Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: DFCC Bank Aloka Powers WCIC Prathibhabhisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022
February 13, 2023
DFCC Bank, one of Sri Lanka’s most trusted and progressive banks, was honoured to be the Platinum Sponsor of the WCIC Prathibhabhisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 powered by DFCC Aloka. The Awards ceremony, which recognises the contributions of women entrepreneurs, was held on January 11, 2023. The Chief guest at the event, the President of Sri Lanka, Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe presented the final award and title of Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 to Dr Chandanamali Punchihewa of Genelabs Medical (Private) Limited. She also won the Gold Award in the Large Enterprise Category and the Award for Western Province as well for her dedicated service to the community.
The WCIC Prathibhabhisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards, powered by DFCC Aloka, is an initiative of the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) and aims to recognise the credibility and improve the visibility of outstanding women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka and the wider SAARC region. Over 175 applications were received this year, while 47 inspirational women were recognised and awarded for their exceptional contributions to the economic development of the country and continuous improvement towards their business growth and creating more job opportunities. The awards were presented and decided upon after an independent, holistic assessment of each applicant based on rigorous judging criteria, including face-to-face interviews, with exceptional care taken to ensure transparency, integrity, and accountability. Ernest and Young also evaluated the participants as an independent 3rd party.
Commenting on the partnership, Thimal Perera – Chief Executive Officer at DFCC Bank PLC said, “We’re honoured to have been a part of this worthwhile initiative that recognises the efforts and contributions of women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. At DFCC Bank, we are committed to empowering women and promoting financial inclusivity. Our women-centric banking proposition, DFCC Aloka, is a testament to this commitment and provides women with the financial tools they need to achieve their dreams and aspirations. We also take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Chandanamali Punchihewa and all the winners of the WCIC Prathibhabhisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 including the DFCC Aloka customers who won on the night. Their outstanding contributions to the economic development of Sri Lanka are an inspiration to us all.”
DFCC Aloka is a financial and non-financial platform designed to support the aspirations of women of all ages and all profiles based in Sri Lanka. It offers a range of benefits, including a low initial deposit to open accounts, preferential interest rates for both deposits, loans and lending facilities, free ATM withdrawals, digital banking services, tailor-made financial solutions such as personal and housing loans, pawning facilities, free life insurance and digital health solutions, and rewards for key life milestones. Additionally, it supports women-owned and led businesses through specialised services such as overdrafts, bank guarantees, revolving short-term loans and term loan facilities, with preferential pricing supported by ADB and USAID in the recent past. Our potential and existing customer inquiries or clarifications are supported 24/7 by our staff through the dedicated Aloka hotline in all 03 languages based on their choice of language for convenience and better understanding. Individual consultations for MSME businesses and entrepreneurship support are highly welcome by the DFCC specialised team. The proposition also offers a women-centric branded credit card offering benefits tailored to suit females’ lifestyles and family requirements.
The WCIC Prathibhabhisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 saw a diverse group of accomplished women entrepreneurs recognised for their exceptional contributions to the economic development of Sri Lanka and the wider SAAR Region, including Prativa Pandey of Herveda Botanicals Pvt Ltd (SAARC region and Gold award in SAARC category), Vindya Perera of Brilliant Cuts Pvt Ltd (Young Woman Entrepreneur), Isha Wijeyerathnam of Eco Serene Biotech Pvt Ltd (Outstanding start-up and Silver award in the Small Enterprise Category and the award for the North Western Province), Ruwini Jayarathne of Ruwini Jayarathne Jewellery (Woman of Courage and Gold winner of the Start-Up Category), Nishani Fernando of Manisha Exports Pvt Ltd (Most Outstanding Export Oriented Woman Entrepreneur/Product), and Tania Polonnowitta Wettimuny (Most Outstanding Export Oriented Woman Entrepreneur/Service and joint Silver Award in the Large Enterprise Category).
Commenting on the partnership, Anoji De Silva – Chairperson of WCIC said, “It’s a great honour to have had DFCC Bank Aloka as our Platinum Sponsor,” explaining that “Propositions such as Aloka supports to create new opportunities for female professionals and entrepreneurs through financial and non-financial services relevant to females, and the WCIC Prathibabisheka Awards seek to recognise the exceptional contributions of such women, and so it’s a natural fit. We take this opportunity to thank DFCC bank and congratulate all the winners.”
Standing left to right- Tusitha Kumarakulasingam – Co- Chair WCIC PRATHIBHABHISHEKA/ Board member WCIC, Ramani Ponnambalam- Co-Chair WCIC PRATHIBHABHISHEKA, Thimal Perera- Director/CEO of DFCC Bank PLC, Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe- President of Sri Lanka, Dr Chandanamali Punchihewa- GeneLabs Pvt Ltd and Anoji De Silva- Chairperson WCIC
About DFCC Bank
DFCC Bank is a fully fledged commercial bank with a rich history of 68 years and offers a diverse range of commercial and development banking services. As part of its Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030, the bank aims to become a leading institution that contributes towards greater resilience through the creation of resilient businesses and supporting green financing and sustainable, socially responsible entrepreneurship. The Bank has received numerous accolades, including being named the ‘Most Trusted Retail Banking Brand’ and the ‘Best Customer Service Banking Brand’ in Sri Lanka in 2021 by Global Brands Magazine UK, and ‘Market leader in Cash Management 2021’ by Euromoney. Additionally, DFCC Bank is ranked among Business Today’s Top 40 Corporates in Sri Lanka, is rated A- (lka) by Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited and is regulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. DFCC Bank recognize and support all level of income through segmentation and support requirement from a Minor to a Senior Citizen and Micro level to larger scale entrepreneurs and Retail to large corporates under the theme “Bank for everyone”.
The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is the premier organization supporting entrepreneurs and professional businesswomen in Sri Lanka. Membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization provides. WCIC Prathibhabisheka was relaunched this year as a flagship property, to recognize and reward outstanding Female entrepreneurs who meaningfully contribute towards Sri Lanka’s economy from Micro to large scale business.