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LB Finance partners with POTENZA and UiPATH to transform their Intelligent Automation Capabilities through RPA



LB Finance PLC (LBF), the country’s leading Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI), yet again reinforced its vision to be the pioneer in digitizing business processes with revolutionary automation practices of mundane tasks, by partnering up with POTENZA, the Global Digital Transformation Company along with UiPath, one of the leaders in the global Robotics Process Automation (RPA) space.

With the comprehensive stack of digital transformation services covering a vast spectrum of the Finance Industry, POTENZA was able to help LBF unlock the true potential of the business through Digital Transformation and Robotic Process Automation of mainstream activities including Financial Reconciliations and Insurance Payment Processes.

Automation of streamlined workflows resulted in an elevation of the overall ROI of LBF whilst boosting its agility, flexibility and responsiveness. Financial processes including LankaPay channel reconciliations such as Common Electronic Fund Transfer (CEFT), Sri Lanka Interbank Payment System (SLIPS), Common ATM Switch (CAS) and payment transactions pertaining to Visa Cards were also smoothened via the process.

Bank reconciliation could be challenging for any given organization as it involves immense manual tasks to perform from the time the bank statement is downloaded from the corresponding bank or NBFI and compared with the transactions in the core banking system. This equally applies to the daily reconciliation of digital channel transactions such as CEFT, SLIPS, CAS and VISA. The partnership with POTENZA has inculcated a strong sense of agility to the organization along with an ‘automation first’ culture.

POTENZA also automated the entire workflow of Insurance Premium Payments Reconciliation to different insurance companies. As a result, LBF saves more than 5,200+ Man Hours annually and has shown an increase of 364% in the average speed of their operations on the automated processes.

Speaking about LBF’s strategy on Robotic Process Automation (RPA), DGM- IT, Chethana Kahandugoda said “whilst driving the core business with a human touch, LBF strived to provide superior services to our customers by numerous ways of optimizing the time using automation. Utilizing technologies such as UiPath has the potential to change paradigms of how our business operations will evolve along with new capacities that it would create. Our partnership with POTENZA ensured that intelligent automation was not just a mere technological conversation but also a realistic business lead initiative where strong KPIs were the key focus”

Chief Manager – IT/Business Analysis Dinusha Mudunkotuwa commented “through Financial Reconciliation Automation, LBF eliminated reconciliation delays and achieved better customer service by promptly identifying exceptions. Further, Insurance Renewal Automation allowed LBF to handle different data templates of insurance providers seamlessly while achieving fully automated insurance renewal data entry throughout the lease period.”

“Intelligent automation technologies such as RPA are now non-negotiable staples to have in any organization and are ever so relevant than before due to the effects of COVID-19”, stated POTENZA MD/CEO Dhanusha Muthukumarana. He also stated that POTENZA hopes to co-innovate in future with LB Finance to cater to prevailing and potential business requirements by providing more automated and digitized solutions, enhancing the overall productivity of the company.

From its humble beginnings in 1971, LB Finance has seen remarkable growth over the last five decades, establishing its position today as one of the pioneers among the Non-Banking Financiers in Sri Lanka. The hallmark of its success has been the Company’s ability to adapt and innovate its product and service offerings to cater to the ever-changing needs of the local consumer. Company believes the agility and the dynamism in its business model are the key attributes in sustaining its performance at the highest level in this highly competitive financial services space.

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Strong Q4 net profit growth boosts Teejay Lanka’s outlook for year ahead



Teejay Lanka Chairman Ajit Gunewardene (left) and CEO MPubudu De Silva

Strong net profit growth in the final quarter of 2023-24 has enabled Teejay Lanka PLC to end the financial year on an optimistic note despite the impacts of the appreciation of the Rupee, which contributed to its 12-month results falling below those of the preceding year.

Sri Lanka’s first multinational textile manufacturer has reported net profit of Rs 549.1 million for the three months ending 31st March 2024, up 260% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year and a 15% improvement over the preceding quarter.

Despite an increase in sales volumes, the Group’s revenue for the quarter, at Rs 15.3 billion, was down 4% over the figure for the third quarter of the year and 12% lower than the revenue of the corresponding quarter of the previous year. This was due to the appreciation of the Sri Lanka Rupee.

For the year ending 31st March 2024, Teejay Lanka reported revenue of Rs 60.8 billion, profit before tax of Rs 1.6 billion, and net profit of Rs 1.1 billion, reflecting declines of 28%, 49% and 48% respectively over 2022-23 as a result of the softening of the global market conditions during the year.

Nevertheless, the Group ended the financial year with a strong balance sheet with a cash and cash equivalents balance of Rs 8.9 billion and a net assets base of Rs 30.1 billion. Teejay’s net assets value per share of Rs 42 was lower by 6% when compared to the corresponding quarter, stemming from the strengthening of the Rupee against the Dollar, the Group said.

“The Group has reported gross profit of Rs 1.5 billion representing a year-on-year increase of 27% and a 17% increase when compared to the third quarter, as a result of the effective utilisation of the Group’s capacity at its two locations,” Teejay Lanka CEO Pubudu De Silva said. “Further optimisation of capacity utilisation and operational efficiency and stability in yarn prices have positively contributed to this growth, strengthening our confidence for the year ahead.”

Commenting on the Group’s performance in the concluded financial year, Teejay Lanka Chairman Ajit Gunewardene said it was encouraging to note the success of the multifaceted strategic initiatives undertaken to reverse the losses of the first quarter and to respond to market dynamics.

Gunewardene added: “The Group’s long-term priorities include digitalization, establishing and executing a robust ESG framework, reducing costs, developing new products, enhancing synthetic capacity, and uplifting and empowering human capital to enhance resourcefulness. These strategies are expected to come into effect in the current financial year, indicating promising prospects for the future and enabling the Group to mitigate the impact of identified pressures, volatilities, and challenges.”

The Teejay Group owns manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka and India, along with a state-of-the-art printing facility in Sri Lanka. An ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 compliant company and the first in the industry to develop green fabric, Teejay Lanka was also the first textile manufacturer in Sri Lanka to receive membership of the US Cotton Trust Protocol. Teejay is a public quoted company with 40 per cent public ownership and the backing of Sri Lanka’s largest apparel exporter Brandix Lanka which has a 33 per cent stake in the Company. Pacific Textiles of Hong Kong, whose key shareholder is the Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Toray Industries Inc., owns 27 per cent of Teejay Lanka.(Teejay Lanka)

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SriLankan Cargo partners with CargoAi to enhance airfreight booking and payment experience



SriLankan Cargo, the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines, has partnered with CargoAi, a leader in digital freight solutions, to simplify and enhance the airfreight booking and payment process for users

SriLankan Cargo, the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines, has partnered with CargoAi, a leader in digital freight solutions, to simplify and enhance its airfreight booking and payment processes, and bring more transparency and velocity for users than ever.

The integration of SriLankan Cargo’s airfreight services into CargoAi’s ecosystem gives users access to online booking and instant cross-border payment capabilities, while allowing SriLankan Cargo to increase its reach and support forwarders that were previously untapped.

CargoAi’s integration with SriLankan Cargo also streamlines payment processes by offering multiple payment methods, ranging from local transfers to credit card payments, removing the reliance on cash payments and enhancing security and efficiency in financial transactions. Additionally, CargoAi’s CargoWALLET platform facilitates the reconciliation process, automating tasks that were previously manual and time-consuming.

For freight forwarders, the integration also means that they no longer need to provide a bank guarantee or pay yearly subscriptions. Everything is seamlessly integrated with CargoMART, simplifying operations and reducing overhead costs, allowing forwarders to focus on core business operations without the burden of administrative complexities.

Chaminda Perera, Head of Cargo of SriLankan Airlines commented by saying, “Our partnership with CargoAi marks another significant stride in our digitalization journey, aimed at expanding our horizons. We will be able to enhance the visibility of our inventory and offer customers a convenient airfreight booking experience. We are looking forward to extending our market reach and engaging with businesses of all scales with CargoAi.”

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Mövenpick Hotel Colombo unveils ‘Space’ wellness brand



Mövenpick Hotel Colombo proudly introduces ‘Space’, an innovative wellness brand designed to transcend boundaries and cultivate a culture of holistic well-being. The launch of ‘Space’ underscores the hotel’s unwavering commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable living experience for all.

‘Space’ represents a transformative leap forward for Mövenpick Hotel Colombo, consolidating its diverse offerings into a singular platform dedicated to holistic wellness. From the rejuvenating embrace of dance therapy to the serene tranquility of outdoor yoga and the invigorating energy of cross-functional fitness, ‘Space’ curates an unparalleled array of experiences tailored to nurture the mind, body, and spirit. Complemented by a thoughtfully curated selection of therapeutic treatments and a culinary journey inspired by the principles of nourishment and balance, ‘Space’ promises to redefine wellness in Colombo.

At its core, ‘Space’ is more than a brand – it’s a philosophy, advocating for the creation of space for oneself and others in the pursuit of a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. Through its multifaceted approach to wellness, ‘Space’ invites individuals to reclaim their well-being, fostering a sense of empowerment, connection, and community.

In a bold move towards inclusivity and accessibility, Mövenpick Hotel Colombo has brought together its entire spectrum of wellness offerings under the umbrella of ‘Space’. By consolidating these diverse experiences into one cohesive platform, the hotel seeks to ensure that every individual in the community has the opportunity to access and benefit from the transformative power of wellness. From guests seeking a rejuvenating escape to locals yearning for a sanctuary of self-discovery, ‘Space’ offers a welcoming embrace to all who seek balance and vitality.

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