Assetline Finance Limited (AFL) recently conducted ‘Deshayata Jawayak’ – a financial literacy and management workshop for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs in Batticaloa. This is the second time this programme is being conducted, with the first being held in Matara and covering the Southern Province.
Nearly 100 SMEs from the Eastern Province including over 50 female entrepreneurs, participated in this programme. The programme addressed financial literacy & management, best industry practices, use of technology to increase efficiency, assessing new business avenues, the importance of establishing a brand name for a product, effective utilization, management and maintaining debt facilities, etc. The importance of following best financial literacy practices as well as management tactics to tackle the current economic issues while maintaining a good outcome from their businesses was also addressed. Participants were also given an opportunity to express their views and discuss the problems they are currently facing.
Speaking on this initiative, Ajantha Premasiri, Chief Marketing Officer, Assetline Finance Limited said, “We all know that SMEs are the backbone and cornerstone of our economy, therefore we need to build capacity and equip them with the latest know-how for effective implementation.” He also commented on the thirst for knowledge and the passion among the participants to take their enterprise to the next level. This was even more apparent among the female entrepreneurs, whose commitment and resourcefulness are inspirational.
Premasiri went on to say that AFL intends to conduct this programme across the country and to further empower, support and encourage more women to enter the workforce, Assetline has introduced ‘LIya Diriya’ an exclusive financial solution to develop the women entrepreneurship.The resource person of the workshop was Athithan Arunthavarajah, who is a Chartered Accountant & Business Consultant, a Board Member – of IMED and Lead Mentor for the CA Sri Lanka SME Task Force.
Amana Takaful Insurance and CBC Finance forge partnership for insurance coverage
In a significant move to enhance insurance services for vehicle owners, Amana Takaful Insurance PLC and CBC Finance Limited have inked a special Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This strategic alliance positions Amana Takaful Insurance as the preferred insurance partner for CBC Finance, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC.
The signing of this exclusive agreement signifies Amana Takaful Insurance’s commitment to providing tailored insurance solutions to the customers of CBC Finance. It opens up a range of benefits for vehicle owners, including three-wheelers and motorcycles, ensuring affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage and seamless services. The MOU will facilitate widespread collaboration between Amana Takaful Insurance and CBC Finance, on an Islandwide basis, thereby strengthening customer relationships. Furthermore, the agreement introduces tailor-made insurance products crafted specifically to cater to the needs and preferences of CBC Finance customers.
Hassan Kassim, Managing Director at Amana Takaful Insurance expressed his enthusiasm about this new exclusive partnership saying, “We’re excited to join hands with CBC Finance to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to their valued customers. This strategic alliance aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional value to customers across Sri Lanka.”
Managing Director/CEO at CBC Finance, Upul Dissanayake noted, “This partnership marks a significant step forward in ensuring robust insurance coverage for vehicles across Sri Lanka. Amana Takaful Insurance’s strong financial position and exceptional product offering, combined with CBC’s extensive reach, will empower customers with top-notch insurance solutions and unparalleled convenience.”
The collaboration between these two leaders in the financial services space exemplifies their dedication to supporting the business community and the general public by offering innovative and customer-centric insurance products. Amidst a challenging market environment, this partnership underscores Amana Takaful Insurance’s resilience and commitment to providing reliable insurance coverage, making it the preferred choice for individuals and businesses alike
From Thread to Tree: MAS Holdings’ Fabric Park redefines sustainable manufacturing
In an era where environmental sustainability is transitioning from choice to necessity, MAS Fabric Park (MFP) stands out as a revolutionary force in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. Nestled in the tranquil environs of Thulhiriya in the Kegalle District in Sri Lanka, this 165-acre privately owned apparel-intensive free trade zone is not just a manufacturing hub; it’s the result of the MAS Group’s unwavering vision for sustainability, a testament to the Group’s dedication and a shining example of business harmonizing with the environment.
A Vision for Positive Change
MAS Holdings, the parent company of Fabric Park, has long embraced a vision of sustainable growth and positive transformation within the Company’s ethos, which is seen throughout the organization and its initiatives. The belief is that sustainability goes beyond profit; it’s about fostering positive change in the world, making a difference for the communities around the locality, and leaving a lighter footprint on our planet.
MAS Fabric Park’s CEO Murad Rajudin explained that MFP provides partner plants with centralized utility services including treated water, raw effluent treatment for factory-discharged water, energy in the form of electricity distribution from the main grid, steam, and thermic heat, based on the location of the plant. “MFP plays a pivotal role in the intricate supply chain of MAS Holdings.
Firstly, it is a strategic hub for fabric development and value addition, contributing significantly to the vertical integration of the MAS supply chain. This integration is crucial in a global industry where speed, efficiency, and reducing carbon footprint have become paramount. By offering state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities for fabric manufacturing right within Sri Lanka, MFP not only streamlines operations but also aligns with the global demand for responsible and sustainable manufacturing practices.”
Comprehensive Water Management, Waste Reduction, and Value enhancement
Sustainability is deeply ingrained in every facet of MAS Fabric Park’s operations, notably in its approach to IPZ’s overall water footprint management, centralized effluent treatment, and waste management operations. The Park introduced a uniquely designed centralized raw wastewater collection and combined treatment system, which strictly adheres to global-level Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) standards with respect to the fully treated discharges of the zone.
MFP General Manager (Hydro & Sustainability) Harsha Deraniyagala says, “MFP is leading the way in centralized water management systems, and centralized effluent treatment operations whilst meeting global standards with a present capacity of 9000 cubic meters per day. These innovative systems, operating at such high capacity, eliminate the need for redundant in-house treatment plants for partner facilities, effectively optimizing resources and curbing environmental impact within the zone.”
In addition, MAS Fabric Park has pioneered the sustainable management of textile “sludge”, which is a globally concerned area related to the industry. Through sustainable solar and thermal drying-based reductions, and dried sludge co-processing for energy recovery leading to final eco-brick production, it has significantly reduced the waste footprint of the zone whilst ensuring circularity within the entity.
Even the ultimate byproduct of textile wastewater treatment sludge finds purpose in products like the Eco Brick, used in constructing the chalets at MAS Athena and also across other construction needs of the entity, whilst biological waste is being diverted for composting for nurturing plants, aligning seamlessly with the concept of waste-to-energy and waste-to-value.
These initiatives contribute for the significant reductions of respective Carbon Footprints usually linked with the water, wastewater, and resultant large-scale environmental engineering operations. The fully equipped, ISO IEC 17025 accredited water quality laboratory and the research center support the related quality assurance and compliance aspects throughout the respective value streams.
Inspiring children’s storytelling workshops
The Gratiaen Trust, in association with the John Keells Foundation, and with the support of the British Council, continues its mandate of fostering creativity and literary excellence in Sri Lanka with an exciting series of storytelling workshops in celebration of Children’s Day.
Workshops targeting young storytellers have been a regular feature on the Gratiaen Trust’s annual calendar. This year the Trust has expanded the scope of these workshops significantly to include events for teachers of English Literature and ‘A’ level students in Galle, a workshop for teenagers, and a Masterclass for authors of children’s literature in Colombo. The resource person at these workshops will be renowned British author and storyteller, Sita Brahmachari. Furthermore, in October, the Trust will also be hosting its second session of the Gratiaen Trust Young Writers Club.
Neloufer de Mel, Chairperson of the Gratiaen Trust, stated, “Our mission at the Gratiaen Trust is to unlock the imaginative potential of young writers and artists. We are delighted to have someone like Sita Brahmachari, a renowned UK-based author of children’s literature, to facilitate our Children’s Day programme’’.
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