Sampath Bank, renowned as a responsible corporate citizen, was yet again duly honoured for its genuine efforts when the bank clinched the Gold award in the category of CSR Brand of the Year at the recently concluded SLIM Brand Excellence Award Ceremony held at the BMICH.
This award recognized Sampath Bank’s continuous efforts in giving back to society that have profoundly contributed towards the overall development of social wellbeing in Sri Lanka.
SLIM Brand Excellence is a flagship event in the country’s corporate calendar, conducted by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM).
Sampath Bank was extended with this award for its entrepreneur development programme ‘Sampath Saviya’. Through the programme, the bank substantially empowered micro, small and medium-scale entrepreneurs (MSMEs) with knowledge and skills in addition to providing financial support. It is the recognition of this unique philosophy and its unprecedented model of execution that resulted in the receipt of the CSR Brand of the Year Gold awards at SLIM Brand Excellence Award 2015.
Launched in 2013, Sampath Saviya focusses on groups of MSMEs selected from different regions and develops their potential in a multitude of ways thus enabling them to become successful entrepreneurs. To this end, the bank conducts a series of three-day workshops with the selected entrepreneurs and trains them in important areas such as human resource management, administration and business planning in addition to enhancing their financial literacy. In addition to placing a special emphasis on the identification of women entrepreneurs Sampath Saviya also monitors the execution of the entrepreneur’s business plans for a period of two years, making sure that the bank steps in when support is needed.
Since its inception, three years ago, the Sampath Saviya has delivered on its promise by uplifting the lives of more than 1,000 families across the island. The systematic development of entrepreneurs targeted by the programme has already shown immense success with many of the beneficiaries having shown significant success in their businesses.
One of the most notable of such entrepreneurs K.P. Lalith Nandika from Buttala had started ‘Shakya Herbals’, his own business of unique herbal products way back in 2002. However, Nandika was able to turn the tables around and reach success when he enrolled for the Sampath Saviya in 2014.
M.L.R.K. Senaratne, another entrepreneur who benefitted from Sampath Saviya, is an acclaimed inventor whose dream to market his inventions was made a reality through Sampath Saviya. Senaratne, whose inventive products were mainly home appliances, had been struggling to convert his passion into a successful business until he was introduced to Sampath Saviya by Sri Lanka New Inventor’s Commission in 2014.
Commenting on this recognition, Tharaka Ranwala, Deputy General Manager Marketing and Business Development and overall pillar head of CSR, Sampath Bank said, “As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Sampath Bank always identifies the need to empower the lives of Sri Lankans. Sampath Saviya’ CSR project aims to empower SMEs who are essentially the backbone of our country’s economy. We are indeed proud that our constant investment in social improvement has been recognized on such a prestigious platform and are profoundly motivated to continue our efforts to make Sri Lanka a more developed nation.”