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MarCom Collective Engage Clients on Sustaining a Strong and Healthy Advertising Eco System

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The MarCom Collective recently made an appeal to clients on behalf of marketing communication industry, requesting them to refrain from calling for pitches and competitive quotations with concepts and to continue to work with their existing partners until the current situation eases for all. The proposed timeframe is 18 months, commencing from 1st July 2021.

In the event a pitch is unavoidable, the Collective has proposed a series of steps for Companies to consider. 1. Decide on an agency based on credentials submissions 2. The proposed minimum limit that defines a project as large enough to be called for a pitch should yield a net ad spend that exceeds Rs 10 million per annum in respect of creative production for ad agencies, a spend of Rs. 5 million per event in respect of event companies, a spend of Rs. 25 million per annum in respect of digital companies, a spend of Rs. 100 million in respect of media independent companies. In addition, it proposes that clients evaluate credentials of all suitable agencies but limit the final selection to 3 agencies/companies only for pitch submissions. Lastly, it proposes that clients consider paying a minimum fee of 150,000 for the pitch work presented by the two unsuccessful bidders. In the case of event companies and outdoor companies it requests clients to ask for cost proposals only.

The Collective stated that, at present the marketing communications industry is under tremendous pressure as a result of the ongoing pandemic and many agencies have had to take drastic measures in order to survive. The added burden of a pitch and uncertainty associated with it, only increases the pressure they face. This request comes because of the significant increase in pitches being called for by clients which are considered arbitrary in nature.

Commenting on the appeal that is being made to clients, Roshan Wijeyaratne – President, MarCom Collective and President, Event Management Association of Sri Lanka said, “The marketing communications industry has been quite challenged due to the prevailing global health and financial crisis. We believe that it is important for us to join hands and use our time and talent productively and not wastefully. The marketing communications industry thrives on relationships, as such we are confident that by working together in partnership over the next 18 months, will only enable companies to recoup some of the losses that have been incurred during the past 15 months. Pitches cost money and time, which Agencies, Event companies Media independents, Printing companies, Research and Outdoor Advertising companies can ill afford.”

​”As a member of the IAA, which represents clients, media, and advertising agencies, I believe the request being made is timely. It is only fitting for us to come together as members of the business community and be mindful of the current situation and lend our support in ways that we can. Engaging and remaining with our current partners we feel is reasonable, as it can only strengthen and build the working relationship when facing such a challenging time.” said, Tharaka Ranwala – First Vice President, MarCom Collective and President, International Advertising Association (IAA) – Sri Lanka Chapter.

Sugiban Sathiayamoorthy – Second Vice President, MarCom Collective and President, Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies, Sri Lanka (4As) stated, “Members of the 4As have raised heightened concern over the significant increase in arbitrary pitches being called for during this time. A huge investment in time and money are incurred by agencies for pitches and the expected business either does not yield the promised revenue, at times not awarded at all or the business is awarded on a predetermined decision leaving a wealth of brand and category knowledge with clients who haven’t paid any money for it. This practice challenges ethical business norms even under normal circumstances but has become an increasingly alarming trend during pandemic times. If clients are compelled to call for a pitch for their business, I hope clients will respect agencies and at least pay for their efforts through the proposed pitch fee.”

 

The MarCom Collective is an industry body comprising of nine associations representing the advertising and marketing communications sectors as well as businesses and professionals associated with them, that came together following the crippling impact of COVID-19. The Collective continues to engage with its members and other stakeholders to bring to light the diverse issues faced by the sectors and how they could work together to address them in a post COVID-19 business environment.



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DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama pawning facility lends a helping hand to those with urgent cash requirements

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DFCC Bank has increased the advances of its “DFCC Ranwarama” Pawning Facility as a solution for families to meet their urgent cash requirements as many families are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has had a significant impact on the Sri Lankan economy.

Through this scheme, all Sri Lankan citizens over 18 years of age with the contractual capacity to declare themselves as owners of the articles can now pawn gold or gold jewellery. DFCC Bank accepts jewellery made of 18 Karat -24 Karat gold, with the articles being assayed using the latest available equipment. Items of 24 Karate will hold an advanced value of LKR 82,000/-, while 22 Karat pieces will hold an advanced value of LKR 68,000/- at an interest rate of 0.75% per month. Those who engage in these transactions are provided a maximum of 12 months to settle the pawning advances at their convenience.

DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama Pawning Facility offers many other special features including the highest advance amount at competitive rates of interest, confidentiality and guaranteed security for the articles, flexible payment plans with redemption options when required and redemption without prior notification. All of these facilities are available with no hidden charges, offering customers the best service available in the market.

You may visit a DFCC Bank branch closest to you to transact or visit the Bank’s website at www.dfcc.lk for further information. Customers can also contact DFCC Bank’s 24-hour contact center on +94(11)2350000 for further inquiries.

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HSBC Sri Lanka recognised as the Best Consumer Digital Bank by Global Finance

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HSBC has been recognised as the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka for 2021 by Global Finance at the World’s Best Consumer Digital Banks Awards in Asia-Pacific. While this is the bank’s fourth award win for this year, this also marks the 13th time that HSBC Sri Lanka has been named the Best Consumer Digital Bank, since 2006.

HSBC Sri Lanka is also the only market in Asia Pacific to win the prestigious award this year.

According to Global Finance, the global health crisis accelerated the need for digital and contact-free solutions by banks in helping create safe and efficient banking services for customers. HSBC Sri Lanka was quick to react in supporting customers in providing seamless digital bank offerings in an increasingly demanding environment, while ensuring customers have a secure banking service with a full spectrum of client-centric banking services.

Through its wealth of digital capabilities and offerings, HSBC allowed customers to adopt a mobile-first approach, and provide them with faster, easier and more secure banking services 24/7. The bank introduced a virtual on boarding capability for account opening, loans and credit cards supported by Adobe Live Sign, eKYC and virtual PINs to provide a seamless on boarding experience for customers. HSBC also offers credit card activation through SMS and an e2e virtual registration process for online banking, offering a virtual banking experience.

In Sri Lanka more than 90% of its personal customers now use digital channels including mobile banking, e-wallets, real-time cash deposit machines and other digital services.

Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking said, “We are truly honoured to be named the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka for 2021 by Global Finance in recognition of our digital capabilities, and delivering important everyday services and features that customers need and expect. As a leading international bank, we are putting the power of our bank in every customer’s pocket, with easier and more secure digital banking. We want to take the hassle out of everyday banking, and enable customers to easily manage their money online, from opening a new account in a few clicks, to making real time payments and accessing credit.”

Senaratne added: “We’re also blending the power of technology with the expertise of our people and empowering our frontline teams with the latest data and insights tools, to be better-equipped to check customer satisfaction in the moment, to understand, and respond to their evolving needs and give customers excellent service.”

Winners were selected by a world-class panel of judges and entries were judged based on the strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings and evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives.

Earlier this year, HSBC Sri Lanka was also named International Bank of the Year by Asiamoney and Finance Asia respectively, and International Retail Bank of the Year by Asian Banking & Finance.

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BoardPAC appointed Strategic Partner of Commonwealth’s Business Network – CWEIC

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BoardPAC, the Sri Lanka-based multinational Board meeting automation solutions company, has been appointed a Strategic Partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), the organisation officially mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote trade and investment between the 54 Commonwealth member countries.

This prestigious appointment will see CWEIC relying on BoardPAC’s award-winning solutions to conduct board and committee meetings with members and maintain relationships across the Commonwealth network at a time when the global pandemic’s complete disruption of business activity has resulted in a surge in the demand for efficient board meeting automation.

The Company said the partnership will also effectively promote the BoardPAC platform to new users and facilitate its expansion into new territories and focus markets. BoardPAC already has a global user base in excess of 50,000 and a presence in more than 40 countries.

Noting that BoardPAC’s latest partnership serves as yet another testament to the quality of its solutions, BoardPAC Co-Founder/CEO, Lakmini Wijesundera stated: “Our growth plan includes expanding our worldwide network, and our strategic alliance with CWEIC will strongly help us extend our presence into Commonwealth territories. The strategic cooperation between CWEIC and BoardPAC is especially relevant in light of the worldwide pandemic, and the emerging need for secure remote working and filling the void in virtual board meetings.”

CWEIC Chairman, Rt. Hon. Lord Jonathan Marland said: “We are looking forward to work closely with BoardPAC. The alliance will not only help CWEIC to conduct virtual board meetings securely and safely, but also align ourselves with all governance, risk and compliance as well as environmental, social, and governance frameworks.” Echoing this sentiment, CWEIC Deputy Chair, Sir Hugo Swire stated: “We are excited to partner with BoardPAC and extend modern digital governance and compliance solutions to organisations operating in the Commonwealth.”

Disclosing that BoardPAC’s excellent track record inspired confidence within the CWEIC to implement its solution on a global scale, CWEIC Chief Executive, Samantha Cohen CVO added: “We’re delighted that BoardPAC, one of the most renowned virtual board meeting automation providers in the world, joined our network of Strategic Partners. BoardPAC will add significant value to our board and committee meetings, allowing the CWEIC to conduct meetings with its members throughout the Commonwealth more effectively. The partnership also demonstrates the opportunities within the Commonwealth, and the confidence businesses have towards the Commonwealth and CWEIC.”

A commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council’s network includes around 100 business and government Strategic Partners (members) including Standard Chartered, Zenith Bank, Trade & Investment Queensland and the Government of the Maldives from 30 countries and territories. Every two years, CWEIC hosts the Commonwealth Business Forum in association with the host country of The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

BoardPAC is an award winning, multinational, paperless board meeting automation solutions provider, recognised for driving simple, secure, sustainable and experiential communications for Board and Executive members. Leading corporates such as Petronas, Deloitte, EY, Mercedes Benz, Prudential, Hong Leong Group, Stock Exchange of Malaysia, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Bombay Stock Exchange, Bank Negara, Maybank, Power Grid Corporation of India, Colombo Stock Exchange, and Sri Lankan Airlines are just some of BoardPAC’s success stories, and the Company said the partnership with the CWEIC will pave the way to several more high-profile additions to this list.

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