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MMBL- Pathfinder Group to introduce commercial drone operations

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The MMBL-Pathfinder Group, a pioneer investor in the private civil aviation sector in Sri Lanka, through its associate, Pathfinder Capital (Pvt.) Ltd., last week announced it was entering the field of commercial drone operations here.

It said in a news release that having examined the vast array of drones in the market, it had chosen Israel based Airobotics Ltd., which has developed an ideal solution for commercial drone applications, to supply the eqipment necessary for the business.

“The variety of services provided by Airobotics includes perimeter security, HSSE monitoring, emergency response, 2D/3D mapping, survey & analytics, asset inspection etc. Drones developed by Airobotics cover a range of business applications, including public safety, construction, real estate, utilities, ports and airports, and industrial facilities, to name a few,” the release said.

“The management of Pathfinder Capital (Pvt) Ltd will seek to go through the application process with the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) and work closely with local companies interested in utilizing the state-of-the-art drone system offered by Airobotics Ltd.”

The release explained that airobotics infrastructure allows for fully automated data collection through flights beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS). This ability to fly remotely enables operators in various industries to operate an aircraft with minimal training or background in aviation.

It added that in homeland security, police officers used the system to reduce response time, in industrial facilities to conduct their inspection work along power lines and railway lines for maintenance work, and in agricultural farmland to observe the health of plantations and check on other aspects of commercial properties.

The release further said drones are usually operated by pilots specially trained for the job. However, with the deployment of advanced technology, autonomous flight capability would render drone operators redundant.

“Airobotics became the first company in the world to receive authorization for unmanned commercial drone operations, granted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel way back in 2017. Since then, Airobotics has received regulatory approval for additional countries and has been operating in the US, Singapore and Dubai with multiple clients and rapidly expanding their global unmanned operations. Most recently, Airobotics has entered urban areas and has deployed its infrastructure to fly over millions of people in the UAE,” the release said. It continued:

“Most have heard of drones in the context of military aircraft engaging in warfare or small drones deployed by children and adults alike for recreational purposes. However, drones are increasingly being developed, marketed and used for commercial purposes. It is estimated that since 2012 over US$ 1.5 billion has been invested by commercial drone startups. Looking at the new trends in the drone market, it appears that in the future, drones will represent a significant segment of commercial applications due to their efficiency and capability in gathering and analyzing data.

“With the Covid 19 pandemic sweeping across the world, many countries considered the option of using drones to move medical items required for fighting the pandemic. Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority also recognized the utility of drones for surveillance and delivery purposes, revised the regulations that controlled licensing and operation of drones, and invited those interested in registering their drones that could help fight against the pandemic.

“The drone market was expected to grow steadily in the consumer, commercial, and military sectors. In a 2016 report, Goldman Sachs estimated that drone technologies would reach a total market size of $100 billion between 2016 and 2020. The commercial business component of this growth forecast was projected to reach $13 billion. Meanwhile, it was estimated that consumer drone shipments would reach $ 29 million in 2021.

“Practical application of drones includes delivering health-related products and consumer items, mainly the last-mile delivery helping to keep transportation costs low. Another application is drones’ ability to inspect hard to reach places within a fraction of the duration taken by visual inspection undertaken manually. Thus, interested parties could deploy drones for aerial analysis of large construction sites and buildings, pipelines, solar panels, electric grids, commercial plantations, and offshore platforms. The ability of drones to gather high-quality images will save time and money for ports, airports etc., and support perimeter surveillance of large commercial projects.”



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Mahindra Ideal Finance One of Sri Lanka’s Great Places to Work

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MIFL team at the Great Place to work® Awards ceremony for Best 10 companies in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance industry held at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo.

Mahindra Ideal Finance is not only one of Sri Lanka’s leading finance companies, but also one of Sri Lanka’s top employers of choice, attested to by the Company being certified as a Great Place to Work for 3 consecutive years, most recently in 2021.The Company has also been recognized amongst the Best 10 companies in the banking, financial services and insurance sector in 2021 by the Great Place to Work® Sri Lanka. As a result, Mahindra Ideal Finance has attracted a diverse group of individuals at the top of their game to be a part of the Company’s various teams. Having embarked on a landmark islandwide network expansion strategy, Mahindra Ideal Finance is also creating new opportunities for aspiring Sri Lankan professionals looking to build solid careers in financial services.

Duminda Weerasekara – Chief Executive Officer said, “As we are growing our presence around the country through the expansion of our branch network, we are looking for driven and passionate people to reinforce our teams. As we have been a dedicated, caring and trustworthy employer since our inception, Mahindra Ideal Finance is the ideal platform for dynamic young professionals looking to launch or grow their careers.”Great Place to Work®, headquartered in the USA, is the global authority on high-trust, high performance workplace cultures. Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

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Daraz Cares introduces ‘Buy one Give One’ initiative – To support families in vulnerable communities

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The unfolding economic crisis in the country has presented Sri Lankans with unprecedented challenges, including scarcity of essentials, escalating living expenses and deteriorating living standards. The impacts of the crisis are graver and more ominous for those in vulnerable communities, where families struggle to make ends meet amidst mounting financial difficulties.As part of its commitment to give back to the community, Daraz Cares has come forward with a social initiative that pledges support for families in vulnerable communities. The initiative themed ‘Buy One, Give One’ will support Sri Lankan families faced with financial challenges with a pack of selected daily essentials. The selected items for the ‘Buy One, Give One’ initiative are, a 1kg pack of CIC Sudu Suduru Rice,a 500g of Orient Mysoore Dhal, a 300g pack of Maggi Coconut Milk Powder, 500g of Orient White Sugar, and 500 g packs of Sunlight Lemon and Rose Detergent Powder, which are all available for purchase via Daraz Mart.

The initiative will be implemented in a manner that, each time an individual purchase any desired quantity of one of the nominated items on the Daraz app, Daraz will donate an equal quantity of the same product to a family in vulnerable communities.Daraz invites everyone to purchase a preferred quantity of the selected items via www.daraz.lk/dmart/ and become a part of the ‘Buy One, Give One’ social initiative.

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DIMO partners with Allianz to provide innovative insurance scheme to its TATA customers

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DIMO together with Allianz recently introduced a state-of-the-art motor insurance & claim settlement scheme designed exclusively for DIMO’s TATA customers.The partnership is focused on assisting the customers to reduce costs incurred during conducting accident repairs through exemption of the owner’s payable portion for TATA vehicles within 5 years of date of manufacture. This innovative facility also offers all TATA customers of DIMO special insurance premium rates at the time of renewal of insurance. DIMO’s TATA customers will enjoy the utmost convenience and zero hassle as both DIMO and Allianz will coordinate all tasks from towing the vehicle to the nearest DIMO-TATA workshop, quick and efficient estimation & approval process, repairing of the vehicle according to exact manufacturer’s specifications, settlement of repair bills to handing over of the vehicle to the customer in original condition.

Ranjith Pandithage, Chairman & Managing Director of DIMO, said, “This partnership will further assist us in offering an enhanced service for our valued customers. As a company, DIMO has always stood for fuelling the dreams and aspirations of the communities we serve in, and it is a pleasure to be able to offer an innovative insurance scheme at a time like this, in collaboration with Allianz.

Gany Subramaniam, CEO of Allianz Insurance Lanka Ltd, said “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with DIMO to offer a customer-centric product, ensuring a vehicle is repaired and restored with minimum hassle.”

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