Sri Lanka@100 hosted its 1st virtual networking event for its 13 portfolio and 2 associate level companies on the 8th of July 2021. The networking session was held with the objective of fostering enhanced cross-sell opportunities, opportunities to explore partnerships and knowledge-sharing. The vision of the SL@100 team is that by having a curated networking event each quarter, it would enable all our platform companies to benefit from leveraging each other’s areas of expertise thereby allowing them to experience a shared journey of growth. The session was attended by 45 participants along with the USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka, Reed Aeschliman and representatives from NDB Bank including Indika Kudagamage, Assistant Vice President, Business Banking,SME,Micro Finance & Liabilities.
During the event, presentations were made by 3 of our round 1 portfolio companies. For the 1st session UHE Exports and Saaraketha Holdings made insightful presentations introducing their respective businesses, providing an overview of their products and how the SL@100 platform companies can utilize their services or become a partner in any of their new ventures. The “spotlight slot” featured the founder of InsureMe, Vipula Dharmapala who addressed the audience and provided insight in to why he and his business partner Indika Premetunga founded InsureMe, their experiences partnering with Dialog and Stanford university and creating a business model that has revolutionized the insurance industry in Sri Lanka.
USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka, Reed Aeschliman emphasized the vital role networking events such as these create for mid-market firms in these extraordinary times. “The value created by the growth and development of small and medium enterprises is paramount to the trajectory of the Sri Lankan economy. In this regard, the high caliber business advisory services provided by the SL@100 platform will no doubt position the Portfolio and Associate companies to drive accelerated growth over the next few years. With the persistence of COVID-19 taking a toll on the economy and consequently the inability to have in person events, it is important that SL@100 facilitate networking events such as this, that enable the mid-market firms on their platform to foster relationships and partnerships that can drive value for one another”
“Given that most of our platform companies are of a similar size and are at the growth stage, you can leverage each other’s strengths to create value for both parties. Moreover, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a segment your business already operates in, it can be an area your company is looking to expand in to (e.g. new product line), by pooling together your collective resources and leveraging another company’s expertise, it’ll prevent you from having to reinvent the wheel” said Co-founder and Chief of Party of SL@100 Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera.
SL@100 is a private sector-led business development platform that was launched in 2020 with support from the U.S. Government’s development arm, USAID. Its goal is to play an impactful part in making Sri Lanka a high-income country by 2048, i.e., within 100 years of independence. This initiative helps high potential small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to optimize internal operations, enhance product portfolios, access new markets, attract smart capital, and create next-generation businesses. SL@100 also conducts capacity-building events, such as this webinar, which are open to a broader audience of SMEs, entrepreneurs, and young leaders.
This Virtual Network was supported by our funding partner USAID, implementing partner Stax and banking partner NDB.
To find out more about Sri Lanka@100, please visit https://srilanka100.lk/.