Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI), incorporated by an Act of Parliament, as the apex body for SME sector in the country, initiated several measures to assist the SMEs, being the most affected sector due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, during last few months.
The actions included collaborating with other chambers and government institutions in identifying the affected businesses and providing assistance to overcome the challenges, negotiating with banks and financial institutions to ease the loan terms and extend credit facilities and lobbying government institutions including the Central Bank to roll out various relief measures including the extension of the moratorium.
Among the measures, the webinar series organized by the chamber was well received by the SME community and the Chamber gained overwhelming commendations from multiple stakeholders including several foreign agencies and enthusiasts. The webinar series covered a wider range of topics addressing the vital issues faced by the SMEs in the prevailing circumstances and the resource persons included top officials of government agencies, senior officers of leading banks, eminent personalities in the industry, representatives of various chambers and highly acclaimed scholars. The webinar series was moderated by Chaaminda Kumarasiri, who is the strategic adviser to SLCSMI, a leading management consultant as well as a strong advocate of MSMEs and entrepreneurship in the country.
The Chamber recently organized an event at The Kingsbury Hotel – Colombo, to pay tribute to the parties who joined hands with the Chamber in executing its activities during the difficult times. A key item in the event was the felicitation ofthe Minister of Small & Medium Business and Enterprise Development, Industries and Supply chain Management, Hon. Wimal Weerawansa for his yeoman service to support the SME sector and foster entrepreneurship in the country during the last several months, amidst the pandemic.
The President of SLCSMI Prof. Rohan De Silva, on behalf of the SME community, conveyed his gratitude to all the parties who worked hard in supporting the SME sector starting from H.E. the President Gotabaya Rajapaksha, Hon. Minister Wimal Weerawansa, government agencies, banks and other like-minded institutions and people. He emphasized the importance of having a National Policy for the SME sector and pledged his fullest cooperation to the government in driving the sector. Prof.Rohan De Silva also brought to the notice of the minister that, this is the first time in the history SLCSMI felicitating a minister, as the Chamber felt it’s necessary to appreciate the outstanding contribution made by the Hon. Minister to resolve many long overdue issues and his prompt intervention to initiate several policy measures to save the local industries.
Hon. Wimal Weerawansa pledged his commitment to make H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s mission towards a people-centric production economy a reality and commended the outstanding contribution of SLCSMI to the SME sector in the country. He highlighted several measures recently taken by him with the blessings of H.E. The President to save and serve the local industries; such as establishment of the inter-ministerial task force on industrial and enterprise development, curtailment of imports to protect local industries and resuming of operations at the state-owned Valaichchenai Paper Mill.
He further, indicated the government’s intention to establish a dedicated Bank for SMEs, with low interest rates on concessionary provisions and appealed the cooperation of the Chamber and other stakeholders in these endeavors.
The strategic adviser to SLCSMI, Chaaminda Kumarasiri emphasized the importance of the policy consistency between those ministries and government agencies working towards developing the local industries and those in the running of commercial activities, quoting an example from the history where commercial institutions had taken steps to import rice, while another set of agencies striving to protect local farmers. He also highlighted the importance of undisturbed flow of activities within government agencies based on an established road map, which is often hampered due to haphazard changes in the leadership mostly owing to shuffling of ministers.
Emeritus chairman of D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd.and a past president of SLCSMI Deshamanya Nandadasa Rajapakse, Chairman of IDB, Upasena Dissanayake and Chairman of NEDA, Anushka Gunasinghe also addressed the gathering while representatives of government agencies, banks, chambers, professional bodies, resource persons of the webinar series and over 60 leading industrialists in the country graced the occasion
FinTech Hive introduces Moneta ‘Lifestyle App’ in Sri Lanka
FinTech Hive, a homegrown start-up company founded through PickMe’s incubation programme, introduced their tech-enabled, futuristic and secure financial assistance platform ‘Moneta’ to the Sri Lankan market recently.
Moneta is an on-demand, versatile personal financial assistance ‘Lifestyle App’ which enables discerning users make prudent financial decisions with regard to saving and spending. Moneta is working with Sri Lanka’s leading Banks to provide fast, reliable and secure services to fulfill customers’ emergency financial requirements at any given time. Customers can choose a flexible repayment method based on their preference and at their convenience. Interested individuals can access Moneta Service by downloading the Moneta App from Google Playstore.
Ideally positioned to cater to young working executives, Moneta’s brand-promise is aptly titled ‘Life beyond Limits’.
“Moneta works with three pillars: Speed, Innovation, and Positive Social Impact. Our innovative solution allows customers to enjoy fast and personalized services. As a truly Sri Lankan brand, we strive to create a positive social impact on the lives of Sri Lankans. Moneta is a personal friend to young executives, enabling them to cherish life’s finer things,” commented Shayanthan Kanaganayagham, Founder & CEO of Moneta.
Moneta provides young executives the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable, appealing social lifestyle with access to credit on-demand.
Customers can access Moneta Lifestyle as soon as they register with Moneta by providing their name and mobile number. Anyone can use the Moneta lifestyle services whileMoneta Premium service is currently only available to salaried employees.
Moneta Premium Service allows fulltime,salaried employees to access on-demand credit facility up to LKR 100,000 through MoCredit and MoEMI (Equally divided Monthly Installment) based on their credit worthiness.
To access Moneta Premium service, customers need to provide proof-of-identity, home address and proof-of-employment. But this process merely takes 5 minutes of their time. Once Moneta Premium is enabled, customers can make use of the on-demand credit facility in MoCreditforutility bill payments and enjoy access to personalised instant loans.
Sunshine acquires Daintee, diversifying its business beyond Watawala tea
Consumer sector of the Sri Lankan conglomerate Sunshine Holdings has completed its acquisition of a leading Sri Lankan confectionery company Daintee Limited, adding several leading brands to its portfolio, including Daintee, Milady and Bensons. The transaction was valued at Rs. 1.7 billion.
This move comes at a time where Sunshine as a Group looks to strategically expand its presence in Sri Lanka’s fast-growing FMCG segment by extending its portfolio beyond tea, where they hold the No. 1 position. Daintee joins Sunshine Consumer’s growing portfolio of businesses that markets and distributes some of the country’s most-loved tea brands—Watawala, Zesta and Ran Kahata. The acquisition is in line with the Group’s strategy to nurture and build local brands.
Daintee Limited, founded in 1984 in collaboration with Barker and Dobson, a prestigious U.K. confectionery company, is a market leader in the sweets and toffee category in Sri Lanka. At present, the company boasts of an extensive product range consisting of toffees, sweets, jellies, chocolates and cocoa-based confectionery, bubblegum, desserts, biscuits and snacks where Daintee maintains a 40% market share in toffees and sweets. The products are marketed under the brand names such as Daintee, Milady, Bensons, Chito, Chix, X-tra, Mr. Bitz, Excella and Longlive.
“We are pleased to welcome Daintee Limited’s confectionery brands and its talented employees to the Sunshine Group,” said Sunshine Group Managing Director Vish Govindasamy.
“Daintee’s portfolio of brands are household names which have gained popularity and loyalty across generations. The addition of the Daintee portfolio of brands is a significant step towards Sunshine Consumer’s aim of being a strong player in the FMCG sector. With our marketing prowess that has enabled us to be the No.1 branded tea company in Sri Lanka, we hope to achieve the vision we have for every one of our brands to be the No. 1 in their sector of influence.”
The company has two primary manufacturing sites and four other locations for warehousing and packaging in the Ratmalana industrial zone. Furthermore, Daintee Limited is certified with ISO 9001:2015 and is the only confectioner in the country with an advanced microbiology testing centre.
Perera & Sons Bakers celebrates 118 years of excellence
Perera and Sons recently celebrated their 118th anniversary. The rich history and legacy of the Company that has lasted over a century and close to two more decades remains unprecedented in the food services industry of Sri Lanka.
The beginnings of the multi-faceted P&S business that continues to prosper today began with the hands of K.A. Charles Perera who hailed from the remote Southern village of Kodagoda. When this pioneer baked his first loaf of bread at the turn of the 19th century, he could never have guessed that he was about to establish an empire. Mr. Charles, using not much more than an old baking tray and his own ingenuity, went from door to door selling his products – this was the start of the P&S legacy. Standing the test of time, P&S has lived on through today’s fourth generation management of the company.
Quality has always been of paramount importance for P&S. This has been reflected since its inception. P&S won over a loyal and ever-growing customer base due to these exacting quality standards. The undying support from the brand’s customers resulted in P&S setting the standard and becoming a benchmark among the competition. From installing the first electric ovens and setting up cutting edge production facilities, the company now boasts numerous production facilities in locales such as Hikkaduwa, Kandy, Kurunegala, Pasyala, Matara, Pelmadulla, Mihintale, Dambulla, Embilipitiya and Kataragama.
After 118 years of enhancing and expanding their founder’s initial business philosophy since 1902, more than 160 outlets across 7 provinces stand as a testament to the exceptional qualities inherent in the business operations of P&S. However, this has not been without change. Over time, the family-run business has realized that change is unavoidable when in operation for so many years. Thus, it has been their credo to cater to the ever changing tastes of its loyal customers to the best of their abilities.
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