout the semester, lecturers were guiding them to develop their desired products more efficiently. During the congress, all the products were presented by the respective teams and subsequently the products were being evaluated by the distinguished lecturers representing the Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies (FCMS) joined by Keynote Speaker, representing the industry. The products were evaluated under several criteria i.e. Creativity, Value Creation (usability), Market Potential, Innovativeness, Finishing and Packaging. Certificates were awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place respectively. The rest of other competitors were awarded with certificates for participation.

 

Reengineered products and their brands were:

 

Product and Brand

Product Details

Place

1

SMART Umbrealla

Umbrella equipped with torch, MP3 Player and watch

1st Place

2

PheliaPlus – Desktop Manager

Multitasking portable device with cooling fan, MP3 player and LED lights

2nd Place (co)

3

GLACE Mini Cooler

A portable mini cooler with thermoelectric cooling

2nd Place (co)

4

Trovex Multi-Function Adaptor

Multi-Plug with USB power port

3rd Place

5

Refresh on The Way (ROW) Tea Bag

To easily make Tea, Tea Bag and Tea Spoon are attached together

Participation

6

PureDrop mini water filter

Tap nuzzle purifier with active carbon water purification embedded

Participation

7

Maru Roti

Homemade healthy meal

Participation

 

Besides of these re-engineered products, the 3rd year undergraduates were involved in this congress by presenting their new product concepts (idea extensions) such as Handy Ruler, Smart Tag Detector, Laptop Table, Tiptop Tippex Pen.

The event was graced by Mr. H.K.S. Dhampriya, Director, Super Neat Technology (Pvt) Ltd as the Keynote Speaker. During his key note he emphasized how he developed his business while facing lot of obstacles and enlightened the importance of being your own boss in a company. Further, he elaborated the importance of uplifting and enhancing the courage of these young re-engineers and agreed to extend his fullest support to assist them to materialize their true potential.

Dr. C. Pathirawasam, Head of DCFM during his speech stated that, it is especially pleasing that ABT is at the forefront of empowering the undergraduate inventors who will definitely pave the way for the future growth of Sri Lanka. Further, he emphasized the need of product commercialization since it is an area we conceive to be the most difficult that the inventors step into when they arrive at the product commercialization stage.

Undergraduate student from the 1st place said “it was very challenging for us to prepare such products since in some situations we faced various technical faults. However, we never concern them as hardship yet we learnt so many things from different sources. In fact still we were amazed because we were originally commerce undergraduates.”

Throughout the past two years, YBTER Congress was held with an academic orientation. The uniqueness of YBTER is undergraduates are always encouraged to provide innovative solutions to the burning issues facing by Sri Lanka especially in terms of technological dimensions. Hence, as a result YBTER 2012 was driven to identify missing technologies which can be adopted in Sri Lanka and YBTER 2013 was driven to signify the controversial issues and proposing sustainable solutions to Sri Lankan Vegetable and Fruit Industry. Being radical rather conventional this initiative by YBTER has marked an evolutionary milestone in the university education.

The event was spearheaded by the lecturers of DCFM; Dr. C.N. Wickramasinghe. L.C.H. Jayarathna, Ms. B.C.P. Jayarathna and Mr. H.A.H. Hettiarachchi. The event was enormously successful with the courtesy of Access International (Pvt) Ltd (Platinum Sponsor), AAT Sri Lanka (Gold Sponsor), My Computer Pvt Ltd and CEAT Sri Lanka (Silver Sponsors).

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