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Sri Lanka Tourism’s ‘So Sri Lanka’ film wins Viral Brand Film of the Year

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Wunderman Thompson’s ‘So Sri Lanka – Wild Guides’ viral film for Sri Lanka Tourism took home the coveted award for ‘Best Viral film’ in the Brand Film Awards in London recently.

Hosted by PR Week and Campaign, the Brand Film Awards is a prestigious award that celebrates the use of branded content within marketing. Not only did Wild Guides pick up the Viral Film Award, it was also recognised as a finalist in the consumer goods category.

‘Wild Guides’ was a first of its kind digital PR film experience brought to life by a BAFTA and Emmy Award winning team of nature film makers was designed to communicate the new destination identity, ‘So Sri Lanka’; the film delivered unprecedented success with a combined reach of over 2.5 billion across key international markets last year.

“Sri Lanka continues to grow into her fullest tourism potential and this film was strategically developed to appeal to the higher value independent travelers that are only just discovering our island home. It was important to capture the pristine charm, natural wonders and rich history of Sri Lanka while also capturing the emotion of the island; our family values, our nurturing qualities and our unhurried, delightful love of life was equally important to communicate in a way that differentiates us from our Asian neighbors” said Alyna Haji Omar, CEO of Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka. She added “We believed that in a world where destination products are consumed through the many filters of authenticity, values and purpose it is so important to create an emotional story that can capture the hearts and imagination of people across the world”.

The film idea was developed and executed by Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka in partnership with their global PR partners BCW London in collaboration with Freeborne Media UK whose projects include the Emmy Award and BAFTA-winning series Blue Planet II, the Emmy Award-nominated series Wild New Zealand with National Geographic (U.S. TV channel), and the BAFTA-winning BBC1 series Big Blue Live with PBS.

Alyna added “We are a world beating island destination and Wunderman Thompson is incredibly proud of the world beating talent that collaborated to create another first for Sri Lanka – incidentally this is also the first time a Sri Lankan brand has ever won this award & I want to congratulate Sri Lanka Tourism on the vision and commitment it took to bring this spectacular perspective of our blessed island to life”.

To entice experience-seeking travellers to visit Sri Lanka – named by Lonely Planet as the best country in the world to visit in 2019 – the film captures Sri Lanka’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture from the viewpoint of the country’s most extraordinary inhabitants: its wildlife. The film includes ‘up close and personal’ footage shot with (and by!) some of Sri Lanka’s most iconic residents – including elephants, turtles, leopards, blue whales and fishing cats.

The captivating three-minute film takes us on a wild journey across our island nation’s stunning landscapes. Footage includes following a newly hatched sea-turtle’s journey to the sea on the endless white-sand beaches of the south coast, to getting a soaring “eagle”-eye view of the spectacular ancient Sigiriya rock fortress; and watching the world’s largest elephants travel in their home in the sprawling Udawalawe National Park, as well as witnessing doves waking with the vibrant sunrise over Colombo.

Director and producer of the short film, Nicola Brown, said: “Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country with incredible wildlife and we thought a great way of telling its story visually would be from the perspective of its animals. To achieve this, we utilised natural history filming techniques and technology to capture an immersive view of Sri Lanka that would put the viewer in their world. We also had an opportunity to put the cameras in the animal’s world – literally. Cheeky toque macaque monkeys in Polonnaruwa quickly learned how to unscrew our camera rigs and even ran away with our kit!”

The new ‘So Sri Lanka’ branding, developed by Wunderman Thompson together with Landor, was revealed at the World Travel Market in London in November 2018 and marked the start of Sri Lanka’s fresh approach to destination marketing. The film, which brings the new branding to life, and premiered at ITB Berlin 2019 can be watched here:

 



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HNB Finance inks partnership with HNB Assurance

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Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider, HNB Finance PLC, has entered into an exclusive partnership with HNB Assurance PLC, making it significantly easier and faster for HNB Finance customers to obtain insurances required for most of the offerings from the company.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two companies enables HNB Finance customers to obtain the insurances they require for personal and other offerings from the company, without even having to leave the premises of HNB Finance. Since representatives of HNB Assurance will now be stationed at the offices of HNB Finance, the process of obtaining the necessary insurance policies will be both more convenient and faster, further enhancing the overall customer experience.

“HNB Finance constantly strives to elevate our customer experience, particularly via partnerships with reputed organisations of the calibre of HNB Assurance,” HNB Finance PLC Managing Director/CEO Chaminda Prabhath said. “This also serves as an example of the synergies and strengths that HNB Finance benefit from, by being part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial services conglomerates, the HNB Group.”

“We take pleasure in this partnership with another member of the HNB Group and in offering the customers of HNB Finance the highly customer-centric offering of HNB Assurance,” HNB Assurance PLC CEO Lasitha Wimalaratne said. “Superlative customer experience has always been a core pillar of our strategy and HNB Finance customers can now benefit from these capabilities.”

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Mega training programme in SL in ICT related skills by Trainocate

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Trainocate, being Asia’s largest IT and human capability development training provider, in a bid to create demand for future ICT related employees will be commencing a mega training program in Sri Lanka targeting youth and corporates.

“With the rapid advancements in digitalization and digital services driven by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and 5G, old paradigms and business models are being challenged. More organizations across sectors are now required to have an online-offline presence and operations, Trainocate’s CEO, South East Asia New Markets and the UAE Zafarullah Hashim told The Island Financial Review.

Zafarullah added: ‘According to a recent World Economic Forum report, by 2022, close to 30 per cent of new job opportunities globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing for the future Digital Economy.

‘The pace of change over the past few years has been accelerated by the diffusion of technology, speed of innovation and rapidly evolving business needs. Jobs have changed and new ones have emerged and replaced existing ones. In tandem with this, the required skills and competencies have also rapidly evolved.

‘Many South Asian countries’ corporates as well as current employees and youth aspiring for employment are not reading this.

‘With a global presence in 15 countries, Trainocate SEANM, a pioneer in delivering cutting edge training and certifications which are industry recognized, will commence helping beginners and professionals to expedite their career advancement through our centers.

‘Trainocate also works with key government and private stakeholders to ensure that beginners and professionals have access to high quality and industry-specific training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce.

‘Knowing which skills are in demand has never been more important. With evolving consumer demands and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we function as the bridge between vendors, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and the partner. We are also the bridge between the partner and customers. We do partner enablement programs for partners through the vendors and then from the partner to the customer. A partner has to commit to the vision and the goals of a vendor. You also need to have product knowledge and become certified, which is where we come in.

‘Microsoft has been our main force and we have been providing free fundamental training sessions, as we believe that primary knowledge is key in building the country’s digital transformation journey. Our business operation is carried out between business to business, business to government and business to customers as well.

‘Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors, as more enterprises embark on digital transformation and technology adoption. The Digital Economy entails different types of skills, depending on their job role applications. Tech-Lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work; while Tech-Heavy roles are specialized roles responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications.

‘Trainocate SEANM focuses on developing skills, competency, ability and improving employee performances and organizational productivity. Organizations spend millions in acquiring and upgrading systems or hardware and give truly little thought to the training process. As a result, a vast majority of companies do not make maximum use of the features and benefits of the software in which they have invested. Proper training will increase productivity and reduce downtime which will complete IT projects faster.

‘Traincoate SEANM is rapidly reaching new heights by helping organizations that are going through a tough time and are in the transitioning period towards technology. Trainocate SEANM delivers well-informed and stable individuals who can provide their expertise towards the rise of these businesses. We have trained many blue-chip companies, along with their partners. Our goal is to develop individuals in tools that are already available that they don’t know how to use.

“Trainocate SEANM offers a range of resources, tools, certification and training programs and initiatives to help individuals and organizations identify and acquire the necessary skills to facilitate employment, improve job performance and adapt to job content changes in the midst of technological advancements and business operating model shifts.

‘We are not just a training company, but rather, a guidance company. We have been doing this for 25 plus years and have assessment tools that help us analyze and identify any skill gaps within organizations. We can use this to help the organizations’ HR and L&D teams streamline their training methods, as we can help identify these gaps and guide them on what they need the most.

‘Overall the company is helping organizations to think differently, plan strategically, save money and get the best out of technology. That is our secret to success.’

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Sunshine Healthcare appoints T. Sayandhan as CEO

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Sunshine Healthcare has appointed T. Sayandhan as the Chief Executive Officer of Lina Manufacturing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing segment of the diversified company. Sayandhan, currently CEO of Sunshine Medical Devices, has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He joined Sunshine Healthcare in 2017 to spearhead Sunshine Medical Devices and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare business to be the key driver of the Group’s financial performance, helping Sunshine Healthcare to sustain its growth over the few years amidst tough macroeconomic conditions.

Commenting on the new appointment, Sunshine Healthcare Managing Director Shyam Sathasivam said, “As a responsible Sri Lankan conglomerate, we believe the local production of pharmaceuticals plays a vital role in maintaining the resilience of national healthcare systems. When escalating macroeconomic conditions are putting immense pressure on the local healthcare sector, producing pharmaceuticals locally will facilitate access to needed medicines and decrease exposure to imports and international supply chains. At this critical juncture, I believe Sayandhan has demonstrated the right combination of talent and drive to step into this key leadership role at the company.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sayandhan said, “It is a challenging yet exciting time to join Lina Manufacturing when the company is advancing its efforts to develop Sri Lankan-made, innovative healthcare solutions.”

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