Brandix College to offer more RMIT degrees

More professional qualifications in fashion and merchandising

The Brandix College of Clothing Technology (BCCT) is in negotiations with the School of Fashion and Textiles of the RMIT University, Australia to launch a second RMIT programme in Sri Lanka leading to a Degree in Fashion and Merchandising, the college announced this week.

This second degree course is expected to commence in November this year. The college is also negotiating to offer an MSc. Course of RMIT in Sri Lanka, possibly by July 2008, the college said.
BCCT currently offers a Degree programme in Textile Technology from RMIT University, in addition to the vocational training courses it offers to those working in the Brandix Group, Sri Lanka’s largest apparel exporter. This degree course conducted in collaboration with the RMIT leads to a Bachelor of Applied Science degree and is a three year full time study course.

This three-year programme comprises of BCCT’s two-year Diploma in Clothing Technology and Management and the final year courses of the RMIT degree, in a 2+1 arrangement that opens up opportunities for many prospective apparel sector employees, mid-career personnel as well as professionals associated with the sector.

Students who had already successfully completed the Brandix College two-year diploma, as well as qualified professionals such as Chartered Accountants or Chartered Marketers with five years of affiliation with the textile or clothing business only need to complete RMIT’s final year courses to obtain the degree.

The Brandix College is the only accredited trainer for GSD in Sri Lanka. It conducts training for companies that have installed such software in their companies. The GSD is a highly proven work measurement tool used in the clothing industry.
The Brandix College has modern training equipment and its laboratories are fully equipped with the latest technology. The college plans to set up new weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing laboratories to strengthen the understanding of industry applications. Its sewing room and Computer Aided Design room are fully modernized with facilities that are conducive to learning. The college has a state of the art textile testing laboratory which has number of Buyer Accreditations including Marks and Spencer.

The college’s teaching staff includes four PhDs, four Masters and 10 Bachelors Degree holders. The college draws experienced personnel from the industry for teaching, which is a unique situation for an academic institution. Students get an opportunity to understand how the industry operates through a combination of theory and practice. Most students get an opportunity to train at Brandix whilst studying at the college.

The college recently launched an e-learning programme on soft skills for middle management. The benefit of the programme is that it is easily accessible and can be run for newcomers as well as those who wish to refresh their learnings. The college is now experimenting to produce a similar programme to teach sewing machinery skills and pattern making.

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology began in 1887 as the ‘Working Men’s College’ in Melbourne. Today, some 57,000 students follow RMIT programmes at the institute’s campuses in Melbourne and Vietnam, on-line, via distance education and at more than 100 partner institutions worldwide. RMIT alumni live and work in more than 100 countries.


HSBC expands to Kohuwela

HSBC opened its fourteenth branch at 135, Dutugemunu Street, Kohuwela on Wednesday. . The branch was declared open by Mr Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Among the other invitees were Mr David J H Griffiths, chief executive officer, HSBC Sri Lanka and the Maldives, deputy chief executive officer, Mr Trevine Fernandopulle and selected customers residing in the area.

At the ceremony, Mr Cabraal stated that HSBC has a lead role to play in the development of the country. He also said that with the planned launch of mega development projects in Sri Lanka, the banking sector has enormous opportunities to step in. Commenting on the fact that HSBC has just completed 115 years in Sri Lanka, he said that he expects HSBC to introduce the latest technology the group possesses, to the Sri Lankan banking sector.

The HSBC branch in Kohuwela is beautifully designed and is well equipped with a Day and Night Automated Banking Centre, which will be in operation on a twenty-four hour basis. It includes ATM and Internet banking services, as well as two EasyPay machines. Situated on the main road, the central location of the HSBC Kohuwela branch provides easy access and convenient parking to the customers. Special facilities have also been implemented in order to increase accessibility for customers who require assistance with mobility.

As a special feature, customers who visit the Kohuwela branch will enjoy an array of fee waivers and gifts until 31 July 2007.
Commenting on this opening Mr David J H Griffiths chief executive officer of HSBC said “This new branch marks the further development of our network, our ‘expanding local outreach’.
It is an area that is a hive of commercial activity and is at the same time, a well-established residential area. For these reasons, having the world’s local bank right here would be a boon to everyone who lives and works in the area.”


Sri Lanka Insurance salutes “Best of the Best”

The annual sales awards to honour top – performers of Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) was held on July 2 at the Water’s Edge, with the distinguished participation of Chairman D.H.S Jayawardena the Board of Directors and the top management of Sri Lanka Insurance.

Over 650 sales personnel attended this year’s ceremony. The day belonged to the sales people who have outperformed and outshone the rest, to the men and women who have proved their mettle through sheer dedication, hard work and clear pursuit of their goals. The Best in the Insurance Industry.
The night was celebrated on a star studded theme with much glamour and grandeur, featuring many unique entertaining acts that kept the audience spell bound.

The Star awards night saw 240 Insurance advisors and team leaders being awarded for their excellent sales performance in the year 2006. They were all awarded on the basis of achieving the set sales targets and standards. The second and third place achievers were also invited to witness this magnificent evening to applaud the achievements of their colleagues.
Best team leaders and Advisors were recognised under their respective business category in Life and Non Life Insurance, with special “Star Certificates” and Cash awards. The best of the best in this Category were presented with a gold sovereign and an attractive plaque in addition to the cash awards and certificates.

Speaking at the event the Chief Executive Officer Sri Lanka Insurance Nalaka Godahewa stated “The last year proved to be an exceptional year for us: We have done extremely well when compared to previous years. This is mainly due to the dedication and hard work of our sales team; we have superseded all competition in our growth figures. This is a result of exceptional service delivery and the hard work of our dynamic staff.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance D.H.S Jayawardena stressed on giving due importance to delivering superior customer value at every service point, which is a key element in building long term relations with today’s customer. He added “At Sri Lanka Insurance every employee should give priority to deliver better value to our customers. Customer satisfaction and delight should be the central focus on all aspects of business development at Sri Lanka Insurance. He further stated “As a successful company we also plan to bring about a certain standard for Insurance sales personnel in the country and create social acceptance to the profession.”

Sri Lanka Insurance is the largest and strongest composite insurance provider in Sri Lanka, with over Rs 50 Billion in assets under management, over one million policies in force and an average claims settlement of Rs. 18 million a day. Sri Lanka Insurance is the only Insurance Company in Sri Lanka to be assigned a global rating for financial strength and stability from a world renowned rating agency. The company received the AA- Sri from Fitch Ratings London for the third consecutive year for Financial Strength & Stability.


PABC Anchors in Galle

PABC Anchored in the southern city of Galle with the establishment of their 25th full fledged branch at No 170, Main Street, Galle on July 5. The bank announced an immediate value addition service by way of extended banking hours including a 365 day service. The bank will be open from 9.00 a.m.- 6.00 p.m. on weekdays & 10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. on weekends & holidays.


Certified Manager Award

The Certified Manager Awards Ceremony organized by Lanka Accreditation Centre (Pvt) Ltd., authorized franchisees in Sri Lanka for the Cambridge Association of Managers UK, was held recently at the Berjaya Mount Royal Beach Hotel Mt. Lavinia. Delanjan Welikala of Harcourts Group won the certified Marketing Manager award.


Double rewards with American Express cards

American Express Cards’ Membership Rewards programme which was launched in May is now offering further benefits to its Gold and Green Card members.
According to Head of American Express Cards Priyantha Talwatta, all American Express card members, and American Express Gold card members will be doubling their membership rewards points on every supermarket and fuel purchase during the month of July.
“A card member will now be entitled to two Membership Rewards points for every Rs 100 spent at any supermarket or fuel station islandwide” said Talwatte.

Talwatte went on to say that every American Express card member, and American Express Gold card member was automatically enrolled into the Membership Rewards programme with the added option of being part of the Membership Rewards Plus programme which gives card members access to Hilton Honours, Priority club for their hotel stays or transfer points to Global Pass, to redeem Airline ticket from 600 airlines with out any black out dates.
“This opens up a whole new world of options where our card members can take advantage of converting everyday purchases in to redeeming extraordinary rewards ”.

Talwatte added that locally too a wide selection of redemption opportunities were available which included 5 star hotels, restaurants, beauty and wellness clinics, gifts, accessories, electronic and household goods, just to name a few.
American Express Cards are issued and acquired by Nations Trust Bank. and offer the widest selection of local and international redemption options. The American Express Membership Rewards Programme offers American Express Card members a greater choice and a better reason to accumulate Membership Rewards points when using their American Express Card, in order that they may accumulate their rewards faster.

“Our latest programme, Fill Up, Top up, Double Up, is just one of the many benefits and advantages our card members have when they choose to become an American Express Card member” said Talwatte


DHL expands with new Express Centre in Nugegoda

DHL Keells (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s leading express and logistics company, inaugurated its newest Express Centre in the bustling town of Nugegoda. Strategically located at 151E, High Level Road, Nugegoda, this facility will cater to the increasing demands of DHL’s retail customers in areas south of Colombo and beyond.

The Nugegoda Express Centre adds to DHL’s expanding network which includes Colombo, Kollupitiya, Ja-Ela, Mt.Lavinia, Biyagama, Kandy and Kurunegala. The Nugegoda Express Centre offers a range of products and services including Jumbo Box and Express Pallet targeted at retail customers.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new Express Centre in Nugegoda, Martin Dudek, Country Manager, DHL Express Sri Lanka, said, “The Sri Lankan retail customer base has always given us exciting growth opportunities. We find that more and more individuals are opting for our express delivery services with their very diverse needs. Our aim, in turn, is to provide them with access to more service locations across Sri Lanka, and also to offer unique products and services which address those specific needs. Whether it’s a student or a business, we will offer them a host of affordable products and services backed by our industry-leading service standards.”

During the last four years, DHL Keells (Pvt) Ltd. has made significant investments towards the development of infrastructure and facilities in Sri Lanka. Among them is the purpose-built Euro 2 million (LKR 260 million), 40,000-square-feet facility at Vauxhall Street in Colombo which houses 130 staff for both the administration and operations arms of DHL Express in Sri Lanka, as well as a 24/7 call centre.

“This investment in Nugegoda once again reinforces DHL’s leadership position within the industry and our commitment to constantly develop our express network. The new facility will further enhance our network operation by enabling us to provide the highest quality service to all our customers across the country,” Dudek added.


Skills turns fourteen

What makes a successful advertisement or advertising campaign? We have all witnessed the power of advertising. We appreciate the creativity, the impact, the information that is imparted and yet, with the vast array of ads which appear in a variety of medium, how many are really remembered? How many have been effectual?

To make an impact in the advertising arena, Skills, founded by Sri Sangabo Corea, established an agency of international standards within a local focus. “The road thus far has been competitive yet exciting; we have witnessed various changes in the manner and styles of advertising, and have managed to keep up with the race and at times been a few steps ahead of the rest,” says the Managing Director of Skills, Ananda Samarasinghe.

With the milestone of 14 years under their belt, Skills looks to even further expansion to service their clients better. Taking into account the current realities of the advertising industry, Samarasinghe, along with his fellow directors, L. D. Ganegoda and Priyanga Jayaweera, came out about the current advertising trends.

“There has been a lot of talk as of late in regards to the level of accountability that an advertising agency should have when working with an advertiser on its branding and campaign endeavours. Since the “Merger Mania” of all the big players in the advertising industry has been in full swing there have been a lot of accounts in review and accounts jumping from one agency to the next.

“So what are the advertisers actually looking for, are they looking for new ideas? Of course. Are they looking to build or rebuild their image? Could be. Or are they in search of the agency that steps up to the plate and says “Hey, we’re partners in the growth of your company and it’s our responsibility to help increase your sales revenue and if we can’t then we shouldn’t get paid”. Simple though, but not 100% realistic because there are a lot of cost associated with developing branding ideas and then launching the initiative. But there has to be a comfortable medium that would make sense to both the ad agency and the advertiser.

“It doesn’t change the fact that when an advertiser brings in an ad agency, they don’t do that just to create a cool commercial and a catchy line, but they do it to help increase their sales revenue.
“Maybe that is why there are so many advertisers looking for that right agency, they are looking at smaller independent shops and are seeing results. They are asking the bigger agencies for that special something for their brand and wait for the proposals to roll in.

Competition brings the best out in all of us and that’s what advertisers hope for when they call for pitches. They look for that one thing that sets one agency above the rest for their brand.”
This in-depth understanding of what an advertising agency should be and what agencies are in actuality is what has helped Skills Advertising and Marketing to survive these past 14 years.
In a nutshell, Skills gives the advertiser what they are looking for: results, results and results.


Trendy Connections opens factory at Dankotuwa

The latest BOI company to begin operations under the 300 Enterprises Programme is a plant that was opened at Dankotuwa on July 6, 2007 by Trendy Connections (Pvt) Ltd. The new factory will be very beneficial to the local community, as it has created 400 employment opportunities. Furthermore, as the company has maintained very high standards in terms of labour relations and working conditions it has been able to gain access to vital markets in the USA and the European Union, BoI said in a media release.

The factory that was opened is a sprawling 135,000 sq kilometrer facility that has a production capacity of 350,000 pieces per month. The company has been producing
T-shirts since 1992, initially for the local market. Indeed Trendy Connections is a household name in Sri Lanka and is a specialist in the production of knitted apparel. Minister of Janatha Estate Management and Development. Milroy Fernando, officially opened the factory complex.

Trendy Connections’ operations have now been expanded to produce for markets in the USA and the European Union, for reputed brands such as Disney, Next, Marks and Spencer and Gap.
The Mahinda Chinthana Programme, conceptualized by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, seeks to broad base the economy, boost productivity and expand the nation’s export potential, while at the same time encouraging local initiative. The Nipayun Sri Lanka Programme is one component of the Mahinda Chinthana set up with the objective of establishing one enterprise in each one of the 300 Divisional Secretariats outside the developed Colombo and Gampaha areas.

To date the BOI has signed agreements for 230 such projects and these have had a significant impact in many communities living in rural and outlying areas. The factory opened by Trendy Connections is a good example of such a project where communities have been uplifted through the use of local human resources. Bringing the jobs to the people is a guiding principle of the Nipayun Sri Lanka programme. The Government of Sri Lanka is confident that Nipayun Sri Lanka will bring considerable development to all communities in the island.


Milroy Fernando, Minister of Janatha Estate Management and Development is briefed by the Management of Trendy Connections on the process of manufacture of garments. A number of senior BOI officials are also seen. The factory produces knitted garments that are exported to the USA and the European Union.









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