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‘Turning five, ready to thrive’

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The island’s most popular and novel PRAWN-themed restaurant, ISSO, celebrated its 5th anniversary onMarch 23. ISSO began operations in 2016, in a small outlet down Sulaiman terrace. Today they have grown from a small store, to their iconic flagship outlet down Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 3. ISSO soon became renowned for serving high quality, delicious PRAWN dishes from around the world, at a reasonable price bracket. In fact, prawns are a commodity which is often seen as a luxury item, ISSO reintroduced PRAWNS to the market as an easily accessible food option, at an affordable price bracket. The popularity of the PRAWN-themed restaurant soon grew, owing to its novel menu, delicious food, and cult following.

In addition to the restaurant’s exciting menu and diversity of dishes, there are a host of surprises to celebrate ISSO’s 5th anniversary. Some of the specials customers can look forward to, half priced ISSO Burgers for the first 100 customers and FREE cupcakes at the store from 5-6pm for all customers.

Commenting on ISSO’s journey, CEO and Co-Founder Apinash Sivagumaaran said “The past 5 years has been an exciting learning experience for all of us – today ISSO has grown 5 years strong. We’ve fallen, we’ve grown, we’ve learned, now we are ready to serve and cater to the needs of our customers more than ever before! A big thank you to our PRAWN-CRAZY customers, our team, our vendors, our partners, families, and friends; who have all been a massive part of our journey. I am deeply grateful for all the support extended to us over the past five years and look forward to personally welcoming you all back to ISSO soon! We look forward and are excited to present what is in-store for the future of ISSO in the coming year”.

The brand envisions towards becoming a well-known global restaurant franchise brand, and to represent Sri Lankan cuisine and hospitality around the world. ISSO aims to open 100 outlets across the world through a mix of company-owned and franchised outlets in the next 5 years.

ISSO uses only sea caught flower and tiger prawns, which are highly regarded by seafood lovers & chefs for their flavor. This combined with the use of fresh, locally and sustainably sourced, high-quality ingredients, along with a team of expert chefs have enabled ISSO to create a variety of signature dishes. At ISSO, you are able to customize your combo meal, by picking the size of prawn, style of cooking and side. This enables the consumer to try multiple variations of their menu on each visit.

ISSO’s efforts haven’t just earned them the trust and love of their PRAWNCRAZY customers, but has made a mark in the International Arena too. ISSO has also been the recipient of numerous accolades, a few of which include – The Best “Restaurant Concept Of The Year” at the QSR Media Awards 2020 in Singapore, The Rocheston Award in 2019 for ‘Distinguished Restaurant’ and the TripAdvisor Excellence awards for 3 consecutive years.

ISSO continues to build on its ethos of disrupting the market and has pivoted into the RTE market segment under the brand name; EasyMeals, during the pandemic to service the needs of their customers. ISSO is 1 of 51 companies from India and Sri Lanka, taking part in the Stanford Seed Transformation program: A GSB-led initiative that works with entrepreneurs; to build thriving organizations, strengthen their businesses, gain traction, and impact lives.

ISSO is open every day for dine-in customers from 11.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. with a choice of indoor and outdoor dining. For delivery and reservations, you can reach out to them on 011 777 0300 or via www.isso.lk



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Norlanka Manufacturing Trincomalee receives LEED Gold Certification

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Norlanka Manufacturing Trincomalee was recently awarded the prestigious LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).Norlanka, one of Sri Lanka’s largest sustainable exporters of baby and kidswear, has an extensive ESG (Environmental/Social/Governance) strategy and understands the responsibility it has concerning the future of a sustainable apparel industry. Therefore, ethical sourcing, in particular working with responsible supply chain partners has been a critical operational necessity.

The LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, and it is backed by an entire industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation. It’s awarded for projects that have earned points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor environmental quality. Buildings consume energy and resources at an alarming rate, therefore the LEED rating system is the most widely used green building rating system, as it provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings.

LEED takes multiple areas into account with varying sub-criteria when certifying a building such as location, transportation, sustainability of the site, construction, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resource, waste management, indoor environment quality, innovations and more.

Chief Innovation Officer of Norlanka, Buddhi Paranamana stated, “This LEED Gold certification is a testament to our constant drive to improve our sustainability efforts. This award marks yet another milestone in Norlanka’s journey towards becoming carbon neutral by 2025. Since 2010 we’ve constantly been learning how to do things in a more sustainable way. I would like to congratulate our team for obtaining this certification. It showcases dedication towards achieving sustainable excellence while achieving our goals and providing customers with high-quality products.”

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People’s Bank celebrates 75 years of Independence by offering gifts to newborns

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People’s Bank celebrated Sri Lanka’s 75thNational Independence at a modest ceremony held at their Head Office which was followed by a series of island wide initiatives.People’s Bank’s ‘Birth of Freedom’ programme which commences on every Independence Day was carried out this year as well. Under this concept, People’s Bank gifts Rs.2,000/- worth of an ‘IsuruUdana’ Gift Certificate to every baby born between the 1st and 14th of February.

People’s Bank launched this programme in 2006 with the vision of instilling national pride and encouraging parents to plan for their children’s future. Parents can open an ‘Isuru Udana’ Children’s Savings Account at any People’s Bank Branch using the Gift Certificate.

Director of the Castle Street Maternity Hospital Dr. Ajith Danthanarayana, Director of De Soysa Hospital for Women in Borella Dr. Pradeep Wijesinghe, People’s Bank Senior Deputy General Manager (TB & OCS) Rohan Pathirage, Deputy General Manager (Retail Banking) Renuka Jayasinghe, Deputy General Manager (Strategic Planning, Performance Management & Research) Jayanthi Kurukulasooriya, Deputy General Manager (Risk Management) Roshini Wijerathna, Deputy General Manager (Banking Support Services) Nipunika Wijayaratne, Deputy General Manager (Channel Management) T.M.W Chandrakumara, Head of Marketing Nalaka Wijayawardana, Assistant General Manager (Retail Banking) Nalin Pathiranage, Assistant General Manager (Human Resources) Manjula Dissanayake, Colombo North Regional Manager S.L.M.A.S Samarathunga, Colombo South Regional Manager M.S Kanakka Hewage, Borella Branch Manager W.A.N Udayangani, Town Hall Branch Manager Tiral Pradeep, Deputy Director of De Soysa Hospital for Women in Borella, Dr. K.M Nihal, Administrative Officer of Castle Street Hospital for Women S.M.T.A.R. Bandara, Nursing officers along with hospital staff were also present at the event.In line with the above all People’s Bank branches across the country initiated ‘Nidahase Upatha’ activities island wide.

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SL bondholders ready for debt restructuring talks with authorities– with conditions

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Sri Lanka’s bondholders have told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that they are prepared to engage with Sri Lankan authorities in debt restructuring talks consistent with the parameters of the global lender’s program.The Ad Hoc Group of Sri Lanka bondholders conveyed its stance in a letter directed to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Friday (Feb. 03).

“The Bondholder Group through its Steering Committee stands ready to engage quickly and effectively with the Sri Lankan authorities to design and implement restructuring terms that would help Sri Lanka restore debt sustainability and allow the country to re-gain access to the international capital markets during the IMF Programme period.”

The Bondholder Group acknowledged the Sri Lankan authorities’ engagement with their official creditors towards a resolution of the current crisis and restoration of debt sustainability.

The Bondholder Group further acknowledged that such engagement has recently resulted in the Indian government delivering letters of financing assurances to the IMF, committing to support Sri Lanka and contribute to its efforts to restore debt sustainability by providing debt relief and financing consistent with the IMF Extended Fund Facility Arrangement and the IMF Programme targets indicated in the India’s letter to the global lender.

Sri Lanka Bondholder Group Letter to IMF stated:

Based on the limited information available to us at this time, including information contained in the India Letter, we understand that the IMF Programme’s debt sustainability targets are identified as (i) reducing the ratio of public debt to GDP to 95% by 2032, (ii) limiting the central government’s annual gross financing needs to GDP ratio to 13% in the period between 2027 and 2032, and central government annual foreign currency debt service at 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032 and (iii) closing of the external financing gap.

The Bondholder Group hereby confirms it is prepared to engage, through its Steering Committee, with the Sri Lankan authorities in restructuring negotiations consistent with the parameters of an IMF Programme and the targets specified therein (the “IMF Programme Targets”), which the Bondholder Group understands to be the targets identified in the India Letter; it being recognized that these negotiations will necessarily be further informed by the receipt of the forthcoming DSA. We would note that the finalization of an agreement will also be subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions:

The central government’s domestic debt – defined as debt governed by local law – is reorganized in a manner that both ensures debt sustainability and safeguards financial stability. Assuming that annual gross financing needs should not exceed 13% of GDP in the period between 2027 and 2032, whilst allowing for central government annual foreign currency debt service to reach 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032, domestic gross financing should therefore be limited at 8.5% of GDP for the period 2027-2032.

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