As the leading financial solutions provider within the country, First Capital saw its inception four decades ago. Throughout our operations, we have witnessed multiple “firsts” including our recent First to Forty: marking a four-decade milestone.
Our recent feature on LMD sees an in-depth discussion with CEO Dilshan Wirasekara on First Capital’s efforts to be the best in our sector; a testament to our ethos, Performance First.
Q: First Capital Holdings is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Can you share with us the significance of this milestone anniversary?
A: The journey of First Capital began decades ago, and over the years we have witnessed many firsts.
Being, the first financial services provider of its kind in Sri Lanka, we are the longest operating non-bank Primary Dealer licensed and appointed by Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1992. We were also among the frontrunners to be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange back in 1994. Then in 2001, we subscribed to the first ever dollar denominated bond. In 2014, First Capital became the first to launch the Platinum Bond and manage Sri Lanka’s first AAA Debenture. The company was also the first to digitise account opening for unit trusts and government securities investments in 2021, a testament to our pioneering spirit and passion for technology-powered growth. This spirit of innovation and performance focus led us to become the first in our sector to be ranked on the LMD 100 and be recognised by Brand Finance in 2022.
First Capital has evolved to become one of Sri Lanka’s premier financial service providers. Today, powered by our philosophy ‘Performance First,’ we are celebrating another first: becoming the first financial service solutions provider to turn forty.
Q: First Capital Holdings is driven by its ethos “Performance First.” How does this translate to your relationships with stakeholders?
A: Introduction of our strategy to deliver ‘Performance First’ has been a crucial step in our journey of excellence to enable a performance driven environment for growth. We digitalised processes, amped up knowledge development and enhanced visibility and customer support with the end goal of delivering “Performance First.’
Our success is a result of hard work and dedication to deliver ‘Performance First’ while focusing on our customers’ needs, creating a safe workplace for our team, supporting our communities and creating a strong return on investment. We have looked at our business from many different angles, considering our purpose, processes, people and brand, and striving to infuse new energy into each of these areas.
Q: What is your philosophy on business growth?
A: The First Capital team has accomplished a lot during the last four decades and empowered countless businesses and people to realise their full potential. Whilst endeavouring to have a solutions mindset we have continued to show much strength and resilience this past year, while serving our stakeholders and staying committed to our values and culture.
Client centricity is at the core of our operations; enhancing accessibility and making life simpler for clients is our current priority. They place immense trust on us and our focus is to always uphold this trust by safeguarding and growing their investments.
Furthermore, First Capital is backed by the strengths of our parent company Janashakthi Group, and as a group, we have combined strengths that enable our businesses to be leaders in their respective industries, driving growth through value creation and differentiation.
Q: How does First Capital Holdings add value to the society?
A: Giving back is a way of life for us and we are proud that despite the challenging environment we can continue to support our local economy and communities. In commemoration of our 40th anniversary, we have partnered with Janashakthi Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Janashakthi Group – to distribute dry ration packs to deserving families. This is an extension of our ongoing initiatives to uplift and enrich the communities we serve – a philosophy which is strongly embedded in our culture.
Q: How are digital technologies changing the game for investors?
A: We are strengthening our digital capabilities and integrating our business to transform client experiences and drive operational efficiency in a radically different world. Developments in our digital offering enable us to focus on providing greater access to capital markets and effectively compete in markets in which we look to build scale and relevance through an evolving digital platform.
We have accelerated our alignment with external and internal digitalisation: selected core businesses are now low-touch and high tech in the digital onboarding process, and we nurture
progressive digitalisation of the client life cycle. Client centrism is honed through technology and data excellence which enable better service and protection, reduced costs and added scale to our businesses.
Our medium-term transformation goal is to enable clients to perform real time transaction activity across our market-facing core businesses. In the near term, we have seen digital client numbers in our stock brokering business increase almost five-fold to approximately 3,000 during the year. Our asset management business is a leading industry player in stakeholder adoption of digitalisation, and became the first local unit trust to adopt digital client onboarding and now through our Primary Dealer arm we are digitally onboarding clients helping expand the investor base in Government Securities like never before
As part of the client life cycle management strategy, we have set in place a “Customer Relationship Management and Digital” division, and dedicated teams for digital onboarding to provide a truly distinctive aspect to engaging clients.
Director/ Chief Executive Officer
To read the full feature, head over to https://online.fliphtml5.com/pgkmm/wgdi