Team Microsoft – the driving force behind Microsoft’s achievements in Sri Lanka
The Superbrands Organization, an independent authority that identifies and pays tribute to exceptional brands around the world, has accorded Microsoft Sri Lanka the Business Superbrand status in the IT sector. The rating follows an evaluation by a Business Superbrand Council of 24 eminent corporate sector personalities assigned the task of selecting the 50 best Business-to-Business (B2B) brands in Sri Lanka from a shortlist of over 100 business brands.
“Superbrand status represents an acknowledgement by our peers in diverse sectors of the success of our efforts to be a total solutions provider to the corporate giants in the country”, Marketing and Communications Manager Microsoft Sri Lanka, Manoji Samararatne said. “In that context, this is a welcome, unsolicited accolade.”
The Superbrands programme currently operating in over 55 countries acknowledges a variety of categories of brands based on the sophistication of the economy. In the highly sophisticated economy of UK for example, there are eSuperbrands and Cool brands which recognizes those that are cutting edge and aimed at the youth market. The Superbrands programme is an aspirational benchmark for businesses operating in this country. It is awarded to only a select few top performing brands.
“Our inaugural Superbrand programme was a tremendous success with 50 participating brands. We gave these brands Superbrand status for 3 years, which as you can see is currently being leveraged through the various initiatives being carried out. We have now looked at a totally different segment, and this is the industrial sector or those companies that do not market directly to consumers” said Sharmila Cassim, Director Marketing of Superbrands.
There are many companies which have excelled in their specialized field, which in turn gives their customers confidence and value through that transaction. It is these companies which are intended to be recognized as Business Superbrands.
Business Superbrands are those brands which are primarily involved in business to business marketing which have excelled in their specialized fields of business. By excelling in their fields, they have established very strong customer relationships which lead to long term value creation for the business. The Superbrands Organization describes a Business Superbrand as one that has established the finest reputation in its field and offers customers emotional and tangible advantages over its competitors. According to them Business Superbrands represent quality, reliability and distinction and affirm the recipient as one of the elite business brands in the world. In order to be considered for Superbrand status, a brand needs to satisfy the criteria of exceptional quality, achievement of consumer trust and confidence and consistency in delivering on its promise.
ICT development has been identified as a major component in the country’s push to be competitive internationally, with wide ranging efforts instituted across the public-private to bridge the digital divide. The role of ICT development in improving the economy, reducing poverty and bettering quality of life has been emphasized at all levels and in this milieu, Microsoft has become a key player in transforming Sri Lanka’s IT landscape. Having established a formal presence in Sri Lanka in 2004 through a country office, Microsoft has since propelled itself to deliver on its corporate mission "To enable people and businesses to realize their full potential". Microsoft Sri Lanka is driven by the overarching vision to redefine and transform the Sri Lankan IT landscape. Its passion to revolutionize and transform the IT arena is personified in all its community development activities as well as in its commitment to bring in new technological solutions that make a positive impact in the business arena. The company has been a catalyst of change not just by granting thousands of Sri Lankans access to global technologies, but also through its remarkable social impact via its many initiatives to build capacity, enhance employability, and change the way Sri Lanka learns and conducts business.
A formidable brand with a wide reach across the country, Microsoft Sri Lanka has been successful in deploying its strategy through a process of focused acclimatisation and localisation. The company has gained recognition for its extensive involvement in developing the community through IT-empowerment activities. It dedicates its resources and expertise to transform the IT landscape in Sri Lanka by promoting a culture of knowledge sharing, professionalism, research and development.
Microsoft Sri Lanka’s role is fashioned on the premise of supporting and promoting innovation by providing the right platform for latent talent. Helping people discover their full potential so that they become efficient and empowered contributors to Sri Lanka’s global competitiveness is the company’s ultimate goal.
Microsoft Sri Lanka has strategically pursued its role as a change agent and since inception, has touched over 750,000 Sri Lankans from wide and varied walks of life, through its education and training efforts. Microsoft’s direct reach is to over 40,000 people. Through them, Microsoft Sri Lanka has touched another 710,000 people minus the compound effect of indirect reach year on year. Encouraged by the positive impact the company has created through its community reach projects over a short span of time, Microsoft Sri Lanka anticipates increasing its engagement to touch over 1 million Sri Lankan lives, instilling truly global standards in to the Sri Lankan IT landscape in its bid to propel the country to the next level of technological development.
Superbrand programmes aim to identify those brands that are performing above and beyond others within the market. At the heart of all the programmes is an independent and voluntary council of leading experts comprising individuals with a deep appreciation of the brand landscape in the country being examined. It features luminaries from the marketing communication industries plus notable figures from local and international Blue Chip companies and media organizations. Only brands approved by the independent Superbrands Council are eligible for inclusion in any Superbrands project.
A Superbrands rating is today the worldwide benchmark which recognizes brands with significant strategic focus and commitment for achieving extraordinary results, and is one of the most prestigious international symbols of excellence that is available. The Superbrand status has been recognized as the benchmark for brand success whilst the organization itself is acclaimed as the global branding authority. Brands qualifying as a Superbrand in any country are automatically invited to become members of the international network and take part in a promotional campaign around the country’s program. At present the organization works with over 2,400 brands across the globe from a diverse range of sectors.