First In The History Of Apparel & Finance
HNB Launches “Hela Saviya” a one of a kind Banking Proposition for Employees of the Hela Group
Hatton National Bank which has been in the forefront of innovative banking in Sri Lanka for several decades has launched yet another innovative banking solution exclusively for the staff of Hela Clothing. Aimed at strengthening the company’s hard-working staff, the ‘Hela Saviya’ programme aims at offering them banking facilities to realise their aspirations towards a better life.
Traditionally, a garment factory worker would not be considered a credit-worthy customer by a bank. Over the years, HNB has however created a tradition of investing in human capital and supporting the vital cogs of Sri Lanka’s economy. It is a tradition built on the simple philosophy of taking banking beyond transactions.
Today, Hatton National Bank has progressed from being the banking partner of the Hela Group of Companies to becoming the financial partner of the entire Hela Family.
Outlining the aspects of the offering, Thimal Perera, Deputy General Manager – Retail & SME Banking at HNB said, “The ‘Hela Saviya’ programme brings to all employees of the Hela Group, greater access to the products and services of the Hatton National Bank through its extensive branch and ATM network across the country, as well as a large array of offers from partner merchants. On the identification of being a member of the Hela Family, HNB staff at any of our branches across Sri Lanka will accord to them the special facilities available to the Hela Family members.”
This unique banking proposition, unlike any other offered by a bank, includes savings accounts, debit cards, a co-branded credit card, a one-of-a-kind leasing proposition and special rates on personal loans, housing loans and microfinance.
Additionally HNB has brought together industry leaders in their respective fields to bring a truly unique banking proposition for the employees of the Hela Group which will see Abans offering discounts on direct purchases or swipes when purchasing home appliances and electronic appliances, Next Campus offering attractive discounts for a wide range of higher education programmes; Associated Motorways (Pvt) Ltd., offering special rates on cars, three-wheelers and motor cycles which will be financed by either HNB or its subsidiary HNB Grameen.
Hela Clothing is a British owned apparel manufacturing group operating in Sri Lanka for over two decades. They have more than 10,000 employees and manufacture over 100 million units of apparel annually at 13 manufacturing, printing and embroidery plants across Sri Lanka and two factories in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Dian Gomes, an apparel industry veteran who took over as Chairman of Hela Clothing early this year said, “The contribution of the apparel industry worker to Sri Lanka’s economy is unrecognised and unappreciated. They have been sacrificed at the altar of corporations in search of greater profits. Internationally, they are identified as underpaid workers who stitch clothing for developed countries. This should not be the case. We should change these perceptions and attitudes by our actions. We expect Hela Saviya to be a comprehensive programme that will not only strengthen the Hela Family members, but also give them dignity and recognition as key stakeholders of the nation’s economy.”
“Through this programme we are even encouraging them to become entrepreneurs themselves and we will give all the help they need including financing. What’s more, we even give them the know-how so that they can make a strong start,” Thimal Perera added. “All this is done in partnership with the dynamic management of the Hela Group.”
“I always believe that people are the most vital aspect of the equation. Hela Saviya is a programme where we have teamed up with Hatton National Bank to recognise and reward our workforce by empowering them. Hela Saviya is not just about providing loans, leases and credit cards. It is about giving them the freedom to live their lives in a way that befits them, not hampered by deprivation. It is the least they deserve, for the service that they render. We want to give them the opportunity to dream, and have access to resources to make those dreams a reality,” Dian stressed.
“Hela family members who have new business ideas will receive the guidance and know-how of a Gami Pubuduwa Officer at the HNB branch and be eligible to receive assistance under the Gami Pubuduwa Microfinance Scheme for their entrepreneurial activities,” Thimal added. “Another unique feature is debt consolidation where they will be able to convert all their loans from other banks to one consolidated loan with an extended repayment period. This will enable them to concentrate on one loan repayment instead of many.”
Dian Gomes summed up saying, “Hela Saviya is a means of strengthening the apparel industry’s contribution to the national economy.”
Picture shows Dilshan Rodrigo, Chief Operating Officer of HNB handing over the first Hela branded credit card to Dian Gomes, Chairman of Hela Clothing. Also seen in the picture are, (from left to right) Harsha Gunaratne, Managing Director , Hela Clothing, Thimal Perera, Deputy General Manager – Retail & SME Banking, HNB and Ruwan Manatunga, Deputy General Manager – Corporate Banking, HNB.