Supermarkets, suppliers boosting Sri Lanka’s Cargills banking business

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Cargills Bank has said the extensive network of supermarkets and small and medium enterprise supply chain of its group entities has yielded advantages for its banking business rivals do not have.

“The central pillar of our growth strategy is built out of the substantial retail network of over 380 Cargills Food City outlets across the island,” its chairman Louis R Page told shareholders in the bank’s annual report.

“Cargills Bank continues to leverage the extensive Cargills Food City footprint to connect and engage with customers on a scale and format that is completely unprecedented in the arena of retail banking in Sri Lanka.”

Page said the trust and goodwill of the Cargills brand is also opening up “innovative synergistic opportunities” for the integration of related supply chains within the umbrella of Cargills Bank.

Cargills Bank Managing Director Rajendra Theagarajah said the SME sector stands as the bank’s fastest growing segment.

Loans to the SME sector expanded by a substantial 86 percent to 6.26 billion rupees in 2019 from a year ago.

“The strategy of Cargills Bank in relation to SMEs is unique in that we place a particular emphasis on identifying and supporting community-based businesses with the potential to grow over time into large corporate,” Theagarajah said.

“The ownership structure of Cargills Bank helps to further reinforce our position as a uniquely SME-oriented bank where the parent’s extensive SME network, enables increased cash flow to the sector for mutual benefit – for clients, the Bank and the Cargills Group thus delivering greater opportunities for supply chain connectivity.”

Theagarajah said that given its relative size, Cargills Bank knows it will not be able to compete purely on traditional, volume-based approaches to business.

“Instead while offering a fully-fledged suite of banking products and services, each has been finely tuned to meet the unique needs of our customers, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid. By linking them to the wider business of the Cargills Group, we are able to drive sustainable value creation in a manner that no other bank in Sri Lanka can.”

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