Monday, 22 August 2011


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Chivas Academy launched

The Chivas Academy, a sustainable membership programme to train professional bartenders to the ongoing challenges in tourism in Sri Lanka launched its first academic programme at Hilton Hotel recently.

Antoin Breen

The Chivas Academy will conduct the course free and all future courses will also be conducted free. Anybody interested can apply and attend the course since the future Sri Lanka will be a challenging platform for the industries in particular related to tourism.

Chivas Academy Sri Lanka will make a bid to build a sustainable programme for the Sri Lankan bartenders. Anybody can become a member of the academy and attend the course. The members will begin with the introduction course and will go up to the next level.

During the courses, members will learn more about the process of making international branded drinks and strengthening the cordial relationship with the customers to experience any product twice.

This will give the know how and the education required to face the ongoing tourism challenges in the country and particularly the cordial relationship that is needed to deal with the customers.

Brand Ambassador for Pernod Ricard Gulf Antoin Breen said the Chivas academy will strive within three main objectives which include education, motivation and rewards for the attendees.

The sustainable programme will incorporate motivation and rewarding aspects allowing education to be more ongoing and more appealing to those participating.

Periceyl (Pvt) Ltd, Director the local operator of Chivas, Senaka Amaratunga said this was the inaugural Chivas Academy programme in Sri Lanka, which was initially launched for the Colombo and Negombo hospitality industry and it will be introduced to the entire island within next couple of months.

He further said, "In this session we had approximately 200 participants and Periceyl along with Group Pernod Ricard and the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC, are very proud to associate in a programme of such calibre which will give the know how and the education which our industry personnel require to face the ongoing tourism challenges."

LINA Manufacturing pioneers exporting dry powder respiratory care products

LINA Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd is making history in the local pharmaceuticals export industry by exporting the first ever consignment of Respiratory Care Dry Powder for Inhalation (in capsule form) from Sri Lanka.

The first consignment was handed over to Augustus Perera of DHL Global Forwarding (Pvt) Ltd Sri Lanka by Lina Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd Director Dr Anil Goonatilleka.

Asthma is one of the most prevalent respiratory diseases in Sri Lanka. It has been found that inhalant products are the most effective in the treatment of the disease. Since these drugs have not been locally produced before, Sri Lanka had no alternative but to import them at enormous cost to the country in terms of foreign exchange.

Responding to this acute need in the national health domain, Dr Anil Goonatillaka, undertook research in the manufacture of Dry Powder Capsules for Inhalation. After more than ten years of scrupulous research, in which he enlisted the participation of professionals such as pharmacologists, and production and quality assurance specialists, he established an organization for the manufacture of Respiratory Care Dry Powder for Inhalation (capsules) in Sri Lanka. He named this organization LINA. LINA remains the only company to manufacture the drug in Sri Lanka.

In addition to this, Dr Goonatillaka developed a device for the patient to inhale the contents of the capsules. This he managed to do with the assistance of Moratuwa University Engineering Faculty.

In 2011, Akbar Pharmaceuticals, a leading pharmaceutical company and a subsidiary of the Akbar Brothers Group of Companies invested on LINA Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd, which manufactures this product. LINA is conducting further research under Dr Goonatillaka and his highly qualified team for enhancing the product range.

LINA received the first export order for its formulation this year, which the company dispatched on August 16.

Swadeshi Khomba awards educational needs for students in Kataragama

The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC, Sri Lanka’s herbal-based personal care Products Company came forth offering educational needs for ten students with an objective to assist students of low-income groups, who are deprived of the basic necessities in life, to follow an uninterrupted school career.

Chairperson and Managing Director The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC Amari Wijewardene, awarding educational needs to a student to further her education. Also in the picture are Sripada Viharadipathi Ven. Handapangoda Vimala Thera, Kelaniya Viharadhipathi Ven. Prof. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangarakkitha Thera and Kiri Vehera Viharadhipathi Ven Dr. Aluthwewa Soratha Thera and the officials from Swadeshi.

This social responsibility initiative was piloted complementing the “Swadeshi Kohomba Aloka Pooja” Ceremony, conducted for the 10th consecutive year at the Kataragama Kiri Vehera and Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya.

Speaking at the educational needs awarding ceremony Chairperson/Managing Director, The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC Amari Wijewardena, reiterated, “We will continue to strengthen the education of the future of our country, which is our next generation, in raising our country to the next level upholding the tradition, heritage, culture, family values and strong ethics we learned from our motherland. As part of our annual CSR programme, we support the Aloka Poojas of all the temples that honour the four guardian Gods of Sri Lanka. This is a firm belief we stand by”.

Swadeshi plays a pivotal role in developing the Sri Lankan economy through promoting “Be Sri Lankan, Buy Sri Lankan” concept. The pioneer in herbal personal care products in Sri Lanka, The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC, was incorporated in 1941 in Kandana.

The company manufactures and markets many leading brands including the top herbal soap brand Khomba Herbal and the heritage beauty soap brand Rani Sandalwood. Amongst the product portfolio, the recently introduced an anti-bacterial family soap, “Safeplus”, Apsara Venival, Perlwite, Lak Bar, Lady Perfume and Black Eagle Cologne Spray & After Shave are strongly perceived amongst the mass.

The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC complies with the ISO 9001:2008 International Standards for Quality Management Systems and produces a portfolio of brands in a range of categories.

Ceylinco Life’s top policyholders in seaplane ride

A select group of high net worth customers of Ceylinco Life were recently treated to a new experience in family fun in the form of a seaplane excursion to the hill country capital Kandy.

Designated as ‘Platinum’ members of a new ‘Premium Club’ launched by the country’s life insurance leader, 20 policyholders selected by Ceylinco Life and their family members were accorded this exclusive privilege as a reward for their loyalty.

This was the first occasion that an insurance company in Sri Lanka utilised the SriLankan Airlines air taxi service for a loyalty rewards programme. For the policyholders and their family members, it was an exciting first-time experience flying at low altitude in a propeller-driven seaplane.

Four flights ferried the lucky recipients of this latest Ceylinco Life reward from Peliyagoda to Polgolla in Kandy, from where they were taken by coach to the plush Earls Regency hotel for lunch, tea, a gala dinner and breakfast, before they emplaned for the return flights to Colombo.

‘Ceylinco Life has always set the standards for customer rewards, with spectacular events like the Family Savari series of luxury cruises, overseas holidays and full-day outings, the company’s Managing Director R. Renganathan said. ‘With this latest event for our Platinum policyholders, we have raised the bar further.’

He said this seaplane excursion to Kandy is the first of a new series of exclusive annual loyalty rewards targeted at a select segment of policyholders who would be handpicked by the company. Details of rewards to be accorded to policyholders in the ‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ categories are to be announced in due course, Renganathan said.

‘We believe that our policyholders should always ‘feel the difference’ of having Sri Lanka’s leading life insurance company as their life insurance partner,’ he added.

Opens five new branches:

Sampath Bank expands branch network

Sampath Bank Chairman I.W. Senanayake along with the Branch Manager Damitha Ekanayake opening the Maligawatte Branch, Sampath Bank Deputy Managing Director Aravinda Perera, AGM, Corporate Credit Hiranthi De Silva, the Branch Manager Ramanan Vijayan opening Mutwal Branch. Sampath Bank Managing Director Harris Premaratne with DGM, Personal Banking Nanda Fernando opening the Padukka Branch. Advisor to the Sampath Bank Board Prasantha Lal De Alwis and AGM, Branch Credit K.L.G. Pradeep opening the Galewela Branch and Sampath Bank Deputy Chairman Sunil G Wijesinha handing over a token of appreciation to a customer at the Madampe Branch opening, while the Branch Manager Ajith Fernando looks on.

Strengthening their presence across the island, Sampath Bank opened five new branches on the same day on the August 1.

The five new branches were Madampe, Galewela, Mutwal, Padukka and Maligawatte. With the branch network counting up to 193 the bank is geared to deliver on their promise bringing tomorrow’s banking technology to every village in Sri Lanka.

Another key factor by which Sampath Bank has bonded with their customers is that the bank has been able to identify and cater to the diverse needs of their customer with ease and flexibility.

This has become an important aspect in meeting the requirements of a discerning clientele and standing out from the competition.

Having completed the first quarter of this financial year with satisfactory performance indicators, Sampath Bank is well set to achieve the desired results in a remarkable year.

Free Lanka mini hydro projects make steady progress

Steady progress is being made on the new hydropower projects undertaken by Hydro Power Free Lanka PLC (HPFL), a subsidiary company of Free Lanka Capital Holdings PLC.

A company spokesman said that while 90% of the initial civil work of Stellenberg Hydro Power Plant has been completed, at Thebuwana 55% of such work is over. Penstock (Steel pipe ) work of both projects will commence by the end of this month. Meanwhile, orders have been placed for electromechanical equipment for both projects.

These two mini hydropower plants situated in Gampola and Kuruwita will add 1.8 MW to the national grid once commissioned. Work in the Stellenberg project at Gampola and the Tebuwana project at Kuruwita will be completed during the next financial year.

He added that the initial application for carbon credits has been forwarded to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) for both projects .

In addition to these two plants, considerable progress has been made on the Halgranoya mini hydropower projects. Approval has been obtained from the Central Environment Authority (CEA) for the Phase two and as for the Phase one, the management is following up in obtaining other approvals. Once completed Halgranoya projects will have an installed capacity of 3.6 MW. He added that the company is proud to be one of seven projects in Sri Lanka which is registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change ( UNFCCO) for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) .The company was one of the first to receive this status , as early as 2003.

Meanwhile, Hydro Power Free Lanka PLC has had a good year in 2010-11 with total revenue rising to Rs.135.2 million compared to Rs.114.9million of the previous financial year thus recording a 17.7% increase. The company recorded a profit after tax of Rs. 48.1 m.

The company produced 10.8 million kilowatts to the National Grid which was a 13.5% increase compared to the previous year. This was achieved despite setbacks caused by adverse weather conditions forcing plant closures for two months during the financial year under review, said the Managing Director G.A. Aloysius, in his review.

Once all current plants programmes are commissioned, HPFL PLC would have a total capacity of 8.57MW.

Discussing environmental issues, the review states that the company strongly believes in a policy of preserving the environment through re-planting and practising soil erosion preservation management at all hydro sites. Environment surveys are regularly conducted to assess the ground situation to address issues and take any remedial action if necessary.

Newer challenges for a responsible pharmacist:

MARKSS healthcare holds workshop for pharmacists

MARKSS Healthcare under their corporate citizenship programme themed MARKSS Wellness Campaign conducted a workshop for pharmacists from many parts of the island on newer challenges for a responsible pharmacist.

The thematic lecture was delivered by Chula Edirisinghe, one of the most renowned and experienced pharmacists from Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Authority. Edirisinghe brought his wealth of knowledge and exposure to this forum where he encompassed areas such as new developments both in technical and policy fronts. He was the ideal person to cover these areas as he is actively involved in regulation, policy and technical decision making as a key member of Drugs Evaluatory Sub Committee.

Commenting on the event MARKSS Medical Director Dr. S. Mahakalanda said “The pharmacist is probably the most important link in a chain of patient care. He is the person who gets to interact with the patient last, and in the most conclusive manner. So his role can never be undermined in achiving optimal health care delivery. Programmes as these will help the pharmacists in appreciating and enhancing that very role of his.”

Also present among the directors and management of MARKSS was MARKSS Managing Director Rajiv Nanayakkara who mentioned his gratitude to all the 43 pharmacists who participated and especially to Chula Edirisinghe who made such a valuable and a timely lecture.

All the participants were awarded with certificates of participation by Nanayakkara.

Zhara HS on SaaS redefines regional hospitality

Zhara HS is Sri Lanka’s first fully integrated hotel software built on the new and innovative “SaaS” model (Software-as-a-Service model). Customers who buy this software pay for it based on actual usage: not as a standalone capital expenditure. This is the unique selling proposition that has catapulted Zhara HS right to the top of the hospitality industry software game.

With many hotels experiencing a slash in budgets for information systems in cost conscious hospitality industry, hotel operators have turned towards this new and innovative hotel management software based on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. SaaS is enabled through Cloud computing: it provides software as a service instead of as a product, therefore hotels do not have to purchase the software or servers out-right and maintain them at their own expense by their own staff. Instead, they can simply pay for it based on usage - just like electricity.

Zhara HS, which is owned by JKCS, is the first fully integrated hotel management solution based on the SaaS model. While there are several SaaS based PMS solutions in the market, Zhara HS is the first solution to offer an integrated Internet Booking Engine, Central Reservation System, and Property Management System through this model.

JKCS BU Head - Hospitality Solutions Rasika Iddamalgoda said “We are very proud to be spearheading the latest technologies to be used in hospitality solutions in South Asian and South East Asian regions and also for being the first ever purely Sri Lankan Hotel IT service provider to go on SaaS. The SaaS model is built using many cutting edge technologies and tools of the open source market. The Zhara Hospitality Suite has great cost benefits to both existing hoteliers and new entrants to the industry. Thanks to its unique benefits, Zhara HS has captured the hospitality industry and become the choice of many hotel operators in the Asia Pacific region since its launch in 2010.”

Prior to creating the Zhara HS system, JKCS designed software exclusively for leading global airlines and airports.

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