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Mahindra unveils the new Bolero City Pik-Up



The official unveiling of Bolero City Pick-up assembled in Sri Lanka. From left: Upasena Dissanayake Chairman - Industrial Development Board, Chaminda Wanigaratne- Ideal Motors Director-Automotive, Retired General Daya Ratnayake- Secretary to the Ministry of Industries, Araninda de Silva, Deputy Chairman Ideal Group, Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Industries, Nalin Welgama- Founder/Chairman Ideal Group, Suren Galagoda- Director Ideal Lanka, Prashant Kini - Mahindra Ideal Lanka Country Manager/General Manager, Amanda Seneviratne- COO Mahindra Ideal Lanka

Announces launch of the first “Made in Sri Lanka” 1.4 Tonne PikUp from Mahindra Ideal Lanka plant in Welipenna.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), together with Ideal Motors, a fully owned subsidiary of the Ideal Group, recently unveiled the new Bolero City Pik-Up in Sri Lanka in the presence of Minister of Industries, Wimal Weerawansa.

Minister Weerawansa took a tour of the Mahindra Ideal Lanka Automotive Assembly Plant and saw the assembly process of the new Bolero City Pik-Up. The plant was inaugurated in August 2019 under a joint venture between M&M Ltd. and Ideal Group. M&M is the leader in the small commercial vehicle space and this new addition to its existing pickup portfolio further strengthens the company’s leadership position in Sri Lanka.

Addressing the occasion, Minister Weerawansa said: “Vehicle production is not an unachievable feat for Sri Lanka. We are steadily moving in the direction of becoming a nation that produces its own vehicles. The collaboration between Ideal Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) India will put more local value additions into their vehicle production in Sri Lanka by next year. I believe that we will soon be able to see more ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ vehicles on our roads. As a government, we are committed to further facilitating resource supplies encouraging other global vehicle manufacturers to set up their vehicle production plants in the country. The Bolero City Pik-up unveiled today by Ideal Motors and M&M consists of more than 30% locally-sourced components, thereby enabling local vehicle component manufacturers to increase their revenue and expand their businesses. Further, the technology transfer from M&M to young Sri Lankan technicians in this project is an added boon to the country creating wider economic benefits to many stakeholders of the local vehicle assembly industry for its sustainable development,”

Addressing the gathering at the factory, Nalin Welgama, Chairman, Ideal Motors said “Ideal Motors and M&M have been working together for a decade to deliver value to our customers. We are working with local vendors to maximize local value add on the Bolero City Pik-up and deliver first ever ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ Pickup which is better suited to the market requirement. With our island wide network of Mahindra sales showrooms and authorized service dealerships, we are confident to lead this category”

New Bolero City Pik-Up is perfectly suited to various applications with its easy manoeuvrability, big cargo box and reliable, high-power engine. It boasts a strong suspension, with the rear suspension strengthened to take different type of load in city driving conditions. The cabin ergonomics have been further enhanced with a wider co-driver seat, giving the best driving experience during inter & intra-city business trips. All these make the New Bolero City Pik-Up an ideal pick up for urban goods transportation across the island. With a warranty of 12 months/ 50,000 km and minimal maintenance costs, customers are guaranteed to earn more profit and have complete peace of mind.

With the gradual opening of the market amid COVID19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, the demand for commercial vehicles is anticipated to see a significant spike in the future. Mahindra Ideal Lanka (MILPL) is now boosting its production capacity to meet the market demand for its pickups. This is the 2nd product launch in a row by Mahindra after the highly popular KUV100 was launched in July 2020.

The New Bolero City Pik-Up is powered by Mahindra’s proven 2,523cm3, m2Di, four-cylinder, diesel engine providing power of 46.3 kW (63 HP) & torque of 195 Nm for better performance. The Bolero City Pik-Up has a payload capacity of 1400 kg carry heavy loads effortlessly. Its sporty eye-catching wrap around headlamps, a stylized front chrome grille, a trendy dual tone instrument panel and comfortable fabric seats with matching door trims, gives it a more stylish and elegant look.

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ComBank partners with PayHere to offer Q+ users a unique eCommerce experience



Commercial Bank’s Group Chief Marketing Officer Mr Hasrath Munasinghe (2nd from right) and PayHere Founder/CEO, Mr Dhanika Perera (2nd from left) exchange the agreement in the presence of PayHere Head of Developments, Mr Karvin Mendis (extreme left) and the Bank’s Senior Manager – Card Centre Mr Seevali Wickramasinghe.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has partnered with PayHere, Sri Lanka’s largest Aggregated Internet Payment Gateway Service, to offer users of its Q+ Payment App a unique, user-friendly and secure eCommerce experience.

Commercial Bank customers can now conveniently pay for their purchases via the Q+ app to over 3300 registered PayHere Online Payment Service enabled merchants. The Bank’s Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card holders who pay through Q+, the fastest-growing QR app in the country, will not be required to tap in their card details as this information is already stored on the app, the Bank said.

Payments to PayHere merchants via the Q+ Online Pay facility will enhance customer convenience as the transaction will only require the entering of users’ mobile numbers registered with the app. Disbursements via Q+ require authentication using a static PIN which ensures the safety and security of transactions, making the Q+ App more secure than a normal card as the customers’ sensitive data is not transmitted to merchant websites.

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TAMAP drives Stakeholder Forum for Good Agriculture Practice



Secretary of Agriculture Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe addressing the forum

The inaugural meeting of the GAP Stakeholder Forum was held with the support of the Technical Assistance to the Modernisation of Agriculture Programme (TAMAP) at the Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya on 17 November 2021. Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) programme, introduced by the Department of Agriculture in 2016, was a promising step taken to minimise adverse impacts of agriculture on the ecosystem and human health while meeting steadily rising demand for food. Although the programme had an encouraging start, the overall conversion of farmers to implementing GAP remained low. Over the past six years, 1500 farmers registered as GAP producers out of the 1.8 million farmers in Sri Lanka. To align with the current policy of the Sri Lankan Government to improve ecological friendliness of farming, it is important to transform all production units towards GAP farms.

Studies showed that to achieve this goal, the GAP implementation strategies needed to be updated and infused into the mainstream agriculture, facilitating a quick transformation of the current approach towards a macro-level system. Therefore, the requirement for a rapid strategizing of such an approach followed by periodic review of GAP performance arose. This initiated the need for a stakeholder forum.

The key purpose of the forum is to provide a common platform for key stakeholders to meet in formulating a strategy to mainstream SL GAP, propose a way forward for implementation such recommendations, and to regularly review program performance and adopt remedial action to achieve GAP objectives.

Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture who chaired the Forum in his opening statement commented, “GAP programme has emerged a solution to challenges faced by Sri Lankan agriculture today to improve safety of users and ensuring good environmental performance. Reinforced by facilitating legislation and approved national standards, GAP programme provides a strong foundation towards addressing above concerns.”.

Over forty participants were present at the forum, representing the various stakeholder groups comprising producers, distributers, SL GAP team, academics, and market players. Ms D. S. Ratnasinghe, Addl. Director (Agribusiness) and Dr W. M. W. Weerakoon, National Coordinator outlined the status of the GAP programme and the challenges faced.

The deliberations during the forum were broken down into five main areas: Technical, financial, institutional, and social problems faced by GAP stakeholders on maintaining production, supply, product quality, and consumer trust. Gaps in technology transfer and adoption, marketing and quality control measures and means for increased rate of adoption and GAP farm certification; Gaps in current GAP process and procedures, user friendliness and applicability; Future technological needs towards increasing production, productivity, product quality and ecosystem sustainability; and Policy needs for increased adoption of GAP to mainstream GAP into national agriculture agenda.

Prof. G. Pushpakumara, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and Ms Jayantha Ilankoon, ADG (Dev) moderated the forum through group activity, outcome presentations and strategic discussions on the way forward.

Concluding the forum, Dr Nihal Atapattu, stated, “TAMAP, along with the European Union that provided the funding support is very pleased to have assisted to launch several interventions that would promote recognition of GAP as a premier means of strengthening Sri Lankan agriculture in sustainably meet requirements of the domestic and export markets. TAMAP expects that the Stakeholder Forum launched today will be a milestone event in advancing GAP to achieve its potential in Sri Lanka”.

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HNB’s commitment to expand e-commerce and digital payments wins Daraz award



Daraz Managing Director Rakhil Fernando (fourth from left) handing over the award to HNB Head of Cards – Gauthami Niranjan. Also present (from left): Daraz Partnerships Nimesh Dasanayake, Daraz Senior Manager – Prepayments Sandamina Rajapaksha, Daraz Head of Partnerships Dulika Jayamanne, HNB Cards Business Development Executive - Ashokan Harishanna, HNB Assistant Manager - Cards Business Development and Portfolio Management - Imanka Keshini Hikkaduwage and HNB Cards Business Development Executive – Roshan Chaminda Perera.

HNB has been recognized by Daraz for exceptional contribution to its growth, in an independent endorsement of Sri Lanka’s leading private bank’s commitment to expand e-commerce and digital payments throughout the country.

The award, for the ‘Card Base with Highest Overall Growth’, was presented to HNB at the ‘Daraz Payment Partner Performance Awards 2021’. HNB, which ranks among Daraz’s best banking partners, recorded the highest growth on total payment volume, buyer engagement and total transactions month-on-month, for both credit and debit cards for the year 2020-2021.

“This award is an important validation how the local economy – both businesses and consumers – are benefiting from HNB’s cohesive programme to drive greater adoption of e-commerce and digital payments,” HNB Head of Cards, Gauthami Niranjan said. “These efforts are particularly significant at present, given how digital and contactless payments can assist in reducing the spread of the pandemic and support the Bank’s and the country’s vision to transform Sri Lanka to a cashless economy.”

Currently, HNB Cardholders enjoy multiple offers on Daraz, Sri Lanka’s leading online marketplace, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global e-commerce giant, the Alibaba Group. These include zero-interest instalment plans up to 48 months with attractive discounts for HNB Credit and Debit Cards and 10% off site-wide on Daraz for all HNB Credit Cards on purchases made during Saturdays. In addition, HNB tied up with Daraz for its 11:11 and Black Friday sales, which provided HNB Cardholders access to a range of offers and massive discounts.

HNB has been a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s banking industry in the digital banking and digital payments space. These include the launch of digital wallet and payment app, HNB SOLO and introducing Asia’s first-ever fitness-linked savings product in the form of the HNB FIT Savings Account.

With 254 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically-innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd. The bank was also ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020.

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