A series of Tokyo Cement ‘DiviShakthi’ training workshops, tailor-made to empower its dealer network with SME management skills were successfully conducted in the Central, Uva and North-western regions touching over 200 traders.
Cement and hardware traders of Tokyo Cement’s dealer network in Badulla, Moneragala, Kandy and Kurunegala took part at the training while future sessions are planned in Dambulla.
The programmes organized under the guidance of Field Sales Manager Nishantha Ellepola, in charge of the Central, Uva and North-western regions, were managed by Area Sales Manager for Kurunegala Gamunu Suranimala, Area Sales Manager for Kandy Prasanna Madawalagedara and Area Sales Manager for Badulla Nilantha Vincent respectively.
The training programme covers SME specific pain points and is particularly meant for owners and managers of businesses engaged in dealerships and distribution trade. The subjects include ‘New Opportunity Creation’, ‘Customer Retention and Relationship Management’, ‘Non-price based Competition and Finance’ and ‘Cash-flow Management’. The participants were also given a comprehensive understanding of the new tax system and how it applies to SME businesses.
Tokyo Cement Dealer in Gampola who participated in the programme Welagedara Trading Company Proprietor H.M.D. Welagedara sharing his experience said: “This training is a very good guidance for us to achieve not just business success, but also personal fulfillment. It demonstrated that we can create better value by maintaining long-term customer relationships that go beyond day to day business transactions. It showed us the importance of maintaining good health and a good family life in order to achieve real success in life. Through this training we also understood how complying with the new income tax regulations can help our trades to become recognized business establishments.”
Conducted based on a curricular developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Tokyo Cement initiated DiviShakthi two years ago from the Northern and Eastern regions, with the intention to support economic and social development in former conflict-affected districts. Having trained over 500 dealers therein, the workshops later reached out to Tokyo Cement’s island-wide dealer network. The programme aims to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to grow their businesses in to prosperous entrepreneurships. Through these activities, the company strengthens the relationship they have nurtured with the sales channel by preparing them to face new challenges in an increasingly competitive and evolving marketplace. IFC Certified Master Trainer, Business Consultant and Visiting Lecturer, and Growth Concepts Institute CEO Sanath Vidanagamage who conducts the training programmes said: “The training offers a fresh experience for hardware owners compared to conventional dealer meetings. The participants show great enthusiasm because it is not about the company or its products, but about improving their business success and uplifting their personal lives to the next level. The entire workshop is designed to provide a fresh perspective to achieve growth and motivate these entrepreneurs to plan for a better future. They also get an opportunity to connect with other dealers and share their experience on diverse business issues.” Vidanagamage and his team have so far conducted over 15 workshops for over 460 Tokyo Cement distributors and re-sellers from across the island as part of the DiviShakthi training programme.
Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC Group Marketing Manager Dashantha Udawatte explaining the broad objectives behind this unique channel development initiative said: “Tokyo Cement believes in building strong relationships that are founded on mutual success. We partnered the IFC for the DiviShakthi SME Business Management trainings with this in mind. Most of our dealerships are run by experienced businessmen, with years of hands-on experience while some have been brought up through generations, providing job opportunities and economic mobility in their local communities. DiviShakthi training is a platform for these businessmen and women to improve their business acumen and a boost to build on their entrepreneurial skills.”