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.
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.