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JAT Holdings PLC signs MoU with HDFC Bank to empower woodcraftsmen and professional painters in Sri Lanka

JAT Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka’s trusted leader in finishing and furnishing, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank of Sri Lanka (HDFC) in an effort to strengthen the organization’s ‘JAT Pinthaaroo-Shilpee Abhiman’ programme, which provides training and apprenticeships to woodcraftsmen and professional painters across the country. The signing took place on the 06th June 2022 at the JAT auditorium, in the presence of officials from JAT Holdings PLC, HDFC Bank and the National Apprentice Industrial Training Authority (NAITA).

With the aim to uplift the level of skill and professionalism of woodcraftsmen and professional painters while elevating current industry standards, the ‘JAT Pintharoo-Shilpee Abhiman’ programme, conducted in partnership with NAITA, allows aspiring woodcraftsmen and professional painters to participate and obtain an NVQ Level 3 Certification on the correct and professional methods used for painting; with all expenses borne by JAT Holdings PLC.

JAT’s collaboration with HDFC Bank will further expand the programme’s offering, allowing its participants to obtain credit facilities for work-related matters and receive financial awareness education training from bank representatives, which will further improve their business acumen and skills. The ‘JAT Pintharoo-Shilpee Abhiman’ programme also stands as a unique, industry-first initiative which strengthens the financial credibility of woodcraftsmen and professional painters,who traditionally do not have access to official credit facilities to further their business interests.

Commenting on the collaboration, Aelian Gunawardene – Founder & Managing Director of JAT Holdings PLC stated, “JAT Holdings is proud to make history by further adding value to the ‘JAT Pinthaaroo-Shilpee Abhiman’ programme together with HDFC, with the aim of financially empowering the painters  of Sri Lanka. Training painters to be professionals was the basic premise on which I started JAT nearly 30 years ago. As a responsible corporate citizen, it is vital that we step forward to enhance the skill levels and create competent youth who can take the country forward. Once these skilled individuals have access to credit facilities, they will have the opportunity to grow their business like never before, further elevating the current playing field in Sri Lanka.”

Wasanthi Manchanayake – Chairperson of HDFC Bank commented, “At HDFC, one of our objectives is to empower Sri Lankans with low financial capacities in rural communities, including SMEs and the self-employed. The Bank financially empowers thousands of SMEs and micro rural entrepreneurs, providing them with much-needed access to funding to finance their business goals and realise their dreams. The partnership with JAT Holdings aligns with this objective and we are hopeful that the woodcraftsmen and painters will take advantage of this opportunity to boost their businesses.”

Wasantha Guneratne – Director – Sales & Technical of JAT Holdings PLC said, “As daily wage earners, most woodcraftsmen and painters do not have access to official credit facilities needed to support their business growth and some of them miss out on lucrative business opportunities. The main objective of this programme is to support and enhance the economic standing of these individuals to become qualified professionals in the industry, thereby creating a new entrepreneurship culture and empowering them to avail themselves of future opportunities in the construction industry.”

As an outcome of this initiative, painters who receive JAT’s recommendation will have the opportunity to receive loans  and design a credit delivery mechanism and loan recovery system. The loans can be utilized to purchase their painting equipment and working capital requirements. As part of the agreement, participants can take part in knowledge sharing training, capacity building, entrepreneurship development, financial literacy, credit clinic and recovery programmes on a periodical basis and improve their financial prudence and business acumen.

Since its founding in 1993, JAT Holdings has established itself as a market leader in Sri Lanka for wood coatings and as one of the country’s most promising conglomerates. This is further attested to by accolades such as being ranked amongst Sri Lanka’s ‘Top 100 Most Respected Companies’ by LMD for four years consecutively and also ranking among the ‘Top 20 Conglomerate Brands’ by Brand Finance. Up until last year’s IPO, JAT Holdings was the only privately held company in Sri Lanka to receive the coveted Moody’s ICRA ‘A+ Stable’ rating for five years consecutively. Furthermore, Sayerlack has been recognized among the ‘Top 100 Most Valuable Consumer Brands’ in Sri Lanka in the Brands Annual 2022 list by LMD.

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