Seylan Bank recently re-defined the concept of savings, in an initiative hitherto not seen in Sri Lanka’s banking and financial services industry, by literally ‘dropping’ Rs. 1 million from the skies and parallely supported by a door-to-door campaign.
On Saturday 22 October helicopters hovered over different parts of Sri Lanka and dropped thousands of coupons with special serial numbers and individualised barcodes to an eager public below. On the same day, over 3000 staffers from Seylan Bank’s 131 branches all over Sri Lanka embarked on a door-to-door campaign distributing similar coupons.
This initiative drew great attention from the public of Sri Lanka and produced lucky winners whose tickets matched the winning numbers drawn on ITN the following night. Among them were P.M. Dissanayake of Avissawella, K. K. Swarnamala from Weliweriya, G.A.J.N. Dilrukshi of Anuradhapura, M.P.M.M. Haseem of Pelmadulla and A.J Mary Seetha of Puttalam.
On the day of the promotion Seetha came as usual from her home in the Rambawewa village to the Andrew School in Puttalam Town for a pre-school training session.
It was a long trek of half an hour from Rambawewa to the main road and then 30 minutes in a bus to town. “During the break we came into the garden. We heard the sound of the helicopter and saw tickets floating downwards like butterflies. A few fell into the garden and I got one. My son Suranjan (14) was very excited and thrilled. He was the most enthusiastic about this. We don’t have a TV set at home so the following night he and I went next door to watch the draw. And we won! It was unbelievable and like a dream come true,” she said. Seetha’s husband Abeysinghe is a farmer. She has two other sons Mahesh (19) and Hashan (17) and a daughter Hashini (07). Outlining her plans she said, “I first opened an account with the Seylan Bank. I used a bit of the money to repay some loans. I plan to buy an organ for Suranjan since he is musically talented and was the most enthusiastic about this. Yes, gifts for my other children and some money for my husband’s parents and mine, and the balance will go into an FD. Thanks to the Seylan Bank my family and I are today richer by one hundred thousand rupees,” she says gratefully.
Haseem, who runs his own motorbike repair shop on Balangoda Road in Pelmadulla Town had the winning ticket literally brought to his feet by Saman. Apart from being one of Haseem’s regular customers, Saman also works at the Seylan Bank’s Pelmadulla Branch and gave his friend three tickets that day as part of the door-to-door campaign. “I have never won this kind of thing before and so I didn’t have much interest in this either. We usually go to bed very early so my family missed the draw. I too missed the draw since I worked late into Sunday night. On Monday morning Saman came again, this time with a list of the winning numbers. We were both shocked and thrilled that I had won.” A father of five, he said that he plans to deposit the full amount with the Seylan Bank and take a loan to renovate his house. “I am now a loyal customer of the Seylan Bank Pelmadulla Branch and wish to thank its active, young and motivated staff for its excellent service.”
Seylan Bank’s General Manager and CEO Kapila Ariyaratne said that this initiative was yet another example of the Bank’s promise to deliver greater value to its customers by constantly introducing newer and innovative value propositions. He said, “This was, in fact, the precursor to Thagi Pita Thagi, our revolutionary rewards scheme which has now emerged as one of the most acclaimed and sought after, in the local financial services industry. We are totally committed to serve our thousands of current and future customers across Sri Lanka with more exciting products. Furthermore, as the Bank with a Heart we’re looking forward to welcoming all our fellow citizens to be a part of the rapidly expanding Seylan family.” Says Seylan Bank Chairman Eastman Narangoda stated, “We’re encouraged with the outcome of this promotion. Being revolutionary and one of a kind, it successfully galvanised the attention of the Sri Lankan public from all walks of life. Apart from its intrinsic hype and excitement, it also successfully communicated the message of the savings habit and importance at all times. Seylan Bank has always paid great importance to the savings habit, both among the young and the old.”