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Sri Lankan technology provider OKLO upgrades Ceylon Tea e-Auction into powerful digitalised platform

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CTTA Agreement Signing (From Left to Right) Sanjaya Herath, Anil Perera, Anil Alwis, Jayantha Karunaratne, Thilanka Withanage, Ishara Gunarathna, Dushan Kahandagamage

The latest milestone in Sri Lanka’s tea auction history, where the Colombo Tea Traders Association (CTTA) upgraded its online platform to a more integrated state-of-the-art e-Auction platform, is spearheaded by OKLO – a leading Sri Lankan technology partner.

OKLO embarked on an R&D project in 2019 to develop a robust and technologically advance Commodity e-Auction platform that would help any industry transform manual outcry auctions into sophisticated online e-Auctions – thereby bringing efficiency and convenience to its stakeholders. OKLO can now customise this core platform to any industry-specific requirements and go live within a short period of time.

More than 70 local and international vendors bid for CTTA’s tender for an integrated, robust, and cutting-edge e-Auction upgrade. Following intense scrutiny over a10-month screening process, OKLO was finally awarded the tender.

Managing Director of OKLO Private Limited Thilanka Withanage states: “I believe OKLO SmartAuction’s success was due to the proven and robust algorithms and technologies powering the auction platform in a sophisticated way, together with the fantastic team at OKLO working towards a common goal. With COVID-19 pandemic pressuring and with no face-to-face meetings, our mission was to launch the first two phases of e-Auction within a short, three month-period but without doing away with the advanced and mandatory features and functions of an enterprise-level national e-Auction platform.”

“The OKLO team rose to take on this national challenge, achieved the go-live date target as originally planned without any changes or postponements, and unveiled the solution to the CTTA. According to some stakeholders who took part in the first transaction of SmartAuction, CTTA achieved a record-breaking auction speed on the very first sale conducted on it.”

Thilanka further adds: “SmartAuction’s success was also due to our experience and technical know-how in handling a portfolio of enterprise projects of this nature. At OKLO we don’t approach every problem with a tool or an app in mind. Our latest agile practices are definitely one of our core strengths. We see ourselves more as a technology partner and listen and try to understand the problem that our customers are facing, working with them to find the best solution. This is also seen in SmartAuction’s highly customisable architecture. We’re all about finding simple and effective solutions.”

“In this information era we believe better data analytics leads to speedier and better decision-making, thereby improving an organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness. SmartAuction is a secure, cloud-hosted e-Auction platform designed to take advantage of cloud services with high level of auditing and transparency of the overall platform. For us, this is only the beginning!” concludes Thilanka.



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Teejay achieves milestone US$ 250 million in sales in 2021-22

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Teejay Lanka PLC has reported a revenue milestone of Rs 50 billion at Group level for FY 2021-22, achieving its first annual sales of a quarter of a billion in US Dollar terms at the rates of exchange that prevailed during the year.A strong fourth quarter during which revenue grew 38% to Rs 13.5 billion, the highest quarter revenue since the Company’s inception, enabled Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer to achieve 12-month sales growth of Rs 17.8 billion or 56% to end what was a challenging year for businesses in general, on a high note.

The Group posted profit before tax of Rs 2.887 billion and net profit of Rs 2.517 billion for the year ending 31st March 2022, recording healthy growth of 11% and 18% respectively. Net profit for the fourth quarter was Rs 826.2 million, reflecting an improvement of 9%.At company level, Teejay Lanka increased revenue by 40% to Rs 29.4 billion for the year, and reported pre-tax profit of Rs 2.6 billion and net profit of Rs 2.4 billion, achieving growth of 23% and 24% respectively.

Elaborating on the Group’s performance, Teejay Lanka Chairman Mr Ajit Gunewardene said the revenue increase was the result of increased demand from the region. The enhanced volumes were delivered with the increased capacity within the Group and the support of outsourced partners, he said.Gunewardene said, however, that margins had been impacted during the year because of the upsurges in the prices of cotton, oil, freight, dyes, chemicals, and auxiliaries. “The increase in the costs of inputs has been the biggest challenge during the year,” he said, disclosing that enhancing efficiency within the Group and increasing prices to customers were the key strategies to counter the challenge.

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Nippon Paint Lanka accredited by Great Place to Work®

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Nemantha Abeysinghe, General Manager – Nippon Paints Lanka (Pvt) Ltd receiving the accreditation from Ms. Hasini Abeywardena, Project Manager – Great Place to Work Sri Lanka

Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Limited has been certified as one of the best workplaces in the country. The Japanese coatings company in Sri Lanka has received this recognition in the manufacturing and production industry category by the globally famed Great Place to Work®.

“We embarked on this to understand employee perceptions of the company. We are proud to have received this honor in our journey towards building and sustaining a high-work ethic, and performance culture,” said General Manager of Nippon Paint Lanka, Nemantha Abeysinghe. “Being recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work-Certified’ organization is an honor and a tribute to the hard work, pride, and dedication put in by every member of Nippon Paint Lanka. We went the extra mile during the COVID period to extend to our employees, special working hours, perks and annual bonuses despite a countrywide lockdown. As a result, the company saw everyone dedicating their efforts more than two hundred percent to uplifting the business.”

“Being certified as a Great workplace indicates that we have differentiated ourselves by creating a great place to work for employees and established Nippon Paint Lanka as an employer of choice. It has passed the rigorous measurement through analysis of results of the Great Place to Work® Trust Index© survey,” Abeysinghe added. Great Place to Work® research is backed by data compiled by assessing over 100 million employees around the globe. Every year, they conduct the world’s largest study of workplace culture and hold the gold standard benchmarks for each country, industry, location and more. Companies that want to be on a Best Workplace list start by getting Great Place to Work-Certified™. Through the Certification process, they capture employee feedback and details about the programs and practices that make a workplace unique.

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Clarification on default status helps boost share market

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Business confidence will likely build up in the wake of Central Bank Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe telling the media yesterday that Sri Lanka was not facing a hard default but a pre-emptive default, which entailed informing about the payment of funds beforehand until the IMF debt restructure plan comes into play.Further, JP Morgan, a leading investment bank in the United States is on record that with the recent political changes, the current political crisis in Sri Lanka will stand defused and the value of bonds will rise. This would also create some impetus for the stock market, analysts said.

They point out that political stability will lead to a rise in the value of bonds above current lows. The Bank predicts that this will facilitate discussions with the International Monetary Fund as well as the process of appointing legal and financial advisors.

“We think this stability should result in both IMF discussions and the process of appointing legal and financial advisors moving forward,” Reuters said quoting JPMorgan analysts.

“Political stability should pave the way for bonds to move higher from near all-time lows,” JPMorgan analysts added.

Amid those developments stock market trading activities started on a positive note and later moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 243 points down and S and P SL20 declined by 94.9 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.5 billion minus a crossing.In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 777 million (3.7 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 204 million (24.8 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 130 million (13.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 70.7 million (127,000 shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 56.8 million (914,000 shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 33 million (one million shares traded) and Lanka IOC Rs 30.3 million (752,000 shares traded). During the day 69 million share volumes changed hands in 17000 transactions.

It is said that following four sessions of sharp gains recorded in the CSE soon after the appointing of Ranil Wickramasinghe Prime Minister, indices edged down due to profit-taking in heavyweight stocks across sectors due to faulty speculation on the market. However, activity picked up to stronger levels with turnover surpassing Rs. 3 billion for the first time in nine weeks, largely boosting blue- chips, market analysts said.Yesterday, the Central Bank announced the US dollar buying rate as Rs 354.56 and the selling rate as Rs 364.53. The rupee rate has appreciated as against the dollar as certain policy measures have been adopted to bridge the gap between the Central Bank rate and the kerb market rate.

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