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Ibm outlines cloud and ai-led digital transformation strategy for SL

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IBM outlined a comprehensive strategy for Sri Lanka driven by Hybrid Cloud, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), underpinned by Cybersecurity at a virtual round-table meeting. As organisations are beginning to reset, recover and revive their business to emerge smarter from the pandemic, IBM will focus on helping them adapt to the new normal by infusing AI into their workflows, shifting to hybrid cloud, strengthening cybersecurity and automating IT processes.

As part of this strategy, IBM announced the extension of its global partnership with PMsquare, a Platinum IBM business partner in Sri Lanka. PMsquare will collaborate with IBM on Data & Business Analytics solutions to co-create and co-innovate with, and for clients in the market. IBM has been a key partner in the technology driven development of Sri Lanka’s business & industry for over 58 years.

Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia said, “Sri Lanka has managed to successfully navigate one of the most difficult crises in recent human history and turn around its biggest challenges. The move to Digital has accelerated in the new normal and IBM is leading the way in helping our clients build resilience through a technology driven business transformation. With a strong channel ecosystem, a robust hybrid cloud capability and deep cybersecurity expertise, we are poised to take the lead in helping Sri Lankan enterprises emerge smarter in their digital transformation journey.”

IBM works with several partners in Sri Lanka, helping clients leverage technology in their digital transformation journey. IBM’s strong ecosystem strategy in Sri Lanka enables it to reach out to companies across different sectors, regardless of their size and revenue models.

“IBM nurtures an ecosystem of global business partners that operate in more than 170 countries. Sri Lanka’s partner ecosystem plays an important role in IBMs business strategy as we build deep engagements with our partners to co-create and co-innovate for our customers. Post pandemic, businesses will turn to solutions like Watson AIOps and Cloud Paks to future proof their business. As a global partner, PMsquare’s entry into the Sri Lankan market will make these technologies more accessible and easier to implement for customers,” stated Riza Wadood, Country General Manager, IBM Sri Lanka

Reinforcing IBM’s ecosystem commitment, IBM recently announced a new PartnerWorld programme that provides clear pathways for business partners to create applications, develop code, integrate their intellectual property (IP) or deliver services with the IBM Cloud. This includes helping clients with their hybrid multicloud strategies, which is not limited to just solutions but also services to deliver them successfully.

PMsquare, a leading data analytics consultancy combining international reach with experience across Asia. PMsquare has been an IBM business partner for over 13 years. The company has offices across APAC with representative offices in Europe and North America. It has delivered over 300 performance management and Business Intelligence implementations across the globe. PMsquare Sri Lanka office is located in Colombo.

“PMsquare Sri Lanka already has a customer base of large companies whose combined revenue figures are close to USD 88bn –the annual GDP of Sri Lanka.” said Jason Rankin CA, Regional Director Asia and Group CFO, PMsquare. “After developing the team in Sri Lanka, PMsquare has partnered with IBM to promote IBM Business Analytics solutions to Sri Lankan businesses. IBM is well known for its technology capabilities and now with PMsquare, clients can focus on improving their collaborative planning by using AI powered solutions such as IBM Planning Analytics© and IBM Decision Optimization©.”

PMsquare provides AI-powered IBM Business Analytics solutions that can help companies tackle complex tasks like production optimization, scheduling, routing, demand management and improve their strategy planning with forecasting and advanced predictive capabilities. Many companies have strong ERP tools, but when it comes to strategic planning most still use single user applications that do not have features to support actual planning functions such as stress testing, scenario planning, sensitivity analysis, what-if analysis, simulations, discovering trends/correlations, etc. PMsquare will leverage solutions like IBM Planning Analytics©to streamline, automate and enhance the capabilities of current tools and provide a collaborative planning platform for multiple departments to work together.



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Business

Union Assurance crowns excellence

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Union Assurance PLC held the Annual Awards 2021 to honour its top achievers for their exemplary performance. The ceremony was held at the Monarch Imperial on 8th May 2022, under the theme ‘Crowning Excellence.’ This event, which crowned the champions, was graced by a distinguished leadership team that included Chairman of John Keells Holdings, Krishan Balendra , and Chief Executive Officer of Union Assurance, Jude Gomes.

The awards ceremony recognised the exceptional performance of over 670 award winners, making it the highest number of annual award winners in the Company’s history, a feat driven by a record-breaking performance in 2021. The winners comprised advisors, agency leaders, regional managers, and zonal managers from the island-wide Agency network. The top achievers in the Agency channel (including Best Zone and Best Region) were honoured, while the Ultimate Champion Kalum Jayasinghe was rewarded with a flashy Mercedes-Benz car. Chanaka Appuhamy was also presented with a Mercedes-Benz for his Top of the Table Club achievement.

The CEO of Union Assurance, Jude Gomes lauded the winners for delivering outstanding results. He described their achievements as remarkable since 2021 was full of challenges arising from the pandemic.

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Paduma Subasinghe appointed Director Human Resources at Heineken Lanka

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Paduma Subasinghe has assumed duties as Director Human Resources of HEINEKEN Lanka Limited. He joins a distinguished panel of Management Team members at HEINEKEN Lanka headed by Managing Director Maud Meijboom-van Wel.

Prior to joining HEINEKEN Lanka, Paduma served as the Director Human Resources in one of the fastest growing export companies in Sri Lanka. His exposure in HR spans across large-scale conglomerates, telecommunication MNCs and consultancy with HR agility being at the core of his forte. Paduma’s versatility befits the transformational journey that HEINEKEN Lanka is on; setting bold ambitions that Challenge the Status Quo with the Courage to Dream and Pioneer whilst Caring for People and Planet to bring forth the joy of true togetherness.

A product of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (PIM), his postgraduate studies were focused on Human Resources, and he is a Senior Certified Professional of the International Public Management Association for HR, USA. Paduma is also a member of Rotary International and plays a pivotal role in community service through his active involvement in the organisation.

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Richard Pieris Finance announces resilient performance for FY 2021/22

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Richard Pieris Finance Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Richard Pieris Group, and the sole financing arm under the renowned Arpico brand, delivered solid financial performance for the Financial Year 2021/22, amidst a challenging economic backdrop. Supported by the Company’s committed workforce and prudent management strategies, Richard Pieris Finance’s profit before taxes (PBT) rose by a notable 283% to Rs. 444 Mn, compared to prior year. The company also saw revenues growing by 16% to Rs.2,441 Mn during the period. The Company’s deposit base and asset base too grew during the year to Rs.9,910 Mn and Rs.17,927 Mn respectively.

Discussing the achievements and milestones of the year, Lohika Fonseka, CEO at Richard Pieris Finance Limited said, “We are pleased to inform all our stakeholders that the management of Richard Pieris Finance Limited has successfully guided the Company through some of the most challenging times our nation has ever faced. We intend continuing this trajectory, building on our achievements. Supported by our digital drive, the company obtained the membership in CEFTS and JustPay during the year to further customer convenience. Also, we have introduced several new products including pawning to expand our portfolio. Furthermore, taking our plans to fruition, we have upgraded three outlets as fully-fledged branches during 2021/22 to provide a better service to our valuable customers. During the year, Richard Pieris Group infused Rs. 280 Mn of equity capital for strengthening the company’s Tier-1 capital base and the company successfully concluded a debt capital infusion of Rs. 1 Bn to improve the Tier-2 capital base, which positioned the company well above its peers in terms of capital adequacy. While maintaining stability and resilience, we look forward to continuing our business expansion as we pivot and position to tackle the challenges ahead, while always focusing on customer convenience.”

Underscoring the stability and strength of Richard Pieris Finance Limited, the Company has been assessed with the coveted AA-(RWN) from Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited, one of Sri Lanka’s premier credit rating agencies. The Company appointed Kithsiri Wanigasekara as the Chairman who is a veteran professional in the financial services industry together with Shantha Wijeweera, Kithsiri Wijeyaratne, Asoka Keppetipola and Kelum Senanayake to guide and support the Corporate Management team, to navigate the present turbulent economic environment skilfully and effectively. The corporate management team of Richard Pieris Finance Limited comprises of financial industry professionals in multiple disciplines including veteran bankers and legal professionals. Operating within a resilient corporate governance structure while maintaining robust internal controls relating to risk management, compliance and further supported by digital transformation, Richard Pieris Finance Limited is confident on maintaining its growth momentum in future.

Richard Pieris Finance Limited provides Sri Lankans with a full-range of financial products and services including fixed deposits, savings, leasing, Islamic finance, business loans, personal loans, pawning, furniture financing and digital finance solutions. The Richard Pieris Group is a diversified business conglomerate with a rich history spanning over 90 years, having its arms spread across multiple sectors including manufacturing, plantations, financial services, exports, FMCG, logistics and retail. Its flagship brand, “Arpico Supercentres” is one of the most powerful local household brands in Sri Lanka for over 50 years, serving the community with a diverse range of products. A melting pot of talent, home to a workforce of over 27,000 people, Richard Pieris and Company PLC is one of the largest employers in Sri Lanka’s private sector.

 

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