Items filtered by date: February 2017

 - Animation celebrates Range Rover’s enduring design and innovation over almost five decades

- Trip through the generations begins with 1969 Velar prototype and concludes with 2017 Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic

-  Range Rover has introduced numerous first-to-market technologies, including electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension

- Range Rover is the original luxury SUV, epitomising the best of British design

 Two minutes is not long, but it’s enough time for Land Rover to celebrate a motoring icon. The Range Rover has pioneered design, refinement and engineering innovation since 1970 and Land Rover has showcased the evolution of its luxury SUV through four generations with a unique animation lasting only 120 seconds.

 The specially commissioned visual has been created to mark key dates in the history of the legendary SUV, as production of the original two-door model ended 23 years ago this month (January) and SVAutobiography Dynamic goes on sale around the world.

 The detailed animation shows how today’s Range Rover retains many of the design hallmarks established by the 1970 Classic and culminates with the latest derivative, SVAutobiography Dynamic.

 Range Rover has evolved into the world’s most elegant and sophisticated SUV, achieving more than one million sales (1.7 million to date) along the way. Trademark features including its ‘floating’ roof, distinctive clamshell bonnet, continuous belt line and practical split tailgate all pay homage to the groundbreaking original.

 The Range Rover story begins with the 26 pre-production models, which wore Velar badges in an effort to hide its identity – velare means to ‘veil’ or ‘cover’ in Italian – made up of letters from the ‘ALVIS’ and ‘ROVER’ badges that usually adorn the front and rear of a vehicle. Next comes the timeless Range Rover Classic two-door as the images showcase successive generations, finishing with the most powerful derivative, the 550PS SVAutobiography Dynamic built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.

 Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer, said: “Range Rover has, over time, achieved iconic design status through a progressive evolution of its unique DNA, culminating in a vehicle of peerless distinction. From its sense of evolution and sophisticated sensibilities inherent in its interior design to its understated yet powerful exterior proportions, Range Rover stands alone. There's simply nothing else like it.”

 When it was first launched in 1970, Range Rover was one of the first vehicles to deliver permanent all-wheel drive while many others were still selectable. In 1971 the original model was cited as ‘an exemplary work of industrial design’ when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the world famous Louvre museum in Paris and it has been at the forefront of design and engineering innovation ever since.

 The four-door variant was introduced in 1981, quickly followed by the first application of an automatic transmission in Range Rover in 1982. In 1989 the luxury SUV was the first 4x4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and in 1992 it became the first SUV in the world fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension.

 The engineering firsts continued in 2012, when Range Rover was the world’s first all-aluminium SUV. More recently, in 2014, the luxury SUV was the first vehicle to employ Land Rover’s advanced semi-autonomous All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) technology, effectively an off-road cruise control for autonomous control of speed on all terrains.

 The last model included in the animation, the SVAutobiography Dynamic, shares its V8 engine with the acclaimed Range Rover Sport SVR and is specially calibrated to produce 680Nm of torque and 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in only 5.4 seconds. Interior enhancements including diamond quilted leather upholstery with contrast stitching deliver elevated refinement and desirability.

 Since its launch 48 years ago Land Rover’s flagship has achieved more than 1,700,000 sales across the globe and earned a reputation as the ultimate luxury all-terrain vehicle.The legendary SUV’s unrivalled breadth of capability and elegance make it a favourite of royalty, business leaders, politicians and celebrities the world over.

 Range Rover is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, and exported to more than 170 global markets.


The evolution of the Range Rover is visualised with the following models:

 ·         1969   Range Rover Prototype (Velar)

·         1970   Range Rover Classic (two-door)

·         1973   Range Rover Classic (Suffix C)

·         1981   Range Rover Classic (four-door)

·         1994   Second-generation Range Rover (P38a)

·         2001   Third-generation Range Rover

·         2012   Fourth-generation Range Rover

·         2014   Fourth-generation Range Rover Long Wheelbase

·         2015   Range Rover SVAutobiography

·         2016   Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic

Published in Automobile

Wednesday, February 15 2017, Colombo: Blue Mountain Achilleion, Sri Lanka's seven star luxury real estate project, will be headlining the Maldives Living Expo 2017 to be held from 16th to 18th February 2017 at the National Art Gallery Main Hall in Male, Maldives. In its fifth year, the Maldives Living Expo features international condominiums, local buildings and apartments, lifestyle appliances for modern homes and home financing and insurance suppliers. Blue Mountain Achilleion is expected to be the cynosure of all eyes at the event for being the first seven star condominium project in Sri Lanka. Its luxury features and facilities and unparalleled location overlooking the Indian Ocean makes it a highly attractive investment for overseas investors.

 Colombo is rapidly gaining the distinction of being an attractive investment destination for the wealthy, as the city'scosmopolitan and cultural vibe and commercial hub status makes it the preferred city in the entire region. Besides the rising land value in the heart of Colombo, Blue Mountain Apartments' latest real estate development, Achilleion, the first-ever 7-star luxury apartment building in Sri Lanka, is ideal for investors and home-owners seeking a high return on investment - as it will be an iconic, first of its kind, super luxury in the South Asian region.

 Located in the heart of Colombo 4, next to the Majestic City shopping mall, Achilleion is set to make an iconic appearance on Colombo's skyline and will feature all-new levels of luxury and innovation. Achilleion will deliver discerning home-owners cutting-edge facilities, which have been incorporated into the property's iconic design. In order to ensure that residents always travel in style, the complex will offer access to a rooftop helipad and a private helicopter for the use of the residents. A fleet of 5 Mercedes Benz luxury cars will also be available for residents to use at their leisure.

 This state-of-the-art complex will also feature Sri Lanka's first-ever sky bridge, the tallest sky restaurant by sea and an infinity pool, which will offer breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean and the vibrant Marine Drive stretch. Other facilities include a 24-hour medical centre – the first of its kind to operate in a private residential complex, a comprehensive library and a private theatre.

 The 50-storey twin tower apartment complex will consist of 618 luxury units of one, two or three bedroom apartments, duplexes and two penthouses with more than 85% of the apartments enjoying the glorious view of the Indian Ocean.

The iconic design and structure of the development is being supported by the global real estate titan, Palmer & Turner (P&T) Group Singapore, heralded as the No. 2 ranked residential developer in the world. P&T is reputed for only working in high value projects around the world, being extremely selective about the credentials of the property and its potential in becoming a landmark project.

 Enhancing the property's value even further, the complex's plush interiors are being curated by Index Design, a leading interior design practise also based in Singapore, which reflects the ultra modern and latest international style that the apartments will deflect. Achilleion has won three international awards already, including the best 'Luxury Show Apartment' at the prestigious Asia Pacific Property Awards 2016/2017.

Published in Property & Building

Chamath Palihapitiya, a Sri Lankan born businessmen and investor in the Silicon Valley was appointed as the ICT Ambassador of Sri Lanka by President Maithripala Sirisena to promote Sri Lanka in the Silicon Valley as well as to provide necessary support to bring down the latest technology from the Silicon Valley to Sri Lanka.

Mr. Palihapitiya first joined AOL and paved his way through the ladder to become the head of AOL’s instant messaging service. Later on, he joined a startup which was over a year old and this was none other than Facebook. He was actively involved in the growth of the company and helped it achieve what it has become today. He moved on from Facebook to start his own venture capital firm, Social Capital in 2011. By the end of 2015, the firm had assets worth more than $1.1 billion.

In 2015, Chamath Palihapitiya met with H.E the President and expressed his willingness to support the digital economy efforts being undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka. Following this, he played a pivotal role in getting the Google Loon project to Sri Lanka to provide universal connectivity to all Sri Lankans and help the digital transformation of Sri Lanka. With the support of Mr. Palihapitiya, the Government of Sri Lanka expects to bring down venture capital investments to the country.

Chamath’s expertise is undoubtedly going to be invaluable to the digital transformation of Sri Lanka and to position Sri Lanka as a tech-rich country. Connectivity provided throughout the nation will make the Sri Lanka the first country in the world to achieve such a milestone.

Published in Miscellaneous

The 9th annual Footwear and Leather Fair successfully concluded at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre after 3 days, where the public were able to witness a massive range of quality footwear and leather accessories. This year attracted the highest number of visitors to the fair since its commencement.

Organized by the Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers, together with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Industrial Development Board of Ceylon, and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, this year’s fair hosted over 100 local companies and 34 foreign companies, including 6 large industry stalwarts, 10 medium and over 70 SMEs, in addition to 125 sales outlets managed by the manufacturers.

The President of Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers’ Association P. G. D. Nimalasiri commenting on this year’s success said, “Having conducted this fair for the past nine years, we are confident that we have achieved the objective to a great extent, with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, EDB, IDB and our sponsors. This fair has become a good platform to all the manufacturers to showcase their new products as well as an opportunity for the general public to experience first-hand the manufacturing processes, raw material and machinery. We were equally excited to have the presence of our neighbours, India for the fair this year. ”

The inaugural Footwear and Leather Fair was held in 2007, organized by the EDB together with other stakeholders of the industry. The objective for the initiative was to strengthen and sustain the image of the industry, promote Sri Lankan export capabilities among international buyers, and provide an opportunity for SMEs to improve their talents and capabilities to become export ready companies.

Addressing the invitees at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Fair organizing committee   Rangith Hettiarachchy highlighted the overall position of the industry as well as future objectives. “With the continued safety net the industry enjoys through CESS, we have been able to make major savings in foreign exchange. The new hope we have is the GSP+ concession which the government is lobbying for. We intend to use it strategically by following the concept of Global Product Sharing (GPS) with India. In combining India’s strength in supplying raw material and guidance in product development, along with our talent and value addition, we are hopeful of entering the world market and the European market in particular.  

The footwear sector alone in Sri Lanka employs over 40,000 personnel directly and indirectly at present. The leather industry is inclusive of eight large scale and five small scale tanneries across the island. “As the government has already given the green light to setup a tannery and Footwear cluster in Batticlaloa, we anticipate a rapid growth in the coming years. As a largely expanding industry we see heavy saturation. Therefore, we need to go global.  One area that we need to improve further is our product development. Currently China dominates the world market with a share of 6/10 pairs. Therefore we need relentless dedication to make this dream a reality. The Industrial Development Board of Ceylon is currently providing the much needed training through their affiliation with design centres like the Ratmalana Footwear Training Centre and the University of Moratuwa”, added Rohan Somawansa, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, DSI Samson Group (Pvt.) Ltd.

The footwear and leather industry in Sri Lanka has been identified as a value added manufacturing sector that has taken up the role of generating export revenue to the country. Commenting on the current industry landscape Dr. Malitha Kannangara, Director of Lakpa Footwear (Pvt.) Ltd. stated, “When the bigger players enter the export market, a vacuum is created in the local market. The SMEs can enter to fill that space. This becomes a cycle and it eventually expands. Footwear and leather has already become a forex saving industry and we are sure that it will become a forex earning industry in the near future.”

The industry as a whole is hopeful about the advent of GSP+ that will create an advantageous edge when entering the international market is crucial. “The benefit for us through receiving GSP + is not direct. The recipient country will not have to pay the additional 17% duty levy when importing from us. The industry will have to meet the standard of the European Union to receive this benefit, but there is no minimum value addition required. With the encouragement and support of the Government we foresee many positive aspects for the industry in the future,” added Sajeewa Ranasinghe, Chief Executive Officer of Ceylon Leather Products PLC.

The next Footwear and leather goods Fair will be held from 2nd to 4th of February 2018.

Published in Miscellaneous

Businesses Take Note: Less Than Half of Employees Say They Have the Right Technology to Do Their Jobs

New Oracle Global Engagement Study states that digital technology, leadership and company values rank among top distinguishers for employee success
Sydney, Australia, 14 February 2016 ‒ Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) released a Global Engagement Study today that includes feedback from nearly 5,000 full-time employees at organisations with 250 or more employees. The study indicated that equipping employees with the latest technology, having accessible leaders and strong company values are important factors that ultimately reflect an employee’s success or failure within the company.

Digital Enablement

Technology is enabling companies to connect with employees in more ways than ever to create a more modern and customised learning experience. However, findings from the study indicate low marks when it comes to companies capitalising on this—only 49 percent of respondents say that their company uses the latest technology to enable them to effectively perform in their role.

“The all-digital world is changing how we live, how we work and how business is conducted,” said Yazad Dalal, Head of Human Capital Management (HCM), Oracle APAC. “Gone are the days when the workplace was merely a physical space that employees occupied between 9am to 5pm. The separation between professional and personal lives has dissolved through the use of mobile devices, changing work patterns, and the change in attitude towards work by employees and employers. It is undeniable that employees are digital consumers first. We believe the employee experience must match the consumer experience, at a minimum.”


The findings also express that a strong presence in leadership is the backbone for an employee feeling satisfied and engaged. The study indicates that productivity starts with on-boarding - across Asia Pacific, employees are unsatisfied with the process, with only 48 percent agreeing  that company on-boarding practices set them up for growth and success. Not only are managers the first impressions of a company during on-boarding, but they are also the first example of direction for the new worker. Only 49 percent of those polled viewed their leaders as visible and approachable and less than half  expressed that they have confidence in their leadership, indicating a lack of partnership between management and employees. 

“Your new hire has already made the decision to stay or go within the first 14 days of employment,” said Dalal. “That means that these first 14 days are pivotal to building rapport with the company and management. First impressions matter and leaders need to be accessible. Don’t stop communication once your new hire has signed on. You must continue to invest with a great on-boarding experience and career plan that aligns with personal goals and values of the employee.  Both short and long term, this will ultimately lead to a more productive and engaged employee that wants to stay.”
Additionally, this study included key indicators for a healthy leadership to employee relationship:

  • Set examples of how best to communicate with those working under you
  • Remain extremely accessible so that people feel connected to company goals
  • Be actively involved in the working lives of new employees from the day they start
  • Use technology and digital experiences to stay in touch with team members


Values, Culture & Reward

What’s more, companies are now seeing that like-minded values between the employee and the company play a huge role in employee engagement. Only  46 percent say that their company is concerned about their overall well-being—indicating that working towards a personally rewarding goal, while still upholding individual values can carry even more weight than monetary compensation.

Company culture mirrors these sentiments as employees are most comfortable and productive within a creative, yet flexible workplace culture. While compensation is often seen to be connected to employee satisfaction, we are now seeing that individuals are more interested in joining companies that uphold their same personal values to gauge if they are a good fit. Whether it’s a more flexible work schedule, more volunteer or health & wellness opportunities, companies too should now be listening and connecting with employees in more ways that correlate with their personal well-being.
For more information, view our infographic, checklist and employee culture hub.

Published in ICT
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