LOLC Group is the fastest growing and one of the most profitable conglomerates in Sri Lanka with assets growing by over 200% since 2008/9 financial year following strategic diversification into leisure, construction, technology, agriculture and renewable energy.
LOLC began as the pioneering leasing company in Sri Lanka as a joint venture with Orix of Japan.
With the end of the war, the Group in addition to further expanding into financial services such as insurance and stock broking and making aggressive inroads to microfinance to become the dominant player, made a timely foray into leisure, construction and agriculture, which are identified as high growth sectors.
Today LOLC Group’s interests spans sectors of finance, agriculture, trading, construction, fisheries, transport, manufacturing, leisure, tourism, education, information technology, power and energy, project development, real estate, plantations and motor repairs and services.
More importantly the Group has extensive presence in the north and east, which has begun to blossom after the end of the conflict. With its new structure as a holding company, LOLC Group is poised to give leadership to the post war development in the country.
On financial services it works with several multilateral and bilateral donor agencies such as World Bank, ADB, OPEC, European Investment Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, USAID, Netherlands Development Finance Company, French Development Agency Group, DEG and GTZ of Germany, Finnish Development Finance, Belgium Investment Organisation, Export Development Corporation of Canada.
“Sri Lanka is on the threshold of economic prosperity with new opportunities beckoning from north and east of the country as well,” LOLC Group Managing Director and CEO Kapila Jayawardena said. This is also reflected in LOLC Group’s massive 485% growth in pre-tax profits in the first nine months of 2010/11 financial year.
“LOLC has been able to grow substantially by breaking new ground in profit diversity with vigorous implementation of initiatives taken in developing core business, as well as embracing the quest for new opportunities,” he added.
LOLC invites Indian companies to be part of this upturn in Sri Lanka. Kapila is of the firm belief that there are three strong reasons why Indian companies should look at Sri Lanka.
“For India, Sri Lanka is the friendliest neighbour in addition to having strong political and cultural linkages,” explained Kapila, who prior to joining LOLC was the Country Head and CEO of Citi for nine years.
“Given the strategic location, Sri Lanka could be for India what Hong Kong is to China,” he said, adding that Indian companies could strategically harness the growing potential in Sri Lanka with the country being positioned and developed as hubs for maritime, aviation, commercial, energy and knowledge.
“Another propelling reason is that post-war Sri Lanka is very much open for business. Already Sri Lankan corporates are riding on an unprecedented growth wave with many opportunities unfolding,” he added.
Kapila emphasises that Sri Lanka saw a high growth in Indian investments following the landmark Free Trade Agreement between the two countries and the second wave is likely when the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) comes into effect.
“Sri Lanka is also the most beautiful destination for tourists and most peaceful for business traveller in South Asia,” Kapila said, adding that for a growing number of Indians, Sri Lanka has become a favourite leisure and shopping destination.
It is to better serve the growing need that LOLC Group’s leisure arm is building a mega convention centre with capacity for 1,000 people within close proximity of its three resorts in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The Group portfolio includes Eden Resort and Spa, Riverina Beach Resort and Tropical Villas.
Kapila says given quicker and multiple air connections from India to Colombo, Sri Lanka is ideal for meetings, conventions and incentive travel. “We have seen tremendous growth in the MICE tourism and post-war the inquiries have increased considerably,” he added. (Source: Economic Times)