2nd September 2001
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Sports|
Moraes noted that the association came into being after the members came together as consultants in an ISO 9000 Consultants Programme in 1996. The need to form an association was felt and with USAID assistance the AIS was formed. "In 1993/94 we had just five or six companies with ISO 9000 certification. Today, this number has increased to almost 250 companies with around ten companies already ISO 14000 certified," he said.
The AIS, he noted, acts as a catalyst in promoting International and National Standards Certification to the commercial sector of Sri Lanka. Standardisation and certification is done in various areas including quality, environmental safety, social accountability and IT, enabling business to get a leading edge to compete successfully in the global market.
The association's scope of activities includes ISO 9000 quality Management Standardisation, ISO 14000 Environmental Management Systems, SLS Product Certification, Green Globe (EMS) Certification, HACCP Food Safety standardisation, SA 8000 Social Accountability standardisation, Malcolm Baldridge Systems and IT Quality and Security Management Standards.
Among other office bearers, Sanjeev Jayasinghe was re-elected Vice President,
Praneeth Gunawardana as secretary while Dhammika Jayasuriya was elected
Company chairman Anthony A. Page in his review, recalled the pioneering role played by founder chairman Albert A. Page – who died on July 16, 2000 – in the success of Majestic City.
"It is to the sole credit of the founder chairman, Mr. Albert A Page, that CT Land Development Ltd can pride itself in maximising shareholder value, fulfilling its obligations to its bankers, providing its tenants prime quality premises and services, as well as providing the community a modern centrally air-conditioned integrated shopping-cum-entertainment complex which has provided significant employment opportunities," the chairman's review said.
Pre-tax profit for the year rose to 51.7 million rupees, up 3.2 percent
from the 1999/2000 year.
ORG-MARG SMART says:
"The reader should keep in mind that this is not a typical large sample opinion poll that is commonly conducted among the general public. This poll has been done more in order to identify the priority of issues and probable solutions based on the business intellect and valuable experience in managing and operating their mini empires (so to speak) while being a significant contributor to the country's economic growth. The coverage for the poll was not expanded to other businesses (i.e. small and medium) and to the general public at this stage, since this is only to identify solutions.
It will be more useful to expand the poll to the other segments once the solutions have been short-listed in this manner."
"ORG-MARG SMART thanks all the key business leaders who participated in this poll by spending their valuable time in order to make a contribution because they felt deeply for the country.
However, we were not able to reach all such key business leaders either due to unavailability, uncontactability, or simply because they refused to participate. The data was collected between the 10th - 21st of August. The mode of data collection was a face-to-face interview based on a semi-structured questionnaire."
Multiple response to questions
Readers should keep in mind that multiple responses were possible for some of the questions that were included in the questionnaire that was administered in the survey.
For further details of the survey and its findings, readers could contact ORG-MARG SMART at 553659-61.
If a third party needs to be involved in the peace talks, who should that be? (See graph 1)
Since a third party was also to be involved in the process of proposing a solution to the North-East crisis views were ascertained as to who this third party should comprise of.
Who can be the other country to be involved as the third party in the peace talks? (See graph 2)
Considering the prospect of laying pre-conditions to the talks, it was asked from the business intellect as to what conditions might be reasonable for the negotiating process to get started.
What conditions are acceptable for the LTTE to impose for resuming talks?(See graph 3)
What conditions are acceptable for the government to impose for resuming talks? (See graph 4)
It looks like the business intellect feels that the only path to solve the N-E problem is to propose an acceptable solution to the LTTE through talks. Specifically, the talks should involve a third party such as Norway or India and the local party should comprise of the government and all opposition parties.
With regard to putting conditions for resuming these talks, it is felt that both sides should impose a cease-fire condition with a third party monitoring the cease-fire while the government should send essentials to the war areas.
In solving the ethnic crisis, the general opinion amongst most business leaders were that the root cause needs to be addressed first before solutions could be put forward. Then a consequent build up of trust needs to take place in order to iron out the differences. Some views supportive of this were:
"Start at the root - the education system should be in the international language and the other languages, as second and this will bring equality".
"Find reasons for the ethnic problem, why Tamil people feel the need for a separate environment. Address the key issues that emerge with a strategy for rebuilding trust and development".
"Genuine concern for the minorities, who should feel secure - by financial, economic, and personal, issues being addressed".
"Discrimination of the Tamil community has reduced a lot, but there is a need to build more confidence and improve transparency".
"Address core issues - equal representation - opportunities for minorities".
A few business leaders thought devolution of power to create autonomous power within regions might also solve the current ethnic problems. The following quotes were among many who were supportive of this:
"Devolve power but keep autonomy with the centre for defense, etc. like for e.g. India".
"Autonomy to run the day to day affairs".
"Devolve powers to North and East to create an autonomous area within the existing system".
(Source - ORG-MARG SMART)
An Odel press release said that the stalwarts of fashion capitals - Gianfranco Ferre footwear for men and women and Kenzo for ladies - will make their debut at Odel Unlimited this season. In the casual range, shoes by J. B. Martin will also enhance the range this season.
Last year, Odel's Summer 2000 collection featured Kenzo, Calvin Klein and Trussardi shoes, which have found favour with customers. Odel Unlimited has been appointed the sole authorised retailer for Calvin Klein footwear in Sri Lanka. In addition, the Roadhogs and Biostep casual range has also been on display. In response to the demand for a wider range and more designer labels to pick from, Odel Unlimited unveils this summer collection, the release said.
Coinciding with this unveiling was an e-mail contest that went out to
8,000 individuals. The winning entry from a lottery will be entitled to
a pair of shoes of his or her choice from the exclusive designer range.
A company press release said the dishwash has been specially formulated to remove grease and contains the active ingredient 'Ingrasan DP-300' which kills germs.
Perlwite, the first branded washing soap with lime freshness manufactured
in Sri Lanka, was introduced in 1997. In 1999 Swadeshi launched 'Perlwite
AOS - the first laundry soap with the active ingredient Alfa Oliphine Sulphonate
(AOS) with enhanced cleaning powers.
By Diana MathewsSri Lanka resort hotels are not the only ones affected by last month's LTTE attack on Katunayake airport - five-star city hotels are trying to lure Asian businesspersons while urging staff to utilise their outstanding leave.
"The greatest impact on the Sri Lankan five-star hotels is the tour groups," said P.K. Mohankumar, General Manager of the Taj hotel.
"There is a noticeable drop in the arrival of tourists due to fewer charter flights, he said.
Taking a positive approach towards the current situation, however, he said that they are refocusing and striving to lure the Asian business community.
"Maintenance and upgrading of the hotel is taking place in order to maintain customer satisfaction," he added.
"A lot of corporate clients have either cancelled or postponed their visits to Colombo," said Stefan Pfeiffer, General Manager of the Lanka Oberoi.
Relief measures have been requested from the government through the Tourist Board and various travel associations, but so far no response has been received he said.
Pfeiffer said employees have not been retrenched as yet but were requested to utilise their outstanding annual leave. Casual staff has been stopped and they are also reviewing the number of contractual employees.
Ms. Yasmin Cader, Marketing Director of the Hilton, said that there has been a decline in the number of tourist arrivals, especially groups.
"Our banquets are busy and since we have a better mix of clientele there hasn't been a great impact unlike the resort hotels down south," she added.
She also said that costs will be reduced and employees have been requested to avail themselves of their annual leave, but retrenchment has not been considered.
"There is a dramatic drop in the tour segments," laments Chandra Mohotti, General Manager of the Galadari. The clientele of the 5-star hotels are made up of the business community and there is a steady decline in this sector as well, he added.
Proposals have been made to the City Hotels Association for tax reductions as well as a reduction in electricity surcharges.
He said that hotel prices are currently at its lowest. "Therefore reducing
prices further would mean committing suicide," he added.
A company statement said the NASDAQ listed firm which is a leading worldwide provider of broadband fixed wireless DSL networks, has had a local presence for the last 18 months and has established a permanent office as well as a fully equipped support laboratory.
With Watson's appointment as Director Operations for the Asia Pacific region, Airspan takes their local operations on to a much firmer footing. Watson who was the first Managing Director of Mobitel and then went on to be the first Sri Lankan CEO of Lanka Bell is keen to expand local operations, train local engineers overseas as well as give them overseas exposure by way of foreign assignments.
"I am proud of the Sri Lankan team who has grown by leaps and bounds and gone on to take up positions previously occupied by expatriates," he said. In fact Sri Lankan engineers have already carried out assignments in Indonesia and Australia.
Currently Airspan operates in the Asia Pacific region implementing large wireless networks in the Philippines, China, Indonesia and New Zealand. Recently the Asia Pacific Operations team met in Johor Baharu, Malaysia for a Regional Operations Conference, where the theme was "Learning and growth to enhance the competence of engineers in the region." The Sri Lanka contingent to this conference was led by Mr. Godwin Dass the former General Manager, Engineering, of Lanka Bell.
Airspan has also entered the Indian market with the signing of a reseller
agreement with Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd who is the largest
domestic telecom equipment manufacturers in India.
"By logging on to the bank's website an account could be opened. Customers are required to visit the bank only once after the account is opened and thereafter all transactions are virtual," according to a bank statement.
Deposits could be made in the form of cash and cheque deposits, drafts, remittances, pay orders and transfers. Withdrawals could be made at Automated Teller Machines, debit cards standing orders, transfers and bill payments via Sampath Vishwa. Sri Lankan residents as well as non-residents are eligible to open accounts. The bank also expects about 500 customers other than its existing customers for this virtual banking scheme, the statement said.
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