The Next 100 Global Companies to watch, highlights some of the most exciting, innovative, and promising businesses from around the world. At the 2021 Next 100 Global Awards, LOLC Finance was named the Finance Company for Credit Cards.
The Next 100 Global Companies list recognizes companies at the forefront whose strategies, achievements, dedication, and leadership of those who demonstrate outstanding achievement and are committed to delivering the products clients need and the results clients want, act as a catalyst for the industry.
A wide range of criteria has been used for the selection of these companies worldwide, including leadership and team experience, quality and track record, industry footprint – regional / global, social contribution and economic impact, level of expertise, growth rate, technological advantages, customer response and engagement, disruptiveness of the solution in its respective markets and impact on their respective industry.
Taking Sri Lanka’s largest segment on a journey towards a cashless world, LOLC Finance – Sri Lanka’s largest Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) launched its Credit Card operations in late 2018. Launched in partnership with MasterCard™, the main aim of the Card proposition was to enhance the value added services offered to existing customers. LOLC Finance has issued eight types of cards catering to diverse customer segments and needs. A significant, 70,000 cards have been issued at the end of three years, since the first series of cards were issued, despite unprecedented systematic shocks the industry encountered.
In early 2021, LOLC Finance introduced a new Credit Card named, SAVI which is exclusively designed to the Pensioners and State sector employees across Sri Lanka. The card was introduced as a part of LOLC Finance’s overall digitisation strategy, which is in line with the Central Bank’s ‘2020 – Year of Digital Transactions’ plan, to promote and create awareness on digital payments throughout the country. SAVI was awarded the “best new credit card in Sri Lanka for 2021” by the Global Banking and Finance Review.
Speaking about the global recognition, Hasala Thilakaratne, Head of SME and Consumer Business of LOLC Finance PLC said, “Despite the challenging operating environment which was experienced throughout 2020 and 2021, the Credit Cards unit successfully achieved a portfolio of over Rs. 2.2 bn. One of the key factors for this impressive performance was the continued investment and drive towards introducing new products and upgrading the existing credit card features and investing in digital technologies, to be ahead of the curve. The introduction of continuous value additions and customer benefits played a major role in winning such global recognition and I believe that we are on the right track as our customer centric approach is reason behind our success”.
Chief Manager, Business Development of LOLC Finance Credit Cards, Senal Tharanga added, “First and foremost, I am extremely thankful for our staff for their dedication and hard work, despite the many setbacks and challenges we experienced amidst a global pandemic. An online credit card application was launched for customers to apply for a credit card even during travel restrictions, purely as an online application or through a QR scan. In keeping with our customer-oriented approach, cardholders were given an extension on payments and granted fee waivers based on individual needs across the country, depending on which areas were most affected by the pandemic.
LOLC Finance is the country’s largest NBFI with the largest Fixed Deposit and Savings Deposit base among the Registered Finance Companies of Sri Lanka.
CSE Director Board appoints new chairman
The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.
The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”
Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”
SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka
As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.
Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.
Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”
Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura
Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.
The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.
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