Archive | September, 2011

GOING UP!

17 Sep

The many lengthy global partnerships that cut across various industries characterize Aitken Spence as a diversified business group. It is no doubt a testament to its reliability and corporate ethics. Aitken Spence Elevators, which represents Otis in Sri Lanka, is an ideal example of such a strategic relationship which has created value for all its stakeholders for over two decades.
Otis is the number one brand fro elevators, escalators and people moving equipment in the world. The company is a division of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), which is a Fortune 500 company. The partnership between Otis and Aitken Spence goes back to 1989, when the Group first acquired the agency.
From 1989, Aitken Spence Elevators grew from strength to strength: recording a year on year growth due to strong customer relationships and excellent service standards. The company won numerous prestigious contracts such as the provision and installation of elevators for the World Trade Centre, the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the Bandaranayake International Airports and the International Convention Centre in Hambantota. These elevators and escalators stand testament to the superior quality of Otis
One easily observes that the management team of Aitken Spence Elevators counts some of the best talent and experience in the industry, which has inspired confident amongst its stake holder. The Managing Director, Mr. Gihan Salgado emphasizes the fundamental factor of sustained growth in the company, “We have no labour issues and we work together as a family.”
It is remarkable to note that Aitken Spence Elevators’ talent pool consists of several engineers who have been with the company for twenty to thirty years. The low turnover levels of the staff displays the commitment and the positive work environment that prevails in the company.
In recognition of the substantial contribution made by Aitken Spence Elevators as its representatives in Sri Lanka, Otis decided to hold its South Asia Pacific & Gulf Area Managing Directors regional conference in Sri Lanka in 2010. The event brought together the leadership of Otis in the region and they witnessed a special address by the Deputy Chairmen & Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. J M S Brito.
In the future, the company hopes to expand its operation: by restructuring sales, in order to cope with the expected upsurge in the market, which is largely due to the anticipated construction growth in the country. Aitken Spence Elevators is hopeful for the future, saying that the company has everything going for them right now, excellent guidance from the Board and Otis, which is helping staff who perform as a team.

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Licensed to Manage

7 Sep

Originally a 64-hour Management Development Programme, developed in the early 1950s, in Japan, by an American Airforce commander, the MTP programme being taught today is the result of several revamps of the course contents, which have taken place over the decades. Already a common human resource development tool in many large Japanese corporations such as Japan Tobacco, Juki and Sharp, the programme is fast becoming popular in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, where it is being dissipated by Aitken Spence .

MTP’s main philosophy is that it teaches people to manage scientifically with a respect to humanity and can be broken down into 5 key areas, encompassed under the following:
1) The importance of improving and reformation of work, for sustainability
2) Highlights the importance management of work: planning, directing, controlling and coordination
3) Importance of developing subordinates
4) Training people in building trust in relationships
5) Training people in leadership skills

Since 1999, Aitken Spence has trained close to 2,000 people, in Sri Lanka, of which 1,400 have been from within the Group and the rest have been from Sri Lankan corporates, the Sarvodaya movement, Holy Family Convent teachers and administrative staff, and the graduates/undergraduates of Ruhuna and Colombo universities. The group has even trained competitors through the program conducted for the Employer’s Federation of Ceylon. In fact, Aitken Spence has even translated the programme into Sinhalese, for which it also holds the rights.

Within the Group, this programme is treated as a form of license to manage and leaders are strongly encouraged to follow the programme when picked. In fact, Upul Peiris, COO of Adaaran Resorts, Maldives, who was once of the first participants when the programme began in 1999 is not only a firm believer in the philosophy of MTP, but has made it his top priority to ensure that his senior management team is well-versed in its philosophies as well.

Upul says that the programme has not only helped build up his team’s confidence, but it has made them results-oriented and more determined to achieve the organisations goals. For, in the past year, Maldives profits have reached a record high, a factor Upul is quick to contribute to the effects of MTP training.

The programme itself has achieved such phenomenal results that Dr. Zulfer, the Minister of Tourism and Art & Culture of the Maldives has requested a training for her staff.