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Asgi Akbarally appointed Amãna Bank chairman

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Ali Asghar (Asgi) Akbarally has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Amãna Bank upon the retirement of the Bank’s Founder chairman Osman Kassim. Leaving a strong legacy in the Islamic banking industry in Sri Lanka, Osman Kassim retired from Amãna Bank having completed the maximum 9 year statutory period of holding a directorship in a Licensed Commercial Bank as per CBSL directions. Despite retiring from the bank, Osman Kassim continues to be one of the bank’s top 10 shareholders.

Asgi Akbarally joined the Board of Amãna Bank in July 2020 as the nominee director from Akbar Brothers, taking over the position vacated by Tyeab Akbarally, who also retired upon completing the maximum 9 years of directorship as per CBSL regulations.

Asgi Akbarally is an Executive Director of Akbar Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, one of Sri Lanka’s largest diversified corporates, globally renowned for its tea exports. Asgi Akbarally holds directorship in multiple subsidiaries and affiliates of the Akbar Group covering sectors such as Manufacturing, Property Development, Hotels & Leisure, Healthcare, Power Generation, Packaging & Printing, Logistics and Environmental Services. He is the Managing Director of Renewgen (Pvt) Ltd and chairman of Windforce (Pvt) Ltd, Hermitage Resorts (Pvt) Ltd, Uthurumaafaru Holding (Pvt) Ltd Maldives, Lhaviyani Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and Cocoon Investments (Pvt) Ltd Maldives. He is also a director of Alumex PLC.

Asgi Akbarrally is currently the Honorary Consul of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon. He holds a BSc Degree in Industrial Engineering from the California State University and is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. A classic car enthusiast, Asgi Akbarally has authored a coffee table book on “Classic and Vintage Automobiles of Ceylon” and is the Patron of the Classic Car Club of Ceylon.

Commenting on his retirement and appointment of the new Chairman, the Bank’s outgoing Chairman Osman Kassim said “Serving Amãna Bank as its Chairman since inception has been a great honour, specially seeing firsthand how the Bank has grown amidst various challenges to where it stands today. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my fellow retiring directors Tyeab Akbarally, Harsha Amarasekera and Jazri Magdon Ismail who completed the regulatory tenure of 9 years in 2020. They have been great pillars of strength to the Bank since its formation. I am happy to welcome Asgi Akbarally to take over the stewardship of the Bank. It is heartening to know that Asgi, whose business acumen and experience gained through building and guiding a homegrown company to become a world renowned tea brand, will be leading the Bank’s forward journey. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the other Board Members, CEO Mohamed Azmeer, the Management Committee and Staff of the Bank for their continuous contribution, dedication and commitment towards the Bank’s growth and wish them all the best in taking Amãna Bank to greater heights.”

Also sharing his views newly appointed Chairman Asgi Akbarally said “Amãna Bank will be truly indebted for the visionary thinking and guidance of its Founder Chairman Osman Kassim. Stepping in to fill this void will be no easy task, but I am thankful for the foundation laid, from which we eagerly look forward to build upon to achieve the Bank’s strategic goals and continue making our ‘People Friendly’ banking model available for all Sri Lankans with wider reach and accessibility.”

With the recent changes, Amãna Bank Board of Directors constitute as follows : Ali Asghar (Asgi) Akbarally(Chairman), Rajiv Nandlal Dvivedi, Pradeep Dilshan Rajeeva Hettiaratchi, Aaron Russell-Davison, Mohammed Ataur Rahman Chowdhury, Syed Muhammed Asim and Khairul Muzamel Perera bin Abdullah.

Amana Bank PLC is a stand-alone institution licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange with Jeddah based IsDB Group being the principal shareholder having a 29.97% shareholding of the Bank. The IsDB Group is a ‘AAA’ rated (S&P, Moody’s & Fitch) multilateral development financial institution with a membership of 57 countries. In June 2020 Fitch Ratings Sri Lanka declared an upward revision of the National Long Term Rating of Amãna Bank to BB+(lka) with a Stable Outlook.

Amãna Bank does not have any subsidiaries, associates or affiliated institutions, other than its unique flagship CSR venture, the ‘OrphanCare’ Trust.  Retiring directors Osman Kassim, Tyeab Akbarally, Harsha Amarasekera and Jazri Magdon Ismail will continue to serve as trustees on the ‘OrphanCare’ Trust.



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HNB Finance inks partnership with HNB Assurance

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Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider, HNB Finance PLC, has entered into an exclusive partnership with HNB Assurance PLC, making it significantly easier and faster for HNB Finance customers to obtain insurances required for most of the offerings from the company.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two companies enables HNB Finance customers to obtain the insurances they require for personal and other offerings from the company, without even having to leave the premises of HNB Finance. Since representatives of HNB Assurance will now be stationed at the offices of HNB Finance, the process of obtaining the necessary insurance policies will be both more convenient and faster, further enhancing the overall customer experience.

“HNB Finance constantly strives to elevate our customer experience, particularly via partnerships with reputed organisations of the calibre of HNB Assurance,” HNB Finance PLC Managing Director/CEO Chaminda Prabhath said. “This also serves as an example of the synergies and strengths that HNB Finance benefit from, by being part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial services conglomerates, the HNB Group.”

“We take pleasure in this partnership with another member of the HNB Group and in offering the customers of HNB Finance the highly customer-centric offering of HNB Assurance,” HNB Assurance PLC CEO Lasitha Wimalaratne said. “Superlative customer experience has always been a core pillar of our strategy and HNB Finance customers can now benefit from these capabilities.”

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Mega training programme in SL in ICT related skills by Trainocate

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Trainocate, being Asia’s largest IT and human capability development training provider, in a bid to create demand for future ICT related employees will be commencing a mega training program in Sri Lanka targeting youth and corporates.

“With the rapid advancements in digitalization and digital services driven by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and 5G, old paradigms and business models are being challenged. More organizations across sectors are now required to have an online-offline presence and operations, Trainocate’s CEO, South East Asia New Markets and the UAE Zafarullah Hashim told The Island Financial Review.

Zafarullah added: ‘According to a recent World Economic Forum report, by 2022, close to 30 per cent of new job opportunities globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing for the future Digital Economy.

‘The pace of change over the past few years has been accelerated by the diffusion of technology, speed of innovation and rapidly evolving business needs. Jobs have changed and new ones have emerged and replaced existing ones. In tandem with this, the required skills and competencies have also rapidly evolved.

‘Many South Asian countries’ corporates as well as current employees and youth aspiring for employment are not reading this.

‘With a global presence in 15 countries, Trainocate SEANM, a pioneer in delivering cutting edge training and certifications which are industry recognized, will commence helping beginners and professionals to expedite their career advancement through our centers.

‘Trainocate also works with key government and private stakeholders to ensure that beginners and professionals have access to high quality and industry-specific training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce.

‘Knowing which skills are in demand has never been more important. With evolving consumer demands and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we function as the bridge between vendors, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and the partner. We are also the bridge between the partner and customers. We do partner enablement programs for partners through the vendors and then from the partner to the customer. A partner has to commit to the vision and the goals of a vendor. You also need to have product knowledge and become certified, which is where we come in.

‘Microsoft has been our main force and we have been providing free fundamental training sessions, as we believe that primary knowledge is key in building the country’s digital transformation journey. Our business operation is carried out between business to business, business to government and business to customers as well.

‘Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors, as more enterprises embark on digital transformation and technology adoption. The Digital Economy entails different types of skills, depending on their job role applications. Tech-Lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work; while Tech-Heavy roles are specialized roles responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications.

‘Trainocate SEANM focuses on developing skills, competency, ability and improving employee performances and organizational productivity. Organizations spend millions in acquiring and upgrading systems or hardware and give truly little thought to the training process. As a result, a vast majority of companies do not make maximum use of the features and benefits of the software in which they have invested. Proper training will increase productivity and reduce downtime which will complete IT projects faster.

‘Traincoate SEANM is rapidly reaching new heights by helping organizations that are going through a tough time and are in the transitioning period towards technology. Trainocate SEANM delivers well-informed and stable individuals who can provide their expertise towards the rise of these businesses. We have trained many blue-chip companies, along with their partners. Our goal is to develop individuals in tools that are already available that they don’t know how to use.

“Trainocate SEANM offers a range of resources, tools, certification and training programs and initiatives to help individuals and organizations identify and acquire the necessary skills to facilitate employment, improve job performance and adapt to job content changes in the midst of technological advancements and business operating model shifts.

‘We are not just a training company, but rather, a guidance company. We have been doing this for 25 plus years and have assessment tools that help us analyze and identify any skill gaps within organizations. We can use this to help the organizations’ HR and L&D teams streamline their training methods, as we can help identify these gaps and guide them on what they need the most.

‘Overall the company is helping organizations to think differently, plan strategically, save money and get the best out of technology. That is our secret to success.’

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Sunshine Healthcare appoints T. Sayandhan as CEO

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Sunshine Healthcare has appointed T. Sayandhan as the Chief Executive Officer of Lina Manufacturing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing segment of the diversified company. Sayandhan, currently CEO of Sunshine Medical Devices, has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He joined Sunshine Healthcare in 2017 to spearhead Sunshine Medical Devices and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare business to be the key driver of the Group’s financial performance, helping Sunshine Healthcare to sustain its growth over the few years amidst tough macroeconomic conditions.

Commenting on the new appointment, Sunshine Healthcare Managing Director Shyam Sathasivam said, “As a responsible Sri Lankan conglomerate, we believe the local production of pharmaceuticals plays a vital role in maintaining the resilience of national healthcare systems. When escalating macroeconomic conditions are putting immense pressure on the local healthcare sector, producing pharmaceuticals locally will facilitate access to needed medicines and decrease exposure to imports and international supply chains. At this critical juncture, I believe Sayandhan has demonstrated the right combination of talent and drive to step into this key leadership role at the company.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sayandhan said, “It is a challenging yet exciting time to join Lina Manufacturing when the company is advancing its efforts to develop Sri Lankan-made, innovative healthcare solutions.”

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