Cargills among the 10 'Most Admired Companies'
Cargills (Ceylon) PLC, a leading Retail and FMCG company in the country, had the distinction of being listed in the Top 10 Most Admired Companies for the 2019/20 financial year. This recognition was awarded by the International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ICCSL), the Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA) and the Daily FT. This accolade is a testament to our long-standing commitment to creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders.
Backed by a 175-year legacy in Sri Lanka From serving a few to serving many, Cargills has been through a journey from being a primarily wholesale and retail business to a diversified company with a presence across the country and is also a large contributor to the local food manufacturing sector.
A presence across the length and breadth of the country Our retail arm, Cargills FoodCity is the most widespread retail chain with outlets in all 25 districts in the country. By expanding into new regions, we create new markets for our farmers and entrepreneurs and also provide employment opportunities to the youth. Embracing innovation is at the core of our business model and this is evident in many new ventures such as Asia’s first mobile supermarket, Cargills 2 Home and Cargills Online, the country’s first end-to-end online grocer. Venturing into new sectors Over the last 20 years, we have ventured into the food manufacturing business and have built brands and elevated them to new heights. To strengthen the country’s food industry and provide our customers with nutritious food on a daily basis, many investments have been made towards building several state-of-the-art manufacturing and processing facilities.
We also look for ways to improve domestic production and are always engaging with more farmers since most of our raw materials are sourced locally.
Furthermore, in our efforts in enhancing local markets, we also help ease the country’s foreign exchange pressures thereby complementing Sri Lanka’s
endeavours to reduce import costs.
Our contribution towards the farming communities Our work with our farmers is the heart of our socio-centric business model. We strive to empower the farming community in more ways than by sustaining their livelihoods. Through our Sarubima Fund, we give back to our farmers by offering their youth, educational scholarships and initiating many community development projects in the rural areas. Moreover, we bring in the youth and give
them career opportunities through our independent educational institute, the Albert A. Page Institute (AAPI). We actively engage with our farmers in order to improve their productivity and yields for them to be entrepreneurs in their own right, aka “gentleman farmers”. We provide them with extension services, technical input, guidance on best practices (such as Good Agricultural Practices/GAP) to improve their access to the market. Moreover, we have taken our farmers on overseas visits and introduced them to modern farming techniques which enabled them to build their own model farms. Strengthening domestic dairy production
We have transitioned to be a major contributor to the Sri Lankan dairy industry and extend our fullest support towards improving domestic milk production. With our end-to-end dairy value chain proposition which includes Sri Lanka’s first fully integrated dairy processing plant, we have a strong commitment towards enhancing the productivity of our dairy farmers and actively encourage the consumption of fresh dairy as a lifestyle. Grateful for the support
We are humbled by this recognition, the credit of which goes to each and every team member of our Cargills family and we would like to thank the awarding
bodies for this honour. We have immense trust in our team who has rallied around the vision of Cargills, which is to serve the needs of the community at large. They are our heroes and we are grateful that they have placed their confidence in us as they understand that whatever their individual contribution is, it is for the betterment of the country.
Huawei Y7a the best mid-range smartphone
Huawei Y7a is the latest mid-range smartphone in the popular Y series with top of the line flagship specifications. It also packs a much larger screen competing head to head with its rivals. Even though Y7a is positioned in the mid-range category, it is equipped with flagship smartphone features and offers
great value for money for a mid-range phone. Huawei Y7a packs seven unique features that make this smartphone a great value for money buy within its price range.
A smartphone with a large screen is a must-have given watching high-quality movies, playing games surfing the net, and reading E-books are staple activities of any smartphone user today. Modern smartphones on average have large screens around 6.2-6.3 inches. Huawei Y7a, on the other hand, comes with a bigger, 6.67-inch screen which is not usually found in a mid-range phone. The screen occupies a 90.3% extravagant screen to body ratio, with a well-spaced design that makes it an ideal fit in the palm for continuous long time use. Y7a’s epic design is maintained on either side with a punch
display that features the selfie camera and a premium back cover design with three creative colours: Crush green, Blush gold and Midnight black.
A bigger storage capacity means users do not require an external memory card. Modern smartphones feature high-resolution cameras that shoot high-quality, large-sized photos. The increasing availability of heavy apps and games also demand larger storages. Huawei Y7a features a 128GB storage which
enables users to pack all high-resolution photos, videos, games and applications without worrying about device storage space anymore.
Huawei Y series is power-packed in the camera department. Y7a carries that legacy with a 48MP Quad Camera set and the lenses are powered by Artificial Intelligence. The 48MP high-resolution shooter with f/1.8 aperture works as the main camera and helping to capture ultra-wide photos is the 8MP Ultra-
Wide Angle Lens with f/2.4 aperture. Depth effect is portrayed by the 2MP Depth Lens with f/2.4 aperture and for macro photography lovers, Y7a accommodates a 2MP Macro Lens with f/2.4 aperture. The combination of the main camera with the rest of the camera lenses in AI focus brings crystal clear
images with access to a wide shooting frame. Though capturing images in low/dim light is not a plus point in mid-range smartphones, Y7a’s ‘Super Night Mode’ enables the user to take vivid images even in the dark.
Most of the smartphone users at present opt for smartphones with more powerful batteries that help them to avoid the trouble of ‘frequent charging’. They are fully aware that smartphone batteries drain quickly while playing games and watching videos as the high-resolution screen is a drainer of battery
power. One big reason for Huawei fans to cherish their Huawei phone is the long-lasting battery. Y7a packs a 5000mAh battery that gives users plenty of power even after a full day’s use. A mere 10- minutes’ charge is enough for two hours of video playback which hints of the phones’ real capacity
when the charge is in full cycle. A major concern with bigger batteries is the length of time it takes to be charged fully. Also, most of the mid-range smartphones do not support fast charging. With Y7a’s 22.5W Huawei SuperCharge technology, users can now re-charge the Y7a ‘incredibly fast.’ A 5000mAh bigger battery plus 22.5W Super Charge support is the perfect combination for today’s youth who love to stick with the phones for long hours.
A powerful chipset brings faster processing. Huawei Y7a is powered by a 14nm Kirin 710A chipset that lets you play even the most demanding games without a lag. Kirin 710 chipset paired with the 4GB Ram of Y7a performs well in multi-tasking, high-quality video streaming and loading of apps. A Fingerprint lock screen is a familiar scenario in mid-range smartphones though a side-mounted fingerprint power button in mid-range phones is a rare treat. In fact, the side-mounted fingerprint is proven to be more convenient to handle with the thumb finger and is quick to respond. Y7a features a side-mounted fingerprint that unlocks the device in a split second. The new Huawei Y7a is priced at a truly affordable price of Rs 35999.00 only and is available at all Singer Mega and Singer Plus showrooms, and authorized resellers. Customers can also order it online via Daraz.lk and get it delivered to their doorsteps.
Sri Lanka’s INIVOS and UK’s Muzulu in milestone partnership to offer full-scope Enterprise solutions
INIVOS Consulting, the fully fledged Sri Lankan Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions provider announced its partnership with Muzulu, the UK based provider of industry leading ERP business solutions. The partnership aims to support a wider base of customers globally, with an initial focus on Sri
Lanka and Europe. Both INIVOS, a channel partner for IFS and also end-to-end corporate business solutions provider and Muzulu, both a channel and services partner for IFS in the UK share a unified vision to provide high quality, focused ERP solutions and consultancies to empower business processes.
This partnership in the form of a joint venture opens new avenues for the two value providers to expand market opportunities in each other’s regions. Having demonstrated its determination to enter the Sri Lankan market, Muzulu has chosen the reputed INIVOS as its collaborative, go-to market partner in Sri
Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Asanga Marasinghe, Managing Director of Inivos said: “We are looking forward to work with Muzulu, a company that has a vast experience in various industries. This venture is a win-win for both companies as we are able to mutually expand our services across both Asia
and Europe. We always choose right partnerships at the right time which is why we are fast becoming the preferred choice among world’s leading organizations. Key pillars such as flexibility, fast and real time access to market insights and customer centric approach have propelled us to where we are today and we will continue to uphold them in our new journey with Muzulu.” Partner / CEO of Muzulu Limited, Hamish Johnson said: “Forming this venture with INIVOS is an extremely exciting move for Muzulu. Our implementation teams have an enviable track record delivering successful global ERP projects. Working with INIVOS, we see a huge opportunity to use our successful, solution focused approach to deliver even greater success for both Muzulu’s and INIVOS’s current and future customers. “ Partner / CTO of Muzulu Ravi Edirisinghe said “When we look at Sri Lanka's Software and ICT sector; we
can see that there is a shift in how knowledge and skills are valued in the industry. Traditionally it had a big focus on the software development and programming aspects; however, with most of the pioneering ICT companies reaching their maturity levels; the industry has started to give much more
prominence to consultancy-based services. It is equally true for both technical resources and business knowledge-oriented resources. And this is why, Muzulu believe this is the right time to venture into Sri Lanka. Inivos has a great track record of acquiring the best talent available in the industry. They have
proven that they have got the formula right when it comes to building skilled professional teams. We believe, with this industry background in place, and the ‘perfect business partner’ match; both Muzulu and Inivos can go a long way together.”
Both INIVOS and Muzulu share similar business philosophies when it comes to the provision and extension of ERP services to a gamut of industries such as engineering, construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, energy and utilities. In addition to IFS services, both companies specialize in providing
end-to-end solutions in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Enterprise Resource Planning Management (ERP), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). Based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, INIVOS Consulting (www.inivossl.com) has emerged as a key player in the
ERP segment helped by its highly experienced team of consultants. INIVOS has been able to build a strong client base in Sri Lanka, Asia, Middle East, South Africa and Europe within a short time span. INIVOS caters to the business requirements of the enterprise sector via serving IFS offerings and equips
the SME sector with Acumatica’s ERP solutions. Its channel partnership with IFS was recently extended to sub-Saharan African region.
Muzulu, headquartered in Oxford in the United Kingdom, delivers industry leading ERP consultancy interwoven with high quality supporting products and solutions, consistently delivering high satisfaction and return-on-investment for our clients. Our expert team of functional and technical implementation
consultants average more than a decade of experience implementing ERP solutions across a diverse range of industries. We have direct experience implementing ERP solutions for every region of the globe. To further this approach, we have partnered with key software organizations to support
improving our client’s businesses, including IFS, Dell Boomi and Pagero.
Fairfirst Academy to strengthen capacity and capability
Fairfirst was recently recognised by Insurance Business Asia as one of the top 22 insurers to work for across the Asia Pacific. This win is a tangible recognition of their progressive work-culture that makes it possible for them to nurture the goodness of each employee. Further strengthening their focus on building capability and capacity, the company has launched a unique learning and development platform, named Fairfirst Academy.
The Fairfirst Academy has been built by combining the expertise and capabilities of internal and external subject matter experts whose objective is to impart knowledge seamlessly and easily and thereby enable each employee to be the best they are capable of. Training is provided in a language of your choice from Sinhala, Tamil and English. Apart from extensive modules on insurance, Fairfirst Academy also hosts sessions on other essential life-skills including wellness and mental wellbeing.
In the Fairfirst Academy, participating students go through a structured series of modules that expand the learning curb across different areas such as insurance, service, leadership and soft skills. As a result of the training offered via the Fairfirst Academy, Agents of Fairfirst Insurance, have been achieving high pass mark percentages in the certifying exams conducted by the Sri Lanka Insurance Institute.
The company has expanded its training and development initiatives to include special wellness programmes to promote holistic individual wellbeing especially during times of Social Distancing and Working from Home. Some recent programs included knowledge shared by doctors and religious leaders on maintaining a balanced mental and physical wellbeing to cancer awareness sessions. In addition, focus group-based discussions were held on how to achieve better work-life improvements with the latest programme focusing on preventive COVID19 measures.
For Fairfirst, regardless of social distancing, their training calendar has been active. All training happens via classes being carried out on a virtual basis through virtual classrooms. Dr. Sanjeev Jha, Managing Director & CEO of Fairfirst Insurance states, “We are excited with the responsibility of supporting and empowering talented individuals as they move towards leadership positions. Personally, my best awards are the people I have nurtured and groomed into becoming sensitive, sensible and successful business managers.”
What’s unique about the Fairfirst Academy is that knowledge is not solely focused on the employees but also shared with the community as well. This is a true testament to Fairfirst’s belief in investing in the future and wellbeing of the nation, whilst promoting a culture of continuous learning and development across this beautiful island.
Spearheading the Academy, Head of Human Resources, Manjari Kumarage commented, “Fairfirst is the best place to build your career in insurance as we provide undivided attention when it comes to the success of our employees and the community. We believe that developing our people’s capabilities and strengths reinforces a culture of optimism and giving it a try is the best way to start.”
Fairfirst Insurance Limited, is part of the global Fairfax Group. The Group is a leading property and casualty insurer, reinsurer and investment manager, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Fairfirst is today among the top general insurance companies of Sri Lanka and is recognised as the only Sri Lankan company amongst the 2020 Top Insurers across Asia-Pacific. Fairfirst serves individuals, businesses and institutions across this beautiful island through a versatile workforce spread across the comprehensive branch network, affinity partners and brokers in Sri Lanka.
Singer Finance leads Tier Two Rankings by K Seeds Investments
In the latest national rankings of ‘Listed Finance Companies of Sri Lanka’ Report by K Seed Investments, Singer Finance (Lanka) has seized the best performing Finance Company rank among Tier 2 finance companies in Sri Lanka.
The Report, issued by K Seeds Investments (Pvt) Ltd has identified Singer Finance (Lanka) as the leader in its Tier 2 (with an asset base of Rs 20-100 billion) among listed finance companies out of 12 such companies ranked. The accolade to Singer Finance comes through a ranking carried out considering their excellent performance in the fourth quarter of 2019/’20 (January 1 to March 31).
Chairman of Singer Finance (Lanka) Aravinda Perera commented: “This top ranking is a clear indication of growing acceptance of Singer Finance’ reliability and returns on investment. This is a vote of confidence from the industry to us and we are delighted by this accolade.” The report groups the listed finance companies based on their asset base, and ranks them in their respective categories among its peers. Singer Finance topped the “Category 2”.
“The results of the report depicts the commitment of Singer Finance to achieve the highest standards to meet the future expectations of the listed finance company sector” Chairman Aravinda Perera adds.
‘Ranking of Listed Finance Companies of Sri Lanka’ report ranks the Finance Companies according to their performance results stated in their Colombo Stock Exchange interim reports. The sample for the survey consisted of randomly chosen licensed finance companies listed in the Exchange. The companies were evaluated based on the latest quarterly financial statements published. The finance companies were categorized into four categories based on the size of the asset base. The Categories 1, 2, 3 and 4 denoted the Companies having an asset base larger than Rs 100 Bn, asset base between 20-100 billion, asset base of Rs 10-20 billion and asset base smaller than Rs 10 billion respectively.
Fairfirst Insurance settling claims in record time:
Over 1,100 motor claims within one hour, every month.
Wednesday 4th of November 2020 Colombo: The notion of lengthy claim settlement processes after an accident is a time consuming and strenuous situation for a customer. With this understanding, Fairfirst introduced a revolutionary virtual assessment technology known as Click2Claim (C2C), where a policyholder is able to conduct a self-inspection of the damage virtually – by converting their phone camera into video mode. Today via C2C, Fairfirst has become the fastest claim settler in the country by assessing and settling motor claims instantly, thus enabling the company to settle 1,100 claims within an hour and 1,800 claims within a day on a monthly basis.
In setting new standards in insurance, the company believes its core job is to settle claims and it does so efficiently by being fair and fast in its dealings so that people can get back on track without hindering their progression in life. In a time where customers are used to claims being predominantly handled via an assessor visiting the accident site, Fairfirst’s proactive approach set new standards in the market. The company redefined the whole claim settlement process by completely eliminating the time wasted at the accident site waiting for an assessor. Further, it fast tracked the claim settlement process by providing instant claims.
For customers with Fairfirst, this hassle-free process starts by customers calls being answered in under 3 seconds by a 24/7 Call Centre to guide customers on expediting their claims. Thereafter, the claims experts come onboard to take on the process of handling all claim intimations virtually. Therefore, in the unfortunate event of an accident, the customer has to contact the Fairfirst Call Centre on 0112 428 428 who will connect the call through to the claims experts to start a video-based assessment of the damage on real-time basis. As this process is done through the help of smartphones and data connectivity, a customer’s claim can be assessed and paid in full in less than 10 minutes, depending on the nature of the damage.
Fairfirst also makes sure that every step of their customer’s journey is uplifted in an empathetic manner through their additional value-added services such as: the availability of a 24/7 island-wide free Roadside Assistance Cover along with access to more than 100 EasyFix garages island-wide for cashless repairs that come with a warranty.
Being the most innovative insurer makes the road ahead clear for Fairfirst and much more convenient for customers. Theirs is a commitment in providing a ‘Fair and Fast’ solution at all times thus ensuring the values of Empathy, Authenticity, Responsibility and Safety especially in the context of promoting social distancing.
Despite being a relatively young brand, Fairfirst Insurance has secured a strong foothold in the market while leading digital disruption in the industry. As testimony to its innovation, Fairfirst Insurance was recently awarded the ‘Best Online Insurance Company in Sri Lanka’ at the Global Banking & Finance Awards 2020. Fairfirst also achieved the distinction of being the only Sri Lankan company to be listed in the ‘2020 Top Insurance Workplaces in Asia-Pacific’ by Insurance Business Asia. This is yet another global recognition for Fairfirst in Sri Lanka and comes on the heels of the ‘Most Innovative’ award across the Fairfax Group of Companies located around the globe while also being featured as one of the youngest brands in the ‘Top 100 Brands Directory in Sri Lanka 2020’.
Fairfirst Insurance is part of the Canadian based Fairfax Group. Fairfax, through its subsidiaries, has an international insurance and reinsurance business with a global underwriting reach, longstanding relationships and a broad product range. Fairfax has a strong foothold in the growing insurance and reinsurance markets of Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Brazil.
VMware Empowers Customers to Build their Multi-Cloud Future
VMware’s Multi-Cloud Strategy Unlocks the Value From Any Cloud While Delivering Better
Security and Simplified Operations
VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) announced new innovations to help customers build, run, manage, connect, and protect any app on any cloud. Today, more than 15 million enterprise workloads run on VMware in the cloud, and more than 4,300 partners offer VMware-based cloud services. With these new and updated offerings, customers and partners can unlock multi-cloud’s full potential value by providing more developer freedom while providing IT with consistent and efficient security and operations.
VMware is delivering a range of solutions and services to help customers survive and thrive in the most turbulent market in generations. VMware’s cloud, app modernization, networking, security, and digital workspace platforms form a flexible, consistent digital foundation on which to build, run, manage, connect and protect applications, anywhere. Applications are at the heart of digital transformation. They enable businesses to deliver powerful and personalized digital experiences to customers and employees. The complex and diverse needs of applications drive the need for multi-cloud strategies. VMware helps organizations at all points in their multi-cloud journey.
“VMware has reached a major milestone in its plan to unlock the power of every cloud for every business. We now support customers’ application strategies by delivering VMware-based services on every major public cloud provider and hundreds of VMware Cloud Verified partners worldwide,” said Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware. “As we drive our strategy forward, we are expanding our portfolio of cloud infrastructure, operations, and security services to enable faster application migration and modernization, and better business agility and resiliency.”
Delivering a Unified Platform for a Modern, Multi-Cloud World
VMware supports organizations across all clouds and all application types. The company offers a complete cloud portfolio that delivers consistent infrastructure and operations and enables a flexible and agile developer model that allows businesses to:
Migrate and Modernize Apps on VMware Cloud on AWS: This will improve IT agility and maximize uptime and performance, while the new and expanded disaster recovery capabilities help minimize business disruptions.
Running VMware Applications on Microsoft Azure: the next-generation Azure VMware Solution enables customers to easily extend or migrate on-premises VMware applications to Azure. Customers can achieve cost savings and better TCO.
Simple, Scalable, More Secure Infrastructure as-a-Service On-Premises: VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, the data center-as-a-service offer of Dell Technologies Cloud, adds new VMware HCX workload migration capabilities, improved performance, new host types, and support for multiple clusters within a single rack.
Single Marketplace Featuring Thousands of Apps and Solutions: with the new consolidated VMware Marketplace, customers can discover thousands of validated third-party, open-source, and first-party solutions. These can be deployed across vSphere, VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC and VMware Tanzu environments. With VMware Cloud Director service integration, partners can offer tenants a modern application catalog for developers.
Unifying Multi-Cloud Management and Operations
VMware Cloud Management enables organizations to consistently deploy, operate, and govern applications, infrastructure, and platform services across any cloud environment. New cloud management innovations enable:
Innovative Cloud Management Hybrid Subscription Solution enables proactive issue avoidance, troubleshooting and automated workflows in a unified management and support experience.
AI-driven, Cloud-Delivered Application Performance Optimization helps assure service-level agreements are met while enabling business agility as customers scale and migrate workloads across environments.
Multi-Cloud Operations for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: CloudHealth by VMware now supports Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), enabling enterprises to view all public cloud costs from a single platform.
Multi-Cloud Security Posture Management and Compliance: CloudHealth Secure State adds real-time monitoring for Google Cloud, as well as 20 new AWS and Azure services, including managed Kubernetes and serverless configurations.
Empowering Cloud Providers with the Complete VMware Multi-Cloud Portfolio
VMware Cloud providers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are trusted advisors for customers that need expertise and guidance navigating their multi-cloud journey. New cloud services make it easier for these partners to deliver and customers to consume VMware’s expanding portfolio of multi-cloud services.
Fairfirst Insurance – Most Innovative Insurer to pioneer
Contactless Insurance Solutions
The year 2020 has showered multiple global and local accolades on Sri Lanka’s rapidly-growing insurer and digital disruptor, Fairfirst Insurance Limited. The company was recently awarded the ‘Best Online Insurance Company in Sri Lanka’ at the Global Banking & Finance Awards 2020. Fairfirst also achieved the distinction of being the only Sri Lankan company to be listed in the ‘2020 Top Insurance Workplaces in Asia-Pacific’ by Insurance Business Asia. This is yet another global recognition for Fairfirst in Sri Lanka and comes on the heels of the ‘Most Innovative’ award across the Fairfax Group of Companies located around the globe while also being featured as one of the youngest brands in the ‘Top 100 Brands Directory in Sri Lanka 2020’. Its motto to be the best rather than the biggest is proving to be a key differentiator through empathy-based innovations.
Fairfirst’s commitment in ensuring the most innovative insurance solutions for its customers has recognised them as pioneers of Contactless Insurance as they redefine the customer journey from purchasing an insurance policy, making a claim to renewing the policy.
Fairfirst’s Digital Shop is the first end-to-end online insurance purchasing platform in Sri Lanka, offering a seamless interface that enables customers to browse, customize and buy at their own discretion. The unique feature of this platform is the ‘A La Carte’ policy. Perhaps the first of its kind in the world, unlike traditional motor insurance, Fairfirst’s Digital Shop offers customers the flexibility of designing their own motor policy. Customers can choose from a menu of insurance solutions and decide what they want to go for and how much they want to pay for it - all of this can be done in as fast as 5 minutes and on the go.
Customers can also chat via WhatsApp on 0770-428428 to purchase motor insurance within 5 minutes; log onto www.fairfirst.lk to make a payment, renew a policy, buy a policy for instant coverage or even inquire on the status of a claim. Fairfirst’s customers can talk to the trilingual ChatBot, Machan, for real-time updates on claims available at their fingertips.
The Fairfirst Call Centre is fully functional 24x7 on 0112 428 428 with the guarantee of every call is answered within 3 seconds by a friendly human who will assist in any insurance-related inquiry.
Through virtual and remote technological capabilities, Fairfirst’s Click2Claim facility enables all claim intimations to be handled virtually. In the event of an unfortunate accident, all customers have to do is get on a video call with the Call Centre who will remotely assess the claim on a real-time basis to provide an instant assessment and offer. Via an instant assessment, customers can collect the cash payment from the nearest Commercial Bank Branch on the same day, thereby eliminating the waiting time at the accident site, long claim forms/applications whilst being given the freedom to repair their damaged vehicle at their most preferred garage.
Fairfirst Insurance Limited is part of the global Fairfax Group. The Group is a leading property and casualty insurer, reinsurer and investment manager headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Fairfirst is today among the top general insurance companies of Sri Lanka and is recognised as the only Sri Lankan company amongst the 2020 Top insurance global giants in Asia-Pacific. Fairfirst serves individuals, businesses and institutions across this beautiful island through a versatile workforce spread across the comprehensive branch network, affinity partners and brokers in Sri Lanka.
Post Covid 19 growth will depend on Innovations
By Chanaka de Silva
Today the most serious concern facing companies of all types is how to remain profitable and competitive in a fast-changing global environment. The key to this is innovation. At the cutting edge of innovation, the company SL Robotics Solutions (Pvt) Ltd.
Speaking to SL Robotics Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. Head of Operations Thilanka Leula, who commented on the present situation of requirements that appear in the agricultural industry said, that with the ever-increasing shortage of labour that the world face, therefore it is vitally important that industries employ cutting edge technology in order to stay ahead in the field. One of the groundbreaking solutions designed and deployed his team is the Smart Farming Solution / Greenhouse Automation. A system that allows ‘smart managing’ the activities on the farm. This system provided real-time access to monitor and control of the environment. The system monitors the set parameters independently and makes the adjustments accordingly. Thus, leaving little necessity for human intervention. All this whilst the data could be monitored in real time. Another of the success stories is the ‘Smart Lilly’. A dream for anyone involved in agriculture of any scale. This system monitors the moisture level of the garden soil and automatically activates the watering system to maintain the plants through your mobile.
Commenting further on innovations that save costs Lelua said, SL Robotics have been building tailor-made systems which combine electronics, firmware, mechanical and software technologies in their system. Systems of similar capabilities are usually not available locally or of exorbitant cost. The strength has always been in analyzing the problems, and providing advice for the best solution and consultation to be provided. As a 100% Sri Lankan company SL Robotics has the ability to provide the best solutions to meet Sri Lankan requirements in both cost and solution as well.
Of the many innovations developed and leading the field is a sensor-based complete ‘Factory Output Dashboard’ system, an Intelligent Material Management’ systems which saves both power and manpower, a ‘Smart Physical Parameter Management’ systems which monitor Temperature, Humidity, Light, Air circulation, Auto gates, Motion related activities and developed ‘Robotics Related Automation’ to industrial environments. and currently, the development of programmable humanoid robot hardware for different applications is underway.
Finally, SL Robotics Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. Head of Operations Thilanka Leula, said whenever the requirement for the innovation of a system within an organization for the purpose of maximizing profit is required, SL Robotics has stepped up to the challenge. Therefore, in a global playing field where the trend and requirement for high returns from small sized companies, innovation of their processes is the single most vital factor for survival. To this end both small and medium and large scale sized organizations have sought solutions from SL robotics. A specific policy maintained is the promotions of innovations for both small medium scale companies thus opening an avenue for the maximization of their profits.
Maersk to enhance customer experience
A.P. Moller - Maersk introduces strategic changes that will further improve customer experience and end-to-end service delivery. As part of this, the Safmarine brand will be integrated into Maersk to enhance customers’ access to the global integrated offering. In addition, the Damco brand’s Air and LCL (Less than Container Load) offering will be combined with Maersk’s logistics and services products to complement its end- to-end offering. Also, a more simplified and customer-centric global Ocean & Logistics organisation is being introduced.
These changes represent a major step towards becoming an integrated container transport and logistics company, connecting and simplifying customers’ supply chains. “Our customers are at the heart of our vision. Their evolving supply chain needs are increasing the demand for multiple modes of transport and to meet these needs, we’re bringing our company’s expertise and capabilities even closer together. Taking these steps are key to accelerating our transformation,“ says Vincent Clerc, CEO of Ocean & Logistics, A.P. Moller -Maersk.
Over time, the value propositions of Maersk and Safmarine have converged, as both brands have been focusing on building a customer-centric culture and as the digital interactions with customers have increased. “With the integration of Safmarine, we can present Safmarine customers with the full ocean and
supply chain offering and more scale. At the same time, I’m very excited to have Safmarine’s passion for customers closer to Maersk by uniting our teams,” says Vincent Clerc. Since focusing purely on freight forwarding in 2018, Damco has demonstrated significant value to customers in the Air and Ocean LCL space. During this time, it has become apparent through close customer engagements that the value proposition of Maersk can be greatly enhanced with
the expansion of multiple modes of transport.
The integration of Air and LCL into Maersk will help meet these needs and give businesses access to a simplified, connected and agile experience under the Maersk brand, as well as to its scale.Maersk uses its own assets to offer unique value propositions, hence it will not pursue the Ocean FCL Multi-carrier product (NVOCC) as a general offering. “Businesses need Air and LCL products to connect their supply chains and with these offerings firmly placed in our global integrated portfolio, we aim to serve our businesses better and more efficiently across their supply chains,“ says Vincent Clerc and continues: “Our colleagues in Damco have delivered a remarkable effort under challenging market conditions, serving customers through focus, discipline and expertise which will now be a strong asset for our customers in Maersk.” Due to the changes, the Safmarine and Damco brands will no longer be marketed by the end of 2020. In addition, Maersk will simplify its organisational structure across Ocean & Logistics globally to further improve customer centricity and efficiency. As part of this, the back offices of Maersk and Hamburg Süd will come closer together into more customer-centric teams, while continuing
to meet customers as two separate brands with a differentiated service model.
English Tea Shop is Great Game of Business All Star International Champion 2020
Advocates shared value; employees, tea-growers and shareholders grow together
Showed profitability even through COVID-19 due to GGOB
Achieved 20% compound annual growth in value-added per employee in last 5 years
October 6, 2020 Colombo Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s English Tea Shop which markets premium organic tea to 50 countries won the prestigious Great Game of Business All Star Award 2020 – International Champion having demonstrated a sustainable continuity in its business model showcasing profitability even through COVID-19. The Company inculcates the best practices of open-book management (OBM) which encourages a shared value culture of employees thinking and acting like owners.
Playing the ‘Big Game’, ETS created a foundation of shared value by purchasing tea directly from tea growers to promote and sustain agricultural practices, allowing its team, farmers and shareholders to grow together. The Company posted a 31% increase in productivity in the first year of playing GGOB has in the five years since, seen 15% of the company being employee owned.
Commending ETS on this All Star win, President & CEO of SRC Holdings Corp Jack Stack who is known as the Godfather of GGOB said, “You have taught us that we are on the right path and right direction. What distinguishes ETS from others is the consistency, which is something they have really understood. Not only are they growing with their senior employees but they also have the mechanism to engage the younger team into the business.”
A firm proponent of open-book management which inspired him to infuse these practices into ETS, CEO of English Tea Company Suranga Herath said, “In our part of the world, opening the books to your company is not incentivized nor encouraged, which is an inherent challenge. But by playing the Big Game, I’m proud of achieving 20% compound annual growth in value-added per employee in the last five years.” He adds that OBM breaks down the ‘we-they” culture by increasing the degree of transparency and trust everyone has about the business and its processes. “As the line-of-sight of work to key business outcomes improve, so does the wealth creation and sharing.”
For a Company that has navigated the challenges of both COVID-19 and Brexit successfully, Herath believes the award reinforces the tangibility of the ETS shared value concept. “The team directly influences the direction of the business. We continued our weekly huddle rhythm even during COVID-19 online, brainstorming and updating our planning scenario to prepare us for diverse outcomes. Because of this culture of shared ownership, our team was thinking like owners of the Company which is what made the difference.”
Singer partners with Malaysia’s Signature Group- introduces world’s leading Kitchen solutions
Singer, Sri Lanka’s premier consumer durables retailer, has partnered with Signature Group, Malaysia’s largest Kitchen Cabinet and Wardrobe manufacturer.
With this new partnership, Singer aims to begin manufacturing Signature Kitchen systems and products in Sri Lanka. This collaboration is expected to reinforce Signature brand’s presence in Sri Lanka which treats the local consumers to a blend of Europeanness, elegance, style and products that are manufactured with high quality materials.
To showcase the new partnership, Singer will also be displaying Signature’s innovative product portfolio in Sri Lanka for the first time at Singer Homes, Ratmalana and will expand to 30 more outlets in phase 1. Singer will manufacture Signature Kitchen systems at the state of the art Singer Factory complex and will unleash innovative ideas to expand cuisine capacities of Sri Lankan homes backed by Signature Kitchen. Malaysia’s
Signature Group has been awarded the FORBES ASIA Best Under a Billion commendation, 2016 MSWG-ASEAN Corporate Governance Excellence Award and even collected many other awards in previous years.
Commenting on the recent partnership, Mahesh Wijewardene, CEO of Singer Sri Lanka PLC says: “We are extremely delighted of this partnership with Signature which allows us to bring world-class kitchen solutions to the door-steps of Sri Lankans. As a widely known household brand in Sri Lanka, Singer is well equipped to enter into Kitchen manufacturing with acclaimed Signature brand.”
Malaysia’s Signature Kitchen is renowned for staying abreast with innovative and contemporary European designs in kitchens and wardrobes with over 25 years of expertise and a strong presence in 15 countries. Signature Kitchen is a leader in supplying kitchen systems and solutions to the Asian market and continues its great run in retail segments as well. Quality, functionality, design and style are well preserved at Signature Kitchen which focuses on
provision of customer-driven, fully customizable solutions with innovation as its core driver. “Singer’s island-wide presence in Sri Lanka and strength in manufacturing has made it a strong candidate to this partnership. We are honored to work with a brand of the caliber of Singer and are looking forward to this
partnership which opens the opportunity for Sri Lankans to an international experience in kitchen systems.
Signature team is working hand in hand with Singer (Sri Lanka) to share industry’s best practices, coupled with innovation and creativity” said Tan Kee Choong, Group Managing Director of Signature International, Berhad.Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC is at the forefront of Sri Lanka’s retail segment with a portfolio of over 600 electronic items, 1200 home appliances and boasts more than 50 internationally renowned brands. With over 430 retail outlets,
Singer has propelled into become a dominant player offering best in class in after sales services. Singer supports customers with credit card offers, hire-purchase and convenient payment schemes along with comprehensive warranties. Singer (Sri Lanka) has won numerous awards for the wide range of top-quality local and international brands and on top of such efforts, it has been awarded the number one People’s Brand for 14 consecutive years at
the SLIM-Nielson People’s Awards.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Note20 Ultra 5G now in Sri Lanka
The Galaxy Note20 5G series is making adapting to the next normal even easier by building on the heritage of the Note series and delivering an unparalleled experience designed for users that want to get more done and enjoy premium entertainment in the palm of their hands from anywhere they desire. Delivering powerful control over both work and play aspects of user’s lives for the first-time ever in the industry, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra - in a timeless premium design and in mystic colours, are now available for purchase in Sri Lanka.
To work faster and smarter the Galaxy Note20 series brings the S Pen and Samsung Notes feature for acing all those presentations even while working from home. The Galaxy Note20 Ultra’s 120Hz display enhances the experience even more for life-like precision whether you’re jotting down notes in a meeting or scribbling down a grocery list. The S Pen has evolved to become the ultimate productivity companion.
Samsung’s partnership with Microsoft reaches new heights on the Galaxy Note20 series. With Microsoft’s Your Phone app and Link to Windows integration on select Samsung phones, users can sync their Galaxy smartphone to their Windows10 PC to share messages, photos, notifications and calendar reminders in almost real-time. The Galaxy Note20 series introduces a suite of new experiences for a more continuous productivity flows.
Note20 series lets you relive your fondest memories in high-fidelity with Pro Video mode. Shoot like a movie director in 8K at 24 frames per second to give your home videos that cinematic look. Alternatively, shoot in Full HD at 120 frames per second and play back the video at 120Hz to get a super smooth look.
In addition, the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra are 5G ready which makes them compatible for 5G usage on commercial availability of the 5G network in Sri Lanka.
A feature-packed device wouldn’t be complete without a design to match. The Galaxy Note20 series elevates the design heritage of the Note series with a timeless and durable design featuring new Mystic colour options and a matching S Pen. Soft, neutral tones and a textured haze finish add a touch of sophistication and a premium feel to Samsung’s most powerful Note yet.
Samsung Electronics revealed five new power devices that seamlessly integrate to empower consumers navigating a rapidly changing world: Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the most powerful Note series yet; Tab S7 and S7+, versatile tablets for productivity and creativity; Galaxy Watch3, a premium smartwatch along with advanced health features; Galaxy Buds Live, stylish and ergonomic earbuds with amazing sound quality; and Galaxy Z Fold2, the next generation foldable smartphone with enhanced refinements. Alone, these devices are powerful tools to help you maximize work and play. Together, as part of the Galaxy ecosystem, they work together seamlessly so you can spend your time focused on what matters the most.
The Galaxy Note20 series is available for purchase from 29th August 2020 onward at island-wide authorized dealers of John Keells Office Automation and Softlogic Mobile Distribution which can easily be identified by the Samsung logo placed outside the shop. Also available at authorized partners - Softlogic Retail, Singer, Singhagiri and Damro. Network Partners Dialog and Mobitel and through the online portals; Samsung E-Store, Daraz.lk, MySoftlogic.lk and mcentre.lk. Customers can also reach out through the Samsung customer hotline, Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 8.30pm or post their inquiries on Samsung Members which offers 24x7 assistance providing real-time solutions
Singer Fashion Design program calls for enrollments
The Singer Fashion Academy, being in operation for over 60 years, has called for new enrollments to its Certificate in Fashion Designing - a highly sought-after qualification in Sri Lanka’s Fashion industry, a qualification which is also validated by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), UK. The Academy has commenced accepting applications for the September intake of the certificate program and the intake is open till 30th of September 2020.
Singer Fashion Academy is the first Sri Lankan institute to gain course validation from CSD, UK, the internationally recognized professional body for the design profession, which champions professional design practice. The Academy helps students to achieve international recognition with a clear-cut pathway for aspirants in fashion designing. The September 2020 intake for Certificate in Fashion Designing will see the Academy introducing a perfect blend of both online and in-class sessions with the integration of course modules to suit a flexible online learning method. The online sessions will be held via Microsoft Teams platform while the students will need to be present for the in-class practical sessions. The recordings of all online lectures will be available on Microsoft Teams for further reference of students.
Singer Fashion Academy will conduct a series of introductory sessions to provide students with an insight to the program. These sessions will be conducted via ZOOM and work to create pre-awareness for applicants about the course and its career prospects. Registration for these free awareness sessions can be done through Singer Fashion Academy Facebook page or by calling the hotline: 0766177177. In addition, the students who register for the Certificate in Fashion Designing program also receive a free fashion designing tool kit that they will use during the program for pattern making.
The Certificate in Fashion Designing is a stepping-stone to a solid career path. The six-month long Certificate is the foundation program and upon completion, students gain entry into the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Fashion Designing. The Certificate in Fashion Designing is a bi-annual course, which is available in March and September intakes. Students with two credit passes for both Mathematics and English for the GCE Ordinary Level examination are eligible to apply for this course. The Diploma in Fashion Designing (one-year program) and the Advanced Diploma in Fashion Designing (one-year program) that follows are equivalent to the first two years of a University program under the UK curriculum. The students who successfully complete the course will be awarded with an internationally recognized certificate from the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), UK in addition to the certificate awarded from the Singer Fashion Academy.
The academy ensures that students reap maximum benefits from the course by offering comprehensive practical sessions, mastery of industry skills, exposure to industry experts and reputed lecturers from both local and international universities, personalized discussions and Q&A sessions. Therefore, the contribution of the Academy to Sri Lankan Fashion Industry is substantial. Commenting on the overall contribution of Singer Fashion Academy, Koshitha Peramunugamage, Head of Singer Business School said: “Over the years, we were able to groom passionate individuals into professionals in fashion designing. This is why despite the ongoing challenges, we are firm in providing uninterrupted education to students from all corners of the island who are eagerly awaiting enrollment in our courses. We have stayed true to our promise of shaping students to become professionals in fashion designing, and we always aspire to provide an international level experience and recognition through our courses.”
Singer Fashion Academy offers over 20 different programs including three Diploma programs, eight Certificate programs and 11 short courses. It has established 65 strategic learning centers enabling students to take up the courses from the nearest and most accessible learning center. In addition to the validations by the Charted Society of Designers, UK, most of the courses are recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) of Sri Lanka as well.
New FriMi savings products help customers manage money
Pushing the boundaries of digital payments to new heights, FriMi, Sri Lanka’s and trusted digital banking solution, is set to infuse a fresh new approach to savings with the launch of their new product, ‘Savings Pots’, a one-of-a-kind savings. One of the first banking products launched in addition to the existing savings account, FriMi is inviting customers to open 3 more additional savings accounts called ‘Savings Pots’ in a matter of a few clicks. The customer can divide their income amongst these pots while earmarking funds for ‘must do’ activities giving them the freedom and flexibility to move funds amongst the accounts. The concept of ‘Savings Pots’ empowers customers to manage money better based on mandatory spending for house rent, utility bills, insurance premium, bills, educational payments etc., while simultaneously keeping money aside for recreation and other important things rather than facing a month-end surprise when the income dwindles. FriMi helps customers save for a rainy day by not allowing any transactions directly through these pots or to have them linked with debit cards.
One of the unique features of the product is that is creates one platform for all needs including fund transfers to other bank, sending money via the mobile number, making all utility bill payments, other credit card payments and more from the comfort of their homes. The App also allows users to keep track of all expenses and earnings in a graphically categorized method to manage money effectively.
Commenting on the launch,Head of FriMi, Nazeem Mohamed said, “FriMi has revolutionized digital banking in Sri Lanka, in a manner that has liberated customers to make digital payments while on-the-go and to enjoy unprecedented convenience and ease of use. Inspired by the immense trust and adoption of FriMi, we are proud to add further value with a new savings product, ‘Savings Pots’, which is a highly engaging money management product to streamline savings. ‘Savings Pots’ helps customers manage their funds easier while they streamline their income and optimize finances. It is money made easy for our deserving clients. The use of a reliable and trusted digital banking solution like FriMi to power people’s digital lifestyles is indispensable and a must-have!”
In addition to the ‘Savings Pots’ FriMi now also offers customers Fixed Deposits for long term savings. FD’s from FriMi offer you even more convenience as you can open one from your phone without having to fill out forms at the bank. With a minimum deposit of Rs. 50,000, a customer can open FD’s for 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months, collecting their interest at maturity, monthly or annually and the interest will be credited to the customers FriMi account.
Owned and backed by the stability of Nations Trust Bank, FriMi inspires trust when it comes to confidentiality of financial transaction. Today, it is the market leading, fully-fledged Digital Banking experience, Mobile Wallet & Payment System - giving its over 125,000 customers an unparalleled experience. FriMi is also launching Lanka QR, a popular QR code to make transactions ‘tap and go’, easier and contactless.
FriMi became a crucial partner for one and all during the recent pandemic and work from home directive as it helped people make online transactions with ease and convenience while tracking their expenses. It has established its credentials as a premier lifestyle brand that helps users enjoy multiple experiences with ease as it has a strong network of merchants amounting to over 3,500. It is rapidly expanding both its e-commerce and physical merchant network across the country by using its QR and unique API integrated payment capabilities. FriMi also marks dominant presence in the Justpay service on interbank transactions due to its significant market share.
New Country Sales Manager to strengthen VMware Technology Ecosystems
VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a leading innovator in enterprise software, today announced the appointment of Devendra Manuvel to the company’s leadership team as Country Sales Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
n his new role, Devandra will oversee the delivery of VMware’s industry-leading innovations to the region, enabling organizations to access next-generation technologies to pivot towards an increasingly digital and mobile-first economy.
With over 19 years of industry experience with a strong skill set spanning across enterprise technology, channel partner management and business development, Devandra will be responsible for leading business development for Sri Lanka and Maldives, with a focus on strengthening partner relationships and delivering greater strategic value to customers as they navigate digital transformation to stay above a rapidly evolving business landscape.
Devendra’s previous role at VMware was to run channels in Sri Lanka and Maldives. He actively led and cultivated strategic relationships across VMware and partner business organizations to help drive differentiated customer success. Prior to VMware, he also held a number of senior executive positions at Microsoft and IBM Software, making him a good candidate to fortify VMware’s mission to empower the technology and innovation ecosystems in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
“I am honored to take up this new role, especially at a time where keeping pace with digital transformation has become key to driving business results,” said Devendra. “With a budding IT industry valued at $5 billion and the country’s continued investments in the ICT sector, Sri Lanka has all the right conditions to grow into dominant player advancing technology and driving innovation for the South Asia region and beyond. VMware is excited to help these two budding economies embark on their digital transformation journeys to build inclusive and sustainable growth for businesses, industries and communities.”
“We are excited to have Devendra on board, as VMware helps businesses in Sri Lanka and the Maldives unlock growth opportunities with digital technologies. We are confident that Devendra’s addition to the leadership team will elevate VMware’s offerings to empower businesses in the region to achieve more,” said Nitin Ahuja, Country Manager, Nascent and Vietnam, VMware.
FS named a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management
IFS, the global enterprise applications company was duly recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management (FSM). IFS achieved the highest overall position for its ability to execute in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management which is a testament to its long-term product investment strategy and singular customer focus. Since 2014, IFS has been recognized as a Leader in every Gartner Magic Quadrant published for FSM.
2019 was yet another transformational year for IFS in the FSM space, during which the company completed the acquisition of Astea International while growing its field service management business organically by 51 percent versus 2018. IFS has also welcomed a large number of new customers to its service management fold, including regional telecommunications leader Saudi Telecom Company, energy and communications technology solutions provider SPIE France, and US oil and gas producer Endeavor Energy Resources.
The IFS partner ecosystem was also significantly extended by PTC, whose Servigistics® Service Parts Management will, in combination with IFS Field Service Management™, allow companies to increase equipment uptime and service part availability as well as improve service delivery and execution efficiency.
“Being once again positioned as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management is, in my opinion, an important validation of our unwavering commitment to enabling our customers to power their growth through service,” said Marne Martin, President of IFS Service Management. “Over the past year, we have continued our aggressive investment in the service management business, adding more go-to-market, product, implementation and support resources and expertise to bring even more value to our customers, both globally and regionally. As we continue to tackle the challenges of 2020 together with our partner ecosystem, our focus remains firmly on empowering our customers to accelerate revenue generation and deliver on digital transformation goals with intelligent service solutions that encompass every business process within the complete service value chain.” Martin futher added.
IFS’s offering combines world-class real-time scheduling optimization alongside a breadth of service management and field service capabilities that are unmatched in the market. This makes IFS uniquely capable of managing the entire service lifecycle for businesses from mobile workforce, planning, service desk, and contact center to contracts, warranties, forward and reverse logistics, and depot repair. IFS connects the complete service value chain enabling businesses to deliver digital transformation and power growth through service.
Hatch & LAN gear up to launch Sri Lanka's first fintech accelerator
When Hatch opened in 2018, it quickly became a hub for innovators. It enriched the entrepreneurial spirit within its walls by offering generously curated regular programmes of mentoring sessions, learning workshops and events. In April 2020, Hatch in partnership with Lankan Angel Network (LAN) and through the support of the Ford Foundation, will officially launch the first chapter of its start-up accelerator programme ‘HatchX’, establishing Sri Lanka’s first fintech accelerator. The programme’s strategic partner will be the Fintech Association of Sri Lanka (FASL). It has also received the endorsement of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).
This first chapter will stay true to HatchX’s unique vision of moving beyond the traditional accelerator model by linking six innovative start-ups with financial regulators in order to bridge the divide between the two in the start-up ecosystem. The programme is being launched at a time when Sri Lanka is urgently looking towards fintech solutions to address essential needs, especially as businesses and financial institutions are seeking digital solutions to deliver timely services to their customers in order to meet unprecedented demand.
HatchX acts as a platform that supports start-ups and mature companies to scale their products and services in Sri Lanka and the region, while also opening up opportunities for collaboration, encouraging sharing and enabling access. Through HatchX’s foundational pillars focused on education, investment readiness and networking, entrepreneurs can access knowledge, expertise, collaboration and investment opportunities- all within the safe space of a curated accelerator programme designed by an internationally experienced expert team.
Commenting on the accelerator programme, Hatch co-founder Jeevan Gnanam said: “This will really put our cohort of start-ups through the mill. They’ll learn everything they need to about making it in a tough space and emerge stronger and more investible. They’ll be linked directly with banks, investors, and service providers as well as CBSL. Eventually, they will become products that will hugely improve how we access finance in Sri Lanka and beyond. Especially now, that the country is waking up to the need for digital financial solutions to meet their daily needs. Everyone benefits, and everyone learns.”
The fintech chapter of HatchX is funded by the Ford Foundation through LAN, a platform for angel and private investors who invest in high-growth early stage Sri Lankan ventures. Since 2012, LAN has supported more than 30 start-ups via funding and mentored over 1,000 start-ups. Recently, LAN launched Sri Lanka’s first Angel Fund to back early-stage start-ups via a structure fund.
From left HUTCH AGM, Data, VAS & Digital Yarthav Mathiaparanam, Chief Technology Officer Dhananjaya Ponnamperuma, Chief Executive Officer Thirukumar Nadarasa, Chief Marketing Officer Ramzeena Morseth Lye, General Manager Marketing Hamdhy Hassen, Chief Information Officer Asanga Ranasinghe
HUTCH announces island-wide 4G roll-out
Pics by Chanaka de Silva
Unveiling a pivotal achievement post its strategic acquisition of Etisalat Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., in 2018, Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, today announced the successful completion of the merger between the two networks and smooth migration of customers from multiple systems to one of world-class unified system.
Senior officials from the local subsidiary of global telecommunication giant CK Hutchison Holdings, announced that the massive network merger would now provide customers access to a bigger and better network of 2G, 3G and 4G services across the country. The company also unveiled its fresh outlook and brand value proposition - “Be. Anywhere” - celebrating the completion of its 4G network coverage in Sri Lanka.
This network development offers the population as much as 95% coverage across all 25 districts, while serving millions of people across 12,000 plus Grama Niladhari divisions. With over 3500sites being merged, the 4G network expansion was a complex process. A total of more than 400 engineers and technical support staff from Sri Lanka and experts from several other countries were deployed to execute the project in a record time of 12 months.
Commenting on the 4G roll out, Chief Executive Officer, HUTCH, Thirukumar Nadarasa said, “We are delighted to announce the 100% successful merger of both the networks. We are proud of our Engineering and IT teams for achieving this mammoth undertaking within the scheduled timeframes despite the trying and turbulent operating environment last year. The completion of the island-wide 4G network coverage has propelled HUTCH to the forefront of the industry and this is a testimonial of our commitment to serve all segments of the Sri Lankan market. We will continue to bring benefits of the latest mobile technology to people in Sri Lanka, thereby making it easier for them to live their life and conquer dreams by being anywhere they are!”
Powering ahead to deliver on its promises, Hutch has also completed installation of the most advanced switch and core network in the country as part of the strategic investment. In addition, the company has deployed one of the most progressive Converged Billing Systems (CvBS) in the world, where Post-pay and Pre-paid billing systems can run on a single hybrid platform offering a wide variety of products and services delivered in multiple ways to suit customer convenience.
Hutch subscribers can expect many more exciting technology rollouts and digital backed products and services as part of the company’s investment in modernizing and expanding its services in Sri Lanka.
BENEFITS OF HUTCH 4G
By extending 4G coverage across Sri Lanka, Hutch has taken a giant stride in its mission to provide digital inclusivity to customers from every walk of life and to bring affordable broadband services across the entire country. Hutch wants to ensure advanced technologies deployed will make a tangible difference in people’s lives such as affordable data connectivity to all parts of the country. 4G provides a more robust experience and allows Hutch customers to download large files such as videos, games and streaming high quality videos much faster and smoother. Current Hutch customers can upgrade to a 4G ready SIM in an instant and free-of-charge, while retaining the same mobile number as the new number is transferred into the new 4G SIM instantly. A 4G ready SIM can be obtained by ordering online; by visiting a SIM upgrade Retail Outlet or by dialing 1788 to get the SIM delivered FOC to your doorstep. Furthermore the same affordable Hutch Data packs available on the 3G network can also be used on the new 4G network seamlessly.
From left HUTCH AGM, Data, VAS & Digital Yarthav Mathiaparanam, Chief Technology Officer Dhananjaya Ponnamperuma, Chief Executive Officer Thirukumar Nadarasa, Chief Marketing Officer Ramzeena Morseth Lye, General Manager Marketing Hamdhy Hassen, Chief Information Officer Asanga Ranasinghe
‘Prajāva’, forum on creating shared values
English Tea Shop which has been in the forefront of the organic tea industry in Sri Lanka in infusing Prajāva (community) through Creating Shared Value (CSV), highlighted how sustainable business is rooted in social and environmental impact, at a global forum held at the Galle Face Hotel recently.
The importance of realizing the need to create economic value competitively while emphasizing sustainability gained added fillip as nearly all key industry players gathered at a common forum to share ideas, debate and discuss tools for the future of the industry.
The Great Game of Business, President , Rich Armstrong elaborated on the concept of Open Book Management through the Great Game of Business as a fundamental tool for effective CSV. Augmenting ideas and thought lines into the discussion were Managing Director of Best Group New Delhi Nitesh Jain, Founder Partners of Echo Brand Designs UK Nick Dorman and Nigel Ritchie, COO of Spider PR UK Michelle Butler and Member of the Visiting Faculty of INSEAD Business School France & CEO, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Dr Ravi Fernando. Senior Lecturer from Harvard Business School and co-author of the renowned seminal article Creating Shared Value Professor Mark Kramer shared insights via a video address.
The findings of an English Tea Shop case study on CSV were presented by a team from the Post Graduate Institute of Management, while Senior Partner and Head of Advisory, Ernst & Young Arjuna Herath was tasked with launching the English Tea Shop’s Employee Share Ownership Plan, yet another first. The initiative paves the way for a broad based ownership structure as a natural next step towards sustainability and succession, driving performance and business continuity upon a strong foundation of consistent sustainable performance and long term prospects.
Woman-centric WERK launches as corporate partners get on board
WERK, Sri Lanka’s first online woman-centric professional network, was launched amidst much anticipation on recently at Hatch in Colombo. The well-attended event brought together invitees from various stages in their respective professional lives, paving the way for a promising line-up of projects from the new online platform.
Committed to tackling this disparity by accelerating the career ambitions of women in Sri Lanka, Yusra Aziz-Eliyas and Amrit Rupasinghe set up WERK (Women Entrepreneurs Resource Kit), Sri Lanka’s first woman-focused online professional network. In embodying its mission of unlocking the combined power of female entrepreneurs and corporate women in Sri Lanka to create economic and social progress - the platform will provide networking, advice, resources and opportunities for women to take their careers forward.
Testament to the underlying need for such a service, at the end of the official launch event membership stood at over 400 members representing over 380 small and large businesses, all looking to connect, learn, and rise professionally.
“The case for greater gender equity has never been more compelling,” says Yusra Aziz-Eliyas. “Through WERK we aim to facilitate for women to take their respective ‘hustle’ forward and eventually cement the app’s position as the largest knowledge base for women entrepreneurs and corporate women in Sri Lanka.”
While WERK already stands out from other community networks in the wealth of corporate partnerships it has acquired so far -all having realised the immense potential of this unique and diverse talent pool-, the platform is seeking to further enhance its offering through collaborating with more companies that align with its values. For the launch event alone, the principal sponsors included amanté and Hatch as well as launch partners Selyn, Crimson, Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), SOZO Beverages, Clear, Rhoda Gifts, Shifani Reffai Photography and Limelight PR.
Furthermore, in keeping with the ethos of WERK, 10% from all corporate membership subscriptions will be donated towards upskilling women from underprivileged backgrounds and charities that provide support services to victims of violence against women.
In addition to varying discounts and offers these alliances provide for the WERK community -from bookkeeping to office attire, website building tools to software- WERK currently partners with a range of professional associations and organizations which also provide great resources for its members looking to advance their careers through educational workshops, networking events, mentoring programs, volunteer and employment opportunities, career services and support, and much more.
Interested professionals looking to further their careers can sign up at www.werk.community. For sponsorships and corporate collaborations, click on the 'Partnerships' tab on the website, and for more information or ways to get involved, just drop an email at email@example.com.
COYLE with JETRO to announce winners
‘’Sri Lanka Corporate Health and Productivity awards 2020’’ organized by the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) together with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is set to unfold on 25th of February 2020 at the Lotus Room, BMICH from 4.30 pm onwards. The awards ceremony, featuring its second edition, is considered an honest effort in raising public recognition of enterprises which are engaging in corporate health and wellness initiatives.
The event will be graced by advisors and members of the judging panel, Dr. Yoshiaki Ichikawa, visiting Professor, Tama University/ CEO, Sustainable Business Laboratory, Dr. Shigeru Yamato, Head of Global Business Investment and Alliance, Open Innovation Center, Infocom Corporation, Masatomo Itonaga, Resident Representative of JETRO Colombo, Athulla R. F. Edirisinghe, Managing Director of Strategic Management Alliance and past President of JASTECA, Dr. Rohitha Silva, Managing Director of Idac (Pvt) LTD and former Chairman of COYLE, Dhammika Fernando, President of CIPM Sri Lanka, Dr. Hasini Banneheke, MBBS, Pg.Dip Med Micro, MD (Med Parasit) Senior Lecturer, (Consultant Parasitologist), Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
COYLE and JETRO have been working hand in hand with regard to uplifting the health and productivity of enterprises and many initiatives have been set up company-wise, providing necessary guidance and backing up. Major highlight was the streak of workshops carried out targeting the corporate sector primarily focusing on building a culture of corporate health and wellness. These initiatives were also instrumental in aligning companies more towards figuring out health and wellness aspects.
COYLE, Chairman, Aminda Rodrigo, commenting on the awards ceremony, ‘’we are into the second edition of Sri Lanka Corporate Health and productivity awards which has gained wider recognition among the corporate sector. Last year, we were able to recognize and honor enterprises which successfully engaged in health and productivity initiatives and we are on the lookout for another breed of enterprises and provide them the recognition they deserve.”
The ceremony is organized in line with the Health and Productivity Stock Selection Programme held in Japan by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). The enterprises which performed outstandingly towards the betterment of their employees will be selected through surveys based on international standards. The winners will be announced under the categories of Extra-Large, Large, Medium and Small corporates depending on the number of employees.
The organizing committee certifies that the winners will be bestowed with the necessary recognition whilst promoting them as an attractive investment option for investors who see them as worth approaching. Moreover, the winning enterprises will be endorsed as great working places for employees. The enterprises which participated in the previous edition of the award ceremony have reiterated the value of this initiative, being a major awards ceremony held in recognition of excellent efforts in uplifting corporate health and wellness.
Employee health and wellness plays a huge role in discerning the direction of a company as it directly affects the productivity and performance of the employees. It is proven over the years that proper implementation of health and wellness programs lead to alleviate work-related stress, attain job satisfaction, improve performance and engagement among employees. This awards ceremony not only pays tribute to the winning enterprises, but also delivers a timely message to the world regarding the need to initiate more programs of this caliber.
EY to conduct training sessions for corporates
Embracing change and managing disruption to enhance growth potential
The New Year 2020 sets the stage for new technologies that is sure to disrupt the set methods of the business sector. The emerging technological innovations in Automation have reengineered the way businesses operate and provide huge potential in improving efficiency and increasing the quality of work output. These technologies have raised a fundamental question – “Are you ready for Robots?”
EY is set to conduct a hands-on training for process automation that is to be held on the 12th of February 2020 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Hilton Colombo Residencies, Union Place Colombo 02. This full day training session will act as a catalyst in providing a simple understanding of the most popular Automation tools in the market and equip you with basic knowledge on what you may need to know to use these Tools, where the participants will receive an education as the official of EY share their experience in RPA and enable them to understand the powerful automation tools available in the market while providing firsthand experience.
The event will be facilitated by Hiranthi Fonseka, Partner EY Sri Lanka, Johann Anderson, Manager, Financial Accounting Advisory service, EY Sri Lanka and Avinash Fernando, Assistant Manager, RPA, EY Sri Lanka. The attending professionals possess hands-on experience in working with Automation Tools, expertise in Business process mapping & reengineering and one of EY’s key resources in Financial Accounting reporting and analytical services. Furthermore, Avinash Fernando specializes in Automation Tools of Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere and Experience in using VBA. Avinash also possesses expertise in software engineering using languages such as C++.
The training program features a brief introduction on robotics as well as training in tools including UI Path, Blue Prism and Visual Basic for Applications. Moreover, the topic of Implementation and Case Studies of Process Automations. This program is deemed as highly beneficial for those working in the operations, finance, HR, business processing and IT sectors.
RPA is emerging as a powerful tool for businesses globally, however it is still a developing market in Sri Lanka and service providers in RPA play a vital role on the successful implementation and management of the Automation Journey. EY believes a successful RPA journey consist of numerous challenges. As one of the largest RPA consultancies, EY offers support and expertise in taking you through a successful RPA journey with minimum pain points. The Global knowledge base that EY possesses and shared views of all EY firms will provide your company a benchmarked and tested successful implementation process for RPA.
Binod Chaudhary opens first five star luxury hotel in Dubai
Chaudhary’s foray into hospitality began with his investment into the Taj Samudra Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan hospitality footprint spans 14; global footprint is 130 hotels in 87 destinations
Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers becomes world’s first hotel to fly Nepalese flag permanently
Nepali billionaire and investor in Sri Lanka Binod Chaudhary opened his very first luxury five star hotel in Dubai last month, making it the only five star hotel in the world to permanently fly the legendary Nepalese flag, Rato Ra Chandra Surya. CG Corp’s stakeholding in the Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers is 50 percent. This ‘Business Luxury’ hotel comes under the umbrella of Nepal’s first and only billion dollar multinational conglomerate to be listed by Forbes.
CG Hospitality’s journey began in 2001, when Binod Chaudhary, Chairman of CG Corp Global invested in Taj Samudra Sri Lanka along with two other Taj properties in the Maldives. Besides the Taj Samudra investment, the Group has joint ventures with Ceylon Hotels Corporation and Jetwing, heralding a portfolio of 14 hotels in various categories around the Sri Lanka. CG Corp claims its hospitality portfolio has grown by 4,300 percent over the last 13 years, with footprints in 11 countries.
Continuing his father’s entrepreneurial legacy, Rahul Chaudhary joined the already successful CG Corp Global in 2006 as Managing Director and has been spearheading the new hospitality properties in key destinations around the world. He manages a portfolio of 130 hotels and resorts with 6,507 keys in 87 destinations, out of which 94 are already in operation while the rest are expected to open within the next two years. The Group aims to operate over 200 hotels and resorts in the not-so-distant a future.
With the investment in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), CG Hospitality has established its headquarters in Dubai to cover the Middle-East, Europe and Africa markets.
Binod Chaudhary said that, “The Taj JLT Dubai is a timeless combination of century-old legacies and luxury woven into contemporary sensibilities and quintessential Indian heritage. With the launch of this major hotel operation, CG Hospitality’s distinguishing luxury and ethical benchmarks have been infused into the UAE with the iconic hotel setting new benchmarks in ‘Business Luxury’ in the region’s hospitality sector.”
FINCO Trading exclusive partner for Häcker
FINCO Trading, a subsidiary company of FINCO Holdings was announced as the exclusive partner to distribute Häcker Kitchen germanMade, German-based company Häcker küchen GmbH & Co. KG which specializes in modern fitted kitchens. This partnership with Häcker will turn a new chapter in FINCO Trading as Häcker is a family-owned company which was established exclusively for kitchen manufacturing and with its years of expertise and high-quality products, customers are more likely to embrace products that have been tailor-made for a modern and cozy lifestyle. Häcker is constantly expanding its product range to include both, attractive and highly sophisticated kitchens with premium finishes. Having identified Sri Lanka as a country that is quick to embrace world-class, renowned and modern lifestyle brands, Häcker joined hands with FINCO Trading to represent the German brand in Sri Lanka.
Häcker is an owner-managed family business run by the father and son duo, Horst and Jochen Finkemeier. Today, Häcker is the second largest manufacturer of kitchen furniture in Germany. Their joint contribution to the brand comprises of projecting extensive experience and adaptation of new technology to the Company, provides support and evaluation while the other engages in developing, creating perspectives and never losing sight of the fact that a steady hand is needed when it comes to the strategic direction of Häcker. The company has long since become a global operator though its roots remain in Rödinghausen in Eastern Westphalia, Germany.
Keeping up with the spirit of the times without shying away from innovation or investment. FINCO Trading too, is a family owned but professionally run company, just as it is with Häcker and it only seemed fitting that both companies would join hands. FINCO Trading was set up by FINCO Holdings Ltd in 2019 to cater to the growing need of premium home ware to the local market.
Häcker chose to expand their business footprint in Sri Lanka following an extensive analysis of potential companies to partner with. Häcker’s goal of providing high performance contemporary and innovative designs resonated well with FINCO’s stance in improving the level of gracious living through the provision of exceptional products and services for their customers in terms of home and lifestyle.
Commenting on the partnership with Hacker, Priyanjith Weerasooriya FINCO Holdings Managing Director stated, “We believe that better business and a better world go hand-in-hand, whether this comes available in the form of a beautiful kitchen products, innovative appliances and technology offerings. We are proud to have been appointed as the exclusive partner of Häcker Kitchen solutions in Sri Lanka and we believe that our prospective customers will no doubt be able to experience true designs, world-class craftsmanship and innovation from one of the well-regarded brands in the world.”
New levels of energy efficiency from Jinasena
New CJ SMART
Jinasena (Pvt) Limited, one of the leading water management systems and solutions providers in Sri Lanka, has revolutionized water pumps in the country by launching their new generation CJ SMART series domestic water pumps, the most advanced and energy efficient water pump in the country.
As the world moves towards greater energy efficiency, companies are expected to support Government initiatives by embracing a greener, more sustainable future by manufacturing cleaner, energy efficient products. As a pioneering organisation with over 110 years of innovation and engineering excellence, Jinasena has taken on this challenge by manufacturing Sri Lanka's first-ever IE1-rated domestic water pump that guarantees significantly higher energy efficiency thanks to its IE1 motor and unique impeller design. The high efficiency impeller has been designed to outperform other impellers in the market. This means that Jinasena's new generation of water pumps is ahead of current stipulated Government regulations for energy efficiency and is a new benchmark for domestic water pumps in Sri Lanka.
The Jinasena CJ SMART water pump series pays homage to the company’s Founder C.J. Jinasena while the specially-designed Jinasena TRJ 2019 Impeller, the key component of any water pump, is a tribute in memory of former Chairman Rohan Jinasena. These water pumps are ideally-suited for both domestic clean water application and deep well application and offers a host of key features that position it ahead of all other domestic water pumps available in the market today. The IE1 energy efficiency motor makes this series the first-ever domestic water pumps in Sri Lanka with this efficiency rating while the Jinasena TRJ 2019 Impeller gives best in class performance coupled with anti-rust technology. All pumps consist of a Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) motor with Insulation Class-F winding. The patented pump casing design effectively increases heat dissipation to maximize motor efficiency while the sealed rubber cage, high precession Japanese ball bearing ensures a longer lifecycle. The pump has dual protection against thermal and overload current for maximum protection to the motor (In-built and external TOC) as well as IP54 Ingress Protection from Solids and Water. Guaranteed to provide improved suction and significantly higher flow rate, the low noise pump unit comes with reliable and durable spare parts. The Back Pull-Out construction allows for easy maintenance and repairs.
All CJ SMART series water pumps are available through Jinasena’s network of 16 Service Centres located at Colombo, Buttala, Kalutara, Ekala, Avissawella, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Kaduruwela, Tambuttegama, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Ampara, Embilipitiya and Jaffna. All pumps come with a 7-year warranty, highly-reliable after sales service and ample spare parts. The company is currently carrying out intensive training programmes through all 16 outlets to create awareness among plumbers in each of the locations on the key features of the pump, how to install them and carry out any routine maintenance activities. The company is also in the process of expanding its footprint across the island by appointing new agents so that customers can access the new water pumps, as well as all other Jinasena products, closer to their homes.
Sharing her thoughts on the revolutionary range of domestic water pumps, Shani Jinasena - Executive Director of Jinasena (Pvt) Limited stated, “We are very proud of this new generation of domestic water pumps as this a significant milestone in the 114-year history of the company. Through these pumps, we at Jinasena have proved our long-standing power to innovate and we are helping showcase Sri Lanka's ability to manufacture a world-class product. Our engineering experts worked tirelessly for a long period of time and we looked into every possible aspect of the product in keeping with our legacy of delivering customised engineering solutions that enrich lives.”
Expressing his views, Dr. Shehan De Silva - Director of Jinasena (Pvt) Limited stated, “The ‘smart’ aspect of these water pumps is derived from the cutting edge impeller design, materials and processing technology that is used. The impeller, the key component of any water pump, is designed and manufactured in-house using engineering-grade plastic which is significantly tougher and more durable than standard plastic and is therefore ideally suited for areas of the country that have hard water. The Jinasena R&D team merged the company's renowned advanced design capabilities with foreign manufacturing efficiencies to create a new-generation water pump. This has enabled the company to manufacture a water pump that brings the best of both worlds - higher performance driven by Jinasena's unparalleled engineering knowledge of water pumps and lower costs brought about by tapping into foreign manufacturing efficiencies.”
Founded in 1905, Jinasena (Pvt) Limited was the first Ceylonese-owned engineering company and was rated among the five leading engineering companies in the island by 1932. In 1950, the son of the founder T. S. Jinasena, designed and manufactured the first Jinasena Centric Water Pump. It is still the only water pump that is entirely manufactured in Sri Lanka. It continues to enjoy a significant market share in Sri Lanka due to its strong brand name, sturdy construction, proven track record, availability of spare parts and reputed after-sales service. The company also specializes in Water Purifying Solutions, Irrigation Solutions and Solar Solutions, which makes Jinasena one of the few companies that can provide Water Management Solutions (on or off grid) under one roof. In addition, the company is also involved in Renewable Energy solutions and Agricultural Machinery in keeping with its slogan “One trusted name and many possibilities”.
Ocean Lanka ties up with Bluesign®
Text Pics by Chanaka de Silva
Ocean Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., Sri Lanka’s largest weft knitted fabric manufacturer, has recently received the honour of achieving the status of system partnership with Bluesign®. Bluesign® a Swiss holistic system that provides solutions in sustainable processing and manufacturing to industries and brands. Ocean Lanka becomes the first ever manufacturer of Sri Lanka to come into system partnership with Bluesign®, dedicating themselves to the continuous improvement of environmental performance.
Speaking at the function Asia/Ocean, bluesign technologies ag, CRM Manager Director Sales, Walter Streitler, ,said, “Bluesign® has recognized the potential in Ocean Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. in becoming a textile and apparel manufacturer that can expressively focus on reducing its harmful impacts on the environment and we are proud to have Ocean Lanka as our system partner. In a day and age where environment, safety and wellbeing best practices are rapidly deteriorating, Bluesign® ensures that harmful practices are eliminated from the very beginning. Apart fromreducing the risks, the bluesign® SYSTEM encourages its system partners to continuously improve safety during the use of chemicals, optimize processes regarding resource consumption and change the product design in terms of environmental impact.”
Speaking further Streitler said, this venture takes us to study very diverse companies. We first study their systems and situation first. Then we recommend what procedural changes need to be made. We then start working with them implementing the systems. The results of these systems are long term. Thy will over a period of time assure you of a healthier environment for your workers and surroundings. This help in creating health benefits all round. Initially companies are reluctant to divulge their procedures and processes. But we must clearly say that all information we receive we keep in utmost confidence. This information will not be divulged to any other person.
Further he added, we go into the detail of what particular chemicals and other material should be ordered. Every step of the process is scrutinized and designed to have the least environmental impact.
Ocean Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. Managing Director Dr. Austin Au, said “We are extremely honoured to achieve the milestone of being the first ever bluesign® SYSTEM PARTNER in the textile and apparel industry. Throughout the past two decades, Ocean Lanka has remained committed to reducing the adverse impacts induced on the people and environment. We are indeed overjoyed by this monumental achievement, which would ensure safer and more sustainable environment for all our stakeholders in the long run.”
The recently concluded comprehensive bluesign® ASSESMENT at Ocean Lanka’s manufacturing facility confirmed that the company meets high standards for environmental performance, wellbeing and responsible use of chemicals and other hazardous substances. As a system partner of Bluesign®, Ocean Lanka is dedicated to reducing the effects of manufacturing on people and the environment..
The bluesign® SYSTEM, based on input stream management, ensures that approved chemical products and raw materials are used in all steps of the manufacturing process and that substances posing risks to people and the environment are eliminated. On-site inspections verify the proper application of chemical products and raw materials in controlled processes and ensure the responsible use of resources to guarantee the highest level of consumer safety.
Rajitha Jayasuriya on CAL Holdings Board
CAL Holdings Limited, a leading investment bank, recently announced that Rajitha Jayasuriya had joined the CAL Holdings Limited Board as Non-Executive Independent Director.
Rajitha Jayasuriya, Attorney-at-Law, currently heads the overall legal operation of the USD 2 Bn Sri Lankan apparel industry leader MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, as its Group Director - Legal. She draws from a two decade long legal career and has built a cross-functional legal team for the apparel giant, covering Corporate Law, Intellectual Property and Corporate Governance and has also partnered the organization in its cross-border ventures to its new business verticals, including innovation, startup acquisitions, brands and IT solutions. Rajitha serves on the boards of several subsidiary companies of MAS including a leading New York-based Femtech company.
She was ranked number 11 in the list of the 50 most Influential Business Leaders in Sri Lanka in 2014. In 2017 she was recognized at the Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards by Women in Management and awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for Law, at the Zonta Woman of Achievement Awards. More recently, Rajitha was also listed in the “New Establishment 100” by the Echelon Magazine.
Capital Alliance (CAL) offers capital market solutions mainly focused on family office and family business solutions. CAL’s reputation as Sri Lanka’s leading investment bank has been based on its pursuit of excellence in all aspects of its operation. By upholding gender equality at the Board Level and further cascaded across the enterprise ensuring it is integrated into the company’s decision-making process and culture, CAL is positioned as a pioneer in its human resource policies which has helped it build a world-class team of professionals.
Wavenet CEO addresses Digital Transformation Asia 2019
Global Wavenet (www.globalwavenet.com) CEO, Suren Pinto, was invited to speak at Asia’s largest 5G conference, Digital Transformation Asia 2019 in Malaysia. The three day event is a must attend for organizations in the global ICT Industry looking to take advantage of the 5G opportunity.Wavenet CEO, together with other international telco specialists such as VP Technology Strategy & Transformation, Cheng Choon Si - Singtel, V Devadatta - Practice Head Innovation & Industry Relations, Wirpro, John Zhou - Director, Data Lake Service Huawei and Micheal Lawre - Director TM Forum hosted the panel discussion on 12th November 2019 titled “Charting a path towards the network of the future”. The topic addressed questions on designing dynamic network infrastructure driven by analytics, addressed data challenges, automation, AI and 5G which will drive network transformation in the future. Questions were posed on what investments were needed across networks and which of these could be future-proofed. The panel also discussed making the transition into a software-defined and Opex-driven network model, and on what is needed to support network slicing and edge computing.
The event was organised by the international TM Forum which is the professional industry body that represents service providers and suppliers in the telecommunications industry. The framework standard operated by TM forum enables CSPs and suppliers to rapidly transform business operations, IT systems and the telco ecosystems, enabling CSPs to capitalize on the opportunities presented in a rapidly evolving digital world.
Wavenet CEO Suren Pinto who spearheads the strategic business direction of the company stated on this occasion, “The biggest trend we see in the industry is the IT-fication of telecoms. This means that there needs to be a fundamental shift in the mindset for CSP’s and a level of business agility that does not exist today. We as Wavenet are at the cross section of this IT and Telecoms transformation given our roots as an IT and software company with deep domain expertise in telecoms and networks. We help our CSP customers by building the tools and systems required to bridge this gap and enable them to not merely digitize their systems, but digitalize their business.”
Over the years, Wavenet’s award winning VAS solutions portfolio that includes network consolidation solutions in the Cloud, has already transformed CSP networks all over the world in over 20+ countries. With the natural shift towards a ‘digital’ market, and Wavenet’s frequent innovation focus in staying ahead with telco software solutions in a dynamically changing ICT market, the company has launched its new ‘Digital Transformation Suite’ of services earlier this year which supports changes in 5G, AI and automation that is rapidly driving network transformation for its telco customers.
Nitin Gupta, CTIO at Wavenet also attended the event and met with key CSPs. Nitin says ‘5G opportunity can be realized with relevant customer centric use-cases that deliver strong benefits for CSPs and motivate them to prioritize 5G investments. Wavenet has always been ahead of the technology curve pioneering telco solutions. 5G is enabling a new shift towards business model innovation, service-centric usages, technology advancements like network slicing. We are constantly transforming our core solutions to offer customized solutions to leverage these market shifts and help CSPs to create value. Our world-class software capabilities and solutions aims to address our customer’s strategic ambitions and assist them in this digital transformation” he stated.
Second South Asia Investment Conference co-hosted by CAL successfully concludes in Singapore
Tuesday 12th November, Colombo: The second South Asia Investment Conference (SAIC) jointly organized by Capital Alliance Securities (Pvt) Ltd (CAL), AKD Securities and Lanka Bangla Securities Ltd was successfully held in Singapore this week.
The conference played host to round-the-clock meetings attracting over 100 participants. Included herein were institutional investors from seven countries and some of South Asia’s top listed companies.
South Asia is considered to be the fastest-growing region in the next ten years. In this context, the objective of the forum was to present Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan as a singular collective investment destination. “South Asia’s frontier countries needed more prominence. By considering the relative scale of these countries, a combined conference was the best way to attract investors” said CAL, Managing Director, Global Markets, Deshan Pushparajah.
The conference also saw keynotes and Q&A sessions where representatives of each country presented their economic outlook and investment prospects.
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Associate Professor and former Institute of Policy Studies, Chairman Razeen Sally speaking at the event highlighted that further stabilization of the economy through better debt management, improved ease of doing business and abolition of para tariffs were the urgent policy requirements needed to accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic growth to 6-8% levels. “I think that these reforms would be enough to deliver a significant boost to growth. The political question is whether Sri Lanka can go from ‘no reform’ to some reform?” he said.
Professor Sally also added that the main area Sri Lanka could leverage growth in is through its ports and logistics sector. ”Sri Lanka has every possibility to become the South Asia hub in shipping and logistics, if it can get some simple reforms through. The geography is just right, placed between Singapore and Dubai along the Asian trade route. By opening the market to shippers, shipping agents, and building the connectivity around it, Sri Lanka could attract the ancillary services needed to create an eco-system of logistics in quick time. This should be done not with the Sri Lankan market in mind but with the bigger South Asian market in mind”.
Bangladesh is expected to be the fastest-growing economy in South Asia in 2019. Much of its USD 300bn economy was achieved in the last decade. “If growth continues in the same phase in the next five years it will be half a trillion USD,” said Dhaka Stock Exchange Managing Director, Majedur Rahman. The country also boasts a robust exports sector led by its apparel industry, which is expected to drive its total exports by 10% this year.
In respect to Bangladesh’s capital markets, Rahman expressed that recent issues in liquidity has caused a reduction in volume and value traded in its exchange which he partially ascribed to the high levels of non-performing loans in the banking industry. “Bangladesh private sector has grown faster than regulators can catch up with. Naturally, this creates lapses in governance and regulation. As a result the banking industry’s liberal handing out of loans have caused concern” he said. ”To address this, the government has requested to maintain at least 85% asset-deposit ratio. Many banks used to exceed more than 90%, but most banks have bridged the gap. And the end of the year I’m hoping it would be a much better scenario for banks”.
In the keynote presentation on Pakistan, Chairman Sulaiman Mehdi of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited said the country’s benchmark index Karachi Stock Exchange 100, provided a USD adjusted return of 82.6% compared to 9.5% return of the MSCI emerging market index. He also added that with the IMF stipulated fiscal reforms, and due to inversion of the yield curve, investors have now started reverting into the Pakistan stock exchange.
EFL 3PL kicks off Data Insights on Demand (DIOD):
Logistics giant partners ith Fortude to enhance business visibility
Expolanka Freight (EFL) announced a group wide initiative of incorporating Business Intelligence (BI), commencing with the 3PL Cluster. In hand with implementation partner Intellint, a Fortude brand, the Power BI tool’s proven advanced reporting capabilities will significantly enhance EFL’s business visibility.
The move comes on the heels of EFL adopting Robotics Process Automation (RPA) in its 3PL (Third Party Logistics) business in May. The award winning and transformative solution was implemented across all 3PL Fulfilment Centers and Freeport to support day-to-day operations, making it the first 3PL to have achieved this in Sri Lanka.
“The introduction of BI will help us set the stage for advanced analytics such as supporting data insights on demand,” says Sammy Akbar - Director, EFL 3PL & Freeport. “EFL 3PL is on a hyper digitization and efficiency drive, and this is the next step. We want to make our results visible in line with equipping ourselves for Industry 4.0.”
The company has selected Power BI, the analytics solution widely known to be the best- in-class. With the tool EFL 3PL can visualize their data and share insights across the organization with an option to embed these insights in an app or the EFL 3PL’s website. By connecting to multiple data sources and integrating with other systems such as HighJump (tier one WMS), a CRM system, a Labour Management System and Oracle Finance, Power BI will bring EFL’s 3PL data to life with live dashboards and reports.
In addition, EFL 3PL has established a Data Science and Solutions Division, which has deployed full time data scientists to review live data sets that will generate real time insights for managers and clients, enabling them to make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. The tool is developed and provided by Microsoft, a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI Platforms for 12 consecutive years. The implementation will be in three phases; phase 1 will include the HighJump and Oracle systems integration, leading to phase 2 which will encompass the integration of all other systems (the Labour Management System, CRM, HRIS etc). The platform will subsequently be extended to EFL 3PL clients during phase 3, enabling real time visibility and decision making at their fingertips.
EFL 3PL’s implementation partner for this initiative will be Intellint, who has vast experience in implementing data analytics solutions for global corporates, including organizations in the logistics sector. “We look forward to working with a partner like EFL 3PL, to help uncover operational insights leveraging Microsoft BI tools,” says Surangana Sarathchandra - Senior Vice President, Delivery of Fortude. “EFL 3PL’s goal is to inculcate a data-driven culture with advanced and predictive analytics to help make business decisions quickly and confidently. The Intellint team specializes in leveraging Microsoft BI services to deliver these results with speed and visibility while saving costs for their clients.”
The transition to a BI platform is informed by EFL 3PL’s Industry 4.0 initiative. The goal is to uplift the benchmark so that clients float logistics outsourcing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) with EFL 3PL already in mind, said Leroy Ebert – EFL 3PL’s Chief Growth Officer, noting “Project DIOD is a carefully thought-through decision guided by Hanif Yusoof - Group CEO, Expolanka Holdings PLC. DIOD, once leveraged properly is bound to bring in cost savings to both clients and us.” He also added, “We are confident when we say EFL 3PL is positioned at the forefront of innovation in logistics. EFL 3PL provides the most advanced offering in the industry, strengthened with tools like RPA, HighJump, Labour Management System, CRM System, BI, etc.”
About EFL 3PL EFL 3PL is a member of Expolanka PLC – a leading conglomerate with interests in Logistics, Leisure and Investments. The company has thrived on overcoming the challenges of operating in limited logistic infrastructure markets, taking its operations to 18 countries, 60+ offices and over 2300 staff around the world.
Huawei Experience Store at One Galle Face Mall
Huawei, the innovative smartphone brand in Sri Lanka, introduced the latest Huawei Experience Store at the One Galle Face Mall amidst a ceremonial gathering. Peter Liu, Country Head, Huawei Devices Sri Lanka, accompanied by officials from Singer Sri Lanka PLC and Huawei attended the opening ceremony.
The all new Huawei Experience Store provides a chance for all consumers to be offered an understanding on the premium innovations of Huawei and their offerings in terms of products and services. The new outlet, located at the One Galle Face Mall showcase itself as an avenue for smartphone enthusiasts in Colombo and the surrounding area to visit and experience the brand and all the exciting offers it provides to all customers. Numerous offers were also available at the launch wherein many customers were able to experience the most recent technology available from Huawei.
The new Experience Store features latest expertise from Huawei and will provide an ideal opportunity for Huawei consumers to experience and purchase their dream Huawei smartphone and accessories which comes with an unmatched pricing, highest quality and excellent after sales and service support by Singer Sri Lanka PLC.
Commenting on the latest opening, Huawei Device Sri Lanka Country Head Peter Liu, stated “We have always been an active participant in terms of providing the best experience to our loyal consumer base in Sri Lanka. One Galle Face Mall, Colombo’s largest mall and the latest addition to Colombo’s attractions, is a perfect fit for our consumers to gather and be educated about the latest technology and the premium offers that are brought by Huawei. As Sri Lankan consumers have embraced all our innovations enthusiastically, we always strive to offer to them all the latest updates and novelties we bring.”
Liu further commented, “Huawei has successfully been able to increase its presence in Sri Lanka over the years. Huawei recognizes Sri Lanka as a major market and sets to continue forward to establish an extensive market footprint within the country. Singer Sri Lanka as our main distributors has immensely influenced in introducing Huawei island wide and making it available to the public.”
The public will not only receive the opportunity of entering the store and ‘experiencing’ the products on display but they can also place their orders and purchase any Huawei device through the Experience Store. Customers who visit the Store will be able to access information, and receive advice and help with regard to Huawei smartphones and devices through the help of dedicated and highly trained customer sales assistants.
Huawei is ranked 47th among the World’s Top 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2019 according to Brand Finance. Recently, Huawei succeeded in securing Number 72 on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands.
Poland and Sri Lanka tie up for Trade and Tourism
Text and Pics By Chanaka de Silva
Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce struck new ties with the Polish Chamber of Commerce for economic ventures between the two countries , at a function held in Colombo recently.
Addressing the gathering the Polish delegation head, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland, Maciej Lang said, there is a vast untapped market for both Sri Lanka and Poland to venture into. With Polish Airlines now flying direct this will bring both clients and investors much closer. Hence the ascertaining of key areas for business in Colombo and the possibility of enhancing terms of trade, investment and tourism promotion between the two countries he said.
Further he added “Measures need to be taken to gain a sizable market share in Poland as it is the second largest export market in the European region. The launch of non-stop flights between Warsaw and Colombo will provide an impetus for growth in trade and tourism while Sri Lanka could market the country as a preferred destination in Europe,
“The business forum could be considered as an opening for bigger cooperation in terms of cultural exchange and commerce. Trade between Poland and Sri Lanka has rapidly grown from US $ 19 million to $ 199 million over the past years. There is vast potential for growth into which both countries must venture.
With the regaining of the EU GSP+ concession by Sri Lanka, EU importers are exempted from paying import duty on over 7,000 product lines exported from Sri Lanka and that has widened the avenues for Sri Lankan exporters to reach European markets by offering competitive prices for our products.
Also speaking at the gathering Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said, “Poland could use Sri Lanka’s strategic location to boost connectivity to the European Union (EU) and increase trade related activities for the benefit of both countries. Poland is the EU’s number one export market and the advantage of duty exception is enjoyed by over 7,000 products. Sri Lanka could gain much by enhancing exports to Poland. As the share of exports is small at present, Sri Lanka could work towards exporting more products to the EU market through a better relationship with Poland”.
“Poland is considered the fastest growing economy in Central Europe. It recorded 5.2 percent GDP growth last year. The inclusion of Poland in the EU single economy has given us a lot of opportunities. Sri Lanka could benefit from this. This is an ideal platform to grow trade and tourism. As air connectivity has been established, it is easier than before to engage in trade and commerce. This has also opened up more investment opportunities,” he said. The
In line with Sri Lanka’s National Export Strategy, the country will the market diversification strategies by exploring the opportunities in untapped markets such as Central Europe. Although Sri Lankan exports to Central and Eastern Europe have increased by 32% from 2016 to 2018 with the advantage of the GSP+ concession, there is a huge potential in further promoting exports.
Trade between Poland and Sri Lanka last year was $ 97 million, while Sri Lanka’s exports to Poland amounted to $ 45 million. There is a strong potential to increase the number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka. The number of arrivals from EU to Sri Lanka: 800,000 tourists (2018). From Poland to Sri Lanka – 20,000 (2018), she said.
Belluna Japan confirms faith in Sri Lanka
An impressive hotel the ‘Le Grand’ Galle that combines its historic location, views of the Indian Ocean and sandy beaches, it’s all in all a unique offering for an unforgettable experience. Attracting business and leisure travelers, the sprawling expanse of the highly aesthetically designed property offers a serene and relaxed ambience. Many of the hotel’s rooms and suites have stunning views of the Indian Ocean and UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort.
Le Grand Galle offers all the imaginable creature comforts such as an inviting swimming pool and a private plunge pool, a state-of-the-art gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, as well as wellness spa where Balinese therapists combine traditional rituals with precious oils and salves to nurture, balance and restore a guest's peace of body and mind. Guests will enjoy lounging at the hotel's one-of-a-kind poolside bar, sipping on delightful cocktail concoctions and a live action cooking station.
Its cuisine is another reason why Le Grand Galle is recommended so highly because it takes a fresh approach to dining experiences with its use of rustic and ruggedly tropical décor. TASTE, an all-day dining restaurant offers the ambiance and simplicity of a modern bistro with food that is delightful and brings back memories of home while BLUE, Le Grand’s specialty seafood restaurant boasts an open kitchen, an enviable wine list and sprawling views of the deep blue ocean. The exquisite meals are prepared using seafood delivered daily by local fisherman.
The tastefully appointed rooms at Le Grand Galle offer a warm embrace with its décor and amenities fit for the modern-day traveler, such as coffee machines, select Ayurveda amenities and more. The elegantly styled Plunge pool Suite offers 146 square meters of luxurious living space.
447 Luna Tower
447 Luna Tower is the first luxury apartment project in Sri Lanka launched under the joint collaboration of Belluna Co. Ltd. Japan and Asia Capital PLC. As a testimony of its long-term commitment to the market, Belluna had pledged investments of upto USD450 Mn for developing real estate projects in Sri Lanka. Reflecting the Japanese pursuit of perfection and precision, 447 Luna Tower has differentiated itself through a coalescence of enchanting aesthetics and well-thought-out functionality. 447 Luna Tower has also spared no cost in its goal to create a true contemporary urban oasis at Union Place. Apart from its already impressive credentials, the project has on board PWA as the Principal Architects, a firm that boasts an array of upmarket hotels and minimalist designer homes in their portfolio; and two global giants - Arup and Ong & Ong. Arup is an international leader in structural engineering that will bring world-class depth of creative and technical expertise, while Singaporean firm Ong & Ong - operating in 13 countries across three continents - offers unrivalled know-how in cross-discipline and integrated design solutions.
Further, the luxury apartment project has strengthened its partner portfolio by inviting447 Luna Tower will reflect the Japanese pursuit of perfection and precision.
Belluna Co. Ltd
Belluna Co., a Tokyo Stock Exchange - First Section listed company, and a significant player in the global real estate industry, has adopted a long-term view of Sri Lanka’s real estate sector, investing heavily in a slew of property development projects. Belluna’s collaboration with Asia Capital PLC reiterate its confidence in Sri Lanka’s growing real estate industry. 447 Luna Tower is the first of many projects to be undertaken through this dynamic joint alliance.
Belluna’s other projects encompass an under-construction 300-room city hotel in Marine Drive in Colombo 3; a 70-key leisure property in partnership with leading global hospitality company, Marriot International Inc., in the Maldivesan ultra-luxurious 57-room resort in Galle, which opened in August 2018.
Minister caught flatfooted
By Chanaka de Silva
Pics by Devenda de Silva
Dr. Harsha de Silva State Minister for Economic Affairs and Public Distribution was invited for the launch of the Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) report of the Economic Form Platform to a forum without him being notified of the subject matter of the discussion prior to his arrival..
Addressing the gathering Dr. Harsha de Silva State Minister for Economic Affairs said that he was shocked at this as a discussion of tax matters does not happen at a forum such as this. Further that a government minister does not usually sit to pontificate on tax matters with representatives of the Tobacco and alcohol industries. ”. He further added that had he been informed beforehand on the topic he would have accepted the invitation.
Speaking at the RIU Economic Forum and the launch of Thinking Citizen Platform report held at the Hilton Hotel Colombo on Monday, he said: “I was not briefed beforehand on the topic on tobacco and alcohol taxation. Moreover, the RIU report made available to me now is based on the objectives of achieving tobacco taxation. Had I known that the discussion was on alcohol and tobacco I would not I have come here.”
Referring to the taxes on alcohol, an index structure was needed based on a unit of alcohol contained in a bottle. The minister said that he was against the proposal when the government wanted to place a seal on aerated water and other beverages that do not pay excise duty and the government agreed to his proposal. When asked about whether wine stores’ permits have been issued to Member of Parliament, he said that he too had come to know of it and anyone could have access to such information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Finally, the minister said he was surprised to learn that Sri Lanka was the most expensive country in the world to purchase cigarettes. If the report is correct it implies that people are veering away from purchasing tax paid legally manufactured cigarettes to illegally smuggled or locally manufactured cigarettes that does not bring revenue to the state. However, the incentive to consume or not such products depends on the tax imposed on such items. “I have brought this to the notice of the government to rethink ad hoc changes made to the tax system,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Thinking Citizens Platform was launched at the forum. RIU CEO and Founding Director Roshan Madawela said the Thinking Citizen Platform is a new concept that addresses complicated issues that arise in sectors that require deeper approach than from the state as everyone lives in a complex world with a globalized economy.
A panel discussion focusing on the findings of the report was moderated by CEO of RIU Sri Lanka Roshan Madawela. RIU Sri Lanka Economist Lalinda Sugathadasa, Economist and Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, Chief Operating Officer of Advacata Dhananath Fernando, Former Head of HDFC Maldives and Consultant RIU Sri Lanka Dr. Priyanka Beddevithanna and CEO of Lion Brewery PLC and Past Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Suresh K Shah joined in as panelists.
Build SL Housing and Construction International exhibition launched
Pics by Devenda de Silva
Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka is recognized by the Government as the apex representative of the construction sector in Sri Lanka. The membership comprise of under mentioned 12 professional bodies representing the spectrum of the industry from builders, suppliers, manufacturers, designers, Quantity Surveyors, Engineers, Architects etc., and in addition over 300 companies engaged in activities related to construction sector. The Chamber has positioned itself as the voice of the industry and has earned the respect of the government which consults the CCI on a regular basis.
Institutional Member Representatives
1. Sri Lanka Institute of Architects
2. Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka
3. Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka
4. The Surveyors Institute of Sri Lanka
5. The Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka
6. The Association of Consult• g Engineers Sri Lanka
7. Society of Structural Engin ers Sri Lanka
8. Ceylon Institute of Builders
9. National Construction Association of Sri Lanka
10. Major Constructors of Sri Lanka
11. Insurance Association of Lanka
12 .Lanka Ready-mix Concrete Association
A main Chamber's activities is the hosting of the largest housing and construction related
exhibition in the country on an annual basis. Next year it will be held during the 22nd, 23rd and 24ü1 May 2020 at the BMICH and will be the 16th annual exhibition organized by this Chamber. Build Sri Lanka 2019 will showcase the latest developments in the building and construction industry, with eminent industry experts, stake holders and decision makers in attendance, making it an ideal event to source new products, network and usher in new contacts and business opportunities. Over 40,000 trade visitors are expected over the course of the event, looking to source the latest, inventive products on offer, not accessible otherwise in the local market, in addition to new product launches and added features.
This exhibition will feature many stalls of overseas companies from several countries making it a truly
international exhibition. A special feature that will draw the attention of many visitors to the exhibition will be the separate International Pavilion with the exclusive participation of Overseas Companies.
All indications, are that the Build Sri Lanka 2020 will be the largest and most important construction sector related exhibition ever held in Sri Lanka, with the inte st shown to date by the industry stakeholders.
Event Segments of Build SL 2020
Oi.building & construction materials
02.1nterior decor & furniture
03.Tools & equipment
04.Construction consultancy services
05.Construction Machinery & industrial vehicles
06.Sustainable construction & green building
Property expert Michael Yam highlights major opportunities
Pics By Devenda de Silva
Highlights lessons from Malaysian development experience relevant to current challenges in SL
Calls for urgent recalibration of policy to support housing and property development industry
Reiterates potential for focused property policies to enhance Sri Lanka’s regional economic status
The future of Sri Lanka’s economic development could very likely hinge on how domestic policies towards real estate evolve, particularly with respect to supporting the massive demand for vertical living in Colombo and its suburbs.
These were some of the key insights which emerged out of a Breakfast Meeting jointly hosted by John Keells Properties and DFCC Bank at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on 24 September 2019.
Featuring insightful presentations by Guest Speakers, CEO and Managing Director of Malaysia’s Impetus Alliance Advisors, Michael Yam and Impetus Alliance Advisors Director, Shaun Mok, as well as a panel discussion with John Keells Properties, Sector Head, Nayana Mawilmada, the breakfast meeting provided an exclusive group of DFCC Premier customers with an unprecedented overview of current challenges, potential solutions and latent investment opportunities in Sri Lankan real estate.
“While the rate at which real estate development takes place can be drastically altered by socio-economic volatility, the demand for housing is primarily driven by population growth and employment opportunities. In that regard, there are many lessons that can be drawn from the story of Malaysia’s development and adapted to help Sri Lanka overcome its present challenges,” Yam explained.
Currently ranked third out of 10 countries in the ASEAN region – which itself is the 3rd fastest growing group of nations in the global economy, Malaysia’s current success at the macroeconomic level is directly traceable to policy reforms passed in the wake of the global financial crisis that sought to enhance financial system resilience by – among others – reclassifying real estate as a priority sector.
“This fundamental reclassification enabled the state to implement stable, property-friendly policies, improve access to finance, ensure rule of law and enhance connectivity through substantial investments into public transportation. In cities like Kuala Lumpur, this framework enabled the decentralization of commercial and administrative complexes outside of the Central Business District. As a result, the load placed on public infrastructure is distributed more evenly, enabling the entire city to function more efficiently,” Yam explained.
He further noted that if Sri Lanka could follow in these footsteps – the country could well be poised to play a similar role to the SAARC region that Malaysia does for ASEAN.
“Over the past decade, Sri Lankan real estate has made some truly impressive advances – particularly in relation to the development of high-rise condominiums, branded residences, and commercial spaces. Meanwhile, there are some notable mixed used integrated developments in the pipeline and plans for greater connectivity in public transport. However, even major cities like Colombo have been slow to move towards transit oriented development and planned township development. These are areas which will have to be given careful consideration moving forward,” Yam stated.
Among the most pressing challenges facing the country over the medium-term will be the dearth in affordable vertical living within the city and its suburbs.
“Vertical living and multi-family residential spaces will be absolutely fundamental to solving Sri Lanka’s future housing challenges. At present just over 90% of Sri Lankans live in single family detached housing, and over time, this is a dynamic which cannot be sustained within the city, leading to increasing volumes of new housing stock being shifted to the fringe of the city massive traffic congestion, and major distortions in real estate prices,” John Keells Properties’ Mawilmada stated.
Illustrating the growing severity of these issues, he pointed to analysis carried out by John Keells Properties which found that average commuting times from major residential suburbs had increased to almost two hours on average. Meanwhile, average vehicle speeds within Colombo have steadily plunged from 22 km/h in 2012 down to 8 km/h in 2018.
“Among the most urgent priorities will be to change the way we approach urban development. There needs to be a shift towards densification and mass transit, while the private sector needs to be stimulated with the right incentives to help fill the gap in middle-income housing. This cannot be accomplished without transparent regulations that help stimulate development and lowering the cost of construction – which are presently among the highest in the entire region.
“Similarly, there needs to be a concerted effort on the part of policy makers and the private sector to help widen access to housing finance – such as through a reduction in interest rates and tax rebates for first-time home buyers. Such reforms will undoubtedly have a transformative impact on our society and our economy,” Mawilmada stated.
CIPM Sri Lanka to Host Prestigious World HR Congress2020 from 6–8 July
Pics By Chanaka de Silva
CIPM Sri Lanka – the Nation’s leader in human resource management in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM) and The World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) will be hosting World HR Congress2020, the world’s largest HR conclave in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 6-8 July 2020 at the BMICH. Over 2,000 people management professionals and business leaders from Sri Lanka and overseas are expected to participate in this mega people management event. In addition to the main tent event, a pre-conference event on the topic of “International Knowledge Sharing by People Professionals” featuring 4 plenaries which also consists of 3 Keynote by world renowned thought leaders, 4 panel discussions, over 20 technical breakout sessions, the HR Service Providers Exhibition which runs alongside of the conference and the Grand Finale of the CIPM Great HR Debate will be part of the proceedings of the World HR Congress2020. Furthermore, three separate events by invitation only too will be held prior to and post the World HR Congress 2020. These will be the APFHRM Regional Meeting and Heads of the world People Management Institutes Meeting which consists of 93 countries in 5 continental federations which will be on 5th July 2020, and the WFPMA Board Meeting on 9th July 2020.
“WFPMA is delighted that CIPM is hosting the 2020 World Congress in Colombo, Sri Lanka. CIPM is a valued and leading member of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management and was selected by the WFPMA Board as the host country following a robust tender process. The combination of CIPM’s successful record in holding innovative and highly relevant HR congresses and Colombo’s reputation as a highly attractive congress venue with excellent facilities, proved a winning combination. The World Congress enables HR professionals to build a global community of peers, to discuss new developments in HRM, and to network with colleagues from around the world who face similar complex challenges in human resource management. We are looking forward to an exciting congress and to greeting HR professionals and their management colleagues from around the world to this unique HR event and to experience this wonderful country” said Bob Morton - Secretary General, WFPMA.
“When every manager plays a “people management role”, the people management professional’s role evolves into a role of an internal coach, guide, policy setter and an architect of strategy adding significant value to the organization. Thus, the World HR Congress2020 is aptly themed as “Exalting People Professionals: Explore, Expand and Excel” in order to encourage, energize and enthuse people professionals in the increasingly strategic role that they play in their organizations” said Dhammika Fernando-President, CIPM Sri Lanka and Director, APFHRM.
The conclave will deliberate on the various aspects and implications of digitalization, disruption, diversity, inclusivity and happiness of people in a new world of work and life.
“As the host country organizing this prestigious conference, our programme and agenda for the participants over the 3 days will be fully packed to freely disseminate and share knowledge, new and innovative ideas and insights. Our carefully selected speakers and panelists will delve deeply into the subject matter in order to kindle new thinking and approaches to people management, taking advantage of disruptive technology to build the better world for work and life” he added.
CIPM Sri Lanka won the opportunity to host the biennial World HR Congress in 2020 in Colombo after an intense competitive bidding and evaluation process held during the Annual Meeting of the APFHRM amongst other bidding countries in the Asia Pacific region including Australia where the World HR Congress was held successfully on 2 previous occasions, the Philippines and Thailand. Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri – Immediate Past President CIPM Sri Lanka received the official proclamation from Peter Wilson-Chairman, WFPMA that the World HR Congress 2020 will be held in Sri Lanka at the World HR Congress 2018 held in Chicago, Illinois in USA.
CIPM Sri Lanka has appointed a high powered organizing committee led by President CIPM Sri Lanka – Dhammika Fernando (Chairman) and Immediate Past President – Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri (Deputy Chairman) together with 8 Sub-Committees for Technical, Promotional, Sponsorships, Logistics, Secretariat, Ceremonials, Participation and Security, Health & Safety to organize the event in keeping with international convention standards.
The World HR Congress is also considered as an ideal platform for Sri Lankan HR professionals to build and develop an extensive network of peers and colleagues in the region and from across the globe for continuous exchange of knowledge and ideas even after the conclusion of the conclave.
The World HR Congress 2020 will coincide with CIPM Sri Lanka’s 60th Anniversary. With many accolades earned and significant achievements over these 60 years including the most recent accolade of the award of the Chartered Status, CIPM Sri Lanka is now strengthening its role as a dynamic regional and global People Management Professional body.
Alethea relaunches technology-based educational framework
Pics by Devenda de Silva
Alethea School and Alethea International school has taken the initiative to fill the mismatch of technology and the pre-existing traditional classroom education. Through the relaunch of the school, Alethea will shift their educational vision towards a technology-driven educational framework that is reflected in the school’s teaching, learning process as well as the infrastructural facilities that are in par with the Gen Z educational demands.
Alethea group, is one of the oldest privately-owned schools in Sri Lanka, with over 90 years history in the field of education. The School is an official Pearson – Edexcel teaching center, that is authorized to host examinations in Sri Lanka, as well as, a Cambridge International School & British Council Partner School. As such, taking the next step towards becoming a leader in the local educational industry, the school announced a relaunch with a complete facelift across the curriculum, extracurricular activities as well the facilities offered to the students.
“The educational philosophy of Alethea School and Alethea International School since its inception by the founding family has been based on making the school ‘A home away from home to everyone’. As such, we have always stood progressive in our outlook while sustaining the values of our culture, traditions and multi-religious values. However, in the era of the Gen Z, we have identified that it is crucial the education we deliver to our students replicates the positive advancements of technology. Alethea Group, took measures to assess and evaluate the existing academic programme and infrastructure and made a decision to relaunch the entire school framework, so that our delivery matches the ever-changing demands of the world outside. Thereby, the school has introduced smart classrooms, along with many innovative turnkey digital educational elements, including five digital science labs, two music studios & art studios, a state of the art computer lab, an e-library. The school has also taken steps to create modernized classrooms with students’ lockers, smart interactive boards. We also took measures to include an international standard basketball court” indicated Anitra Perera, Managing Director/Coordinating Principal, Alethea Group of Schools, chronicling the vision behind the relaunch of the school.
In addition to the digitalization of the entire school, Alethea Group has also made space for the school to be an inclusive educational institution that accommodates students of all caliber and different academic needs. As such, the school houses a learning resource unit and a special needs unit; both established to cater to the specific requirements of some of the students. The LRC assists students who might otherwise find a regular classroom learning session challenging. The experts in the LRC aptly support learners with dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, ADHD physical impairments etc. The special needs unit is a separate facility dedicated to helping students with severe difficulties. Special programmes are customized for each individual learner after extensive consultations and meetings with parents. One-to-one sessions, continuous observations, monitoring and assessing are rigorously applied to help such children integrate themselves into society. The school also conducts an Activity Center at the Junior school with the aim of providing young children, a comfortable, caring and safe environment while the parents are away at work.
CHE Summit 2019: Outbound training with Positive Employee Engagement
Pixs by Devenda de Silva
CHE Launches HRIS tool for qualitative assessment in association with hSenid Business Solutions.
Sri Lanka’s premier outbound training provider, CHE Adventure Park,
Successfully hosted CHE SUMMIT 2019, on 29th August 2019 in Colombo, spotlighting on the impact of outdoor and adventure based training towards work force empowerment that culminates on long term positive ramifications on an organizational context.
CHE SUMMIT gathered over 75 Corporate CEO’s and approximately 300 heads of Training and Development Company representatives, where the panel discussed of using outdoor and adventure training as a timely and result oriented HR tool that could easily outdo the outcomes of traditional indoor trainings.
During the event the company launched the advanced HRIS tool; Peoplelogica, which can provide quantifiable assessments on outbound training. This marked CHE’s entry into futuristic workforce development pathway. Through Peoplelogica, CHE would deliver a range of customized people capital solutions for organizations of all sizes, from all sectors. Coincidentally, organizations could utilize this tool to improve client and employee engagement levels by providing management teams with the information and tools to assist them to better understand client and employee needs.
“The offering for the corporate at the CHE Adventure Park is not merely outdoor training. We like to identify ourselves as a consultant or a partner in overall HR and Training development of an organization. CHE Adventure Park introduced Peoplelogica, a software tool, launched for the 1st time in Sri Lanka, that identifies pre-training status competencies and provide the gaps identified in it. As such this further enables organizations to see the behaviour changes at the post training stage. Thus, it is easy for organizations to measure training impact or ROI. Under such context, CHE would not be conformed to traditional out bound training but take a leap towards a much-expanded scope that would inculcate technology to bring measurable results to any partnering organisation. In other words, we are ready to redefine our identity from an adventure park to a multi-dimensional corporate training solutions provider,” Shehan Piliapitiya, General Manager Operations, CHE Adventure Park highlighted while emphasizing their venture towards organisational talent management and development.
Elaborating on their future partnerships and existing training philosophy, Pilapitiya added, “CHE plans to launch BRC Asia, as a training and Consultancy Firm, which would focus on competency mapping, training conduction, and providing consultancy towards organizational development. Currently, CHE offers team building activities and customized training. Where the training philosophy centralizes on learning from experience. This stands true to CHE’s vision to addresses the workforce training needs through experiential learning. Participants learn to correlate Through experiencing, sharing, analyzing, reflecting and correlating the learnings for application at the workplace. Which ideally makes experiential learning the most effective medium to develop individuals and teams at the workplace.”
CHE Summit 2019, included inspiring speeches by 6 training experts including 3 international speakers who provided exceptional intel towards the offering of CHE Adventure Park as a result oriented and scientifically driven out door training service provider, who transcends the traditional ideology of leisure and excitement-based adventure training.
CHE Adventure Park is an outbound training company that conducts outbound training, Behavioral skills training, team building workshops using the experiential education methodology for corporate companies, institutions and schools. The programs offered at CHE Adventure park includes mountain Biking, rafting and kayaking ,Rock climbing , trekking or engage in extreme adventures such as Zip Line, Scavenger hunt, Race Challenge programs, Multi day river excursions, Target shooting, Archery, high rope activities, paintball or immerse oneself in nature by sleeping under the stars in a luxurious tent.
Singer Launches John Deere 4WD Tractors
Pics by Devenda de Silva
Singer Sri Lanka PLC, a household name in consumer durables and diversified company in Sri Lanka launched three 4WD Tractor models from the world-renowned USA based brand John Deere. The launch was held ceremonially at The View, Waters’ Edge recently.
The introduction of innovative technology from one of the world’s best brands, John Deere, was the emphasis for Singer Sri Lanka to bring down the best equipment to Sri Lanka’s existing Agri machinery industry. Singer Sri Lanka currently markets two-wheel tractors and have been named as market leaders for the fourth year. With their current stance in the market and with being the No. 1 in the two-wheel tractor market, they only saw it fitting that they select from the best in global Agri machinery technology and introduce it to the country.
The current market demand for Agri machinery is big in Sri Lanka and this came as a timely initiative to introduce the 4WD tractor and fulfil the requirement of user-friendly, economical and innovative technology for their consumers. With Singer Sri Lanka’s expertise in this sector and with their established dealer network island wide, they can leverage on this and ensure the availability of these products.
Commenting on the recent launch, Singer Sri Lanka CEO, Mahesh Wijewardene said, “With the trusted name that Singer Sri Lanka has, we wanted to take a step forward to provide our support towards enhancing the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka and the tie up with John Deere Agri equipment will be a win for both companies. We look forward to unveiling more products in this category in the long run in developing the Agriculture sector.”
Three John Deere models were introduced at the launch, the 3036E, 5045D and 5047D with a horsepower of 36, 47 and 45 respectively. Key features include power steering, powerful hydraulics system and a high lifting capacity safety bar among other things. Both, the 3036E and 5045D are available on 4-wheel drive only whereas the 5047D comes as a 2-wheel drive which can be switched into a 4WD. With the purchase of one of these models is a 42 blade rotovator which comes free with it. Other accessories such as disk ploughs, tine tillers and front loaders can be purchased separately as well and easily incorporated into these tractors.
Giving his insight about the new unveiling, Singer Sri Lanka Marketing Director, Kumar Samarasinghe said, “We are delighted to have one of the world’s best global brands such as John Deere on board with Singer Sri Lanka and we can guarantee our consumers will receive the best of equipment incorporating user-friendly tech specifications that would enable them to achieve maximum outcome.”
HUTCH deploys first fully-fledged NFV based Core Network
By Chanaka de Silva
Hutch launches fully upgraded NFV facility in order to sever customers of both Etisalat and Hutch. This will ensure that faster and better services will be provided over the network, said Hutchinson Telecommunications (P) Ltd., CEO Thirukumar Nadarasa speaking at the launch of the tech hub IN Walpola recently. The fastest-growing mobile telecommunications provider consolidated its position in the market by upgrading its high-tech hub located in Walpola to a fully modernized facility.
Addressing the gathering Nadarasa said, that with the networks merged they are in a better position now to serve their clients. This new network will enable them to deliver faster and cheaper data services. Affirming its technological advancements, HUTCH recently established its superior 4G network in Western and Eastern Provinces and a nationwide roll-out is currently ongoing. During this process, HUTCH has deployed the first fully-fledged NFV (Network Function Virtualization) based Core Network, a technology that allows operators to move out from a traditional hardware-based system and move to a more generic IT server for telecommunication services. Through this deployment, all specialized systems tailor-made for telecom applications will run on any standard IT server, allowing flexibility, rapid deployment and low Capital Expenditure in upgrading, which are essential aspects in a rapidly-changing technology landscape.
Speaking further he added that Hutch keeping the best interest of the clients at heart have launched very cost-efficient data packages targeting the students so that it will help them in their school projects and research work, which is now a very large part of the curriculam.
HUTCH will also be deploying one of the most advanced Converged Billing Systems (CvBS) in the world where Post-pay and Pre-paid billing systems can run on a single platform. This gives flexibility to defining unique packages which will suit any individual or corporate user, based on their requirements.
Thirukumar Nadarasa - Chief Executive Officer of HUTCH Sri Lanka stated, "The deployment of the most advanced core network and converged billing systems in Sri Lanka demonstrates Hutch’s commitment to providing the best and most advanced services to its subscribers. This is coupled with the ongoing deployment of a nationwide 4G network that will help to bring affordable broadband services throughout the entire country. The recent takeover and integration of Etisalat 2G/3G network under Hutch will also finally offer competitive 2G and 3G services nationwide on par with its major competitors. We are therefore pleased that Hutch is now able to offer a competitive alternative mobile service to the market". (Pics by Devenda de Silva)
Samsun Galaxy S IO brings ground breaking features
Pix by Chanaka de Silva
With revolutionary innovations in display, camera, security and performance.
Celebrating 10 years of Galaxy innovation, S10,today unveiled its stunning new line of premium smartphones Galaxy SIC) in Sri Lanka Galaxy SIO is designed for consumers who want a premium smartphone that allows foc immersive, personal and intelligent experience. Galaxy SIO empowers consumers with ii6 ground-breaking innovations in display, camera, security and performance io meet lheic distinct lifestyle needs. Galaxy Sloe, Galaxy SIO and Galaxy SIO+ will be available across select retail stores and select online platforms beginning March 15, 2019.
With the launch of Galaxy S 10, Samsung, Sri Lanka's People's Youth Choice Brand foc 2 consecutive years is leveraging a decade of leadership in flagships to usher in a new era of smartphone technology. Galaxy SIO smartphones come with many next generation features
such as Infinity-O Display, versatile Pro-Grade camera, Wireless PowerShare and in-display Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner (only on Galaxy SIO+/SIO) and set the stage for the dawn of a new mobile era.
"We are fully committed to build a complete ecosystem of smart devices for consumers across all corners of the world. With the launch of Galaxy SIO, we are offering consumers an incredible experience that is tailored to their everyday needs, Leveraging a decade of industry
leadership, the Galaxy SIO line is built on our legacy of unparalleled innovation to deliver an exceptional user experience to consumers especially Millennials," said Hanbae Park Managing Director, Samsung Sri Lanka.
Moving beyond the limits to inspire new passion for smartphones amongst consumers, Galaxy SIO is a triumph of innovation. Galaxy SIO is the ultimate representation of innovation in design, performance, and camera. With Galaxy SIO+, Samsung has unleashed breakthrough
technologies to realize this vision of the future smartphone. Galaxy SIOe is built for those who want the power of these new smartphones in a compact package.
Vantage Top Quality Innerwear Line launched
Vantage. one of Sri Lanka's most respected men's fashion labels launched their brand new ran€e of Vantage Innerwear at a gala launch event held at the Shangri-La, Colombo. The moment took place at the Lotus Ballroom at Shangri-La, Colombo on the 9th March. during the evening and witnessed the crérne de la créme of Colombo's elite fashion scene in attendance.
Vantage is a top quality men's clothing label under the umbrella of Sri Lanka's premier clothing supplier. Ebony Holdings
Vantage Innerwear reveals a range of top quality undergarments for men, providing varying and exciting designs in the style of Boxer Shorts and Trunks. The entire range of products includes the attractive Vantage stripes range, crafted from the highest quality fabrics which contain a 95% cotton and 5% spandex mix. Vantage Innerwear Garments are designed for optimum support and to provide free leg movement
. They also feature very comfortable and stylish waistbands and are available in many attractive colours.
Speaking about the launch of Vantage Innerwear, Rasmi Raheem Chairman of Ebony Holdings mentioned, 'Good things begin on the inside and with our vision to be a preferred fashion icon for discerning, fashion-conscious customers who demand the best from their attire, we feel that a line of innerwear is something that will be appreciated by our customers and also something that will help to more fully complete our line up. Constantly striving to provide our customers with the best, we are always on the lookout for new ways and innovative ideas to provide high quality products.
Vantage is one of the top-notch labels that come under the umbrella of Ebony Holdings. Their portfolio of high quality men's clothing labels also contains the very popular Ebony and Flash labels, all of which are at the forefront in setting the latest fashion trends in men's wear clothing. The companVs commitment to quality and exceptional service has earned it much respect and esteem from
its ever growing, loyal customer base. The company continuously strives to improve their offering and meet the needs of their discerning clientele.
Ebony Holdings Managing Director Raseen Raheemat added that, 'We have an unwavering commitment to quality. Every step in our manufacturing process is closely monitored to ensure the highest quality end products. They say that charity begins at home and so great attire should begin with the highest quality innerwear and that is what Vantage provides. We also feel that there is a real need for high-quality innerwear in the market at affordable prices and we have moved to fulfil this requirement of our customers.'
Ebony Holdings is one of Sri Lanka's premier clothing suppliers and boasts a comprehensive distribution network spanning across the island. Vantage, Ebony and Flash products are available at a multitude of retail establishments across Sri Lanka and this accessibility is a core strength for the company, allowing them to reach out to customers all over the country and provide them with the latest fashions at affordable prices. In the future, the company plans to further establish itself as a dominant player in Sri Lanka's clothing market, through its unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
JW Marriott Hotel & Residences Tower launched
Signals the beginning of Phase 2 of The One - Sri Lanka project
Will house 256 contemporary hotel rooms, 206 residences and 200,150 sq.ft of banquet space
22nd February 2019 Colombo Sri Lanka: The One Transworks Square officially launched Phase Two of its high end luxury development project with the launch of its second tower, JW Marriott Hotel & Residences. Comprising 256 highly modern hotel rooms, 206 residences and over 200,000 sq.ft of banquet space at a height of 303 meters, the JW Marriott tower will accommodate all residence apartments in the upper floors from Levels 26 to 70. Each will vary from 1,235 to 2,730 sq.ft with the luxury duplex units housed from Levels 65 to 70 varying from 3,900 to 4,700 sq.ft;
At a media briefing recently it was reiterated that international standards are infused from the stage of planning, design, and concept to ensure uncompromising criteria. “The designers, contractors, and partners involved with the Tower must meet strict quality standards set by JW Marriott and are assessed and evaluated continuously through the execution of the project,” said Chief Marketing Officer of The One Transworks Square Jaideep Wahi. “The timing of the launch is in line with the schedule set for the project completion and the developer of The One – Sri Lanka project is very optimistic about Sri Lanka’s luxury real estate market over the medium term.”
The Global architecture and engineering consulting lead firm, China Construction Design International (CCDI), a subsidiary of CSCE Corporation headquartered in Shanghai is the principal design consultant. Cheng Chung Design (CCD), have partnered as the Interior Design Consultant for both Towers One and Two. With the worldwide reputation for Resort and Hotel design Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) Hong Kong, is contracted as the Interior Design company for Tower Two and HBA – Singapore for Tower One.
Lead contractors for the project are Shougang Construction Group (SGCG), while Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd will collaborate for the construction of Tower Two to further strengthen construction efforts and to ensure the strengthening of local partnerships. CITIC Group, China’s largest state-owned conglomerate has partnered to construct the Curtain Wall and the Interior Details of the Tower Two, strengthening the project’s standing in terms of quality and delivery. Multi-award winning Zhejiang Construction Investment Group Co., Ltd. (ZCIG) China has partnered for MEP, the largest construction enterprise group in Zhejiang Province China.
Investors in luxury still bullish on Sri Lanka
The Plantation Luxury Villas unveiled to investors following encouraging response With aspirations to invigorate and inspire luxury hospitality in the region, Sri Lanka-based The Plantation Luxury Villas announced the launch of its newest development of luxury villas, at an event held at The Heritage Café in Galle on Thursday, 13 December.
Following an introduction and in-depth presentation of the visually and conceptually stunning project, members of the press, investors, and guests were invited to 'Meet the Developer,Architect, and Creative Director' to further familiarise themselves with what is certain to be a luxury development in a league of its own.
Brought to you by the founders of The Heritage Café and Bistro (recently listed in Conde Nast magazine's 'How to visit Sri Lanka in 3 Days') at the UNESCO listed Galle Fort, this new venture is a smooth transition for power-duo Dale Rennie and Sabrina Van Cleef Ault. The Plantation Villas development iS the latest in the couple's portfolio of successful opulent developments across the world.
Following a 26-year career in the entertainment industry - having produced live concerts the world over for big name personalities Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Julio Iglesias, David Copperfield, Warner Bros. on Ice, and productions such as Théiolshoi Ballet, and Marie Osmond starring in The Sound of Music, among others- Dale has since turned his experience into developing some spectacular luxury projects, namely the award-winning ultra-luxury cliff-front property, Villa Anugrah, in Bali, Indonesia.
Dale's wife and business partner, and the creative mind behind The Heritage Café and Bistro -and now The Plantation Luxury Villas-, also represents an illustrious 15-year career in the F&B and entertainment industry. As the original co-founder and Creative Director for the world famous and highest earning uber luxury nightclub brand Pangaea, Sabrina's experience spans over six continents. Adding that organic flare to the propertVs construction, are the designs of celebrated Sri Lankan
architect Manjula Kalhara. Not one to shy away from implementing the unusual, Manjula is known for his strong environmental ethos, and matchless experience in resort-building. Tucked away in a secluded area a few hundred meters from Koggala Lake in Sri Lanka's stunning south, lies the site for the Plantation Luxury Villa development. Offering 14 exclusive one- and two-bedroom pool residences, sized from 1204sqm — 2650sqm, the resort is a tropical sanctuary aiming to be the island's most captivating five-star resort hideaway, offering contemporary modern living in a location second to none in the region.
These stunning, tropically landscaped escapes provide complete privacy and luxury in every detail, with elegantly furnished living rooms, kitchenettes, deluxe bedrooms with spacious en-suite bathrooms and individual plunge pools. Outside, decks and large pool decks, are perfect for sunset relaxation or entertaining, affording panoramic hill-top views across the tranquil mountain, paddy and jungle settings.
Testament to the developer's commitment to comfort and detail, the rich interiors will exhibit the most comprehensive collection of premier furniture and luxury finishing, incorporating authenticity in a contemporary interpretation of Tropical Modernism in design. The Plantation pool villas will feature large living space enhanced by high vaulted ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows, revealing to-die-for expansive views.
In addition to resplendence in individual living on the property, The Plantation Luxury villas boast a plethora of indulgent resort facilities, including a large clubhouse, stunning reception area, a 35- metre common pool, a meditation space and spa, as well as a 24-hour gymnasium. Exquisite culinary offerings of mouth-watering gastronomical diversions will always be on the resort's menu, catered to suit the pangs of every palette. Additionally, on site round-the-clock on call private
butlers as well as visiting spa experts, will enable residents and guests to tailor their own dining preferences and spa treatments if they wish a stay-at-home retreat in their private pool villa sanctuaries.
As with The Heritage Café and Bistro, Dale and Sabrina hope to ingrain their innate environmental consciousness into the Plantation Luxury Villas ethos as well. A founder of the globally recognised Paddle for The Planet Ocean Awareness Project -now in its 8th successful year running-, Dale has now brought his NPO to the shores of Sri Lanka. Together, they hope to raise awareness on the importance of a plastic free society through their eco-friendly developments.
"We are excited to be bringing our signature brand of luxury living and hospitality to a place we have now chosen to call home," said Dale Rennie speaking at the event. "Contrary to what has been predicted, Sri Lanka, with its promise of natural beauty and serenity, is still appealing to investors looking for that ideal island get away."
It comes as no surprise then, that after brisk pre-sales over 50% of the property has already been snapped up by market savvy investors, and it was the eight remaining individually-designed one-and two-bedroom residences that were unveiled at the launch event in Galle.
The fully furnished and equipped Plantation Luxury Villas are scheduled for completion in January 2020 and may be purchased for either private usage or placed in the resorts rental program for guaranteed 7% per annum returns. The duo beh;nd The Plantation Luxury Villas are also currently adding the final touches to another ongoing project — a boutique hotel set to open late 2019 in Galle Fort.
Money growing on trees-Anthuriums
Text and Pics by Chanaka de Silva
The greatest reward in life could be to have a comfortable income and live in a soothing atmosphere as well. There can one find such array of life? The answer is 'growing in growing 'Anthemums' for profit. The demand for both petals and flowers of 'Anthuriums' is tremendous.
However though this country is blessed with both the climate and the environment- , we are no where close to tapping the rewards of this goldmine.
Speaking to Mahima Group of Companies, Chairman, Mrs. Yamika Gunawardena, one can only begin to realize hit vast gains to be had in venturing into this business.
Growing Anthuriums can be started as a small home venture and blossom into a full fledged professional nursery. All the required advice, training and materials can be got from the Mahima Group of companies. For an amateur this could be started with an initial investment of just, Rs. 9000.00 Training programs are also given with recommendations for bank loans when the growers reach a certain level of proficiency. At present 11 banks give loans for Anthurium growers.
From beginning of a few square yards, one can expand have a thousand plants in an area of 5.8 perchase.The starter program will cost Rs 9,000.00, for 20 plants and required material. This is an ideal venture for those have some space to spare in their gardens. For Middle East returnees who wish to have a good steady income while remain at home. The starter program will yield a return of between 15,000.00 – Rs.18.000.00 per month.
The choice of varieties available in Anthuriums is wide. Mahima Group of Companies have and propagate over one hundred types here. With colours ranging from black to white it is easy to see why there is such a demand for them. All plants stocks are imported as invitro plants from the best nurseries of the Netherlands. As different temperatures are required by certain types advice is given to the prospective grower on the more suitable types depending on where they reside and hope to grow.
The plants to give the crop will take around 6 months to throw shoots and about 9 months time give flowers may be cut. This plant is actively grown in all but 2 districts of this country. Still the supply falls far short of to demand. There is a massive export regiment for these flowers as well.
Another branch by Chinthaka GSM launched
By Chanaka de Silva
Chinthana GSM a leading phone and accessory retailer opened yet another branch in Colombo 3 recently. The shop is a host to several top of the line brands in phone accessories and attachments.
Retailing brands such as Sony, Huawei JBL, MacBook Pro and Samsung are among the product lines on sale. All products imported and sold are original and carry a warranty. The wide range of phone covers, phones, laptops, cameras and sound systems of all the leading brands are on sale here. Chinthana GSM (Pvt) Ltd, Managing Director, Wickramaratne Kelum Prabath, commenced business in the new branch by doing the first cash transaction with him mother who was present at the occasion.
Wasana Trading enters hospitality industry
Unveils nature friendly Wasana Nature Resort and Restaurant
(Pics by Chanaka de Silva)
The launch of Wasana Nature Resort and Restaurant owned by Wasana Trading Lanka the the largest vehicle yard in Sri Lanka made its mark in the hospitality industry in Sri Lanka.
Wasana Trading Lanka thus establishes its name in the leisure and nature hospitality sector with the launch of the gorgeous Nature Resort and Restaurant spread through a five acre property in the Nagoda, Kandana area.
The project planned to be completed in three stages is an unique in this part of an urban area like Colombo. Here the public with get the opening to enjoy a quiet dwelling in a serene environment enjoying both local and foreign cuisine with the true spirit of nature in the vicinity of Colombo.
Wasana Nature Resort and Restaurant is built according to great vision and concept of Wasana Trading Company Managing Directors Sampath Indika Merenchige and Director Asiri Dayan Merenchige and is 100 percent eco friendly structure.
With initially two cabanas opened at Wasana Nature Resort and Restaurant with a accommodation capacity of four in each for those seeking to spend a memorable holiday. Also dining facilities too could be arranged in both A/C or non A/C environment with five types of banquet halls commissioned according to the customer choice, for clients who require facilities to hold functions.
Also a fascinating network of water channels with Swan model paddle boats are at the disposal of customers and with special equipment put in place for children to engage in games and play.A the fully equipped Ayurveda Centre that will serve the needs of local as well as overseas tourists who visit the nature resort.
“The name Wasana has built a huge reputation in the vehicle industry in Sri Lanka. Wasana Tading is also well known to be the largest yard that consists of eco-friendly vehicles in Sri Lanka. We entered the hospitality industry too keeping this nature friendly concept in mind.
Once the project is completed it will comprise of 30 cabanas, a swimming pool and a banquet hall that could host over 600 people. With the establishment of Wasana Nature Resort and Restaurant both local and foreign tourists will get the opportunity within 20 minutes to reach the destination which will fulfill all their needs in Colombo itself, said Wasana Nature Resort and Restaurant Managing Director Indika Sampath Merenchige.
More details could also be obtained from the website wasananature.lk or Call: 011 7664664.
Dankotuwa Porcelain unveils signature store
Text and Pics By Chanaka de Silva
Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, unveiled its signature store, in the upmarket shopping precinct of Guildford Crescent, Colombo recently. Located within walking distance of the Independence Square and cultural icon the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Dankotuwa Porcelain's latest store provides is designed to give an upscale shopping atmosphere to their customers.
Speaking to Taprobane Group of Companies Group Managing Director, Murali Prakash had this to say about the new concept of the Dankotuwa Porcelain’s new showroom. “This is a very special retailing concept in porcelain as we have got this concept under 2 broad parameters. One is experiential retailing and the other is wholistic retailing. Experiential retailing brings about many brands. Usually brand marketers in porcelain do only their products. Here you would find not only Dankotuwa, but Royal Fernwood, and many other International brands such as Portmeirion and Lenox as well. Further we are brining in a plethora of designs that otherwise would not be seen under one roof.
We have also tech enabled the show room. With ‘Endless Eyes’ we could present any item not in house, digitally. We will be going on enhancing that experience. Fourthly, the B2B customers can walk in and we have special areas that we can cater to their needs as well. Under holistic retailing we have gone into areas such as cutlery, napkins and whole lot other items that are related. As well as gift items. ‘Say it with Porcelain’ rather than with flowers, which is a new thing we have introduced.
We have started rolling out our retail concept. This is the iconic concept we have many other smaller show rooms across Colombo and the island. When asked about the tourist clientele , he said, we do have a lot of foreigners who purchase from us, but we had a problem of having a complete showroom. But this showroom has solved that problem. Commenting on the new location Prakash said, being close to the Independence Square makes it accessible. It is centrally and conveniently located, Prakash said.
We have also tech enabled the show room. With ‘Endless Eyes’ we could present any item not in house, digitally. We will be going on enhancing that experience. Fourthly, the B2B customers can walk in and we have special areas that we can cater to their needs as well. Under holistic retailing we have gone into areas such as cutlery, napkins and whole lot other items that are related. As well as gift items. ‘Say it with Percaline’ rather than with flowers, which is a new thing we have introduced.
Commenting on the new location Prakash said, being close to the Independence Square makes it accessible. We have started rolling out our retail concept. This is the iconic concept we have many other smaller show rooms across Colombo and the island. When asked about the tourist clientele , he said, we do have a lot of foreigners who purchase from us, but we had a problem of having a complete showroom. But this showroom has solved that problem. It is centrally and conveniently located, Prakash said.
Finally speaking at the ceremony, Chief Guest Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC Chairman, Rajan Asirwatham, said, "Our overall growth plan for 2020 includes several exciting initiatives such as this Signature Showroom aimed at taking the Group to new heights as a world class manufacturer of premium porcelain tableware. We are also in the process of transforming the Dankotuwa Porcelain brand, including adding in well-planned distribution strategies, to increase customer accessibility to Sri Lanka's iconic porcelain brands."
"With iconic local and reputed global brands under one roof at the Signature Showroom, I am sure that the Sri Lankan consumer will now have a memorable retail experience when shopping, satisfying their various tableware needs," Asirwatham said.