India Outbound Magazine Interviews BMICH CEO

Thu, 28 Apr 2022 Press Releases

As outbound travel from India revives after a pandemic-enforced closure, most market experts are pointing towards Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Expositions (MICE) and weddings as being the drivers of growth in the immediate future. And in this segment, Sri Lanka is pitching itself as the first and the best choice for a variety of reasons. Proximity, low cost and a cultural connection are only a few of its advantages.

Adding to these, the BMICH in Colombo combines its mammoth size and immense flexibility to make it the venue of preference for MICE or wedding groups of sizes varying from a few dozens to a few thousands. In an interview with India Outbound magazine Sunil Dissanayake, CEO of BMICH outlines the importance of India as a market and the key USPs of Sri Lanka and the convention centre that would attract Indian customers.

What are the key facilities that BMICH offers for MICE and Weddings?

We are a sophisticated world class venue with 22 indoor and 10 outdoor venues. We do everything that a hotel does. From a dinner for two to a banquet for 2,000. We cater to all types of events and we are very specialized in what we do. We have facilities for simultaneous translations to seven languages and all our other audio visual and technological systems are very up to date which cater to global events.

Who are you competing with and what are your competitive advantages?

We compete with the rest of the region as a MICE destination. All the South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh & Maldives and the other SAARC countries. Also the far eastern countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. We are a purpose built facility with spacious landscaped gardens, with close proximity to India.

We sit on 38 acres of landscaped gardens and we call ourselves an urban forest with our tree laden gardens. In terms of the competitive advantage we are very cost effective, with our pricing, when compared with similar facilities elsewhere in the region. Especially for India, it’s more cost effective, because we are a lot cheaper and you get more for your foreign exchange of Indian currency. We pay about LKR.3 for an INR.1 That is also an advantage for our Indian clients.  It’s my personal view that it is cost effective to the Indian clients to come over to Sri Lanka and hold your conferences, weddings and events here rather than travelling from Delhi to Chennai or to other parts of India, which may be more expensive than coming to Colombo.

Just before the pandemic we hosted the Suzuki Maruti All India Conference and the Award Ceremony here at BMICH Expo Centre which had 1000 participants joining the event.  Afterwards, they indulged in tourism aspects of visiting different parts of the country.

Which are your biggest markets? How important is India for you?

India is our market leader for conventions, expositions, weddings and conferences, and then comes China. Those are the two major providers from abroad. We have a lot of customers and business opportunities from within Sri Lanka too and a few from Europe.

Which parts of India are key source markets?

Bombay, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, it’s mostly South India. Primarily the Southern part and sum from the Northern part as well. With our excellent airline connectivity to Indian cities with Sri Lankan Airlines which connects about 100 flights per week to different cities in India, it’s better and easier to travel to Sri Lanka than travelling within India itself. The connectivity is excellent.

How important is the Indian Wedding Market for you?

We are looking at the wedding market. We have quite a few weddings, especially the outdoor weddings with great outdoors. That’s another aspect that we are marketing. We are taking part in trade shows in India. BLTM and various other trade shows, and we also invite Indian MICE agents on familiarization tours. We had one tour in early 2020 prior to the pandemic. It’s a great opportunity for Indian weddings to be hosted at the BMICH as we are in close proximity to all the city hotels in Colombo. It is a matter of staying in a Colombo hotel and using our facilities to host the wedding.

USPs and novelties in Sri Lanka for post-event leisure?

There are many aspects an individual can indulge in post and pre-event leisure activities. The participants can extend their stay in Sri Lanka after the event or arrive earlier and bring their families too. The families could shop around in shopping malls in Colombo City  where most of the global brands at a competitive price than in India are available. From Colombo it is a “hop step and a jump” to the beaches and one can select any type of environment of choice.  For example the hill country with the mountains are just three hours away and then we have the wildlife which is also about 3 hours away. The Archaeological sites too could be reached within 3.5 to 4 hours. Of course, then we have the water sports on the southern coast and the eastern coast with surfing & water skiing in Arugam Bay in the east coast. Everything is within easy reach if you wish to enjoy in pre or post MICE event leisure activities in Sri Lanka.

BMICH Celebrates International Women’s Day

Tue, 22 Mar 2022 Press Releases

Chairperson of the Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga with the lady staff and the Leadership team of the BMICH/BCIS on International Women’s Day.

BMICH – Sri Lanka’s iconic landmark organized a special programme for its lady staff members to celebrate International Women’s Day an acknowledge the significant contribution by the ladies of the BMICH/BCIS staff to make the institution the most sought after award winning MICE venue in South Asia.

“We are delighted to have a strong and dedicated lady workforce at BMICH/BCIS who contribute to our successes on a daily basis, and we admire their courage and dedication to help achieve our goals. BMICH has a unique affiliation with women with two of Sri Lanka’s leading personalities – Late Hon. Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike being the first female Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and globally and who was also the founding Chairperson of BMICH and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the first female Executive President of Sri Lanka who is the current Chairperson of the BMICH Board of Management, both being of iconic significance to our country as well as globally” said Sunil Dissanayake-Chief Executive, BMICH.

Chairperson of the Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga addressed the lady staff of the BMICH/BCIS at a special felicitation luncheon at the Sapphire Banquet Hall and thanked the ladies for their exceptional performance during the past year which helped the BMICH be profitable in a challenging and negative business environment due to the Covid pandemic.

BMICH is Sri Lanka’s largest and Asia’s very first purpose-built convention center with ultra modern facilities. Recently redesigned, renovated and refurbished, BMICH is South Asia’s Premier Integrated MICE Complex with all the facilities required to host any type of convention, seminar, exhibition, conference or wedding including multi-day international conventions and conferences.

BMICH Wins Prestigious BWIO USA Award

Wed, 26 Jan 2022 Press Releases

Mr. Chiran Keerthisinghe of BMICH receiving the award on behalf of the BMICH.

BMICH, Sri Lanka’s most recognizable and iconic landmark recently won the prestigious BWIO Platinum Award of Honor for “The Most Outstanding Service Excellence Organization for the Year – 2020” in the large venue facilitators category. The award was presented by Business World International Organization, USA (BWIO) at the awards ceremony at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.

“We are delighted to be recognized for our continuous and steadfast commitment to service delivery level of excellence. Our well-coordinated team delivers the highest level of service to our clients, tenants and to visitors to our premises for any one of our numerous events” said Sunil Dissanayake – Chief Executive, BMICH.

BWIO – USA is a multinational business consulting and market research firm headquartered in USA which provides consulting to companies interested in increasing profits, sales and revenue or aiming to start new Ventures. It is the trusted advisor to many of the world’s most leading businesses and institutions.

Set in sprawling landscaped gardens with 15 well laid out and spacious car parks that can accommodate 3000 vehicles at a given time. BMICH is Sri Lanka’s largest and Asia’s very first purpose-built convention center with ultra-modern facilities. BMICH is situated in one of the most prestigious locations in Colombo. BMICH won the South Asian Travel Award (SATA) Silver and Gold in 2018 & 2020. In BMICH also won the Quality ERA Geneva Gold Award and the Platinum Award in Paris.

BMICH Implements SAP Business One HANA Enterprise Resource Planning Solution

Mon, 6 Dec 2021 Press Releases

BMICH and PBSS management teams at the signing ceremony with Sunil Dissanayake CEO    BMICH & Madura Gamanayake Chairman /Managing Director PBSS Group

BMICH, Sri Lanka’s iconic landmark implements SAP Business One HANA Enterprise Resource Planning Solution to streamline and automate processes which creates more visibility to the core operations. PBSS Group was selected to facilitate the implementation and plans to complete by January 2022 bringing all operations processes to a single platform.

SAP Business One HANA with Version 10 implementation will facilitate Dash Boards and KPIs to monitor the operations of BMICH thereby providing the facility to execute more effective decision making. Team PBSS will bring value additions with the implementation of Sap Business One HANA to BMICH like real time information, approval workflows, segregated duties to increase the efficiencies.

Perfect Business Solution Services is a SAP Gold Partner and is the partner for both SAP Business One and SAP Business by Design. PBSS has been in the ERP solution industry for the last 19 years and has won many awards for their quality of deliveries and Volume of Sales in NBEA, CNCI, SAP Awards and Entrepreneur Awards.

Set in sprawling 36 Acre landscaped gardens with 15 well laid and spacious car parks that can accommodate 3000 vehicles at a given time, BMICH is Sri Lanka’s largest and Asia’s very first purpose-built convention center with ultra-modern facilities which has been presented with multiple global awards in the recent past.

BMICH & SLAPCEO Implements Safety Guidelines for Expos

Wed, 24 Nov 2021 Press Releases

BMICH & SLAPCEO Meeting in progress

BMICH, Sri Lanka’s most recognizable and iconic landmark together with the Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition & Event Organizers (SLAPCEO) announced that they have implemented all safety guidelines recommended by the health authorities to ensure a safe environment for all stakeholders in restarting the regular expositions.

“The procedures and processes that have been implemented with co-operation and guidance of the health authorities and with the total commitment of all stakeholders making BMICH a safe venue to visit. Our spacious facilities enable us to ensure that personal distancing is strictly implemented” said Sunil Dissanayake – Chief Executive, BMICH adding that all staff are fully vaccinated.

“We are confident with these procedures and processes in place and with the commitment of all stakeholders, BMICH looks forward to hosting many Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) in the near future” he added.

Regular meetings have been scheduled with the participation of exhibitors, suppliers, and service providers to review compliance and ensure the strict Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) is adhered to by all stakeholders.

“We wish to thank the Hon. Minister of Health-Keheliya Rambukwella, Hon. Minister of Tourism-Prasanna Ranatunga, Chairperson Sri Lanka Tourism-Mrs. Kirmali Fernando, Secretary Ministry of Health-Dr. S.H. Munasinghe and Director General of Health Services-Dr. Asela Gunawardena for engaging with us to restart the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions.” said Imran Hassan-President of SLAPCEO.

Set in a sprawling site, 15 well laid out and spacious car parks that can accommodate 3000 vehicles at a given time and well-maintained landscaped gardens, BMICH is Sri Lanka’s largest and Asia’s very first purpose-built convention center with ultra-modern facilities. BMICH is situated in one of the most prestigious locations in Colombo. BMICH won the South Asian Travel Award (SATA) Gold in 2016, Silver in 2017 and Gold again in 2018. In 2016 BMICH also won the Quality ERA Geneva Gold Award and the Platinum Award in Paris in 2017.