Connect with us


Baurs on bringing the world to Sri Lanka



Iconic Baurs colonial building at Fort

Amidst the numerous challenges and evolving contexts over the many decades, A. Baur & Co. (Pvt) Ltd, also more widely known as Baurs has been contributing tremendously to the sustainable growth and wellbeing of the nation for over 125 years, as a front-runner in bringing the world to Sri Lanka, a company news release said.

“Being the pioneers in the agriculture industry of Sri Lanka, the track-record innovation and achievements of Baurs and its contribution goes without saying. It possesses one of the most advanced, high-tech fertilizer mixing facilities in the whole of Southeast Asia, with machinery and equipment imported from best-in-class industry players in the US.

“When the deadly fall armyworm (FAW) entered, starting to take a toll in the country’s plantations in 2018, the team at Baurs quickly stepped in and began a rigorous R&D program where, two years later, it successfully registered the first ever bio pesticide for the nation to eradicate and control FAW.

 “Ever since the country made its decision to ban chemical fertilizers and pesticides in 2021, Baurs took the lead initiative to bring down some of the most globally renowned scientific experts in the fields of organic and sustainable agriculture to Sri Lanka.

“And together with the participation of diverse stakeholder groups and proactive engagements ever since, Baurs is well positioned with its strong commitment towards a greener economy through sustainable agriculture, having significantly invested and developed a centre of excellence.

“Baurs’ laboratory services also took the first step towards achieving the ISO certification for organic fertilizer and was recently awarded the same. This will further strengthen its journey in encouraging sustainable farming practices.

“When world-class healthcare giants took measures to exit their offices and carefully handover their distribution in Sri Lanka, Baurs had the privilege of being the first-choice partner.

“Being one of the top importers and representatives in the country with a vast distribution network supported by end-to-end supply chain and martech capabilities, Baurs ensured the continuation of the availability of medications and vaccinations for patients, for instance, by becoming the exclusive distributors of Sanofi and GSK in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

 “With Sri Lanka experiencing one of the biggest brain drains for decades, Baurs brought the world’s proven apprenticeship-based model through its Swiss Hotel Management Academy (SHMA), which is licensed to deliver the VET by EHL program, from EHL Hospitality Business School founded as Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and recognized as the world’s best hospitality management university.

“As the economic challenges spiraled through the rural areas across the island, Baurs joined hands with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to initiate and spur the Skills for Sustainable Growth (SSG) project which came about during the height of the pandemic.

“The project will go on to create 2,240 skilled young men and women within three years, and more so specially to increase female representation, training and upskilling them to become work-ready in the hotel management industry.

“Through these activities, Baurs is also supporting the country’s tourism sector, including collaborations with others, such as with the VTA Sri Lanka and Nestle Lanka recently. Along similar lines, Baurs also contributes to inbound tourism by bringing Swiss tourists and travelers to Sri Lanka through its long-standing partnership with Edelweiss.

“In recognition of its unwavering strategic direction and strong emphasis on ethics and governance, Baurs was selected by Transparency International as an anchor partner, bestowing the company to take initiatives in the business community, to reduce corruption in Sri Lanka. Baurs also strives to work towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Baurs also donates school furniture under its social infrastructure development pillar, having so far donated to over 380 schools and over 280 institutions including religious establishments, across all 25 districts. It is also a principal donor to a school for children with hearing deficiencies. Baurs also provides training to underprivileged individuals and secures them with a six-month internship programme with prospects for full-time employment.

“As can be seen, Baurs has a strong presence in Sri Lanka, bringing foreign products and knowledge that have helped the country through the good and bad times. It continues to build on the 125-year legacy initiated by Alfred Baur, improving its current business models and spreading into new fields in ways that will continue to bring benefits for the country.”


Amana Takaful Insurance and CBC Finance forge partnership for insurance coverage



Standing from Left to Right Harsha Samarasekara Head of Credit & Branch Administration CBC Finance, Namal Cooray - Head of Sales & Marketing CBC Finance, Chamilantha Fernando - MD/CEO CBC Finance, Upul Dissanayake - MD/CEO CBC Finance, Hassan Kassim – Managing Director ATPLC, Shehan Feisal – CEO ATPLC, Noushad Cassim – Deputy General Manager Sales (Metropolitan) ATPLC, Zakir Kanaka – Assistant General Manager Branch Sales Distribution ATPLC, Suresh Basnayake – Chief Sales Officer ATPLC

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

Continue Reading


From Thread to Tree: MAS Holdings’ Fabric Park redefines sustainable manufacturing



Water Treatment Plan at MAS Fabric Park

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.

Continue Reading


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’’.

Continue Reading