Surveys don’t drive insights - A thorough and informed process drives insights

Views - 64 Tuesday, 10 October 2017 00:00

A survey is a great tool that helps companies better understand consumers and develop a wide range of analyses. A common misconception is that surveys drive insights. With numerous free survey services available and a growing set of panel providers,

Budget 2018: An opportunity to rise above politics

Views - 249 Monday, 9 October 2017 00:00

Last month the Government invited all “interested stakeholders” to submit proposals for its upcoming Budget 2018, which many believe will be make or break the ‘Yahapalana’ Government that will enter its third year in office.

Vision 2025 Part 4: PM’s alleged instructions to remove direct placements are against the Vision

Views - 658 Monday, 9 October 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, in an email to this writer, has clarified that what is meant by the goal of being ‘enriched’ in V2025 is not to become a rich country in terms of the World Bank class

China and Russia struggle to gain control over Central Asia

Views - 124 Saturday, 7 October 2017 00:34

China and Russia are both trying hard to establish themselves in Central Asia for economic as well as politico-strategic reasons. Although China has thrown a lot of money into the region and has many high value projects to its credit, and Russia has

The Sri Lanka Vision 2025: Its strengths and weaknesses

Views - 467 Friday, 6 October 2017 00:00

The Government has formulated a new vision – Vision 2025. It is quite comprehensive, though a few shortcomings exist.

Debt repayments, Sri Lanka’s biggest nightmare

Views - 469 Friday, 6 October 2017 00:00

When the ambitious Belt and Road initiative – with projects reportedly worth $1 trillion – was first announced by President Xi Jinping in the autumn of 2013, many were sceptical of this Chinese move aimed at building up economic connectivity of 6

Las Vegas mass shooting, social narcissism and crisis in humanity

Views - 118 Thursday, 5 October 2017 00:00

It was a lone gunman, white American, Stephen Paddock, 64 years of age, who had opened fire from a hotel room of Mandalay Bay Resort and shot and killed 59 and wounded 527 who were attending a country music festival in Las Vegas. This is undoubtedly

Foreign Ministry’s shocking silence in Geneva

Views - 654 Thursday, 5 October 2017 00:00

The 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council closed just a few days back, on 29 September. At that session, there were allegations of genocide, systematic discrimination, rape and torture in custody, extrajudicial killings and militarisation level

Inhuman attacks on Rohingya refugees: What is wrong with Buddhist Sangha?

Views - 285 Wednesday, 4 October 2017 00:00

The recent violent attacks led by some Buddhist monks against a small group of asylum seeking Rohingyas have brought the Burmese reality into Sri Lanka. The Mahanayakas have not condemned the extremist incidents,

Think ‘Green’ for next budget

Views - 310 Wednesday, 4 October 2017 00:00

The planet cannot keep pace with our rate of consumption. Expecting humans to take voluntary action for greater good, will only have a minimal impact. The real ecological cost (that future generations will have to dearly pay for) is hardly factored i

Sri Lanka Tourism: Carrying capacity and differentiation

Views - 221 Wednesday, 4 October 2017 00:00

The recent focus by many on the tourism sector from restaurant owners to hoteliers and travel agents given is a view of the value chain development taking place in the country

Paris Accord: Will it reduce or aggravate future hurricanes?

Views - 45 Tuesday, 3 October 2017 00:00

At public consultation session of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka on 15 June, I made a presentation (this is available in PUCSL Facebook) wherein I showed the two major large scale atmospheric circulation models Hadley and Walker Circulation

The business case for tackling childcare: good for employees and employers, good for Sri Lanka

Views - 379 Tuesday, 3 October 2017 00:00

My friend Kavi, a senior manager with one of Sri Lanka’s top service-industry companies, is going through difficult times. Both of her parents recently passed away – an incredibly sad series of events. If losing one parent after the other was not

Budgetary consolidation and resolving the country’s debt crisis permanently

Views - 522 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:10

It was shown that all these visions had one underlying economic philosophy to go by, namely, the establishment of a ‘knowledge based highly competitive social market economy’, a concept borrowed from post-war Germany.

South Asian Shapers: Drivers of change

Views - 283 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:03

Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people between 20-29 years of age working together to address local, regional and global challenges, united by the same

Engaging employees for enterprise effectiveness: Emerging evidence from Sri Lanka

Views - 363 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:00

As I mentioned in my previous column, employee engagement in a disruptive environment is an emerging challenge. There was an exploratory study involving more than 12,000 employees recently done by the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM).

Analysis of SL’s drop in global competitiveness ranking

Views - 416 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:00

‘Sri Lanka cannot become a hub by building infrastructure alone, liberal trade and investment policies are key” – Dr. Saman Kelegama

The philosophical anthropology of abortion: Should SL legalise it?

Views - 130 Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:54

Similar to most developing nations in the east, Sri Lanka has had a long-standing tradition of disallowing abortions, even as far as drawing it to be a criminal offence punishable under the penal code of 1883.

Moody’s report brings cheer to Maldives tackling financial challenges

Views - 171 Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:00

Encouraged by Moody’s positive credit profile of the Maldives released on Wednesday, the Abdulla Yameen Government has decided to stick to its existing economic policies for the remainder of its term amidst criticism by the prophets of doom in the

The Rohingya refugees

Views - 701 Friday, 29 September 2017 00:00

It was most distressing to watch the news item on 26 September of the so-called protest by some unruly monks and coarse looking men in front of the supposed refuge of Rohingya asylum seekers

Sri Lankan cricket and ‘Invictus’

Views - 121 Friday, 29 September 2017 00:00

At the moment Sri Lankan cricket is in trouble with many bouncers on an uneven pitch. People are starting to watch cricket matches from the past to refresh memories, because you could not see any reason for celebration at the moment.

Implication of Serivanija marketing on customer relationships and brand equity: A lesson for modern

Views - 336 Friday, 29 September 2017 00:00

Today’s world with digital disruptive technologies and mass communication availability has empowered consumers as equals among thousands of powerful companies

Improving bank and finance company governance in Sri Lanka

Views - 369 Friday, 29 September 2017 00:00

The dust is yet to settle on the collapse of CIFL and the Ceylinco Group’s Golden Key credit card company. Many of its depositors are still awaiting settlement of their dues.

Paradigm shift in financial reporting with new accounting standards – Part II

Views - 459 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:52

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka recently adopted three new Accounting Standards which will be effective soon. SLFRS 9 – Financial Instruments and SLFRS 15 – Revenue will be effective from 1 January 2018 whereas SLFRS 16 – Le

The Living Will

Views - 320 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:34

Some may still remember an incident that made news in September 2015; a popular private hospital in Colombo agreed to undertake a heart by-pass operation for Rs. 700,000 and accepted Rs. 300,000 as an advance. A few days after the operation, the pati

Are we trailing behind the Belt and Road?

Views - 75 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:02

When the new Government came to office in January 2015, followed by August elections, it had misgivings about the previous regime having dubious connections with some Chinese companies. On that premise, all Chinese projects, investments and loans wer

Why do agricultural value chains fail? Part (IX): Failure to diversify

Views - 136 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:01

Agricultural value chains are complex. A well-functioning value chain means there are enough incentives for producers and sellers to engage. Agricultural value chains expand with time.

Sloane Stephens’s lessons for parents of child stars

Views - 150 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:00

I yet remember taking my son when he was five years old to our family paediatrician, who said, “If you don’t make him active, he will be a diabetic in three to four years.” The only sport I knew was karate and his life of being a martial arts s

Learning from the lessons of recent events

Views - 203 Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

“My question to all people’s representatives in the legislature and key public officials is this. Was the legislation referred to by the former Minister brought to Parliament

Economics of devolution and the new constitution

Views - 241 Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

The interim report of the steering committee was presented to the Constitutional Assembly on 21 September. One can argue that when drafting the new constitution, there is more emphasis and prominence given to the concept of ‘devolution of power’

Today's Columnists

Bringing beedi into tax net can yield Rs. 40 b in revenue

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Last week, the Financial Times quoted an AFP article that stated Sri Lanka will start regulating the toddy industry to boost tax revenues from the informal sector. This same principle should be applied to the beedi trade, which has also grown unabate

Grade 5 Scholarship examination and the future of the country

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Grade 5 scholarship examination results have been released recently. Although this is known as the “Mothers’ exam,” the mentality of the children can be well articulated when children come from the examination halls after the exams. Today w

Need for tax reforms: Government should not lose it this time but go for them early

Monday, 23 October 2017

In the first economic policy statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Government would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the e

Lessons from Geneva

Saturday, 21 October 2017

‘Mission Impossible – Geneva’ is an inspiring account of developments at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when Dayan Jayatilleka was our Permanent Representative there. It is written by his wife Sanja, which provides for fascinating insights

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