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HIP supports SME Development Conference 2020 in view of sector’s pressing challenges

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Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, president CMA Sri Lanka and coordinator presenting the proposals on taxation and incentives to develop the SME sector in both the domestic and export sector, to the Prime Minister at the SME Development Conference held recently.

Hambantota International Port was the venue sponsor of the SME Development Conference 2020, held under the auspices of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was Chief Guest at the event, and special dignitaries Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa and State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

The aim of the conference was to help small and medium-scale enterprises meet challenges faced in financial management, entrepreneurial leadership and bank funding in the country’s post-Covid economy. This was the first regional SME conference organised by CMA with the expectation of gaining government attention on the SME sector. There were two panel discussions where several pressing issues faced by the SME sector were discussed. The panel discussion on “Management and Entrepreneurship development in the New Normal” had HIPG participation where representatives fielded questions on how the SME sector can benefit from port related activities and future business opportunities HIP would pursue.

Speaking on how the Port adds value to the SME sector in a post COVID environment, Nishantha Gamage, Marketing Manager of HIPG says the port continued to operate during the lockdown and even found other opportunities such as crew-changes that were handled via the port. He added that as more vessels with various service requirements such as ship supplies begin calling at the port, SMEs could operate as suppliers by upgrading their offerings to cater to them. As advice to SMEs on how to operate under the new normal Nishantha Gamage says, “SMEs should definitely look into digital technology to develop their business. For example, develop an online platform for ship supply services which can cater to international vessels calling at HIP.” He added that the port will soon begin containerisation business to support the free zone, paving the way for more efficient and streamlined container imports and exports via HIP, which would be advantageous to SMEs.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event the COO of HIPG, Tissa Wickramasinghe said, “We are committed to the development of Hambantota and we see smaller medium-scale enterprises as an important component in this endeavour. As much as Hambantota International Port is looking outwards towards developing the port, we also are looking inwards to develop HIP as a gateway port and for this the industrial development of Hambantota is a must.”

The conference committee comprised nearly 50 members from professional bodies, chambers of commerce & industry, commercial banks and industry experts who had met since April 2020 to find solutions to the problems experienced by the SME sector. Around 250 SME customers of Hambantota commercial banks took part in the event where varied challenges faced by the SME sector and future development opportunities were taken up. Going forward, CMA Sri Lanka plans to hold similar conferences in other districts across Sri Lanka.



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Rootcode wins Startup of the Year and People’s Choice Award at SAARC Startup Awards 2022

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Rootcode, one of Sri Lanka’s leading tech companies, recently took home the “People’s Choice Award” in addition to being bestowed with the “Startup of the Year” title at the SAARC Startup Awards 2022. This regional recognition marks a significant milestone for the Sri Lankan tech space and workforce. Rootcode’s mission to build great tech is well underway, and it is gaining traction faster than ever.

This is the first time a Sri Lankan tech company has made a name for itself in the regional competition, and it is a watershed moment that has focused the global spotlight on Rootcode’s distinct approach to fostering innovation in Sri Lanka. This is also the first time that a Sri Lankan company was able to take home two awards of those presented at the SAARC Startup Awards.

Global Startup Awards SAARC celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and promotes bridging boundaries through innovation in its regions, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, by recognizing them with its most prestigious awards program, attended by top-notch entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, and ecosystem builders from Nordic, Central Europe, SAARC, and ASEAN regions.

Every year, the SAARC Startup Awards bring together hundreds of South Asian startups, entrepreneurs, investors, co-working spaces, and accelerators to provide a platform to highlight trailblazers in the region’s startup world. Rootcode was chosen ahead of dozens of other regional tech startups in the competition.

Sri Lanka is a relative newcomer to the South Asian startup fraternity, and Rootcode’s ability to represent the country on the global stage not long after its inception is remarkable.

“We are extremely humbled and honored by the support shown to us at the SAARC Startup Awards 2022, and being recognized under two categories is a huge milestone for us,” said the CEO and Founder of Rootcode Labs, Alagan Mahalingam. “We have always been driven forward by excellence, collaboration, and integrity, which I believe is the reason why we have come so far and why Rootcode continues to grow every day.”

Rootcode is driven by its focus on helping businesses build great tech not just locally but globally, and its achievement at the SAARC awards stands as a testament to that. Despite the challenging times, this is a win for Sri Lanka.

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INSEE Cement felicitates Sri Lanka’s youngest Commonwealth medallist

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INSEE Cement awarded aspiring wrestler, Nethmi Ahimsa Fernando, who won a Bronze Medal for Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, LKR 1 million cash reward, to support her to pursue her passion. Suranga Kumara, her coach, also received LKR 250,000 cash reward, in appreciation of his contribution towards Nethmi’s recent achievements. INSEE Cement has also pledged to support Nethmi’s aspiration to represent Sri Lanka at the 2024 Olympic games, while also providing the entire cement requirement for the completion of her new house, which is presently under construction, in collaboration with the Manusath Derana initiative.

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Textile maker Teejay knits strong start to 2022-23

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Q1 revenue more than doubles to Rs 23.9 billion

Teejay Lanka PLC has made a positive start to 2022-23 posting Group revenue of Rs 23.9 billion for the three months ending 30th June 2022. The Group achieved nearly half its full-year revenue of 2021-22 in just the first quarter of the new financial year as a result of the low base of the previous financial year due to the impacts of COVID, the depreciation of the Rupee and the passing on of yarn price increases during the last quarter.

In a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer said it had also recorded significant growth in pre-tax and net profit at both Group and Company level in the quarter reviewed.According to interim financial statements, Group profit before tax for the three months grew by more than Rs 1 billion or 291% to Rs 1.5 billion, while Group net profit for the period was up 301% to Rs 1.2 billion.

At Company level, revenue improved by 108% in the quarter under review to Rs 12.9 billion, while profit before tax grew by 323% to Rs 1.5 billion, and net profit increased by 311% to Rs 1.3 billion.

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