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ISM APAC announces strategic alignment with Sana Commerce

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Leading e-commerce solutions provider, ISM APAC announced its unification and transition with Sana Commerce Global, a leading Netherlands-based e-commerce company, as Sana Commerce Sri Lanka.

This move comes after concluding seven successive years in the industry independently, primarily serving the Asia Pacific region and being one of the main development centers for its headquarters.

With over 180 employees, this number is only growing stronger as this transition can now allow it to expand its scope to cover a range of development services to a much wider audience. This also indicates that every individual will now be able to get a global exposure, not limiting just to the Sri Lankan context, and have a rich, diverse, and holistic experience including a multitude of knowledge, learning and training initiatives at Sana Commerce.

Sana Commerce is an e-commerce platform designed to help manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to connect, manage and succeed in creating long-lasting relationships with customers who place their utmost trust in them. It focuses on improving the relationship cycle rather than mere transactions. Some of the recent recognitions Sana Commerce received include being named as a Strong Performer by Forrester, Winner of Best E-shop at the E-Commerce Germany Awards 2021, and Leader Mid-Market from G2.

‘‘Our development center based in Sri Lanka consist of a talented pool of professionals who has been instrumental in our success and innovation, taking a lead on numerous projects and never falling short of exceeding our expectations. With this alignment, we will only continue to grow in leaps and bounds,’’ said Michiel Schipperus, CEO & Managing Partner at Sana Commerce.

Sana Commerce Sri Lanka was ranked among the Best Workplaces in Sri Lanka for 2021, 2020, and 2017, and Best Small and Medium IT/ITes Workplaces in Sri Lanka last year by Great Place to Work Sri Lanka. The company’s culture is built on encouraging individual growth through active dialogue, creativity and knowledge-sharing initiatives both internally and externally including guest lectures at universities and sponsoring various hackathons particularly She Coderess, a Sri Lankans only all-female hackathon.

“We also started out as one of the main development centres for Sana Commerce, but with this transition, we can now reach all corners of the world, covering development, providing solutions and much more,” said Priyantha Bethmage, Managing Director at Sana Commerce Sri Lanka.

The company also strives to empower and help various communities through well-defined outreach projects spearheaded by its CSR Committee. Its ‘Sipsatharata Arunallak’ – ‘Helping hands for Education’ continues to play a pivotal role in helping underprivileged children gain access to quality education, one of its philanthropic goals.

With its new face, Sana Commerce Sri Lanka will open the doors to have a much more holistic and expansive international experience for the employees who were working in a bubble of the Sri Lankan context.



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Berendina bags Silver at the CA Sri Lanka 56th Annual Report Awards

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From left: Sarath Chandra Fernando - Director-BMIC, Charith Fernando - Deputy Managing Director-BMIC, Saman Manatunga - Acting Head of Finance-BMIC, Dilhara Jayasinghe - Assistant Manager Compliance & Corporate Relationship-BMIC, Ranel T Wijesinha - Past President CA Sri Lanka, Jagath Godakanda – Chairman-BMIC, Chaaminda Kumarasiri – Chairman-Annual Report Awards Committee 2021 and Chamila Cooray - Alternate Chairperson-Annual Report Awards Committee 2021

Berendina Micro Investments Company Limited, better known as BMIC among its microfinance clientele and partners, won the Silver award at the 56th Annual Report Awards organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), under the category of Finance Companies and Leasing Companies (total assets up to Rs. 20 Billion). Over 70 companies, ranging from conglomerates, multinationals to non-profit organisations, and SMEs, were honoured at this year’s competition for their excellence in financial reporting. The gala event of this year held on 09th December 2021 at BMICH. Being the first Microfinance Company licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, BMIC is no stranger to this annual competition having won a prestigious Gold Award in 2017 and Merit Award in 2018.

The award from CA Sri Lanka is the fourth award to be won by BMIC during the financial year 2021, having won 3 international awards, namely, ‘The Best Microfinance Company in Sri Lanka’ and ‘The Best Agricultural Lending Company in Sri Lanka’ awards from the UK based Global Banking and Finance Review magazine as well as ‘Donor’s Choice Award’ at the international competition conducted by SCALE Green Creative Adaptation Awards in USA in 2021. Focused on poverty alleviation, BMIC as a Microfinance Institution (MFI) extends micro-credit facilities and enterprise development services that ensure long term sustainability and growth of business ventures of its clients, providing loans at the lowest interest rate compared to other MFIs in Sri Lanka. At present, BMIC manages a loan portfolio of over Rs. 3.1 billion and an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 900 million. It supports well over 70,000 microfinance clients through its 30 Branches in 11 districts. The CA award bestowed on BMIC is another testament to its commitment in continuously supporting its clients to overcome the obstacles during difficult times, while preserving its transparency in reporting, corporate governance, sustainability and social responsibility.

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SLIC repositions Business Club insurance with more focus on SMEs

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Sri Lanka Insurance last week announced repositioning of its Business Club insurance, a trade insurance policy which provides a comprehensive business insurance solution to fit for the diverse insurance need of small and Medium enterprises (SME).

“According to the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka SMEs are considered to be the backbone of the economy with a contribution up to 52% of the GDP. SMEs play a crucial role to battle the poverty in the country providing employment opportunities for the youth as the SMEs does not require capital than large firms. Further SMEs increase tax bases much quickly when compared to large firms,” an SLIC news release explained.

“Recognizing the importance and vital contribution made to the economy by SMEs, Sri Lanka Insurance went back to the drawing board to refine the “Business Club” comprehensive insurance solution to cater to the unique requirements of the businesses,” it said.”

“Therefor the insurance solution was developed to reinforce the success and safety of the businesses.”

The insurance plan will provide protection for any businesses be it retail, grocery store, supermarket, pharmacy or any other covering many perils inclusive of environmental dangers such as floods, cyclone, fire, lightning as well as other factors such as breaking and burglary, SLIC explained.

The release further said an array of main covers are available for businesses inclusive of fire and/or lightening, explosion, malicious damage, aircraft damage, earthquakes along with the free covers such as cost of removal of debris, loss of rental, architect, surveyors, consulting engineering fees, cost of alternative accommodation etc..

A range of additional covers are also available at an additional premium for businesses to choose. Money insurance during transit and while at premises, accidental breakage of glass cover, sign board cover, electronic equipment all risk cover are among the many additional covers offered.

Interested parties who’d like SLIC to assist in developing an insurance solution that covers the business risks can contact SLIC call center on 011 2 357 357.

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German fruit and tea importers stresses importance of packaging

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Jan Paul Bethke, a leading German importer of Sri Lankan fruits and tea, at a recent

EDB-organized event, urged Sri Lankan agri-product exporters to practice effective and superior packaging if they are to be successful in terms of capturing markets in Europe.

“If you package your product well, include a QR code (incorporating extensive details such as the farmer who grew products), and convey a personalized story, customers in advanced markets such as Germany and Europe would develop an affinity with your products”, Bethke noted.

He made these remarks at a Jan. 12 forum forum organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) on packaging and value addition strategies to enhance Sri Lanka’s agri-product exports to Germany, an EDB news release said.

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