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Unilever Sri Lanka expands uStore.lk footprint on Viber

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Unilever Sri Lanka, one of the island’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies today announced that it had expanded coverage of its uStore.lk e-commerce service to instant messaging platform Viber. The service, which had been offered exclusively on Unilever Sri Lanka’s official e-commerce platform www.ustore.lk until now, has been extended to Viber, enabling more consumers the convenience of directly purchasing Unilever branded products from the safety, comfort, and convenience of their homes.

The www.ustore.lk service which was first launched in 2019, has gained significant acceptance by consumers since then as a preferred shopping destination of choice. This manifold increase of consumer traffic is largely attributed to the reason behind the extension of the service to Viber, for consumers to enjoy Unilever products from the comfort of their homes. Here, the uStore.lk bot takes the form of a user-friendly chatbot, inviting customers to explore the store and select from any of Unilever Sri Lanka’s array of products, be it beauty, skincare, baby care, household care, oral care, laundry and food and refreshments. Consumers can also purchase the company’s Pureit brand from this service. The bot offers attractive discounts and other types of promotions continuously, and more importantly, offers consumers access to the full Unilever Sri Lanka portfolio and selected international Unilever brands.

To avail themselves of the service, consumers need to simply access their Viber mobile application and search for “uStore.lk” to commence enjoying this new shopping experience. Thereafter, it is simply about selecting desired products to a virtual cart and entering a delivery address. Check-out takes place with ease and purchased items are delivered directly to a customer’s doorstep thereafter.

Aruna Mawilmada, Customer Development Director – Unilever Sri Lanka said, “Even with a direct retail footprint of 100,000, we are constantly on the lookout to pioneer further avenues of island wide consumer convenience and availability for our 300+ products.

The importance of sourcing innovative routes to market is further underpinned by the current pandemic that has gripped and challenged the normal routines of our consumers, who critically consider safety of point of purchase. We are delighted therefore to offer this new touchpoint over an instant messaging service, along with its many benefits and unique offerings, as we continue to remain relevant to our consumers at all times. We remain committed to our promise of offering compelling innovation, either through our products or services, in the true spirit and heritage of consumer relevance, that has rooted us in Sri Lankan society over the last 83 years.”

David Tse, Senior Director APAC – Rakuten Viber said, “We continue to look for ways to explore and launch new tech ideas with trusted and highly respected brands, to deliver a seamless and unique shopping experience to our users. Our collaboration with Unilever allows us to connect both online and offline environments to empower our users and suit their needs in a measurable way.”



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Business

Assetline Leasing recognised at SLIM People’s Awards

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Assetline Leasing Company Limited (ALCL) was nominated for “SLIM People’s Financial Services Provider of the Year” category at the recently held SLIM People’s Awards 2021 at BMICH, Colombo.

As a specialized leasing company with a network of 53 branches located Islandwide, ALCL has been able to carve a name for itself as a leading financial services providers by continuing to fulfill the financial needs people from all walks of life with an innovative and reliable portfolio of leasing and loan products that are geared to improve the livelihood of individuals and families whilst enriching their lifestyles. Access to financial services, particularly by SMEs and entrepreneurs, has always been a key area of ALCL’s focus.

Commenting on the achievement, Ajantha Premasiri, Chief Marketing Officer, ALCL, said; “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our valuable and loyal customers, business partners and team Assetline for their unwavering support in securing this nomination in the category of “SLIM People’s Financial Services Provider of the year”.

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DIMO forum focuses on youth skills for employment and entrepreneurship

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DIMO celebrated ‘World Youth Skills Day’ by shining the spotlight on the importance of equipping the youth with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, through a webinar titled ‘Job Demand and Vocational Education – Fuelling Dreams and Aspirations of the Youth’, held recently.

The keynote speaker at the webinar was a renowned expert in the industry, Mangala P.B. Yapa the Director General / CEO of Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, while the panel consisted of leading Human Resources professionals Dilrukshi Kurukulasuriya the Chief Human Resources Officer of DIMO, Chinthaka Premaratne the Group Director Human Resources of Fairway Holdings and Ishan Dantanarayana the Group Chief People Officer of Brandix. The event was moderated by Yohan Thilakaratne the Head of Corporate Communications of DIMO. Vocational Training is a key attribute in DIMO’s sustainability agenda and the forum ‘Job Demand and Vocational Education – Fuelling Dreams and Aspirations of the Youth’ was the latest initiative of DIMO to empower the dynamic youth with the correct skills.

During his keynote address, Mangala P.B. Yapa stated, “Knowledge, skills and employment are 3 elements that are inter-connected in a complex manner. Today, knowledge has surpassed skills and therefore, receives prominence. However, I believe that knowledge which does not develop skills, does not do justice to society. Through vocational education, what we attempt to do is to develop both knowledge and skills.”

 

 

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CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards makes a comeback this year

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In its continuing determination to crown the most brilliant financial reports produced in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will present the prestigious Annual Reports Awards competition this year, incorporating new concessions on account of COVID-19, whilst also automating the marking system for the first time in the competition’s history.

Applications for the 56th Annual Report Awards competition 2021 will be accepted from 15th August 2021 onwards. Organisations ranging from multinationals to blue-chip companies, conglomerates, small and medium businesses, state corporations, statutory bodies and even NGOs and NPOs which produce annual reports can vie for this year’s top honours.

Known to promote transparency, corporate governance, sustainability and social responsibility, the competition’s grand comeback this year was announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Annual Report Awards commands a history of over half a century, but following COVID, the Institute decided not to proceed with the competition last year on grounds that the competition would not yield the required benefits for the participating companies due to the challenges stemming from the pandemic and the related crisis.

Addressing the press conference, Jayesinghe said that as the sole authority to promulgate accounting and auditing standards in Sri Lanka, the Institute has taken every effort necessary to implement a world class accounting framework, which will result in long-term benefits to the country including bringing in vital investments such as FDIs.

He said that an annual report is recognised as the single most important document for readers and potential investors to understand the financial state of a company as well as its positive contribution not only towards the company’s bottom line but also to the country and society.

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