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Hatch takes Sri Lankan female entrepreneurs global with ‘She Loves Tech’



L-R standing: Shenelle Perera, Minuri Adasuriya, Dulinika Bulumulla, Thilaksi Chandrasekar L-R seated: Nivarthana Sandeepani, Chathurika Wickramasinghe, Amira Ghaffoor

Hatch brought She Loves Tech 2021, the world’s largest women-centric technology startup competition, back to Sri Lanka for the second consecutive year. Co-founder Leanne Robers shares, “She Loves Tech 2021 is more than a competition, it’s an acceleration platform designed to take women-led and women impact startups to the next level.”

Hatch has been a key contributor to developing women entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. The She Loves Tech program portrays their commitment to showcasing talented local women entrepreneurs on the global stage.

Over 70 female tech-enabled startups from across the island applied to be part of the She Loves Tech Sri Lanka local rounds and 8 outstanding women entrepreneurs were selected as the finalists.

Abitharani Jeyachandran – Co-Founder, Trash for Trade which is based in Batticaloa focuses on upcycling plastics and is based on a social business model. The idea was derived from an open source community named “Precious Plastic.” Amira Ghaffoor – CEO, Northwood Consulting which offers consulting services that aims to maximize business potential by implementing cost effective solutions with high scalability using AI and ML. Chathurika Wickramasinghe -Managing Director, Crowdlearn LMS which delivers an online learning and teaching platform that facilitates virtual learning as well as blended learning customisable to the user.

Gayathri Wickramasinghe – Founder, Adage Digital which focuses on developing a disruptive blockchain technology to solve global issues including sustainable waste management solutions. Nivarthana Sandeepani – Founder, NivIT which specializes in IT based services and solutions to deliver low cost water quality management tools to ensure water safety in developing countries.

Shenelle Perera – Co-Founder, Connect Co. which provides an effortless last mile delivery service that is reliable and consistent. Thilaksi Chandrasekar – Co-Founder, AgXone which is on a mission to provide innovative solutions in agriculture, through the use of drone technology and AI systems that are readily accessible for anyone, anywhere.

The finalists were supported during the program through virtual toolkits, workshops and industry mentorship provided by Kushlani De Silva on Product Marketing, Janani Liyanage on Resilience, Indika De Zoysa on Strategy Development and Ruwani Kumarasinghe on Pitch Coaching.

“We must also commend the passion and conviction of these female founders. We knew that Gayathri, one of the finalists, would be going into labour at the time of the competition. We made arrangements for her to deliver a pre-recorded pitch but to our surprise she attended the live session and pitched from the hospital mere hours after giving birth! It was a moment to celebrate and admire the fire and determination of our Sri Lankan female entrepreneurs. They are unstoppable! The camaraderie and support the 8 women continue to show each other even after the competition is wonderful. They continue to share wins, business and networking opportunities with each other. This safe and supportive community is what we try to foster with all our programs at Hatch” says Minuri Adasuriya, Head of Programs at Hatch.

The finals were held and conducted by Hatch Events in a hybrid format on the 1st of October, 2021 with live streaming enabled globally. The judging panel consisted of female entrepreneurs and strong male allies including Brindha Selvadurai (CEO & Co-Founder – Hatch), Chinthi Weerasinghe (CEO – Mitra Innovation), Pulani Ranasinghe (Founder – Loons Lab), Chalinda Abeykoon (CEO -Lankan Angel Network), Prabhath Mannapperuma (Microsoft) and Emesha Pinto Jayawardena (President – DCLK). Helen Lam, (Head of Innovation, Asia – Lendlease) based in Singapore delivered an inspirational keynote, highlighting that women can break any barriers even in a male dominated industry.

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HNB Finance inks partnership with HNB Assurance



Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider, HNB Finance PLC, has entered into an exclusive partnership with HNB Assurance PLC, making it significantly easier and faster for HNB Finance customers to obtain insurances required for most of the offerings from the company.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two companies enables HNB Finance customers to obtain the insurances they require for personal and other offerings from the company, without even having to leave the premises of HNB Finance. Since representatives of HNB Assurance will now be stationed at the offices of HNB Finance, the process of obtaining the necessary insurance policies will be both more convenient and faster, further enhancing the overall customer experience.

“HNB Finance constantly strives to elevate our customer experience, particularly via partnerships with reputed organisations of the calibre of HNB Assurance,” HNB Finance PLC Managing Director/CEO Chaminda Prabhath said. “This also serves as an example of the synergies and strengths that HNB Finance benefit from, by being part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial services conglomerates, the HNB Group.”

“We take pleasure in this partnership with another member of the HNB Group and in offering the customers of HNB Finance the highly customer-centric offering of HNB Assurance,” HNB Assurance PLC CEO Lasitha Wimalaratne said. “Superlative customer experience has always been a core pillar of our strategy and HNB Finance customers can now benefit from these capabilities.”

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Mega training programme in SL in ICT related skills by Trainocate



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Trainocate, being Asia’s largest IT and human capability development training provider, in a bid to create demand for future ICT related employees will be commencing a mega training program in Sri Lanka targeting youth and corporates.

“With the rapid advancements in digitalization and digital services driven by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and 5G, old paradigms and business models are being challenged. More organizations across sectors are now required to have an online-offline presence and operations, Trainocate’s CEO, South East Asia New Markets and the UAE Zafarullah Hashim told The Island Financial Review.

Zafarullah added: ‘According to a recent World Economic Forum report, by 2022, close to 30 per cent of new job opportunities globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing for the future Digital Economy.

‘The pace of change over the past few years has been accelerated by the diffusion of technology, speed of innovation and rapidly evolving business needs. Jobs have changed and new ones have emerged and replaced existing ones. In tandem with this, the required skills and competencies have also rapidly evolved.

‘Many South Asian countries’ corporates as well as current employees and youth aspiring for employment are not reading this.

‘With a global presence in 15 countries, Trainocate SEANM, a pioneer in delivering cutting edge training and certifications which are industry recognized, will commence helping beginners and professionals to expedite their career advancement through our centers.

‘Trainocate also works with key government and private stakeholders to ensure that beginners and professionals have access to high quality and industry-specific training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce.

‘Knowing which skills are in demand has never been more important. With evolving consumer demands and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we function as the bridge between vendors, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and the partner. We are also the bridge between the partner and customers. We do partner enablement programs for partners through the vendors and then from the partner to the customer. A partner has to commit to the vision and the goals of a vendor. You also need to have product knowledge and become certified, which is where we come in.

‘Microsoft has been our main force and we have been providing free fundamental training sessions, as we believe that primary knowledge is key in building the country’s digital transformation journey. Our business operation is carried out between business to business, business to government and business to customers as well.

‘Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors, as more enterprises embark on digital transformation and technology adoption. The Digital Economy entails different types of skills, depending on their job role applications. Tech-Lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work; while Tech-Heavy roles are specialized roles responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications.

‘Trainocate SEANM focuses on developing skills, competency, ability and improving employee performances and organizational productivity. Organizations spend millions in acquiring and upgrading systems or hardware and give truly little thought to the training process. As a result, a vast majority of companies do not make maximum use of the features and benefits of the software in which they have invested. Proper training will increase productivity and reduce downtime which will complete IT projects faster.

‘Traincoate SEANM is rapidly reaching new heights by helping organizations that are going through a tough time and are in the transitioning period towards technology. Trainocate SEANM delivers well-informed and stable individuals who can provide their expertise towards the rise of these businesses. We have trained many blue-chip companies, along with their partners. Our goal is to develop individuals in tools that are already available that they don’t know how to use.

“Trainocate SEANM offers a range of resources, tools, certification and training programs and initiatives to help individuals and organizations identify and acquire the necessary skills to facilitate employment, improve job performance and adapt to job content changes in the midst of technological advancements and business operating model shifts.

‘We are not just a training company, but rather, a guidance company. We have been doing this for 25 plus years and have assessment tools that help us analyze and identify any skill gaps within organizations. We can use this to help the organizations’ HR and L&D teams streamline their training methods, as we can help identify these gaps and guide them on what they need the most.

‘Overall the company is helping organizations to think differently, plan strategically, save money and get the best out of technology. That is our secret to success.’

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Sunshine Healthcare appoints T. Sayandhan as CEO



Sunshine Healthcare has appointed T. Sayandhan as the Chief Executive Officer of Lina Manufacturing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing segment of the diversified company. Sayandhan, currently CEO of Sunshine Medical Devices, has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He joined Sunshine Healthcare in 2017 to spearhead Sunshine Medical Devices and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare business to be the key driver of the Group’s financial performance, helping Sunshine Healthcare to sustain its growth over the few years amidst tough macroeconomic conditions.

Commenting on the new appointment, Sunshine Healthcare Managing Director Shyam Sathasivam said, “As a responsible Sri Lankan conglomerate, we believe the local production of pharmaceuticals plays a vital role in maintaining the resilience of national healthcare systems. When escalating macroeconomic conditions are putting immense pressure on the local healthcare sector, producing pharmaceuticals locally will facilitate access to needed medicines and decrease exposure to imports and international supply chains. At this critical juncture, I believe Sayandhan has demonstrated the right combination of talent and drive to step into this key leadership role at the company.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sayandhan said, “It is a challenging yet exciting time to join Lina Manufacturing when the company is advancing its efforts to develop Sri Lankan-made, innovative healthcare solutions.”

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