Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, was recently honoured at Sri Lanka’s first ever Women Friendly Workplace Awards 2021 (WFWP), pioneered jointly by the Satyn Magazine and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka. Seylan Bank was named one of the Top Ten Places to Work for Women at the award ceremony that took place on 2nd November, 2021, at the Cinnamon Grand. The bank was assessed based on how supportive and empowering they were to women at work.
The WFWP Awards are widely recognized as strengthening women’s roles in the workplace in Sri Lanka and reinforcing Sri Lanka’s commitment to the United Nations SDG 05, which targets gender equality and opportunity.
“We are really grateful for the opportunity provided by Satyn Magazine and CIMA to showcase our commitment to equality. Seylan Bank has always pushed for equal opportunities and a diverse workforce. We are happy that 46 percent of the employee base at Seylan are women and many board committees within the organization are led by female Directors. 20 percent of the company’s Senior Management and 34 percent of the management team is made up of women. 20 percent of the entire employee cadre at Seylan is managed and led by women. Seylan has been a safe and welcoming environment for women to work, and the company has provided equal opportunities for women to advance in their careers. Seylan is also actively working on ensuring more female representation at the Bank in the future”, stated Amanthi Motha, Chief Manager Human Resources at Seylan Bank PLC.
The pandemic did have an impact on Seylan Bank’s operations, but this has not discouraged the organization from investing in workplace policies and programmes that encourage women’s progress at all levels and in all business sectors. The Bank promotes and supports women in achieving their professional goals. It has encouraged women’s empowerment because it realizes that the variety and talent of its staff provides value to consumers and shareholders. The organization believes in encouraging them to join higher-level teams, ensuring that women are adequately represented in future leadership roles.
“Employee diversity within a company is crucial for human capital stability, which is why we are committed to fostering gender equality and equal opportunities at work. We believe that the future workforce will be equal, and the organization has set ambitious targets to achieve gender equality sooner rather than later. By making this pledge, we will be able to enhance our female employee retention rate, resulting in improved growth and sustainability for the economy as a whole”, added Sharon Fonseka, Assistant General Manager, Corporate Credit at Seylan Bank PLC.
The Women Friendly Workplace Awards 2021 were judged by a distinguished panel of judges including corporate leader Ravi Abeysuriya, FCMA CGMA, ; Manohari Abeysekera FCMA CGMA – Council Member for South Asia, CIMA – UK; Dumindra Ratnayaka, Chairman of Suvaseriya; Prof. Arosha Adikaram, Head of HR Department University of Colombo; Jeevan Thyagarajah, Governor of the Northern Province; Zahara Ansary, FCMA, CGMA, Country Manager – CIMA and Nayomini R Weerasooriya – Founder/Editor of Satyn Magazine
Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, operates with a vision to offer the ultimate banking experience to its valued customers through cutting-edge technology, innovative products, and best-in-class services. The Bank has a growing clientele of SMEs, Retail and Corporate Customers, and has expanded its footprint with 172 branches, 70 Cash Deposit Machines, 86 Cheque Deposit Machines and an ATM network of 216 units across the country. Seylan Bank has been endorsed as a financially stable organization with performance excellence across the board by Fitch Ratings, with the bank’s national long-term rating revised to ‘A’ (lka). The bank was ranked second among public listed companies for transparency in corporate reporting by Transparency Global and is now part of the S&P Dow Jones SL 20 Index. These achievements are a testament to Seylan Bank’s financial stability and unwavering dedication to ensuring excellence across all aspects.
ESOFT Metro Campus holds Graduation Ceremony 2021
The Annual Graduation Ceremony of ESOFT Metro Campus was held at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall (BMICH) on the 23rd and 24th of November 2021. A total of 1,800 students graduated at this year’s event. Successful students received their Pearson BTEC Higher National Diplomas, Pearson Level 7 Qualifications, London Metropolitan University (UK) Degrees and MBA’s, Kingston University (UK) Degrees and MSc’s.
It was held across two days and split into 9 sessions, to be in full compliance with health guidelines. In addition to the conferring of degrees, batch tops were awarded gold medals and special awards were made to the top achievers of the programmes.
Keynote addresses were by an eminent group of academics and industry leaders including Mr. Conard Dias CEO, LOLC Finance PLC, Mr. Thushera Kawdawatta – CEO, Axiata Digital Labs, Dr. Dayan Rajapakse – Chairman and Managing Director of the ESOFT Group, Dr. Sampath Wahala – Chairman, Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, Mr. Tishan Subasinghe – Managing Director and joint Managing Partner Moore Stephens Consulting (Pvt) Ltd and Moore Stephens Aiyar, Prof. A.A.C Abeysinghe – M.Phil. PhD Programme Coordinator, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Management & Finance, University of Colombo.
Foreign delegates from the University Partners were present virtually and delivered their speeches and wishes for the graduates via video. The Virtusa careers team were also present on both days in order to provide career opportunities to the young and successful graduates. ESOFT prides itself in producing graduates who are work-ready and able to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new economy.
ESOFT has a rich history of 21 years and is the largest private sector higher education network in Sri Lanka, and offers a variety of programmes through an extensive island-wide network of over 40 branches and serves over 40,000 learners each year in a range of programmes from school leaver courses to postgraduate programmes.
ESOFT partnered with Kingston University London in 2012 to offer undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in engineering and soon established a dedicated College of Engineering in Katubedda. In 2013, they partnered with London Metropolitan University to offer a range of programmes leading to undergraduate and postgraduate awards in Computing, Business, Hospitality, and Travel & Tourism. A range of MSc programmes in IT and an International Doctoral programme for IT, Science and Engineering research areas, has also been introduced via Kingston University.
The ESOFT Group has won local and international awards from Pearson (UK), BCS (UK), NBQSA, National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka in recognition of their academic excellence and business performance. Their pinnacle accomplishment was to be recognized by the Sri Lankan Government as a Non-state Degree Awarding Institution in 2019.
Coconut industry products raking in forex to the tune of $ 7000 yearly – State Minister
By Steve A. Morrell
Earnings from exporting coconut products amounted to $ 7000 annually. Such exports include jaggery and treacle, which are key products relating to the coconut industry, State Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion Arundika Fernando said.
Although coconut, as part of the plantation industry, was not given due recognition, it was now a distinct contributor to forex earnings and was of significant importance to the economy of the country, Fernando said.
The State Minister added: “Development of the coconut plantations includes value addition promotion to its various products, which are now key to sustaining the coconut plantations.
“Such development included propagation of 600,000 nursery plants for distribution among smallholders and large-scale plantations to add further progress to the industry. As a result, the coconut industry is part of the mainstream economy.
“The coconut industry made a substantial financial contribution to the economy of the country. Value addition in all products was key to development. Coconut products, used extensively in allied local industries, were contributors to value addition. This is efficiently handled by the private sector.
“Collaboration with the Jaffna University was on-going to develop kitul and palmyrah.
“Soil testing and further inputs were envisaged for development.
“Export markets would include Europe, Canada and the US. This is particularly true of kitul treacle and jaggery. Value of these exports would reach approximately $ 2 million.”
INSEE Cement’s 360-Degree Approach Eases Cement Shortage in Sri Lanka
Operating at maximum production capacity with optimized distribution channels for a number of weeks, INSEE Cement has successfully helped to mitigate the cement shortage that was prevailing in the local market. INSEE Cement’s concentrated and immediate contingency measures across its entire operation at the onset of the shortage ensured an uninterrupted market supply of cement, while also logging a record-high 700,000 MT production output during the third quarter of 2021 for the company.
“As Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer, INSEE Cement took on the responsibility to ensure the local construction industry’s post-COVID-19 revival remained on its trajectory,” stated Gustavo Navarro, Chief Executive Officer at INSEE Cement Sri Lanka. “We continued to fully support government regulations and industrial policies to first stabilize the market, and were able to deploy our island-wide distribution and dealership network to ensure an uninterrupted supply across the island. The loyalty and patience of our customers gave us that extra encouragement we needed to overcome the challenge.”
INSEE Cement operates at a 3.6MT maximum capacity, with a 1.5MT production at the Galle plant, a 1.3MT output from the Puttalam facility and a 0.8MT import capacity at the Colombo Cement Terminal. To mitigate the shortage the company introduced two more additional import vessels to its logistics operation to accelerate production and distribution cycles.
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