SLT Mobitel promotes rural telephony through M Calls

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel (SLT Mobitel) the national mobile service provider, has taken another giant stride by launching M Calls. It is a new initiative by the network and is meant to bridge the gap in accessibility to basic telephony in the rural sector. The M Calls initiative, aims to provide a simple solution using GSM technology for the provision of shared telecommunications facilities across this sector. Commenting on the versatility and importance of the M Calls initiative, SLT Mobitel’s Chief Executive Officer Suren J Amarasekera said that this concept would be a milestone for the communications industry in Sri Lanka: “We wanted to ensure that people in the remote villages of our country enjoy the same privileges as their fellow citizens in urban environments, and M Calls allows access to a means of communication which we believe will positively impact their daily lives. M Calls was spearheaded to fulfill this growing need. I believe that this initiative will assist many, especially those who are unconnected.”

SLT Mobitel is wholly owned by Sri Lanka Telecom. In January 2004, the company launched its fully–fledged GSM network EDGE/GPRS designed to operate on dual bands. Investments committed to date in its 3G and GSM service offering totals over US$200 million and is set to increase its present 600 base stations to 1500 base stations by the end of this year.


Mobil 1 for Cadillac, DTS models

ExxonMobil announced that Cadillac has selected Mobil 1 the world’s leading systhetic motor oil, for its 2008 Cadillac Escalade and DTS models.
“Cadillac is known for producing high caliber, high performance luxury vehicles and we are pleased that it has now chosen Mobil 1 as the factory fill motor oil in all of its models,” Marketing Manager Americas, ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties Juan Marroquin says.

“We are determined to provide our customers with the best possible ownership experience,” General Manager of Cadillac Jim Taylor adds. “Protection against engine wear is a key satisfier for our customers, so we expect the collaboration with Mobil 1 to add a lot of value for them.”


Sri Lanka Cricket felicitated at Superbrands Tribute event

Sri Lanka Cricket was felicitated at an exclusive event held to pay tribute to Sri Lanka’s inaugural Superbrands, on March 20, 2007 at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo.
The programme commenced with a marketing fair where selected marketing service providers displayed their products / services followed by the main event consisting of presentations by internationally renowned marketing / business professionals, unveiling the very first Superbrands publication for Sri Lanka, awards presentation and cocktails.

Superbrands is an independent authority on branding, promoting the discipline in branding while paying tribute to exceptional brands around the world. They grant Superbrand status to brands considered to warrant the award, by their independent councils.

A Superbrand is defined as an entity which has established the finest reputation in its field, offering consumers significant emotional and / or tangible advantages over competitors which (consciously or sub -consciously) consumers want, recognise and are confident about investing in.
From an international perspective, Superbrands operate in 55 countries with over 5000 brands worldwide including just 50 in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Cricket is considered to be a truly exceptional brand, as it cuts across all socio economic and demographic groups and possibly the only brand in Sri Lanka which can unite the entire population.


Website for Action Station

Action Station (Pvt) Ltd which commenced operations in October last year launched its official web site www.ActionStation.lk <http://actionstation.lk/> recently. The company and its products have been endorsed by some of the leading corporate entities in the country.
Therefore the need for a highly interactive and user friendly website is yet another avenue to complement its growth.

The web site is a culmination of hard work and creative genius that showcases the latest alternative media solutions the company has to offer.
Apart from its revolutionary products “Action Postcards”, “Action Magazine” and “Wash Room Advertising”, the site features an in-depth insight into the company’s other activities which include its latest innovations namely, “Promo Book Advertising” and “Biz Card Advertising,” a press release states.

One of the new additions to the companies growing portfolio “Biz Card Advertising” is the size of a typical name card and could be used as either a promotional, discounted card or just as an informative card.
The other innovative product the company recently launched is “Promo Book Advertising” which is an 8-12 page booklet, recommended for more detailed campaigns or to showcase a range of products and services.
The Promo Book can accommodate more detailed descriptions of each product and a host of images. The book can be designed as an Accordion type, open up (vertical or horizontal) or booklet type.


Commercial Bank named Lanka’s best bank

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has once again been internationally recognised as the country’s ‘Best Bank’ by one of the world’s most respected financial publications, Global Finance(USA) for a record 9th successive year.
The Bank was chosen the best among local banks for its strong strategy of attracting and servicing customers, its asset growth, profitability, strategic relationships, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative products. The ranking follows an in-depth analysis by Global Finance editors with inputs from industry analysts, corporate executives and banking consultants.

In the magazine’s latest annual survey of the best emerging market banks, Commercial Bank was named alongside other well-known establishments from the Asian Region like HSBC, ICICI Bank - India, Habib Bank of Pakistan and China Construction Bank. The in-depth evaluation by Global Finance covers banks in all major countries in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America as well as Central and Eastern Europe.
“We are honoured to win this award,” said Commercial Bank Managing Director Amitha Gooneratne. “With this, the ninth successive award, Commercial Bank has established a consistency of performance that is unmatched in the region.”

“This award represents the international market’s recognition of Commercial Bank’s capabilities and leadership, and acknowledges our strong commitment to providing an excellent service to both corporate and individual customers, while maximising shareholder returns,” he added.
This is the 14th year that Global Finance has selected top banking performers in emerging markets. Global Finance, which enters its 20th year of publishing in 2007, has 50,000 subscribers and over 250,000 readers in more than 158 countries. This audience includes chairmen, presidents, CEOs, CFOs, treasurers, and other financial officers responsible for making investments and strategic business decisions for large global companies and financial institutions. Global Finance also targets the 8000 key portfolio investors who control over 80 per cent of all assets under professional management.

Commercial Bank also has an extensive on-line real time network of delivery points consisting of 150 branches and the single largest network of 269 ATMs. It also operates five fully-fledged branches and two booths in Bangladesh.
The Commercial Bank Group ended 2006 as the largest indigenous private sector bank in Sri Lanka. Its stellar performance saw pre-tax profits soar to Rs 4.321 billion. Post-tax profits stood at Rs 2.072 billion at end 2006 while total deposits rose to Rs 157.634 billion, a healthy growth of 23.54 per cent. The Group’s total assets grew by 24.38 per cent to reach Rs 224.060 billion in the year. The Bank’s market capitalisation at year end was the highest among all financial institutions in Sri Lanka.


Virtusa signs up with topjobs.lk

Virtusa became the latest entrant to join the topjobs (www.topjobs.lk) community of online recruiters as part of their move to streamline their entire recruitment business process.
Virtusa a leading IT Sourcing Company provides information consulting, technology and outsourcing services focused on Transforming IT. Virtusa serves both the enterprises and the leading software vendors in key markets, including financial services, communications and media, high technology and healthcare. Virtusa builds the software platforms that power these industries. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Massachusetts, Virtusa has offices and technology centers throughout the US, UK, and Asia.


EIPEL – Centre of Excellence for HRM education

Since inception, European Institute of Professional Education (Pvt) Ltd (EIPEL Campus) have emerged as a study center of excellence for human resource management
EIPEL have been providing management education and training through delivery of innovative study programmes and unmatchable teaching and are driven by the vision to “support career progress and improve quality of life,” a press release states.

It states, “To achieve the vision, EIPEL provide many study and training programmes in varied disciplines. Human Resource Management (HRM) is a very significant business function of organisational management. As the country moves forward, demand for qualified human resource management professionals will increase. Hence, anyone embarking on a human resource management career is ensured of good career prospects.”

EIPEL having identified future needs for HRM professionals in Sri Lanka, offer complete education path ways for school leavers, job seekers and employed adults. The entry level programme is the Professional Advanced Diploma in HRM. It is a part time programme of 18 months duration and comprises 3 levels. It is an approved course of study of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission of Sri Lanka.

Arrangements have already been made with Cambridge Association of Managers a professional association in UK to validate this programme in view of bringing international recognition which will enable a participant to continue studies at EIPEL for the bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with specialisation in HRM. And this is besides the post graduate diploma in HRM, awarded by Oxford Association of Management UK which is specially designed for working adults in human resource functions.


Eagle looks after minor shareholder interests

In general the existence of a dominant shareholder is seen as potentially negative to the interest of public shareholders as it presents challenges in assessing corporate governance, Det Norske Veritas says.
Eagle is owned by Aviva International Holdings Ltd which has a 51 per cent indirect shareholding and NDB Bank is its principal minor shareholder. However “in the case of Eagle the two major shareholder groups have provided stability, strength and depth to the board as well as enhancing both business and governance processes.” says DNV in their corporate governance report on Eagle.

To strengthen its governance practices, and communicate the company’s compliance and integrity of the governance disclosures to its stakeholder community, Eagle obtained this independent rating. The company considers this step towards obtaining the independent rating of paramount importance, in the absence of adequate mandatory provisions where CG reporting is subject to different interpretations by organisations.

In the report DNV states that it is their view that Eagle’s board and management have a sound understanding of good governance practices and is committed to open and ethical business and will strive to improve the company’s governance practices to further embed these into the organisation. The DNV believes that the board is committed to governance as a way of enhancing brand value; corporate reputation and shareholder value. Ethical aspects are well addressed and there is a strong emphasis on integrity within the company. Equally, strong risk management, policies and systems are in place and are embedded throughout the company’s operations.
The process DNV adopted to determine the rating included analysing the preliminary profile of the company, review of documentation and interviews with the chairman, non-executive directors and members of the senior management.

Eagle has earned a high overall rating of 8 which DNV stated “reflects both the quality of its board of directors, the management process and the pro-active approach the company has taken to establish good governance practices.”
In recognition of Eagle’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing its corporate ethics and good governance practices, Eagle was adjudged overall winner of “Corporate Governance Disclosure” for 2006 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.

Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is a leader in third party certification and assessment services including corporate governance (CG), with a global reputation for excellence. It is headquartered in Norway and operates in over 100 countries.








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