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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, has once again changed the corporate landscape in Sri Lanka. Starting January 2021, the company is offering 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 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 straight up 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. Liyange 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.

Perera 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!”

 

 



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Galadari Colombo awarded ‘SLIM People’s Hotel Brand of the Year 2021’

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The Galadari Colombo was given a thumbs up from the people as the People’s Hotel Brand of the Year for the second time running at the recently concluded SLIM (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing) People’s Awards 2021.

The uniqueness of the SLIM People’s Awards is the fact that it is awarded by the public which shows the popular choice of the Sri Lankan people.

This is the 15th successful running of the much-anticipated event conducted by SLIM in association with Nielsen which is globally renowned for its measurement and consumer insights.

Having stood the test time of time in the hospitality industry for more than 3 decades the Galadari Colombo is hopeful to remain in the hearts of its people as a brand that is trustworthy and dedicated to service.

 

 

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Expatriates’ organization painting competition for Sri Lankan children from care homes highlights close India-Sri Lanka ties

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Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan children from care homes converged in Colombo from all across Sri Lanka over 10-11 April 2021 for the final round of the nationwide painting competition organized by Colombo Expatriates Cultural Association (CECA) – a voluntary organization of expatriates consisting of mainly Indians – with support of the High Commission of India, Ministry of Education of government of Sri Lanka and several other partners.

Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of Education was the Chief Guest and Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India was the Guest of Honour at the final round. Several other dignitaries including State Minister Piyal Nishantha were also present. The dignitaries lauded the effort as a shining example of strong people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka and stressed the enormous significance of the enriching experience for the children.

The competition was held in three categories – Sub Junior, Junior and Senior. The first round of the competition had seen enthusiastic participation of 4,375 students from child care homes across Sri Lanka. Contestants from all provinces who had produced sixty best paintings were invited along with one care-giver for the final round held in Colombo on April 10 at Hotel Taj Samudra. While top three winners in all the three categories were awarded SLR 100,000, SLR 75,000 and SLR 50,000 respectively in addition to various other gifts, certificates and medals, all the 60 finalists received cash awards, desktop computers, and other gifts contributed by various sponsors.

The event also formed part of ‘India @ 75’ celebrations in Sri Lanka which comprise events and activities in the run up to completion of 75 years of India’s Independence in August 2022. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had launched these celebrations in India on March 12 2021, 75 weeks before the 75th Anniversary of Independence. In Sri Lanka, formal launch of these celebrations had taken place on April 9 2021 with the inauguration of ‘India Corner’ at the Nagananda Institute for Buddhist Studies.

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Chrissworld to raise Rs. 56.25 million through IPO

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Chrissworld Ltd. (CWL), an SME company  engaged in the provision of third-party logistics (3PL) services, is gearing to raise up to Rs. 56.25 million via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombo Stock Exchange, sources said.

The company plans to offer 7,500,000 Ordinary Voting Shares for subscription at Rs. 7.50 per share. The subscription will open on April 27, with Atara Capital Partners representing the company as managers to the issue.

Meanwhile, the CSE noted in a statement that it has approved an application submitted by Chrissworld Ltd. for the listing of its Ordinary Voting Shares by way of an offer for subscription on the Empower Board of the CSE.

The company,  starting off with Rs. 6 million capital in 2019, expanded its capital to Rs. 22.5 million and projects to obtain Rs. 79 million after the IPO.

Chrissworld will be earmarking milestones with the IPO as the first to be listed on the Empower Board, CSE’s newest listing platform, dedicated to SMEs. Further, Central Depository Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., a subsidiary company of CSE, will step in for the first time as the registrar to the issue.

Amid those developments the CSE  started  on a bullish note yesterday and during the latter part of the day with heavy retail investor participation the CSE witnessed a bullish trend. It is said that manufacturing sector counters became the most popular stocks during the day. Notable price appreciation was reported in Hayleys Group, Royal Ceramic Group and  Distilleries.    

Both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 100.10 points and S and P SL20 rose by 49.18 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.51 billion with a crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 1.32 million shares to the tune of Rs. 199.3 million and its share price was Rs. 151.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Royal Ceramic Rs. 511.2 million (1.46 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded),  Hayleys Group Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 321 million (5.5 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 290 million (1.9 million shares traded), and Haycarb Rs. 177 million (1.5 million shares traded). During the day 87.8 million share volumes changed hands in 23900 transactions.

Hayleys shares appreciated by Rs. 6 or eight percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 75.90 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 82. Royal Ceramic shares appreciated by Rs. 13.5 or nine percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 328.25 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 358.75. Expolanka shares appreciated by Rs. 2.70 or five percent. Its shares  started trading at Rs. 49.70 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs. 52.40 and Distilleries shares appreciated by 70 cent or 3 percent from Rs. 20.20 to Rs. 20.90  

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted steady at 202.00/203 to the one month US dollar Monday, while gilt yields remained unchanged, dealers said.

The rupee last closed in the one-week forward market at 202/203 to the US dollar on Friday. Sri Lanka markets were dull as seasonal bliss kicks in.

 

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