Kala Pola went online for the second time in 2021 ahead of Christmas as a month-long event held from 28th November to 28th December. Captioned `Kala Pola Online Christmas Edition’, the event was hosted by John Keells Foundation within its digital gallery www.srilankanartgallery.com which provides exposure and sustainable market linkages for artists all throughout the year.
Kala Pola, which was conceptualized and launched as an open art fair by The George Keyt Foundation, has enjoyed a 27-year partnership with John Keells Holdings PLC as the event sponsor and manager. Kala Pola is a flagship project under John Keells Foundation’s focus area of Arts & Culture, as a sustained CSR initiative aimed at empowering the livelihoods of Sri Lankan artists while promoting appreciation and support of the arts among wider audiences within and outside Sri Lanka.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kala Pola first went online in February/March of 2021 ahead of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival and, following its success, in November/December as a Christmas edition. The event attracted enthusiastic participation with 273 artists showcasing 5,034
works of art, drawing 64,700 unique visitors and reporting the sale of 422 artworks and LKR 12.6 million in estimated sales revenue during the event and over 63 commissioned works, a testament to the ever-increasing interest in art transcending pandemic limitations.
The virtual event included two side events, namely the `Spotlight on Artist’ series hosted by Arun Dias Bandaranaike featuring Sri Lankan artists Pala Pothupitiye, Anoli Perera and Sanjeewee Senevirathna whose art has reached global audiences, and a Children’s Christmas Workshop conducted by the Shyamala School of Art.
“We are delighted at the tremendous response received from both artists and visitors to Kala Pola
Christmas Edition at a time when Sri Lankan artists continue to be challenged by the pandemic”, said John Keells’ Head of CSR, Carmeline Jayasuriya. “The John Keells Group together with our partner organizations remain committed to support and promote Sri Lankan art and artists through our various initiatives within the Group’s wider roadmap for Arts and Culture.”
Nation’s Trust Bank (NTB) – Private Banking was the banking partner of Kala Pola Online for the second consecutive time, enabling an exclusive virtual premier for its Private Banking clientele ahead of the public launch. NTB’s partnership also facilitated the inclusion of a LankaQR code payment option through FriMi, enhancing market access for registered artists with buyers.
Arts & Culture is one of the six focus areas of John Keells Foundation – the CSR entity of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate in the Colombo Stock Exchange operating over 70 companies in 7 diverse industry sectors. With a history of over 150 years, John Keells Group provides employment to over 14,000 persons and has been ranked as Sri Lanka’s ‘Most Respected Entity’ for the last 16 Years by LMD Magazine. Whilst being a full member of the World Economic Forum and a Participant of the UN Global Compact, JKH drives its CSR vision of “Empowering the Nation for Tomorrow” through John Keells Foundation and through the social entrepreneurship initiative, ‘Plasticcycle’, which is a catalyst in significantly reducing plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.
HNB Finance inks partnership with HNB Assurance
Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider, HNB Finance PLC, has entered into an exclusive partnership with HNB Assurance PLC, making it significantly easier and faster for HNB Finance customers to obtain insurances required for most of the offerings from the company.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two companies enables HNB Finance customers to obtain the insurances they require for personal and other offerings from the company, without even having to leave the premises of HNB Finance. Since representatives of HNB Assurance will now be stationed at the offices of HNB Finance, the process of obtaining the necessary insurance policies will be both more convenient and faster, further enhancing the overall customer experience.
“HNB Finance constantly strives to elevate our customer experience, particularly via partnerships with reputed organisations of the calibre of HNB Assurance,” HNB Finance PLC Managing Director/CEO Chaminda Prabhath said. “This also serves as an example of the synergies and strengths that HNB Finance benefit from, by being part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial services conglomerates, the HNB Group.”
“We take pleasure in this partnership with another member of the HNB Group and in offering the customers of HNB Finance the highly customer-centric offering of HNB Assurance,” HNB Assurance PLC CEO Lasitha Wimalaratne said. “Superlative customer experience has always been a core pillar of our strategy and HNB Finance customers can now benefit from these capabilities.”
Mega training programme in SL in ICT related skills by Trainocate
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Trainocate, being Asia’s largest IT and human capability development training provider, in a bid to create demand for future ICT related employees will be commencing a mega training program in Sri Lanka targeting youth and corporates.
“With the rapid advancements in digitalization and digital services driven by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and 5G, old paradigms and business models are being challenged. More organizations across sectors are now required to have an online-offline presence and operations, Trainocate’s CEO, South East Asia New Markets and the UAE Zafarullah Hashim told The Island Financial Review.
Zafarullah added: ‘According to a recent World Economic Forum report, by 2022, close to 30 per cent of new job opportunities globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing for the future Digital Economy.
‘The pace of change over the past few years has been accelerated by the diffusion of technology, speed of innovation and rapidly evolving business needs. Jobs have changed and new ones have emerged and replaced existing ones. In tandem with this, the required skills and competencies have also rapidly evolved.
‘Many South Asian countries’ corporates as well as current employees and youth aspiring for employment are not reading this.
‘With a global presence in 15 countries, Trainocate SEANM, a pioneer in delivering cutting edge training and certifications which are industry recognized, will commence helping beginners and professionals to expedite their career advancement through our centers.
‘Trainocate also works with key government and private stakeholders to ensure that beginners and professionals have access to high quality and industry-specific training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce.
‘Knowing which skills are in demand has never been more important. With evolving consumer demands and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we function as the bridge between vendors, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and the partner. We are also the bridge between the partner and customers. We do partner enablement programs for partners through the vendors and then from the partner to the customer. A partner has to commit to the vision and the goals of a vendor. You also need to have product knowledge and become certified, which is where we come in.
‘Microsoft has been our main force and we have been providing free fundamental training sessions, as we believe that primary knowledge is key in building the country’s digital transformation journey. Our business operation is carried out between business to business, business to government and business to customers as well.
‘Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors, as more enterprises embark on digital transformation and technology adoption. The Digital Economy entails different types of skills, depending on their job role applications. Tech-Lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work; while Tech-Heavy roles are specialized roles responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications.
‘Trainocate SEANM focuses on developing skills, competency, ability and improving employee performances and organizational productivity. Organizations spend millions in acquiring and upgrading systems or hardware and give truly little thought to the training process. As a result, a vast majority of companies do not make maximum use of the features and benefits of the software in which they have invested. Proper training will increase productivity and reduce downtime which will complete IT projects faster.
‘Traincoate SEANM is rapidly reaching new heights by helping organizations that are going through a tough time and are in the transitioning period towards technology. Trainocate SEANM delivers well-informed and stable individuals who can provide their expertise towards the rise of these businesses. We have trained many blue-chip companies, along with their partners. Our goal is to develop individuals in tools that are already available that they don’t know how to use.
“Trainocate SEANM offers a range of resources, tools, certification and training programs and initiatives to help individuals and organizations identify and acquire the necessary skills to facilitate employment, improve job performance and adapt to job content changes in the midst of technological advancements and business operating model shifts.
‘We are not just a training company, but rather, a guidance company. We have been doing this for 25 plus years and have assessment tools that help us analyze and identify any skill gaps within organizations. We can use this to help the organizations’ HR and L&D teams streamline their training methods, as we can help identify these gaps and guide them on what they need the most.
‘Overall the company is helping organizations to think differently, plan strategically, save money and get the best out of technology. That is our secret to success.’
Sunshine Healthcare appoints T. Sayandhan as CEO
Sunshine Healthcare has appointed T. Sayandhan as the Chief Executive Officer of Lina Manufacturing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing segment of the diversified company. Sayandhan, currently CEO of Sunshine Medical Devices, has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He joined Sunshine Healthcare in 2017 to spearhead Sunshine Medical Devices and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare business to be the key driver of the Group’s financial performance, helping Sunshine Healthcare to sustain its growth over the few years amidst tough macroeconomic conditions.
Commenting on the new appointment, Sunshine Healthcare Managing Director Shyam Sathasivam said, “As a responsible Sri Lankan conglomerate, we believe the local production of pharmaceuticals plays a vital role in maintaining the resilience of national healthcare systems. When escalating macroeconomic conditions are putting immense pressure on the local healthcare sector, producing pharmaceuticals locally will facilitate access to needed medicines and decrease exposure to imports and international supply chains. At this critical juncture, I believe Sayandhan has demonstrated the right combination of talent and drive to step into this key leadership role at the company.”
Commenting on his appointment, Sayandhan said, “It is a challenging yet exciting time to join Lina Manufacturing when the company is advancing its efforts to develop Sri Lankan-made, innovative healthcare solutions.”
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