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Different Offers Equity to All Colombo-office Staff

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Different Technologies, one of Australia’s hottest new global startups, will starting from January 2021, s offer all permanent employees equity in the firm, which is backed by Australia’s largest VC firm AirTree Ventures, and Silicon Valley’s Foundation Capital.

The company said it is “taking this decisive step because it believes that investing in its employees and ensuring their stability and security is not only the right thing to do, but also a smart business decision.”

“Particularly in the uncertain economic climate that has arisen in the aftermath of COVID-19, we want our employees to think like owners,” said Co-founder of :Different, Ruwin Perera, a former Director at Softbank. “We have built our company around people, and we want those people with us for the long run. Offering all our employees equity in our firm is a chance for us to let them grow with us, just like our investors. You can tell a lot about a company by where it focuses its resources and in our case we believe that investing in our employees will pay dividends in the long run. Ultimately, we’re building this company together and rather than simply paying lip service to this idea; we wanted to take action!”

“:Different has always been a great company to work for, but the new equity offer is just amazing,” said Deegha Galkissa, a member of the Engineering team at :Different’s Colombo office. “Feeling that you’re a part of a team is nice but knowing that you’re a part-owner of the company you work for is something else entirely.”

This sentiment was also echoed by Mark Sinnathamby, another member of the Engineering team. “Giving equity to all employees is not something you see every day in Sri Lanka and I’m just proud to be a part of the company that has made it happen. Coming into work definitely feels different, now that I’m a shareholder in my company!”

:Different’s VP of Engineering, Hasitha Liyanage is no stranger to start-ups that eventually became big names in Sri Lanka, like MIT, Sysco Labs. Liyanage spoke more on the rationale behind sharing equity and how it is also a personal decision for him, “I wish someone had offered this to me when I was a Junior Developer! It cannot be overstated, the best way to encourage employees to think and act like owners is to actually make them owners!”

:Different’s Country HR Business Partner, Kalpika Abayasekera explained that all current staff are automatically enrolled in this scheme, with a specific up-front entitlement to the equity on offer, “We felt it was absolutely necessary to reward the team that has been through the growing pains of a start-up. These shares are issued on a four-year maturity which also encourages the team to see their tenure as quite literally a long-term investment.”

“We are following the same format adopted in Silicon Valley and in our Australian office, and thought it was about time that our Sri Lankan crew reap the same benefits as their counterparts abroad,” said Perera

:Different recently reaffirmed its commitment to Sri Lanka by doubling its stake in the country through a multi-million dollar investment in its Colombo office. This move strengthens the regional office by adding senior personnel and moving key operational functions, including real-time customer management, customer experience, maintenance and supplier relationships to Sri Lanka.

“The increased investment into the Colombo office, coupled with our new equity offer to employees underlines :Different’s commitment to harnessing the best minds in Sri Lanka to build a world-class technology company that places Sri Lanka very firmly on the world tech map”, said Perera.

He is confident that this new move will further strengthen :Different’s position as one of the most employee-friendly startups to work for in Sri Lanka. “Recruiting and retaining the very best may be the most important part of building a company that will be resilient through the uncertain times that await us over the next decade, and this is doubly important as world economies recover from COVID-19. Our hope is that this move will encourage other companies to start seeing their employees as long-term investments, because that’s exactly what they are to us!”

The company news release did not reveal whether what’s on offer is free or paid shares under an Employees Share Option Plan (ESOP).



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Hemas Consumer strengthens portfolio with L’Oréal partnership in Sri Lanka

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Hemas Consumer, the leading manufacturer and distributor in Sri Lanka’s beauty and personal care sector has strengthened its portfolio of offerings in a groundbreaking partnership with the world’s number one beauty company, L’Oréal. With this partnership Hemas Consumer obtains distributor rights to leverage its sales network and innovative marketing approaches in taking L’Oréal’s wide range of beauty and personal care brands across Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the new partnership, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Managing Director, Hemas Consumer & Executive Director Hemas Group said, “We have spent over fifty years building successful and strong consumer brands in Sri Lanka. In keeping with our promise of consumer delight and trust, we are elated to partner a world-class cosmetics group like L’Oréal expanding our existing portfolio with the world’s most sought-after beauty and personal care products.

We are well equipped in our distribution process with island-wide sales channels to serve all parts of the country. I believe this partnership will revolutionize Sri Lanka’s beauty care industry and more prospects await as we continue to look ahead with L’Oréal.”

Sabrina Esufally, Director Business Development and Innovation at Hemas Consumer said, “This partnership will enable Sri Lankans to access the iconic brands and solutions created through years of research and innovation by L’Oréal. In the fast evolving and dynamic beauty industry, the combined strength of Hemas’s local heritage and penetration, and L’Oréal’s global technology and trust is the perfect recipe for consumer delight.”

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DFCC Bank supports industrial excellence by partnering CNCI Achiever Awards

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DFCC Bank PLC, stepped up once again for the 3rd consecutive year to partner with the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) as the principal sponsor and official banking partner of the CNCI Achiever Awards 2020.

The CNCI Achiever Awards was held for the 19th consecutive time to recognize the outstanding efforts of exceptional performers who have molded their respective industries with innovative solutions, while overcoming challenges and meeting the demands of their clientele. This year, the event was recently held under strict health guidelines at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo. 

Commenting on the sponsorship, Chief Executive Officer of DFCC Bank PLC Lakshman Silva stated, “We are pleased to have partnered with the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI), as the Main Sponsor and Official Banking Partner of the 19th CNCI Achiever Awards 2020. DFCC is honored to partner in reconciling successful Sri Lankan businesses from various industrial sectors. Our partnership with this prestigious awards programme aligns seamlessly with our commitment to foster and reward industrial growth across the country and support local entrepreneurs in MSME & SME sectors.”

 

 

 

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Lanka SSL triumphs with National Gold and Top Ten Awards

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CNCI Achiever Awards 2020

Lanka Special Steel Limited (Lanka SSL), a trusted name in wires and a fully-owned subsidiary of E B Creasy & Company PLC, was recently awarded the coveted National Gold Award under the Extra Large category in the Manufacturing Sector at the Achiever Awards 2020 for Industrial Excellence.

The annual event organized by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) was held in March 2021 at Colombo, and celebrated some of the leading industrialists in the country for their tremendous and continued efforts in uplifting and promoting quality standards, productivity, growth and strategy, R&D, employee welfare and others whilst contributing to both the society and economy at large.

‘We are immensely proud to have been recognized with two very prominent awards at this year’s CNCI Achiever Awards. It is a huge leap from just winning a Merit Award the last time around, and this incredible achievement certainly reflects our highly ambitious plans to strive for continued excellence. We would like to thank our valued customers and all stakeholders. We are grateful to our hardworking and committed staff at Lanka SSL who have made this possible,’ said Pravin De Silva, CEO of Lanka SSL.

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