Business  Opportunity Bulletin

Business Opportunity Bulletin

Opportunity for import & export trade leads

 

Opportunity to export Cinnamon to Europe

  • Potential buyers needs to export 500 kgs per months
  • L/C basis

 

Opportunity to export chillies to Mexico

  • The potential supplier needs to export 20 tonnes of chillies to Mexico per month on L/C basis
  • This will be a one year contract

 

Opportunity to export ferro silicon to Romania

  • The potential supplier needs to export 10 tonnes of ferro silicon to Romania
  • This will be a long term contract

 

Opportunity to export ferro silicon to Romania

  • The potential supplier needs to export 10 tonnes of ferro silicon to Romania
  • This will be a long term contract

 

Opportunity to export maize flour for human consumption 10,000 tonnes. 10kg piece

  • Potential suppliers required

 

Opportunity to supply quartz powder

  • The potential supplier needs to export 500 tonnes of quartz powder to South Korea per month
  • This will be a long term contract

 

Opportunity to export graphite powder to port of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, china.

  • The potential supplier needs to export 50 tonnes of graphite powder.
  • This will be a long term contract

Joint venture projects | private investment

 

Investment for an organic fertiliser production company

  • Equity investment for this project is now called for, potential investors who are willing to invest between USD 5 million to USD 10 million

Investment for a 550KV hydro power plant in Sri Lanka

  • Power purchase agreement : 20 Years
  • The project design flow is 1.2 m3 /s, design head being 60 meters
  • Currently entertaining proposals for complete sell out for a price of LKR 125 million ( USD 0.72 million )

Investment for a saltern which is currently in operation in Puttalam (North Western Province of Sri Lanka)

  • The total land size of the saltern is 46 acres (19 ha)
  • Potential investor / strategic partners / salt buyers are invited for foreign direct investment or a composition of a joint venture holding

Investment for a wall panel manufacturing plant

  • The lead technology partner is a reputed British company
  • Hence they are asking for an equity partner and will be offering up to 30 % of the company.

POTENTIAL PARTNERS PLEASE NOTE:

These projects are all available for investment and development through us.Investors interested in finding out more information about these projects should contactDan Vithanage at Opportunity Sri Lanka, at the following email address, telephone or fax:

E-mail             :    info@oslmagazine.com

Telephone    :    +94112585833 |  +94112593416 | +94 75 0 260 422    Fax :  +94112589334

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The Lineja Vehicle-Washing Machine

The Lineja Vehicle-Washing Machine

The Lineja Vehicle-Washing Machine is mounted on a covered hand-cart. Opening the lids reveals a sink, into which wet washing-cloths are placed to drain them into the water tank, and a compartment in which washing tools and liquids can be stored. A photo-voltaic (PV) panel on one the inside of one of the lids charges the battery, which runs the pump. The pump runs water into a hose, at the end of which is a rose which emits a high-pressure near-mist, used to wash vehicles efficiently.

The machine can wash 7-8 vehicles before requiring its water tank to be refilled. It also has internet – linked camera for remote – monitoring.

OSL-THE Investment Magazine had one of its vehicles, which had acquired a coat of rural dust over the previous seven days, washed by a Lineja team. The operation took just 15 minutes to complete, and the run-off water only wet the forecourt paving below, insufficient to actually drain away – it simply dries off in a short time. The vehicle was cleaned most effectively.

At present, Lineja Enterprises is popularising the machine by deploying vehicle-washing teams to supermarket forecourts. CEO Thanuja Samarawickrama, however, hopes to find an export market as well, particularly in the Middle East.

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Thanuja Samarawickrama bears it all

Thanuja Samarawickrama bears it all

Water was the cornerstone of life in ancient Sri Lanka, and for that reason, water conservation remained, for a long, long time, what can today be referred to as a national priority. Because of its immense value in agricultural society, as the Mahavamsa-Tika records, the earliest Indo-Aryan speakers from India who migrated to the island settled in areas where water was available, close to the principal rivers. Taken together, these rivers became the bedrock of Asia’s greatest hydraulic civilisation, which led Emerson Tennent, centuries later, to remark that “[n]o people or country had so great practice and experience in the construction of works for irrigation.”

Today, in comparison, when it comes to water conservation we tend to rely on government initiatives and corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, even though, in reality, individual initiative is not lacking. The role of the State is thus only too clear: far from neglecting such initiative, it should be affirming it for what it is.

Non-assuming, ever smiling, Thanuja Samarawickrama strongly embodies that kind of go getting initiative. Today she is known as the founder and CEO of Lineja Enterprises. But, more importantly, she is also known for what she invented: a portable car washing machine that’s been installed in several supermarket chain outlets throughout the urban and suburban areas.

How such an enterprise can help us conserve water and at the same time make one of the more onerous routines of the middle class, vehicle owning population of Sri Lanka more convenient is summed up in the tagline for her product: “Save Water in the Earth and Save Time in your Life.” One caveat, though: given that vehicle growth has outstripped population growth, saving water and saving time appear to be two separate and mutually exclusive challenges.

Saving water

Samarawickrama’s achievement is that she’s met them both. OSL – The Investment Magazine sat down for an interview with her. As she told us her story, we noted one point: what she did was no small, mean feat: as a woman, and a Sri Lankan woman, her invention deserves much more than the investment she has been getting from those around her.

“I served as an accounts executive at several leading local companies, before I left for Dubai to take up a position in a multinational firm,” she told us. Apparently it was at Dubai that she came across, and came to admire, the inventiveness with which the people, including the immigrants, tackled a key problem: water scarcity. “I was struck by how much they valued water. In fact they value it to such an extent that they impute a price to its use, be it drinking water or water in the bathroom. That’s when I understood how wasteful we were in comparison.”

She was also fascinated by how people were getting around an issue which typically ails dust-choked countries: the washing of vehicles. “Sri Lankans require around three of four buckets of water; in Dubai, the ratio was about one bucket to three or four cars.”

She hadn’t planned on coming back home, but when circumstances beyond her choosing compelled her to return, she decided, once and for all, to teach her people how to save water. In a context where the vehicle growth rate had risen exponentially after the end of the war and a significant proportion of the country had risen to the ranks of a consumerist middle class among peripheral urban areas, Samarawickrama had to find a way to match her aspirations for saving water with changing, growing socio economic realities.

Challenges

She admitted straight away that it wasn’t easy. “I was pondering on what I could do, when I met a classmate who had been in touch with me for over 25 years. He was more aware of the latest strides in the field of technology. He proposed that we build a machine, and even drew the blueprint. We worked together, and came up with what she had designed.”

Predictably, the first prototype failed, being too cumbersome. “We had to dismantle and rebuild the machine three times. Each time, we made it more compact, more ‘mobile’ so to speak. It took several months for us to fine-tune it to our satisfaction.” Having perfected it, the two of them established a workshop in Meegoda to train workers on operating it, with the friend, befitting his expertise, working as Technical Manager.

However, this was the easy part. As Samarawickrama found out for herself, convincing her intended clientele of the benefits of their machine, the mobile car washer, was easier said than done. “We went to K-Zone in Ja-Ela. We talked with the managers there. They were interested in using our machine and in installing it for their customers. We explained that customers could have their vehicles washed while they were shopping. But despite their enthusiasm, the managers didn’t agree to our proposal immediately; they were worried, more than anything else, by the possibility of water leakages to neighbouring homes.”

To meet the issue, Samarawickrama pleaded passionately for a 14-day test run. To her relief, the managers agreed: the agreement was that if the machine became a success during the test run, they would take it in. “Those 14 days were among the busiest in my life. We had to be at K-Zone early every morning; we had to attend to every vehicle; we had to ensure that our staff knew what they were doing; more than anything else, we had to ensure there were no water leakages”. Needless to say their efforts paid off, and the sceptical managers, now convinced, “took it in.”

Investment

About three months later, Samarawickrama realised that, contrary to what she had once thought, “Our machine was becoming so popular that we needed a strong investment.”

That came around a year later, when Samarawickrama presented her machine to the judge panel at Ath Pavura, the first ever reality show in Sri Lanka for social entrepreneurs (similar to Manē no Tora or its spin-offs, such as Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank). Given that its scope went beyond the parameters of CSR projects and government initiatives, Ath Pavura instantly recognised and encouraged Thanuja’s novel, inventive attempt.

She got a standing ovation from the judge panel, which agreed to her request for an investment for LKR 20 million and in fact raised it to LKR 25 million. This was the publicity boost she had been waiting for, and it helped her so much that “we ended up installing the machine in several Keells outlets soon afterwards.” She has plans to expand it to other supermarket chains, and go beyond the country, though as she herself put it to us, “It’s only when my machine succeeds in my country that I will take it abroad.”

She is grateful to Messrs Ajit Gunawardena, Upul Deranagama, Suresh Ahangama, Chandula Abeywickrama and Gamini Saparamadu for believing in her, as well as to the K-Zone managers who helped her start operations, Dilanka Perera and Sumudu Karannagoda.

The significance of what Samarawickrama has done, and is doing, can’t be overemphasised. Water shortages in Sri Lanka may not be as acute as they are in certain other parts of the world, but in times of drought and high aridity, particularly in regions which centuries ago had flourished as agricultural and irrigational enclaves, the national conscience should be piqued by how much this resource is being taken for granted, and wasted, in the cities and suburban areas. We have a rich history of water and environmental conservation. Thanuja Samarawickrama, in that sense, has done her part. It’s time that we sat down and listened to her.

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