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SDB bank hosts Asia Pacific Chapter of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values

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In rallying the environmentally and socially conscious banks and financial institutions in the region, SDB bank was the proud host of the Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Chapter of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, on the 16th and 17th of November 2021. The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), founded in 2009, is a network of banking leaders from around the world committed to advancing positive change in the banking sector. This year’s regional gathering conducted virtually due to the ongoing pandemic, provided the platform for member institutions to share insights on the post-Covid 19 strategies that they have adopted to support people and businesses to remain resilient and catalyse a sustainable recovery.

With over half a million people driven into poverty by the Covid 19 pandemic in Sri Lanka – according to the estimates of the World Bank – and with GoSL being constrained due to lack of fiscal space to invest in economic recovery, the dialogue served to highlight the importance of the financial sector in mobilizing sustainable finance in emerging economies like Sri Lanka and the need for international cooperation to reorient capital to where it is most needed. Yvette Fernando – Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Thilak Piyadigama – CEO of SDB bank made presentations at this regional meeting on Sri Lanka’s progress on sustainable finance and digital finance that served to further enhance Sri Lanka’s position amongst international financiers.

In reviewing the proceedings of the event, Thilak Piyadigama, CEO of SDB bank noted, “It is a great honour for us to have been chosen as the bank to host this event in Sri Lanka. We would have loved to have hosted all the members in person in our beautiful country, but that is not advisable at this time. Thus, we decided on a virtual meeting. We discussed and drew attention to various pressing issues in the region including digitalization challenges, financing of renewal energy projects, asset quality challenges faced by the banking system in the region due to the COVID crisis, and access to finance for the missing middle (SMEs).”

Explaining further, Piyadigama added, “The meeting was structured to enable enhanced engagement of the participants. This helped to further facilitate cross learning amongst members in the region. The meeting also updated participants on the GABV’s work and obtained feedback about how to best showcase the Asia Pacific region during the GABV Annual Meeting 2022. Overall, we are very pleased with the levels of engagement we saw, as participants discussed furthering sustainable progress in the sector. We also take this opportunity to thank the GABV for expressing their confidence in SDB bank, by choosing us to host this international conference here in Sri Lanka.”

SDB bank caters to a wide clientele including a significant retail banking portfolio. However, the Bank’s focus areas are SME development, women empowerment through financing women-led enterprise and digital inclusion, with a view to taking digital banking to the masses, through its extensive network.

The collective goal of the GABV is to change the banking system so that it is more transparent, supports economic, social and environmental sustainability, and is composed of a diverse range of banking institutions serving the real economy. The Alliance connects banks, banking cooperatives and credit unions, microfinance institutions and community development banks and supports their work towards positive systemic change within financial systems.



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Dialog Enterprise with Fortinet strengthens the security of its Managed SD-WAN Service for Sri Lankan Enterprises

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Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, announced the strengthening of its Flexnet managed SD-WAN service leveraging the Secure SD-WAN solution from Fortinet, a global leader in cybersecurity with broad and integrated solutions.

Dialog Enterprise pioneered the Sri Lanka’s first Managed SD-WAN service with the release of its Flexnet offering since September 2019. Two years after, most modern organisations are embracing digital acceleration, driving demand for greater agility in networks in order to stay competitive and deliver superior customer experiences. With the scale and variety of cyber threats continuing to grow, Dialog Enterprise enhances its Flexnet service with the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN accelerates network and security convergence, aims at simplifying WAN architecture, and securing work-from-anywhere new normality with embedded ZTNA (zero-trust network access) Access Proxy for explicit per-user application access controls. It delivers integrated security and safer access to internal and external data and applications wherever they are residing, on-premises, or in the cloud.

By integrating Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution to its Flexnet managed SD-WAN service, Dialog Enterprise will enable its customers the ability to cost-effectively eliminate security gaps in their network while gaining the benefits of advanced routing and self-healing WAN capabilities to ensure superior quality of experience for their users, and an increased business uptime. Additionally, an improved connectivity and user experience can be achieved through an integrated security by prioritizing network traffic and reduced latency. As well as the benefit of an integrated security by prioritizing network traffic is achieved by offering, unified thread management, SSL inspection and proactive security threat prevention.

“With the recent shift to remote working, cloud adaptation and SaaS usage accelerating SD-WAN adoption with organizations, many of our customers in the government, finance, retail, services and manufacturing industries will benefit from Dialog Enterprise’s Managed SD-WAN based on the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution. It provides us with an integrated, one-stop management and orchestration console to ensure that connections, configurations, advanced routing features and protections are easily configurable. Being the only Fortinet Managed Security Service Provider in Sri Lanka, we have already been able to provide Secure SDWAN solutions with Fortinet in over 1000 locations across the island.” said Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer – Dialog Enterprise at Dialog Axiata PLC.

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SLT-MOBITEL completes first phase of Amazon Alexa integrations for Home Broadband customers offering exciting digital lifestyles

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The first phase of fully integrating Amazon Alexa for SLT-MOBITEL Home Broadband customers was successfully concluded recently. Now customers can seek help from Amazon’s virtual smart assistant Alexa and obtain a range of information on SLT-MOBITEL services such as Voice, Broadband, PEO TV services etc. ensuring subscribers experience exciting new intelligent built digital lifestyles.

Pictured Dilshan Boteju, Chief Executive Officer of The Connection Workshop, handing over the report on the concluded project to Prabhath Dahanayake, Chief Marketing Officer SLT. Also present were Lathika Weerasinghe, Administrative Coordinator, Anup Silva, Lead Developer Alexa program of The Connection Workshop, Ayoma Wickramaarachchi, Deputy General Manager, Product Development & Management of SLT, Ruwan Rekogama, Engineer-Product Development & Management of SLT.

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Loops wins big at SLIM DIGIS

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Award-winning creative-led integrated marketing agency, Loops Integrated, received 6 recognitions, including a Gold, at the SLIM DIGIS Awards, held on the 25th of January 2022. Loops Integrated received the only Gold DIGI in the Banking and Finance category for Softlogic Invest’s “This Could Be You” campaign, a Silver DIGI in the Performance Marketing category for British Council’s IELTS programme, and another Silver DIGI in the Best Use of Branded Content category for Sri Lankan Airlines. In addition to these three prestigious awards, Loops Integrated also received 3 finalist awards for the Banking & Finance, Performance Marketing and Best Use of Branded Content categories.

Discussing the awards, CEO at Loops, Wasaam Ismail said, “We work with our clients as partners, therefore it’s important to say a big thank you to them for having faith in us and letting us take their campaigns to town. Putting together creative-led campaigns amidst working from home during periodic lockdowns is nothing short of a herculean undertaking, which would not have been possible without our stellar team. Therefore, I must also acknowledge and appreciate our exceptionally talented, committed, dedicated and mind-blowingly fun team here at Loops, without whom none of this would be possible. A big thank you also to SLIM for ensuring that digital marketers in Sri Lanka have a national platform upon which to be recognized.”

The SLIM DIGIS awards is organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and recognizes and celebrates Sri Lanka’s best digital marketing work, innovation and talent. SLIM is the national body for marketing in Sri Lanka and the SLIM DIGIS is among Sri Lanka’s most prestigious awards programmes that recognize innovation and budding talent in the digital marketing space.

Loops is an award-winning Creative Led Integrated Marketing Agency with operations in Sri Lanka, Qatar, Malaysia & Australia. The agency has worked with over 250 brands in 15 countries and has over 50 awards for its efforts in creative and digital excellence, awarded by both international and local bodies. Visit www.loops.lk to learn more.

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