Chairman, NDB Hemaka Amarasuriya receiving the award from Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank. Dr. Vijith Kannangara, Chairman, Smart Media looks on.
Governor who was the Chief Guest at the Smart Convention 2012 to felicitate and recognise its Sri Lankans and international clients who had won awards at the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Vision Awards 2011 said that the country is no longer known for conflict or brain-drain, but recognized for these positive developments.
“The comments of the international investor community shows that Sri Lanka has started on a new and exciting economic journey said Cabraal,” he said.
He also noted with interest that two reports in the top 100 Annual Reports of the world are those of Sri Lankan companies, namely, NDB and Hayleys.
He added that the achievement by Smart Media and their clients is all the more relevant and significant because Sri Lanka is now entering a new phase and a new era.
“Sri Lanka’s time has come. It is clear that we are now changing gear to realize our true potential that had eluded us for so long. A new inclusiveness and new empowerment is being fashioned in our society. New entrepreneurs are being created. In this context, we must take a cue from Malaysia which is now at a per capita income that is in excess of $8,000.A new paradigm is unfolding in our nation.”
“A major and significant transition to an upper middle income nation will take place in our country within the next three to four years. The time to invest in Sri Lanka is now. It is up to all Sri Lankans to benefit by this potential,” said Cabraal.
Dr. Vijith Kannangara, Chairman, Smart Media, touched upon the uniqueness of some of the winning annual reports. He went on to add that it was an ongoing journey that also required a great degree of daring and innovation, as reporting had to keep pace with the needs of a fast changing world. In a lighter vein, he then shared an interesting piece of research carried out by an environmental marketing company in the US on the subject of greenwashing. “As corporate reporting increasingly embraces ‘sustainability’, how can we ensure that we are not unwittingly or otherwise succumbing to some form of eyewash?” he asked.
The 67 awards won by Smart Media’s clients at the Vision Awards 2011 include five Platinum, 13 Gold and 11 Silver Awards. Three of Smart Media’s clients - including the only two from Sri Lanka - made it to the Global Top 100. They are NDB Bank ranked at 32, Hayleys at 36 and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) at 43. Audi AG of Germany took the top slot. Seven Sri Lankan companies came within the Top 50 Annual Reports of the Asia Pacific Region, of which six were Smart Media clients - namely NDB Bank, Hayleys, NSB, Commercial Bank, People’s Bank and Dimo. HNB was the other.
Panasonic Corporation of Japan came first in this category. Two overseas clients, QFCRA and Ithmaar Bank of Bahrain, were ranked within the Top 50 of Europe, Middle East and Africa Region, a category that was totally dominated by Europe which secured 47 slots.