SLT-MOBITEL awarded 'Best Innovation in Telecommunication' Award – The Island.lk

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SLT-MOBITEL awarded ‘Best Innovation in Telecommunication’ Award
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Reaffirming its leadership in Telecommunication and Technology, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile was awarded the prestigious international award for the ‘Best Innovation in Telecommunication’, at the World Innovation Congress held in Mumbai, India on 24th March 2022.
The recognition is a testament to SLT-MOBITEL’s deployment of the innovative Sub-1GHz band LTE network solution, designed to further expand rural broadband penetration in Sri Lanka. The Sub-1GHz band LTE technology also focused on improving telecommunication infrastructure and support services specially to assist customers in rural areas during Covid-19 lockdown periods.
Commenting on the recognition, Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL said, “it gives us immense pride and joy to witness our innovative work being recognized on an international level. World Innovation Congress is a world-renowned body for recognizing innovative businesses across the world, and we take pride as the National ICT Solutions Provider to receive this prestigious award. Whilst the recognition has brought glory to Sri Lanka, it has also enabled us to save Forex outflows and regain the national spectrum resources in the 900 Band; otherwise wasted due to cross border interference. This innovative solution could only be realised because of the support extended by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), in making Sri Lanka empowered with 4G LTE connectivity island wide. On behalf of SLT-MOBITEL, we are thankful to TRCSL for the continuous support extended throughout in making Sri Lanka a technologically advance nation.”
SLT-MOBITEL Mobile’s innovative Sub-1GHz 850MHz LTE network also provided unprecedented support during Covid-19 travel restrictions when broadband had become a necessity for everyone. Due to the timely deployment of the LTE network, the public were able to work from home, conduct online education, engage in telemedicine, and continue business and transactions.
Commenting on the achievement, Chandika Vitharena, CEO, Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. said, “Winning the Best Innovation in Telecommunication at the World Innovation Congress reaffirms the company’s continuous innovation drive and technology leadership in the intensely competitive market of Sri Lanka. The award reflects our teams’ hard work and untiring dedication for innovative connectivity solutions. As the only local mobile service provider, we are happy to see that our initiatives are supporting the nation to move forward in the technology space and are being recognized both nationally and internationally.”
During this challenging period, with the innovative deployment of wider broadband coverage LTE network, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile provided free access for online educational platforms and National University based zoom platforms, offering affordable extra GB volume packages to support uninterrupted education during the time.
Furthermore, via eChannelling, a subsidiary company, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile offered remote doctor consultations (telemedicine services), medical and vaccination appointments, and ensured online medicine deliveries to support health services.
SLT-MOBITEL Mobile also provided high priority services to Work-From-Home applications such as Zoom, MS TEAMS, and Google Meet to offer customers the best broadband experience. SLT-MOBITEL Mobile was also recognized by Ookla®, the global leader in fixed and mobile broadband network testing applications, data and analysis as the ‘Fastest Mobile Network in Sri Lanka’ consecutively in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Additionally, driving digital inclusivity and boosting rural connectivity, SLT-MOBITEL continues to support national level initiatives such as the ‘Gamata Sanniwedanaya’ programme collaborating with the TRCSL which aims to provide 100% 4G LTE connectivity to the nation. With 5G deployment plans taking place, SLT-MOBITEL continues to invest in improving its 5G ready network infrastructure and has invested over USD 800Mn to bolster broadband services in Sri Lanka.




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CEAT climbs 10 places in 2022 Brand Finance rankings
SDB bank records handsome growth in 2021

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The current US dollar crisis has negatively impacted the CSE’s foreign investors. It has confronted them with difficulties in repatriating dividend payments made to them by companies, along with other financial gains, CSE chairman, Dumith Fernando said.
‘It is beyond the CSE’s control to resolve their problem. But we have already informed the Central Bank to address this issue but the CBSL has not done anything due to the dollar crisis, Fernando told a media conference held at the CSE office, World Trade Centre building in Colombo recently.
Fernando added: ‘The dollar crisis is the major reason for this and this could sometimes discourage foreign investors from investing in the stock market. However, luckily the stock market is driven by retail investors, and this could not pose a major issue for the CSE.
‘Sri Lanka suffered a Rs. 50 billion worth foreign outflow last year due to the macroeconomic uncertainty, sovereign debt default and exchange rate risks. It has seen a Rs. 2.7 billion outflow so far this year, the CSE data show.
‘Sri Lanka is committed to forging ahead with our reform agenda and with our bid to develop into a strong, stable and resilient stock market and as an attractive place to do business.
‘In terms of the stock market, CSE trades at a discount compared to most frontier markets and is supported by a promising growth potential among listed companies.
‘Over 70 per cent of the listed companies on the CSE have a debt to capital ratio of under 50 per cent and market information shows record levels of investor participation in the market and an Initial Public Offering last year was oversubscribed on the very first day.
‘The shut-down of the CSE this week would mitigate forced selling and other issues pertaining to investors, including foreign investors.’
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CEAT, Sri Lanka’s highest-selling pneumatic tyre brand, has been ranked the Most Valuable Brand in the ‘Tyre’ category and has advanced 10 places in the latest brand value rankings published by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy.
In its 2022 rankings, Brand Finance has valued the CEAT brand at Rs 2.922 billion for this year, an impressive 44 per cent more than the value assigned in 2021, and ranked CEAT at No 38 in its list of the 100 most valuable brands in the country which include the largest banks, telecommunications services providers and retail giants.
The CEAT brand has also retained its ‘AAA-’ Brand Rating from Brand Finance for 2022. This is the second highest rating awarded to consumer brands in Sri Lanka this year.
Commenting on the Brand Finance ranking assigned to the CEAT brand, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Ravi Dadlani said: “Adversity is the best test of mettle. Since the start of the global pandemic, the CEAT brand has achieved a cumulative advancement of 15 places in the Brand Finance Top 100 rankings, and brand value has more than doubled since 2020. Such growth, in one of the most challenging periods in memory, is a remarkable feat and a source of confidence in these uncertain times.”
According to Brand Finance, Brand Value is computed on the basis of separate values assigned for Brand Strength, Business Performance and External Changes. It is described as a specific asset valuation which calculates the value of the transferable element of the brand, generally comprising the value of the trademarks and associated intellectual property.
Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.
London headquartered Brand Finance founded in 1996 is the world’s leading independent, value-based brand strategy consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries including Sri Lanka. Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance by quantifying the financial value of brands, and helped craft the internationally-recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.
The manufacturer of half of the Sri Lanka’s pneumatic tyre requirements, CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful India – Sri Lanka joint ventures. The joint venture’s cumulative investment in Sri Lanka to date exceeds Rs 8 billion, and another Rs 3.2 billion has been committed in 2022 for expansion of volumes, technology upgrades and new product development. The company’s manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka encompass tyres in the radial (passenger cars, vans and SUVs), commercial (nylon and radial), motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments.
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SDB bank has achieved outstanding financial results during 2021, amidst an unprecedentedly challenging economic environment. Total profits for the year ended 31st December 2021 stood at LKR 909 million, recording a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 9%, while profit for the 4th quarter of the year was recorded at LKR 159 million. Net interest income grew by 11% YoY, to LKR 6.774 billion, while total operating income grew by 9% YoY to reach LKR 7.4 billion. SDB bank’s loan book too showed robust growth, expanding by 9% against the year prior to LKR 111.89 billion, while a total of LKR 65 billion was disbursed through 98,185 accounts during the year. Net NPL (Non-Performing Loans) Ratio also witnessed positive change, improving to 1.49% in 2021, against 1.79% in 2020, due to improved provisioning during the period. SDB bank’s Total Assets also grew healthily by 15% in the year under review to LKR 147.8 billion, while the Deposit Portfolio expanded marginally by 1% YoY.
Discussing the Bank’s robust financial performance, Niranjan Thangarajah – The acting CEO at SDB bank said, “We have focused heavily on our core SME and MSME customers during the year, with special emphasis on women owned and led enterprises, in line with our drive towards inclusive banking. The exceptional planning and strategy devised by our senior management team has proven to be effective during the year, while we also benefitted from the rescinding of pandemic related restrictions. Furthermore, our commitment to working together with our customers in mutual partnership, placed us in an excellent position to detect early warning signs of financial distress, and helped us guide our customers towards making the right decisions. This is reflected in our expanding loan portfolio, coupled with shrinking NPLs. In 2022, we look forward to building on the achievements we have made in 2021. We also take this opportunity to thank our customers and stakeholders for their continued cooperation and support of SDB bank.”
2021 also saw SDB bank conduct a Secondary Public Offering (SPO), which received exceptional interest from investors, enjoying a hefty oversubscription on the opening date of the issue. The Bank also solidified its global reputation as a pioneering financier for SMEs in Sri Lanka, playing host, in November 2021, to the Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Chapter of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). In line with SDB bank’s 4-year strategic growth plan, 2021 also saw the bank focus heavily on the SME sector, female entrepreneurship, driving sustainability both financially and environmentally and aggressively push digital banking across Sri Lanka, staying true to its commitment to take inclusive digital banking to the masses.
A future-ready bank, providing holistic, 360-degree support to its customers, SDB bank is constantly catering to ever-changing needs, through a combination of financial support and value additions to life and business through mentorship and knowledge-sharing focusing on areas such value chain enhancements and financial management. SDB bank is also committed to a sustainable business model in terms of environmental, social and governance sustainability. This commitment is reflected in the Bank’s financing activities, giving preference to businesses and initiatives that take a sustainable approach over those that do not. By supporting Sri Lanka’s SMEs, empowering women entrepreneurs and taking digital banking to the masses, SDB bank has established itself as a financier that values every customer equally, for their potential and not their worth. (SDB bank)


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