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Ideal First Choice to introduce internationally recognized Gulf Oil lubricants to Sri Lanka

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Present at the launch of Gulf Lubricants in Sri Lanka, (from L:R) Sanjeewa Kasthuriratne, Head of Business, Ideal First Choice, Danushka Walpola, Deputy General Manager, Ideal First Choice, Nalin Welgama, Founder and chairman, Ideal group, Chaminda Wanigaratne, Director, Ideal Motors, Ideal First Choice, Gagan Mathur, Head - Business Development-Cluster Markets, Gulf Lubricants India and Vipin Ohri, Deputy General Manager, Lanka Ashok Leyland

Ideal First Choice (Pvt) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the Ideal Group, one of country’s leading business conglomerates, continues to set the pace by introducing Gulf Oil lubricants to the Sri Lankan market.

Ideal First Choice is recognized as a pioneer in luxury motor vehicles and the after-sales service industry in Sri Lanka. With its state-of-the-art facilities across the country, Ideal First Choice has partnered with world renowned brands such as Bosch diesel and non-diesel spare parts and launching a diesel service center, Akzonobel for distributorship of automotive paints and also as the distributor for multi-branded two-wheeler and three-wheeler spare parts available through the company’s island wide network.  The strategic partnership with the Gulf Oil Lubricants India is the latest addition to Ideal First Choice’s expansion of its global brand offerings and thereby, continue to provide a world-class service experience.

Gulf Oil is a well – established player in the global lubricant industry with a strong presence in over 100 countries. Gulf Oil has appointed Ideal First Choice (Pvt) Ltd as its national distributor for its products and to launch the brand in the Sri Lankan market. A celebratory event marking this momentous milestone was held at the JAIC Hilton, Colombo recently.

 Gulf Oil is a part of the Hinduja Group, one of the largest diversified groups in the world spanning across continents. Gulf Oil enjoys a respectable market share in Asian countries given its strong distribution network across the SAARC region including Bangladesh and Nepal.

Gulf Oil has formed strategic partnerships with sport to promote the values of the game, today. They are associated with iconic names like, Manchester United and McLaren Racing. In India, Gulf Oil has been associated with the cricketing legend, Mahindra Singh Dhoni, as it is Brand Ambassador for over a decade and has been one of the oldest sponsors of the leading Indian Premier League team the Chennai Super Kings.

Chaminda Wanigaratne, Director Ideal First Choice and Ideal Motors, commenting on the partnership,  “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ideal First Choice as Sri Lanka’s national distributor for Gulf Oil. As a part of our association with Gulf Oil, we look forward to provide high-quality products and a unique lubricant brand to all of our clients.”

He noted, “In 2008, the government in order to introduce lubricants to the local market, liberalized the market place giving opportunities to the private sector to introduce various lubricant brands to Sri Lanka. Subsequently in 2010, the automotive industry was reenergized and the availability of hybrid vehicles in the market also attracted a large number of customers. Due to this over the years, the demand for lubricants increased and accordingly we have introduced Gulf Oil which can provide high quality performance to customers at an affordable price.”

“We have also begun the process of appointing local dealers for Gulf lubricants covering all districts across the country. Through our island wide dealers we aim to distribute the brand for all vehicles including motorcycles, three-wheelers and vans, in addition to industrial requirements. Moreover, arrangements have been made to provide technical knowledge and awareness about the brand and its products to all our dealers and sales teams. This initiative ensures that we are able to provide customers the highest quality product at an affordable price,” Wanigaratne added.

Ravi Chawla, President – APAC, Gulf Oil and MD & CEO, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd said, “We are delighted to have partnered with Ideal First Choice as the national distributer in Sri Lanka. The country consumes about 64,000 kilo liters of lubricants annually. 68% of this is used for automobiles and the remainder for industrial lubricants and greases. We aim to provide consumers with high quality lubricants for the automotive and industrial sectors. I am sure this partnership will grow to benefit the industry.”

Gagan Mathur, Head – Business Development-Cluster Markets, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd, commented on the new collaboration, “The Company is extremely glad that we are able to introduce Gulf Oil Lubricants to the Sri Lankan market by partnering with Ideal Group. We are certain that the Gulf Oil brand will achieve new heights under the expert guidance and leadership of Nalin Welgama, one of Sri Lanka’s leading entrepreneur. With the support of Ideal Group we will provide a bona fide choice that will allow consumers to edge ahead with high performance oriented products. We are confident that our combined commitment will uplift our brand to greater heights. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners.”



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CSE capital-raising in 2021 reaches record high of Rs. 124 billion

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CSE chairman Dumith Fernando

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

A buoyant CSE in 2021 saw capital- raising increasing to a record Rs. 124 billion. The previous highest, in a 10-year time span was in 2018, amounting to Rs. 105 billion, CSE chairman Dumith Fernando said.

“Last year, of the capital raised, a record Rs. 84.4 billion was via debt and Rs. 39.4 billion in equity. The CSE also saw 28 new listings, including 14 debt IPOs and 13 equity IPOs, Fernando told the media while announcing the CSE’s achievements in 2021 and its proposed plans to be implemented in 2022. The event was held at Hotel Taj Samudra last week.

Fernando said that in 2021, the market had its best year, in terms of ASPI gaining 80.5 per cent and the S&P SL20 improving by 60.5 per cent. Market capitalization also reached a 10-year high of 36.7 per cent of GDP or Rs. 5.5 trillion from 19.7 per cent in 2020 or Rs. 2.96 trillion and 34.5 per cent in 2010 or Rs. 2.2 trillion.

“With proactive efforts by both the CSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), especially digitization initiatives, the Colombo stock market saw active local investor participation, the CSE chairman said.

The active investor base rose to 63,000 as opposed to the target of 50,000, while the number of new accounts was 37,000, higher from 2020 but fell short of the target of 50,000, he added. Fernando also said the CSE more than doubled turnover to Rs. 4.9 billion per day.

Amid those developments, CSE trading activities were positive throughout the day and at certain times the index reached the 200 level. Most of the blue- chip counters witnessed fresh buying interest and prices in most of them appreciated during the day, stock market analysts said.

Both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index went up by 125 points and S and P SL20 rose by 63.5 points. Turnover stood at Rs 7.1 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in TJ Lanka, which crossed 2.5 million shares to the tune of Rs 139 million and its shares traded at Rs 52 and LOLC Finance 3.9 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 111 million, its shares traded at Rs 28.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Vallibel One Rs 582 million (six million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 557 million (1.4 million shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 454 million (3.5 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 318 million (18.7 million shares traded), Chevron Lubricants Rs 263 million (2.1 million shares traded), Central Finance Rs 254 million (2.3 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs 240 million (1.6 million shares traded). During the day 256 million share volumes changed hands in 61000 transactions.

Yesterday the US dollar was quoted at Rs 202.45, which was the Central Bank controlled price. However, in the open market the dollar rate exceeded the Rs 250 level, sources said.

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CIPM and SLSI collaborate to define National HRM Standards

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CIPM Sri Lanka – the Nation’s leader in human resource management together with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) has initiated a collaboration to define much needed National standards in human resource management recently. This initiative will replace the use of varying standards and practices used by people managers in different strata of industry and organizations with credible and accepted international best practices and homogeneous benchmarks. The people management profession has risen to take center stage in organizations around the globe due to the advent of the 4th industrial revolution and now people managers are emerging as employee champions and frontline crusaders in response to the changing world of work brought about by the pandemic. In this backdrop, implementing National HRM standards are becoming increasingly important to successfully respond to the unprecedented challenges brought forth by and in response to the pandemic including changes in lifestyles.

“CIPM Sri Lanka is the only professional body in the country mandated by the supreme legislature as the authority in Human Resource Management, Profession and Practice in Sri Lanka. The time is opportune for us to embark on this long overdue initiative of formulating the National Standards in HRM to standardize the world of work in line with international best practices. Upon completion of this exercise, we will be joining a handful of advanced economies who have defined appropriate national standards in HRM to be on top of the changing world of work” said Jayantha Amarasinghe-President, CIPM Sri Lanka.

CIPM together with SLSI has setup a Committee for Developing National Standards on Human Resource Management comprising of nationally and internationally acclaimed HRM and business professionals and academics, and SLSI experts to take this initiative forward. The Committee, which has been approved by SLSI as a special Sectoral Committee to formulate national standards on HRM, is led by Chairman Dhammika Fernando-Chartered MCIPM and Immediate Past President/President-Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM)/Board Member of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA).

“We have decided to benchmark the existing, ISO, British and American standards in formulating our country specific National HRM Standards with the collaboration and support of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution. SLSI will actively contribute to this initiative by providing their expertise and assigning key members while assisting to establish modalities and SOPs to drive this nationally important project forward. Once such standards are introduced and promulgated, we can see a great potential in unifying and streamlining practices of HR in line with the globally accepted best practices and standards which will auger well not only for the profession but also for whole of the corporate world in numerous ways” said Dhammika Fernando–Chairman, CIPM Committee for Developing National Standards on HRM.

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Emirates adds 5 more flights to Colombo, offering customers 26 weekly flights

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Emirates has announced it will add five more flights to Sri Lanka, offering customers 26 weekly flights to Colombo, including a daily service from Male to Colombo. Starting from 10 February 2022, the added services will offer customers more travel choices and flexibility to Sri Lanka’s commercial capital.

The added services will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Emirates flight EK654 will depart Dubai at 10:35hrs and arrive in Colombo at 16:25hrs, local time. The return flight EK655 will depart Colombo at 22:05hrs and arrive in Dubai at 01:55hrs the following day, local time.

“Sri Lanka is a very important market for us and we’re proud to play an important role with supporting the country’s trade and tourism recovery. The idyllic destination attracted nearly 200,000 tourists in 2021, and arrivals in December and January have been encouraging,” said Chandana De Silva, Emirates Area Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Emirates is happy to be in a position to play a facilitating role by increasing seat capacity to Colombo. The additional flights will also provide more space for export cargo and essential imports like pharmaceuticals.”

Emirates has deployed its modern Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration on flights to Colombo, offering private suites in First Class, lie flat seats in Business Class and spacious seats in Economy Class. The additional frequencies will add another 1,780 seats into Colombo per week, and Emirates SkyCargo will offer an additional 100 tonnes of cargo capacity each way per week between Dubai and Colombo.

Travellers to and from Sri Lanka benefit from Emirates’ award-winning service and industry-leading products in the air and on the ground across all classes, with regionally inspired dishes and complimentary beverages and the airline’s ice inflight entertainment system which offers more than 4,500 channels of on-demand entertainment in over 40 languages, including movies, TV shows, and an extensive musical library along with games, audio books and podcasts.

Emirates has been gradually rebuilding its global network in a safe and sustainable manner and has resumed passenger services to over 120 passenger destinations, allowing travellers to conveniently connect to the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific via Dubai.

Keeping the health and wellbeing of its passengers as top priority, Emirates has introduced a comprehensive set of safety measures at every step of the customer journey. The airline has also been building on its contactless technology offering and has scaled up its digital verification capabilities to provide its customers even more opportunities to utilise the IATA Travel Pass.

Emirates continues to lead the industry with innovative products and services that address traveller needs during a dynamic time. The airline has taken its customer care initiatives further with even more generous and flexible booking policies, and COVID-19 medical travel insurance.

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