Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah was honoured in Sri Lanka’s apex corporate sustainability awards, as one of two recipients of the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award for Sri Lanka in 2020, a company news release said.
“Dilmah won in the category of Businesses with Less than Rs. 15 Billion Annual Turnover based on complex criteria linked to social, environmental and economic value, compliance, resilience, stakeholder management and crisis response. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce award is judged annually – now in its 17th year – in an exhaustive process steered by a panel of eminent judges. The Best Corporate Citizen in the category of Businesses with greater than Rs. 15 Billion Annual Turnover was won by Ceylon Biscuits Ltd, also a Sri Lankan family business,” it said.
In addition to the coveted top award, Dilmah won category awards for Customer Relations, Environment Beyond the Business and was chosen as one of the Top 10 Corporate Citizens of Sri Lanka. The company stands out in its achievement as a family owned business with a singular focus on tea, among conglomerates and finance houses that form the top 10.
“Dilmah was formed by Founder, Merrill J. Fernando, on an unequivocal commitment to human service. The context was the colonial economic system that persisted in the tea industry in the 1950s, vestiges of which are evident even today in inadequate value addition to Sri Lanka’s high-quality tea and spices. The award scrutinised each finalists’ performance in areas including sustainability and business resilience in the wake of COVID-19, packaging sustainability, customer relations, commitment to environment and social development initiatives,” the release said.
Merrill J. Fernando, who recently celebrated his 70th year in tea is recognized as the face of fine Ceylon Tea in several countries where he started his business inviting tea drinkers to, ‘do try it!’ He commented on hearing of the accolade, ‘Mine was a simple wish – to present the finest tea with quality and integrity. What people call sustainability is a way of life for my sons and I. This award is a humbling accolade, because my journey in tea was marked more by criticism than appreciation.’
A minimum 15% of the company’s pre-tax profits directly benefit humanity through the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation, both formed to fulfill the company’s commitment to community and environment. The Dilmah philosophy has touched the lives of thousands through programmes for disabled children, empowerment initiatives for women, youth and communities. The company became carbon neutral in 2019 and plans to be carbon negative by 2030.
LOLC Al-Falaah unveils pioneering Wadi’ah Gold-Storage Facility with multiple customer benefits
Sri Lanka’s most awarded and trusted Alternate Financial services brand, LOLC Al-Falaah recently unveiled their ground-breaking new product – the Wadi’ah Gold Loan Facility. This is the 1st time a Finance company in Sri Lanka is offering this facility. Al-Falaah Wadi’ah is a unique gold storage option offered to Al-Falaah’s valued customer base. All gold articles are tested for quality and authenticity using state-of-the art equipment by the company’s experienced staff without causing any damage to the jewellery. A unique ‘Gold Storage Certificate’ with the description of articles, including weight, quality and quantity along with the market value will be issued to the customer when obtaining this facility.
Speaking about the new product, Mr. Shiraz Refai, Deputy General Manager of LOLC Al-Falaah said, “Gold is a favourite investment option at all levels within the concentrated community. The metal is usually pawned, sold or exchanged when in need of cash. As the conventional Pawning options and Gold Loan offering has limitations to cater to the specific needs, as well as contradict with certain beliefs of the community, a concept acceptable and practiced in the industry is introduced by LOLC’s Alternate Financial Services Unit to its valued customer segment”.
Accordingly, a unique feature has been introduced to the Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold Storage facility offering the Customer the benefit of obtaining an interest-free maximum Cash-Advance in the industry at zero mark-up against the gold storage certificate value for any emergencies. In addition, for the convenience of the customers, the Gold storage facility period is extended from 3, 6 and 12 months without any requirement for a deposit and the custodial fees are comparatively competitive. The stored gold articles will also be offered a free Takaful cover with a reassurance of highest safety and security.
The Al-Falaah Wadi’ah gold storage facility will be initially available at selected branches including Wellawatta, Akkaraipattu, Kalmunai, Pottuvil, Grandpass, Maradana, Mawanella, Matara, Nawalapitiya and Negombo. Al-Falaah aims to make the facility available across all LOLC Finance branches and dedicated Al-Falaah centers island-wide by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021.
Commenting on the new Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold loan facility, Nishantha Jayasekera, Chief Manager, SME Unit & Head of Gold Loan Business of LOLC Finance said, “The main aim of this facility is to give financial-access to the grass-root level clients who do not have direct access to banking & finance, but require small cash advances to develop daily businesses and self-employment. Through this product and its value added features, we hope to cover all segments of the population”.
LANKATILES donates high-end ventilator to Colombo North Teaching Hospital
A Rs. 4.3 million ventilator has been donated to the Coronary Care Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, by LANKATILES, the country’s leading tile manufacturer.
The machine was described as a high-end, world-class piece of equipment suitable for all patient groups.
Present at the official hand-over were Mr Mahendra Jayasekera, Managing Director of Lanka Walltiles PLC and Lanka Tiles PLC, Dr. S. P. A. Liyanage Ranaweera, Director of Colombo North Teaching Hospital, and Dr. Sanjeewa Rajapakse, Consultant Cardiologist of the hospital.
At a time when state-of-the-art equipment is urgently needed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, LANKATILES reaffirmed its commitment to help frontline hospital staff in their efforts at reducing the spread of the virus and easing patient numbers.
The company said this was a commitment it is ready to stand by at all times in the interests of the country.
Sampath Bank hosts Central Bank’s ‘MatarataQR’ event to promote QR code use
Matara, April 3rd, 2021: Sampath Bank PLC recently hosted the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) MatarataQR event, in a bid to drive awareness and increase acceptance and usage of LANKAQR, the common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country that was introduced in 2020.
Encouraging consumers to adopt the use of QR codes in their day-to-day transactions, the event was held at the Sanath Jayasuriya Grounds in Matara under the patronage of the Chief Guest, Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Power and Guest of Honour, D. Kumaratunga, Director – Payments and Settlements, Central Bank of Sri Lanka; along with senior officials from the CBSL, other commercial banks and financial institutions. Sampath Bank was represented by Nanda Fernando – Managing Director; Tharaka Ranwala – Senior DGM – Operations / Group Chief Marketing Officer and Ajith Salgado – Group Chief Information Officer.
At the event, the Bank actively promoted its ‘WePay’ mobile wallet which helped attract more customers while also onboarding new merchants. A 25% cash back was on offer for payments at over 200 merchants in Matara on the day, made via the LANKAQR enabled WePay digital mobile payment app.
“We are very proud to partner with the Central Bank to host this event that will highlight the safety, convenience and speed of getting onboard the LANKAQR payment standard to the people of Matara. These benefits, coupled with the advanced digital banking solutions offered by Sampath Bank, make it a simple choice to migrate to digital payment technology and we warmly invite the merchants in Matara to come experience the benefits of adopting this new method of payments,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC.
Sampath Bank is a 100% local bank that has deeply rooted itself in the lives of the people of Sri Lanka. Established in 1987, the bank has become a state-of-the-art financial institution that continues to be a market leader today thanks to its constant innovation and customer focused approach to business. It has introduced many firsts to the Sri Lankan banking sector including introducing ATMs to Sri Lanka, extended banking hours and slip-less banking to name a few. The Bank is steadily transforming itself into a ‘tech company engaged in banking,’ from the traditional approach of a bank engaged in technology.
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