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Microsoft and Trainocate pave the way for a technologically brighter tomorrow through digital skills training for students

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Microsoft and Trainocate, a learning and development service provider, will work alongside each other to bridge the digital skills divide in Sri Lanka and route students to diverse and equitable hiring and employment opportunities.

With this partnership Microsoft is aiming to reach more than 600 undergraduate and graduate students in Sri Lanka to address the needs of students who require digital skills to stay competitive and empower them to seize the employment opportunities of the future.

Trainocate was recognized as the 2021 Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year. The company was honored among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

“Trainocate is thrilled to be collaborating with Microsoft. Now more than ever, we must work to uplift and train the youth to ensure they are meeting the needs of the current labor market,” said Zafarullah Hashim, Chief Executive Officer of Trainocate SEA New Markets and UAE. “We hope that our partnership with Microsoft becomes a model for digital workforce training. We are committed to this effort and appreciate the investments that Microsoft is making in our community.”

Microsoft is committed to building an ecosystem that provides upskilling, re-skilling and cross-skilling for in-demand jobs and a path to employment that supports long-term careers. The company will award free vouchers to 500 participants to help them sit for their Microsoft Azure Certification Exam. The top 10 students will receive a scholarship to study accredited instructor-led role-based Microsoft certification courses. The students that complete these courses will be offered internship positions at leading global ICT-BPO companies operating in Sri Lanka.

“Equitable access to digital skills training creates long-term career pathways for our students, unlocking the type of economic opportunities that strengthen communities,” said Sook Hoon Cheah, General Manager for the Southeast Asia New Markets in Asia-Pacific, Microsoft “We believe that success hinges on our ability to foster a culture of innovation and empowering our diverse workforce to evolve, adapt and grow. Our partnership with Trainocate serves as a model for the kind of positive change that can be driven in Sri Lanka by working together.”

Microsoft aims to empower every student on the planet to achieve more. The company is helping education institutions digitally transform to engage students, empower educators, optimize institutions, and transform learning.



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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