Commercial Bank Crowned

Commercial Bank Crowned

Overall winner at CA Sri Lanka’s 55th Annual Report Awards

Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC was crowned the winner at the 55th Annual Report Awards, winning the coveted “Cyril Gardiner Memorial Trophy” for “Overall Excellence in Financial Reporting” at the grand finale held on Tuesday, 3 December 2019 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo.Hayleys PLC came in second place by winning the silver award, while Hatton National Bank PLC and LB Finance PLC shared the bronze award under the same category.

The Annual Report Awards, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), is recognised as one of the country’s most prestigious and oldest corporate events which promotes transparency, accountability, social responsibility and corporate governance among the diverse business sector. The event was held under the patronage of Internal Trade and Consumer Welfare State Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, and Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy.

A total of 130 companies, ranging from conglomerates and multinationals to small-time community groups, vied for honours at this year’s competition. Commercial Bank also bagged the gold under the “Management Commentary Award” while Hayleys won the silver award, and LB Finance came in third with the bronze award.

Union Assurance PLC won the gold award under “Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Award” category, while L B Finance won the silver and Aitken Spence PLC won the bronze. The “Corporate Governance Disclosure Award” was won by Commercial Bank, while Hatton National Bank came in second and Softlogic Life Insurance PLC came in third.
Organisations which have adopted integrated reporting were also honoured at the grand finale, with John Keells Holdings PLC winning gold under the “Integrated Reporting Award” category, while Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC won silver and Softlogic Life Insurance won bronze.
The “Integrated Reporting: Best Disclosure on Capital Management” gold award was won by LB Finance, while John Keells Holdings won the silver and Diesel and Motor Engineering won bronze.

Under the “Integrated Reporting: Best Disclosure on Business Model” category, Commercial Bank won the gold award, while People’s Leasing and Finance PLC won the silver and John Keells Holdings won the bronze. Meanwhile, Hayleys won the gold award under “Integrated Reporting: Best Disclosure on Stakeholder Engagement” category while Citizens Development Business Finance PLC won silver and Softlogic Life Insurance won bronze.
Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa addressing the guests emphasised the need for all organisations, immaterial of the sector to continuously adhere to transparency and accountability, which are fundamentals for a developing country.

“As a nation which recently graduated to upper middle-income status, Sri Lanka needs to be increasingly mindful of strengthening these fundamental elements, if we are to continue to attract investments into the country,” he said.

Minister Yapa said that with Sri Lanka at the threshold of a new era following the presidential election, economic revival is paramount, and to achieve this vision, the current administration will roll out an important plan aimed at creating a progressive national economy and a pluralistic society.
CA Sri Lanka President Jagath Perera said that by introducing the Annual Report Awards Competition over half a century ago, CA Sri Lanka has ensured that businesses both big and small have continuously and consistently adhered to globally accepted standards, while also promoting transparency, accountability and good corporate governance.

Chairman of the Annual Report Awards Committee Heshana Kuruppu said that the Annual Report Awards Competition has increased in stature and significance over the years, and the growing number of participants each year is testament to the competition’s importance. “By participating in the competition, the companies demonstrated their commitment towards best practices in annual financial reporting,” he said.

Under the sector awards, Hayleys won the “Lal Jayasundara Memorial Trophy” under the “Diversified Holdings (Groups above 10 Subsidiaries)” sector and the ‘”Diversified Holdings (Groups up to 10 Subsidiaries)” sector was won by Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC.
Commercial Bank bagged the “Edmund J. Cooray Memorial Trophy” under the banking institutions category.
Bank of Ceylon won the “Albert A. Page Memorial Trophy” under the State Banks sector, while Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC won the gold award under the Healthcare Institutions.

Hayleys Advantis Limited won the Gold Award under the Service Organisations sector and Sri Lanka Telecom PLC bagged the gold award under the Telecommunication Companies sector.

United Motors Lanka PLC was adjudged the god award winner under the Motor Companies sector, while L B Finance won the gold award under the Finance Companies and Leasing Companies (Total Asset Above LKR 20 BN) sector. Sarvodaya Development Finance Limited was presented the gold award under the Finance Companies and Leasing Companies (Total Asset up to LKR 20 BN) and Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC won the gold under the Trading Companies sector.
Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC and Nuwara Eliya Hotels Company PLC were joint gold winners under the Hotel Companies sector, and the gold award under the Plantation Companies sector was also jointly won by Kelani Valley Plantations PLC and Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC.

Royal Ceramics Lanka PLC bagged the gold award under Manufacturing Companies (Turnover Above LKR 5 BN) sector, while Samson International PLC and Tea Smallholder Factories PLC were joint gold award winners under the Manufacturing Companies (Turnover Up to LKR 5 BN) sector.

Union Assurance won the gold award under the Insurance Companies sector, while Ceylon Cold Stores PLC won the gold award under the Food and Beverages Companies sector. Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing was adjudged the gold winner under the Not-For-Profit Organisations (NPO) Including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) sector, while R. I. L Property PLC won the gold award under the Land and Property Companies sector. The gold award under the Construction Companies sector was won by Access Engineering PLC and Laugfs Gas PLC won gold under the Power and Energy Companies sector.

LankaClear (Pvt) Limited won the gold award under the Small and Medium Sized Entities sector, while Asia Capital PLC won the gold award under the Investment Banking sector, while NSBM Green University Town won the gold award under the State Corporations and Statutory Boards sector.

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Akurana Goes Digital with BOC

Akurana Goes Digital with BOC

The Bank of Ceylon relocated its Akurana branch, in the Central Province relocated recently, to add convenience, together with novel digital banking technology for customers in the area.

BOC Akurana was ceremoniously opened at the 151A, Matale Road, Akurana. The Bank’s DGM Sales and Channel Management C. Amarasinghe, YA Jayathilake – AGM Province Sales Manager, HMMD Herath – AGM (Central Province), Operations Managers and all other province staff were also present on the occasion. Ifthikar Imanudeen – Chairman – Akurana Divisional Secretariat, and EMC Ekanayake – Divisional Secretary – Akurana also participated with other distinguished guests. BOC Akurana Manager together with staff members officiated the event and customers and well wishers of the branch too attended.

BOC Akurana will offer a wide array of banking services to its customers, such as current and local or foreign currency savings/fixed deposit accounts, children’s and senior citizen’s savings accounts and saving plans, housing and personal loans, special loans schemes such as Thurunu Diriya, Enterprise Sri Lanka loans, education loans, leasing and pawning facilities.

The Bank invites all residents of the area to experience superior banking services at this branch.
Customers can also avail themselves of debit or credit cards, micro and SME financing facilities and international money transfer/remittances services. The 24 hour self-serving ATM at the branch gives customers the freedom to transact at their convenience anytime of the day.

Bringing in the digital aspect of banking to every nook and corner in the country Bank of Ceylon has strategically spread its technology to all its branches. The Akurana branch is connected to the rest of the 642 branches through a centralised network, allowing customers to transact real-time with any of the branches in the network spread across the country.

Digitally empowered

Customers of Bank of Ceylon are digitally empowered to transact anytime of the day with its interconnected 24 x 7 operative ATM/CDM and CRM network, consisting of over 1,070 customer service points spread across the country. Along with the Bank’s traditional brick and mortar operation centre, the branch, BOC has extended its reach so that customers could transact anytime, from anywhere via Smart online banking and B-APP mobile banking to conduct daily banking transactions with convenience.

Apart from these banking channels to conduct regular transactions, BOC’s mobile applications such as SmartPay and SmartPassbook have convinced customers to carry out transactions confidently through digital channels. Built as a customer initiated SmartPay payment method, customers can enjoy the convenience of card-less and cashless payments for their day to day necessities. It will be an ideal choice for today’s customer who seeks convenience, simplicity and speed as key factors in their payment experience. SmartPassbook has become popular for its simplicity to get instant updates and check account balances immediately without having to log-in through a password. With these value added convenient banking, customers of the bank are empowered to manage their life more meaningfully by saving time and money.

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OURS IS A CSR OPERATION -DLB Chair and CEO S.A.P. Suriyapperuma

OURS IS A CSR OPERATION -DLB Chair and CEO S.A.P. Suriyapperuma

In 1983, the then Minister of Trade and Shipping Lalith Athulathmudali inaugurated the Mahapola Lottery, which eventually became the Development Lotteries Board (DLB). Today, it remains the only public institution to donate its dividends to the President’s Fund. From the beginning, the intention was, not to make money for the government, but to provide vital services to the needy people of the country.

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Tech driven Megapolis

Tech driven Megapolis

Creating the special structure for an innovative, knowledge-based economy

When Sri Lanka’s declared open the iconic Lotus Tower in the central business area of Colombo on 16 September, it marked the beginning of a new era in Sri Lanka. The innovative, indigenously-designed, Chinese-engineered structure is symbolic of a commitment to a knowledge-driven economy.

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SL-UK Relations after BREXIT

SL-UK Relations after BREXIT

Brexit should be seen as a great opportunity for renewal of the Commonwealth of Nations

The Parliament of the United Kingdom will be prorogued from September until the middle of October meaning that at long last the UK is almost certain to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The result of the largest democratic vote in British electoral history, that took place on 23 June 2016, will finally be honoured. The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, AKA Brexit, will bring tremendous challenges and also opportunities, not only for the British but also for the rest of the world, especially the Commonwealth of Nations.

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Dimensions

Dimensions

Blending ,Ancient and Modern
to offer the very best of Energy Healing

Having celebrated the opening of her first showroom at No. 555/2/B/1 Kaduwela Road, Thalangama North, Battaramulla, Harshanie Hewamadduma Ritigahapola, the founder of Dimensions, was delighted to spare a few minutes from her busy schedule to share the story of Dimensions.

When asked how and why Dimensions came to be, Ritigahapola replied, “In the beginning, Energy Healing was simply a personal interest of mine, but as I began to look deeper into the art, it dawned on me, how little people actually know about the concept of Energy and its benefits. My first step was to buy the Biopulsar Reflexograph System. I began doing readings for my family and friends and eventually acquired a small working space where I could use the Biopulsar Reflexograph System to do Energy Readings for my clients. I began doing Reiki Therapy and using Crystals to heal the ailments and problems we came across”. Describing the process of bringing the ancient art of Energy Healing into the 21st century, Ritigahapola explained that modern Energy Healing and Reading have been in Sri Lanka for about 6-8 years. However, she realised that it was a mere niche minority that knew of, and made use of the art itself. She wanted to bring Energy Healing to a larger audience. According to Ritigahapola, many people in Sri Lanka have merely heard of the term Energy Healing, they don’t have an actual understanding of the art and its benefits. They know about Universal Energy in general but not about Energy Healing and Reading. Reiki Therapy entails the use of Universal Energy to heal via amplifying the person’s own energy. Thus they are healed by their own energy. This has been happening for thousands of years.
“The Biopulsar Reflexograph System has been produced by Auramed, a German company that has been conducting research studies on Energy for almost twenty years. This machine is the most advanced of its kind. The inventors have combined Energy Reading with Chinese Reflexology, Indian Ayurveda, and Ying and Yang Energy. Thus the Biopulsar Reflexograph System is the epitome of the blend of ancient and modern. Then there’s Reiki Therapy, which has been around for almost fifty years. Along with Reiki Therapy there are other techniques of Energy Healing such as Pranic Healing, Angels Reiki Healing etc. Dimensions also offers Colour Therapy, which is used to stimulate the reflexes of a problematic organ zone”, stated Ritigahapola when questioned about how Dimensions continues to blend the ancient and modern to better serve its clients.

 

Body energy

Ritigahapola provided a detailed explanation of the Biopulsar Reflexograph System and its operations. According to her, one of the main functions of the Biopulsar Reflexograph System is to provide a measurement of the Energy of all the body’s organs via skin resistance. The measuring is very precise and not harmful in any way. The grafts correspond to the pulse diagnosis and the results are based on the verification of a series of colours. The grafts show the entire network of the body in detail. The Biopulsar Reflexograph System is made up of a number of other software applications for various procedures including treatments, analysis, there is even software suitable for gyms and spas. These let the professionals at gyms and spas know which muscles need the most attention.
Speaking on what sets Dimensions apart from other businesses that specialise in energy healing, the company’s founder stated, “The aura-reading machines at Dimensions provide a thorough and precise reading unlike many other machines found in Sri Lanka, which measure a limited number of the body’s organs. At Dimensions, the Biopulsar Reflexograph System provides a reading of a total of forty-three organ zones. At Dimensions we try to teach people about Energy, it’s not just about Aura-Reading and selling bracelets and crystals. We aim to teach people about Energy and its benefits, as it is by improving their Energy levels that they can improve themselves. We also encourage people to be positive, as a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world. At Dimensions we also promote the Law of Attraction, which is linked to Energy Healing and personal growth. We take much care of our crystals from the very beginning. We buy our crystals from very reliable sources and we confirm the quality via a qualified gemmologist. We continuously charge them by using different techniques so that our clients get the best out of our crystals to manifest anything they desire and for positivity. Our crystals are kept in a sound room to amplify the energies of the crystals with sound vibration before we showcase it in our showroom”.

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Fulfilling dreams

Fulfilling dreams

The NLB fulfils its national and social responsibilities

Although the National Lotteries Board (NLB) is a government organisation it operates as a business entity, much like a private sector organisation – by virtue of selling a product and having set targets. However, unlike private companies, profit-making is not a priority.“As a LKR 20 bn organisation, we are on a good footing,” says Deshabandu Dr Harsha Bandara, the chief financial officer of the National Lotteries Board. “Although there is a profit, our primary motivation is not that, but to contribute to the national economy.”

The NLB, he explains, provides funds to the Finance Ministry’s Consolidated Fund. Some of the funds are routed through the Consolidated Fund to other ministries as well, for various types of development work, towards social upliftment and to the country’s infrastructure development.“As a LKR 20 bn organisation, we are on a good footing,” says Deshabandu Dr Harsha Bandara, the chief financial officer of the National Lotteries Board. “Although there is a profit, our primary motivation is not that, but to contribute to the national economy.”Although the National Lotteries Board (NLB) is a government organisation it operates as a business entity, much like a private sector organisation – by virtue of selling a product and having set targets. However, unlike private companies, profit-making is not a priority.

Prizes

“We are selling a product with a dream,” says Dr Bandara, “so to realise the dream we have to make sure that a substantial amount has to go out to the public by way of prizes. We have produced several prize winners. Society at large has dreams and we have looked to fulfil those dreams. That is why we have several products.”

Almost half the turnover goes towards prizes. In 2017 the NLB paid out about LKR 8 bn, and in 2018, it paid out LKR 9.8 bn as prizes, an increase of nearly LKR 2 bn in one year.

“It is a huge amount to pay out to the customers out of a LKR 20 bn turnover. In 2008, we produced around 40 super prize-winners (that is prizes over LKR 10 m) and many other prize winners of LKR 2m, LKR 1 m, LKR 100,000 and all the way down to the LKR 20 level.”

The NLB runs, altogether, 11 lotteries, comprising nine passive lotteries and two scratch (instant) lotteries. The passive lotteries are products named Mahajana Sampatha, Vasana Sampatha, Govi Setha, Supiri Vasana, Jathika Sampatha, Niroga, Mega Power, Dhana Nidanaya and Sevana. The Sevana lottery has a passive ticket as well as a scratch ticket. The other scratch lottery is Samurdhi.

Of the nine passive lotteries, there are four draws daily, throughout the year, except for seven days. Of the 365 days in a year, the NLB only closes on seven days: five days for Sinhala and Tamil New Year and two days for Vesak.

“We work 358 days, even though Saturday and Sunday are holidays for the staff, selected people have to work on these days, because there are four draws, even during theose days.”

Social responsibility

The NLB sales network operates on the agency system, for which there are three levels – dealers, agents and sellers. Around 125 direct dealers operate throughout the island. The approximately 2,500 agents purchase lottery tickets from these direct dealers. Below the agents are the lottery sellers, of whom there are around 12,000.

“When you take these all into consideration, there are about 15,000 in the network. The tickets are sold to the customers through them, so we have to give them substantial commissions for this purpose. We pay out 17.5% to the agency network, distributed through the channel. Additionally, another 25 cents is also paid as commission to direct dealers. We pay directly from turnover, 16.5% on two products, Mahajana Sampatha and Vasana Sampatha, and 10% for the other lotteries to the Consolidated Fund.”

These 15,000 dealers, agents and sellers, together with their families, constitute about 60,000 people who benefit from the NLB’s sales activities. Their incomes depend on the number of tickets sold, but the sellers earn a minimum of LKR 1,000 per day, up to LKR 5,000 per day.

“They draw a satisfactory level of income for their day-to-day living,” he says. “This is the also only institution to provide mass employment opportunities to disabled people – of whom we have many among our agents and sellers. We look after them, because they find it difficult to find decent employment in any other sectors. Thereby we fulfil our social responsibility as a responsible institution in this country.”

Government’s share

“If you take the contribution to the state,” says Dr Bandara, “in 2018 we contributed LKR 2.4 bn to the Consolidated Fund. When you take the tax payments also into account, the total contribution including payments to the Consolidated Fund amounted to over LKR 4 bn.  So we have made a huge contribution to society.”

Of the passive lotteries, the contribution through the Consolidated Fund from Govi Setha goes to the Ministry of Agriculture; from Supiri Vasana to the Ranaviru Seva Authority, the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Social Services; from Jathika Sampatha to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour; from Niroga goes to the National Kidney Fund; while the contributions of both the Sevana passive lottery and scratch lottery go to the Ministry of Housing Development. Contribution from Mahajana Sampatha,
Vasana Sampatha and Dhana Nidanaya directly go to the Treasury through the Consolidated Fund.

The lottery sales are also subject to indirect tax, that is value-added tax (VAT) and nation-building tax (NBT). The percentages deducted from these sales are not passed on to the customers. Dr Bandara explains that the NLB must bear the cost because the ticket price being LKR 20, if they added on these indirect taxes to the customers, they would have to sell the ticket at LKR 24 or 25, which is not practical, that a customer would like to pay.  So that extra percentage is borne by the NLB.

“Down the line,” adds Dr Bandara, “we have to pay income tax also. So when you consider all these, the bottom line is, you can’t think of profits.”

However, the NLB does make a substantial profit: in 2017 they made a profit of about LKR 140 m. The 2018 figure is yet to be finalised, as some tax issues remain to be resolved with the Ministry of Finance.

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Consulting the public Stake-holder opinions and  feedback play a key role – PUCSL

Consulting the public Stake-holder opinions and feedback play a key role – PUCSL

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) regulates the economic, technical and safety aspects of the electricity industry. It is also the designated regulator for the petroleum and water services industry. It has also been assigned as the shadow regulator for the lubricant market.

“As regulators, public opinion matters to us in formulating regulatory tools or making a decision,” says Saliya Mathew, Chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

Transparent process

As part of its mandate, the PUCSL conducts public consultations on proposed regulatory tools and decisions, which may affect any stakeholder category and modify the tools and decisions then and there necessary as per the comments received.

The main goals of the public consultation procedure are to improve the efficiency, transparency and involve the public in policies and regulatory tools that the country is making.

“Not only that, public consultation paves the way for fast implementation. In a public consultation, we consult all the key stakeholder who will be affected or has any connection to the regulatory tool or the decision we are making. Because issues can be varied from one party to another. So, when a one-party listen to other parties’ concerns, the issues are heard and can be solved fast. Most importantly, the final decision or the regulatory tool will be accepted by everyone and will be implement in a fast manner,” says Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of PUCSL.

“If a decision or a regulatory tool such as, rules, methodologies, standards, policies are known to public and if they feel that they are part of the decision-making process, I think we are successful,” Mathew said.

He added, most of the policy decision fails to be implemented due to the unacceptability of the decision by the public.

“Consulting public goes a long way in implementing a decision. The public and stakeholders welcomes a decision which has receive their opinion about compare to a decision which is alien to them.”

Public participation in decision making

The mandate to consult the public is included in section 17 (b) of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Act, and the Electricity Act, which explain the process of conducting the public consultation, says Director Corporate Communication, Jayanat Herat.

“We first prepare the necessary document which we call the ‘consultation paper’ and then we openly invite public and stakeholders to comment on the paper in written format. We also send the consultation paper to ministries, district secretariats, institutions and community leaders to get their comments. Then we ask the stakeholders to submit their comments orally in a forum where everyone connected in preparing the consultation paper is present. Once both procedures are completed, we refer the comments to an expert committee who will study the comments and make necessary amendments if needed. Once the Commission approves the final regulatory tool or the decision, we send it to the relevant institution to be implemented,” Herat adds.

THE PROCESS OF PUBLIC CONSULTATION

  1. Identifying the Issue
  2. Draft proposed solution as regulatory tools
  3. Advertise in media asking stakeholders to comment
  4. Collect written comments on the draft regulatory tool
  5. Hold Oral Public Consultation where stakeholders will voice their view
  6. The study, Analyze and modify the draft regulatory tool then and there necessary
  7. Commission Approval for the Regulatory Tool
  8. Implementation of the Regulatory Tool

Effective decisions

The PUCSL has successfully concluded more than 34 Public consultations from 2015 – 2018. Among the effective decisions arrived through these consultations were introduction of a national standard for plug and socket outlets, guidelines for electric vehicles in Sri Lanka, national framework for licensing electricians, and guideline for lubricant products.

Apart from these, the 20-year national power plant plan (least-cost long-term generation expansion plan) also goes through public consultation as it will have a major impact on the people.

The public are given the opportunity to comment, both in oral and written formats, in the consultation process in order to capture.

In 2018, the PUCSL decided to go into every province in the Island in order to get a broader view of the issues specific to those areas and to get the involvement of people in communities in decision making.

“So, we went out-stations to get their opinions. We went around the whole country, to Jaffna, Colombo, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, everywhere. People were enthusiastic in the outstations, more than in Colombo. All the public consultations are open for anyone to walk in and comment. More than 1200 people came for the consultation that we held in Anuradhapura. More than 8000 people participated in our provincial public consultation process,” says Mathew.

The PUCSL with the collaboration of the Sustainable Energy Authority has already drafted a national plan for managing street lights in the country. The regional public consultation gave the platform for the public and other stakeholders to comment and give their suggestions on the proposed national plan. Sri Lanka has about 700,000 street lights and the cost of operating and maintaining the street lights are made by several institutions as Ceylon Electricity Board, Road Development Authority, Provincial Councils and so on. The distribution of streetlights also raised concerns in the consultation process.

The national plan for street light management aims to provide a solution for the quality, maintenance and installation of street lights, technical standards and for the energy costs of street lighting.

The regional public consultations also
identified the recommendations to prepare mechanisms for the issues related to electricity, drinking water and petroleum consumer in collaboration with related government institutions. According to concerns and suggestions received, PUCSL plans to upgrade the regulatory tools that have been already prepared for the electricity sector.

“Stakeholders opinion in regulatory mechanism plays an important role. Because we design regulatory tools for them and the industry to uplift the quality and make their life easier. In March we hosted public consultation on water fittings and on natural gas policy. PUCSL has lined up series of public consultation for coming months as well. With Public Consultations, we hope we will make regulatory tool that will impact the society and economy of the country,” Kumarasinghe said.

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ART OF BRILLANCE  SRI LANKA

ART OF BRILLANCE SRI LANKA

World-renowned Swarovski launches Gem Visions

The event “Art of Brilliance Sri Lanka”, in Colombo on 16 March, launched “Gem Visions”, a book representing the industry-leading trend and design service from the Swarovski Gemstone Business, the prestige brand for genuine gemstones and created stones, showcasing future trends for Sri Lanka’s jewellers. Gem Visions reflects the rich heritage of Swarovski and its position as the trend leader in the jewellery industry.

The globally-celebrated Swarovski group, to which Swarovski Gemstoness Business belongs, had its beginnings in Austria 1892, when Daniel Swarovski, a Bohemian glass cutter, perfected an electric cutting machine capable of producing beautiful, precision-cut, high quality lead glass crystals, using quartz, sand, and minerals, in secret proportions. Today, Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity.

Swarovski designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewellery, accessories and lighting. The company is run by the fifth generation of family members and has a global reach with some 3,000 shops in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and about EUR 2.7 bn in revenue in 2017. to the Group as a whole employs more than 32,000 people and generated revenue of about EUR 3.5 bn in 2017.

Showcase

A welcome by Kurt Zbinden – Swarovski Gemstones’ Vice President Operations – Asia Pacific started the event. Porama Jeeradit, Swarovski Gemstones Business’ Communications and Marketing Manager for South East Asia, presented the upcoming trends.

During the event, Alex Lovell, MBE, Chair of Swarnamahal Jewellers, one of Sri Lanka’s leading jewellery houses, present in 14 locations islandwide, received the “Trusted Partner Award 2018”; while Ashadi Manufacturer & Academy, a leading handmade jewellery manufacturer, and an instrumental Swarovski Gemstones Business partner in Sri Lanka, also received due recognition.

A special showpiece, demonstrating the possibilities of a combination of the fine craftsmanship of Sri Lanka with the world-class quality of Swarovski Zirconia, had been commissioned exclusively and expressed through the exceptional brilliance offered by Swarovski patented TCFTM colour stones.

The showpiece emphasised Swarovski Gemstones Business’ belief that, thorough their authorised distributors, Devi Jewellers and Sri Vengada Gems & Jewellery, Swarovski’s high-quality gemstones, combined with local creative skills, can help build a robust and vibrant Sri Lanka Jewellery industry.

Swarovski Gem Visions

Swarovski Gemstones’ Gem Visions trend book for Autumn/Winter 2019, a lively, magazine-style publication, provides all the essential insight from the industry-leading Gem Visions trend and design service. Inside you will find in-depth, authoritative research and analysis of global megatrends, alongside Swarovski’s projected design directions, presented in context with influences, icons and inspirations. The trends and themes captured in Gem Visions are intended to ignite innovation, stimulate imagination and unleash creativity. You will discover a world of wonder, illuminated by a constellation of gemstones

Moonlight Collage

The Moonlight Collage theme for Autumn/Winter 2019 reflects the eclecticism we see in the jewellery world today, captured in three fantastical themes: Midnight Flowers, Cosmic Mythologies and Night Light. Within this inspirational mix, we embrace dark romance, mystical allure, the wonder of the cosmos, nocturnal nature, night-time in the city, neon lights and festive fireworks.

Midnight Flowers

Flowers will never fail to inspire, and as the nights grow longer we find delight in the darker side of nature, uncovering a new chapter in floral design. We highlight red carpet blooms, flower tattoos, and petal designs; explore sustainable jewels and conscious luxury; and trace the trends in wedding adornment. In jewellery design, Swarovski predict hanging blossoms reimagined as elongated earrings and bloom-like embellishments; intricate florals recreated in elaborate cocktail rings and pendants; and a growing trend for classic diamonds giving way to coloured gemstones in engagement and wedding rings.

Cosmic Mythologies

The night sky has enthralled us for thousands of years, prompting fascination and inspiration in equal measure. We gaze up and see lunar orbs and celestial bodies, and we delve into astrology and mysticism. This cosmic world inspires star-shaped motifs reworked in constellations; stars and crescent moons combined in a celebration of the night sky; spherical or disc-shaped designs orbited by delicate stones; and fascinating design notes, such as “floating” stones, moving parts, invisible settings and “window” effects, such as the beautifully intriguing Jewel rope, exclusively brought to the market by Swarovski

Night Light

There is undoubtedly something magical about night-time in the city. We explore expanding
megacities and life after dark; uncover glow in the dark jewels, neon lights and pyrotechnics; and highlight superstitions and celebrations for the festive season around the world. For winter romance, Gem Visions spotlights the lips-shaped Swarovski Zirconia Kiss Me Cut. As New Year celebrations ring out around the world, they predict fireworks and confetti captured in clusters and sprays of colourful gems. Meanwhile, they see neon lights inspiring vivid and expressive designs brought to life with brightly coloured metals and bold-hued stones.

Swarovski genuine gemstones and created stones

Alongside Swarovski’s trend analysis for Autumn/Winter 2019/20 is their exciting range of created and genuine gemstones in a variety of cuts and colours to cater for any design vision.

Cuts

The five-sided Violet Cut and Pentagon Cut in Swarovski Zirconia lend themselves to cosmic themes. Their wide selection of Round Cuts in various genuine and man-made materials are perfect for “good luck” jewellery for the year ahead. The stunning Heart Cut taps into the trend for romantic rings, while the plethora of different precision-cut
stones can be combined to create explosive designs inspired by fireworks. For petal and flower-inspired designs, look to Swarovski Zirconia Leaf Cut and Swarovski Zirconia Bloom Cut. Gem Visions also shine a light on “gem-architecture”, and the master cutting at Swarovski that has revived classic cuts, including Pear, Marquise and Baguette, for contemporary design.

COLOURS

Swarovski Genuine Sapphires and Swarovski Genuine Rubies match the growing trend for deep, saturated colours, while classic jewel tones in Swarovski Genuine Topaz and Swarovski Zirconia
also offer this night sky allure. The brand-new Swarovski Genuine Topaz Royal Blue colour unfolds its rich shades like theopulence of deep blue velvet and instantly reminds of the finest blue sapphires.

For a contemporary take on jewel shades, opt for deep purple tones, such as Swarovski Genuine Topaz in Violac and Swarovski Zirconia Fancy Purple.

For contrasting monochrome, combine Swarovski Black Spinel with Swarovski Zirconia in White and if you are creating round-shaped “good luck” jewellery, choose Red, Blazing Red or Red Dark shades for added
symbolism. Golden shades bring warmth and cheer for the celebratory season, with Swarovski Genuine Topaz in Misty Rose, Peach and Honey and Swarovski Zirconia in Fancy Champagne leading the way into the New Year.

A short glimpse at the key messages of the season and matching gemstone materials, cuts and colours can be explored in greater detail at:

 

https://www.swarovski-gemstones.com/trends/Moonlight_Collage.en.html

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The importance of ISO 9001 Maintaining Steel Standards

The importance of ISO 9001 Maintaining Steel Standards

“When the engineers plan a certain building,” says Maheshi Hennayaka, “they plan for the minimum use of material to get the maximum output.”

Assistant Quality Assurance Manager at the Oruwela steel plant belonging to Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd (CSCL), Hennayaka explains the need for maintaining standards. A product of Colombo’s prestigious Devi Balika school she read her first degree on a scholarship to South Korea, where she also gained a master’s degree in materials science.

With ever increasing demand for steel, it is paramount that high strength steel be used in construction. That is why Sri Lanka, going along with global practices, has moved to manufacturing RB 500. For the uninitiated, RB 500 means a ribbed steel bar for the reinforcement of concrete with a minimum yield strength of 500 Mega pascals.

Hennayaka observes that, merely by looking at a Quench and Self-Tempered (QT) bar, used for reinforcing concrete, you cannot tell what strength it may have. That is why when mega projects are undertaken stringent quality testing is carried out, batch by batch. One emphatic aspect of the testing methodology is to look into the consistency of the mechanical properties, brought about by the homogeneity of the material in use.   There must be consistency of the properties, and such consistency must be maintained continuously throughout the bar and batch after batch.

And that is the nub. Consistency is crucial in adhering to standards. “And that is what a good brand does. While in Mega projects testing is mandatory, for the one-time home builder the only assurance they have is to rely on a brand reputed for the use of quality raw materials and standards of manufacture. That is exactly what LANWA, the brand trusted by generations, delivers” so says Hennayaka with a prideful glint in her eyes.

When it comes to LANWA, that is certainly a claim that has the proud backing of the engineers, constructors as well as the general public.

Paying heed to standards, “In our company we have two types of certification, product certification and systems certification.”

Sri Lanka Standards Institute Assistant Director Eng. Sanath Perera confirms that the LANWA brand has SLS product certification for hot-rolled reinforcement bars as well as for hot rolled round steel bars for structural and general engineering, cold drawn mild steel for wire nails, plain steel bars for reinforcement. They have also obtained SLS certification for hot-dip galvanised pipes.

“For QT,” says Hennayake, “we have SLS 375 standard which is compulsory in Sri Lanka. By law, you definitely must have SLS 375 if you are to sell QT re-bars in Sri Lanka. It is equivalent to BS 4449 – 2005. The standards specify the rib geometry parameters, mechanical properties and the chemical composition. The yield strength has to be 500-650 megapascals (MPa) and the yield strength to ultimate tensile strength (Y/T) ratio has to be over 1.08. We have to maintain a minimum elongation of 14%.”

This ductility, deformation due to tensional forces, is as important a parameter as the strength in a re-bar. One other test that ascertains this quality is the bend test. Failure of a bend test is when cracks appear on the surface of the bend.

Another important aspect of a re-bar is its rib geometry. There are two types of rib – longitudinal and transverse. The standards specify the height, the width the angle as well as the spacing of the ribs. All of it is designed to maximise the bond with concrete in extreme loading situations.

A re-bar may have high strength, but if it does not have the necessary elongation characteristics, the bar could not be bent into the required shape, and would crack easily. On the other hand, you can get the elongation over 23% (using mild steel it can exceed 30%) but it will not have the required yield strength. Both properties are necessary when designing reinforced-steel structures.

“You need to strike the optimum balance. How we get this yield strength and elongation is by quenching and self-tempering,” she says.

First the steel billet is pre- heated to a temperature of 1200C. This is done in order to create homogeneity in its micro structure. In metallurgical parlance it is referred to as the austenite phase. This pre-heated billet then passes through reduction stands, from 10 to 18 reduction stands, depending on the profile size. Emerging from the stands it enters the quenching chamber.

It is here that the entire re-bar transforms its sub atomic structure to bring out the desired outcome demanded by today’s colossal structures. Rapid cooling caused by water sprays “quench” the outer surface of the bar. Consequently, the micro structure of the steel bar, which until now was entirely austenitic, finds its outer crust transformed into martensite, leaving the inner core unchanged in temperature and structure. Once the quenched bar leaves the chamber with a tempering begins with the heat radiating from the core to the periphery. This is in essence the meaning of quenching and self-tempering.

“If only martensite structure were obtained,” Hennayake explains, “you would not get the necessary elongation, so you have to go through another process to obtain the elongation required. We use the self-tempering method. Once the QT bar is formed, it is still hot, even after quenching, only the outer surface is cooled. The core remains in a heated state. Using this heat, the martensite is relaxed a little, transforming it into tempered martensite, which is a high-strength structure, but it allows elongation to some extent. The core transforms into ferrite and pearlite, which are micro-structures allowing a lot of elongation. The cooling rate and time and the temperatures must be controlled very carefully, very precisely in order to maintain the yield strength and elongation as required. A minute change can have adverse effects.

However, in order get this kind of structural makeup the chemical composition of the billet has to be within the tolerances permitted by the standards.  Otherwise whatever is done in the production process counts for naught.

“The crucial elements such as carbon and manganese, can affect the properties of the reinforcement bar. The main thing is the carbon, which has to be within a certain range. Too much carbon and there is a tendency to corrode. When the carbon composition varies, the amount of martensite formed on the surface will also vary. That affects the yield strength and elongation. The parameters are related to each other and are very critical.”

CSCL have a very experienced team, who are veterans in the field. They carry out tests each and every time a parameter is changed, ensuring that the changed parameters do not affect the vital properties. Only when they have ensured that the properties are within the ranges specified by the standard will the quality assurance people allow production to continue. They ensure that every product which comes out of the mill to the warehouse is up to the standard. And to ensure strict adherence to the standards, they have adopted with ISO 9001 certification for quality management systems.

“ISO 9001 systems certification,” says Quality Assurance manager Eng. L.T.R. Bambarawane, Hennayake’s superior, “means that they have laid down everything we must   – .the processes and maintenance – and we work accordingly. It does not change. We have to follow it. We maintain checklists, reports, records, for consistency.”

Bambarawane studied at Ananda College leaving in 1975, graduating from Moratuwa University and going for training in the former Soviet Union and in Japan. A chartered engineer, he has over 40 years of experience in the field.

“We properly maintain SLS and British standards, according to the ISO 9001 system.” He says.  It covers all aspect of the production process, right down to the disposal of sub-standard items, specifying that rejected products must be stored separately from the products of acceptable quality, in order clearly to distinguish the quality parts from the rejects.

This means that the quality assurance process is transparent, and may be monitored by the authorities, in this case the SLSI.

SLSI’s Eng. Sanath Perera confirms that CSCL is certified to ISO 9001 – 2015, which is the most recent standard, although CSCL has been ISO 9001 certified for the past 10 years. In order to continue certifying the plant, the SLSI carries out annual audits, monitoring testing and also customer perception. Ironically, since CSCL has probably the best laboratory in the business, the SLSI uses their facilities to test parameters on a wide range of products.

The importance of ISO 9001 certification is that it ensures strict adherence to quality control throughout its production process, and guarantees the customer that the product they buy with such a certification can be assured of its quality and consistency of its standards. For the small-scale builder or the maker of one’s dream home, this is indeed a valuable tip.

In this regard, with over 60 years of uncompromised deliverance to the construction community of the nation, LANWA certainly is a brand that can be trusted upon.

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