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100 days to 100 years – CJS counts down to centenary celebrations

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Jacqueline Fernandez returns to CJS to shoot 100 year collection Otara, Asha and Yohani join CJS in the countdown

It’s just 100 days to celebrate 100 years of a tale of glitz, glamour, style and beauty. Colombo Jewellery Stores founded by Thaha Cassim in February 1922 weaves a fascinating tapestry that intertwines the lustre of stones with the multi-hued threads of this island’s history over an entire century. Into this work of art is woven the tale of a galaxy of women who have made CJS a part of their life story and some of these celebrity personalities joined CEO Akram Cassim at CJS Heritage Store at No 1 Alfred House Gardens Colombo 3 to celebrate the countdown of 100 days.

At the heart of multiple CJS collections since 2009 including Quite Simply Stunning, Hometown, Perpetual Grace, Unforgettable and Ocean Blues Collections is the multi-award winning Bollywood star CJS Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez who flew into Sri Lanka to kickstart the countdown. It is she who will showcase the legacy of the CJS 100 year collection to be unveiled in February. Akram’s favourite photographs featuring Jacqueline in the various campaigns over the years is featured on the Jacqueline Wall at the CJS Store.

Joining her at the countdown were Founder of Odel and Embark and legendary entrepreneur Otara Gunewardena and pioneer in blue whale research, multi-acclaimed marine biologist and Founder of Oceanswell Dr Asha de Vos. Sri Lanka’s youngest global singing sensation Yohani joined the fray of glamorous women, who each added their vignettes of style and elegance to the surrounds of the CJS Store.

“It was my grandfather Thaha Cassim who was 23 at the time, who ventured into the metropolis of Colombo from his hometown of the Fort in Galle to open the store of his dreams, selling fabulous gems and fashionable jewellery with quality being centric to everything he did,” says Akram. “From then on, CJS has been a part of every special moment in people’s lives, with the store being visited by royalty, business and political tycoons, the literati and the glitterati.”

Jacqueline called her return home after two years an emotional homecoming saying, “Throughout my 11 year relationship with CJS, I have travelled around the country, explored every facet and concept of different types of jewellery and been a part of the history being made. And what makes CJS so special is it’s not just about jewellery but about giving back to society and empowering communities.”

It is this element of passion for a cause and empowerment that attracted both Otara and Asha into being a part of the CJS story. Otara mentioned that her association with CJS since 2009 brought forth nine collections including the limited edition Otara and Hoola collections, while inspired by whales and dolphins, Akram & Asha designed two collections for Oceanswell with the primary aim of continuing the research mooted by Asha. “It is very heartening to have someone being absolutely committed to your cause,” said Asha of her partnership with CJS since 2018.

And today, while CJS follows the legacy of sparkling gems, glamorous jewellery and luxurious timepieces from TAG Heuer, Breitling and Hublot, what lies within the heart of the brand is its passion to give back including its most recent collaboration with the Emerge Lanka Foundation and the need to create a sustainable planet.



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ESOFT Metro Campus holds Graduation Ceremony 2021

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Dr. Dayan Rajapakse – Chairman and Managing Director of the ESOFT Group (Right) presenting a certificate to a graduate

The Annual Graduation Ceremony of ESOFT Metro Campus was held at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall (BMICH) on the 23rd and 24th of November 2021. A total of 1,800 students graduated at this year’s event. Successful students received their Pearson BTEC Higher National Diplomas, Pearson Level 7 Qualifications, London Metropolitan University (UK) Degrees and MBA’s, Kingston University (UK) Degrees and MSc’s.

It was held across two days and split into 9 sessions, to be in full compliance with health guidelines. In addition to the conferring of degrees, batch tops were awarded gold medals and special awards were made to the top achievers of the programmes.

Keynote addresses were by an eminent group of academics and industry leaders including Mr. Conard Dias CEO, LOLC Finance PLC, Mr. Thushera Kawdawatta – CEO, Axiata Digital Labs, Dr. Dayan Rajapakse – Chairman and Managing Director of the ESOFT Group, Dr. Sampath Wahala – Chairman, Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, Mr. Tishan Subasinghe – Managing Director and joint Managing Partner Moore Stephens Consulting (Pvt) Ltd and Moore Stephens Aiyar, Prof. A.A.C Abeysinghe – M.Phil. PhD Programme Coordinator, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Management & Finance, University of Colombo.

Foreign delegates from the University Partners were present virtually and delivered their speeches and wishes for the graduates via video. The Virtusa careers team were also present on both days in order to provide career opportunities to the young and successful graduates. ESOFT prides itself in producing graduates who are work-ready and able to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new economy.

ESOFT has a rich history of 21 years and is the largest private sector higher education network in Sri Lanka, and offers a variety of programmes through an extensive island-wide network of over 40 branches and serves over 40,000 learners each year in a range of programmes from school leaver courses to postgraduate programmes.

ESOFT partnered with Kingston University London in 2012 to offer undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in engineering and soon established a dedicated College of Engineering in Katubedda. In 2013, they partnered with London Metropolitan University to offer a range of programmes leading to undergraduate and postgraduate awards in Computing, Business, Hospitality, and Travel & Tourism. A range of MSc programmes in IT and an International Doctoral programme for IT, Science and Engineering research areas, has also been introduced via Kingston University.

The ESOFT Group has won local and international awards from Pearson (UK), BCS (UK), NBQSA, National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka in recognition of their academic excellence and business performance. Their pinnacle accomplishment was to be recognized by the Sri Lankan Government as a Non-state Degree Awarding Institution in 2019.

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Coconut industry products raking in forex to the tune of $ 7000 yearly – State Minister

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By Steve A. Morrell

Earnings from exporting coconut products amounted to $ 7000 annually. Such exports include jaggery and treacle, which are key products relating to the coconut industry, State Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion Arundika Fernando said.

Although coconut, as part of the plantation industry, was not given due recognition, it was now a distinct contributor to forex earnings and was of significant importance to the economy of the country, Fernando said.

The State Minister added: “Development of the coconut plantations includes value addition promotion to its various products, which are now key to sustaining the coconut plantations.

“Such development included propagation of 600,000 nursery plants for distribution among smallholders and large-scale plantations to add further progress to the industry. As a result, the coconut industry is part of the mainstream economy.

“The coconut industry made a substantial financial contribution to the economy of the country. Value addition in all products was key to development. Coconut products, used extensively in allied local industries, were contributors to value addition. This is efficiently handled by the private sector.

“Collaboration with the Jaffna University was on-going to develop kitul and palmyrah.

“Soil testing and further inputs were envisaged for development.

“Export markets would include Europe, Canada and the US. This is particularly true of kitul treacle and jaggery. Value of these exports would reach approximately $ 2 million.”

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INSEE Cement’s 360-Degree Approach Eases Cement Shortage in Sri Lanka

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Operating at maximum production capacity with optimized distribution channels for a number of weeks, INSEE Cement has successfully helped to mitigate the cement shortage that was prevailing in the local market. INSEE Cement’s concentrated and immediate contingency measures across its entire operation at the onset of the shortage ensured an uninterrupted market supply of cement, while also logging a record-high 700,000 MT production output during the third quarter of 2021 for the company.

“As Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer, INSEE Cement took on the responsibility to ensure the local construction industry’s post-COVID-19 revival remained on its trajectory,” stated Gustavo Navarro, Chief Executive Officer at INSEE Cement Sri Lanka. “We continued to fully support government regulations and industrial policies to first stabilize the market, and were able to deploy our island-wide distribution and dealership network to ensure an uninterrupted supply across the island. The loyalty and patience of our customers gave us that extra encouragement we needed to overcome the challenge.”

INSEE Cement operates at a 3.6MT maximum capacity, with a 1.5MT production at the Galle plant, a 1.3MT output from the Puttalam facility and a 0.8MT import capacity at the Colombo Cement Terminal. To mitigate the shortage the company introduced two more additional import vessels to its logistics operation to accelerate production and distribution cycles.

 

 

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