Recognizing the immense potential SMEs have in the Export category, and with the aim of strengthening the economy of the country further, Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, conducted an export-oriented workshop for Small and Medium Enterprise owners in partnership with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Whilst due attention is paid to SMEs in general, Seylan Bank aims to go beyond the usual boundaries and focus strongly on the export potential of this sector. According to the International Finance Corporation, the SME sector, with over one million SMEs, accounts for 75% of all businesses, making up a large part of Sri Lanka’s economy. Furthermore, around 45% of employment in Sri Lanka relies on effective functioning of SMEs. Within this context, many SMEs in the manufacturing sector, majority being indirect exporters, are interested in entering the export market, but the knowledge gap they have about export related functions and planning of financial elements, deprive them from doing so. Seylan Bank, with its expertise and knowledge about the sectors, can guide and mentor the budding exporters to tap into the export market successfully. This support and encouragement is set to boost both the SME and Export sectors and thereby strengthen the national economy further by creating more avenues for foreign earnings.
The workshop discussed important topics including export audit, market research, and market access, as well as helped SMEs plan the export journey and build a comprehensive export strategy to enter the global market. In addition, the session educated the participants about payment methods and risks of international trade while introducing the relevant financial services available at Seylan Bank. The workshop was facilitated by Upul Dassanayake – Director/ Co-founder of VSSL Global Pvt. Ltd., an International Consultant, Corporate Trainer, C-level Executive Coach and Lecturer with over 20 years of experience along with senior banking officals from Seylan Bank.
“Seylan Bank understands that SMEs form the backbone of our economy. While working towards further developing the sector, we also identified the potential for exports. Our SME market manufactures some specialized products, which if mentored and guided, can be developed to the next level. Our workshops will help them transform their business and help capture the export market with insights, knowledge and most importantly, the financial solutions that can enable them in their journey,” stated Ranil Dissanayake, Assistant General Manager – Branch Credit at Seylan Bank.
The Bank’s contribution towards enabling SMEs has been a long-term commitment, which has been amplified in the past few years. Seylan Bank was ranked as the 3rd largest contributor amongst private banks, when considering the SME sector during the pandemic and is recognized for its credibility and wealth of experience in providing relevant financial solutions through understanding the holistic need of different segments. ‘Oba Paa Nagana’, the Bank’s signature programme that features SMEs sharing their experience about the challenges and opportunities throughout their journey to success, was a widely appreciated initiative that motivated the SME sector through turbulent economic times and is currently on its second season. `