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Swisstek makes history as the first Tile Adhesive (Mortar) and Tile Grout brand to obtain SLS



From Left – SLSI team comprising of Ms. Sashika Roshani – Assistant Director, A.P.Kandage – Senior Deputy Director, Ms. Priyanga Perera- Director (Product certification), Dr.Siddika Senarath- Director General/CEO / SLSI handing over the Certification to the Swisstek Ceylon PLC team led by Mahendra Jayasekera - Managing Director, Tyrell Roche – Chief Operating Officer, Shirley Mahendra - General Manager – Marketing, Ms. Wajira Nanayakkara (AGM – Plant and Technical) & Ms. Sudilma Harshani - Asst. Manager Quality Assurance

Renowned Sri Lankan brand offering world class finishing solutions since 1967, Swisstek Ceylon PLC recently obtained Sri Lanka Standards Institute Certification (SLS) for five of its market-leading products. Among the five products affirmed by the country’s apex body for standardization are three types of tile adhesives namely Super Tile Adhesive (mortar), Super Plus Tile Adhesive (mortar) & Ultra Grip Tile Adhesive (mortar) and two types of tile grout namely Super Polymer Tile Grout & Polymer Modified Tile Grout.

Swisstek Ceylon PLC is the first brand in its market category to obtain the SLS certification which serves to illustrate the Organization’s commitment for quality. In 2015 Swisstek obtained the ISO 9001 certification for its manufacturing processes and has since invested over Rs.170 million to upgrade its facilities & optimize output; as a result, in the 2020/2021 financial year the Company’s production capacity soared by 22%.

Commenting on the milestone, Managing Director of Swisstek Ceylon PLC J. A. P. M. Jayasekara: “The certification serves to formalize the overwhelmingly positive feedback we consistently receive from industry experts & customers alike. In terms of what lies ahead, Swisstek intends to focus on consolidating its market position as the pioneer in innovation & quality through Research and Development. Despite the economic downturn triggered by the global pandemic, we are hopeful Swisstek Ceylon Plc will continue to be resilient as it did in the 2020/2021 financial year.”

Jayasekara further commented that the organization was prepared to face the forthcoming financial year with greater confidence based on experience & learnings from the previous year: “We will continue to strengthen our operating model by driving greater efficiencies, strengthening our distribution channels while exploring new growth opportunities in the ‘new normal’. Innovation will remain a hallmark of our brand and a key element of our customer value proposition.”

At present Swisstek Ceylon PLC has an extensive network of 22 distributors & 2000 dealers including 60+ Lanka Tiles showrooms island-wide. The Group has a comprehensive portfolio of over 25 products in 10 categories and contributes significantly to the economy by being one of Sri Lanka’s largest exporters thus foreign exchange earners while also generating hundreds of direct & indirect employment opportunities. Furthermore, Swisstek Ceylon PLC is committed to Incorporating environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and ensuring responsible consumption of resources to reduce environmental footprint.

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Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers




In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.

At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.

“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.

But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,”  Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”

He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.

In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.

Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.

Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.

Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.


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ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace



EFC's team of trainers visited the selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management

Five companies volunteer to participate in the project

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.

True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.

Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.

EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.

They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.

All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.

Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.

In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.

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Fitch expects SL to report broadly improved banking sector results in 2024



Fitch Ratings expects greater divergence in the performance of banking sectors in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2024, with five countries set to report broadly improving results and three to see deterioration. These outlooks stand in contrast to those leading into 2023, when we projected a broadly stable performance for the vast majority of APAC banking sectors, with only our outlook on Sri Lanka judged to be deteriorating at that time.

The difference in outlooks is particularly marked between banking sectors in APAC emerging markets (EM) and developed markets (DM). All five of the countries where we expect an improving performance are EMs: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. By contrast, we expect a deteriorating performance in the DMs of Australia and New Zealand, with China the only EM where the outlook is deteriorating.

Banking sector outlooks among many APAC EMs are generally supported by our robust economic growth projections. Growth should buoy loan demand and limit

the potential adverse effects on asset quality from interest rates, which we believe have largely peaked across the region. The markets where our (relatively short-term) sector outlooks are improving align well with our view on (longer-term) bank operating environment scores, which are positive in Indonesia and Vietnam, while the score on India was raised in 2023.

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