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Hilton launches Female Development Program in Sri Lanka

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Seven-month pilot project, Hilton Liya Diriya, aims to empower local women through hospitality skills training and development

Hilton has announced its partnership with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) to launch Hilton Liya Diriya – a specially curated female development program in Sri Lanka.

Translating to ‘female courage,’ Hilton Liya Diriya aims to provide training opportunities for local female students keen to build a career in hospitality. Selected participants will undergo two training phases to pick up practical knowledge, skills and experiences, involving a one-month period dedicated to theoretical training with SLITHM and a six-month industrial traineeship at one of Hilton’s properties in Sri Lanka, a Hilton news release said.

“The establishment of the program is in line with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goal of doubling its social impact investment, and underscores its continued commitment to ensuring inclusive growth, sustainable solutions and economic opportunities for all, even during these unprecedented times. Furthermore, by empowering its female participants and enabling them to pursue a career in hospitality, Hilton Liya Diriya also aims to create a positive impact on the community by increasing the historically-lower1 labor force participation rate for women in Sri Lanka,” it explained.

“On top of the training, participants will receive support from Hilton throughout the duration of the program, in the form of accommodation, allowance and mentoring. Upon graduation, they will also be awarded certifications, as well as employment opportunities at a Hilton property in Sri Lanka or abroad.”

“Sri Lanka has shown immense potential for us over the years, evidenced by the resilience of the country, its promising tourism sector and ongoing improvements to infrastructure which have laid a strong foundation for us to kickstart our robust expansion plans,” said Paul Hutton, vice president, operations, Hilton in South East Asia. “Despite the challenges caused by the health pandemic, we continue to recognize its long-term prospects and have doubled down on our commitment to putting Sri Lanka on the global roadmap with the recent opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort in November – our third Hilton property in the country.”

Commenting on the opportunity to further extend the Hilton Effect in Sri Lanka, Hutton added: “In line with our growing presence in the country, we also want to continue honoring our founder, Conrad Hilton, and his ambition to be the most hospitable company in the world, by doing our part for the communities we operate in. Through the introduction of Hilton Liya Diriya, we hope to leverage our scale and capacity to advance women’s economic empowerment in the country by identifying and developing the best local talents, and I look forward to seeing them excel in their careers with us.”

Kimarli Fernando, chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, said: “We aspire to achieve a higher level of female participation in Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry, especially in the skilled and value creation areas which would provide more opportunities for them to further their careers in the longer term. Currently women make up less than 10 percent of the hospitality workforce locally, compared to the 54 percent globally. This is a strategic change Sri Lanka Tourism is striving for and we are delighted to partner with Hilton on the Hilton Liya Diriya program which is a major step forward to champion the strategic change in our workforce.”



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HNB supports Sri Lanka Welfare Society of Blind Women

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Supporting the livelihoods of visually impaired women, Sri Lanka’s most customer friendly bank HNB PLC donated 300 white canes and dry ration packs to the members of the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women.

The donations made utilizing voluntary contributions gathered by HNB employees, were handed over to members of the Society at a special event at HNB Towers under the patronage of HNB Managing Director and CEO Jonathan Alles.

“HNB is proud to partner with the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women to serve the visually impaired women of the country. Our goal is to do our part in ensuring they are given opportunities, recognition and respect that are equal to every other citizen, and we hope that partnerships of this nature will pave the way for a more inclusive and caring society,” HNB Managing Director and CEO, Jonathan Alles said.

With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.

HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020, in addition to winning the coveted Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka Award for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.

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Rizing, LLC acquires attune Lanka from MAS Holdings

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MAS Holdings announced today, that in line with its long-term strategic objectives, it has concluded the acquisition of its subsidiary attune Lanka (Private) Limited by Rizing, LLC. Rizing is a privately held, US-based boutique firm specializing in providing SAP solutions for Consumer Industries, Enterprise Asset Management and Human Capital Management worldwide.

In 2018, MAS Holdings completed an assignment with a leading global consultant to develop a long-term strategic plan, which identified areas of growth based on its core competencies and in the adjacent areas of Femtech and Wearable technology. The divestment of attune was an outcome of this plan, with the intent of finding the right partner for the Company to enable it to scale and grow.

This is a significant investment in a Sri Lankan-owned global technology firm by a company that is backed by a large private equity fund from the US, which will undoubtably help attune to scale and strengthen its business in the years to come.

“The acquisition by Rizing ensured that attune would benefit from Rizing’s global scale and expertise, and that their customers and employees continue to thrive as part of a leading solutions provider in the fashion and consumer industries” stated Mahesh Amalean, Chairman MAS Holdings. He also added that MAS would continue its close partnership with Rizing and attune in terms of the ongoing implementation and support for SAP products and services across MAS SBU’s in Sri Lanka and overseas.

Mike Maiolo, CEO of Rizing stated that “Customers from both organizations benefit from this partnership. Now two of the top SAP partners in Consumer Industries and Fashion are a united force to deliver unmatched value through combined experience, expertise and scale”. A leading provider of systems solutions and implementation services for SAP and with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Rizing is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has been on an aggressive mergers and acquisitions plan since 2018, acquiring several US-based and global firms.

“This merging of Rizing’s and attune’s industry knowledge and experience will provide our long-term valuable clients with access to exciting new technologies and talented resources” said Vajira de Silva, the CEO of attune, adding that “The strength of the combined companies will allow us to grow into new markets and augment our products and services to better address the needs of existing and new clients”. attune Lanka has subsidiaries in India, Australia, China, HK, Italy, Germany, UK, US and Netherlands, with over 500 employees worldwide.

Standard Chartered Bank’s global M&A advisory team acted as the sole advisor to MAS Holdings on this transaction.

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People’s Insurance enters Medical Insurance market with ‘the most comprehensive medical insurance cover available in Sri Lanka’

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In an unprecedented effort to enhance its product offerings to customers across Sri Lanka, People’s Insurance PLC recently announced its plans to diversify into the health insurance space of the country. This strategic move to establish its presence as a health insurance provider builds on the well-established public image of People’s Insurance as the insurer who cares with love.

As the market is already heavily saturated with health insurance products offered by the competition, Peoples Insurance had the strategic objective of offering a product to make them stand out from the rest. Following a customer first approach, the insurer has decided to be a step above its competitors by offering a highly comprehensive medical insurance cover available in the country.

Citizens of Sri Lanka and those individuals who currently reside in the country are eligible to obtain a medical insurance cover from People’s Insurance. Individuals can be covered from their 5th birthday onwards. However, infants from the age of 3 months can also be protected by these covers provided that their parents have a medical cover from People’s Insurance too.

Jeevani Kariyawasam, the Head of Operations at People’s Insurance PLC commented on this new development, “When People’s Insurance PLC began to contemplate our entry into the health insurance sector, we knew we had to be different. As we are known as the only insurer who cares with love, our health insurance product had to reflect this strongly. Due to this, we decided to position ourselves as an insurance provider with a highly comprehensive product in the health insurance space. With affordable premiums, we have made every effort to ensure that Sri Lankans can enjoy the peace of mind that health insurance brings about.”

Medical schemes will vary from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 2 million and premiums will depend on the sum insured, along with the customer’s age band. It is also noteworthy that the geographical scope of treatment extends beyond Sri Lanka and into India as well. Costs related to ambulance call outs, inpatient proceedings, surgical treatments, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and pre and post hospitalization expenses are just a few of the areas that this comprehensive product covers.

As People’s Insurance PLC has a trusted and well established name in the minds of Sri Lankan customers, it is expected that their entrance into the medical insurance sector will be welcomed by citizens across the island. With the underlying goal of caring for its customers beyond anything else, this new development will allow for more Sri Lankans access to proper healthcare services. This decision truly resonates with a purpose beyond profit initiative.

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