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Elon Musk has had a tough couple of weeks, but perhaps this will come as some consolation.

Fortune Magazine has named Musk the top businessperson of 2013 based on the revenues and stock price gains from three companies he founded — Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity — and the “cultural impact” he has had through these and other ventures, including the much-discussed Hyperloop concept.

“The co-founder of PayPal has gone on to disrupt aeronautics with Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX; shake up the auto business with Tesla Motors; and retool the energy sector with SolarCity,” Fortune notes in its writeup of Musk. “But it is his audacity and tenacity that make him Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year.”

This accomplishment comes at a tenuous time for Musk as one of those companies, Tesla, is struggling to beat back concerns following reports that several of its cars have caught fire. Tesla’s stock had approached nearly $200 a share, a more than sixfold increase for the year, but has since dropped back down to the low $120 range.

Musk isn’t the only tech exec to rank high on Fortune‘s list. The CEOs of Netflix, Amazon andGoogle all cracked the top 10. Angela Ahrendts, the current CEO of Burberry and soon-to-be retail exec at Apple, ranked fourth on the list as well.

 

Sourece : http://mashable.com/2013/11/21/elon-musk-fortune-award/#_

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[From Left-Duminda Ariyasinghe-Executive Director (Investment Promotion) at
the Board of Investment (BOI);Reshan Dewapura-Chief Executive Officer of
the ICT Agency (ICTA); Mano Sekaram -Director & Vice Chairman of
SLASSCOM,Chief Executive Officer,99X Technology; Lalith Weeratunga,
Secretary to the President, Madu Ratnayake-Chairman, SLASSCOM,Senior  Vice
President& General Manager,Virtusa, Sri Lanka; Jayantha De Silva -Director
& Vice Chairman,SLASSCOM, Vice President South Asia and the Managing
Director Sri Lanka, IFS; Dr. Arul Sivagananathan -Director &
Treasurer,SLASSCOM, Managing Director,Hayleys Business Solutions
International (Pvt) Ltd; Virendra Perera -Director,SLASSCOM ,Chief
Operating Officer,Brandix Mercury Asia (Pvt) Ltd.]

Sri Lanka has been awarded the prestigious “Outsourcing Destination of the Year” award by the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), UK at the award ceremony held in London recently.

The award was ceremonially presented to Mr.Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to H.E the President by a delegation led by Chairman of SLASSCOM Madu Ratnayake and which included representatives of BOI and ICTA.

Speaking at the occasion Mr.Weeratunga stated that” ICT is being used by the Government as an instrument for rural empowerment and generating employment as well foreign exchange. This award will bring enormous attention to our growing ICT and Knowledge Services industry among the discerning international clientele. It will help position us as a niche destination for IT and Knowledge Services. I congratulate all stakeholders including SLASSCOM, ICTA, BOI, EDB and others who have worked tirelessly over the years to make this award and recognition that comes with it a reality. The Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa will continue to support the industry in its quest to become the leading foreign exchange earner by 2022”

Expressing views on Sri Lanka’s magnificent achievement, SLASSCOM Chairman Madu Ratnayake stated that “We are delighted that Sri Lanka has been awarded the prestigious “Outsourcing Destination of the Year” award by the National Outsourcing Association. Over the last five years, we have executed a focused market development strategy internationally, building on the strong relationships and foundation many pioneering companies have established in the international markets. SLASSCOM pitched for this award for the last three consecutive years and we are truly delighted to have won this year. This is a great testament of our industry potential and more specifically of the growing visibility of the Sri Lankan IT and Knowledge Services Industry. We wish to thank Mr. Weeratunga for his continued support as a champion and advisor of the industry.”

Commenting on the securing of the award as the best outsourcing destination in the world, Information and Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura said: “This is yet another fruition of implementing the ‘Mahinda Chinthana Vision for the Future’ policy statement of the Government. This coincides with yet another concomitant achievement in the industry, that of IT/BPO industry reaching the 5th position as the best foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka. IT/BPO industry is also a great sector for generating employment”

Ranked among the Top 25 Global Outsourcing destinations by AT Kearney and among the Top 30 Outsourcing destinations by Gartner, the Sri Lanka is highly conducive for global enterprises to enjoy premium access to a high quality talent pool whilst establishing high-in-demand niche global competency centers. Sri Lanka acts as an off-shore development centre and joint venture development centre to several Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders from the North American continent, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Norway, and Japan.

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Enabling ‘Sri Lanka Tourism 2.0 and Beyond’ took place on 12th of September 2013 at Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo. This was organized by Sri Lanka Association of Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) and The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) to boost the Sri Lankan tourism industry. Sri Lankan tourism is expanding quickly and this event looked into how companies providing software solutions, could help Sri Lanka to enhance the performance and the customer satisfaction in the tourism industry. Also this shed light into how to market Sri Lanka as a travel destination with minimum expenditure. This program will help the industry to apply innovative digital solutions to attract and retain tourists.

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From about forty companies which participated in this competition, nine were shortlisted to deliver a short speech to introduce themselves to the Judge panel and go through some of the solutions and services they provide. The filtering process was conducted under three main criteria.

  • Effectiveness of solution.
  • Ease of development and adaptation in the local context..
  • Proven capabilities.

All nine company ambassadors sure did impress the panel of judges with their innovative ideas and series of applications alongside the services they provide.

Mr. Wijeya Rathnayake, President of AmCham delivered the welcome speech.  He also stated, “This could turn into a tourist exchange program”. Conference keynote was delivered by Mr. Simon March, Google Industry Specialist. As this was his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka, he was aware of the Sri Lankan tourism Industry expanding at a rapid rate. He was excited to see the audience being passionate about technology and interested in investing (knowledge and services) on Sri Lankan tourism.

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An interesting session of a panel discussion took place afterwards. Mr. Hiran Coorey was the moderator and the fellow panelist were:

Some serious questions were asked by the moderator himself and members of the the audience as well.  Mr. Prasad Nanayakkara, Vice President of AmCham delivered the vote of thanks.

Four companies were awarded according to the presentations they did on this day.

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Awards for the judges, panelists, participant companies and to the Keynote speaker were given away afterwards. With a networking session that enabled participants to meet and discuss, the event was declared closed.

Do check the Live blog page for full coverage of the event.

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The annual CSSL Excellence in ICT Awards was inaugurated recently at the SEARCC International Conference held in Colombo. These awards intend to encourage, recognise and celebrate the excellence in ICT practice by rewarding the best and the finest of ICT professionals.
The Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) is the premier organisation dedicated to promoting and improving professional standards in the information communication technology sector.
In its inaugural year, the CSSL awarded three awards for ‘Emerging ICT Leader of the Year’, ‘Female ICT Leader of the Year’ and ‘ICT Leader of the Year’.
The Emerging ICT Leader of the Year award was won by Chamira Prasad Jayasinghe, a serial entrepreneur, innovator and an avid programmer. Having obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in information technology from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, he established a company of his own, Arimac Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Currently, Arimac consists of 15 full time creative crew committing their effort for National and International Enterprises.
Upamalika Ratnayake became the Female ICT Leader of the Year. She is the CIO / Senior Deputy General Manager – ICT at Ceylinco Insurance PLC, Life Division. Upamalika counts nearly three decades of experience in the ICT industry. Her forte being the Information Systems and IS Audit.
The ICT Leader of the Year was Sanjiva Weerawarana. Sanjiva founded WSO2 in 2005 in order to reinvent the way enterprise middleware is developed, sold, delivered and supported through an open source model.
The awards presentation happened during the SEARCC International Conference.

Source : DailyFT

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The initiative of empowering Sri Lankans through information and communication technology was initiated eight years ago under the guidance and leadership of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksha, the President of Democratic and Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Nenasala Wisdom Outlets (Telecenters) which adopt the theme of “Global knowledge to village”  held the prestigious “Nenasala Pranama Swarna Sammana 2013” on 26th of July at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The main objective of this felicitation ceremony was recognize the service of the owners, managers and operators contributing to this concept. 

During this ceremony, Udubaddawa Nisala Nenasla was selected as the best provincial Nenasala in the North Western Province.  There are over 70 Nenasala centers established within the Kurunegala and Puttlum districts. “Udubaddawa Nisala Nenasala of Sri Indrarama Temple” was presented the Nenasala Pranama Swarna Sammana in appreciation of the dedication and incomparable service rendered by the institute towards uplifting educational, social and economic status of the area.  We were presented with this tremendous award by the  Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology, Honorable Ranjith Siyambalapitiya who was also the chief gust of the ceremony.

Representing the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, chairman Professor P.W. Epasingha, Chief Executive Officer Mr. Reshan Devapura and Head of Communications and Media Mr. Athula Pushpakumara were also present.

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We want to pay our sincere gratitude to those who admired, guided, facilitated and were beside us all throughout our endeavors. Your support was indeed a great catalyst for us to  march towards this glorious achievement.

  • The chief Incumbent of Sri Indrarama Temple, Justice of Peace Most Venerable Kalugalpitiyee Sujatha Thero and the all regional chief incumbents of the Udubaddawa A.G.A. Division. 
  • Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka
    • Nenasala Project Consultant Mr.J.K. Perera
    • Nenasala Project Manager Mr.Gaveshkar Subramanium
    • Nenasala Project Officer Mr.Janaka Perera
    • Nenasala Project Officer MS.Gayani Perera 
  • Sarvodaya Fusion of Srilanka
    • Managing Director of Sarvodaya Fusion Dr. Harsha Liyanage
    • Manager of Sarvodaya Fusion Mr. Isura Silva
    • Deputy Manager of Sarvodaya Fusion Ms. Maithree Malwaththegoda
    • Business Development Officer Mr. Madushan Wejerathna
    • Coordinator for Mobile 4D Mr. Udara Dharmasena
    • Common Service Coordinator Mr. Danesh Maduranga 
  • Sanasa Development Bank of Srilanka
    • Chairman of Sanasa development bank Dr.P.A. Kirivandeniya
    • Branch Manager of Kuliyapitiya SDBL Mr. Prasad Hemantha
    • All the other officers of Kuliyapitiya SDBL branch 
  • Gamos Technology Solutions and Gihan Book Shop of Sri Lanka
    • Managing Director Mr. W.G.T. Fernando 
  • My dear colleagues & dedicated staff of Udubaddawa Nisala Nenasala
    • Deputy Manager Mr. Suranga Niroshan
    • Executive Officer Mr. Nilupul Dananjaya
    • Common Service Coordinator Mr. Asela Fernando
    • Teacher In Charge Mr.Thusitha Kumara
    • Teacher In Charge Mr.Saminda Weerasingha
    • All the English Teachers of Udubaddawa Nisala Nenasala 
  • My Loving Family Members
  • Loving Mother Malkanthi Jayathilaka
  • Loving  Wife Gayani Panawala
  • Loving  Son Thisum Athsara 
  • Udubaddawa Divisional Secretariat Office
    • A.G.A. Mr.D.A. Nayananada
    • Planing Director Mr.Priyangith Abesekera
    • All the staff of Udubaddawa Divisional Secretariat Office 
  • Udubaddawa Pradeshiya Sabawa
    • The Chairman Mr. Raj Sisira Kumara 
  • Deegalla Nenasla Owner
    • Youth Officer Mr. Lal Premasiri 
  • All the students and parents who were with us in the past and are with us in the present.

 

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The Nenasala Felicitation Gold Awards 2013 (Nenasala Pranama – Swarna Sammana) will be held tomorrow (26) at 9 a.m. at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel. The objective of the awards is to give due recognition to the service rendered through the ‘Nenasala’ wisdom outlets, according to the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).
Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya will grace the event as Chief Guest, while owners and operators of Nenasalas set up island-wide will be the recipients of awards at the gala. More than 50 awards will be presented at different levels including the best island-wide, the best province-wise and the best district-wise. A special award, the ‘Professor V. K. Samaranayake Award’, is also among those eyed by the owners and operators of the Nenasala wisdom outlets.
More information could be found via www.nenasalapranama.lk. Currently, 699 Nenasalas have been set up throughout the country.

Source: DailyFT

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Virtusa Corporation, a global IT services company that combines innovation, technology leadership and industry solutions to transform the customer experience, today announced that it is ranked in the 25th annual Boston Globe ‘Globe 100 List’ for the second consecutive year.
Each year, The Globe 100 ranks Massachusetts companies based on how well they increased sales, profits and returns for shareholders in the previous year. Virtusa was ranked number27 on the list, moving up 15 spots from 2012 when it was ranked number 42.
“We are delighted to be recognised for the second consecutive year among Massachusetts’ best performing companies,” said Kris Canekeratne, Chairman and CEO of Virtusa. “The Globe 100 recognition validates Virtusa’s leadership role in helping our clients transform their businesses, improve their consumer experience and launch millennial products and services. Our strong growth is a direct result of the confidence and trust our clients have placed in Virtusa coupled with the extraordinary commitment and dedication of our global account teams who work passionately to accelerate the launch of new products and services.”
The 25th annual Globe 100 honours companies that delivered exceptional financial results during 2012. This year’s list includes Massachusetts’ best-performing companies – organisations that contributed substantially to the resurgence and well-being of the local Massachusetts economy. The list continues to be dominated by the technology, biotechnology and telecommunications sectors.
“As it always has, the Globe 100 list reflects the dynamic nature of business not only in Massachusetts but also the world,” said Steve Syre, Boston Globe business columnist and editor of the 2013 Globe 100 Magazine. “Several companies on this year’s list did not even exist when it debuted in 1989. In fact, it’s quite possible those companies employ people who weren’t even born in 1989.”
As a top-performing Massachusetts company, Virtusa has garnered a reputation for implementing innovative programs and practices in order to engage its Millennials, who make up 86 percent of its global workforce. Virtusa regularly solicits feedback from team members through surveys, hands out monthly and quarterly awards, uses a Communications Framework platform to improve communication between team members and its leadership team, and has built a custom internal social network where Virtusans can interact and collaborate.
The annual ranking of companies appeared in a magazine published in The Boston Sunday Globe on May 19, 2013

Source: DailyFT

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We are delighted to inform our readers that team FireBird, 4 students from IIT (Informatics Institute of Technology) have won 1st place in ‘Samsung Digital Native Award’ at Imagine Cup 2013 in Russia. The team also secured $10,000 in prize money.  Congratulations are in order since its the first time that a team from Sri Lanka have been able to clinch first place in a world final at Imagine Cup!

Full winners list here

amal-stefan-imagine-cup2013Amal Gunatilake and Stefan Udumalagala showcasing at Imagine Cup finals in Saint Petersburg City, Russia. (Image courtesy Microsoft Imagine Cup fb page)

Regarding the project:

Name : I – Chum

Members of the Firebird team – Stefan Udumalagala, Amal Gunatilake, Mohamed Shehan, Kishore Kumar

Project Description

The product i-Chum is a significant leap in enabling the visually impaired helping them to lead a normal and productive life. It provides augmented sensory aids: allowing the visually impaired to experience and comfortably interact with both the physical and virtual environments and animate and inanimate objects within these environments without compromising their safety. i-Chum uses a novel approach to package a combination of sensory techniques together. By connecting the device into a smartphone or tablet PC with Windows 8 OS user has the ability to perform task such as obstacle avoidance and -navigation,object identification and generic reading and writing.

We researched the gaps in the current society where technology could actually be a help to improve the life style. Through the research we found out that even though there are products which have been introduced into the market already, still those products do not cater to a broad range of capabilities.Our team had a brainstorm session and we put our thoughts and knowledge together to come up with a perfect product which does cater wide range of capabilities for the visually impaired people.

“With our product “I-Chum” the visually impaired will no longer be impaired, they could be just as independent and normal as their next door neighbor who has perfect vision.”– Team Firebird

Team Trailer

We managed to capture the full presentation of team Firebird when they presented at the finals in Sri Lanka

 

FirebirdsTeamTeam Firebird in Russia (Image courtesy of Stefan Udumalagala)

 

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zMessenger, Sri Lanka’s award winning integrated mobile media company, gained international recognition as their mobile interactive learning tool ‘Learn English with the British Council’ was selected as a Finalist at the prestigious ‘mBillionth Awards South Asia’.
Out of 209 applicants from the region, zMessenger is the only Sri Lankan company to be selected in the Finalist category of this year’s mBillionth Awards.
zMessenger’s ‘Learn English with the British Council’ is a simplified, interactive medium through which users can test and practice their English language skills through their mobile phone. This unique service allows users to learn conversational English using technologies such as SMS, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Video, by providing essential language learning tips for all levels of learners.
The service then lets British Council language experts to provide feedback to users on their performance. ‘English with the British Council’ is currently offered by Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat and Hutch.
Speaking about the background to ‘Learn English with the British Council,’ CEO of zMessenger Jayomi Lokuliyana stated: “Sri Lanka has always had a high demand for fluency and competency in the English language. English is given much importance in a person’s career, such as at job interviews and promotions, while also building confidence and personality. It plays a big role in general socialising and acceptance in society.”
She added that with such socio-economic factors, learning English or investing in learning is perceived to be an extremely important aspect amongst the general public. “Globally, we are in an era where mobile phones have become widespread among the common man. It is no different here in Sri Lanka with over 20 million mobile users across the island. Therefore, mobile phones have become probably the most effective method of communicating and passing information,” she added.
“It must be noted that the majority of electronic communication takes place in English and hence the knowledge and competency in English is vital. Given this scenario, the ‘Learn English with the British Council’ medium taps successfully into both these key factors and provide a user-friendly, interactive, cost-effective and convenient mechanism for learning English,” she further stated.
zMessenger most recently was selected as the Winner in the ‘e-Learning and Education’ Category at the ‘e-Swabhimani 2012,’ an initiative of the Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) aimed at recognising excellence in digital content creation.
Elaborating further about the product, Product Manager of zMessenger Upekha Abeyratne stated: “‘Learn English with the British Council’ has been able to help people, especially the youth from the cities and rural areas of the country, to learn and improve their English Language skills. 75% of the subscribers are out of Colombo in areas such as Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Ampara, Badulla, etc.”
She added that the product uses very simple methods, using easy to understand content and testing techniques, while the product’s interactive nature has enhanced subscribers’ engagement with the service.
“Most importantly, ‘English with the British Council’ has shifted Sri Lanka’s perception towards the mobile phone from being a mere communication device to a valuable learning platform with remarkable possibilities. Overall, this mobile learning platform has changed the way in which people look at mobile Value Added Services,” she added.
zMessenger will be participating at the final judging of the mBillionth awards night on the 18th July at Nehru Place, New Delhi. Open to all countries in the SAARC region, mBillionth Awards is an integrated platform for recognising innovations in telecom and mobile content, applications and models. The mBillionth Awards acknowledges South Asia as a key hub of the world’s mobile and telecom market in terms of penetration and innovation, and promotes the best of mobile-based implementations in the region.

Source: DailyFT