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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sri Lanka register historic series win against Australia
Sri Lanka register historic series win against Australia
Sri Lanka beat Australia by 229 runs in the second match of the three-match Test series at the Galle International Stadium to clinch the series as the hosts also won the first match in Pallekele.

The 229-run win came after lunch on day three and was the 10th-shortest Test match ever for balls bowled (1,297) when all 40 wickets have fallen. Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera finished with match figures of 10-99. Australia, chasing 413, started on 25-3 but were all out for 183 as their problems against spinners were exposed.

The teams move to Colombo now for the third and final test from next Saturday. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

from left:Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director General,
Ministry of Health, Prof. Oliver A. IIeperuma,
Co-Chair of Conference on Environmental Challenges,
Mr. Vivek Vikram, Director of S.D. Promo Media, India,
Mr. Ravi Kumudesh, President of Sri Lanka Society for
Medical Laboratory Science, President of Sri Lanka
Society of Medical Laboratory Practitioners

Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo 2016 kicks off on 18 August at SLECC

Over 150 internationally reputed pharmaceutical and medical companies from 10 countries will come together to showcase state-of-the-art Analytical, Scientific, and Biotechnology related instruments at the Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo.
Serving as a platform for over 500 brands, the landmark event will also serve as an unprecedented hub for networking and knowledge sharing, drawing participation from leading international business leaders, government officials, doctors, policy advocates, industry professionals, scientists and researchers.
Running from 18 August to 20 August at Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Center (SLECC), the Expo will commence with an inauguration by Minister of Science, Technology & Research, Sri Lanka Hon. Susil Premajayantha and Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Sri Lanka Hon. Champika Ranawaka.
Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Health
Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Health
The exhibition is organised by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine in concert with the Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science, Institute of Quality and Productivity Management, Sri Lanka, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon and S.D. Promo Media Pvt Ltd.
Intended to serve as a gateway towards comprehensively and sustainably improving the quality of equipment available to Sri Lankan hospitals, pathology labs, research institutes, pharma and food industries, universities, material testing labs, and trade suppliers, the event will link stakeholders with international leaders in Hospital and Surgical Equipment, Rescue & Emergency Equipment, Medical Disposables, Hospital Furniture, IT Service Providers for Hospital, Medical Waste Management, and Facility Management & Support Services.
In connection to the main exhibition, a further two-day symposium organised by the College of Chemical Sciences (CCS) of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon (I.Chem.C) will also take place at the same venue on the theme “Environmental Challenges for Sustainable Development: The Role of Chemists”.
Mr. Vivek Vikram, Director of S.D. Promo Media, India
Mr. Vivek Vikram, Director of S.D. Promo Media, India
Commencing 18 August, the conference will identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of value to government, academia, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers working to develop more sustainable and inclusive societies.
Speakers will present evidence and share knowledge aimed at spreading a deeper understanding of current and emerging challenges to the Environment in Sri Lanka owing to improper chemical management, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of current regulatory frameworks, and identify potential migratory and interventional actions towards a sustainable environment.
Rounding out the symposium will be a full day conference on the theme: “Harmonizing Science, Engineering and Technology towards Quality Medical Laboratory Services” – an influential event ultimately aimed at streamlining supply of quality, innovative products through process improvement and continuous dialog between the industry and laboratory professionals. 
The Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo and its connected events is organised S.D. Promo Media Pvt. Ltd, a leading trade promotion organization based in India and serving the needs of laboratory, Scientific, Analytical, Biotech, Education, Pharma, and Medical sectors for clients across the globe.
It is the first Indian company to deliver comprehensive, multi-faceted services to laboratories and the wider scientific community related to enhancing the visibility of clients through the provision of internet tools such as web based directories and other online promotional methods integrated with off-line tools like exhibitions, conferences, seminars and road shows.
Having developed primary expertise in India, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia, S.D. Promo Media has been the driving force behind numerous success stories for its clients in China, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Germany.
Organizers anticipate that the 2016 events along with the conference themes will not only provide an opportunity to commercially revitalize the laboratory and medical industry in Sri Lanka but will also inspire a new ideas, research and synergies.


For information visit:www.srilankalabexpo.com or www.srilankamedicalshow.com or email: info@sdpromomedia.com

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Herath bowls historic Sri Lanka win in first Test
Herath bowls historic Sri Lanka win in first Test
Sri Lankan Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath dismissed five Australian wickets including one from skipper Steven Smith as the hosts claimed a historic Test win over Australia on the tense final day of the rain-hit first Test in Pallekele on Saturday (June 30 2016). 

Sri Lanka stunned top-ranked Australia by 106 runs. This is only Sri Lanka’s second win over Australia on the longest format of the game.

21-year-old Kusal Mendis paved the way with a masterful 176, while 38-year-old Rangana Herath applied the finishing touches, with 5 for 54 in Australia's second innings, four of those wickets coming on the last day. For Australia, who began the day on 83 for 3 and was bundled out for 161, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. Not only was it the first defeat under Steve Smith's captaincy, but it came against the No. 7 team, who had just been beaten 2-0 in England.

Final scoreboard between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele.

Sri Lanka 1st innings 117 all out (D de Silva 24, K Perera 20; Josh Hazlewood 3-21, Nathan Lyon 3-12)
Australia 1st innings 203 all out (A. Voges 47; Rangana Herath 4-49, Lakshan Sandakan 4-58
Sri Lanka 2nd innings 353 all out (Kusal Mendis 176; Mitchell Starc 4-84)
Australia 2nd Innings (Overnight Australia 83 for three)
The next Test of the three-match series begins August 04 in Galle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Magnolie__Wildeiche-Sherry
Magnolie__Wildeiche-Sherry
Fine Furniture Sri Lanka, a leading interior product retailer, brings to the local market the strengths of such unique exclusive furniture brands which will awake the emotions, relates to the local culture, gives the comfort, making it a reality in harmony.

Everyone is different, with different ideas about their living space. Therefore furnishing styles are always influenced by someone’s lifestyle or personal needs. Making a home feel like the haven, means choosing the right furniture to suit your style, requirement and space, this is unique to each individual and their home. Whether it is down to earth, creative, purist or romantic, the possibilities for creating an individual style are endless.

With ‘exclusive’ partnership with luxurious European home brands such as KOINOR, PACIFIC GREEN, Loddenkemper, Rauch and ArteM, Fine Furniture Sri Lanka was created in Colombo by the German structural engineer Martin Klement on identifying the shifts in lifestyles and demands of new property owners in Sri Lanka. Fine Furniture came to provide specialty solutions with cutting edge European design for interior spaces. Today, Fine Furniture occupies a niche in the local market while leading a new outlook for living spaces in Sri Lanka.

Martin Klement_Hacker
Martin Klement_Hacker
Commenting on the vision of Fine Furniture, Martin Klement, Founder and CEO stated “When we started Fine Furniture a few years ago, it was answering an obvious need for great kitchens, interior product and furniture that represents the new lifestyle of the modern Sri Lankan and the market responded to us exceptionally well because of the product quality and longstanding success globally as well as the design aspect. Hence at Fine Furniture we promote an aura of modern home culture where people invest on long-lasting, quality products with outstanding design, function and performance for their homes for a new way of living.”


Other brand names under the company’s luxury home range include German appliance brands such as Bosch, Miele and De Dietrich, all of which hails synonymously with unique identity, and established with over 30 years of success.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Apartment Owner Placing Foundation Stone
Apartment Owner Placing Foundation Stone
Signature 7 a stunning new development offering luxurious three bedroom apartments with 2300Sqft of living space in the heart of Nawala.
Signature Living – a new and dynamic entrant to the real estate market today (12/07) announced the breaking of ground of their second development project ‘Signature 07’ in the bustling city of Nawala-Koswatte, within the space of one year. With the aim of providing a new look to vertical living in Sri Lanka. ‘Signature 07’ will be ready for ownership by December, 2017, enabling customers to enjoy a private, yet sumptuous space that recreates the concept of modern apartment living.
Located conveniently in Nawala-Koswatte, the 14-unit apartment complex will include two apartments’ per floor and each apartment will feature three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, spacious dining and living areas along with Hacker pantry complete with appliances and wet kitchen. All apartments will also be fitted with separate maid’s quarters. Residents will also be able to enjoy the panoramic view from the roof top lounge which includes a BBQ area and it will also include a fully equipped rooftop gymnasium. The site will also have 24 hour security along with special living features such as sound insulation, ROCA a premium range of bathroom fittings made in Spain, solid teak timber doors, dedicated charging ports for electric cars and the option of mechanised car lift for one additional parking space, all in all, everything an apartment dweller can wish for and more.
Ground Breaking Signature 07
Ground Breaking Signature 07
In addition to providing all the comforts of apartment living, Signature Living will be the first developer to introduce high efficient solar panels for the individual apartments as well as the common areas, enabling their customers to benefit with free electricity upto 25 years. All apartment units are also fitted with LED lighting and energy efficient air-conditioning to minimize impact to the environment.  
"With this newest range of apartments, Signature Living continues its proactive expansion in prime locations across the legislative capital of Sri Lanka," said Mr. Ramanarajan, Managing Director, Signature Living. "By aggressively strategizing, we capitalized on an opportunity to obtain property that will be valuable for years to come."

All Religious Customes Followed
All Religious Customes Followed
"We are thrilled to launch our second project ‘Signature 07’ and we look forward to developing a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with each of our customers, by providing them with value and reaching beyond their expectation. Innovation and product development is at the core of our business, making sure that each project is better than the previous. We strive to continuously add value to our clients by providing them with the highest quality and unmatched specifications. We are continuously seeking opportunities to keep up with the demands of our clients at Signature Living, which is why we are constantly striving to bring vertical living outside the box to our customers," added Mr. Ramanarajan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

delegates
left to right:
Mr. Wan - Representative for University Placement in the USA;
 Mr. Shiral Lakthilaka 
- Coordinating Secretary to His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena; 
His Excellency Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, Malaysian High Commissioner, 
High Commission of Malaysia; Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala - 
Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees; Dr. Nuraj I. Rajapakse - 
Chief Executive Officer / Chief Academic Officer,
 American Institute of Merit (AIM); Dr. Chandra Mathy Birapan - 
Chief Academic Officer,  Brighton ADP Pte Ltd; Dr. Hon Wei Min - 
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, KDU College, Malaysia; Mr. Chris Barker - 
Marketing Manager, Brighton ADP Pte Ltd and Mr. Murtaza Jafferjee - 
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of JB Securities (Pvt) Ltd.
Taking education to new heights and across the breadth of the world, the American Institute of Merit (AIM) opens its campus doors to potential students in Sri Lanka. Those who seek exceptional academic standards as well as boundless opportunity to advance their knowledge will find AIM to be the ideal solution that will fast track their needs. AIM is affiliated to KDU College in Malaysia. A University with a strong history, KDU Malaysia has been in operation delivering the American Degree Transfer program (ADP) for over 32 years enabling students to transfer to highly ranked universities across the United States and other countries such as Canada, UK, Australia & New Zealand.
The guaranteed transfer option to 25 universities in the US and Canada and other prestigious institutes across the globe, is also a salient feature of the institute which will be opening up a plethora of prospects for the students. Offering study options in Business, Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Humanities, AIM presents a vast array of concentrated majors that range from Architecture to the Social Sciences which gives students access to varied pathways.
CEO/CAO of AIM Dr. Nuraj I. Rajapakse shared his thoughts on the establishment of the institute stating that they believe in “Quality education at an affordable cost that makes students truly future-ready, especially in a time and age that a solid edification is vital to successful careers.”
Ms. Susan Ooi, Principal and CEO of KDU College Malaysia offered her best wishes at the momentous occasion, “We are excited to offer a world class education to Sri Lankan students and look forward to welcoming more American Degree Transfer Programme (ADP) students who have all the experience and intelligence they need to get ahead in a competitive and fast paced world.”

The American Institute of Merit had its grand unveiling on the 17th of July in Nawala, housed in a central and convenient location which includes ample parking as well as modern amenities which will help students keep pace with changing education trends and requirements. These facilities include libraries; laboratories and an English Language Teaching Centre which will equip students with the tools that they need to build a solid foundation. Helping to cement that foundation is the exceptional faculty that has been handpicked to develop the minds of the exclusive groups of classes in which individual attention can be given to each student. Possessing the necessary qualifications to guide and mentor the students, the esteemed panel employs a combination of innovative teaching techniques and practical real world knowledge, and is a vital pillar in the framework of what makes AIM an outstanding education provider.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016 final
Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016 final
Portugal defeated France in the final of 2016 European Championship to win their first ever major international tournament. after substitute Eder scored in extra time to give his team a 1-0 win over France.

Portugal star Ronaldo was taken off on a stretcher off in the 25th minute after he failed to recover from a heavy challenge by France's attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet. He returned to sit on the bench, his left knee bandaged, and limped onto the pitch to encourage his teammates at the start of both periods of extra time.

Portugal will pocket €25.5 million in prize money while runners-up France will get €23.5 million.  
Portugal wins Euro 2016 final
Portugal wins Euro 2016 final

Monday, July 11, 2016

Foreign operations or joint-ventures that have entered the market and the industry trend (cumulative numbers). Source: BOI Sri Lanka 2009-2015 statistics.
Foreign operations or joint-ventures that have entered the market
and the industry trend (cumulative numbers).
Source: BOI Sri Lanka 2009-2015 statistics.
Growing Services sector, upcoming Infrastructure Investments and increased global investor interest slots the country favourably against others to move up the transparency rankings over next few years.

JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2016 is out and Sri Lanka has made its debut in this highly-credible and well-known index. Compared to similar market sized countries like Myanmar (ranked at 95) and Vietnam (ranked at 68), Sri Lanka (ranked at 69) is a stronger debutant and better placed to move up in the next (2018) assessment given the reforms being rolled out by the government and increasing interest of international investors into the market.
Sri Lanka and Vietnam are likely to compete for moving into the semi-transparent category – ahead of others in the pack – from their low-transparency status today. Both countries are reforming several sectors and attracting international investors. Myanmar too, is off the block and is one of the fastest improvers, but has a long journey to make through the cluster of countries with opaque real estate sectors.

Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of a promising period of rapid economic growth and social development, driven largely by investments into infrastructure across the country as well as continued growth in the services sector, which now contributes 58% of the country’s GDP. Revival signs in the economy can be seen from the promising GDP growth expected in the next few years.
According to the Asian Development Bank, the GDP growth rate is forecast to reach 5.3% in 2016 from 4.8% in 2015. Moreover, World Bank recently listed Sri Lanka at 107 (out of 189 countries) in terms of ‘ease of doing business’, as opposed to its 2015 listing at 113. Policy changes proposed in the Budget 2015-16 are expected to positively influence private and foreign investments.

Ms. Gagan Singh, Chairperson – Jones Lang LaSalle Sri Lanka
Ms. Gagan Singh, Chairperson –
Jones Lang LaSalle Sri Lanka
Political stability coupled with a business-friendly environment facilitated by the current government has helped restore investors’ confidence. The country is now focused on long-term strategic and policy development changes to ensure long-term economic growth.
The government’s infrastructure push has led to an expansion of the construction industry over the past few years. Expansion and modernisation of Colombo’s port as also the development of other ports along with an improvement in the country’s road network has helped the logistics industry.
Moreover, domestic companies have showed stable growth and the number of foreign companies entering the island has seen a surge compared to 2009-10. Among the multinationals entering Sri Lanka, players in the food processing (see graph) and IT sectors too have shown interest in opening up offices, which bodes well for the economy.

The government’s plans of turning Sri Lanka into the most competitive economy in South Asia is expected to result in an incremental demand for office space from BPOs, financial, accounting and outsourcing companies.
According to the Travel and Tourism Index 2015, Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism competitiveness jumped 18 ranks over the past four years, driven by the strong government focus on the tourism sector, remarkable infrastructure growth as well as enhanced marketing and promotional efforts for the country as a whole. This sector is expected to grow further with the new budget of 2016 proposing promotion of the MICE (meeting, incentives, conferencing and exhibition) sector.

Outlook

Sri Lanka’s office and retail markets are seeing activity by reputed global names. This activity is reflecting through the growth in office and retail space off-take in last four quarters. With limitations of quality space available, the CBD sub-market rents have increased by 7-10% y-o-y in almost all grade-A office buildings.
Respected establishments like HSBC, Standard Chartered, Pearson Group, IDP Education, Firstsource, GSK, Red Cross, Uber, VFS (visa services), Zebra Technologies, Keangnam, among others, have already set up their base in Sri Lanka. Information technology leaders like IBM, Microsoft, and Cisco already have a base here. Renowned retail brands like The Body Shop, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and others, are doing business in Sri Lanka largely through the franchisee route and more brands of the same league are actively studying this market. H&M is already active for buying and sourcing.
Diverse base of international companies is evident by established fast moving consumer goods giants like Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, and Unilever; service sector leaders like  JLL, Tata Group, AIA, Allianz, and industrial- technology- logistics companies like Siemens, Ericsson and Maersk among others along with the best hospitality brands of ITC, Taj, Hyatt, Hilton, Shangri-La and Marriot.

Sri Lanka’s concern could be boosting foreign direct investment (FDI) quickly, maintaining a sustainable growth of the private sector and exports as well as addressing the urgent need to realign public spending with the nation’s immediate needs. The change of government has brought expectations of more transparency and more efficient utilisation of resources.

It is crucial now that the government implements necessary reforms to provide an improved investment climate conducive to driving more FDI and ushering in growth of the private sector – with a structured framework to drive investment.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lionel Messi sentenced 21 months prison term in tax case
Lionel Messi sentenced 21 months prison term in tax case

Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi gets 21-month prison term in tax case

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, was given a jail term for defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.5m) between 2007 and 2009. 

the court said that the sentence can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court. Under Spanish law, a tax prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are very unlikely to go to jail. 


The court has also ordered Messi to pay a fine of about €2 million ($2.2 million), while his father was dealt a €1.5m fine for the tax evasion.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Central Bank Sri Lanka
Central Bank Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Central Bank releasing the monetary policy review for April 2016 on Tuesday said it has decided to maintain current policy interest rates as the Monetary Board was of the view that the current monetary policy stance is appropriate.

Accordingly, the Monetary Board has decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank unchanged at 6.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively while the Statutory Reserve Ratio remains at 7.50 percent.

The Central Bank noted that the short term money market rates and other market interest rates have risen reflecting the tight monetary conditions in the economy and expected the expansion of monetary and credit aggregates to moderate from the second quarter of the year.

The recent increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate and the removal of certain exemptions applicable on VAT and the Nation Building Tax (NBT) are expected to have a one-off impact on inflation, while the supply side disruptions due to prevailing adverse weather conditions could exert some upward pressure on inflation in the immediate future, the Bank said.

The full statement follows: 

According to provisional estimates of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), the Sri Lankan economy grew by 5.5 per cent, in real terms, in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the growth of 2.5 per cent recorded in the last quarter of 2015. Economic growth was mainly supported by the expansion of Industry and Services related activities, which grew by 8.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively, during the first quarter of 2016 in value added terms. Meanwhile, Agriculture related activities recorded a moderate growth of 1.9 per cent during this period. The growth rate recorded in the first quarter was broadly in line with expectations for the year.


As anticipated, inflation increased in the month of May reflecting the impact of the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and the removal of certain exemptions applicable on VAT and Nation Building Tax (NBT), as well as the supply side disruptions due to adverse weather conditions.


Accordingly, the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI, 2006/2007=100) based headline inflation increased to 4.8 per cent, year-on-year, in May 2016 from 3.1 per cent in the previous month, while the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100) based headline inflation also increased to 5.3 per cent, year-on-year, in May 2016 from 4.3 per cent in the previous month. Core inflation as measured by both CCPI and NCPI also increased in May 2016 mainly reflecting the impact of revisions made to the tax structure by the government.


In spite of these transitory price movements, inflation is expected to moderate in the period ahead and remain in mid-single digits in the medium term supported by appropriate demand management policies.


In the monetary sector, the year-on-year growth of broad money (M2b) decelerated to 18.2 per cent in April 2016 compared to 18.9 per cent recorded in March 2016. The expansion in credit to the private sector and the government remained key drivers of broad money growth, while credit to public corporations recorded a repayment during the first four months of the year. 


Credit extended to the private sector by commercial banks grew by 28.1 per cent in April 2016 on a year-on-year basis, although in absolute terms, disbursements in April 2016 were limited to Rs. 27.4 billion compared to Rs. 87.7 billion in the previous month. Short term money market rates displayed some stabilisation, while the upward trend observed in other retail market interest rates continued reflecting the gradual transmission of the monetary policy measures that were taken previously, amidst low levels of rupee liquidity in the domestic money market.


On the external front of the economy, the deficit in the trade account contracted by 2.4 per cent during the first four months of 2016, on a year-on-year basis, as the decline in imports was greater than the contraction in exports. Earnings from tourism were estimated to have increased by around 18.4 per cent during the period from January to May 2016, while workers’ remittances increased by 4.7 per cent during the period from January to April 2016. Gross official reserves were estimated at US dollars 5.6 billion by end May 2016.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

everjobs
everjobs
everjobs.lk, Sri Lanka’s fastest growing job portal, recently embarked on a mission to give job seekers in smaller cities and towns to springboard to brighter career prospects with its Town Day campaign.

Sri Lanka Labour Force Statistics shows around 400,000 Sri Lankans are unemployed – which is 4.3 percent of the total labour force. Yet, a striking shortage of talent hinders economic development and prosperity. Around 40% of employers say lack of experience, counting internships, is the main barrier for entry level vacancies. To play its part against this trend, everjobs has devised its everjobs Town Day[TM] campaign. The goal is to support job seekers in smaller cities and towns in to boost their employability. The everjobs team is visiting the areas to encourage and assist young people to register with the site, and help to identify best fit opportunities.

Felix Lienau, Country Manager and Managing Director, everjobs Sri Lanka said, "I am very proud that this excellent initiative is being launched in Sri Lanka for the first time. I feel it is a huge step towards our vision of empowering job seekers with the skills and experience necessary to shape their future. The everjobs Town Day campaign aims at encouraging thousands of job seekers to pursue their professional ambitions with strong determination and passion to foster their dreams. I am firmly convinced that by giving wings to the ambitions of this talent pool in small cities and towns, we can transform their dreams into reality."


Beyond the everjobs Town Day, everjobs aims to fight youth unemployment by providing 'readiness to work' initiatives and work-based training opportunities all over Sri Lanka, by tapping into Universities and educational institutions. 

About everjobs

everjobs.lk is a job portal currently operating in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. Launched in 2015, everjobs aims to become the leading job portal in fast growing markets finding the right match for both, employers and candidates. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE addressing the staff at the opening ceremony of the new CAKE LABS Operations Centre
Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE addressing the staff
at the opening ceremony of the new CAKE LABS Operations Centre
Silicon Valley based tech company CAKE LABS recently unveiled their new Operations Centre, a state of the art facility in the Iceland Business Centre in Colombo 03. The facility that has been designed using latest industry trends such as open floor plans and hot-houses to aid communication, as well as sleeping rooms and games areas to facilitate relaxation, signifies the emphasis the company places on the key role operations plays in customer adoption of the CAKE restaurant technology platform.
A room for when employees need a break or some peace and quiet
A room for when employees need a break or some peace and quiet
The move comes in conjunction with the record growth in the customer base of the company this year. Commenting on the growth, CEO Mani Kulasooriya said, “This has been a huge growth year for CAKE. The total value of transactions processed through our system this year alone will exceed all of our previous years combined. Furthermore, if the current growth rate continues, we will double our customer base in 2016. The expanding of our operations is a direct result of this success, as they are the key to increasing our market share.”
According to Mr. Kulasooriya, maintaining quality of service while scaling has been the key to expanding the customer base, and the operations division has played an enormous role in this.
The Games Room
The Games Room
“Operations has been a cornerstone to securing traction in the market,” said Shanil Fernando, CAKE LABS SVP Engineering and MD, Sri Lanka. “You can certainly capture a market with a great product like ours, but you can’t retain your customers unless the product is stable. The POS for a restaurant operator is a mission critical system to run their restaurant. If the operators are encountering errors, then they will switch. That is where our proactive support team comes in.”
The CAKE LABS operations team distinguishes itself from its peers through its proactive approach. They studied how Tesla monitors their cars remotely and how Boeing proactively monitors live jet engines, and built a unique piece of technology where the team can identify potential errors in the field before they even take place. The team then performs fixes on the system before crashes occur, avoiding potential system-down time.
CAKEsters at work in the main work area
CAKEsters at work in the main work area
Furthermore, CAKE LABS has employed several engineering initiatives to maintain stability. One such initiative was the new payment gateway, as nothing is more damaging to an operator’s business than being unable to process payments. The new gateway employs redundant servers in multiple cities on the East Coast and West Coast of the United States, as well as multiple third party payment processors, so that it can keep processing payments even when infrastructure may be down in a given geography or when third party processors are down.


With these factors combined, CAKE LABS seems poised for exponential expansion in the coming months, both in terms of its number of operators, and the capabilities of the team. 

CAKE LABS

CAKE LABS (Pvt) Ltd is the Sri Lankan based engineering and operations engine behind the integrated restaurant technology platform CAKE. CAKE Corporation, based in Silicon Valley (Redwood City, CA, USA), is a part of the fortune 500 company Sysco (NYSE: SYY).


Friday, June 17, 2016

Kumudhini Rosa (Senior Advisor, GIZ VTN Project) at the podium. P Ranepura (Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training), H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe (Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training), Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives), and Dr. A. U. C. Athukorala (Chairman, National Apprentice and Industrial Authority) at the head table.
Kumudhini Rosa (Senior Advisor, GIZ VTN Project) at the podium.
P Ranepura (Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development and
Vocational Training), H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic
 of Germany to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe
(Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training),
 Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives),
and Dr. A. U. C. Athukorala (Chairman, National Apprentice and
 Industrial Authority) at the head table.
The establishment of the Sri Lanka-German Training Institute (SLGTI), a landmark project initiated by German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka, was announced at a press conference attended by Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training and HE Dr. Juergen Morhard, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The SLGTI, situated in Kilinochchi, is scheduled to be officially opened on 18 July by HE President Maithripala Sirisena.

Kumudhini Rosa - Senior Advisor, GIZ Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka (VTN) Project introduces the Sri Lanka - German Training Institute (SLGTI) to be opened in July 2016.
Kumudhini Rosa - Senior Advisor, GIZ Vocational Training
in the North and East of Sri Lanka (VTN) Project introduces the Sri Lanka
 - German Training Institute (SLGTI) to be opened in July 2016.
SLGTI is part of the Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka (VTN) project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (German Development Bank- KfW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is co-funded by the State Secretary for Migration of the Government of Switzerland. The VTN project was initiated in 2012 with the goal of improving demand oriented vocational training in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

SLGTI will function under the purview of the National Apprentice Industrial and Training Authority of Sri Lanka (NAITA). It is recognised as a national level training institute with equity of access for all citizens of Sri Lanka, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The centre as a common meeting point will facilitate the development of a mutual understanding and appreciation among students about the diverse cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.
 The institute will offer high quality vocational training in sectors of automobile technology, construction technology, food processing technology, mechanical engineering and electrical and electronic technology. The medium of instruction will be English.

H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe (Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training), Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives)
H.E. Jürgen Morhard (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
to Sri Lanka and Maldives), Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe
(Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training),
Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo (Country Director, GIZ Sri Lanka and Maldives)
“These sectors have been identified for the opportunities available within them for well trained, skilled labour,” said Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training. “We are confident that SLGTI will provide the best opportunity for war affected youth in the Northern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka as well as youth from other parts of the island to develop and enhance valuable industry-specific knowledge and market oriented skills. This will significantly improve their chances in a competitive job market.”
The training for an annual intake of 200 students will be provided at NVQ Levels 4 to 6 in keeping with the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) framework. To prepare students for this, 14 vocational training centres offering NVQ Levels 1-3 training have been identified as satellite centres in the Northern and Eastern provinces. These satellite centres have been upgraded to meet the standards set by SLGTI.

SLGTI will also cater to young people with G.C.E. O/L, G.C.E. A/L, and NVQ Level 3 and 4 qualifications. The institute’s training staff was supervised in the Training of Trainers (ToT) process by German Consultants; an initial batch of 22 trainers completed the ToT programme in June 2016. During the first years of operation an experienced German Principal will ensure the transfer of international best practices to the operation and administration of the institute.

The state of the art SLGTI facility in Kilinochchi is built on 25 acres of land allocated by the Sri Lankan Government. 8.4 million Euros was allocated through the KfW (German Development Bank) for construction, supply of equipment, machines and teaching materials. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has granted an additional 8 million Euros for technical assistance through GIZ. GIZ, in turn, has taken on the task of providing technical assistance, capacity development of qualified managerial staff, and trainers.   
At the launch Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, HE Dr. Juergen Morhard noted that the opening of SLGTI was a step forward in strengthening the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Germany via committed and continued investment in the country’s development process.

“The GIZ has consistently expressed interest in improving vocational training in Sri Lanka,” added Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo, Country Director for GIZ in Sri Lanka. “Over the years we’ve established a good rapport with the Sri Lankan government in providing technical and vocational training to help young people do better; SLGTI is a significant result of this effort.”
For over 50 years GIZ has provided services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development, utilising experience in a wide variety of areas including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. GIZ services are utilised by the German government, governments of other countries and a number of global institutions including the European Union and the United Nations. In 2014 GIZ’s business volume exceeded two billion euros, with the presence of GIZ personnel in over 130 countries around the world. GIZ has been active in Sri Lanka since 1956, engaging in the sectors of education, social integration, private sector development and vocational training.

Sri Lanka and Germany share a rich history of cooperation in skills development spanning over five decades. Beginning with the establishment of the Ceylon German Technical Training Institute (CGTTI), the Apprentice Training Institute (ATI), the Sri Lanka German Railway Training Institute (SLGRTTI) and the Farm Mechanisation Training Centre (FMTC), to introducing the dual system and standardising training programmes, Germany continues to play a prominent role in Sri Lanka’s vocational training sector. Currently, Germany is one of the most important donor and technical partner for vocational training in the country. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

EPSI Technology Systems Product Manager - Chanaka De Mel
EPSI Technology Systems Product Manager - Chanaka De Mel
Sri Lanka’s pioneering total PC solutions provider EPSI Technology (Pvt) Ltd launched the world’s smallest PC - ASUS VivoStick PC. ASUS announced the international release of ASUS VivoStick on 8th April 2016. The PC in hand whenever or wherever it is needed, is designed to make a big impact both in terms of performance and aesthetic. 
VivoStick is a pocket-sized PC that turns any HDMI display or TV into a Windows PC or smart TV for work or play and is powered by an Intel® Atom™ processor with 2GB RAM, and has 32GB of onboard storage space. It has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® 4.1, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI port and an audio jack, plus an internal cooling fan to guard against overheating.

This remarkable ultra-miniature ‘stick' PC is incredibly slim, compact and light with a modern, elegant fountain-pen-inspired design. VivoStick gives users the full PC experience anywhere, allowing them to work, stream HD videos, or connect with family and friends via social media apps on their TV. Users can cast content to larger screen with ASUS HyStream, this app lets them mirror or stream Full HD movies, videos, or photos stored on their Android™ or iOS smartphones, tablets, or PCs to an HDMI-enabled TV in any home theater setup.
EPSI Technology, System Product Manager, Mr. Chanaka De Mel stated that VivoStick is a low-maintenance machine and a cost effective solution for business, commercial and educational use and is ideal for travelers. VivoStick can be used as a thin-client platform for call centers, computer labs in schools, or small businesses. Touchscreen support makes VivoStick PC an eye-catching proposition as a cost-effective, self-service guest computing cubicle in airports, hotels, malls, and tourist attractions.

EPSI Technology (Pvt) Ltd is a leading provider of total PC solutions. With over two decades of experience in the IT industry and in partnership with world renowned brands such as ASUS and ViewSonic, EPSI is recognisably rated as a leading IT company in providing innovative, high quality and technologically advanced products with excellent after sales service and support. EPSI adopts world-class practices, ensuring consistent quality across every aspect of its business, from its products and services to its business processes, relationships and stakeholder experiences.

ASUS is passionate about technology and driven by innovation. Its visionary approach, “We dream, we dare and we strive to create an effortless and joyful digital life for everyone. We’re always in search of incredible ideas and experiences – and we aspire to deliver the incredible in everything we do,” is the reason, ASUS is able to bring high-quality innovation and design to its products, and the reason for its widespread acclaim. In 2015, ASUS earned 4,368 awards from some of the most prestigious international organisations and media groups worldwide. ASUS has consistently achieved significant year-on-year growth and closed 2015 on a high with revenues hitting US$14 billion.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Gagan Singh, Chairperson – Jones Lang LaSalle Sri Lanka
Gagan Singh, Chairperson – Jones Lang LaSalle Sri Lanka
“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” - George Bernard Shaw
One of the key aspects of planning commercial real estate is to understand how the traditional workplace has been replaced by new working methods. The era of using desktop computers, having a permanent workstation, individual landlines, and making copious print-outs is likely to become out-of-date very soon as new workplace methods are introduced. It is well-known that technology creates a decentralised organization but the balance between centralising and decentralising depends on the organisation concerned and also on its culture. It is noticeable that the Sri Lankan workplaces that JLL deals with rely on a plethora of hard and soft technologies such as smart phones, laptops, tabs, Microsoft links, email, cloud facilities, WebEx and online marketing channels such as ‘Facebook’, other such websites and software systems that are customised.
Interestingly, Sri Lanka is in the latent stage of becoming a fully-fledged digitalised economy. National internet penetration has reached over 25% (InternetWorldStats.com) in the last five years and internet use is higher in the Western Province with the proliferation of high-quality affordable smart phones. As a result, the use of smart phones for official purposes is also growing.
Agile working is made possible through technology
Agile working is made possible through technology
Value Creation due to Technology
One of the ways that workplace space is being revolutionised is through the agile working concept provided by technology that allows home-based and agile working to slowly infiltrate the Sri Lankan working environment. This impinges on three value generation aspects, especially for employees and for end-users. Firstly, certain employees who work from home, benefit by having a more balanced work life that gives them more flexibility, time with family and allows them to make use of time more productively. This, in turn, helps the organisation to reduce overheads and the employee to save on travelling time and associated expenses. A publishing company has said that the use of a virtual machine, a technology provided by Microsoft, creates a server that replicates a real server, is giving it a 25% cost saving.  A well-known Sri Lankan financial institution uses only Apple iPads and e-mails for online board meetings as opposed to using printed documents and this saves paper. Further, the use of cloud facilities has made certain organisations more secure on data security with all data consolidated onto one secure platform.
Key aspects of leading workplace standards
Key aspects of leading workplace standards 
Digitising Workplaces
It is widely known that, today, decisions are made in real time and this requires real time data which depends heavily on connectivity, reliability and disaster recovery of systems and a quick response time frame. For instance, if we look at a multinational company, we can see that their field staff depends on smart phones as point of sale to book orders from retailers and wholesalers by using a customized sales order application and that this makes their work more effective and efficient. In the event of a natural disaster that affects a manufacturing facility, the real time data and interconnectivity help its management make  quick decisions after consulting the regional / international divisions.
Effective workplace strategies
Technology confers enhanced productivity. However, it can also create work-related stress and mechanically driven tasks which can become monotonous over time. Therefore, certain soft facilities need to be implemented to improve the morale of employees and the majority of firms approached by us said that they provided club memberships with facilities such as badminton, fitness centres, photography groups, holiday bungalows, and so on. Such facilities could not be provided in-house due to the cost and lack of space.
Leading workplace standards
When considering leading workplace standards we need to look at three key aspects – Trust (The people they work for), Delight (In what they do), and Relish (The people they work with).
Siemens, a global technology company in Belgium, found out that 16% of its employees experienced high levels of stress and irregular working hours which impacted their performance. Hence, the company introduced a health programme that focused on awareness building and training through the following:
· Making available an instructional/educational video
· Arranging a two-day health seminar for managers
· Launching the Siemens social network platform “Fit@work”
· Introducing its “Individual development plan” for job security related issues

This resulted in low absenteeism and 90% of the participants recommending the programme. More than 250 employees joined the social network community and Siemens was awarded the title of “Employer of the Year 2014”.
Conclusion



  • To conclude, Sri Lanka is still at the embryonic stage in developing workplace strategies. These are visible in certain organizations, especially in call centres, Software developing companies, Business centres that have global affiliations and would work on shift basis or would share office infrastructure.
  • IT infrastructure needs to be adopted more broadly across all sectors not just amongst the BPO/KPOs.
  • Work at home could be implemented if efficient individual performance measurement mechanisms are implemented, along with clear HR policies that are coherent.
  • Workplace strategies will not only boost the transparency within the firm but also the efficiency by reducing human errors.
  • When fair and transparent HR policies are set for home or on flexible working hours it boosts the confidence level of employees, giving them comfort and appreciation. Simultaneously the employer can monitor progress to confer benefit to the organisation.

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