The Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE Award Ceremony recognised the best corporates in Sri Lanka for their excellent performance during the financial year 2011-2012. The event was held on October 22, 2012 with Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development as the Chief Guest and Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition as the Guest of Honour. The Award Ceremony brought together an unprecedented gathering of politicians, business fraternity and distinguished dignitaries.
The event and media coordination was by Glenda Parthipan of Emphasis. This included the concept, entertainment and decor for the evening.
Speeches and the Award Ceremony can be viewed at businesstoday.lk
BT Options Reflects On Its Achievements Over The Years
We could say that the financial year 2011-2012 was one of mixed fortunes. It has been three years since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka, and the growth momentum that was seen over the past two years where Sri Lanka recorded over eight percent growth during two consecutive years was short lived. Fluctuating policy decisions, rise in oil prices and increased interest rates and widening trade deficits have seen the economy slow down. However, though global conditions may not have been favourable, the private sector has sought new ventures within Sri Lanka, which is indeed encouraging. This year we saw new companies emerging, creating greater competition within the private sector. Therefore for the financial year 2011-2012 Business Today ranks the TOP TWENTY FIVE companies for their excellent performance.
We are honoured by the presence of Ven Galaboda Gnanissara thero, the Chief Incumbent of Gangaramaya Temple and Ven Kirinde Assaji thero. It is indeed a great pleasure and privilege to this Awards Ceremony to have Hon Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development as our Chief Guest and Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition as our guest of honour. We wish to thank you for being with us today.
Hon Basil Rajapaksa, needs no introduction, we could say he is the most persistent and hardworking Minister. It would not be wrong to say that he is a perfectionist. But he lives by example, therefore there is no excuse for others. Minister Rajapaksa is a modest and humble person, he is easy to talk to and he will definitely listen, may be that is the reason he is able to solve any problem the country faces within and beyond. As the Minister of Economic Development his achievements are great, and not even an entire day would be enough to list them all. Through the initiatives the Minister has taken, we are seeing the rejuvenation of the village, where self sufficiency is encouraged. We are proud to work closely with Hon Basil Rajapaksa, it has indeed been a great experience and we wish to thank the Minister for his continuous support and encouragement.
Open your eyes to the transformation in Sri Lanka, you do not need to go far, it is visible in Colombo. Our country is experiencing true freedom and peace, stability and security. We have emerged from three decades of conflict; only three years have passed since the end of the war, it is apparent that we all feel the benefits of that victory. At this time it is most important to salute His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who gave the much needed leadership as Commander in Chief, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for his clear guidance and direction, the Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, CDF and Military Intelligence for the immense sacrifices they made to eradicate terrorism from our country. We should not allow the country to fall prey to petty politics, the country needs to move forward as one, because after all we are all Sri Lankan.
Colombo, is now a green and clean city… a beautiful city. We are seeing our heritage buildings that were once hidden being renovated to their former glory, parks are green and now there are leisure areas for people to go to. Credit for this transformation in Colombo should be given to Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa under whose guidance the UDA and the Armed Forces are doing things that were once thought impossible. This transformation is not limited to Colombo, Gampaha, Our Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s district is now a modern area with new markets, maternity and child care centres, walking tracks and many more…then Kilinochchi, the transformation of the town is impressive to say the least. These are but a few examples of the positive change we see in the country.
How do we know this? Even during the most difficult times in the country, including the entire duration of the war, Explore Sri Lanka continued without any external support. We promoted the positive image of the country… we showed that there is always a positive story to tell. The print-run of Explore Sri Lanka had always been 10,000 copies per month but during the past year this was increased to 15,000 and then 16,000. It will be 20,000 in the near future. Out of this we sell only 2,000 copies and the remaining 14,000 are given as complimentary copies. We have received positive response over the years for the unusual articles that we publish, many say that they did not even know that there were such places in Sri Lanka. We travel all around Sri Lanka, not just today but since 1987, and all articles are first hand experiences and the photographs are current. This makes the difference. We are extremely proud of Explore Sri Lanka.
Business Today, was started in 1996. As all you of know we feature interviews and articles that are, most of the time, controversial. We are told that Business Today is too political… well politics and business go hand in hand.
Business Today was the first in many areas; before anyone knew about syndication even internationally, we started with New York Times, Global Business Perspectives and Harvard Business Review, this was as far back as 1997. Furthermore, our exclusive columns by Richard Branson, Howard Schultz and Jack and Suzy Welsch have been the first in the country. Business Today were the first Sri Lankans to attend the Clinton Forum, World Business Forum and Jack Welsch’s forum. It was only our photographers who were allowed to enter the forums at the time because of our professional attitude and presentation.
Target magazine, which portrays the developments of the government was started in February 2008. We wish to stress that this magazine is not funded by anyone it is solely a BT Options publication with all expenses borne by BT Options.
We are nearing almost three years in publishing, Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. We pay a monthly fee to SriLankan Airlines and also provide 12,500 copies free of charge. An additional 2,000 copies are distributed by us. As the entire production and printing is done within Sri Lanka, we do not use even freight from SriLankan Airlines. It is for the first time in the history of the Airline that the production and printing has been done completely within the country thereby saving foreign exchange and providing the opportunity for local talent to develop. Therefore we are extremely grateful to His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who did the impossible by bringing both production and printing of the magazine to the country.
The Architect, is the journal of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, we started publishing the magazine in 2008, until then no one knew about the magazine even though the institute had been publishing it for many years. Today, The Architect is now one of the most popular magazines in the country. We also publish Vasthu, the institutes Sinhala publication.
We have always been in the forefront of innovation, Colombo by Night which was an entertainment programme was held all five nights a week from the year 1987 to 1991, where guests would be taken to the hot spots around the capital. At that time the ticket was only 9.95 US dollars or 300 rupees.
We have always worked in a Apple Mac environment, even as far back as 1989. We were the first to start an Apple Store in Sri Lanka, BT Store, which was opened in 2006 and is the Authorised Reseller and the Authorised Service Provider of Apple products.
We also pioneered the concept of LAN gaming in 2002 by opening Mindhead, a premier game zone.
Our Continued Motivation To Innovate And Introduce Pioneering Ventures Have Been Even Before May 2009.
Our continued motivation to innovate and introduce pioneering ventures have been even before May 2009.
All our publications are on iTunes, Amazon Store and Samsung- Android. ‘No Easy Day’, the only first hand account of the Navy Seal Mission that killed Osama Bin Laden, by Mark Owen is available on Audio Books at BT Store.
We are introducing an ERP system developed by HansaWorld. We are their first customer in Asia to implement the ERP system on a Mac platform. It is the first time that they are doing a ERP system for a publisher. Even with our complicated tax systems they will be developing the ERP system.
During the year we were proud to have been part of the conference ‘Critical Women: Women as Agents of Change through Higher Education’, which was organised by the Association of Commonwealth Universities together with the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Kelaniya. We also put together the digital version of the post conference publication. Working with Prof Maithree Wickremesinghe was indeed a very good experience.
We were also happy to do the production and printing of the post conference publication of the Defence Seminar 2012. We have worked very closely with the Sri Lanka Army and we are very thankful for their professionalism in every way. We wish to thank Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army at this moment.
We wish to show our appreciation to Dr P B Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and Secretary to the Treasury for his confidence and trust in us. We wish to recognise Dr P B Jayasundera for his efforts to maintain the stability of the economy of this country. He is indeed an asset to Sri Lanka. We also wish to thank Mr S R Attygalle, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury and Mrs Shamalie Gunwardena, Director General Legal for their continuous support.
Emphasis, the PR and Event Management Company headed by Glenda Parthipan, coordinated the Launch of the Book, “Gota’s War: the crushing of Tamil Tiger Terrorism in Sri Lanka’, the 58th Commonwealth Conference, where we coordinated the Inauguration Ceremony; the Dinner hosted by Hon Chamal Rajapaksa, Speaker of the Parliament for all delegates, all the Plenary Sessions and General Assembly; and the 32nd Small Branches conference. Emphasis also coordinated the launch of Ranaviru Mawpiya Rakawarana and the Opening of the Racecourse Mini Pavillion. The concept and management of these events were done entirely by Glenda.
We would like to express our gratitude to Hon Chamal Rajapaksa, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and Mr Dhammika Dassanayake, Secretary General of the Parliament for their support and confidence in us, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mr Lakshman Hulugalle, Director General of the Media Centre for National Security for their encouragement and strength.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts coming to Sri Lanka was indeed a milestone, the event coordination of the groundbreaking ceremony in Colombo and the foundation laying ceremony in Hambantota was done by Glenda Parthipan. We are extremely proud to have been given the opportunity and we wish to thank Mr Sajad Mawzoon, Director – Shangri-La Hotels Lanka and Shangri-La Investments Lanka for his confidence in us.
Even this event today, the Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE is coordinated by Glenda, which includes the selection of songs for the entertainment.
We wish to thank Mr Bhashwara Gunaratne and Mr Sagala Ratnayake for their support.
At this moment we wish to thank Mr Harry Jayawardena for his continuous support and encouragement over the years.
We would like to mention Mr Dinesh Weerakkody, Mr Keith Bernard and Mr Shiron Gooneratne for their contribution to the Business Today top corporate rankings especially during the inception of the awards. We are extremely proud that Mr Dinesh Weerakkody is the Chairman of Commercial Bank, one of the winners of the Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE.
We would also like to thank Mr Suren Rajakarier of KMPG for his interest and contribution to the Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE.
The Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE Awards Ceremony is held without any external support and it is through the advertising in our magazines that we are able to do hold such an annual event.
We apologies for any lapse in protocol as it is difficult to maintain protocol in such events.
Last but not least, Business Today wishes to thank all of you who are present today to celebrate the excellence in corporate Sri Lanka.