blown trouble at CIMA
By Faraz Shauketaly
blown troubles have started between Lakshman Watawala —
the chief promoter of new legislation on “local CIMA”
branding and business schools — attempting to continue
using the traditional logo of CIMA in Sri Lanka.
The Sunday Leader on July 26 exposed the inequity of the
Parliamentary Act, giving life to the present confusion,
Watawala has sought and obtained an injunction against
the use of the CIMA logo. However the patent clearly
states that no one body would have the exclusive right
to the use of the logo.
has been in operation in Sri Lanka since 1965 and the
letters ACMA and FCMA are synonymous with this
institution. It was only on March 3, that CIMA was made
aware of the proposal to incorporate the Society of
Certified Management Accountants.
March 3 CIMA was notified by the Secretary to the
Ministry of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives
and Consumer Services to attend a meeting of the
Parliamentary Consultative Committee on March 17. This
was in fact the day before the proposed Act was to be
taken up in parliament.
To attend a meeting
March 12 CIMA received a further request from the
Ministry to attend a meeting on Saturday, March 14.
This meeting was also attended by Lakshman Watawala and
representatives of ICASL.
this meeting CIMA made a written submission to the
Secretary of Ministry of Trade, Marketing Development,
Co-operatives and Consumer Services giving a detailed
account of CIMA’s profile, and in this submission CIMA
had emphasised “Serious concern and objections.”
objective 3a is identical to the objective number 2b of
objective 3b is identical to the objective number 2a of
the CIMA Charter (We are currently carrying out a full
comparison the Gazette Notification and the Royal
seriously CMA’s intension to call their members ACMA and
FCMA is viewed with serious concern as it is the acronym
used by CIMA world over and in Sri Lanka. With CIMA’s
presence in Sri Lanka for over 40 years, CIMA believes
the consumer will be misled and could dilute CIMA
member’s professional qualification — that they have
earned and pay to retain.
suspect the above may have deemed to infringe our
intellectual property rights and a suitable course of
protective steps may have to be taken to protect the
consumers (employers, members and students) and the CIMA
brand.” — unquote
Subsequent to this meeting with the Secretary to the
Ministry, CIMA’s CEO, Charles Tilley wrote to Lakshman
Watawala endorsing the same concerns and suggesting that
he avoids creating confusion in the market and that CIMA
could collaborate in enhancing the intellectual capital
of Sri Lanka’s future talent.
Supportive of the initiative
on March 17 at the meeting with the Parliamentary
Consultative Committee, CIMA stated that they were
supportive of the initiative of broadbasing the access
for education, but vehemently objected and raised
concerns over the intentions of the use of letters ACMA
and FCMA and requested the Minister of Trade, Marketing
Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services who was
presiding over the meeting to avoid the use of letters
ACMA and FCMA on the basis of the potential confusion in
also pointed out that we were rather confused over the
reasons and intention to duplicate the letters used by
CIMA and doing away with ASCMA and FSCMA, which were
used by SCMA in Sri Lanka since 2000.”
Subsequent to the enactment of the Society of Certified
Management Accountants, CIMA has received numerous
communications from members raising concerns over this
confusion in the market as they felt duplication of the
letters has diluted the international profile of their
membership which they have been enjoying for decades.
high profile enjoyed by CIMA is easier to understand
when one considers the impact a CIMA qualification has.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),
which is incorporated by Royal Charter has been in
existence for over 90 years. CIMA is currently
represented in 165 countries with 171,000 members and
the 500 Fortune listed companies more than 200 have over
five CIMA members in senior positions. Further, as at
June 2009 CIMA members held 115 board positions in 89
FTSE 350 companies and 70 are within 53 FTSE 250
companies of which there are:
Non-Executive Directors, 47 – Chief Financial Officers
(CFOs), 16 – Chief Executive Officers (CEOs); and, 12 –
gives one a flavour the CIMA impact has on the global
business arena. Without doubt, CIMA is a business
Superbrand both in the
and in Sri Lanka.
been in operation since 1965, Sri Lanka holds the
distinction of being the largest market outside the UK.
As of December 2008, Sri Lanka had 15,000 students and
members. In addition there are close to 4,000 students
and members who are employed abroad. The year 2008 saw
3,200 new registrations for CIMA, 30% of which came from
outstations. In the last two years Sri Lanka has passed
out close to a thousand, which is a 199% increase over
the previous two years.
Versatility and the global demand
has seen an increase in a trend of both graduates and
undergraduates taking CIMA as a professional top up for
their profile. Over 98% of their professional level
students, are employed — a clear indication of the
versatility and the global demand of their
facts will justify the concerns raised by CIMA members
over the duplication of their post nominal letters.
These post nominals are also registered by CIMA with the
Intellectual Property Office under Intellectual Property
Act No. 36 of 2003.
According to CIMA, they have, “considered the gravity
the duplication would have in the market and brought it
to the attention of the Consumer Affairs Authority on
April 8 and followed up with submissions. We have
followed the rightful process and we are now awaiting a
response from the Consumer Affairs Authority.”
Lakshman Watawala was not available for comment.