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HDFC Bank wins prestigious award for business excellence



General Manager/CEO of HDFC Bank, Palitha Gamage receives the award at the National Business Excellence Awards 2021

HDFC Bank – a leader in housing development finance – has won the Merit Award (Banking Sector) at the National Business Excellence Awards 2021. This prestigious event was organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. It is held annually to recognize business enterprises that have demonstrated excellence under various criteria.

The evaluation criteria for the awards were excellence in the following areas: Strategy & leadership, corporate governance & strategy, capacity building, performance management, local and global market reach, corporate social responsibility & environmental sustainability, and business & financial results.

Chairperson of HDFC Bank, Ms. Wasanthi Manchanayake thanked the staff, customers and other stakeholders for helping them win this award. She said the bank will continue to earn such accolades due to its vibrant corporate culture. She added that a positive attitude permeates all levels of the organization, which has effective processes covering everything from administration to IT and customer service.

General Manager/CEO of HDFC Bank, Palitha Gamage said their success is due to a visionary strategy, a strong leadership based on their state-private partnership and a dynamic workforce. He noted that these factors enabled the bank to achieve an impressive financial performance in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and stiff competition from larger banks.

HDFC Bank’s core business is providing home loans for low and middle income people in Sri Lanka. In addition to housing finance, the bank is involved in leasing, deposits, business loans, education loans and pawning. It caters to a range of people with different financial requirements, including professionals, state sector employees, pensioners and SME entrepreneurs.

At present, HDFC Bank offers a diverse array of loan and savings products. These are delivered through its extensive branch network throughout the country.

The bank has greatly benefitted from its state-private ownership structure. The government holds the controlling stake of 51% while private companies and individuals have a 49% share. This composition offers the strength, stability and security of the state coupled with private sector innovation and efficiency.

It has also facilitated technological progress. The bank offers digital banking solutions like online payment and e-banking services. The core banking system implemented a few years ago has facilitated the introduction of various products. This system has supported the bank’s growth strategy, enhancing its efficiency and ability to provide convenience to customers.

Among the most popular services provided by HDFC Bank is palmtop banking. It is presently used by thousands of customers. Many small-time business people and the self-employed have benefitted from the ease, convenience and security it offers.

In accordance with its mandate, the bank will continue to focus on providing housing-related financial support to middle and lower-income Sri Lankans. This will facilitate social progress and promote economic development across the country.

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Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers




In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.

At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.

“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.

But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,”  Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”

He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.

In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.

Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.

Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.

Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.


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ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace



EFC's team of trainers visited the selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management

Five companies volunteer to participate in the project

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.

True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.

Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.

EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.

They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.

All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.

Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.

In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.

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Rage Coffee forays into Sri Lanka market



The brand has secured investment from Virat Kohli

Rage Coffee, an internationally acclaimed coffee brand, was launched in Sri Lanka recently.

Originating in 2018 from the visionary mind of Bharat Sethi, Rage Coffee emerged to address the dearth of high-quality artisanal coffee in the Indian market. It fills the void with a unique plant-based, vitamin-enriched coffee selection.

A notable milestone for Rage Coffee was securing investment from Virat Kohli during its initial seed round. Kohli, known for his discerning brand choices, not only invested but also became the official brand ambassador, accentuating the brand’s quality.

Sourcing beans from Ethiopia and India, Rage crystallizes them, preserving a distinct nutty and earthy flavor profile. The brand’s proprietary blend, boasting 100% plant-based ingredients, eliminates harmful waste elements found in other leading coffees, prioritizing nutritional value. Each serving packs an impressive 120mg of caffeine, offering a superior boost to kickstart one’s day compared to standard brands.

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