Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Kandalama Adjudged Top Winners at the Culinary Awards for the Third Time

29 Jul

Most Outstanding Regional Team & Best Culinary Team – Heritance Kandalama

Most Outstanding Hotel Team – Heritance Ahungalla

Sri Lanka’s premier beach resort Heritance Ahungalla, emerged as the Most Outstanding Hotel Team in Sri Lanka for the third consecutive time after competing against 2500 participants from both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels at the 16th Culinary Art Competition which concluded on Monday. Heritance Hotels dominated the competition with Heritance Kandalama being adjudged the Best Culinary Team and Most Outstanding Regional Team at the competition.

Organized by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka, the culinary competition is part of the industry’s largest food and trade exhibition. Thirty judges from the World Association of Chefs Societies (WAS) officiated at the event. WAS consists of over 10 million chef members from over 91 countries.

Maintaining its reputation for offering the best cuisine in the country, Aitken Spence Hotels won 113 medals including 28 Gold medals which included 5 Excellence Gold medals and the prestigious award for the Most Culinary Team in Sri Lanka.

There were 24 categories for the medals and the Aitken Spence Hotels medal tally displayed the sheer dominance the resort chain’s chefs had over its competitors in the field. Chef Lalith Gunasekera, Consultant Chef/General Manager, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who led the team along with Chef R J Hassim, Corporate Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels and Chef Kasun Premachandra, Executive Chef, Heritance Ahungalla whose continuous training and motivation guided the participants, were jubilant along with the teams from Aitken Spence Hotels who collectively won 13 special awards out of a total of 29 special awards.

The special awards included the following: Best Pastry Chef – Chef Jagath Wjesundara, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Bartender Mixologist & Best Beer Cocktail- Mr. Praveen Sampath Fernando, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice – Chef M R D Fernando, Heritance Kandalama, Most Outstanding Artistic Show Piece – Chef Anil Gunawardane, Heritance Kandalama, Best Plated Appetizer – Chef Manoj Peiris, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Dessert Apprentice – Chef Kaveendra Heshan Balathanthri, Heritance Ahungalla, Best 5 Course Dinner – Chef H H K D Dayananda, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Mocktail – Ms. Lasitha Lakmini, Heritance Ahungalla, Best High Tea – Ms. Mandakini & Mr. Dharmasena, Heritance Kandalama, Best Culinary Team and Most Outstanding Regional Team – Heritance Kandalama, Most Outstanding Hotel – Heritance Ahungalla.

“As in the previous years, I am tremendously proud of the achievements of our team, walking away as the most outstanding hotel, best culinary team, and the most outstanding regional team with 113 medals from a competition such as this is a tremendous achievement. We constantly strive to be the best and are firm believers of ensuring that our future generation is provided with the knowledge required to take on the baton when required”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, Director/Consultant, Aitken Spence Hotels.

“Sri Lanka as a destination, is flourishing and gearing its offering to attract the premium indulgent traveler. Thus it is imperative to deliver the expected products and services in order to cater to our new target audience’s expectations. Aitken Spence Hotels is continuously committed towards reaching new heights and delivering a product or service that exceeds guest expectations. Receiving recognition as the Best Culinary Team is yet another endorsement of our continuous yearn to achieve greater standards. The loyalty, dedication, commitment and teamwork has made this achievement possible and I would like to congratulate the teams on their achievement.” said Mr. Chethiya Perera, Joint Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka from their modest beginnings in 1988 has emerged as the premier professional body of culinary professionals in the hospitality trade.

A platform for recognizing true culinary talents, the competition symbolizes the pinnacle of excellence as hundreds of practitioners in the food & beverage industry in the country gathers to prove their mettle.

Aitken Spence Hotels is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives with a portfolio of hotels in multiple locations in India and Oman. Its range of international award-wining properties, management & culinary expertise and environmental commitment has set industry benchmarks both domestically and internationally.

KIA Project Performance Awards Ceremony at Aitken Spence Technologies

30 Jun

The KIA Project Performance Awards Ceremony was held at Aitken Spence Technologies with the presence of senior dignitaries Dr. Rohan Fernando – Director Aitken Spence PLC and Head of Business Development Division, Vipula Gunatilleka – Director and Chief Corporate Officer Aitken Spence & Managing Director Aitken Spence Technologies, Andrew Perera – Chief Operating Officer KIA Motors (Lanka) and Dhammika Dasa – Chief Operating Officer Aitken Spence Technologies.

The Awards Ceremony was based on the team evaluations which took place after the KIA Project Go-Live in February. The Project was the implementation of the fully integrated Oracle ERP solution which automates the entire process from the quotation up to post sales servicing. The solution is designed to bring Oracle best practices which will streamline KIA processes. The implemented best practice integrated solution to improve efficiency of supply chain and finance operation of KIA.

The Implementation team, comprised of Functional Consultants, Technical Consultants and Database Administrators, was evaluated on members’ knowledge, efficiencies and practice of company values. The evaluation process included a 360° assessment involving the Project Manager, Client and Team.

Silver Level awards were awarded to Sayuru Jayasinghe, Nimesha Muthunayake and Amila Kodithuwakku; while Gold Level award were won by Mayura Kalupahana.

Mohomed Sakaf was awarded with the Diamond Level Award for Best Performing Oracle Consultant.

Dr. Rohan Fernando addressed the gathering emphasizing on the talent and hard work of the team and the readiness to take on future challenges. He commended Aitken Spence Technologies for their exceptional performance and vision to move forward.

Andrew Perera delivered Key Note Address on the ‘Emerging Role of the ERP Consultants’ while Vipula Gunatilleka addressed on the vision of Aitken Spence Technologies moving forward amidst changing times.

Aitken Spence Technologies commences Oracle E-Business Suite R12 Project for Aitken Spence Logistics

22 Jun

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Aitken Spence Technologies together with Aitken Spence Logistics – Sri Lanka’s leading integrated logistics provider has successfully initiated the commencement of R12 Oracle E-Business Suite modules to the Company’s Logistics facility in Mabole, Wattala on the 11th of June 2015.

The Oracle E-Business Suite modules include Warehouse Management, Service Contracts, Depot Repair, Enterprise Asset Management, Inventory, Purchasing and Receivables. The implementation of the R12 Oracle E-Business Suite enables Aitken Spence Logistics to adapt readily to their industry’s ever changing requirements, and enhance their customer satisfaction by providing tailor made solutions; while bringing greater efficiency through streamlined business processes.

Project Steering committee members, Project Managers and Oracle Consultants stated the key objective of the project were highlighted with the Automating of Container Tracking Function (Depot), Container Repair Function, Functions of the Container Freight Station and Asset Management Function. The deployment of system has allowed integrated solution which enables the company to rectify any errors and cater to the changing needs of Aitken Spence Logistics, increasing the customer satisfaction and retention.

Project commencement meeting was held at Aitken Spence Logistics premises with the presence of its project steering committee members; Vipula Gunatilleka Chief Corporate Officer – Aitken Spence Group Ltd & Managing Director – Aitken Spence Technologies, Nilantha Wakwella Managing Director – Aitken Spence Logistics, Dhammika Dasa Chief Operating Officer – Aitken Spence Technologies, A.M.M Amir Vice-President – Aitken Spence Logistics, Fahad Cader General Manager Aitken Spence Technologies, Sharmilal Anthony Assistant Vice-President – Aitken Spence Logistics and Chinthaka Abeykoon Manager for IT – Aitken Spence Logistics were present.

Ajith Ranatunge Audit Manager – Aitken Spence Logistics, Rifkhan Ahamed Senior Oracle Functional Consultant and Anas Marikkar Senior Oracle Functional Consultant were also present.

Aitken Spence Technologies and Aitken Spence Logistics arms of Aitken Spence PLC – Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities has operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

The project is scheduled to go live in January 2016, bringing about efficiencies through optimum usage of Oracle E-Business Suite and further complement its integrated logistics solutions.

Resilient Performance by Aitken Spence Sees PAT up by 6.6% to Rs. 4.9 bn for FY 14/15

25 May

Aitkenspence head office

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its annual financial results for 2014/15 to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday, reporting a profit before tax of Rs 5.7 billion and profit after tax of Rs. 4.9 billion, a growth of 4.9 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively. The diversified Group’s annual revenue rose a marginal 0.7 percent to Rs. 35.3 billion whilst earnings per share declined by 2.5 per cent to Rs. 8.82 for the financial year.

“Although this year has been a difficult year in terms of performance, it must be noted that while riding the wave of external challenges, we have turned inwards to strengthen ourselves to reap the opportunities of the future. We are thus optimistic about the future growth of the Company”, said Aitken Spence PLC’s Chairman, Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena.

“Aitken Spence has recorded another year of resilient performance. Diversification held the Group in good stead in 2014/15, to grow amidst challenging global economic conditions and intense competition”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The revenue of the tourism sector for the financial year grew by 5.1 per cent to Rs. 17.8 billion whilst recording a profit before tax of Rs. 4.2 billion and a profit after tax of Rs. 3.7 billion, a decline of 2.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively, for the year. The decline in tourism sector bottom line was mainly due to the decline in profits from hotels in Sri Lanka and overseas which was primarily attributable to the adverse impacts of the global political and economic climate. The company owns and manages a chain of hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Group’s destination management segment performed remarkably well. Aitken Spence Travels is Sri Lanka’s largest destination management company which during 2014/15, became the first and only company to handle 100,000 tourists to the country within a financial year.

“The coming year will be an exciting one for the sector, as we add Heritance Negombo to our portfolio and also expand capacity at The Sands, Kalutara by 91 rooms. Construction of the RIU Hotel in Ahungalla is well on target and we are excited by the possibilities offered by our partnership with RIU, and its parent company TUI” added J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Annual revenue for the Maritime Logistics sector increased by 3.9 per cent to Rs. 7.7 billion whilst profits before tax increased by 4.3 per cent to Rs. 735 million and profit after tax increased by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 614 million. The Maritime and Logistic sector experienced weaker performances from the freight forwarding and the logistics segments whilst overseas investments performed well.

Strategic Investments sector’s profits surged during the year, with profit before tax swelling by 207 per cent and profit after tax rising by 341 per cent to Rs. 613 million and Rs. 509 million respectively. However, the sector reported a year-on-year decrease of 6.4 per cent in revenue to Rs. 15.2 billion mainly due to the reduction in revenue from the power segment. The sector’s printing and garments segments have reported exceptional performances. The Company expanded the garment sector’s production capacity by up to 40 per cent during the period under review, by commissioning a new environment-friendly production facility in Koggala. The plant was built in four months and will create 750 jobs once in full operation.

The Plantations segment reported outstanding results driven by an efficient diversification initiative. The Power generation segment also showed an increase in profits compared to the previous year due to the sale of two idling power plants which resulted in a lower cost of maintenance.

Services sector reported a revenue of Rs. 1.1 billion for the financial year which was a growth of 15.1 per cent. The sector’s profit before tax stood at Rs 132 million, a decline of 38 per cent compared to the previous year. Profit after tax reported a drop of 52 per cent to Rs. 83 million. Except for insurance, elevators and property businesses, the other segments within the sector recorded disappointing performances. The relatively nascent information technology segment accounted for a significant share of the losses in this sector. The Company has addressed the poor performance by restructuring the company, which is expected to lead to a better performance in the next financial year

With a history spanning 150 years, Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, apparel, financial services, insurance and information technology.

Five Aitken Spence Hotels Enter TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

25 May

Five Aitken Spence properties from Sri Lanka and the Maldives have entered the prestigious TripAdvisor Hall of Fame having being recognized for its consistent high performance in customer reviews. The world’s largest travel site recognized Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year.

Nine Aitken Spence Resorts received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on the travel review site. In addition to the hotels recognized in the Hall of Fame, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara were awarded Certificates of Excellence for its ability to continuously deliver on a superior customer service experience.

“We have always strived for excellence and have nurtured a reputation of exceeding guest expectations. The recognition received by the resorts bear testimony to the exceptional service and memorable experiences that guests receive from our iconic properties. I would like to congratulate the resorts on their achievement and encourage them to maintain the standards set and continue to exceed expectations” said, Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels.

TripAdvisor enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip and offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices. The site’s potential reach is 340 million unique monthly visitors and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

Aitken Spence Hotels manage a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its premier brand in Sri Lanka, Heritance Hotels & Resorts, operates a portfolio of five unique properties in scenic locations across the island while its award winning properties in the Maldives operate under the brand Adaaran Resorts.Adaaran Prestige Vadoo- Over water villa Heritance Tea Factory- Aerial

Sri Lanka’s Highest Yield from New Peacock Estate of Elpitiya Plantations

21 Apr

Executives and staff of New Peacock Estate-1 Copy - CopyMr. Senerath Pahathkumbura, the General Manager of New Peacock Estate and the Mid Country Cluster of Elpitiya Plantations PLC with the New Peacock Estate  Office Team

Aitken Spence Plantations managed Elpitiya Plantations PLC’s New Peacock Estate in Pussellawa recorded the highest ever yield-per-hectare of 3,008 Kgs/ha for the financial year 2014/15 in Sri Lanka for a tea plantation estate with an extent of over 260 ha. The achievement came in spite of the unfavorable weather conditions that prevailed in the region during the last four months of 2014.

New Peacock estate in the mid-country region continues to be one of Elpitiya’s exceptionally performing contributors of its 13 estates.

“Undertaking of best practices in agriculture as emphasized by the management, making available the essential inputs to the tea fields at the right time and the commitment of all executives, staff and workers in the estate made the results possible”, said Senerath Pahathkumbura, the General Manager in charge of New Peacock Estate and the Mid Country Cluster of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.

“In keeping with the policy of the Company,   our prime focus was to retain the workers available on the estate by giving them proper recognition and treating them as partners. To spearhead this acknowledgement across all levels, a number of benefits have been included in addition to the current welfare and social activities undertaken at the estate. Some of these benefits include workers’ name tags provided in all three languages and called by name; as well as uniforms for all workers, transport to workplace, rest rooms at all leaf weighing points with refreshment between meals during the rush cropping months”, added Mr. Pahathkumbura.

“All these measures have motivated the workers to improve their productivity and as a way forward, the Management continues to provide training to the workers in improving their skills and undertakes mechanical plucking and other agricultural works such as pruning, motorized spraying of foliar nutrients and fungicide. We would like to thank all those who have contributed in many ways to achieve the record and highest ever yield”, said Mr. Pahathkumbura.

New Peacock Tea Processing Centre produces approximately 1.2 Mn. Kgs of premium quality CTC teas per annum, and maintains the highest level of food safety standards. The estate is awarded with ISO 22000:2005, Rain Forest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership (ETF) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates, which have attracted the leading buyers’ support at the Colombo tea auctions, based on the merits of its quality.

Elpitiya’s estates are situated in the upper, mid and low country regions of Sri Lanka, cultivating tea, rubber, oil palm and coconut. The Company has a significant stake in Sri Lanka’s only privately-owned palm oil mill and operates several mini-hydro power plants. At the point of takeover by blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence in 1997, Elpitiya Plantations was dependent on tea. The new management embarked on a strategy of crop diversification, efficiency improvement and human resources development for the company’s growth.

New Peacock Estate, Punduloya, Sri Lanka

Aitken Spence Travels surpasses handling 100,000 visitors to Sri Lanka

17 Apr

ToursistAitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s leading Destination Management Company has surpassed the one hundred thousand milestone of handling visitors to Sri Lanka for the financial year of 2014/2015. This is a significant milestone in the Company’s 38-year history.
“We have continued to grow our business year on year and we are delighted with our results” noted Mr. Nalin Jayasundera Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels. “We have shown significant capacity to adjust to the changing market conditions and fuel growth in spite of the lingering economic and geopolitical challenges. With these results, we are confident we will continue to have a major impact on the country’s tourism sector. Based on our numbers Aitken Spence Travels continues to be the highest contributor to the government’s Tourism Development Levy in Sri Lanka from amongst all travel companies” he added. Furthermore Aitken Spence Travels is a significant contributor to our partner hotels by providing 248,000 room nights annually, being the biggest supplier of inventory to the Hotels sector.
This achievement further reinforces the company’s number one position in the destination management business and is another feather in the cap of achievements which includes Aitken Spence Travels being awarded the Presidential award for three consecutive years and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Aitken Spence was the winner of Presidential award for best Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) in Sri Lanka for 3 consecutive years and entered the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project category for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya plantations.
Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE, Shore Excursions for Cruise liners and luxury. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.
Commenting further on this significant achievement Mr. Jayasundera stated “I would like to thank our staff and the management team for their commitment, dedication and hard work in serving more than one hundred thousand clients. I am glad that the creative culture encouraged at Aitken Spence has enabled our staff to be innovative in creating tours to the ever demanding needs of the modern traveler and taking risks in exploring new markets whilst being responsible in all their efforts. I would like to thank our tour operator partners for the continued trust and confidence in us by promoting Sri Lanka as a destination. The support of our Hotel partners, Airline partners, other suppliers and Sri Lanka Tourism need to be acknowledged for helping us reach this milestone”.
Looking further Aitken Spence Travels hopes to continue to strengthen and build its international market position. We will continue to shape the tourism industry, by pioneering in terms of innovation in products and exploring markets, quality of the services offered and exceeding customer expectations.

Heritance Hotels Achieves Travelife Gold Award

18 Mar

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Heritance Hotels, Sri Lanka’s leading chain of resorts, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels is once again in the forefront of sustainability with all hotels in its portfolio being awarded the Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold award. Travelife – the international sustainability certification scheme – assesses a property’s performance in managing social, environmental and economic impacts. The Gold award achieved by Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Ahungalla is a testament to the chain’s deep commitment to sustainability.

Travelife is a practical tool which assists properties to monitor and manage their social and environmental impacts. The scheme which is supported by some of the largest tour operators in the industry helps hotels cut costs and increase sales, by improved sustainability. To gain Travelife Gold certification the hotel must meet the 150 sustainability criteria set by the scheme. This includes environmental issues, such as minimising waste and use of energy, water and chemicals, as well as taking positive action on social issues, such as employee welfare, working with the local community, child protection and human rights. Hotels must display how they are helping to support local businesses and protect local traditions and wildlife.

The Heritance Hotels portfolio underwent a stringent audit process which focussed on energy saving practices, waste management, emission and environmental sustainability principles followed by each Hotel. The audit results are scored on Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the degree of the Hotels commitment towards the environment and locality in which it operates. Achieving Gold status is not an easy feat and it is a remarkable achievement that the entire chain achieved this accolade.

Heritance Hotels, a pioneer in practicing and promoting sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka, has taken numerous initiatives in ensuring that energy consuming assets have been managed effectively and energy conserving technology has been implemented at each resort. Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s leading beach resorts, was the first hotel in Sri Lanka to receive the ISO 50001:2011 certification. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, was the first net metered hotel in Sri Lanka and Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Kandalama were the first in the hospitality industry to utilize a biomass gasifier as a renewable energy source. Apart from the significant systems implemented at the resorts, all resorts use Sewage Treated Plant (STP) water for irrigation and have replaced incandescent lighting with CFL and LED lights.

The 7R recycling program practiced by all resorts in the chain strives for zero waste to the environment. All waste produced is recycled or disposed of with no impact to the environment in which each hotel operates. Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory have in-house green pavilions and eco centers where training is provided to guests and the community on the benefits and importance of recycling and reducing the impacts on the environment.

Heritance Kandalama has been identified as a bio diversity hot spot with surveys revealing that the 170 acres of owned and 50 acres of leased land preserved by the Hotel has 43 species of mammals, 173 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 82 species of butterflies and 125 floral species including trees and climbers.

Heritance Hotels is closely linked to each community it operates in with over 40% of its staff being employed from the local communities. In addition facilities such as the Arts and Crafts center at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara are provided for local craftsmen to showcase their talents and keep traditional crafts alive. This also adds to the local economy by ways of added profits to the community and promotion of local culture.

“We are extremely passionate about practicing social and environmental strategies and it is indeed motivating to be recognised for our achievements in this area. Our team constantly strives to ensure that we keep challenging ourselves and having gone through the stringent audit process it is encouraging to note that we have been benchmarked against other international star performers and have been awarded the highest accolade in the scheme”, said Mr.Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts, the premier brand of Aitken Spence Hotels operate a portfolio of four unique properties in scenic locations across Sri Lanka. Heritance Kandalama was named by The Observer of UK as one of the “Icons of Modern Hotel Design” and Travel + Leisure calls it one of the leading green hotels of the world.  Heritance Tea Factory was voted amongst the “100 Best Places to Stay in the World” by Sunday Times UK and was nominated in the list of “Top 5 Factory Hotels in the World” by The Independent, UK. The chain of hotels has been continuously recognized as a pioneer in sustainable tourism and continuously strives to sustain and innovate processes that reduce the impact of its operation on its surroundings.

Aitken Spence Sweeps 3 Leading awards at HRM Awards 2014

16 Mar
Aitken Spence PLC wins Gold Award and Heritance Kandalama wins Silver Award & Category Award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply

Aitken Spence PLC wins Gold Award and Heritance Kandalama wins Silver Award & Category Award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply

Aitken Spence PLC emerged as a Gold award winner and was listed in the ‘Super Ten’ companies at the HRM Awards 2014 organized by the Association of Human Resource Professionals (HRP) for the sixth time in Colombo recently. It is the only conglomerate to be amongst the winners repeatedly since the inception of HRM Awards in 2002.

HRM Awards, widely considered throughout the industry as the pre-eminent awards in recognising organizations and practitioners with outstanding evidence-based HR management practices has reaffirmed with this testament of recognition, the commitment Aitken Spence places for meeting processes and practices that are on par with globally recognized standards. Heritance Kandalama, considered as Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel, similarly secured a Silver Award and received the category award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply’. Aitken Spence was the only organization to win 3 awards at this year’s awards ceremony.

The Awards’ eminent panel of judges, comprising of prominent local and international HR professionals and industrialists, paid special attention to processes that enhance productivity, promote employee growth and give organisations a competitive, long term advantage in their respective fields of business. The scientifically designed evaluation tool evaluated the best practices of participants against established norms and benchmarks facilitated by Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM, India.

Aitken Spence continues to promote innovative thinking and strategies in HR practices within the organization in alignment with world-class standards. Understanding that employees are the core to the company’s success, the Group continues to incorporate diverse career and leadership opportunities both locally and internationally, enhance employee skills and abilities for both professional & personal growth.

Aitken Spence HR Partners

Aitken Spence HR Partners

“We are honored to be recognized at the HRM awards as one of the best employers in Sri Lanka with world class HR practices. We understand that a team of highly engaged and enabled employees are the key to the company’s success. I am confident we will continue to observe the highest standards of HR practices for the sustained growth of our company” noted J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

“The continual recognition of our HR policies and efforts at the HRM awards is an inspiring indicator that we are moving in the right direction of making Aitken Spence an Employer of Choice. This award will encourage us to continue to create challenging and exciting experiences for our employees, ultimately creating an open and unique work culture that elevates employees to their full potential”, stated Mr. Rohan Pandithakorralage, Chief Human Resource Officer, Aitken Spence Group Ltd.

Further Mr. Pandithakorralage stated “Aitken Spence has a rich history of nearly one and a half centuries. In its journey it has pioneered in to many new industries and continue to be a market leader even today. The success we have had, we see today and we envisage in the future are all attributable to our employees. We at Aitken Spence always go the ‘extra mile and a half’ and we provide an ‘exceptional’ service to all our customers; internal, external, stake holders. It is our DNA and it is our drive. It is how we evolve. We dedicate these successes to our employees of past, present and future.”

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

27 youth complete Aitken Spence School of Hospitality training supported by Care International

27 Feb

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Twenty seven youth from Sri Lanka’s Southern province successfully completed their first section of hotel industry training by the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality. Commemorating the event, an award ceremony was held on the 13th of February 2015 for the handing of certificates. The training for the students were financially supported by CARE International while all resource personnel and logistical support for this endeavor was provided by Heritance Ahungalla.

As part of a joint initiative between CARE International and Aitken Spence School of Hospitality; the three-month training programme was aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for underprivileged youth. The course module designed as per ILO Certified Standards and incorporated by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management is registered with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission. The training will be followed with industry placement at the Aitken Spence Group of Hotels, thereby giving students the opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience.

Student K.L. Dimuthu Madushan received the award for the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ of the batch. Dimuthu also bagged the award for the ‘Best Student – Food and Beverage Services (Theory)’ while D.S.S.K Silva obtained the award for the ‘Best Student – Food and Beverage Services (practical)’ category. S. A. Nilushika Udayangini received the award for ‘English Language’.

To mark the occasion for the handing of certificates, Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone Assistant Vice President, Human Resources /Training & Development of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements, Mr. Refhan Razeen Executive General Manager- Heritance Ahungalla, Mr. Gregory Brady Country Director, CARE Sri Lanka, Ms. Lahari de Alwis CARE SL Private Sector Manager, Ms. Shivani Fernandez CARE SL Senior Programme Coordinator, Sujeewa Jayamanne Country Representative Diageo -Faculty and Resource Personnel were present together with the staff from both Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Heritance Ahungalla alongside with the students’ parents.

Elaborating on the benefits of the training; Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone, stated, “An opportunity has been provided for a new generation of people. The hospitality industry is important for the future of Sri Lanka and is one of the largest contributing employers to the economy. This sector provides opportunities globally and these students have now received the foundation for it. If one works with honesty, commitment, discipline together with a genuine desire to improve one’s self, then anything is achievable”.

Since its inception in 2007, a total of four hundred youth have benefited from the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality programme; with this being the 10th batch of students to successfully complete it. The initiative also placed special priority on encouraging female youth, in hope to boost and promote further female employ ability in the tourism sector.

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