SLID and CIMA webinar on ‘Entrepreneurship During a Pandemic’


The Women Directors’ Forum of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors together with CIMA Sri Lanka recently hosted a panel discussion on ‘Entrepreneurship During a Pandemic’ to discuss the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and startup companies during the current pandemic.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Nadeera Nilupamali PhD, a virologist, immunologist, epidemiologist and Co-founder of Sri Lankan healthcare technology startup ImmunifyMe.

Launched in 2017 ImmunifyMe has broken geographical boundaries to enter many markets worldwide. Dr. Nilupamali took the opportunity to highlight the challenges they faced as a young startup company in a globally competitive healthcare technology market and the successful strategies they used to steer the company through the pandemic.

The eminent panel included Steven Enderby – Chairman, Ironwood Capital Partners and Lakmini Wijesundera – Co-founder and CEO of IronOne Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. and BoardPac.

The session was moderated by Aroshi Nanayakkara – Vice Chairperson of SLID, CEO of Global Consulting Company and Independent Non-Executive Director of Sampath Bank PLC and Hela Clothing (Pvt) Ltd.

“Over 3 million children die every year all over the world due to vaccine preventable diseases. One of the main reasons for this appallingly high number is that we use a 70-year-old paper-based vaccination record which results in the inability of the policymakers to make critical decisions in a timely manner. ImmunifyMe is a cloud-based ecosystem which digitizes the immunization recordkeeping process thereby bridging the immunization gap and has won many international awards and grants including the prestigious GAVI Influencer Award, which is the World Health Organization Global Vaccine Alliance,” said Dr. Nilupamali.

“We are facing unprecedented times during this pandemic which poses great challenges and threats to entrepreneurs and their organizations. However, it is important to note that every crisis brings about unique opportunities too,” she noted.

“Entrepreneurs need to focus and understand the opportunities that are lying ahead. With the onset of the pandemic, we identified 3 main roadblocks. First and foremost, we were unable to travel for in-person meetings, which is the most effective. The second was the difficulty in pitching for a product/service that requires live demonstration. The third was natural delays occurring due to unavailability of tangible material. This was a disaster for a new product line since we were unable to pitch effectively to global clients,” Dr. Nilupamali added.