By Ifham Nizam
Through a pilot advocacy initiative funded by the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the Confederation of Micro Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) reached out to help the local community overcome the current crisis, through a novel advocacy initiative to assist those among it displaced by large -scale infrastructure (LSI) projects.
The intervention sought to assist the ‘Kaludodol’ community (KC) to find a better and permanent location to sell their products.
Working with the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) and the Hambantota District Kaludodol Entrepreneurs’ Welfare Association (HDKEWA), COSMI sought the attention of public sector institutions and local Members of Parliament to establish a permanent place of trade for KC, either at the Highway entrance or at a suitable rest area along it.
Some 250 families live in a tiny town in Hambantota called Girapaththuva engaged in the home-based ‘Hambantota Kaludodol’ industry. They depend solely on the ‘Kaludodol’ industry for a livelihood and indirectly employ about 2500 through their supply chain.
However, with the Southern Expressway extension offering motorists a much faster option of travel to the South, KC has been dealt a death blow. The coastal road is now almost devoid of long-distance travelers and KC’s revenue has plummeted by more than half. The community occupies the current premises on a permit and those whose livelihoods depend on the industry are in a very vulnerable situation.
“Left in the hands of the public authorities, the solution itself does not seem mind-boggling. However, contrary to the abundance of enthusiasm shown by governments and their respective oppositions, there is no urgency at political level to give the community the break they deserve—the break they have been waiting for, since the Tsunami 18 years ago, said Deshabandu Macky Hashim, chairman, COSMI Governing Council.
“The CIPE-COSMI LSI pilot projects ended in July, but our advocacy effort is still ongoing. In addition, we are also helping the ‘Dodol’ community to expand their market reach at regional and international level, said Nawaz Rajabdeen, COSMI president, who is taking a personal interest in trying to help the community regain some of their revenue. Many individuals and organizations have come forward to show their interest and private orders are being placed for 1-2 kg of ‘Kaludodol’ by eager customers based in Australia and Canada.
“The ‘Dodol’ community has been more or less ‘homeless’ for some time. And they have been running from pillar to post to find a permanent place to do business. There are two fundamental issues here: the drop in revenue due to the traffic diversion by the Expressway and the lack of ownership of their business premises. We want to help them achieve both goals, Rajabdeen stated.
“Ownership of the enterprise is a fundamental entrepreneurial requirement, which allows planning for the future and ensures sustainability. The ambiguity of ownership is a major obstacle to making any future plans. In addition, relocation means many direct and hidden costs, including the cost of recommencement which is substantial. As micro- and small-scale businesses, these costs are simply unviable for the ‘Dodol’ community, he added.
MN Group becomes the Best Business of the Year at Pinnacals Awards
The MN Group won the Best Business of the Year Award at the Pinnacals Sri Lanka award ceremony at the Waters Edge Hotel, Battaramulla. Managing Director of MN Group of Companies (www.mngroup.lk), Roshan Wewage accepted the award on behalf of the organization. MN Group of Companies has previously won many awards including Lanka Business Awards (LBA) and Shramabimani.
Customers can obtain any construction related service from MN Group at a reasonable price. The company is also willing to finish half completed houses and commercial buildings at agreeable terms. MN Group understands that the tough economic circumstances have placed great pressure on the people and the company is committed to understanding their needs and to provide a warm and professional service. Roshan Wewage invited those who need to renovate their buildings to reach out to them.
Dilmah Adjudged Best Corporate Citizen for the Third Consecutive Year
Dilmah was awarded ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability’ in the category of Businesses with Less than Rs. 15 Billion Annual Turnover, for the third consecutive year at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability (BCCS) Awards organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; recognizing that Dilmah has successfully achieved a sustainable balance between social, environmental, and economic performanc, a company news release said.
Evaluated by an independent & expert panel of judges, the awards are Sri Lanka’s most prestigious, scrutinizing and recognizing ethical and sustainable businesses. Dilmah was honoured as one of ten ‘Best Corporate Citizens’ of Sri Lanka, won the Award in the Environment Beyond Business Category, and was lauded for continuous commitment to the environment surpassing the realms of business.
“The annual BCCS Awards is the premier corporate citizenship award, highlights sustainability champions in the national corporate arena. The awards promote corporate citizen sustainability ownership and initiatives that deliver social and environmental benefits while pursuing profits. This recognition validates Dilmah’s emphasis on delivering social and environmental impact by sharing earnings through the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation,” the release said.
“In 1988, Merrill J. Fernando founded Dilmah, a family business, to serve humanity with kindness to people and nature, while sharing his passion for taste and goodness in tea. Over the years Dilmah has delivered over Rs. 7 billion for humanitarian benefit through the work of its charitable arm MJF Foundation and environmental arm Dilmah Conservation.
“Ensuring economic, social, and environmental sustainability exists at the heart of its operations and is integrated to every operational aspect of the business, Dilmah’s purpose is further extended through the work of the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation (MJF Foundation) and Dilmah Conservation (DC) by driving life-impacting initiatives.
“The MJF Foundation works directly with estate workers and underprivileged communities to uplift lives and empower them to pay-it-forward to their communities. Some of its core initiatives are the countrywide MJF centres, small-medium enterprises with over 2,000 small entrepreneurs, ‘Empower’ Culinary & Hospitality School, and ‘disABILITY’ teletherapy app.
“The sustainable development of people goes hand-in-hand with the planet. Dilmah Tea is a carbon neutral product manufactured at a carbon neutral facility. Further, Dilmah has pledged to achieve zero-emissions for its manufacturing process by 2030 through science-based targets. Dilmah Conservation functions under three main categories: environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and education and awareness. As such, Dilmah Conservation initiatives range from butterfly to elephant conservation, climate research, adaptation and mitigation, rewilding tea gardens, conserving mangrove forests, and promoting nature-based entrepreneurship through seaweed cultivation and empowering agro-entrepreneurs.”
Winning the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2022 is considered a top honour in the Sri Lankan corporate field. Each year, submissions are evaluated by an eminent panel of local experts, thought leaders, and academics. Dilmah considers receiving the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2022 an important milestone in its journey as a truly sustainable brand with a purpose beyond profit.
Across the shores, Dilmah has been recognized for its attempt to take Ayurvedic wellness and goodness to the world with the help of tea. The Arana Range of Herbal Infusion Teas was voted the Product of the Year 2022 in Australia. Meanwhile, Dilmah on its 7th Consecutive Year was awarded Most Trusted Brand in New Zealand in 2022.
DSI Tyres bags two awards at SLIM Brand Excellence 2022
Sri Lanka’s premium tyre brand, DSI Tyres won two prestigious awards at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2022, held recently in Colombo. DSI Tyres, who has already made a mark in the international markets too, won the Silver Award under the Product Brand of the Year category and the Bronze Award under the Local Brand of the Year category. These mark another important milestone in the company’s journey spanning three decades. DSI Tyres has also remained within the top three brands in Sri Lanka for three consecutive years, a significant achievement in a very competitive arena.
DSI Tyres’ role as a leading local tyre manufacturing company that continues to promote its brand in an eco-friendly manner through the use of state-of-the-art technology and continuous research and development which enables them to identify customer needs in a timely manner is the key reason behind its continuous achievements. DSI Tyres has been able to place its products optimally among the local and international customers using the latest marketing strategies. The company also places great emphasis on sustainability and has been able to expand its local and international market share maintaining continuous customer loyalty even at the most difficult periods. DSI tyres are becoming increasingly popular in the online sphere as well, due to the facilitation of online orders at the convenience of customers as well as the use of attractive digital marketing. “DSI Tyres has a special place in the people’s hearts.
We have won the people’s trust and it is the highest award we can receive. It is a great privilege for us to receive these awards, which a mark of appreciation for the work we do to maintain customer loyalty,” Managing Director of DSI Tyres Kavinda Rajapaksa said. SLIM Brand Excellence Awards is the Sri Lanka’s premier celebration of Sri Lankan brands that rewards the outstanding efforts of marketers. This gala event for this year was held at Grand Monarch Hotel, Colombo. The Chairman of DSI Tyres, Ranatunga Rajapaksa received the two awards on behalf of the company. Previously, DSI Tyres had won SLIM Turnaround Brand of the Year, Product Brand of the Year, Local Brand of the Year and many SLIM DIGIs awards.
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