Pan Asia Bank steps up to empower SME sector via webinar

Saturday, 12 November 2022 00:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Pan Asia Bank recently held a webinar on a timely topic ‘Overcoming the Crisis – for businesses’ in association with the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. 

It was conducted by renowned speaker Nirmal De Silva and was chiefly targeted at its SME customers around the country. 

As the Best SME Bank in Sri Lanka for 2022, this was yet another valuable initiative by Pan Asia Bank to empower the SME community to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis. As the backbone of the economy, SMEs play a crucial role in keeping the engine of the economy ticking.

Assistant General Manager – Branch Credit Nimal Rathnayake said: “The SME sector is the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy. During these turbulent times we need to inspire and support SMEs more than ever before. Through this SME webinar we aim to continue to strengthen our support for SMEs in a way that actually fulfils their immediate business needs.”

Some of the key insights that emerged at the webinar were that SME need to look at their business model and see how agile and adaptable it is to adverse economic conditions. 

Moreover, despite the challenges, SMEs need to maintain marketing efforts without reducing them to focus on their customers, to engage with them and to communicate their value propositions.

In the effort to recover from the crises, collaboration and a partnership approach will be key and it is important to work together at an industry level to overcome present and future challenges. However, within this turbulent environment, there will also be new opportunities that emerge – and SMEs need to be innovative and vigilant to capitalise on evolving opportunities.

All participants in the webinar agreed that cash flow management was key, along with prioritising expenditure and managing the supply chain. 

Ginimandawala Fiber Mills Proprietor Nihal Karunaratne is engaged in processing mixed coconut fiber in bale form for the export market. He is a longstanding satisfied customer of Pan Asia Kuliyapitiya Branch who had been enjoying a package of attractive facilities. He participated in the SME webinar and had this to say:“Growth of SMEs has become necessary in the current context of a higher economic growth since SMEs represent more than 90% of the business in the country. Conducting this kind of webinars to examine entrepreneurs’ current situation and their financial requirements is a good initiative. It motivates us to survive and expand the business during this economic crisis.” 

Another customer, a client of Pan Asia Bank Dam Street Branch Krishnamoorthy added: “I'm extremely grateful to have been a part of Pan Asia Bank’s SME Empowerment webinar. It was a really good opportunity to learn about the business strategies they could assist us with in our daily business. The professor was very humble and elaborated marketing and cost cutting strategies in a very easy manner. 

“I would like to thank Pan Asia Bank’s Dam Street branch for inviting me to this webinar which involved both customers and the bank’s management team.  PABC has always welcomed us with open hands to support their customers in order to continue and strengthen the relationship.”