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Driving innovation for business resilience and faster economic recovery: Microsoft

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Hasitha Abeywardena · Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives

 

As Sri Lanka continues to deal with the recent surge of COVID-19 infections, 74% of organizations in Asia Pacific say that innovation is now a ‘must’ for them to respond quickly to market challenges and opportunities, and ensure business resilience.

Leveraging their ability to innovate, leaders proved to be more resilient and able to recover faster. Almost half of them believe that they will recover from the pandemic in six months or less. In fact, 50% more leaders, as compared with the rest of the organizations surveyed, expect an increase in their revenue, and one in three of them expect to increase their market share despite the crisis.

These findings were released by Microsoft in its latest study with IDC Asia Pacific, which surveyed 3,312 business decision-makers and 3,495 workers across 15 markets in Asia Pacific within a six-month period, before and since COVID-19. Titled “Culture of Innovation: Foundation for business resilience and economic recovery in Asia Pacific”, it uncovered how organizations can successfully fuel business resilience and performance through innovation.

The study also introduced the culture of innovation framework, which spans the dimensions of people, process, data, and technology, to assess organizations’ approach to innovation. It also provides guidance to help organizations progress to the mature stage and respond to challenges and recover faster, to improve their performance.

The culture of innovation maturity framework captures organizations’ approach to innovation. Through the research, organizations’ performance was mapped against four dimensions (people, processes, data, and technology), with organizations grouped in four stages – traditionalist (stage 1), novice (stage 2), adaptor (stage 3), and leaders (stage 4). Leaders comprise of organizations that are the most mature in building a culture of innovation.

The study found that in the span of six months, organizations in Asia Pacific have matured in the culture of innovation by 11%, an indication that they have increased their ability to innovate. Since COVID-19, the study also found a drop in leaders (68% to 36%) and other organizations (74% to 54%) that find innovation to be hard.

The faster pace of digitization is also key to building stronger organizations. The study found that 87% of leaders will speed up digitization by launching initiatives including digital products, payments, and e-commerce, as compared to 67% of other organizations, in response to the new reality.

Amidst the pandemic, ride-hailing company PickMe experienced a surge in business and app users which led to server downtime and extended passenger wait times. By tapping into Microsoft Azure, the company gained real-time intelligence across its operations allowing them to maximize driver benefits, minimize passenger wait times, and improve the PickMe experience for customers.

The Colombo Tea e-Auction platform developed by CICRA Solutions also leverages Microsoft Azure. The platform was built to safeguard a 150-year-old industry and protect the livelihoods of almost two million people. The platform was recently selected as Sri Lanka’s Best National Digital Solution for the World Summit Awards 2020 under Business and Commerce (Innovative Services) category.

Following the recent surge in positive COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka, Arimac Digital and ZILLIONe developed contact-tracing apps for organizations to improve business resilience and economic recovery. Both apps leverage Microsoft Azure.

Azure is the cloud platform that underpins all of Microsoft’s cloud services, including Microsoft Teams. Before COVID-19, insurance company AIA Sri Lanka deployed Microsoft Teams to enable seamless engagement and operational efficiency. The company experienced little to no disruption during the pandemic because they had the systems in place to ensure business continuity and workplace preparedness. Microsoft Teams is also helping the governing body of the Maldives conduct virtual online parliamentary sessions thanks to Tech One Sanje as the country battles the COVID-19 outbreak.

These companies followed a process Microsoft calls tech intensity, where tools and technologies are utilized to invent unique digital solutions that would solve complex business and market issues. This would not only empower the business to be more agile in facing new market challenges but also move faster than their competitors.



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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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