OREL IT, a well reputed name synonymous with distinctive groundbreaking technology and innovation both in Sri Lanka and globally, recently appointed Dr. Upendra Pieris as its Chief Executive Officer who has been at the forefront of the company’s accelerated growth in his previous capacity as the Vice President to the organization.
In his new role, Dr. Upendra will continue to share his visionary leadership, knowledge and direction across the company and steer it to be a global technology partner for industrial and commercial challenges and innovation, enabling endless possibilities through industry 4.0 whilst impacting and enriching lives and communities.
With decades of experience in the global IT industry, Dr. Upendra is the inspiration behind Orel IT’s incredible success within a short span of time. He is a renowned professional in various fields to include AI Vision Solutions, IT Services Management, Business Analysis, Project Planning and Management, and Software Process Management among others.
OREL IT has grown exponentially from a two-person fraternity to a 4,500 plus strong company in just over a decade. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Orel Corporation which has today evolved into a highly sought-after multi-vertical player with core interests in building infrastructure, digital infrastructure, digital commerce, education, IOT, transportation, healthcare, with presence in six continents.
Recently, Dr. Upendra was also inducted as Member of the prestigious Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only organization that brings together some of the world’s leading and emerging CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives and entrepreneurs.
Dr. Upendra has contributed immensely to the IT industry of Sri Lanka, encouraging and inspiring young professionals to be confident, aspiring, and innovative leaders with a strategic, conscious mindset. He actively takes part as a speaker in many industry forums and discussions. He is presently an Executive Committee Member for AI Center of Excellence and Entrepreneurship Forum at Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), and Digital Chapter and Software Chapter of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS).
He is also a Board Director of the ICT Industry Skills Council and an Advisory Committee Member for the IT/BPM Sector at the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. Last year, he obtained a doctorate in information technology from the European International University in Paris. Dr. Upendra continues his dedication and commitment to help bridge the gaps to increase digital literacy in Sri Lanka and indulges in various socially responsible causes and initiatives.
Under Dr. Upendra’s leadership, the company has been consecutively recognized with many awards such as NCE Export Awards by National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), Entrepreneur Awards – Western Province by National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), and Presidential Export Awards.
Throughout its corporate vocation since 2010, OREL IT provides end-to-end technology solutions such as Data Services, mobile and software development; R&D, cyber security, including AI and machine learning, to a world class client base serving in 13 diverse industries across the globe. In fact, the company’s unwavering focus on these technologies coupled with the potentiality of its spirited team has made Orel IT to stand firm and strong in the global IT industry as a leading business entity at present.
SLT-MOBITEL donates fourth PCR machine to Matara District Hospital
Recognising the importance to enhance Sri Lanka’s PCR testing capacity to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to protect citizens, SLT-MOBITEL continues its support by donating yet another vital PCR machine to the District General Hospital in Matara recently.
The donation of the PCR machine valued at over Rs. 5.7 million is part of SLT-MOBITEL’s ‘Sabandiyawe Sathakaraya’ CSR initiative in further strengthening the nation’s healthcare systems and assisting communities in need.
The equipment was handed over to the Deputy Director of the Matara Hospital Doctor Upali Rathnayaka in the presence of Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT-MOBITEL; Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL; Kiththi Perera, CEO, SLT; Shashika Senarath, CMO, Mobitel along with Regional GM, SLT; Regional Head – Mobitel and Hospital Staff.
Previously, PCR machines were donated to the Base Hospital, Karawanella, District General Hospital, Matale and the University Hospital of the Kotelawala Defense University. SLT-MOBITEL appreciates the support received from all Sri Lankans towards ‘Daana Paaramitha’ which was conceptualized as a platform to further increase community involvement in carrying out relief efforts to support families affected by the pandemic.
Extension of lockdown negatively impacts CSE
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading activities commenced yesterday in a lacklustre manner with little share-buying interest and later on became negative following the government’s announcement on the lockdown extension until October 1, stock market analysts said.
The Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC) at the Port City was set to commence this month and has been delayed until December owing to the current Covid 19 situation. This also affected CSE trading activities yesterday, analysts said.
Consequently, the stock market lost steam yesterday, closing on a negative note as investor sentiment remained erratic due to internal and external environmental factors. Both indices moved downwards or to negative territory despite healthy turnover in the market. The All Share Price Index went down by 46.09 points and S and P SL20 declined by 17.93 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.8 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka, where 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 101.1 million, its shares trading at Rs. 158.50 and Sampath Bank one million shares crossed for Rs. 49.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 49.50.
In the retail market, some companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs. 1.2 billion (7.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 604 million (4.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 540 million (58.3 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 204 million (2 million shares traded).
It is said that following two sessions of gains, the indices closed in the red due to price declines in large-cap stocks as investors opted to book modest returns after the recent sharp rally. Stocks such as Expo, LOLC, and JKH, which saw sharp gains in the past two sessions witnessed profit-taking at higher levels and weighed on the momentum throughout the session.
Further, high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Tokyo Cement Company and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Industrial Asphalts. During the day 153 million share volumes changed hands in 24000 transactions.
As of yesterday, the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar was equal to 199.607 Sri Lankan rupees. This is an increase of 7.856656 percent (or +14.5401 LKR) compared with the same time last year (17 September 2020), when 1 US dollar equaled 185.067 Sri Lankan rupees.
Lockdown takes toll on Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector activities
The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2021 has slowed down the manufacturing activities in the country. Accordingly, the manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 45.1 in August 2021 with a fall of 12.7 index points from the previous month, mainly driven by the decrease in New Orders, Production, Employment, and Stock of Purchases sub-indices. The decline in New Orders and Production, especially in the manufacture of food & beverages, furniture, and textiles & wearing apparel sectors, have mainly contributed to the overall decrease of the manufacturing PMI. Many respondents in those sectors highlighted that their local orders and distribution channels were affected due to the lockdown imposed as a measure of containing the pandemic. Further, many of them also emphasised that factory operations were disrupted due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees. Employment sub-index also declined in line with these developments.
The decrease of Stock of Purchases was in line with the decline in New Orders and Production. Further, the difficulties encountered in placing purchase orders and in settling foreign payments also adversely affected the supply chain of raw materials and production schedules. Many respondents stressed that the continuous increase in the cost of imported raw materials adversely affected their profit margins. Meanwhile, Suppliers’ Delivery Time lengthened at a slower rate in August 2021. The manufacturers cautioned that the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic would continuously hinder the prospects of the manufacturing sector, yet, overall expectations for manufacturing activities for the next three months remained above the neutral threshold.
Services PMI dropped to an index value of 46.2 in August 2021 with the restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the COVID-19. New Businesses, Business Activity, Employment and Expectations for Activity sub-indices recorded declines. New Businesses decreased in August compared to the previous month mainly with the declines observed in wholesale and retail trade, insurance, real estate, and education sub-sectors. Business Activities across most of the sub-sectors such as, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, insurance and other personal activities reported considerable declines indicating the adverse effects of travel restrictions on their business operations. Nevertheless, transportation sub-sector recorded some improvements solely due to the growth in freight volumes. Moreover, financial services sub-sector also indicated improvements despite the disturbances from travel restrictions. Employment continued to fall at a higher pace as retirements and voluntary resignations exceeded the number of recruitments carried out during the month. Backlogs of Work increased at a higher pace in August along with the reduction in staff availability amid travel restrictions and growing COVID-19 infections of staff. (CBSL)
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