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New MD at Kia Motors



Kia Motors (Lanka) Limited has announced the appointment of Mr Andrew Perera, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) as Managing Director.

A company news release said “he will provide continuing leadership to the Company’s and the Kia brand’s next phase of growth in Sri Lanka.”

Perera who joined Kia Motors as COO in January 2013 and has played a pivotal role in the development and expansion of Kia’s aftersales service infrastructure and regional presence in Sri Lanka over nearly nine years. He was appointed an Executive Director of the Company in 2015 in recognition of his contributions and his value to the Board, the release added.

Announcing the appointment, Kia Motors (Lanka) Chairman Mr Mahen Thambiah said: “Andrew’s expertise, commitment, drive and energy have been an asset to Kia Motors during good as well as challenging times. With his support we have persevered with our expansion and restructuring plans even through the period marred by the global pandemic and local restrictions, and we look forward to his continuing leadership in the exciting years ahead of us.”

Commenting on his new role Perera said: “On the international stage, Kia is undergoing a transformation and reinvention that is designed to propel the brand to a leading position in the global car market. This is focused on developing more class-leading electric vehicles like the EV6, and introducing a broad range of sustainable mobility services tailored to meet the needs and tastes of individuals and local markets. I believe that the best of Kia is ahead of us, and I am delighted to take up the challenge of driving the brand’s next phase of growth in Sri Lanka.”

A management professional and an accomplished sportsman at the schools, clubs and national levels, Andrew Perera has more than 12 years of experience in the automobile sector. At Kia Motors his tenure as Chief Operating Officer has seen many milestone developments, including awards such as Distributor of Distinction 2013, Most Improved Distributor 2014 and Testimonial Award for Best Sales 2017 for the Company from Kia; the completion of the Rs 800 million Kia Logistics Centre in Malabe in 2018 and the development of a network of owned subsidiaries and franchised satellite sales, service and spare parts (3S) outlets that has significantly expanded the brand’s regional presence.

Perera serves the automobile industry as an Executive Committee Member of the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) which is affiliated with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

A past Head Prefect of Royal College, Colombo, and an ardent Royalist to this day, he has a B.Sc. (Hons) in Business Management from the University of Wales and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Leicester. He received his executive education from the National University of Singapore (NUS) focused on Strategic Management and followed the Program on Leadership at MDA Associates International, USA. He has also attained the rank of ‘Green Belt Sensei’ granted by the TSD Consultants, USA, for meeting the training and project implementation requirements in ‘Lean Operations for process excellence.’

Before his move to Kia in 2013, Mr Perera was responsible for overall operations for two automotive brands, Jaguar and Porsche, as Group General Manager at IWS Holdings. Prior to joining the automotive industry, he held several key positions at MAS Holdings Pvt Ltd. , working for global brands such as Victoria’s Secret in the areas of Design, Merchandising and as a Business Analyst.

As a sportsman, he has represented Sri Lanka in Under 17 cricket, the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) at U-23 Level and in the Premier Cricket League and was Vice Captain of the Royal College first XI. Continuing his association with sports, Mr Perera serves as an Executive Member of the Royal College Cricket Advisory Committee and the Games Council of Royal College.

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Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers




In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.

At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.

“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.

But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,”  Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”

He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.

In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.

Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.

Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.

Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.


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ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace



EFC's team of trainers visited the selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management

Five companies volunteer to participate in the project

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.

True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.

Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.

EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.

They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.

All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.

Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.

In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.

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Rage Coffee forays into Sri Lanka market



The brand has secured investment from Virat Kohli

Rage Coffee, an internationally acclaimed coffee brand, was launched in Sri Lanka recently.

Originating in 2018 from the visionary mind of Bharat Sethi, Rage Coffee emerged to address the dearth of high-quality artisanal coffee in the Indian market. It fills the void with a unique plant-based, vitamin-enriched coffee selection.

A notable milestone for Rage Coffee was securing investment from Virat Kohli during its initial seed round. Kohli, known for his discerning brand choices, not only invested but also became the official brand ambassador, accentuating the brand’s quality.

Sourcing beans from Ethiopia and India, Rage crystallizes them, preserving a distinct nutty and earthy flavor profile. The brand’s proprietary blend, boasting 100% plant-based ingredients, eliminates harmful waste elements found in other leading coffees, prioritizing nutritional value. Each serving packs an impressive 120mg of caffeine, offering a superior boost to kickstart one’s day compared to standard brands.

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