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Wednesday, 7 December 2011






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Signal rewards Night Time Brushing

The winners of the competition with their parents

As part of its 21-day Night Time Brushing Campaign Unilever Sri Lanka's flagship toothpaste brand Signal awarded 10 lucky children a gift voucher from Lumala worth Rs 25,000 while their parents received Rs 75,000 in cash. The competition kicked off with members of the Signal Night Time Brigade visiting several towns across the country handing out a special calendar.

Children who brushed their teeth at night everyday from the 1st-21st of June 2011 were then required to tick the date off on the calendar and at the end of the 21 days send it to Signal to be entered into the draw.

PEO TV to go HD

Sri Lanka would soon have the opportunity to watch high definition television at faster bandwidths due to the ongoing I Sri Lanka programme which is being conducted by Sri Lanka Telecom.

Malraj Balapitiya

CEO Peo TV, Malraj Balapitiya said that in addition to Colombo they also launched this service in Jaffna and are confident that by the end of 2013 the entire country would be covered.

"Today high definition TV is being watch at speeds of around three to four MBPS and with the I Sri Lanka initiative this would increase to around 20", he added. Balapitiya said that their PEO TV (Personal Entertainment Option) customers would be able to enjoy this benefit. He said that looking back they are very happy abut the growth of PEO TV which is now the major revenue earner to the company. "When we introduced PEO TV three years ago the pick up was slow but today its growth is amazing," he disclosed. The Group reported revenue of Rs.37.47 billion for the first nine months of 2011 with impressive revenue growth in broadband and PEO TV.

He said that the unmatchable benefits that are on offer with PEO TV makes the product unique and attractive. "In addition to the high quality of pictures the customer has the advantage go back several hours and watch a programme he or she has missed," he said.

The ability to pause an on going programme gives the opportunity for a customer to watch a programme without missing a 'moment'. PEO TV also offers all local movie channels. "In a bid to help the local producers we also make a 50% payment to them when a customers watches their movie," he added. PEO TV is also password protected.

It also could record a programme running on another channel so that viewers could watch it later. "Time shift TV feature enables you to watch missed TV programmes at a time convenient to you," he said.

Asked as to why they were late introducing this technology he said that it was because they were waiting for the right technology to arrive.

"PEO TV is weather proof ensuring uninterrupted coverage and could also request and watch several movies. "Basically we have provided future technology today and PEO TV acts on your demands and is the best way to watch TV," he said.

Commenting on the Rainbow Pages he said that this year too it is being printed with several new features. "We also have a unique feature where any person could dial 444 from any mobile operator and request for a telephone number. We not only give the number but also SMS it so that they could dial direct from the mobile phone," he added. "We also provide special directories to the Export Development Board, the Sri Lanka Tourism and even Ayruvedha and many other areas."

EZY Holdings in new premises

EZY Holdings who set up Sri Lanka's first ever state-of-the-art automated computer manufacturing facility with a promise to provide quality computers at an affordable price, moved into their new premises at Bagatale Road, as part of the Company's ongoing expansion drive. EZY computers which are even being exported to the region with the first consignment of 600 SlimTops being sent to Pakistan and Bangladesh in September 2009, have made tremendous strides since their inception in February 2009 when Dubai based EZY Infotech set up operations through the BOI. AS one of Sri Lanka's premier computer manufacturers, EZY have lived up to their promise of 'making computers - simply affordable'.

EZY, which has been making waves in the local IT field ever since the launch of the EZY SlimTop, a new generation computer which is "slim in size and slim in price", have continuously focused on providing affordable solutions to bridge the gap between technology and affordability.

Unilever makes clean sweep

Effies 2011:

Unilever Sri Lanka established its strong brand equity yet again at the recently concluded Effie Awards 2011 held at Waters Edge on November 22. The company's brands Surf Excel, Signal, Lifebuoy, Vaseline and Rexona collectively won six Effie Awards.

The Unilever team

Unilever brands - Surf Excel, Vaseline and Lifebuoy - won three silver awards for their "Surf Excel Washing School", "Vaseline Two Toned People" and "Lifebuoy Global Handwash Day" campaigns respectively in the "Home Care and Appliances", "Beauty Products and Services" and "Corporate Reputation and Professional Services" categories.

Unilever also won three bronze awards in the "Beauty Products and Services" category for their Signal toothpaste campaign "Signal Whitening; White Unoth Right", Signal toothbrush campaign "Signal Junior Toothbrush Playtime" and "The Walking Fan" campaign for Rexona.

"As a FMCG company the consumer is at the centre of our universe. Our success and failure depends on how effectively we are able to communicate our offerings to them. We are very proud to have won these awards, as they are recognition of the fact that we understand our consumers and are able to speak their language", said Unilever Sri Lanka Marketing Director Ramani Samarasundera.

The Effies are awards established by the American Marketing Association that reward effectiveness of advertising and publicity at national and regional level. The Sri Lankan Institute of Marketing (SLIM) which is the national body of marketeers, have signed up with the American Marketing Association to introduce the prestigious Effies to Sri Lanka. The Effie Awards translate into the recognition the industry pays to the momentum, dedication and creativity that great marketers have established in forming great brand communications.

Arpico Supercentres making millionaires

"Arpico Christmas Millionaires" are making millionaires during this festive season through its seasonal promotional campaign. This campaign was launched on November 15 and will conclude on January 8.

Arpico CEO, Andrew Dalby presenting the Rs one million cheque to winner Jayantha Jayasekera.  Picture by: Sumanachndra Ariyawansa

One lucky shopper will be picked every week to win a "Million Rupees" and loads of consolation prizes of Arpico gift vouchers. Also a chance to win Soniq TVs everyday from December 1 to 31 for more lucky customers are on offer during this season. Arpico customers now have a chance to enter the grand weekly draw by shopping for Rs. 3,000 or more and including three nominated products out of a selection of ten brands.

Arpico Supercentres are also having exclusive ranges of Christmas d‚cor, toys, giftware and the best selection of Christmas hampers, meats, cheeses and festive food items available in-store for its shoppers. There will be plenty of fun for children shopping with their parents as they would have a chance to take pictures with Santa and participate in fun games and activities.

Richard Pieris Distributors Ltd, CEO Andrew Dalby said, "We continue to add value to our customers by providing them an unmatched seasonal product range and an exciting Christmas promotional campaign which rewards shoppers throughout the season. In fact we rewarded our first week's winner of a million Rupees, a shopper from Arpico Supercentre Kochchikade became the first Arpico Millionaire. We will be selecting six more millionaires in the next few weeks."

"More than 2000 products are on promotion up to 30% off, including Christmas d‚cor, toys, food items, giftware, furniture and electronics and loads of new arrivals especially for the season.

This season will surely be a pleasurable shopping experience for customers shopping at Arpico Supercentres during the festive period with the stores decorated with Christmas d‚cor, lighting, and a wide selection of seasonal products and the fantastic give-aways," he said.

'Country has capacity to increase milk production'

Sri Lanka has the capacity to increase milk production to develop the dairy industry and cut down on importation costs by adhering to advanced technology which support to boost the production.

The country will benefit from the measures taken to improve per yield of a cow in reaching self-sufficiency in the milk production. The modern technology in this regard is vital and measures need to be taken to proper implementation to facilitate increased output, Lucky Lanka Milk Processing C. Ltd. Chairman and Managing Director Lal Keerthi Gunawardhana said.

"We contribute to stop the drain of foreign exchange by locally producing milk and related food. The company has 3,000 farmers directly registered and over 10,000 litres are collected on a daily basis which is operated on Netherlands technology under the Blue Ocean Strategy where competition is irrelevant, he said.

The company plans to make fresh milk available countrywide within the next two years and a pilot project is currently underway at Matara.

"Our strategy is to promote local fresh milk to the entire country by 2015. The expressway is a blessing to accelerate our business progress as the speedy connectivity ensures freshness of the product", he said.

A ceremony was held on Friday in Colombo to felicitate Lucky Lanka Group Chairman Gunawardhana the winner of "Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the year 2011" National Platinum award, organized by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries Sri Lanka (FCCISL) held recently.

A new factory will be set up with an investment of Rs 250 million within next two to three weeks to produce UHT milk with plans to add more to its existing product line that includes six varieties of yoghurts, sterilized milk, curd and RTS fruit drink bottles. This facility will boost the milk processing capacity up to 20,000 litres and will support continuous research and development activities.

Lucky yoghurt is the only SLS certified yoghurt in the country and it is also ISO 22000 certified. While product promotion is carried out on the entrepreneurship concept the company equally shares commercial and social objectives through its continuous growing returns.

NSB embarks on aggressive savings drive

National Savings Bank (NSB) has embarked on an aggressive savings drive in keeping with the government target to reach 22 percent savings to GDP ratio.

"We will work towards increasing our current savings base of 4 to 4.5 million customers and have an ambitious plan to attract new savings with novel features to the existing savings portfolio.

The National Savings Bank relaunched eight co-products at a ceremony held last week. The bank appointed Sujani Menaka as the Brand Ambassador to promote the products to facilitate its savings drive. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

There is a need for secured savings instruments in the country and the NSB will cater to this demand, NSB Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam said.

"In supplementing the efforts to ensure wider reach, NSB has expanded its branch network to 63 branches with plans to add 10 more before the end of this year.

We are focusing on rural and semi rural areas," he said at the ceremony to re-launch NSB's eight core products held in Colombo on Friday. The core products re-launched were Hapan, Ithuru Mithuru, Sthree, Parthana, Ge Dora, Pension +, Ran Sahan and Auto loan. The bank appointed Sujani Menaka as the brand ambassador to promote the savings drive.

Being the third largest bank in Sri Lanka, seven out of 10 Sri Lankans have banking relationships with NSB as the only bank which guarantees government protection, he said.

"We will give priority for the North and the East where unbank and underbank concentration is high.

A mechanism should be in place to develop a savings culture where the habit of saving is inculcated from early stages of life.

As a large number of people still depend on the banking system for a safe savings mode despite the low interest rates introducing value added features will boost the savings base," he said.

With a vision to be the best accepted bank by 2012, NSB will focus on comprehensive strategy to enhance the quality of life through its core products. Hence, the re-launch will be a step towards achieving this objective, Kariyawasam said.

The bank plans to increase its savings reserves from 18 to 25 percent and to create 500,000 entrepreneurs from the rural sector with the expected increase in the per capita income by 2016. SJ

Bileeta wins recognition for Sri Lanka

Specialising in the development of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Bileeta (Private) Limited has earned a reputation - both here and abroad - for providing a cutting-edge solution to both medium and large-scale enterprises. The CEO Sanji de Silva and COO Sanka Weerasinghe, of Bileeta is on an aggressive growth path that continues to gain recognition, specifically with the affirmation of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).

Bileeta COO Sanka Weerasinghe (left) and CEO Sanji de Silva with the NBQSA award.

Competing head-on with other well-known ERP solutions Bileeta's ERP solution delivers a number of key advantages making this Sri Lankan product among the most competitive in the market.

Commenting on Bileeta's investment into developing its proprietary ERP solution and the rich dividends it delivers, CEO Sanji De Silva drew attention to the beginning of the project 11 years ago and underscores the dedication of his team and their 'single-minded focus' as being a crucial factor in the company's success. "A significant cost differential, development with Sri Lankan requirements in mind, ample built-in flexibility, real-time and readily-available maintenance sans foreign input are some of the advantages that make Bileeta's solution truly compelling," said Bileeta's COO, Sanka Weerasinghe.

Having already captured a niche in the local market, Bileeta has set its sights on capturing international market share with a foray into Australia. The company received its first overseas order two months ago, due to a grant from the ICTA to promote their product in Australia.

In recognition of the cutting-edge product and its quality, Bileeta won the Silver Award in the 'E-logistics and Supply Chain Management' category at the 12th National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) ceremony held in October this year. Held to provide a platform to recognize outstanding contributions and performance by local companies to the development of ICT in Sri Lanka, the NBQSA is an annual event that continues to grow in importance and acceptance.

Following on the heels of its recent national recognition, Bileeta was also nominated to represent Sri Lanka in the Asia Pacific ICT Awards, which is a further endorsement of Bileeta being regarded as a top player in the IT software industry.

"It is a tremendous feeling to know that that we are realising the benefits of developing a world-class ERP solution. This clearly underscores the fact that Sri Lanka has a wealth of talent in the IT field. I must sincerely thank my team of dedicated professionals who continue to be a part of this amazing journey," said de Silva.

"The NBQSA Award has given us a great sense of encouragement. To be recognised as one of the best in Sri Lanka provides us the platform to position our product as the 'best of breed', not only locally but also in the global marketplace," said Weerasinghe.

Global Recognition for Expolanka

20th World Brand Congress :

Sri Lanka's diversified conglomerate Expolanka won international acclaim at the glittering 20th World Brand Excellence Awards Ceremony held at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.

It was bestowed with the prestigious Award for Social Marketing in recognition of its work carried out in the area of CSR.

Expolanka Holdings PLC Group CEO Hanif Yusoof said, "We at Expolanka are both delighted and deeply honoured with this recognition where our efforts have been appreciated by a global jury consisting of an eminent panel of judges". He hailed this as "an endorsement of the Company credo - doing business with the dare-to-do attitude".

"Corporate Social Responsibility is about demonstrating our Expolanka values beyond the confines of the company. It is about being good citizens by getting involved in the communities to which we belong. It is a collective and individual commitment to improving the cultural, social and physical environment in which we live and work.

The well-being of our communities is also an important aspect of our business. The areas we focus on are Health, Environment, Education, Disaster Relief and Community Development", said Expolanka's Marketing Head and Corporate Communications Paddy Weerasekera.

The World Brand Congress is the single largest rendezvous of the best brains behind some of the world's most successful and sought after brands. The Congress is an annual meeting place for leaders from every sector and continent and is a non-profit making activity aimed at a professional cause of development and growth. With a membership embracing over 100 countries across the globe, Brand Asia is a body committed to raising the standards of marketing and brand management across all industries in Asia and the world.

Ceylinco Life donates classrooms to rural schools

The learning environment has been made brighter for scores of rural school children with the donation of new classrooms to four more needy schools by Ceylinco Life.

Two of the classrooms constructed by Ceylinco Life.

The latest beneficiaries of Ceylinco Life's community initiative to develop infrastructure for under-served schools were the Muruththettuwa Junior School - Dehiovita in Avissawella, the Thissapura Junior School at Ethimalewewa in Moneragala, the Kasikote Junior School at Ambanpola, Galgamuwa and the Koonwewa School at Mahapotana, Kahatagasdigiliya.

The construction of another classroom for the Gonawala Junior School at Gonawala, Teldeniya is nearing completion, the company said. Over Rs two million has been incurred on the construction of these classrooms, each of which is 400 square feet in size.

With the four classrooms built this year, the number of classrooms donated to rural schools by Ceylinco Life stands at 37.

"Through our engagement with rural communities we have identified infrastructure as a primary need of schools," Ceylinco Life Managing Director and CEO R. Renganathan said. "Ceylinco Life will therefore continue to expand this initiative to provide well-constructed classrooms that could serve generations of students," he said.

Besides providing assistance through the construction of classrooms, Ceylinco Life supports the education of children in the country through its Pranama scholarships programme.

Over the past 10 years the company has disbursed more than Rs 37 million in scholarships to over 1,300 students.

Healthcare also features prominently in Ceylinco Life's Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, with programmes such as the Waidya Hamuwa (Meet the Doctor) which provides free medical consultations to people living in rural areas, the Senehasaka Udanaya seminars to educate expectant mothers and blood donation camps.

Ceylinco Life defines its Corporate Social Responsibility as 'The continuing commitment of the company to create a sustainable business environment even in the remotest areas of the country through meaningful interventions in areas such as healthcare and education for needy people, while providing protection and financial security of the highest quality.'

Ceylinco Life was accorded international recognition for its commitment to the community earlier this year with the overall award for 'Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practices' at the second CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing.


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