Asian Alliance Insurance opens new distribution office at Nugegoda

Asian Alliance Insurance commenced the operations of the newest addition to its regional distribution network in Nugegoda on January 23. Currently the AAI regional distribution network consists of 20 branch offices located strategically island wide.

CEO, Asian Alliance Insurance, Ramal G. Jasinghe was present as the chief guest on this occasion. The Executive committee members along with the management and regional distribution staff were present to witness the opening.

Senior Regional Distribution Manager, Kottawa - Soma Hettiarachchi commenced the ceremonial opening of the new office with his welcome note. General Manager – Sales & Marketing,Chula Hettiarachchi, shared the strategy behind the timely expansion of the Company amidst the prevailing economic and market trends. He also stressed the strength of the Company to further expand its operations to provide innovative insurance solutions to the target customers.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new branch CEO, Ramal Jasinghe emphasised that strengthening the Company’s value system through strengthening the various skills possessed by its staff, will act as the backbone of the winning trend of AAI; driving the Company towards achieving its objectives. He further stressed that maintaining high standards of professionalism and integrity was of utmost importance.

The newest branch in Nugegoda is a landmark office geared to service both Life and Non Life businesses, using its successful formula of ‘professionalism.’ Adjacent to the city, AAI has resourced this unit with experienced staff and state of the art ICT, offering tailor made insurance solutions to the residents in Nugegoda. Having consolidated its strengths over the past years, the Company rolled out its well scripted plans for expansion with the opening of this distribution office for year 2009.


ICFAI soaring to new heights

introduces full time degree programmes

More than 23,0 000 students sit the A/L examination each year, of which only 23, 000 get university placement. What is the plight of the remaining majority of students?

IEL, the Sri Lankan branch of the accredited ICFAI University in India, has provided the answer. Offering a wide range of programmes to choose from, IEL, through ICFAI, gives everyone a chance to get a sound, internationally recognised degree at an affordable and reasonable price.

ICFAI itself is the giant in the Indian education system with over 150,000 in campus and 350,000 Distance Learning Students. ICFAI is a network of universities consisting of seven state-of-the-art fully fledged universities, 255 campuses and 160 Distance Learning Centres and 16 Business Schools.

ICFAI is a recognised University by the University Grant Commission of India, and also holds accreditations from AIU, AACSB, ACU, EMFD, AAPBS and SAQS. Together with all these accreditations, ICFAI is now also in the Commonwealth Universities Yearbook (published by the Association of Commonwealth Universities) thereby gaining UGC (University Grants Commission) approval and recognition. This is yet another feather in the cap for this university which boasts of possibly being India’s largest private owned university.

IEL together with ICFAI doesn’t simply believe in basic degrees alone, but believes that there is no end to the learning process. The wide range of courses on offer vary from the Foundation course in IT, BSc (IT), BBA, BCA, and the various MBA programmes. Students starting out at IEL also have the opportunity to carry forward their studies to ICFAI’s University in Australia, Switzerland, Malaysia or Dubai, and thereby gain exposure and experience.

With the introduction of the all new full time degree programmes, IEL opens its doors to a wider spectrum of students, and makes available its facilities and broad range of degrees to a broader student populace.

IEL, together with ICFAI, is a strong believer in the complete education of the future generation. With this in mind, the Institute is run on a no profit basis, with no dividends being paid to its owners. An opportunity for a student to earn a degree and have a chance to improve themselves is all the profit and return the Institute hopes for.


Minister of Science and Technology makes presentation with mLearning

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, the national mobile services provider provided Minister of Science and Technology, Tissa Vitharana the platform to make presentations at exhibitions held at their boardrooms at Dambulla and Matugama recently.

This was possible through the use of mLearning, which is a Mobile Learning tool that supplements the teaching and learning process through the use of mobile and hand held devices such as mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA), laptops and tablet Personal Computers. This innovative concept was launched under the partnership of the University of Colombo and Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, with the objective of addressing traditional learning shortcomings by using advanced technology.


CDB to revamp its Corporate Identity

The Ceylinco Development Bank (CDB), ranked among the fourth largest specialised leasing institutions regulated by Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), last week announced that it was in the process of effecting major changes to its business and operating models, to support and boost its next phase of growth and strategic direction subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Among the key changes will be a change of name, changes to brand identity, reconstituting its Board of Directors including the appointment of independent directors, and also the relocation of its Head Office which is currently at Ceylinco House.

A Company spokesman said that with the prevailing macro environment necessitating change, the CDB too was keeping pace with the changing times to adapt to the needs of its customers. “The re-branding strategy we’re adopting for the CDB will reflect a new era of change, while keeping the promise of being a true friend and providing customers with mobility and efficient service”.
This comprehensive re-branding effort will create a powerful brand identity that resonates with customers.

The CDB will also reconstitute its Board of Directors, including the appointment of three independent directors. Mr. R. Renganathan, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants recently took over the reins of the CDB as Chairman. He is keen to bring in more transparency and be proactive in implementing corporate governance requirements that are in the process of being introduced to registered finance leasing institutions by the CBSL.


The launch of PEO Street TV

PEO TV, the first Internet Protocol Television Service (IPTV) in Sri Lanka launched its PEO Street TV promotion effective from January 2009, beaming a wide range of entertainment options on a daily basis at 6.30 pm to 11.00 pm to the public. This has been a huge success thus far, attracting people from all walks of life, showcasing an all in one entertainment solution on a large screen from its strategically located SLT VisionCom office at 60, Davidson Road, Colombo 4.

One can now experience an out of the box personalised entertainment option, featuring 43 channels on all genres, such as entertainment for adults and kids, business, education, news and sports in addition to free-to-air local television stations, which includes Rupavahini, Channel Eye, ITN, Derana and Max TV.

Speaking on the significance of the PEO Street TV, Thusha Weerasooriya, CEO, SLT VisionCom (Pvt) Ltd., said, “Our aim is to attract the attention of the public that walks past our head office, and arouse their curiosity, encouraging them to walk into our modern showroom and have the unique opportunity of experiencing interactive television. Our PEO Street TV promotion, which is currently in progress has been a huge success, with a cross section of society having already visited the showroom.”

They were able to watch and experience how IPTV works as well as how to use the features such as Video on Demand (VoD), Trick Play Functionality, Time Shift TV and other special features that the future of entertainment offers.

A popular feature of the PEO Street TV promotion is the Time Shift TV, where a wide variety of programmes, which include the recently concluded cricket tournament between Sri Lanka and India was beamed, giving those who have missed it the opportunity to watch it. Time Shift TV gives greater flexibility to the viewer, allowing them to watch any programme at a time convenient to them.

PEO TV is available at the SLT VisionCom head office as well as all 16 selected SLT Teleshops and 12 Regional Telecom Offices in the covered areas of the initial stage of expansion. It covers all major areas of Greater Colombo with the inclusion of Kalutara, Kurunegala, Kandy and Katunayake. Further services will be made available in Gampaha, Negombo, Galle, Matara, Avissawella and Ratnapura during the early part of 2009. The public can register on: www.peotv.com. For further inquiries, please call the hotline 2 55 55 55 or for sales at 2 00 55 00.


Piaggio Division/ Associated Motorways Plc had their “Katharagama Sawariya” for the 3rd time on February 13, 2009. The rally consists of 100 Piaggio three Wheelers from Matara to Katharagama throughout the day. All participants were given complementary spare wheels as a mark of respect for their presence


Dankotuwa Porcelain rewards customers

In celebration of its 25th Anniversary Dankotuwa Porcelain is rewarding its customers, offering a 25% discount on all items purchased from their showrooms located at Kirulapone and Kollupitiya. This offer will be valid only during the period February 23 to March 1, 2009.

This offer is extended to cutlery and glassware too which are now available at their showrooms. “Sit down meals are becoming more fashionable in Sri Lanka and our concept has been to have all items required for a well laid table. This will be an opportunity for our customers to purchase the full range of products at incredibly low prices” said Dankotuwa Porcelain’s Manager Corporate Communications. So that customers could match and purchase all items that they require. Dankotuwa is looking at introducing table linen and other table adornments shortly.

Dankotuwa Porcelain products are well known as eminent fashion statements that resonate characteristics and personal traits of individual lifestyle. Dankotuwa boasts of having he largest range of shapes and surface designs in Sri Lanka. Today, customers not only direct their emphasis to the taste factor when entertaining, but also give prominence to the presentation, to provide their guests with an unforgettable dining experience. Dankotuwa Porcelain has a variety of items in different shapes with stunning designs including square shape, which is much sought after for entertaining now among the trendier customers.

During the past few years, Dankotuwa Porcelain has been gradually changing their local marketing strategy and has been introducing new designs very frequently to the market through their showrooms. This strategy has paid off, and today Dankotuwa tableware is found in most fashion conscious homes and restaurants in Sri Lanka.
The high quality of Dankotuwa Porcelain products is well known even among the Corporate Customers, and today Dankotuwa has become the preferred brand for corporate gifts and for promotional items too.

Dankotuwa Porcelain exports 85% of its production and its products are sought after all over the world for its whiteness, scratch resistant ultra hard easy to clean glaze surface. Dankotuwa Porcelain is the only tableware company to receive Superbrand status.
The popularity of Dankotuwa has also spawned some van sales by unscrupulous fraudsters who visit homes on the pretext of being Dankotuwa sales man and have duped many customers. Customers have been warned that the company has no van sales visiting homes. “We urge our customers to make use of this opportunity to buy our genuine products at a fantastic offer,” the spokesperson said.


Suntel selects IBM Lotus software to help employees work together

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Suntel, the fastest growing telecommunications company in Sri Lanka with over 550,000 customers, has selected IBM Lotus software to create a collaborative environment to improve the way employees work together in any mode at any time, raising employee performance and cost-efficiency. Suntel chose to move from Microsoft Exchange and Outlook to IBM Lotus suite of products because of flexibility, reliability and cost.

Under the agreement signed in 2008, Suntel is deploying the enterprise-wide software consisting of Lotus Notes and Domino and Lotus Sametime for unified communications and collaboration and Lotus Symphony document, spreadsheet, and presentation tools to its employees. The implementation will be completed this month.

Suntel required a well-integrated, robust and reliable mail messaging system that would enhance collaboration among its employees. Moving to IBM Lotus Notes and Domino from Microsoft Exchange and Outlook has reduced software licensing costs by about 50 percent for Suntel. In addition, Suntel will make available Lotus Sametime to its employees so they would be able to communicate with each other through instant messaging, visuals and voice.

Lotus Notes was chosen because it is more than just e-mail, as it enables creation of Web 2.0 composite applications or “mashups” which combine content in unique ways from multiple internal and external web sources and does “live text” which allows a person to click on a company address and automatically bring up driving directions. The software, running on an enhanced and open standards-based system, will also allow Suntel to collaborate with its business partners effectively in the future as the business grows.

“We are sure that IBM Lotus Notes and Domino solution will give us a secure and scalable collaboration environment for future growth and development at a lower cost of ownership,” said Director, Product Development & CIO, Suntel Ltd, Dr Tariq Marikar. “We are also pleased with the contribution IBM has made to the open community through Lotus Suite of products.”

With Lotus Symphony, which is based on the Open Document Format (ODF), an open industry standard, Suntel no longer relies on a proprietary technology. This feature-rich integrated office productivity suite will provide Suntel the ability for users to create, edit and share word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentation at much lower costs.

“This win holds great significance for us as it further affirms the acceptance of IBM Lotus in our market and the significant growth in the number of Lotus users,” said Country Manager, IBM Sri Lanka, Chari Wijewardane. “Rapidly growing enterprises like Suntel are making strategic IT investments to meet their long-term growth plans. They prefer open standards-based solutions like Lotus Symphony over legacy proprietary technology for their long-term collaboration investments.”

According to Country Manager, Lotus Software, IBM India/South Asia, Chetan Yardi, “Suntel evaluated IBM’s Lotus suite as a much-enhanced solution over the existing one. That Suntel chose to go with IBM as our proposed solution, clearly demonstrated our capabilities in delivering a collaboration platform that would allow the user community to integrate information from a variety of sources in a single context and use it for gaining competitive advantage.”


Mahajana Sampatha 1st prize won at Kumburupitiya

S. P. Gunadasa of Kumburupitiya, employed in a private sector institution was the lucky winner of the first prize of two million rupees at the 2058th draw of the Mahajana Sampatha Lottery. He hopes to buy a piece of land out of the prize money.The winner is seen receiving the cheque from M. S. Karunaratne, the General Manager National Lotteries Board. Ja-Ela Sales Agent of National Lotteries Board J. M. D. F. Nihal was also present on the occasion


Metropolitan opens shop-in-shop, Kiribathgoda

Metropolitan, Sri Lanka’s premiere and leading office automation and imaging solutions provider, opened its newest branch at Singer Mega Kiribathgoda recently.

The new showroom offers a range of products from Canon cameras and accessories, to Acer laptops and desktops, fax machines, paper, air conditioners, mobile phones, scanners and printers. The new shop-in-shop at Singer Mega is located in the heart of Kiribathgoda town.

“We want to offer our customers easy and convenient access to the best brands in office automation and imaging equipment such as Canon, Acer and York. This is why we have come closer to their homes in Kiribathgoda,” said AGM - Head of Regional Distribution Network of Metropolitan, Jerome Fernando.

All products on sale at this showroom come with the Metropolitan warranty and after sales service.
Customers can now buy everything from office equipment to personal items such as laptops and cameras as well as office requisites, all under one roof in Kiribathgoda.

Metropolitan also has an island wide branch network that spreads from Jaffna, Trincomalee, Annuradhapura, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kandy , Ratnapura, Kalutara, Badulla to Matara. Further, Metropolitan has several sales outlets in Colombo including at Liberty Plaza, Bambalapitiya and Borella.