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UTE launches ‘Grow Your Own Food’ home gardening project for employees

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Continuing in its mission to be the best engineering services provider in all the markets they serve, United Tractor and Equipment (Pvt) Limited (UTE), recognizes from its 75-year history that being the best means looking after their people. Continuing its mission UTE inaugurated its ‘Grow Your Own Food’ cultivation initiative on the 13th of September 2022. The project is designed with the aim of facilitating employee welfare and gearing them with skills that are required to overcome any possible food shortage in the future. In consideration of the ongoing economic situation in the country, this would further help UTE employees with sustainable means of food production. The launch of ‘Grow Your Own Food’ was graced by the Ambassador of the United States to Sri Lanka Ms. Julie Chung as Chief Guest, along with representatives of The American Embassy and The American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AMCHAM).

The initial stages of the project commenced in June 2022 with the overwhelming support of all UTE employees at the UTE Head Office in Wattala, where a large area was assigned for cultivation.

The collected harvest from the project will be distributed amongst the 325+ employees on a quota basis according to their needs, allowing them to benefit directly from the fruits of their own labor. In order to ensure the success of the ‘Grow Your Own Food initiative’, UTE has enlisted the support of Agriculture Officers in developing the project and has plans to expand the project throughout its facilities island-wide.

Accordingly, the ‘Grow Your Own Food’ initiative constitutes UTE’s latest move to meaningfully contribute to employee welfare by ensuring that its employees remain self-sufficient during this present time of need, by encouraging all staff employed throughout the company to engage in home gardening to meet their food needs. Not only will this initiative provide employees with much-needed ease of access to food, but it will also deepen their family engagement and happiness, enabling them to enrich both their professional and personal lives. As part of this initiative, UTE launched a children’s art campaign under the theme ‘Home Garden,’ where children of UTE employees painted their own home gardens. Using the collection of art submissions, UTE created an art wall which was also unveiled by Ambassador Chung at the launch event.

Addressing the gathering at the launch, Ambassador of the United States to Sri Lanka Ms. Julie Chung commended the project, “Through these home gardens that you are developing, you are not only planting seeds; you are planting seeds of hope, seeds of victory. And I hope more companies follow your lead. You are setting that example for others to follow so that others can also offer solutions that provide relief. Thank you all for your dedication, for your service, and for the love for your country.”

Commenting on UTE’s initiative, Prasan Fernando, Chairman of United Tractor and Equipment (Pvt) Limited said, “As a longstanding presence in Sri Lanka’s business landscape, over the years UTE has made its mission to contribute to the communities we serve in. We are very pleased and proud to launch the ‘Grow Your Own Food’ initiative at this moment in time, given the uncertainty of possible food shortages around the world and the uncertainty we as Sri Lankans are facing. UTE has continued to place the utmost importance on contributing towards sustaining the wellbeing of our employees and our communities, and with this latest initiative to encourage home gardening we aim to enhance their standards of living to meet the challenges of today.”

Representing over 75 years of engineering excellence, UTE has continuously delivered high-quality engineering solutions across a wide range of disciplines in Sri Lanka and around the world. The UTE Parts Store/PCC (Parts.Cat.Com) is the fastest, easiest, and most reliable website to find and order over 1.4 million genuine CAT® parts online. As the sole authorized Caterpillar dealer in Sri Lanka, UTE also offers retail distribution of CAT® Lubricants. Orders can be placed 24/7 with the mobile-friendly interface and the parts will be shipped to any location in the island or can be picked up from any of UTE’s branches. The company is home to the Island’s most experienced and largest team of Customer Support personnel and Caterpillar-trained technicians in the industry. Serving customers throughout the island, the company has branches in Panchikawatta, Matara, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, and Kilinochchi adding to its strength.



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Business

HSBC appoints new Country Head of Wholesale Banking for Sri Lanka and Maldives

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HSBC Sri Lanka has appointed Kevin Green as the new Country Head of Wholesale Banking for Sri Lanka and Maldives with effect from 1 November 2022.Kevin has been with the HSBC Group for over 24 years and has held several senior positions in commercial banking, retail banking and risk management.

Prior to taking on his new role, Kevin was the Country Head of Wholesale Banking in HSBC Bangladesh, and prior to that he was the Chief Risk Officer for HSBC Vietnam.Kevin will lead the bank’s Wholesale Banking business in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, supporting corporate banking clients. He will lead a dynamic team of professionals to provide tailored solutions and services to customers and ensure the continued growth of the business.

Kevin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Services from the University of Manchester. He is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Commenting on the appointment, Mark Surgenor, Chief Executive Officer for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives, said “As the leading international bank in Sri Lanka and with a presence in 63 markets globally, we want to open up a world of opportunity for our internationally minded clients. Therefore, I am pleased to bring in an experienced leader like Kevin to lead our Wholesale Banking operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This is further evidence of our commitment to invest in the country and to support our clients. I am confident that Kevin’s extensive experience with HSBC Group will be an advantage to both our clients and colleagues, and further support the banks efforts towards economic growth of the country.”

HSBC, as the leading international bank has enjoyed a longstanding presence in Sri Lanka having completed 130 years of operations this year. The bank will continue to support Sri Lankan clients to connect globally and will continue to play a key role in supporting local businesses looking to expand across international markets by leveraging its global footprint and expertise in international trade, global payment services, sustainable finance and other financial services, whilst supporting its people and communities.

HSBC was recognised with the Sri Lanka International Initiative of the Year, won by Wholesale Banking for the dynamism, uniqueness, effectiveness & impact in green financing, for its first corporate ‘Green Loan’ for USD 6.3mn to Eco Spindles that was awarded by Asian Banking & Finance, this year. The bank was also named Best International Bank in Sri Lanka by Asiamoney, International Retail Bank of the Year by Asian Banking and Finance and Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka by Global Finance for 2022.

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Sri Lanka Red Cross Society launches ‘Elixir’ to match donation in aid of medical requirements

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The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society launched Sri Lanka’s first-ever medical-supply-to-donation matching platform on October 19, 2022, called the Elixir Platform. The initiative is a volunteer-run, private-public-private partnership under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, and allows hospitals and treatment centres from across Sri Lanka to register their requirements for lifesaving medicines and medical supplies that may be in short supply, due to the country’s ongoing economic and foreign exchange crises. ‘Elixir’ also provides a single streamlined interface for donors who would like to support Sri Lanka at this time. By having all requirements and donations coming in via a unified and seamless platform, ‘Elixir’ can then match requirements and donations for efficient use of funds and time, while also reducing the total turnaround time for assistance and increasing transparency.

Designed and operated by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, together with its global network of volunteers and professionals, and in partnership with the Sri Lanka Medical Supplies Division of the Ministry of Health, the Elixir Platform is a huge collaborative undertaking to help Sri Lanka overcome the shortage of lifesaving medicines due to the present economic crisis.

Discussing the initiative, Dr Mahesh Gunasekara, Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society said, “First, we must express our sincere gratitude to all the donors, including individuals, corporations and governments, who have come to Sri Lanka’s aid at this time of need. With a large number of donations, we found that it was becoming challenging to track and fulfil medical needs across the system and prioritize based on urgency. Other challenges including oversupply due to duplicative efforts, high costs due to not utilizing economies of scale, internal competition for donations and other issues have arisen, along with a lack of transparency. Thus, ‘Elixir’ is our answer to these problems, and will facilitate transparency and accountability throughout the entire supply chain for the benefit of all stakeholders. On behalf of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, I take this opportunity to thank all volunteers and partners in this endeavour. Elixir is truly a landmark achievement and we look forward to supporting Sri Lanka as it overcomes its present challenges.”

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Seylan World Mastercard cardholder offers

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Marking its most recent effort to reward its loyal customers, Seylan Cards recently announced the launch of an exclusive promotion for the benefit of all Seylan World Mastercard cardholders.

One lucky Seylan World Mastercard cardholder will receive an Omega timepiece worth over Rs. 2 million at the end of the promotion period. Founded in 1848, Omega is a Swiss watch brand synonymous with excellence, innovation and precision. Given that the brand’s history has been dedicated to a quest for perfection, such a prize is expected to appeal to the elite Seylan World Mastercard cardholders. In order to stand a chance to win, cardholders must spend a cumulative total of Rs. 1 million during the promotion period until the 15th of December 2022.

As the festive season approaches, Seylan Cards has aptly timed this promotion in an effort to reward cardholders as they complete their Christmas shopping lists. Since both local and international spends are valid for the draw, cardholders travelling overseas could purchase their air tickets and shop overseas to benefit from current exchange rates.

Cardholders are also encouraged to utilise their Seylan World Mastercard card for high value spends on items such as jewellery or even solar power installations to reach the Rs. 1 million threshold to enter the draw.

As Seylan World Mastercard cards are limited to an exclusive number of members, the chances of winning the luxury timepiece are much higher, and is a unique opportunity that should not be missed.As the essential card for essential needs, several merchants offer Seylan Cardholders special discounts and easy payment facilities with 0% interest. Anyone interested in obtaining a Seylan Card is encouraged to call the hotline on 011 2008 888.

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