LOLC Micro Credit Ltd. (LOMC) – the Micro Finance Company of the Lanka ORIX Leasing Company PLC. (LOLC), held its inaugural Isuru Diriya Sisu Upahara Scholarship Awards Ceremony at its Head Office today. The event was attended by the Hon. Minister of Education, Minister Bandula Gunawardhana as the Guest of Honour and distributed the gifts among the students.
Deputy Chairperson of the LOLC Group Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara; Executive Director of the LOLC Group, Mrs. Kalsha Amarasinghe; the Group Managing Director, Mr. Kapila Jayawardena and Director and CEO of LOLC Micro Credit Ltd., Mr. Ravi Tissera were amongst the distinguished guests gathered at the event.
The exceptional exam results obtained by P.M Navanjana Pabasari from Chilaw, G.K.G.C Dilshan De Samarasinghe from Aralaganwila and R.D Supunsara Dissanayake from Nikaweratiya were among the 27 students recognized and rewarded at the ceremony.
Isuru Diriya Sisu Upahara is the chief CSR initiative of LOMC, where it felicitates and supports exceptional educational achievements of students showcased at the recently concluded Grade 5 Scholarship Examination. Children of LOMC customers – mainly comprising of rural based farming and entrepreneurial communities of the SME and Micro sectors – are felicitated making this an extra special event. Prior to the exam, Divulapitiya Isuru Diriya Centre organized a special scholarship exam preparatory seminar for the children of the community as its CSR initiative.
Director and Chief Executive Officer of LOMC, Mr. Ravi Tissera sharing his views on the scholarship awards ceremony said,“ Isuru Diriya Sisu Upahara is our first step towards developing the communities that we serve. By supporting the educational needs and skills of children at the grass root level, we hope to take our CSR initiative a step further. Although it is a first to LOMC, our parent company is not new to the education sector. LOLC is already involved in providing Business English and IT education to the rural masses. Similarly, we want to invest in bringing the children of the communities we serve to the forefront of the country’s development process.”
The fruitful journey of LOMC began a year ago when it partnered with the internationally triple rated FMO – The Netherlands Development Finance Company – supported by the Dutch Government. To support the entrepreneurial interests that were emerging from the grass root communities of Sri Lanka, LOMC was granted with an impressive US$ 10Mn financial assistance by FMO. As LOMC’s micro credit portfolio demonstrated a successful growth in the ensuing months, other well respected multilateral agencies in the international development sector such as, the Triodos Bank-Netherlands, Symbiotics-Switzerland and Triple Jump-Netherlands also united with LOMC to strengthen its services further and to provide expertise on sustainability measures.
Commenting on LOLC’s foray into the micro finance services, the Group Managing Director Mr. Kapila Jayawardena said, “In 2003 we stepped into fill the void for micro credit by financing solar systems for rural Sri Lankan homes that were not connected to the main grid. From this initial start, LOLC reached into the very heart of the country penetrating into innermost rural communities. The company saw great potential in developing and sustaining the entrepreneurial interests that were emerging from this sector which were not initially supported by the formal financial sector at the time. As a result, LOMC came into being in 2009.”
As LOLC’s micro financing services displayed an immense growth, the relationships built with the communities also strengthened over the years. As a business expansion strategy LOMC Isuru Diriya Centres (IDC) were set up consequent to the strategic partnership established between LOLC and Sri Lanka Post, to offer micro credit services to rural communities situated at interior locations around the country. With a vast network of over 600 Post Offices and over 3,000 Sub-Post Offices located across the island, Sri Lanka Post has given LOMC the opportunity to reach the rural masses around the country. Cementing its success, LOMC recently opened its 50th IDC outlet in Bingiriya with rapid expansion plans intended in the ensuing months.