Three Quick Ones – Jehan Perinpanayagam

Jehan Perinpanayagam plays a central role in Sri Lankan business and in strengthening trade relations with the Nordic countries. He is the President of the Sri Lanka Nordic Business Council and the chairman of SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies) which brings together a growing number of members. He has been with John Keells Group, Sri Lanka’s largest business conglomerate, for nearly 30 years. Since 2005 he is the CEO of its subsidiary Infomate.

Located just south of a market giant, how does Sri Lanka compete?

We don’t compete, we co-operate. We talk about India+1. The respective strengths of our offerings are different. India is ideally suited for very large projects, whereas for more niche projects Sri Lanka is better suited. Diversifying risk across multiple countries is becoming increasingly important in a geopolitically complex and turbulent world. Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry offers some of the best and most cost-effective talent. For example, Swedish software company IFS has 2,000 employees in Sri Lanka. There are several other companies in the IT / BPM space from Sweden, Norway and across Europe that have established delivery centers or partnerships in Sri Lanka. Many emphasize quality and innovation as key factors.

What are the main lessons learnt from the pandemic?

The pandemic was a challenge for all of us. In Sri Lanka, we have emerged with some valuable lessons which will strengthen us. Digitalization took big steps forward, both during the pandemic and afterwards. At the same time, risk thinking became more sophisticated with an increased focus on security. We also learnt to take advantage of the fact that we work in a different time zone from many of our clients and partners. Working from any geographical location became a matter of course and a new normal in the post pandemic world. People are more comfortable with working across borders and accessing talent globally.

How can trade relations between Sri Lanka and Sweden develop?

Sweden and the rest of the Nordic region, along with the US, UK, Australia and the Middle East, are key markets for Sri Lanka’s IT / BPM sector. We recognize that we have a job to do to raise awareness of what Sri Lanka can offer. Therefore, co-operation with the SSLBC is key, as well as with chambers of commerce at national and regional level. We would welcome online and in-person meetings including inward missions and matchmaking. Industry and financial analysts have a growing role in this work through their in-depth analyses that contribute to sophisticated knowledge dissemination. We welcome visits from analysts and journalists and those keen to understand firsthand Sri Lanka’s fast-growing IT/BPM sector, world class talent and partnership opportunities.

The king has already eaten their sea salad – now Nordic Seafarm is increasing by 76 percent

The researchers believe in filling stomachs with crops from the sea. And seaweed and sea lettuce will soon be in a grocery bag on its way to your home, if the foodtech company Nordic Seafarm gets to decide.

Breakit has read the latest financial statement. That’s how it goes for the company that is backed by the Stena owner.
Nordic Seafarm was founded by six researchers back in 2016 to investigate the possibilities of cultivating climate-smart alternatives in the oceans. It’s about seaweed and the green plant called sea lettuce.

Last year we wrote that the company made common cause with the then newly formed investment company Ocean Collective. The idea with the company, which is half-owned by the two companies, is to develop several new food concepts where marine ingredients should be prominent.

”Seaweed is a completely renewable crop that can reduce the demand for traditional agricultural products while helping to save the oceans by absorbing carbon dioxide and strengthening biodiversity,” said Simon Johansson, CEO and founder of Nordic Seafarm, at the time.

Now the fresh financial statements have arrived from Nordic Seafarm. And it is moving forward. Turnover increased by 76 percent and landed at SEK 2.2 million.

The company has harvested around 50 tons of seaweed and sea lettuce on its eight-hectare rigs. These have been sold to 108 direct paying customers, of which 94 were in the food segment.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia have already tasted. It is the case that last year Nordic Seafarm’s products were delivered to the Nobel dinner for the second year in a row.

It’s a big device to farm at sea and it shows. Operating profit landed at minus 12.4 million kroner, an increase in the loss from minus 10.2 million in 2022.

Nordic Seafarm has taken in around SEK 30 million in capital. The largest owner is Dan Sten Olsson, principal owner and CEO of the Stena Group, and his wife Jane Olsson Thorburn. They own 10.35 percent each, according to the data service Eivora.

India Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Business Conclave – 2024”

India Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Business Conclave – 2024” will be  held   from 28th to 29th May 2024 at the Shangri-La Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The Conclave will focus on bringing potential Investors including business partners to Sri Lanka in  Agriculture, Renewable Energy,  ICT, Logistics, SME & Women Empowerment and Tourism.   

The two-day event will feature a Strategic Networking Reception on the 28th May and Panel Discussions and Breakout Sessions followed by B2B meetings on 29th May on selected topics as per the IORA Charter on “Sustainable Development”.  Field visits upon request of the delegates will be organised on 30th May, 2024. A Brochure is attached herewith.

The Business Conclave will be organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with   the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, the Department of Commerce and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board.

Sri Lankan Airlines has offered to all participants and accompanying persons up to 10% discount on Economy Class airfare and up to 15% discount on Business Class airfare.

Online registration/payment facility could be accessed via :  

Three Quick Ones – Niklas Karlsson, Mobility Guard AB

MobilityGuard is a Swedish IT company that has been developing secure login solutions for companies and the public sector for over 20 years. The company is a member of SSLBC and works with Sri Lanka through business relationships and through a project for early identification of vision problems in school children. Niklas Karlsson is senior executive business developer and globally responsible for relations. He has previously worked within the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars in a role that involved working with company boards and management.

What does MobilityGuard do?

For more than 20 years, we have been developing solutions for secure login in various IT environments. Our login solution is clientless and it is therefore possible to log in from any computer. Our customers include companies, authorities and municipalities. All Swedes use our login solutions at Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency) and the Swedish Tax Agency.

Sweden is a world leader in digital identification and MobilityGuard’s goal is to become the global leader within five years. France, the UK and Germany are among our largest markets, but we also have an office in Bogota, Colombia. The ambition over time is to make Sri Lanka our Asian node.

What is the background to the engagement with Sri Lanka?

The answer has several parts. My mother is Sri Lankan and I have travelled to Sri Lanka every year since I was a baby. One year ago, MobilityGuard’s management team was introduced to the CEO of leading Sri Lankan IT company Oral IT at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Stockholm. We started a constructive dialogue and today we are close partners and the company uses our solutions in its systems.

In the long term, the ambition is to open an office in Colombo. Former Ambassador to Sweden Dharshana M. Perera has played a key role in the collaboration, including in the development of the children’s book that will contribute to the early identification of visual impairment in school children. For our founder and CEO Johan Sundström, it’s important to be able to contribute in this way too.

What does the membership of the Sweden-Sri Lanka Business Council mean?

It means a lot. We get access to a superior network and country and subject specific expertise. Most recently, I participated in a networking event in Gothenburg that provided new knowledge, insights and ideas. It is clear that those working in SSLBC are passionate about what they do.

ADB Outlook

ADB Forecasts Developing Asia and the Pacific’s Economy to Grow 4.9% in 2024
Developing economies in Asia and the Pacific are forecast to expand this year as the region continues its resilient growth amid robust domestic demand, according to ADB’s flagship economic report.Policymakers, however, should monitor several risks. Escalating conflicts and geopolitical tensions could disrupt supply chains and amplify commodity price volatility. Uncertainty about US monetary policy, property market stress in the People’s Republic of China, and the effects of adverse weather are other challenges for the region

Arctic Business: Sveriges nordligaste inkubator för hållbara startups

Norra Sverige har länge varit en ekonomisk drivkraft för den svenska industrin och i den pågående gröna omställningen fortsätter området att utvecklas. Med fokus på de många affärsmöjligheter som finns i norr, hjälper inkubatorn Arctic Business hållbara startups att ta sina första viktiga steg mot framgång.

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