The best performing public quoted companies in Sri Lanka were recognised at the Business Today TOP 25 2014 – 2015 Award Ceremony for the 18th consecutive year.
The Chief Guest for the evening was Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka’
The event and media coordination was by Glenda Parthipan of Emphasis.
Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple has always been our honoured guest at the Business Today TOP 25 Awards. Podi Hamuduruwo has always been the single strength that has believed in us and unwaveringly supported us. The venerable thero has never been too busy to listen to us and give his valuable advice and support. He has always been there in our time of need, encouraging us and helping us. Podi Hamuduruwo exemplifies the teachings of Lord Buddha. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Podi Hamuduruwo.
The Lord Buddha preached to man “Vishwasa Paramanathi”; meaning trust is the most valuable quality in a relationship. Ethnicity, religion, cast and creed or political ideologies will not create any barriers if one trusts another. From his teachings, this excriticism, which is an extremely difficult feat. Over the years these rankings have grown from TOP 10 to TOP 25 and I believe there will be no harm in recognising more. This is because their vision of awakening the business world has resulted in motivating corporates and customers places of importance, the encouragement that they have given this country is a very rare good deed. It brings pride not only to some people but to the entire country.
This brings great pride to many including the country and its corporates.
“The Lord Buddha preached to man “Vishwasa Paramanathi”; meaning trust is the most valuable quality in a relationship. Ethnicity, religion, cast and creed or political ideologies will not create any barriers if one trusts another.”
ample is applicable to everyone despite their different belief systems and is something that can be put into practice in unity. I stated this word “trust” because it is evident that such an event as we see today is only possible due to the trust and credibility of Mr Mathi Parthipan, his wife and team have earned. They awakened the corporate sector with these Awards whilst maintaining complete neutrality, fairness, honesty, unyielding to external pressure and avoiding ultimately resulting in the development of the country. As a result of awakening the business community, corporates have been motivated, consumers were motivated, there was development in the country. For the people who come to the country from overseas, we have publications that we can proudly present to them. By showcasing the vision, the responsibilities of the various communities in the country, religious duties, religious and historical sites, Our Prime Minister will attend the event in a few moments, as he is currently tending to state affairs. He informed us of this. Likewise, if there is anyone who can drive Sri Lanka to lay a stable economic foundation, it is the Prime Minister who will be at the forefront. Therefore, I end my few words by requesting that Sri Lanka’s corporates will set aside their ethnic, religious, creed and political differences and unite to dedicate themselves, motivate and consciously work towards a prosperous Sri Lanka and I wish you all good health.
Udeshi Amarasinghe, BT Options
Explore Sri Lanka, our pioneering magazine that we have been publishing monthly since 1987, reached 28 years. It is the longest surviving complimentary magazine in the world. We are proud that we have been able to maintain international standards that are respected by our readership and global publishers.
Business Today, is the most powerful magazine in the country and focuses on people and topics that have an impact on Sri Lanka and globally. We are the first publisher to syndicate from Harvard Business Review internationally and we are the only publisher in Sri Lanka to syndicate from Financial Times. We also publish exclusive columns by global names such as Richard Branson.
We have been publishing Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines since March 2010. For the first time in the history of the airline the entire production and printing has been done completely in Sri Lanka. All expenses of the print and digital platforms of the magazine are borne by BT Options, and we make a monthly payment to SriLankan and not vice versa. With the support of the management and staff of SriLankan Airlines we have been able to produce a magazine that is on par with global inflight magazines.
Domus Sri Lanka, which is the Sri Lankan edition of the respected Italian publication of architecture and design, is our first international title. Domus Italy was established in 1928 by architect Gio Ponti. Domus Italy wishes that all their partners are like us, because we maintain the same quality and standard as Domus Italy in terms of content, paper and printing. We have provided international exposure to Sri Lankan architects through Domus Sri Lanka where Sri Lankan projects have been featured in other partner magazines as well. During this year the July-August issue was dedicated to Geoffrey Bawa and the current issue that is the November-December issue is dedicated to Ulrik Plesner.
Time Out Sri Lanka is our second international title, which we started in January 2015, we have reached almost a year. Time Out was established in 1968 by Tony Elliot. The Magazine is the single largest trusted global platform that inspires and enables people to experience the best around the world. Time Out operates in 107 cities, across 39 countries with a monthly audience of 40 million. Usually Time Out is city based, but Time Out Sri Lanka is about an entire country not a city. This was a first for Time Out as well. Time Out Sri Lanka is on print, web and app.
BT Store, is the first Apple store in Sri Lanka. We are the first authorized reseller and service provider for Apple in the country and we are in two locations on Duplication Road. So, now don’t tell us that you didn’t know that we sell Apple when you come again to BT Store with a product purchased elsewhere!
Emphasis, our sister company is headed by Glenda Parthipan. The theme, concept and selection of songs for the Business Today TOP 25 were entirely her idea.
BT Active is our fully equipped private lifestyle gym that is for our staff to use any time of the day with personal training from our Fitness Pro. If any company is thinking of having a private gym for their staff please make sure that you are a company where your staff is always seated, for example a software company, if not the value of the gym equipment cannot be depreciated and is considered a disallowable expense.
Our latest venture is Paper Moon Kudils located in Whisky Point in the East Coast. It is a private space for relaxation where you can truly be yourself. The property was opened in May this year.
The design concept of Paper Moon Kudils focused on making a minimal impact on the existing environment, where trees and natural growth are maintained. The building structures are minimalist and easily blend with the surroundings creating a green beachside haven. Names for the various sections of the property were given local names such as Kudils, which mean traditional living spaces in Tamil, Kusini for the restaurant, which means kitchen, and Kadal for the chill-out lounge that means sea in Tamil.
Paper Moon Kudils is built on a private property. The entire construction phase was done by masons, carpenters, electrician, plumbers and workers from the area. The building material too was sourced from the locality. Construction started in February this year and all construction including 20 Kudils, Kusini the restaurant and kitchen, Kadal the chill-out lounge and the water hole, which is the swimming pool, were successfully completed in 93 days. The membets of staff at Paper Moon Kudils are from the same area. For many of them this is their first job. They are a young team but their professionalism and efficiency is commendable. At Paper Moon Kudils we grow vegetables and fruits and maintain a very green environment. Everything grown is organic at Paper Moon Kudils. The response we have received in the few months in operation has been immense. Almost all our guests are from overseas with a majority from European countries such as Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands and we also have guests from Britain, Australia, Israel, Japan and expatriates living in Dubai. All our guests are either young couples or young families. And usually they will stay for more than three nights. We have had guests staying for ten to 43 days. Many of them come directly, stay at Paper Moon Kudils and flyback.
These guests are looking for a novel Sri Lankan experience where their privacy is ensured. We cannot say that we provide the traditional form of luxury; but the guests have made it a barefoot luxury destination.
Finally, we would like to thank those who have been with us throughout our journey since 1987. We thank all our clients who have continued to have confidence and faith in our publications and advertise with us.
Your support has been a great strength to us. We wish to express our appreciation to Minister Sagala Ratnayake and Sandra Perera for their support in making this event a success.
We would like to thank Mayor of Colombo, A J M Muzzamil, for his support. Mr Manilal Fernando, thank you for being with us during a very difficult period in the 1990s.
We thank Mr Harry Jayawardena for his continuous support and being with us even before we started Business Today.
Mr Thusitha Wijayasena for his kindness and concern for us when we were facing a challenging time in the recent past.
Mr Niththi Murugesu for his continuous guidance and advice. We would also like to thank Thusitha Halloluwa and Ruwan Ferdinandes for their support since the 1990s. Mr Charles De Silva and Mr A S Kaleel, for confidently giving their properties to us and for their continuous support.
We would like to thank Mr Dinesh Weerakkody, for the idea and concept for the Business Today TOP 25 ranking, and Mr Keith Bernard and Mr Shiron Gooneratne who were team members of the Business Today TOP 25.
They stepped aside from the process after they become part of public listed companies. But they have continued to support and be a great source of strength to us. Mr Suren Rajakarier of KPMG for his assistance and support in selecting the Business Today TOP 25. The dance performances of the evening are by the Chandana Wickremesinghe Dance Troupe.
The Business Today TOP 25 is held every year without any sponsorships and all expenses pertaining to the event are borne by BT Options.
BT Options has always been there for everyone irrespective of political thinking or differences, and we have never sought personal gain. Loyalty has always been our strength.
We thank all of you for being here with us today in celebration of corporate excellence in Sri Lanka.
We have always held Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in high esteem even when he was the Leader of the Opposition. We invited the Prime Minister, then Leader of the Opposition as the Guest of Honour for the Business Today TOP 25 Awards for three consecutive years since 2011. We gave him the respect and recognition equal to that of the Chief Guest. As a statesman and politician of a caliber that is rare today we have always respected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and we will continue to do so. As the Prime Minister of a new government, we wish you all success. From being the youngest minister, Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe has held numerous portfolios to be the Prime Minister of the country four times. His political resilience and experience show the strength of a leader. The Prime Minister holds a pivotal role as Sri Lanka embarks on this transformational journey.
Let me first congratulate all the friends, the TOP 25 firms that have received the award. Some of you have gone up, some of you have come down a notch or two. That is part of the game, like the minister of Finance, myself, Minister of Tourism, must have also noticed, that we have gone up a notch or two this year. Best of all is my colleague, Sarath Fonseka who in is own profession, has gone beyond the five stars, and become a field marshal. First, we must apologize for being late. I had one condition, I told Mathi if I come, I won’t be able to spend too much of time, because at the moment we are busy, trying to answer your question, “What have you been doing after you were elected?” Well, we had an election in between, but we are confident that we will have our political agenda in place and that we will be able to initiate all the major political programmes, by November 21, the day President Maithripala Sirisena announced that he is going to be a common candidate and the UNP working committee backed the decision, some will take a bit of time to be concluded.
That Political Agenda of which the 19th Amendment and getting the UN resolution passed at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, two of the most important ones have still more work to be done including constitutional amendments, new constitution and as the President announced today he is calling for the abolishment of the Executive Presidency. I will not say here what we are going to do. President Maithripala Sirisena will announce, so that we would have finished the major items on our political agenda.
Which leaves the next part, which is the Economic and Development Agenda. Today, as some of the speakers mentioned here where the top corporates are those who can have a critical eye on their own performance and the performance of the others. Now my job here and of the President and of the cabinet is to have a critical eye on Sri Lanka’s performance so far. It is not too reassuring. Because we have found that our revenue has fallen to 10.7 percent of the GDP. Our ratio of export earnings to the GDP has come down. Our ratio of debt has gone up. What is worrying are the international developments. If you look at your export earnings, manufactured earnings they have all come down. It is only the foreign employment remittances that have increased.
Now what has happened as of yesterday? The Middle East is going to be a battleground. Let’s hope there is no major incident, which could result in numbers of people having to return to Sri Lanka. Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope those incidents are avoided.
The Middle East is also the global centre for fuel production, both oil and natural gas. We are also affected by one of our major export earners – tea, which has lost its major markets both in the Middle East as well as in Eastern Europe. Also alarming is the fact that we are losing our competitiveness. Today’s economy is not what we faced in 1977, 2001, 2005 or 2010. Globalisation has taken place and this in turn has been affected by the financial crisis of 2008.
But within it you will find top performance. One of which will be Vietnam. If the Transpacific Partner-ship comes in to place and that depends a lot on what the US Congress will do next year or the year after, you will find that Vietnam will get a reputation for being one the most competitive economies in Asia, even rivaling that of China.
Even without the Transpacific Partnership, Vietnam has become competitive, becoming the centre for manufacturing. So we have lost our competitiveness vis a vis some of our other Asian friendly countries.
On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, there is a low wage base emerging in the Bay of Bengal with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Myanmar will take some time to settle down after the election, nevertheless those two will become the low wage manufacturing bases. So where do we fit ourselves in? From being an export economy sending out manufactured goods today we have to become part of the global value chain. Now this is what we have to be prepared for. While I have painted a gloomy picture it does not mean we have to go down. Within it there are nations that can come up and make themselves strong. This is where Sri Lanka has to fit itself. And there are decisions we have to take in the coming few months, in the course of the next year.
Firstly, how do we join the global value chain? How do we remove the numerous one stops and ensure that we come up in the ease of doing business? And finally we have to stop substituting tax exemptions and tax holidays for competitiveness. To face competitiveness let us see what we can do to increase our performance. We have to move out of being a low wage economy, to become a middle-income economy and also a high wage economy.
We have to enter our own Free Trade Agreements. At the moment the government is discussing with the EU, the removal of the EU ban on fisheries. We have made significant progress, which will enable us now to start discussing in the early part of next year, the ability to regain GSP plus. We have to think of an economic and technological agreement with India, China and Singapore and start negotiating for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Competitiveness is essential and to become competitive the tasks undertaken are not merely in manufacturing, not merely in services, but also include upgrading the skills of those who go for foreign employment and turning around the rural economy.
We have a fair number of ministers who are attending to this task beginning with the Minister of Finance, the Minister for Development Strategy and International Trade and the Minister for Tourism, – which is one of the sec-tors that will give short-term gains and medium-term gains. We have a Minister of Primary Industries, which is to ensure that the rural economy becomes export oriented and competitive. We cannot do it overnight. Some segments have to become competitive. Then the Ministry of Plantation Industries, Agriculture, Fisheries, the Rural Economic Affairs; they are all involved in making the economy perform better backed by the Minister for Megapolis and Western Development; he has an ambitious plan of converting the Western Province into a highly urbanized area. The Minister of Southern Development has to handle both the issues of Hambantota Development and the rest of the South. And the Minister for Wayamba Development; the major road to Kandy and Dambulla will go through Wayamba. On the other hand there will be eco-nomic zones coming all the way down to Divulapitiya. This is the task that they have to perform, not looking at the fact that we are planning out Trincomalee and the Kandy City.
On the other hand the key to competitiveness is the education system. A recent World Bank Survey on Sri Lanka’s education system, released last week if I am not mistaken, has pointed out the fact that there has been a drop in the quality of education. The numbers going through vocational, technical, and university education are still small. There is a big mismatch between the job market and the post-secondary education sector to the extent that our short-term bottlenecks for development are skills and vocational training. We have to focus short term on creating the skills and creating vocationally trained people, while in the medium term we have to improve the quality of our education; primary, secondary and post-secondary. These are the major challenges that we are focusing on, now that we have decided on the political agenda. The next years will see us bringing out the policies and mobilizing your support to go ahead.
While Sri Lanka’s business sector and the corporates have become more competitive, all our resources are in-sufficient for a rapid economic development. If we are to look at Sri Lanka as becoming a platform, as I have mentioned many times before, for competitive value addition and to become a logistic centre we do require foreign investment. And it is available. We have to ensure that we have our next generation economic reforms and that we can attract investment to Sri Lanka. It is certainly going to be a challenge, which we cannot run away from.
As I mentioned earlier this is not the best global situation where the global economy is concerned, to embark on economic reforms, but nevertheless there are many bright spots and let us make Sri Lanka one of those bright spots.
So I thought I would mention to you in short, what we are planning to do, and what we are thinking of, and what we have done. It’s not so much talking about what we are doing, but doing what has to be done and talk about it later. So I hope we have the support of all of you as we venture out to face this new challenge.
Again, congratulations to the winners, and thank you for having invited me.
Ronnie Peiris, Director
Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka
John Keells Holdings is humbled by the recognition as the number one of the Corporate World in 2014–2015 by Business Today. During our near one and a half centuries of existence the group has always strived to sincerely serve the society withina framework of a triple bottom line.
We owe our success, and I acknowledge success can be relative, to our stakeholders, particularly our employees, customers, suppliers, the society we operate in and indeed the government. We look forward to your support and will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to contribute to the economic development of our glorious country.
BT team congratulations on another wonderful evening, the pomp, the pageantry and the grandeur of this event increases year on year. Thank you very much Business Today once again for the recognition and have a good evening.
Dharma Dheerasinghe, Chairman
Dharma Dheerasinghe, Chairman and Jegan Durairatnam, Managing Director/CEO accepting the award
from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
I am extremely privileged to accept this award on behalf of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC being ranked 2nd in the Business Today TOP 25 public listed corporates in Sri Lanka. Being the largest private bank in Sri Lanka and the most awarded bank both internationally and locally, this is the eighth year that we have been ranked in the TOP 25, placing the bank amongst the leading diversified conglomerates and other financial services companies in Sri Lanka.
Commercial Bank has maintained its repute as the best bank in Sri Lanka as awarded by Finance Asia, Euro Money and the International Banker Magazines whilst being included amongst the Top 1,000 Banks in the world for five consecutive years. The bank has also won a multitude of prestigious awards locally and internationally and has been in the Business Today TOP 25 list since its inception. Apart from its outstanding financial performance, Commercial Bank takes pride in its dedication to maintain good governance, transparency and ethical business practices, which are of paramount importance for a financial institution. This dedication to good governance had enabled the bank to be selected by the public as the most honest business enterprise in Sri Lanka.
Commercial Bank has a versatile product offering that caters to all segments of society and touches the lives of 3.5 million customers helping them to achieve their goals and aspirations in life. Commercial Bank always strives to deliver its brand promise of creating a better future for Sri Lanka. Being the most profitable private bank in the country Commercial Bank has also identified the need to serve the nation giving back to society through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives driven by a specially established CSR Trust.
The success of the bank is due to the passion, commitment and hard work of employees of all levels and also due to the unwavering support of our customers as well as other stakeholders. I wish to thank them for their hard work and the trust they have placed on us. Rankings of this nature can serve as an important benchmark for companies to assess their performance against others in multiple business sectors, so I take this opportunity to thank Business Today Magazine and its Management for taking the initiative to organize this Award ceremony and to congratulate all winners on their success tonight.
Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/CEO
Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
HNB is delighted to be present this evening, very pleased to have been a part of the TOP 25 for the past so many years, and in particular thrilled to be amongst the top three after a lapse of about five to six years. As always we are grateful to the Business Today team for putting on this tremendous show year on year motivating us and inspiring us to reach greater heights and higher levels in corporate performance.
Congratulations to the Top 25 and in particular to our friends at John Keells and Commercial Bank for providing leadership to the corporate and the banking world respectively.
BT we are indeed grateful for the recognition bestowed on HNB which we believe is an acknowledgement of the tremendous work that has been done over the past few years in re-engineering the business models, processes, structures, channels, the introduction of new technology along with staff empowerment and capacity building in order to propel careers and providing challenges for youngsters to perform, make a name for themselves and stake a claim for leadership positions at HNB.
I take this opportunity to thank the Chairman and Board of Directors of HNB for their support, the Management team for their vision, focus and meticulous execution, very ably supported by the entire HNB family to whom I dedicate this recognition. Our grateful thanks to our wonderful customers, without them none of this would have been possible. Almost everyone here is a customer of ours, in case one or two of you are not, it is a big gap and you need to come and see me this evening. Friends, today we live in a world in turmoil, near war, recession in most parts and in general in a world of unproductive people, bad people who dominate headlines, consume much of everyone’s time. Not withstanding there are many good organisations and good people driving new business, product development, technology and coming up with novel and innovative solutions to meet the ever demanding changing needs of todays customer.
Sri Lanka has been and is at cross roads yet again and it is important that we work together and rally together to make things happen right. In this regard we are particularly pleased that there is a vision and plan to drive townships, economic zones, new business, technology, SME rural financing, health, education while minimising waste unproductivity, corruption and ridding bureaucracy and red tape.
To enable that vision we know we all look forward to the November 20th revolutionary and progressive Budget. The honourable Minister of Finance is present today, and we wish him all success for the 20th. HNB, the Banking Industry and Corporate Sector are eager to support all progressive initiatives that will transform our nation and our people, providing new opportunities for entrepreneurship, employment and a higher standard of living. In conclusion, let me thank the BT team once again and I wish every one of you a most enjoyable evening.
Dinesh Dharmadasa, Director
Dinesh Dharmadasa, Director accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of
At the outset let me thank the organisers of this prestigious event for once again selecting CTC as one of the TOP 25 companies in Sri Lanka. I consider it an honour and accept this award as an acknowledgment of the achievements of this company.
In spite of the fact that we have come down by one position from last year, we are extremely happy to be in position number four because we have succeeded to remain within the top ten for the last decade. Together with DCSL we are probably the only two manufacturing companies in the ranking since the inception of this award ceremony.
CTC has performed well this year despite volumes having dropped by around 20 per cent last year. It is not an easy task. I am confident that we will be back again in the top three this year, having had a good year so far. That said, Hon. Prime Minister, I am pleased to note that CTC’s contribution to the government has grown this year by 27 per cent in the first nine months of this year, an amount of 70 billion, which is probably the highest contribution to your government revenue. Unfortunately, our loss of volumes has only created another sector, which is neither regulated nor taxed, Beedi, which has grown by almost 100 per cent over the last five years. Looking in to the future, the biggest issue we see in addition to Beedi is the growing menace of illegal products reaching the country. In fact, today Sri Lanka Customs managed to detain 10 million cigarettes, which is close to 300 million rupees in revenue.
Let me remind you, ladies and gentlemen, please be careful what you wish for. Increasing regulations in excise and price, aimed at curtailing the illegal industry in Sri Lanka may not bring about what you want. It will only make the illegal industry more attractive to criminal gangs and which will not provide any tax revenues. We must work together to ensure that this threat is eliminated. Finally let me thank again the organisers of the BT TOP 25 awards for recognising CTC once again this year.
Amitha Gooneratne, Director
Amitha Gooneratne, Director accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of
It is a prestige and an honour for me to collect this award on behalf of our Group Chairman, Deshamaanya Harry Jayawardene, who is present with us today. We are extremely proud to receive this award once again, especially as we have been recipients of this award from the inception of this award ceremony. In a challenging year, we are happy to state that the company has increased its turnover and profit after tax compared to the previous year. We have also contributed significantly to the state revenues, and in this context, the taxes paid by the group increased to 41.4 billion compared to 37.4 billion rupees in the previous year.
We have also invested six billion rupees in a state of the art blending and bottling plant improving production capacity and efficiency. We remain positive in maintaining leadership in the alcoholic beverages sector in the years to come. As a diversified group, we faced many challenges; not only in our core business, but also in some of the other sectors we are operating in, notably telecommunications and plantation.
Notwithstanding, as a group we have improved our performance and delivered good results to our stakeholders. Going forward, it is our wish that policy makers adhere to greater consistency in forming policy, particularly fiscal policy. The private sector, which is considered the engine of growth, requires this consistency to facilitate planning. Better planning will result in investments, particularly FDIs, which are needed to create more jobs.
DCSL, as a diversified group, has significant investments in many of the companies in today’s TOP 25 list. I have no doubt all the CEOs will welcome a disciplined commercial environment where policy is consistent and planning with certainty is possible. In conclusion, I take this opportunity to thank the organisers of this event, Business Today, for hosting this award ceremony, which gives much inspiration to the corporate sector.
Dr. Hans Wijesuriya, Group Chief Executive
Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Chief Executive accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe,
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
It is indeed an honour and a privilege to stand here and accept the Business Today TOP 25 award on behalf of a large number of people in the organisation who deserve this award much more than myself. I would like to dedicate this award to our ten million customers who come from all provinces of the country, from the farthest corners of Sri Lanka, the 3,000-strong Dialog team that has put its heart and soul towards the achievements of our company and also our partners and enterprise partners. I would also like to thank the government of Sri Lanka, and its many agencies, which have made it possible for this investment to flourish in this country; and for us – along with other members of our industry – to create and take forward a digital Sri Lanka.
Last but not least, let me thank Business Today team for their consistent commitment to enterprise Sri Lanka and for furthering the corporate cause in this country.
Kapila Jayawardena, Managing Director/CEO
Kapila Jayawardena, Managing Director/CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe,
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
First I would like to accept with honour this Award. We are in the seventh place this year. We were within the TOP 25 previously and we have been promoted to be within the top ten, so it is a great honour for all of us; our team of 4,200 people.
I would like to dedicate this award to all my team members. Most of them are working in very harsh environments, in deep rural areas where we are the foremost player in financial inclusion. There have been many instances where I have gone to rural regions to open branches, and many customers have told me “this is the first time we have walked into a formal financial institution.” So we are proud that we are among the foremost in financial inclusion in Sri Lanka.
To our customers – we have 1 million customers – and they have been giving us 85 per cent of the financial services and the revenues of the group, which has been performing very well. Again I would like to thank the organisers for selecting us. With the new economy in place, we see that our business has improved, volumes have grown and we hope that we can keep on this challenge and be within the top ten in the next rankings as well.
Chandima Gunawardena, Director
Chandima Gunawardena, Director accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe,
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Bukit Darah PLC has been enjoying a privileged status in being amongst the TOP 25 for many years. And at this annual prestigious event, I am thankful to the organisers for creating this opportunity for Sri Lankan corporates to look at themselves through a competitive mirror, diagnostically, so to speak.
Bukit Darah PLC is the parent and holding company of the Carson Cumberbatch group, which includes Lion Brewery PLC, Guardian Group PLC, Singapore-based Good Hope Asia Holdings, Plantation Group and Pegasus Hotels. Our Senior Management, teams located in Sri Lanka and in the regions that we operate in, comprise predominantly of Sri Lankan professionals from multiple disciplines. This award the company has received reflects the dedicated hard work that resulted in achieving all our goals through our people. They have worked in extremely competitive environments and some have even faced extreme hardships in remote locations. It is with humility that I accept this award on behalf of the work force of Bukit Darah Group of Companies in Sri Lanka and South-East Asia. I am sure they will be proud to receive this award. Dynamics of doing business with a moving target in this ever-changing world that we live in, some of which are human creations – though some others are nature’s creations – humans have to manage them. These are some of the battles our management teams have to deal with on a daily basis, and this award is a tribute to those who are in the battlefield.
This award ceremony is in fact an excellent mirrored window for corporates to showcase themselves as well as to look at themselves and assess themselves through a critical eye. Through technology and innovative means goal posts can change and they have changed. Yet, the fundamental core values of doing business will remain unchanged. This platform, ladies and gentlemen, has been and will be a platform to check ourselves and for all our stakeholders to keep a check on us as we go on.
I congratulate and thank BT staff for having organised this event so magnificently, year after year, for so many years – providing an unmatched opportunity for corporates to benefit from. Hon Prime Minister and Mrs Wickramasinghe, it is indeed encouraging to witness your presence at this prestigious award ceremony.
P G Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman
P G Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka
Thank you for honoring us by ranking us among the TOP 25 companies this year, and also for this opportunity given to address you on behalf of Sri Lanka Telecom. First of all I wish to specially thank the organising committee of Business Today magazine for conducting this awards ceremony each year and for encouraging and motivating Sri Lanka towards advanced performance. You have done an excellent job in recognising and rewarding the best of the best in the corporate world ever since the inception of the awards in 1998.
Sri Lanka Telecom has been recognized continuously in these awards for many years. This year too we are happy to be amongst the top ten for the period 2014–2015. As the national telecommunications provider and the premier ICT solution provider in the country, Sri Lanka Telecom is really proud to support the country with our ICT capability and next generation ICT solutions for Sri Lanka to position itself as the IT hub in the region. Thus, the group’s strategic purpose remains strongly aligned to the National Agenda, complements the country’s ICT transformation journey.
SLT is committed to serve as a catalyst in establishing a communication backbone and providing futuristic IT that will be the foundation for all other economic sectors. The investment friendly economic climate evolving in the country is benefitting to the SLT Group as well as to the corporate performance and economic development of the country, which are interdependent. Thus initiatives have been taken across the group to accelerate the capacity building projects island wide while minimizing the time taken for market offerings, numerous investments were made to embrace opportunities arising due to economic development. Also the introduction of multiple broadband technologies during the year under review will assure SLT’s technological leadership and will undoubtedly deliver long-term benefits to the nation. I am quite positive about the outcome of the group at present and also in the months and years ahead.
I also thank the team of Business Today for the trust and confidence you have placed on Sri Lanka Telecom by recognising us as one of the top ten corporates in Sri Lanka yet again. This is very much valued and appreciated by us. SLT group possesses ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 2007. We have also won many awards for excellence and innovation both nationally and internationally this year due to the combined dedication of the SLT team. Finally on behalf of Sri Lanka Telecom we wish you all the best to continue to provide a valuable service to our nation.
Dhammika Perera, Chairman
Dhammika Perera, Chairman accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka
Business Today recognises the TOP 25 corporates every year, highlighting the fact that behind every successful business are the stakeholders, the customers, employees and shareholders. They are the ‘pillars of success’. Tonight, I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the human capital that earned these awards for Sampath Bank and Vallibel One, and made this a reality. The 4000 plus team at Sampath Bank and the 13,000 member staff at Vallibel One are the true owners of this award. Human capital is the most valuable of all economic resources. In Sri Lanka the quality of human resource capital is commendable. Since 1975, our population has grown from 13 million to 18 million in 1995, and to 21 million as of today. Each year there are about 360,000 new births, while the death average is 140,000. Annually 220,000 are added to the population and 300,000 to the work force as fresh trainable capital. For example, in the Northern Province, the private jobs total 24,130, in comparison with a population of 1.08 million. Currently, as much as 5,600 people are joining the work force from the Northern Province. As the private sector, it is our responsibility to look at creating jobs in order to convert these resources to productivity capital. It is our onus to do this. It is our responsibility not only to evaluate economic returns from this province, but to also ensure the sustainability of livelihood in the long term.
Thanking Business Today for this award, I would also like to congratulate all the winners tonight.
Mohan Pandithage, Chairman/CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman/Managing Director accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Jagdish Singla, Vice President accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Dhammika Perera, Chairman/Managing Director accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Rajendra Theagarajah, CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Arjun Fernando, CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Pradeep Amirthanayagam, Deputy Chairman and D P Kumarage, CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe,
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Ravi Rambukwella, Director Marketing accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Dr Kishu Gomes, Managing Director/CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Nihal Jayamanne, Chairman accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Patrick Alwis, Managing Director – Ceylinco General Insurance and Thushara Ranasinghe, Deputy CEO – Ceylinco Life accepting
the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Renuka Fernando, CEO
Renuka Fernando, CEO accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of
It is with great pride that I stand here today on behalf of Nation’s Trust as one of the TOP 25 institutions in the country as ranked by Business Today. I wish to dedicate this accolade to the dynamic team at Nation’s Trust, whose passion for excellence, unrelenting drive and winning mindset has been the key success factor for this achievement.
Nations Trust, being one of the youngest banks in the market, has trail blazed new concepts throughout its history that have been a paradigm shift for banking in Sri Lanka. We have built an enviable reputation among our customers as a bank that sets the benchmark in customer experience.
Today, Nations Trust is proud to stand tall as we confidently face an exciting future. We pledge to deliver unrivalled customer centricity through our vision to help people and businesses achieve today’s goals and tomorrow’s aspirations.
We will continue to be a catalyst for change through innovation, as we become the primary bank for the new progressive Sri Lankan. I take this opportunity to thank Business Today for giving us this award, bringing us into the TOP 25, and for this evening.
Malinga Arsakularatne, Director accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Sumal Perera, Chairman accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Dhananjaya Srivastava, Senior Vice President accepting the award from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
(L-R): Sumal Perera, Chairman – Access Engineering, Jagdish Singla, Vice President – Nestlé Lanka, Malinga Arsakularatne, Director – Hemas Holdings, Arjun
Fernando, CEO – DFCC Bank, J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman/Managing Director – Aitken Spence, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Chief Executive – Dialog Axiata, Jegan Durairatnam, CEO – Commercial Bank, Dharma Dheerasinghe, Chairman – Commercial Bank, Dinesh Dharmadasa, Director – Ceylon Tobacco Company, Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman – John Keells Holdings, Dhammika Perera, Chairman – Sampath Bank and Vallibel One, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Nihal Jayamanne, Chairman – Seylan Bank, Pradeep Amirthanayagam, Deputy Chairman – People’s Leasing & Finance, Chandima Gunawardena, Director – Bukit Darah, Dr Kishu Gomes, Managing Director/CEO – Chevron Lubricants Lanka, Dhananjaya Srivastava, Senior Vice President – Lanka IOC, D P Kumarage, CEO – People’s Leasing & Finance, Mohan Pandithage, Chairman/CEO – Hayleys, Kapila Jayawardena, Managing Director/CEO – Lanka Orix Leasing Company, P G Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman – Sri Lanka Telecom, Amitha Gooneratne, Director – Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, Ravi Rambukwella, Director – Central Finance Company, Patrick Alwis, Managing Director – Ceylinco General Insurance and Thushara Ranasinghe, Deputy CEO – Ceylinco Life, Renuka Fernando, CEO – Nations Trust Bank, Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/CEO – Hatton National Bank
‘We are Family’
Dance performance to the song ‘Yanna Rata Wate’
Dance performance to the Gajaga Vannama
Arrival of Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe
Mathi and Glenda Parthipan
Arrival of Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple. Ven Kirinde Assaji Thero is also in the photograph.
Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero
Minister John Amaratunga
Minister Ravi Karunanayake
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka
Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka
Minister Sagala Ratnayake
Minister Arjuna Ranatunga
Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala
Deputy Minister Ajith Perera
Pavithra Wanniarachchi, MP and Kanchana Jayaratne
Udaya Gammanpila, MP
Arjuna Mahendra, Governor –Central
Bank and Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman –
Board of Investments
Rosy and Athula Senenayake
L-R: Sagala Ratnayake – Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development, A J M Muzammil – Mayor of Colombo, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister
of Sri Lanka, Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe, John Amaratunga – Minister of Public Order and Christian Affairs, Glenda Parthipan, Mathi K Parthipan –
Chairman/Managing Director of BT Options, Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero – Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple and Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero
A J M Muzammil – Mayor of Colombo and Ravi Karunanayake –
Minister of Finance
L-R: Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, Chief Incumbent of Gangaramaya Temple, Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero, Ven Kirinde Assaji Thero and Ven Viyapathuwe Revatha Thero
L-R: Gayantha Karunathilake – Minister of Parliamentary Reform and Mass Media, Azath Salley, Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Ports and Shipping,
V Anandasangaree, Pavithra Wanniarachchi MP, P Dayaratne, Udaya Gammanpila MP, Tissa Attanayake, Thilanga Sumathipala – Deputy Speaker, Ajith Perera
– Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka
Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka with BT Options staff
Upul Perera, S Srinath, K Uthayaramanan, Perumal Partheepan, Mathi and Glenda Parthipan, V Udayakumar, A Subair, Udeshi Amarasinghe and Thanuja Thilakaratne (Paper Moon Kudils staff with BT Options staff)