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SriLankan Airlines’ marketing communication endeavors commended yet again

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SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld alliance, reaffirming the global appeal of its marketing communication endeavors, bagged a gold award at the PATA Gold Awards 2020.

Accordingly, the National Carrier was among the 20 winners announced recently at the virtual PATA Travel Mart 2020. SriLankan Airlines was awarded the title ‘Marketing Carrier’ for its Pan India campaign- Next Door Neighbor and Serendipity Next Door.

SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Vipula Gunatilleka said, “Winning an award is a reason for celebration and an affirmation that we are heading in the right direction. Receiving this coveted title from PATA, specially under the prevailing circumstances, gives us hope that we are capable of facing the challenging times ahead and our remedial communication content aiming to garner long-term, universal appeal can have a strong impact on our business recovery.”

PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “The winners of the PATA Gold Awards set industry standards for excellence and innovation and provides the association with the perfect opportunity to recognise and reward the very best the Asia Pacific travel industry has to offer,”

SriLankan Airlines’ General Manager Marketing Saminda Perera said, “We are delighted to receive this prestigious title at the virtual PATA Travel Mart 2020 and it is truly inspiring that our efforts are continually rewarded in this manner. This is a result of an extremely satisfying team effort and I take this opportunity to thank the celebrities who were part of these creations, the management which has been supportive of our endeavors, my team, and our creative agencies J. Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, without whom this will never be a possibility.”

The winning entry of the ‘Marketing Carrier’ category, ‘ Next door neighbors’ is a visual representation of multi-faceted attractions of Sri Lanka primarily targeting holidaymakers of India, with the underlying message that one does not have to look very far for exciting or serene getaways when Sri Lanka is right next door.

India being the Airline’s single largest market, it was vital that effective marketing campaigns were executed to retain the country’s appeal among the Indian travellers in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday tragedy which resulted in a massive 80 percent reduction of tourist arrivals in the country. Going by the rationale that in Sri Lanka, a traveler has the privilege of experiencing an international destination with the convenience of a domestic trip as opposed to travelling within India, the campaign reached out to the discerning Indian traveler through a 360 degree creative execution unfolding through a variety of media such as radio, cinema, digital, travel publications and outdoor advertising.

SriLankan Airlines’ brand videos- ‘Serendipity Next Door’ and ‘Ode to Paradise’ created ripples across social media platforms for its virality. ‘Ode to Paradise’ is a revival of the well-loved ‘Blue Waters’ song of the Air Lanka fame, which praises the island beauty of Sri Lanka, through the eyes of world-renowned Sri Lankan celebrities. ‘Serendipity Next Door’ is an extension of ‘Ode to Paradise’ specially crafted to appeal to the Indian audience. The two videos recorded a combined number of 73 million views on Facebook and 2.2 million views on Youtube, whilst the latter became the first Sri Lankan brand video to cross one million views within 11 hours and five million mark in two days.

This is the third time that the National Carrier made its mark at PATA, having received gold awards on two previous occasions in 2007 and 2019.

The PATA Gold Awards 2020 attracted 121 entries from 62 organisations and individuals worldwide. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee of 16 personalities from various destinations.



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LOLC Al-Falaah unveils pioneering Wadi’ah Gold-Storage Facility with multiple customer benefits

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Sri Lanka’s most awarded and trusted Alternate Financial services brand, LOLC Al-Falaah recently unveiled their ground-breaking new product – the Wadi’ah Gold Loan Facility. This is the 1st time a Finance company in Sri Lanka is offering this facility. Al-Falaah Wadi’ah is a unique gold storage option offered to Al-Falaah’s valued customer base. All gold articles are tested for quality and authenticity using state-of-the art equipment by the company’s experienced staff without causing any damage to the jewellery. A unique ‘Gold Storage Certificate’ with the description of articles, including weight, quality and quantity along with the market value will be issued to the customer when obtaining this facility.

Speaking about the new product, Mr. Shiraz Refai, Deputy General Manager of LOLC Al-Falaah said, “Gold is a favourite investment option at all levels within the concentrated community. The metal is usually pawned, sold or exchanged when in need of cash. As the conventional Pawning options and Gold Loan offering has limitations to cater to the specific needs, as well as contradict with certain beliefs of the community, a concept acceptable and practiced in the industry is introduced by LOLC’s Alternate Financial Services Unit to its valued customer segment”.

Accordingly, a unique feature has been introduced to the Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold Storage facility offering the Customer the benefit of obtaining an interest-free maximum Cash-Advance in the industry at zero mark-up against the gold storage certificate value for any emergencies. In addition, for the convenience of the customers, the Gold storage facility period is extended from 3, 6 and 12 months without any requirement for a deposit and the custodial fees are comparatively competitive. The stored gold articles will also be offered a free Takaful cover with a reassurance of highest safety and security.

The Al-Falaah Wadi’ah gold storage facility will be initially available at selected branches including Wellawatta, Akkaraipattu, Kalmunai, Pottuvil, Grandpass, Maradana, Mawanella, Matara, Nawalapitiya and Negombo. Al-Falaah aims to make the facility available across all LOLC Finance branches and dedicated Al-Falaah centers island-wide by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021.

Commenting on the new Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold loan facility, Nishantha Jayasekera, Chief Manager, SME Unit & Head of Gold Loan Business of LOLC Finance said, “The main aim of this facility is to give financial-access to the grass-root level clients who do not have direct access to banking & finance, but require small cash advances to develop daily businesses and self-employment. Through this product and its value added features, we hope to cover all segments of the population”.

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LANKATILES donates high-end ventilator to Colombo North Teaching Hospital

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A Rs. 4.3 million ventilator has been donated to the Coronary Care Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, by LANKATILES, the country’s leading tile manufacturer.

The machine was described as a high-end, world-class piece of equipment suitable for all patient groups.

Present at the official hand-over were Mr Mahendra Jayasekera, Managing Director of Lanka Walltiles PLC and Lanka Tiles PLC, Dr. S. P. A. Liyanage Ranaweera, Director of Colombo North Teaching Hospital, and Dr. Sanjeewa Rajapakse, Consultant Cardiologist of the hospital.

At a time when state-of-the-art equipment is urgently needed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, LANKATILES reaffirmed its commitment to help frontline hospital staff in their efforts at reducing the spread of the virus and easing patient numbers.

The company said this was a commitment it is ready to stand by at all times in the interests of the country.

 

 

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Sampath Bank hosts Central Bank’s ‘MatarataQR’ event to promote QR code use

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Matara, April 3rd, 2021: Sampath Bank PLC recently hosted the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) MatarataQR event, in a bid to drive awareness and increase acceptance and usage of LANKAQR, the common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country that was introduced in 2020.

Encouraging consumers to adopt the use of QR codes in their day-to-day transactions, the event was held at the Sanath Jayasuriya Grounds in Matara under the patronage of the Chief Guest, Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Power and Guest of Honour, D. Kumaratunga, Director – Payments and Settlements, Central Bank of Sri Lanka; along with senior officials from the CBSL, other commercial banks and financial institutions. Sampath Bank was represented by Nanda Fernando – Managing Director; Tharaka Ranwala – Senior DGM – Operations / Group Chief Marketing Officer and Ajith Salgado – Group Chief Information Officer.

At the event, the Bank actively promoted its ‘WePay’ mobile wallet which helped attract more customers while also onboarding new merchants. A 25% cash back was on offer for payments at over 200 merchants in Matara on the day, made via the LANKAQR enabled WePay digital mobile payment app.

“We are very proud to partner with the Central Bank to host this event that will highlight the safety, convenience and speed of getting onboard the LANKAQR payment standard to the people of Matara. These benefits, coupled with the advanced digital banking solutions offered by Sampath Bank, make it a simple choice to migrate to digital payment technology and we warmly invite the merchants in Matara to come experience the benefits of adopting this new method of payments,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC.

Sampath Bank is a 100% local bank that has deeply rooted itself in the lives of the people of Sri Lanka. Established in 1987, the bank has become a state-of-the-art financial institution that continues to be a market leader today thanks to its constant innovation and customer focused approach to business. It has introduced many firsts to the Sri Lankan banking sector including introducing ATMs to Sri Lanka, extended banking hours and slip-less banking to name a few. The Bank is steadily transforming itself into a ‘tech company engaged in banking,’ from the traditional approach of a bank engaged in technology.

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