L- R: Malintha De Silva – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – VisionFund Lanka, Arunasiri Gunarathne- Specialist – Mobile Money – Digital Services, Padmanath Muthukumarana- Senior Manager – Mobile Money – Digital Services, Renuka Fernando- Group Chief Digital Services Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC, Dinesh Kanagaratnam – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) , Shalinka Fernando – IT Project Manager , Rizanth Francis – Chief Operating Officer (COO) , Sevvandi Abeysinghe – Human Resource Manager , Priveen Joseph – Risk and Compliance Manager , Lakshan Fernando – Internal Audit Manager- VisionFund Lanka
eZ Cash, the country’s first and largest mobile money and payment service by Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, partnered VisionFund Lanka, a leading socially responsible microfinance institution affiliated with World Vision Lanka and also a subsidiary of VisionFund International, to facilitate customers with a convenient and sustainable QR card repayment facility for their microfinance loans.
A digitally inclusive solution to sustain VisionFund Lanka’s client pool, this strategic partnership has revolutionized the microfinance loan repayment system with the launch of the QR card loan repayment facility. This mechanism empowers all VisionFund Lanka customers to produce and scan their respective QR cards at the nearest eZ cash retail outlet for a quick and efficient way to access their loan details, providing not only financial accessibility to individuals living in rural areas but also acts as a vital step forward in carrying out financial transactions easily, safely, and virtually.
Presently, the card is available to be collected by customers from the nearest VisionFund Lanka offices. As of 2019, VisionFund Lanka has been serving over 30,000 families in rural areas across the island, empowering small and SME businesses with much needed financial support.
As a progressive step in VisionFund Lanka’s digitization journey, Dinesh Kanagaratnam, CEO of VisionFund Lanka said “The timing of this launch is opportune as the need for faster, safer and easier ways of conducting financial transactions is vital, now more than ever – and we are excited to be able to extend this facility to our clients predominantly living in rural settings. We are happy to partner with Dialog on this journey of ours to serve sustainably and will continue to explore innovative solutions to provide easily-accessible financial facilities to the communities we serve”.
Renuka Fernando, Group Chief Digital Services Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC stated “Throughout the years eZ Cash has been at the forefront of providing sustainable, innovative solutions to digitize payments and collections of our partners and customers. This inclusive QR enabled micro-finance loan repayment solution will be one of the many steps taken in our journey of enabling an efficient, seamless and hassle-free collection process”
StrEdge calls for SMART restructuring of businesses
In a climate of unprecedented economic challenges, restructuring of businesses, from public enterprises to SMEs is critical, says the leadership of the StrEdge Group of Companies. In a press statement, StrEdge Group, which is a cluster of home-grown enterprises covering consultancy in Processes, People, Finance and Technology, notes that Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Human Resource Restructuring, Financial Restructuring and Automation are crucial not merely to support rebuilding the country but also from a long-term sustainability perspective.
“Multi-dimensional restructuring is a prudent and a tested method to come out of the difficult circumstances the entire country is facing right now. This will create results in national interest if all can adopt SMART methodologies, from entrepreneurs to government hierarchy,” Group Director /CEO StrEdge Advisory, Sumedha Wijesekera notes in the press statement.
StrEdge which brings hands-on experience restructuring multiple businesses from corporates to SMEs, believes that a proper analysis of the existing banking finance structures of a business cannot be undermined. “The rising finance costs and all the macroeconomic constraints coupled with prevailing uncertainties have warranted restructures from both the business perspective as well as that of the bankers’,” observes Wijesekera. From a business perspective, such restructuring would enable solutions for cash flow constraints, save bank interest cost, promote sustainable growth and more importantly, businesses to be future-ready to capture the market potential in the next upward curve of the economy, he says.
From the bank’s perspective, restructuring helps to offer better structures with effective monitoring to match the business requirements, prevent NPLs and build up strong and more profitable relationships by being able to act as an advisor in this setting.
Furthermore, it is very important to revisit the costing of goods and services in any organisation in view of increased raw materials prices, exchange rates, finance cost, loss of sales, diminishing margins and loss of capacity. Introductions of dynamic price mechanisms for each product and service channel of today’s businesses, will give a lot of clarity for the leadership to manage them successfully.
The StrEdge Group which has in depth experience in BPR covering multiple industries including both banks and non-banking financial institutions, believes that SMART restructuring will help organisations re-align their processes with present and future demands, says StrEdge Group Director, Janaka Epasinghe. The current demand to achieve more with less resources, has triggered this as a need, he adds. “Eliminating waste, increasing the service levels, reduction in costs, increased visibility, internal and external customer satisfaction and future-readiness are few of the results that can be derived with this activity. Furthermore, this will strengthen the sustainability of any organisation,” Epasinghe remarks.
Current economic constraints have taken a huge toll on the human resource which is the heart of any organisation, compelling to revisit the HR pillar for sustainability and growth, observes Epasinghe who notes that if organisations are not in a position to compensate with economic benefits, it’s always important to bring other interventions to maintain productivity.
“The biggest bonus here is that even the workforce is ready to embrace changes despite the current challenging environment with a resilient mindset, which the leadership needs to capitalise on,” says the StrEdge Director.
The foreign currency constraints and the lack of resources due to the brain drain in the IT industry have pushed certain organisations to successfully opt for less expensive technology solutions with the help from external and internal experts. “These interventions will give results within a shorter period of time with a very low budget. Empowering the staff, cost reductions, visualisation, better service standards and increased profitability are some of the major benefits of these SMART technology interventions within a company,” observes StrEdge Tech Solutions Director/CEO, Udaya Samaradivakara. It will also help them to address multiple urgent needs from a people-process-finance and technology perspective, without waiting until times get better and this certainly will be a SMART option, notes Samaradivakara.
Oil demand forecasts aren’t as bullish as they seem
Oil has become an attractive alternative fuel because gas prices have soared. But Europe is rapidly replenishing its natural gas stockpiles.Recent revisions to oil demand forecasts aren’t as bullish as they might appear. Don’t get too excited about prices going up just yet.
The International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries all updated their short-term outlooks in the past week. Two of them cut their demand estimates for both this year and next, with only the IEA breaking ranks to increase its forecasts. And it wasn’t just a minor tweak from the Paris-based agency. It revised oil demand higher for this year by a whopping 520,000 barrels a day, with most of that rolled forward into 2023 as well. On the face of it, that’s very bullish for oil.
But there are plenty of reasons to be cautious. First, let’s compare the actual outlooks from the three sets of analysts and put them in their historical context. The IEA’s revision sets its new demand number for 2022 roughly halfway between those of the other two agencies. It also brings its outlook pretty much back to where it saw things in March. So, although the IEA’s revision was big, it’s not out of line with others.
The other noticeable feature in the forecasts is that oil demand growth is disappearing fast, as the chart below illustrates. Global oil demand grew year on year by about 5 million barrels a day in the first quarter of the year — all three sources agree on that — but that increase is now evaporating.
That’s not entirely unexpected when you consider year on year comparisons. Oil demand at the start of 2021 was still adversely affected by the Covid pandemic, so a rebound at the beginning of this year was entirely reasonable. Then economic activity and travel eventually picked up later in 2021, so we would expect demand growth in the corresponding quarters of 2022 to ease.
Digital Marketing Association of Sri Lanka hosts its 1st AGM
The Digital Marketing Association of Sri Lanka (DMASL), Sri Lanka’s national body of digital marketers hosted its 1st Annual General Meeting on the 4th of August 2022. Umair Wolid was ceremoniously inducted as the new President of DMASL for the year 2022/2023 at the event. Additionally, a new Executive Committee was also appointed during the course of the event.
The DMASL was formed in 2021 in an effort to drive the growth of the digital marketing industry. The association plays a pivotal role in recognizing, representing, and supporting Sri Lanka’s digital marketing professionals. Since its inception, the DMASL has implemented professional standards, ethical guidelines and ensured best practices for Sri Lanka’s digital marketing industry.
The newly elected President of the DMASL commented on the event: “I am truly honoured and grateful to have been selected as President of the DMASL. I look forward to working with the entire digital marketing fraternity to help uplift the digital marketing industry in Sri Lanka. The DMASL was created as a platform for individuals to expand their knowledge and provide guidance on running digital businesses in an ethical manner. I look forward to the upcoming year and all the opportunities and challenges it will bring”.
The newly elected EXCO committee for the year 2022/23 includes; Kabeer Rafaideen, Muhammed Gazzaly, Niranka Perera, Rajitha Dahanayake, Jaque Perera, Prasad Perera, Udara Dharmasena, Lalinda Ariyaratna, Infas Iqbal, Amitha Amarasinghe, Sanjini Munaweera, Umair Wolid, Gayathri Seneviratne, Arjun Jeger, Shalendra Mendis and Shehan Selvanayagam.
Over the next year, the DMASL is looking to improve upon its previous efforts and continue implementing training sessions, knowledge sharing, and networking activities which will bring together different sectors in the industry.. The association will also be looking into integration of digital marketing into businesses, as it is an important element in Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. Another key area of focus for the DMASL is working in tandem with selected Government Organisations to help strategize Digital firsts and Digital marketing driven projects.
Delisting of Tamil Diaspora groups irks some; explanation sought
Govt. trying to impress UNHRC – Vigneswaran
Arms, drug seizure from Lankan boat: Accused raised funds to revive LTTE, says NIA
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
U.S. Congress to probe assets fleecing by US citizens of Sri Lankan origin
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
News2 days ago
Wide ranging rackets benefiting CEB engineers
News7 days ago
CPA survey claims JVP Leader most popular with 48.5% of those surveyed
News5 days ago
Weerasekera alone refuses to abandon China ship
News7 days ago
Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving
News5 days ago
Govt. should not deviate from agenda of national needs in discussions to find solutions to crises – Eran
News5 days ago
About Rs 3 bn paid as OT during past few months
News5 days ago
Govt. reverses top diplomatic appointment to Tokyo
News16 hours ago
Delisting of Tamil Diaspora groups irks some; explanation sought