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Daraz celebrates 5 successful years of revolutionizing Sri Lanka in many ways than one

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Five years ago, a small and young team of around 100, were operating under the name of Kaymu.lk, building the foundation for a stable e-commerce platform in Sri Lanka. Recognizing the potential of the operations, Daraz stepped forward to invest on this business, contributing with international level financial and technological prowess.

Since its launch in Sri Lanka in 2016, Daraz has grown in leaps and bounds within a short period of five years, transforming and revolutionizing e-commerce in the country and opening thousands of opportunities to the local retail industry. With its exposure to the global giant Alibaba’s technological eco system, and backed by AliPay/Ant Financials, Daraz possesses first in class technology and business intelligence that monitors market and behavioral trends.

Today, over 50,000 large, medium and small enterprises sell on Daraz, providing millions of items to the online shoppers to buy from. More than 10,000 Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs, who are bread-winners of their families are benefitting by the largest online shopping platform in the island. Daraz’s own logistic arm, Daraz Express (DEX), which is the largest professional delivery fleet in the country, including over 25 Daraz Hubs across the island, has played a key role in developing an efficient island-wide logistic network. With the continuously expanding operation, over 5,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities have been created in the past 60 months. In 2019 Daraz consolidated the management and business operations of wOw.lk, the online retail platform owned by Dialog Axiata Group, further strengthening its position as market leader.

During the pandemic, while many businesses and individuals fought hard to sustain, Daraz delivered over 5 million groceries, supplied by our own Sri Lankan sellers, to people’s doorsteps all over the country.

Daraz continues to lead the e-commerce industry in Sri Lanka as a catalyst of innovation and technological finesse, introducing global trends to the local market. This year, Daraz launched two new features that enhanced the online shopping experience further. dMart, the future of online grocery shopping, conveys new technology to shopping for groceries online. Personalized shopping for each customer based on their past behavior and experience, a dedicated ‘Add to Cart’ button and search bar for all dMart products and express delivery with same day service for orders placed before 3 PM has made the mundane grocery shopping much more convenient. Furthermore, in a remarkable first in Sri Lanka, Daraz introduced Daraz Live, a ‘watch now, shop now’ feature, which enables consumers to see product demonstrations, and the look and feel of products prior to the purchase.

Daraz’s commitment to Sri Lanka is not restricted to its own industry. Wanting to inspire Sri Lankans to pursue their dreams and grow together, Daraz extended its support to local sports through two major partnerships. The e-commerce giant partnered with Sri Lanka Cricket as the Official Overseas Team partner for the national cricket team of Sri Lanka, coming forward to support the heartbeat of the nation. Not stopping there, Daraz also sponsored the National Olympic Team as the Official Digital Partner at the Tokyo Olympics, working closely with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka to inspire the local athletes under the theme ‘Delivering Dreams’.

Using the existing platform to drive social awareness and create an opportunity to contribute to worthy causes, Daraz also has its CSR arm, Daraz Cares, which encourages users to make purchases that would impact the society we all live in, and help the deserving to gain access to resources they need. Through the partnerships with UNICEF, Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Leads and Habitat for Humanity, Daraz users can choose from a variety of charities, and make donations that are available within a wide range of value, so as to make it affordable to all.

In the long drawn battle against Covid, Daraz donated Rs. 2 million and a supply of PPE kits to the ITUKAMA COVID 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund. They also donated PPE and beds to the Sri Lanka Army, as well as dry rations to the Sri Lanka Police, in a gesture of saluting the front line heroes.

“As we mark five years in Sri Lanka, we take pride in what Daraz has achieved and contributed to the nation as a growing entity. We have come a long way from being an online shopping platform. Today, Daraz as a team, together with our seller and delivery partners, stand tall in driving the Sri Lankan retail market to its best potential,” stated Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director of Daraz Sri Lanka.

Thus reaching out to make lives of Sri Lankans better in many ways than one, Daraz has more than enough reason to celebrate its fifth anniversary. As such, the Daraz Turns 5 promotion will commence on 7th and continue until 13th October with up to 75% off, discounts on Bank cards and easy payment schemes for thousands of products available on Daraz. Realme, Unilever, VIVO, Hemas, Browns, Vantage and Teleseen Marketing join Daraz as Diamond partners while HP, OPPO, Celcius, Revlon, Multilac, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Yamaha Music Center, Hunters, Swisstek, Ebsaw, P G Martin and Embark take over the platinum partnerships. The gold partners are HUAWEI, Reckitt Benckiser, IELGY, Staedtler, CKEYIN, Dahua, Quantum Fitness, Janet, Coca Cola, Lumala, Blink International, TOFO, Munchee, Select by Daraz, The Concept Store and BOYA.



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Lanka inflation hit 70.2% in August

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Food prices climbed 84.6 percent, while prices of non-food items rose 57.1 percent in the crisis-hit island nation.

(Al Jazeera) Consumer inflation in Sri Lanka accelerated to 70.2 percent in August, the statistics department has said, as the island nation reels under its worst economic crisis in decades.The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose 70.2 percent last month from a year earlier, after a 66.7 percent increase in July, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement on Wednesday.

Food prices climbed 84.6 percent, while prices of non-food items rose 57.1 percent in the tourism-dependent South Asian country of 22 million people.The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in August said the inflation rate would moderate after peaking at about 70 percent as the country’s economy slowed.

The NCPI captures broader retail price inflation and is released with a lag of 21 days every month.The more closely monitored Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI), released at the end of each month, rose 64.3 percent in August. It acts as a leading indicator for national prices and shows how inflation is evolving in Sri Lanka’s biggest city.

Sri Lanka’s economy shrank 8.4 percent in the quarter through June from a year ago in one of the steepest declines seen in a three-month period, amid fertiliser and fuel shortages.

“Inflation is expected to taper from September,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research for Colombo-based investment firm First Capital. “However, inflation is only likely to moderate and reach single digits in the second half of 2023.”

An acute dollar shortage, caused by economic mismanagement and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, has left Sri Lanka struggling to pay for essential imports including food, fuel, fertiliser and medicine.

The country earlier this month reached a preliminary deal with the International Monetary Fund for a loan of about $2.9bn, contingent on it receiving financing assurances from official creditors and negotiations with private creditors.

India on Tuesday said it had begun talks with Sri Lanka on restructuring its debt and promised to support the crisis-hit neighbour mainly through long-term investments after providing nearly $4bn of financial aid.

The High Commission of India in Colombo said it held the first round of debt talks with Sri Lankan officials on September 16.

“The discussions held in a cordial atmosphere symbolise India’s support to early conclusion and approval of a suitable IMF programme for Sri Lanka,” the High Commission said.

Sri Lanka will make a presentation to its international creditors on Friday, laying out the full extent of its economic troubles and plans for a debt restructuring.

The Indian High Commission also said New Delhi would continue to support Colombo “in all possible ways, in particular by promoting long-term investments from India in key economic sectors”.

India’s support to Sri Lanka this year has included a $400m currency swap, a $1bn credit line for essential goods and a $500m line for fuel. In addition, India has also deferred payment on Sri Lankan imports of about $1.2bn and given a credit line of $55m for fertiliser imports.

The High Commission said India had continuing development projects worth about $3.5bn in Sri Lanka, whose president earlier this month asked his officials to resolve obstacles to projects backed by India. He did not specify the obstacles or the projects.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said Sri Lanka will turn a free trade agreement with India into a comprehensive economic and technological partnership.

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Raigam Wayamba Salterns Group turnover tops 1 bn

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Raigam Wayamba Salterns PLC saw its group turnover increase from Rs. 959.6 million to Rs. 1,147 million recording a growth rate of 19.5% year on year.Despite the fact that the financial year 2021/2022 was filled with many challenges, as a result of prudent management practices implemented and followed, the Raigam Wayamba Group was capable of reporting its ever-highest growth in 2021/2022,” said Chairman, Raigam Group, Dr. Ravi Liyanage.

Raigam Wayamba Salterns PLC, which was listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in 2010 is the front line player in the value added salt market in Sri Lanka and it supplies a range of consumer salt products under the popular brands “Isi”, “Ruchi”, “Welcome” and “Triple Washed” as well as various salt products used as an input for different industries in bulk form.All the consumer products of Raigam Wayamba Salters are SLS certified for its quality and consistency and the processes are ISO certified.’8

The Raigam Wayamba Salterns Group is equipped with salterns, salt refineries and processing plants located in Puttalam and Hambantota districts. In addition to that the raw material supply for these operations has been ensured by the 1,800 Acre saltern established in Kuchchaweli in Trincomalee District by the parent company of the Raigam Group. Further the Puttalam Salt Limited (one of the successor to the National Salt Corporation) is also an associate company of the Raigam Group.

The well-known Raigam brand and state of the art island wide distribution network are distinct strengths of the Raigam Group. The Raigam distribution network operates on a latest IT platform and also includes distribution channels for modern trade, industry and bakery sectors.

Sri Lanka’s economy which was under-performed for two years due to COVID pandemic situation was experiencing the impacts of the foreign exchange crisis in the latter part of the financial year 2021/2022. Despite the fact that the financial year 2021/2022 was filled with many challenges, as a result of prudent management practices implemented and followed, the Raigam Waymba Group was capable of reporting its ever-highest growth in 2021/2022.

The group turnover increased from Rs. 959.6 million to Rs. 1,147 million recording a growth rate of 19.5% Y to Y. At the same time the Profit after Tax grew from Rs. 149.7 million to Rs. 215.6 million at an annual growth rate of 44%. As a result of these successful financial performances the Earning Per share for the year stood at Rs. 0.76 compared to Rs. 0.53 in the corresponding year. This has made a significant impact on the value of the shareholders’ investment increasing the Net Asset Value Per Share form Rs. 5.06 to Rs. 5.74.

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Singer’s legendry sewing industry and Academies developing skills and entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka

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A name synonymous with Singer (Sri Lanka), Singer sewing machine has over the years become an indispensable product at local households, helping thousands of women and men to make a living through a sewing business. For over six decades, Singer has been manufacturing its trademark sewing machines in Sri Lanka. Singer brand has claimed many firsts in sewing machine innovations including the world’s first zig-zag machine and the first electronic sewing machine.

Singer Industries, a subsidiary of Singer (Sri Lanka) manufactures traditional, portable and digital sewing machines at a fully-fledged facility, where it provides direct employment for over 100 factory workers and accommodates around 150 service agents. The traditional sewing machines are of two variants such as the straight stich and the zig-zag sewing machine, while the portable and digital sewing machines cater to the modern customers. Singer Industries is mandated with assembly of sewing machines and manufacturing of cabinets and stands for sewing machines.

The sewing machine stands and cabinets are 100% locally manufactured with the help of local suppliers who also depend from sewing machine manufacturing. Singer Industries also consists of a strong R&D section for sewing machine innovations. All the sewing machines produced by Singer Industries are distributed by its parent company, Singer (Sri Lanka) through their 431 distribution touch points. Currently, Singer sustains its dominance as the market leader for domestic sewing machine industry with a market share of 85%. Among the facilities, Singer Industries provides to its customers, it has deployed special service technicians at island wide service centres for technical assistance and support related to sewing machines. Its YouTube channel has access to over 130 technical assistance videos to further support its valued customers.

The name ‘’Singer’’ is closely associated with sewing. One of its major contributions to the local sewing industry is the Singer Fashion Academy. For more than 60 years, the Academy has helped thousands of individuals to develop sewing skills and become entrepreneurs. The Fashion Academy conducts sewing courses and diplomas while a degree pathway is to be implemented soon to further support students. The Academy is also the first and only institute in the country to receive course validation status from the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) in the UK.

As of today, the academy consists of 54 branches Island wide and offers 22 sewing courses, 2 diplomas and another 10 courses as part of its Diwi Saviya program for low-income families. Annually, over 5000 – 6000 students get enrolled in Singer Fashion Academy’s courses. In addition to the physical classes, the academy conducts online courses and also provides a recorded version of lessons to further facilitate students. During the last decade, over 60,000 students have successfully completed the Fashion Academy’s courses and some of these students have already started their own sewing businesses. The Fashion Academy has helped in developing the passion of sewing among Sri Lankans and as a result, sewing has become a hobby among many.

Sewing can be considered one of the most feasible self-employment opportunities with its potential to generate a good income. A business of one’s own is a luxury at present due to current economic crisis. Many individuals who started their sewing businesses from scratch have developed their businesses to highly profitable ones. Singer Fashion Academy has all the resources ready to help develop sewing skills and is committed to develop a skilled workforce for the betterment of the country.

(Company news release)

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