LOLC leaps to top 10 in Most Respected Firms List (Daily Financial Times (Sri Lanka))

Lanka ORIX Leasing Company (LOLC) has leaped a significant five notches to reach the top 10 in the latest edition of LMD’s Most Respected entities in Sri Lanka. LOLC is recognised by the magazine as one of the ‘movers and shakers’ in the 2015 list.

Commissioned and conceptualised by LMD, and conducted by a leading Research Company, A C Nielsen, the ranking of the 11 most respected entities was based on the views of 800 businedfhss leaders such as chairpersons, managing directors and CEOs.

This year’s edition of the Most Respected bears testimony to the can-do corporate spirit. The final rankings were compiled, taking into account key factors such as professional management, good financial performance, size of the organisation, innovative nature, diversification, social responsibility, service standards and contribution to developing the national economy.

The magazine reports that LOLC was highly regarded among the Most Respected entities for its financial performance. It reiterates that the group’s revenue exceeded Rs. 45 billion in the 2014/15 financial year while profit after tax more than doubled – to register Rs. 6.3 billion.

LOLC also acquired a 60% stake in a Cambodian microfinance entity – Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC) for $ 20.3 million. It has also invested in two properties in the Maldives, to expand its leisure footprint. The conglomerate made a notable entry to the top 10 for the first time this year, when some multinational companies lost their footing, falling drastically in the list.

Sixty-eight listed companies make the cut in the 2015 edition of the Most Respected, followed by 47 private entities, 22 multinationals and 11 state-owned enterprises. As for sector preferences, conglomerates, food and beverage entities, and the banking sector continued to be the most favoured, with nearly a quarter of the Most Respected organisations in the island coming from within the ranks of diversified businesses.

The special annual edition notes that investors, financiers and consumers across the world are making greater demands from corporates to adopt responsible and ethical business practices.

Honesty, after all, is a key measure of respect, states the Most Respected edition which has keenly analysed transparency, commitment to ethics, honesty, mutual trust and equality in its evaluation process. Integrity and internal honesty are key indicators of an ethically managed company. Smart marketing, alone, will not deliver corporate respect. Therefore, corporates that are better attuned to uplifting ethics and values will outperform others in the longer term, underscored the magazine.

In an exclusive interview with LMD’s Most Respected entities Edition, LOLC Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Kapila Jayawardena noted that honesty and ethics take on even more weight for financial services entities. Respect has to be earned; it can’t be bought. Companies wishing to be successful have to work hard to prove themselves to their stakeholders and their peer groups; shortcuts won’t do, he added.

From a leading financial services provider, to the largest non-banking financial institution, LOLC is today one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in Sri Lanka. Its portfolio is broadly categorised as financial services and non-financial services encompassing leisure, plantations, agri-inputs, renewable energy, construction as well as manufacturing and trading. Backed by the two overseas investments in Cambodia and Myanmar, LOLC plans to expand its international presence and actively pursue new opportunities in the region.