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SLIM Sri Lanka unveils Agribusiness Entrepreneurship programme



Creating an opportunity for agriculture businesses to identify skills and utilise them

by Sanath Nanayakkare

SLIM Sri Lanka has taken a new initiative towards its commitment to restarting SrI Lanka’s economy by uplifting skills in the agribusiness sector.

With this objective in mind, SLIM recently unveiled their new Certificate in Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (CABE) which generates a number of learning outcomes, and entrepreneurial opportunities for the certificate holders.

The talent pool emerging from the programme is expected to help boost agriculture’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the economy.

The course is designed to provide insights on market strategy, technical/practical skills and financial assistance available in the market for agripreneurs.

The collaborators for the course of sturdy are: Sri Lanka Agripreneurs Forum, SAPP, FSLGA, The Ceylon Chamber Academy, SAPP, EDB, SLT Mobitel, Keells, Samaposha, and Onesh Agri.

The learning outcomes of the course are:

1, Acquisition of entrepreneurial skills essential for starting and managing a successful, sustainable agribusiness ventures

2. Gaining marketing, accounting, supply chain management and finance skills to make sound business decisions

3. Understanding marketing as a philosophy, a business function, evolution and its key compositions

4. Applying the correct approaches to market segmentation, targeting and positioning in developing marketing strategies

To impart the knowledge on above areas, the course consists of 11 modules including Smart Agriculture and building an entrepreneurial business plan.

The course will have a blended learning approach with a combination of field training and online sessions

The content and presentations will be made in all three languages. The course fee is Rs. 35,000

This process driven course of study at grassroots level could help collaborative partners to identify and pick the right talent for their own organisations.

Further, the certificate holders with right talent will likely have local and overseas market opportunities with the EDB, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – Academy and other collaborative partners.

Suresh de Mel, Export Development Board Chairman who was the chief guest of the event assured EDB’s fullest support to SLIM and other collaborative partners to make the course a fruitful one for the agribusiness sector in Sri Lanka and for potential agripreneurs in terms of creating marketing opportunities for them.

SLIM President Roshan Fernando said,” This course of study will provide the participants with a rich and rewarding experience in agri-sector marketing. This is the promise we give for transformation of our value added agriculture produces to be effectively marketed in Sri Lanka and overseas. SLIM will be building a competent pool of agri- business marketers as an outcome of this programme. I urge the agr-business leaders gathered here to pick the right talent from the pool when it’s ready, to nurture them and if possible help take them to graduation level, because in the future your organizations will benefit from their meaningful contribution”.

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HNB joins CBSL to promote ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign in Kandy



HNB PLC once again joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage the public in the Kandy district towards a cashless payment ecosystem.

HNB, together with other financial institutions and telecommunication partners, participated in the day-long event held at the Kandy City Center. The bank raised awareness regarding its LANKAQR integrated HNB SOLO payment app while onboarding merchants during the promotional campaign.

“During the early stages of the pandemic we witnessed many of our customers and members of the public seamlessly adopt our cashless and contactless payment app HNB SOLO. With COVID and the subsequent launch of the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign the number of users of these types of systems have increased exponentially.

“Given that the mutual vision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and HNB is for a financially and technologically empowered Sri Lanka, HNB is proud to serve as an enthusiastic partner to roll out LANKAQR island-wide. The fact that we now have merchants in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka making this shift is another major milestone in this digitalization journey,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.


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ComBank’s ATM network sets new records for cash dispensed during festive season



The automated teller machine (ATM) network of Commercial Bank of Ceylon dispensed a record Rs 8.818 billion on 9th and 10th April 2021, shattering the previous records for the highest and second highest cash disbursements for a 24-hour period, as Sri Lanka’s leading private bank facilitated the celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The disbursements of Rs 4.498 billion on April 9 and Rs 4.320 billion on the following day represented a substantial increase over the single-day values recorded in previous years.

In total, Commercial Bank dispensed Rs 41.748 billion via its ATM network between 1st and 15th April 2021 at an average of Rs 2.783 billion per day, reaffirming the indispensable role it plays in the lives of Sri Lankans, as well as the reliability and robustness of the network. On seven of these 15 days the network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, and on five days disbursements exceeded Rs 3 billion a day, the Bank said.

Comprising of 890 ATMs, the network processed 2.434 million transactions over the 15 days at an average of 168,988 transactions a day, while on 9th April, the number of transactions processed totalled 233,990 at an average of 9,749 transactions per hour or 162 transactions per minute.

The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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‘Ceylinco VIP Cyber Tharu’ to showcase Sri Lankan talent



Ceylinco General Insurance has announced an online competition with a novel concept to showcase Sri Lankan talent by providing a platform for them with the opportunity to win handsome cash prizes.

“This time, our effort is to organize an online competition that provides an opportunity for Sri Lankan people to display their talent and also to identify hidden talents whilst rewarding them. There will be five overall winners whose prize money will be over Rs. 1 million and each category winner will get Rs 100,000/-. Ten randomly picked voters too will receive handsome cash awards,” said Patrick Alwis, chairman CEO of Ceylinco General Insurance.

The guidelines and the criteria of the competition were announced recently through a dedicated website and other social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, twitter, You Tube as well as LinkedIn. Contestants can perform under five categories, namely, singing, dancing, instrumental performances, fashion modelling and funny videos / Standup comedy. Individuals over 18 years could perform under the individual category whilst the group category will have no age limit.

Under the group category either families or a group of friends could take part. Each entry will have to be specially recorded for this competition. Prior to recording the performance, they should download the image of the logo and have it displayed prominently in the background. Performances could be recorded using a smart phone or a video cam.


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