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Friday, May 19, 2017

Furniture on display at Meubel House gallery on Gower Street
Furniture on display at Meubel House gallery on Gower Street
With real estate in Colombo steadily rising in value, contemporary homes are becoming smaller and professional advice on how to enhance a space proves valuable and cost-effective for homeowners. During a visit to the picturesque Meubel House gallery on Gower Street, Architect Suzette Whehella shares her tips for making the best out of every space and a few guiding principles for choosing the right furniture.
Architect Whehella grew up amid spaces and design metrics - her father was an engineer and since she was six, she aspired to create living spaces. She studied architecture at the City School of Architecture and branched out on her own with Suzette Whehella Associates. Architect Whehella prefers to focus on a few projects at a time; this has allowed her to dabble in sub-disciplines close to her own work-for example interior design, which she started experimenting with when she realized how a beautifully designed space could be furnished and accessorized to make it truly extraordinary.
Furniture on display at Meubel House gallery on Gower Street
Furniture on display at Meubel House gallery on Gower Street
When she meets with clients Whehella tries to find out what makes them tick. “Interiors are about character,” she says. “It has to reflect the little quirks and interests of the person living in the house.” It can be challenging to keep your own preferences out of it, she laughs. “You have to remember that this is where someone else will be living and that it needs to be about their likes and dislikes.” Her advice is to consult with an architect first if you’re doing the interiors for your own house, as they will have a good idea of what the space requires.
To begin with, a house with open areas and natural light is instantly easier to work with. If natural light is difficult to tap into, Whehella advises strategically placing lamps and lights for good lighting indoors. Then, you could choose the furniture and other accessories to individualize your space.
Architect Suzette Whehella at the Meubel House gallery
Architect Suzette Whehella at the Meubel House gallery
When choosing furniture, remember that size matters. A larger space can handle large furniture while it is always advisable to choose smaller pieces for a smaller space. It may sound self-evident but many homeowners give in to the temptation of buying a large pettagama, or wooden chest, for their tiny living room. To be comfortable, you need as much space as possible to walk around, says Whehella.
Use quirky, unusual versions of the most traditional items of furniture. She used it at a conference for guests to network and it proved to be the perfect way to get people to relax. You could also use unusual colours to brighten up a solid colour scheme-for example a room painted in white and filled with white or light-coloured furniture will instantly take to multi-coloured chests. Whehella suggests using it in a TV room or living room, but recommends that you pair it with an otherwise muted colour scheme. “As a rule of thumb, we say no more than three colours. Beyond that it gets to be too much. I would also follow this rule when you’re painting indoor spaces - for walls, less is more.”
Furniture on display at Meubel House gallery on Gower Street
Furniture on display at Meubel House
gallery on Gower Street
Mix and match shapes and textures, but with restraint. Thinking in height and width dimensions can also help you find visual balance in a space. A strategically placed mirror can also add a touch of elegance to a larger space, or create the illusion of space in a smaller room.
The day bed which was made entirely of reclaimed wood from a boat, is an example of a statement piece that can dress up a large space or add excitement to an outdoor area. Whehella recommends using primarily wood in outdoor spaces - just make sure you maintain it well - or rattan, a naturally renewable material favoured by many Sri Lankan households. If you must have metal, use galvanized wrought iron for a rustic look to add character to a space.

Whehella shares that interior design is often about instinct tempered with insight - perhaps from a professional, but experience can also help. Instinct will help you bring a strong sense of character to a room, while knowing what goes where, and how, will help you make that space truly home. At Meubel House you’ll find a bit of both - guidance to help you find the right fit for your home, and respect for character in a space via customized furniture.
The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Liquid Peel, designed to tackle pollutants that penetrate the deeper layers of skin
The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Liquid Peel, designed to
tackle pollutants that penetrate the deeper layers of skin
The Drops of Youth Liquid Peel and the Drops of Youth Fresh Emulsion are the newest additions to the extensive range at The Body Shop stores in Sri Lanka. These 100% vegan youth enhancing solutions are designed for skin that is regularly exposed to polluted environment, making them the perfect go-to pollution solution for city dwellers.

There is little doubt that city skin deteriorates faster. In fact, up to 80% of the damage and ageing the skin experiences day after day is linked to external aggressors like UV and pollution. Science is beginning to draw parallels between pollution and premature skin ageing; a recent study by a leading skincare brand found that urban pollution is one of the biggest skin aggressors. People living in cities tend to have lower levels of Vitamin E, deceased barrier function and dehydrated skin in comparison to their rural counterparts. A skincare routine that tackles both is vital and the Body Shop’s new Drops of Youth anti-pollution products are the ideal tools for this task.

The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Liquid Peel, designed to tackle pollutants that penetrate the deeper layers of skin
The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Liquid Peel, designed to
tackle pollutants that penetrate the deeper layers of skin
The first is the Drops of Youth Liquid Peel to tackle pollutants that penetrate the deeper layers of skin, causing the breakdown of collagen. The transforming gel-to-peel technology and revolutionary texture of the product traps and gently lifts impurities, fine pollutants and dead skin cells to reveal fresher and more youthful looking skin. 88% of respondents conducting a self-assessment after using the product agreed that it peeled off impurities and left their skin feeling purified.

The Drops of Youth Fresh Emulsion with SPF 20 protection is an emulsion that can be used daily to help protect against pollution and enhance the skin’s youthful appearance. By infusing thyme and buddleia extract and a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB filters, this powerful but ultra-light formula hydrates skin and can be used as or in addition to daily moisturizer. This protection can be enhanced with the Skin Defence range’s Multi Protection Essence, which brings a more considerable SPF 50 protection to the table.

The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Emulsion, contains
SPF20 to protect against pollution and
enhance the skin’s youthful appearance
The Drops of Youth range is enriched with high quality Community Trade Babassu Oil sourced from North Brazil. This babassu is grown by a community calling themselves the ‘guardians of the forest’; the wild babassu palm trees are an essential livelihood resource in these areas. Its nuts are packed with natural goodness, including hydrating oils for supple and smooth skin. 


The products are available at The Body Shop flagship store on Bagatale Road and Odel on Alexandra Place. 

About The Body Shop:
The Body Shop is an iconic British retailer of ethical cosmetics and toiletries. It was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 with the belief that businesses should ‘enrich, not exploit’. A philosophy of creating the best quality cosmetics and toiletries without exploiting the planet’s resources or people has driven the brand, which pursued sustainability and ethical business long before it became fashionable. In April 2017 The Body Shop launched a worldwide campaign to ban animal testing in partnership with Cruelty Free International. 
Mulberry Sari
Mulberry will unveil The Glamour Collection with an exhibition and sale on Saturday, 20 May at The Kingsbury Apartments on Bagatale Road. New additions to the label’s Elegance Collection introduced in December 2016 will also be available at the venue.

Mulberry is a label for contemporary woman seeking saris for casual and occasion wear. Mulberry’s seasonal collections are curated by sisters Nadira and Azra Abdul Cader; they launched the label in 2012 because their own search for affordable, contemporary and elegant saris in Colombo was often a difficult one. The two sisters began exploring the bazaars and design houses of other South Asian countries to handpick the best from what they found, and the Mulberry brand was launched. Over the years the label has become known for a tasteful selection of merchandise featuring saris and jewellery in on-trend colours and designs.

The Abdul Cader sisters say that they just want to make it easier for women to walk in and find exactly what they want. “Most of us don’t have time to visit several shops to find one sari. At Mulberry, we’ve already done the hard work for our clients and they can choose from a very carefully curated collection,” says Azra.

Mulberry’s fashion code is simple: contemporary elegance with an affordable price tag. The Glamour Collection will comprise of saris and jewellery that embody this spirit, with one of a kind pieces that will stand out during the upcoming wedding season. Each sari carries a distinctive appeal with varying textures, weaves and patterns. Customers may complete their outfit in one go by adding a statement piece of jewellery from the extensive collection on offer.
Pieces from the Elegance Collection will also be available at the venue, featuring a range of saris in silk, cotton, silk-cottons and raw silks. Nadira encourages anyone hoping to attend the show and sale on Saturday to have a peek at the collection on Mulberry’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MulberryStyle . 

“The Elegance Collection was an immediate hit when we launched it in December, and we’re guessing that The Glamour Collection will be snapped up pretty quickly too,” she says.


The Glamour Collection show and sale will be open to all on Saturday, 20 May from 10 am to 6 pm at Windsor Room, 4th Floor, The Kingsbury Apartments, 1, Bagatalle Road, Colombo 03.
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hanif Yusoof - Founder & President, Peter Larsen - COO and Saif Yusoof - Managing Director of EFL Sri Lanka at the opening of a dedicated auditorium at the state-of-the-art EFL Campus in Orugodawatte
Hanif Yusoof - Founder & President, Peter Larsen - COO and
Saif Yusoof - Managing Director of EFL Sri Lanka at the opening
of a dedicated auditorium at the state-of-the-art EFL
Campus in Orugodawatte

Opens new auditorium and launches e-learning platform catering to growing demand for logistics services

Responding to significant growth in demand for qualified professionals in the sector, global logistics provider Expolanka Freight (EFL) announced a significant expansion of its training capabilities with the opening of a dedicated new auditorium facility together with the launch of breakthrough cloud based e-learning platform.
Situated at its state-of-the-art EFL Campus in Orugodawatte, the spacious new auditorium will serve as focal point for an extensive range of training and development progammes aimed at producing Sri Lanka’s next generation of logistics specialists to take the industry forward over the medium-long term.
Parallel to the expansion of its physical capacity, EFL also announced that it would be launching a new cloud-based e-learning platform and social collaboration tool known as ‘Layup’ with a view to developing more effective, streamlined and ultimately focused training programmes for its employees.
Branded as the ‘EFL Campus’, the application combines e-learning with concepts such as game dynamics and social collaboration and features a range of learning courses covering the basics of supply chain to the more in depth skills such as 3PL planning.
Through this hybridized approach of digitally augmented learning combined with in-person training, EFL will substantially increase its ability to train larger groups of logistics professionals at the new facility, while maintaining a high quality, engaging learning experience.    
“Our investments into training are part of a firm commitment towards developing the next generation of supply chain specialists. With the continued success of EFL’s international expansion we are confident that these investments will be beneficial both for our local operations and placements abroad.
“A key concern for us was to ensure that when we opened our new auditorium, the increased scale of operations would still be balanced with the same level of comprehensive training.” Saif Yusoof, Managing Director of Expolanka Freight (Pvt) Ltd said.

EFL is a member of Expolanka PLC based in Sri Lanka and now a part of the larger SG Holdings Group, a leading logistics group in Japan. The company has thrived on overcoming the challenges of operating in limited logistic infrastructure markets, taking its operations to 18 countries, 58 offices and 2000 staff around the world. Expansions in Africa, Middle East and the US have broadened the company’s reach to make EFL a truly global name.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Great Manager Awards
Charitha Subasinghe - CEO JayKay Marketing (John Keells),
Riaz Hassen - CEO Colombo Leadership Academy,
Niranjalli Wickramasinghe - Moderator/ Senior Manager T&D AIA Insurance,
Akhilesh Mandal - President Great Manager Awards,
Chiranthi Cooray - CHRO/ DGM HR Hatton National Bank PLC
and Prasad Piyadigama - Director Organization and
Human Resources (INSEE Cement)

The Great Manager Awards

The Great Manager Awards aims to identify, assess, recognize and benchmark Great Managers in the corporate sector. By bringing nominees together onto a level playing field, the adjudicators will assess their management style, focus on results, execution, people management and leadership integrity to recognize the best, and provide guidance for development.

The aim is to find out what makes a Great Manager great, how an organization’s managers stack up against industry peers, what they can learn from peer group companies and how to nurture more great managers leading to the development of a leadership eco-system in the organization. Nominees will be assessed for managerial effectiveness on a global research-based model known as R-OPTI. The focus will be on results, execution, people, team, organizations and leadership integrity with the survey and results audited by an esteemed advisory panel and faculty. Organizations and managers can benchmark best practices, receive recommendations for improvement of leadership effectiveness, and identify key competencies of managerial talent.



Riaz Hassen - CEO Colombo Leadership Academy
Riaz Hassen - CEO Colombo Leadership Academy
The awards are conferred by The Great Manager Awards, a global human resource management consulting body committed to improving performance capabilities and business acumen of partner organizations. The Great Manager Awards programme launch in Sri Lanka is powered by Colombo Leadership Academy and People Business, a premier leadership coaching and executive education facility with top conglomerate clients.

“Our focus is on inspiring organizations and more importantly, individuals, to nurture effective leadership skills and to develop a leadership eco system that drives high performance,” said Riaz Hassen, Director and CEO of the Colombo Leadership Academy. “So it’s very exciting to partner with the Great Manager Awards to recognize high performers. This will set the ideal benchmark for recognizing individuals with great leadership and management skills, and the companies that have nurtured such individuals.”

Akhilesh Mandal - President Great Manager Awards
Akhilesh Mandal - President Great Manager Awards
The awards will be given in two categories. The main category is for Great Managers, which will recognize leaders across industries and organizations. The second will recognize Companies with Great Managers, which will recognize and award companies with great managerial quotient.

Registration for the Great Manager Awards closes on 30 June 2017. To participate register via http://www.greatmanagerawards.com/gma-srilanka.php. For details contact gmasrilanka@gmail.com or 0720865001/0720865000.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, John Keells Holdings
Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, John Keells Holdings
Sri Lankan entrepreneurship is geared to hit the fast-track at the second annual John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge 2017, as teams of aspiring innovators and inventors compete for a chance to win entry into a six month Accelerator Programme at JKH that offers Rs. 2 million in seed investment, a curated growth oriented curriculum, office space in Colombo, access to legal, finance and secretarial expertise, access to mentors involving senior JKH leadership, active interaction with JKH businesses, as well as the prospects of further investment during or after the six month Accelerator Program.  
John Keells X was first launched in 2016 with the goal of boosting creative and intellectual talent through a public competitive format. This year’s challenge has evolved into a fully-fledged accelerator programme that will holistically educate participants on key factors to hone business performance. This will also include an entrepreneurship curriculum and growth hacking curriculum delivered by leading international trainers with extensive startup experience. Additionally, participants will receive invaluable mentorship from some of the most respected entrepreneurs and business magnates in the country.
Krishan Balendra (President, Leisure Sector/Director - JKH), Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman - JKH), Ronnie Peiris (Group Finance Director - JKH), and Ramesh Shanmuganathan (Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer - JKH) at a panel discussion for the inaugural John Keells X programme last year.
Krishan Balendra (President, Leisure Sector/Director - JKH),
Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman - JKH),
 Ronnie Peiris (Group Finance Director - JKH),
and Ramesh Shanmuganathan (Executive Vice President
and Chief Information Officer - JKH)
at a panel discussion for the inaugural John Keells X programme last year.
The updated format of the open innovation challenge held last year,  John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge 2017 will now include extensive support to accelerate business ventures over a six month period, and this was prompted as a result of the strong and enthusiastic response from young entrepreneurial talent at the inaugural event last year.
Commencing from 2 May 2017, competing teams must work to exhibit disruptively innovative ideas that hold the potential to complement the core sectors that John Keells Holdings PLC is currently engaged in, such that growth of their early stage business can be accelerated through aligning with any JKH business unit or industry vertical spanning Leisure, Transportation, Consumer Foods and Retail, Property, Financial Services, Information Technology and Plantation Services.
Applications for the John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge 2017 open from 2 May to 25 June 2017, and can be submitted through the event website: www.johnkeellsX.com. There, participants can also discover more information about the Accelerator Programme, including details of the selection process and basic guidance on how to get started. JKH will host a series of road shows and meet ups in order to provide guidance to the pool of potential applicants.
Shortlisted candidates will go on to a ‘Demo Day’ where they will pitch their ideas to an eminent panel of judges. The panel of judges for this year will comprise Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman - JKH), Ronnie Peiris (Group Finance Director - JKH), Krishan Balendra (President, Leisure Sector/Director - JKH), Gihan Cooray (President, Retail Sector/Director - JKH), Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya (Regional CEO - Axiata Group South Asia/Non-Executive Director - JKH), Jonathan Alles (Managing Director/CEO - Hatton National Bank PLC), and Ramesh Shanmuganathan (Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer - JKH)
Up to seven of the best teams from Demo Day will thereafter be selected to participate in a six month Accelerator Program running from November through to April 2018. Through this programme, JKH will offer access to interact with JKH companies and  senior leadership level mentors at JKH along with opportunities for further investment in the selected winning entities during or after the six month Accelerator Program.
Notably, the interaction with John Keells X does not end with ‘Demo Day’. The relationships built with JKH will help individuals and teams navigate the tough path of a start-up with much greater confidence. JKH may also support this year’s most promising start ups to secure long term funding provided they are capable of meeting the Group’s rigorous internal evaluation criteria.

John Keells Holdings PLC is Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate in the Colombo Stock Exchange. From managing hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to providing port, marine fuel and logistics services to IT solutions, manufacturing of food and beverages to running a chain of supermarkets, tea broking to stock broking, life insurance and banking to real estate, inbound and outbound travel, JKH has made its presence felt in virtually every major sphere of the economy. Since modest beginnings as a produce and exchange broker in the early 1870s, it has been known to constantly re-invent, re-align and reposition itself in exploring new avenues of growth.
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The Body Shop’s 100% vegetarian Almond Milk & Honey range; formulated without colourants and  ideal to soothe sensitive skin
The Body Shop’s 100% vegetarian Almond Milk & Honey range;
formulated without colourants and  ideal to soothe sensitive skin
A soothingly timeless pairing of milk and honey gets an upgrade in the brand new body care range from The Body Shop. Treat sensitive skin with the care it deserves, with the inspired combination of almond oil, milk and honey that forms the base of this new range of products.

1-in-3 women believe that they have sensitive skin, and caring for this can be a joyless task. The Body Shop team has formulated a thoughtful range of skincare products to nourish, soothe and restore sensitive skin. With pleasurable textures and a hypoallergenic fragrance, this is for the woman who luxuriates in her skincare routine.

The Almond Milk and Honey range is 100% vegetarian and has been formulated without colourants. It was dermatologically tested on a large group of volunteers and an overwhelming majority of women found the range the ideal balm to soothe sensitive skin, with 95% saying that they would recommend the body lotion to others with sensitive skin. This Soothing and Restoring Body Lotion protects against uncomfortable, tight and itchy skin with silky smooth, fast-absorbing and lightweight moisture that lasts for 48 hours.

In the shower, choose from several options. The real crushed almond shells in the Gently Exfoliating Cream Body Scrub will gently buff away at dead skin cells to leave skin feeling soft and rejuvenated. The Soothing and Caring Cleansing Bar works in harmony with the skin’s natural moisture levels to ease uncomfortable tightness. The Soothing and Caring Shower Cream is a specially formulated soap-free shower gel to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and PH levels.

For after-shower indulgences, the Soothing and Restoring Body Butter enriched with natural oils provides 48 hours of intense moisture. For on-the-go care, pop the Calming and Protecting Hand Cream in your handbag.

It’s good for the planet, too. The almond oil used in the formula is sourced from almond nuts grown in the fertile Alicante region in Spain. It is a new addition to the Body Shop’s Enrich, Not Exploit range of Community Trade ethically sourced raw ingredient list, taking the brand a step closer to achieving its goal of doubling the number of ingredients on the list by 2020. The honey is sourced from the Sheka rainforest biosphere reserve via the beekeepers of Beza Mar, a group dedicated to improving the livelihoods and preserving the traditions of Ethiopian beekeeping communities.


The Almond, Milk and Honey body care range is available at The Body Shop flagship store on Bagatale Road and Odel on Alexandra Place. 

About The Body Shop:

The Body Shop is an iconic British retailer of ethical cosmetics and toiletries. It was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 with the belief that businesses should ‘enrich, not exploit’. A philosophy of creating the best quality cosmetics and toiletries without exploiting the planet’s resources or people has driven the brand, which pursued sustainability and ethical business long before it became fashionable. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Pieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collection showcased at the dinner
Pieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collection showcased at the dinner
The movements of the stars have long inspired humanity to strive for greatness; to shape matter into forms that capture the essence of time itself. Celebrating this timeless legacy, iconic Swiss watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre hosted an intimate dinner to showcase its very latest Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2017 collection.
Together with exclusive brand partner Chatham Luxury, Jaeger-LeCoultre Brand Director Middle East, India, Turkey & Greece, Marc de Panafieu, Area Sales Manager Alejandro Garcia Estefan and astronomer Keith Cobby hosted a select gathering of Chatham’s patrons as they were invited to experience first-hand, a specially curated range of stunning timepieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rendez-Vous, Reverso, and Geophysic collections. The event was hosted under the stars at Governors Rooftop Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka.
The showcase was complemented by a presentation on Horology and Astronomy by Keith Cobby, during which invitees were presented with a deeper understanding of the intrinsic connection between the movements of the stars and their legacy in the measurement of time.
“Since our entry into Sri Lanka with our partners at Chatham Luxury, we have seen our customer base grow, and become more passionate about the legacy of elegance epitomized in Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatches, and we look forward to developing these relationships in future,” Marc de Panafieu noted.
Guests observing the Jaeger-LeCoultre collection on display at the event
Guests observing the Jaeger-LeCoultre collection on display at the event
Visionary watchmaker Antoine LeCoultre first founded his workshop in 1833. Ever since, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been synonymous with a style that has elicited the same wonderment decade after decade. Over the past century, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created masterpieces like the Millionometer , and paved the way for the precise manufacture of watch parts, the keyless watch, and many more of the world’s most stylish and complex wristwatches. Utilising stones such as meteorite stone and lapis lazuli, these timepieces have been designed for those who value time, and seek to celebrate its momentary and fleeting nature.
The latest collection from Jaeger-LeCoultre represents the most advanced distillation of the brand’s time honored signature style, blending impeccable timekeeping accuracy with breathtaking artistry and craftsmanship to produce wristwatches of unmatched elegance.

Among the masterful pieces displayed at the event was the new Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time in Platinum. One of the most visually impressive watches in the Jaeger-LeCoultre SIHH 2017 collection, the new range combines a world-time complication with an "orbital" flying tourbillon allowing the time in twenty-four cities around the world to be read simultaneously. Available in a limited series of 100 pieces, the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time watch is a testament to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s remarkable watchmaking skills expressed through the ease-of-use and operating.
Products from The Body Shop’s Almond Milk and Honey collection designed to nourish, soothe and restore sensitive skin
Products from The Body Shop’s Almond Milk and Honey
 collection designed to nourish, soothe and restore sensitive skin
The Body Shop in Sri Lanka together with the Hilton Colombo hosted invitees at a session about sensitive skin and superfood for skin on Thursday, 20 April. A soothingly timeless pairing of milk and honey gets an upgrade in the brand new body care range from The Body Shop. Ms Aradhika Mehta, Head- Marketing, The Body Shop Sri Lanka, introduces the brand and the new range to all the invitees. Superfoods are the next big thing in both beauty and cuisine, and the Hilton’s Chef de Cuisine Chamlie Waidyaratne and Pastry Chef Ranjith Kapukotuwa explored this topic alongside. The event was attended by beauty bloggers as well as guests of Hilton Colombo.

Ms Aradhika Mehta stated “1-in-3 women believe that they have sensitive skin, and caring for this can be a joyless task. The Body Shop has formulated a thoughtful range of skincare products to nourish, soothe and restore sensitive skin. With pleasurable textures and a hypoallergenic fragrance, this is for the woman who luxuriates in her skincare routine.”  The Almond Milk and Honey range is 100% vegetarian and has been formulated without colourants. It was dermatologically tested on a large group of volunteers and an overwhelming majority of women found the range the ideal balm to soothe sensitive skin, with 95% saying that they would recommend the body lotion to others with sensitive skin. This Soothing and Restoring Body Lotion protects against uncomfortable, tight and itchy skin with silky smooth, fast-absorbing and lightweight moisture that lasts for 48 hours.

In the shower, choose from several options. The real crushed almond shells in the Gently Exfoliating Cream Body Scrub will gently buff away at dead skin cells to leave skin feeling soft and rejuvenated. The Soothing and Caring Cleansing Bar works in harmony with the skin’s natural moisture levels to ease uncomfortable tightness. The Soothing and Caring Shower Cream is a specially formulated soap-free shower gel to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and PH levels.

Arrangements of The Body Shop’s Almond Milk and Honey range displayed at the event
Arrangements of The Body Shop’s Almond Milk and
Honey range displayed at the event
Aradhika Mehta also guided the attendees through a range of The Body Shop superfood products that they could add to their beauty routine. She recommended the expert facial masks, available in four variants for different results which could also be used in combination when multi-masking. All four-Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask, Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask and Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask-use ethically sourced, 100% vegetarian products that are perfect for the skin.


Both product ranges are available at The Body Shop stores on Bagatale Road and Odel on Alexandra Place. 


About The Body Shop

The Body Shop is an iconic British retailer of ethical cosmetics and toiletries. It was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 with the belief that businesses should ‘enrich, not exploit’. A philosophy of creating the best quality cosmetics and toiletries without exploiting the planet’s resources or people has driven the brand, which pursued sustainability and ethical business long before it became fashionable. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Gestetner Pick 2 Win grand prize winner S. A. S Pushpakumara from Marapala Vidyalaya, Veyangoda receives an all-expenses paid overseas trip presented by Chandima Perera, Managing Director at Gestetner of Ceylon PLC
Gestetner Pick 2 Win grand prize winner S. A. S Pushpakumara
from Marapala Vidyalaya, Veyangoda receives an all-expenses paid
overseas trip presented by Chandima Perera, Managing Director at
Gestetner of Ceylon PLC
Customers who made purchases from Gestetner outlets across Sri Lanka last year were enrolled in a draw through which over 100 prizes were awarded. These included all-expenses paid tours overseas, full board stays at luxury hotels, mobile phones, free maintenance contracts, consumables and other prizes.

Total document solutions provider, Gestetner of Ceylon PLC, says that the competition was a fun way to express their appreciation to clients who have patronized the company’s RICOH products and services over its 70+ year lifetime. As one of Sri Lanka’s top three players in the industry, Gestetner has been servicing a wide and varied client portfolio since it was listed as a public quoted company in 1964. Since then, Sri Lanka’s top conglomerates have trusted Gestetner with their documents management solutions needs, with the company recording positive year on year growth consecutively over the last few years.

Gestetner received many entries for the final draw, and picked the grand winners at a ceremony attended by top management and Provincial Revenue Department officials. The Management of Gestetener PLC congratulated the winners, saying “The continued patronage of our clients has been a hallmark of the robust growth we have experienced over the last few years in particular. As times change, Gestetner stays one step ahead to ensure that our total document solutions are catering to every need in the market, be it for a small business or a large listed conglomerate.” Gestetner also plans to introduce a monthly draw.

Gestetner introduced a hologram sticker last year, advising customers to use this to test if they are purchasing genuine RICOH consumables, ink and masters. Customers can scratch the sticker and text the code to a given number in order to receive a verification of authenticity. “Using genuine toner and other complementary original products helps you get the best out of your equipment and the hologram sticker is a quick, easy and very efficient way for customers to verify their purchase.” Gestetner of Ceylon advises customers to contact any dealer from the wide Gestetner network around the island, adding that the company’s Vauxhall Street sales counter is open five and a half days of the week to service customer needs.


Gestetner of Ceylon PLC’s rapidly growing portfolio includes the world’s leading office automation brands such as RICOH and many other world renowned brands in addition to services provided by Nashua Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. (Gestetner Offset) and Gestetner Printing Services (Pvt) Ltd. (Gestetner Outsource), under parent company Gestetner of Ceylon PLC.
99X Technology ranked among APAC’s top 25 Agile Solutions Providers
99X Technology ranked among APAC’s top
25 Agile Solutions Providers

Listed on APAC CIOoutlook’s annual listing of top companies providing Agile Solutions for Enterprises

Reiterating its commitment to delivering technological excellence as a specialist in software product engineering, 99X Technology has been ranked among the 25 Most Promising Agile Solutions Providers in the Asia Pacific region in APAC CIOoutlook Magazine’s annual listing of top companies providing Agile solutions for enterprises.

The only Sri Lankan entity to be placed on this prestigious list, 99X Technology was highlighted thanks to its innovative efforts to enter the Agile development movement in its early stages, identifying its best practices and crafting them to suit the company’s own development processes. In its drive to excel in this aspect, 99X Technology created its own developmental model that revolves around the Agile methodology, called the Software Product Engineering Continuity Maturity Model (SPECM2), which ensures continuous progress in product engineering – a key aspect in being selected as a top Agile solutions provider for 2017.

This model enabled the company to embrace agility as a business driver in order to respond to changing business environment and helped establish Agile software development methods to address ever-changing customer requirements, technological complexity and uncertain business dynamics – a vital need at the time it was implemented, given the unpredictability caused by the global economic recession.

99X Technology has been a pioneer in adopting Agile methodologies in the Lankan IT sphere and in a move to share its expertise gained over years of fusing cutting-edge technology with best practices from Agile methodology, has organised many conferences, camps and meetups, reaching out to hundreds of IT professionals in Sri Lanka over the past couple of years. One such event is the Colombo Agile Conference, Sri Lanka’s biggest gathering of Agilists that brings together both local and global Agile practitioners in the ultimate knowledge sharing experience.

APAC CIOoutlooks’s list for 2017 includes enterprise software company Atlassian, business intelligence services company Cove Ventures, Singapore-based CA Technologies, Tinkerbox Studios, quality management services provider Pinnacle QM and more players in the global Agile arena.
Software development processes have been revolutionised globally by the Agile movement and the Agile methodology is one of the most used development concepts in the world today. Locally, this alternative to traditional project management has been adopted by numerous companies in Sri Lanka’s IT sector over the past several years.

Published from the hub of technology – Silicon Valley, USA – APAC CIOoutlook is a leading IT magazine designed to connect the enterprise IT community of APAC countries. It aims to provide a platform for CIOs, CTOs and other senior level IT buyers and decision makers along with CXOs of solution providers to share their experiences, wisdom and advice with enterprise IT community of APAC countries.

99X Technology is an award-winning software product engineering company that specialises in delivering high-end software product development services to independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide, with a primary focus within the European region. Headquartered in Sri Lanka, the company also has offices in Europe and has an outstanding track record in building and delivering over 150 high quality commercial products. It has been named one of Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2015 and has been ranked among the top 25 best companies to work for in Sri Lanka by Great Place To Work Institute for four consecutive years.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Maheesha Ratnayaka
Maheesha Ratnayaka
ONYX Hospitality Group appoints Maheesha Ratnayake as the Hotel Manager at OZO Colombo. Maheesha brings to OZO Colombo more than 16 years of hospitality experience in the USA, Caribbean and Middle East. One of his key objectives will be to continue to grow the hotel’s position within the local, regional and international markets.

Ratnayaka has worked for some of the world’s finest hotel and restaurant brands. He has held the positions of Director of Food and Beverages at Nobu Hospitality in Saudi Arabia, and Sandals Montego Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club in Jamaica. He was also the Group Food and Beverage Mmanager at Al Barari Dubai, where one of his key responsibilities was to take the lead in opening Dubai’s first carbon neutral and ethical product sourcing restaurant, ‘The Farm’. Other past employers include the Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, where he co-led the opening of food and beverage venues for a number of celebrity restaurateurs, including Garry Rhodes, Mark Fuller and Richard Sandoval.

"Maheesha brings a wealth of experience to his new role and is a true champion of the values and commitment to service excellence that define the ONYX Hospitality Group," said Simon Dell, Vice President & Area General Manager at ONYX Hospitality Group. "We are pleased to welcome him back to his home country of Sri Lanka, where his passion for hospitality is only outweighed by his desire to create the perfect guest experience."

Speaking of his new role and return, Maheesha said that he was excited about how the hospitality industry had progressed in Sri Lanka and felt that it was definitely a very positive time for the island. “I’m excited to join a young and vibrant team. I believe that OZO Colombo has the ideal location and is a best-kept secret for a serene retreat with assured personalised services for both the business and the adventure traveller.”

He added: “OZO’s concept is based on simplicity, comfort, accessibility and innovative technology. We are different from the traditional hotel. The focus of any OZO Hotel is to get the important things right, provide guests with a good night’s sleep, offer nutritious breakfasts/lunches/dinners, and great connectivity to the world. We have the added benefit of the charm of our location, with its amazing views of Colombo and the Indian Ocean. Since I have been back, I am amazed at the positive approach taken by my team on a daily basis at OZO Colombo. As a strong believer in working together and empowering my team, I intend on making OZO Colombo the destination of choice not only for the discerning traveller, but also for locals who want to enjoy the beauty of our city with its gourmet food and beverages.”

Maheesha has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration—Concentration in International Business from Towson University in the USA. His unwavering dedication and his strong people skills enable him to continuously make a positive impact on guests and employees alike.


OZO Colombo is managed by the ONYX Hospitality Group and owned by Sino Lanka Hotels Holdings. OZO Colombo was launched in June 2014. Ideally located on Marine Drive, OZO Colombo comprises 158 guest rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, a trendy rooftop bar and lounge by the open-air swimming pool, a fully equipped gymnasium, and meeting venues and function rooms. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Alexander Woxen
Alexander Woxen

An event geared to take Lankan startups to the global marketplace

The country’s ultimate tech startup event is here to take the Lankan startup ecosystem by storm – from providing access to investors and global tech leaders, to sessions on the latest trends and tools to accelerate your idea to market, the Colombo Tech Startup Seminar 2017 will be a one-stop shop for everything and everyone related to tech startups.
Network with an unmatched line-up of global and local startup revolutionaries, and hear them speak on some of the hottest topics in the startup sphere. The Colombo Tech Startup Seminar 2017 has been crafted to provide thriving entrepreneurs with a platform that grants them market access and connectivity with investors, as well as with local and global shapers from the Startup Ecosystem.
Dag HonningsvÜg
Dag HonningsvÜg
The seminar will take place on 2nd May 2017 from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the BMICH and will be an eye-opener for those who own a startup, are working on or with a start-up, have an idea or prototype, want to know what investors look for in a startup, are looking to network with investors or simply just curious about the startup ecosystem.
The speakers include Agile guru and former Vice President of Yahoo, Pete Deemer who possesses over two decades of experience in building up winning products and teams in Silicon Valley and Asia; Co-Founder and CEO of the premier Norwegian startup incubator StartupLabs, Alexander Woxen who works with over 65 tech startups to help them gain access to support, global contacts and importantly, financing; Chairman of Driw AS and WindSim AS, and Former CEO of Making Waves, Dag Honningsvåg, a serial entrepreneur who has headed multimillion dollar European tech companies and currently chairs numerous boards of tech companies; and Former CEO of Etisalat, Dumindra Ratnayaka, a pioneer in the mobile telco space and an active figure in the local Angel Investor ecosystem.
Dumindra Ratnayaka
Dumindra Ratnayaka
Topics that will be tackled at the seminar will address some of the most pressing issues faced by Sri Lankan startups today. The speakers will discuss many aspects that help shape the trajectory of a startup, while sharing their hands-on experiences that will be invaluable to budding entrepreneurs in building better products and making improved decisions.
Some of the areas that will be covered include Lean Startup – the methodology embraced world over for developing businesses and products, utilizing the global startup ecosystem to go international, embarking on your startup journey, insights into what angel investors look for when deciding whether to finance products, and more. 
This one-of-a-kind event is powered by StartupX Foundry, an up-and-coming player in the local ecosystem that, as a startup incubator, focuses on connecting Sri Lankan startups with the global startup ecosystem. It is supported by a number of partners, including the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) as the National Partner, Startup Sri Lanka as the Industry Partner, ReadMe as the Media Partner and Ticketslk as the Ticketing Partner.

Pete Deemer
Pete Deemer
Tickets for the seminar are priced at Rs. 2,000 and can be purchased via Ticketslk, bank deposit or by visiting the StartupX Foundry office. For more information on ticket purchasing and on the event, please visit www.colombostartupseminar.com or simply search ‘Colombo Tech Startup Seminar 2017’ on Facebook to find the event page. 
Yaasir Nizam - Group Head of Strategy Rainco (Pvt) Ltd, Faris Fausz - Group CEO and Muhammed Mansoor - Director of Blink
Yaasir Nizam - Group Head of Strategy Rainco (Pvt) Ltd, Faris Fausz -
Group CEO and Muhammed Mansoor - Director of Blink

Blink International recently announced the launch of a dedicated multi-brand watch Experience and Service Centre. Situated at the Iceland Building in Colombo 03, the Blink experience center showcases a variety of versatile and stylish timepieces from internationally renowned brands such as Casio, Puma, Esprit, Elle, Cross, and Sevenfriday, offering visitors to the centre a first-hand feel for Blink’s selection of high quality watches designed to offer affordable luxury to fit any budget.
G-Shock - Premium MTG watch showcased at the BLINK Experience and Service Centre for the very first time in Sri Lanka
G-Shock - Premium MTG watch showcased at the
 BLINK Experience and Service Centre for the
very first time in Sri Lanka
“Sri Lanka is developing at an increasingly rapid pace, and with this development, we see young people become more discerning in their taste, but still demanding performance and durability out of their watches. Today, Blink maintains a portfolio of some of the most sought after watch brands in Sri Lanka. We are very optimistic that we will be able to carry our momentum into 2017, and substantially expand our distribution island-wide,” Muhammed Mansoor, Director of Blink said.
Included in Blink’s ample collection of watches are all time favourites such as the stylishly durable G-Shock Range, from the entry-level G-Shock Classic, to the brand’s Premium MTG watch, which is being showcased in Sri Lanka for the very first time.
The line-up also includes choice selections such as the G-Shock Gravity Master, G-Shock Gulf Master, and the tougher yet more beautiful, G-Shock MTG-S1000, the latter of which is comprised of a blend of metal and resin along a brass motif, incorporating special features such as Multiband-6, which enables the watch to automatically adjust time setting based on reception of six time calibration signals around the globe. Ideal for any jet setting user, the watch also features a dual dial world time two-city simultaneous display and auto hand position correction and is built with Triple G Resist capable of weathering shock, vibration and centrifugal force.
Established in 2015, Blink International is the sole authorized distributor and service agent for the brands displayed at its Customer Experience Centre. This includes state-of-the-art repair equipment maintained to international standards and operated by highly skilled technicians with over three decades of experience behind them. Through its brand partners across Sri Lanka that include Cool Planet, Hameedias, Fashion Bug, Abba, and Maxxtime (Majestic City), Blink serves as the only distributor of watches to carry an international warranty on all of its products.
Aaron Gunawardena and Jaden Gunawardena showcasing their G-Shock watches presented by Blink
Aaron Gunawardena and Jaden Gunawardena
showcasing their G-Shock watches presented by Blink
Speaking at the opening, Group CEO Faris Fausz outlined how Blink International was an important strategic move for the group in order to bring affordable, original timepieces to Sri Lanka backed by the highest warranty and service standards. He said “As a group we have been touching customers’ lives and fulfilling their needs with functional products with a sense of design, Blink International will be a further testament in that quest.”
In addition to carrying the brands’ complete offering, the experience and service center will operate as the service outlet for all repairs and services for all watches included within the Blink International portfolio of brands. The service centre is the only facility in Sri Lanka with access to genuine spare parts sourced directly from Casio Computers, Japan, thereby providing customers with peace of mind, knowing that their investments in their favourite timepieces are being repaired and serviced by highly skilled and professionals with decades of experience, utilizing the best equipment possible.
Notably all watches imported by Blink come with an official warranty and are guaranteed to be provided at the best possible rates. The authenticity of Casio watches purchased can be ascertained via the Casio website.     
“One of our primary goals in establishing our presence in Sri Lanka and developing a prestigious network of partners was so that we would be able to offer local customers unmatched value. Meanwhile, our exclusive relationship with all of Blink’s brand partners means that we are able to give the end-user the best possible deal.
“We have seen in many cases that our customers lose out by going with an unauthorized dealer. For example, some of our customers have reported to us that the Gmix- Bluetooth Gshock is being offered without a warranty at prices above Rs. 30,000 at unauthorized sales channels, while we are able to offer the same watch with an international Casio warranty for just Rs. 25,400. In that regard, I encourage all customers looking to purchase these watches to first check for the Blink International logo, as we are the only distributors able to offer them the best value for money while ensuring beyond any doubt the authenticity of the product.”
At the opening Blink honored sensational racing brothers Aaron and Jaden Gunawardena who have just returned from Malaysia where Aaron was placed fourth in the Asian Championship race that took place. Blink presented them both G Shock watches to suit their daring and rugged past time, in keeping with their sense of style.

Blink International is a subsidiary of Avarna Ventures Private Limited, the holding company closely affiliated with Rainco (Pvt) Ltd. Established in 1977, Rainco is a large-scale manufacturer of fashion accessories, family care, baby care, rainwear, shoe and foot care. Headquartered in Colombo, the company operates across a 7,000 strong dealer network, exporting to countries like the Maldives, Sweden and France. 

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