Sri Lankan consultants
create 'a new way to shop' in Bangladesh
has become a late entrant to the 'supermarket era' with help from
professionals from Sri Lanka, comparatively a super-marketing veteran
in the region.
Agora - 'a
new way to shop', Bangladesh's first definitive supermarket chain,
which opened its second outlet in Dhaka, Bangladesh recently, is
a unique example of multi-disciplinary Sri Lankan expertise as an
export, the project's lead consultant said in a statement.
company Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd, (Issued Capital of Taka 38
million i.e. a Rs. 60 million investment) has met all cost targets
and achieved targeted gross profits in its first year of operation,
and plans to set up more outlets in Dhaka, the company said.
owes its initial success entirely to Sri Lankan professionals. They
were responsible for pre-feasibility studies, the financial model,
marketing consultancy, operational planning, air-conditioning design,
and supporting the supply and installation of equipment, software
development, and the recruitment and training of personnel including
the placement of a Sri Lankan Operations Manager to operate the
of expertise and the product concept for the Agora project was put
together by Visvaka Consultants (Pvt) Ltd. and Sensei Lanka (Pvt)
Ltd. Visvaka is a new business consultancy set up by Chula de Silva,
no stranger to supermarketing in Sri Lanka having conceptualised
the Keells Super chain in the 90's during his tenure as Managing
Director of Jaykay Marketing Services, a subsidiary of the John
Keells Holdings Group. He is one of only two Sri Lankan Fellows
of the Institute of Food Science and Technology of the UK, and the
only one in the country's private sector.
entrepreneurs in the food industry expertise in manufacturing processes
with the ability to source experienced consultants from the United
Kingdom and the USA, as well as expertise in factory audits and
food retailing. The company also markets innovative food ingredients.
headed by Ranjan de Silva former Director of Keells Foods and Supermarkets
[JayKay Marketing] and former Chairman of The Chartered Institute
of Marketing - Sri Lanka branch, is Sri Lanka's premier corporate
culture change and personal breakthrough consultancy.
of the Agora project, Rahimafrooz, one of the most respected companies
in Bangladesh manufacturing and marketing stored power systems for
the automotive industry, decided to locate a Sri Lankan consultant
to the exclusion of European possibilities, having seen and experienced
Sri Lankan supermarkets.
responds to allegations
has sent a detailed response to allegations made in the The Sunday
Times FT article published last week. Here are extracts of the reply
(with accusations in bold):
of Mundogas Lanka was reported as stating that the barge was "half
full" while at the same time the declaration given to the port
was that it was empty, and subsequently a leak had revealed the
The barge was
empty on arrival in the same fashion as an LPG cylinder is empty
when it is returned for refilling. There is always a residue in
such cylinders that essentially cannot be pumped and this was the
case of the few remaining few tonnes of LPG on board the barge.
Since this was clearly the case, it is self-evident that the chairman
of Mundogas Lanka was misquoted.
referred to arose when the barge was being towed to Galle and was
discovered soon after it arrived in Galle and was thus already known
at the time of the cargo declaration. The gas leak itself was so
small as to be hardly detectable and the seal was dealt with. The
report by the Master to the Harbour Master indicates responsible
behaviour on the part of the operators.
How did Mundogas
manage to get its barge permanently berthed at the Closenburg jetty
without assurances of compliance with safety requirements and without
any lease agreement with SLPA for an appropriate commercial fee?
with SLPA and SLN from the very start that stringent safety procedures
would be adopted. These were encapsulated by Mundogas themselves
in a comprehensive manual entitled "Operating Principles"
that was provided to SLPA and are required to be followed by their
own staff in future. In it Mundogas agreed that:
(i) LPG/C "Formentera"
would be fully compliant with all International Regulations for
Barges engaged in the business of carrying liquid petroleum gas.
(ii) A comprehensive
inspection process would be conducted by Mundogas in cooperation
with the Galle Harbour Master to ensure that all visiting gas carriers
calling at the port for replenishment purposes were similarly fully
(iii) The Design
and Construction Standards for the on shore installation will be
in accordance with American Petroleum Institute Standards.
(iv) The National
Fire Protection Association Standard (NFPA59) would be followed
(v) The terminal
work will be inspected during construction and endorsed on commissioning
by Germanische Lloyd.
of the terminal would be based on the recommendations of the Society
of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO).
of inadequate safety measures being taken at the jetty.
(i) The barge
is located within an area which is totally fenced in and guarded
round the clock.
(ii) The barge
has its own fire fighting and other safety equipment on board.
(iii) The construction
procedures for work on shore were prepared by Colombo Dockyard and
counter-signed by Germansche Lloyd.
(iv) The port
authorities have their own tugs available to move the barge in case
the need arises during the day and there is another tug available
during the evening hours.
no such requirements exist for the port to stop activities within
200 metres of the barge and if this was so "operations within
the Port of Colombo would have stopped many years ago!"
It said there
is no technical legislation in connection with the SLPA or any port
handling dangerous cargoes such as LPG. It rejected the accusation
that IMO regulations didn't permit the filling of cylinders, discharge
of LPG from vessels to road tankers or the operation of floating
barges cannot be used for storing of LPG within a commercial port
unless the jetties are suitably located and designed for the safe
handling of hazardous material.
It is not clear
what "suitably located and designed for the safe handling of
hazardous material" really means but given the involvement
of outside safety bodies brought in by SLPA and Mundogas to vet
the design and commissioning of the facility at Galle, the jetty
will most certainly be suitable for the operations envisaged.
An LPG cylinder-filling
plant cannot be operated at all within commercial port premises.
Galle Port the structure of the cylinder filling plant operated
by the Colombo Gas Company exists until relatively recently. Mundogas
further disputed the quantum of the insurance cover saying that
SLPA has required P&I cover of $2m per incident.
show that gas carriers are amongst the safest vessels afloat due
to the high level of maintenance demanded for this type of vessel.
There has never
ever been an accident involving a gas carrier in any port and that
the CEA and CCD approvals have already been obtained for the project
after the requirement was initiated by the SLPA.
growth seen accelerating if truce holds
made a healthy recovery last year and could grow by 5.5 percent
this year if the ceasefire holds and the peace process continues,
the Central Bank said last week.
Product grew by four percent, higher than the original forecast
of 3.5 percent, the bank said in its annual report for 2002. The
ceasefire "brought not only a sense of relief throughout the
country, but led to a spontaneous increase in economic activity
and a containment of non-productive expenditure," it said.
current macroeconomic prospects for 2003 as "favourable"
if correct measures are implemented with a recovery expected in
all major sectors - agriculture, industry and services.
The bank forecast
growth would stay high and hit seven percent in 2006.
Growth in the
services sector will be mainly driven by expanding activities in
trade and transport, recovery in tourism and port services, and
expansions in the telecommunications and financial sectors.
But the bank
warned that the impact of the SARS virus on tourist arrivals and
the continuation of the peace process would be crucial to sustaining
growth, given a still weak industrial sector.
industrial output had been affected by power cuts early in the year,
weak export demand and higher production costs.
recovery was a healthy turnaround from 2001 when the economy shrank
1.5 percent because of intensified fighting and a severe drought.
The bank said
defence spending fell to four percent of GDP in 2002 from 4.8 percent
the year before. Savings on defence helped reduce the budget deficit
by about two percentage points last year. The budget deficit was
reduced to 8.9 percent of GDP from 10.8 percent in 2001. It is forecast
to come down to 7.5 percent this year.
feature of 2002 has been the noteworthy improvement on the fiscal
front," Central Bank governor A.S. Jayawardena said.
on the decline Sri Lanka could see lower interest rates this year.
inflation comes down, when there is a slower rate of money supply
growth, and when the government reduces its borrowing, then interest
rates will also be lowered," said A.G. Karunasena, Central
Bank director of economic research. "If the negative growth
of 1.5 percent was turned to a positive four percent in 2002, the
achievement of eight percent growth would not be difficult,"
rate is expected to drop to seven or eight percent at the end of
the year from 9.6 percent at the start of the year. Inflation, based
on a 12-month moving average, was 9.9 percent in April, the same
as in March.
growth came mainly from the services and agricultural sectors while
the industrial sector posted only a marginal recovery owing to weak
As much as
80 percent of the overall growth in 2002 came from the services
sector, the bank said.
and allied activities accounted for 13 percent growth, reflecting
a recovery in paddy, tea, rubber and fishing.
The bank also
said lower government domestic borrowing had made available more
financial resources to the private sector.
group declares 74% profits rise
Group has declared a 74 percent hike in net profit to Dhs 1.05 billion
($285.7 million) for the financial year 2002/3, ended on 31st March
2003, driven by the growing confidence of its customers in the airline
and travel-related group of companies.
operations alone achieved a staggering 94 per cent increase in profits,
from Dhs 468.2 million ($127.6m) to Dhs 906.7 million ($247.1m),
a company statement noted.
carried 8.5 million passengers, an increase of 26 per cent over
the year before total of 6.8 million. It is 20th in size among international
airlines and one of the five most profitable.
Centre offers free chemotherapy infusion services
Cancer Detection Centre has announced it will waive its fees for
individuals undergoing chemotherapy infusions for cancer from May
1 to 15 in a special gesture to mark the launch of the facility.
which is open to any cancer patient who makes an appointment during
this period, covers all institution fees, the company said. Only
the cost of drugs needs to be paid by the patients who also have
the option of bringing their own drugs.
which is located at 60, Park Street, Colombo 2 is the only stand-alone
chemotherapy infusion unit outside a hospital in Sri Lanka. It offers
a facility where cancer patients can receive their chemotherapy
in a clean, comfortable, relaxed and friendly environment.
prices continue to fall
prices fell over the previous month for the third consecutive month
in April, in contrast to the marginal monthly increase observed
for this month, the Central Bank said.
in availability, mainly of vegetables, rice and coconut, contributed
to this trend. The absence of any pressure from oil prices or other
administered price increases during the month also supported the
overall average price decline, it said.
Consumers' Price Index (CCPI), the official measure of price changes
within the Colombo Municipality for lower income groups published
by the Government Department of Census and Statistics, registered
3317.0 in April, indicating a decrease of 0.8 percent over the previous
month. The index in April 2003 when compared with April 2002 (the
point to point change) increased by 8.3 percent. which was higher
than the 7.9 percent seen in March 2003. The annual average increase
of the index remained stable at 9.9 percent in April 2003.
District Consumer Price Index (CDCPI). computed by the Central Bank
of Sri Lanka of the lowest 40 percent of increase - Colombo District,
decreased by 0.3 percent in April. The point to point increase of
the index decreased to 3.0 percent from 3.2 percent in March. The
annual average change of the index declined to 5.1 percent compared
to 5.5 percent last month.
The food category
was the main contributory factor for the decline in the CDCPI in
April. Prices of rice, most varieties of vegetables and fruits,
a few other condiments, coconut oil, a few varieties of dried fish
and green chillies registered price decreases, while a few varieties
of dried fish, most varieties of fish, lime, betel, leafy vegetables,
big onion, dried chillies, prepared food, cow milk (fresh) and dhal
registered price increases during the month.