Columnists

Leadership capability increases confidence in future results

Views - 916 Friday, 21 November 2014 01:34

Effective leadership is one of the most elusive keys to organisational success. A number of organisations worldwide have successfully cracked the code; however, today’s flatter, faster, more flexible organisations, facing intense competition in a g


FDI, skills and GDP growth of Sri Lanka

Views - 1914 Friday, 14 November 2014 02:15

A senior business leader recently observed that despite Sri Lanka’s high growth story (GDP growth of 6%-7.5% over three years) the FDI inflow into the country has been very low and the reasons for this, he said, should be identified and addressed.


Budget 2015: Pushing up employer EPF contribution to 14%: Good or bad?

Views - 6242 Friday, 7 November 2014 00:01

President Mahinda Rajapaksa presenting Budget 2015 said the Government had decided to increase the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution from the employer from 12% to 14%. Some Government officials were quick to point out that in Singapore t


Budget 2015: Education allocations must target youth unemployment and labour productivity

Views - 1515 Friday, 31 October 2014 01:44

The 2015 Budget speech of the President included a commitment to increase the number of students entering universities to 100,000 by 2020 and also to allocate more funds for vocational training. The current intake to Government universities is aroun


NDB-DFCC merger: Case for a strong development bank

Views - 1932 Friday, 24 October 2014 00:38

In focus: Banking sector consolidation Parliament on Tuesday despite opposition from Opposition lawmakers that there was no rationale for a merger between a commercial bank and a development bank passed a bill to pave the way for DFCC Bank, the on


NBFI sector consolidation: Learning the hard way

Views - 1314 Friday, 17 October 2014 00:00

One of the most intensely-debated issues more behind closed doors rather than publicly has been the consolidation of the NBFI sector. Sri Lanka’s financial sector regulator since last year has been pushing for the amalgamation of the financial sec


Some MBAs are not worth the paper they’re printed on

Views - 7912 Friday, 3 October 2014 04:04

A few days ago we interviewed seven candidates with MBAs for a senior leadership position. Most of them we concluded could not even manage or lead their way out of a paper bag – but think they’re there, because they have an MBA. Having an MBA doe


Challenge of getting more women into leadership roles

Views - 2295 Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:52

Today despite all the hype, at the top, only 24 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women, which is less than 5%. In Sri Lanka going by the Business Today Top Twenty Five Rankings for 12/13, it is less than 1%, which is clearly not a productive economic outc


Outcome once unthinkable would be very tragic for Great Britain

Views - 2135 Wednesday, 17 September 2014 00:37

I am in Edinburgh the capital city of Scotland, the second most populous city in Scotland and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom, where all attention is focused on whether 7% of the UK population will take a decision of serious consequen


Do our graduates lack key skills sought by the private sector?

Views - 4371 Friday, 12 September 2014 01:43

The World Bank South Asia recently reported that the poor quality of education is holding back South Asia. No doubt Sri Lanka needs a well-educated workforce if we are to sustain long periods of growth. Therefore, the secondary schools would need to


From Elkington’s Triple Bottom Line to dumping an ice bucket

Views - 4924 Friday, 5 September 2014 01:12

The consultant who coined the famous phrase the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ in 1994, Dr. John Elkington told a group of top Sri Lankan CEOs on Monday that CEOs must own sustainability, at present they don’t, they think it is someone else’s responsib


Board composition and criteria for board appointments

Views - 6860 Friday, 29 August 2014 01:39

Today’s banking industry is constantly being buffeted by waves of M&A, regulatory and technological challenges. The increased regulatory burden and related costs impact every financial institution in both the approach to doing business and the


Governance role of bank remuneration committees

Views - 1790 Friday, 22 August 2014 00:01

Introduction After the recent crises surrounding the global financial sector, there has been a big push to expand the scope of board remuneration committees. The intention is to strengthen corporate governance in all financial institutions, especial


Banking sector regulation: Finding the right balance

Views - 2668 Friday, 15 August 2014 01:12

Background Today, banks all over the world are under mounting pressure to manage regulatory compliance and associated risk effectively. Many analysts cite the lack of regulation of the financial markets as one of the primary causes of the economic c


For the Sri Lankan banking sector, bigger is better or what?

Views - 7245 Friday, 8 August 2014 00:46

The ‘bigger is better’ syndrome is more apparent than ever before in our financial services sector. We have seen an unprecedented push for consolidation in the belief that M&A gains can be achieved through exp-ense reduction, increased market


NDB-DFCC merger should not leave stakeholders feeling stressed

Views - 4996 Friday, 1 August 2014 00:00

Seven months ago, DFCC Bank (DFCC), the only remaining development bank, and National Development Bank (NDB), a commercial bank, announced that they, in pursuance of the policies announced by the Government encouraging the consolidation of certain ba


Economic woes in the West getting worse or what?

Views - 1133 Friday, 18 July 2014 00:00

The International Monetary Fund appears to believe economic momentum has slackened since April. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a speech at the annual Davos in Provence meeting in France on Sunday pointed out that while we are seeing glo


Why some countries prosper and others don’t

Views - 2637 Friday, 11 July 2014 00:34

Many years ago as primary students we were taught that most rich countries were in the North of the globe and most poor countries were in the South, but later on we were told that it was not geography that causes wealth or poverty. After all, Austral


Why companies must invest in leadership

Views - 2034 Tuesday, 27 May 2014 00:15

Effective leaders in organisations bring together both individuals and organisations to solve customer and organisational problems, but there is a difference between leaders and leadership. Leaders refer to individuals who have unique capabilities t


Someone must be trusted; let it be the judges

Views - 1829 Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:00

The Supreme Court is the highest court of the land and its decisions are final, therefore the judges of the Supreme Court carry the hopes and aspirations of our people. The Supreme Court is also uniquely placed with regard to many matters of grave co


How to get the best out of a training budget

Views - 1391 Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:26

Recently, at a senior executive forum a CEO asked me to share my experiences of how companies measure the return on investment of their training and development spend. To begin, training is basically the formal activity that generally occurs in a cla


Six leadership lessons from Pope Francis

Views - 5059 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 00:37

Leadership is very hard to define, mainly because it means different things to different people. We know it requires knowledge, competence, courage and empathy. We expect leaders to be just, to share our values and provide direction. For me, it is wh


Sri Lanka can become the Knowledge Hub for South Asia

Views - 1578 Friday, 7 March 2014 00:52

Firstly a knowledge hub in my view is a location where you can source skills and capabilities for the creation of products, knowledge and services and for the creation of intellectual wealth. Some countries have targeted industries so that the count


Five hubs and public service

Views - 2113 Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00

The ‘Mahinda Chinthana – Vision for the Future’ policy statement envisages making Sri Lanka the regional hub in five sectors. To ensure Sri Lanka is well poised to be the centre in the region, the Government is looking to transform Sri Lanka


Why pay for performance still works

Views - 4088 Friday, 7 February 2014 00:00

Does pay for performance really work? Pay for performance is particularly tempting and increasingly popular at a time of economic slowdown and when revenues slump. A recent Hewitt Survey found that eight out of 10 companies have some kind of variabl


HR challenges in consolidations

Views - 1343 Friday, 24 January 2014 09:47

The rapid change in the market place, due to globalisation, growth in outsourcing, the need to speed up growth, and the shortening of product cycles and the rapid pace of technological innovation has forced companies to look to “mergers and acquisi


My predictions for 2014

Views - 1350 Wednesday, 1 January 2014 00:00

Prediction for Sri Lanka in 2014 Lower interest would improve private sector credit growth; however, there could be pressure on inflation. Possible consolidation in the industry – there could be an increase in M&A. This would help to c


Why good corporate governance matters for financial Institutions

Views - 1451 Friday, 20 December 2013 00:01

The success of an institution is often directly connected to the character and the relationship of the directors and the top management of the company and in addition, when directors don’t put self interest and self-preservation ahead of stake hold


Central Bank’s role in building capacity in banks should be commended

Views - 1556 Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00

The Central Bank’s initiative to assist commercial banks to achieve high standards of personal and organisational performance by conducting regular bank directors’ symposiums to educate bank directors is one of those ‘best practices’ for corp


Budget 2014: Strong emphasis on skills development

Views - 5121 Friday, 29 November 2013 03:44

The Government has today recognised the fact that Sri Lanka needs to ramp up its higher education system to staff its rapidly expanding economy and that need creates major changes to the way we deliver education and in the demand for knowledge worker


Today's Columnists

Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Thursday, 15 November 2018

A small step was taken by a sovereign court the day before yesterday. It was a giant leap for the supremacy of the Constitution over all three arms of government in a recently benighted Sri Lanka. As well as being the tangible proof of intra-governme


Sri Lanka’s Judiciary in its finest hour

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“We must never forget that the only real source of power we as judges can tap is the respect of the people” –Justice Thurgood Marshall


When scholars turn slayers of reason

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“… I think, that the intellectual is an individual endowed with a faculty of representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, a public. And this role has an edge to it, and cannot be


A stable democracy is a prerequisite for the wellbeing of Sri Lankans

Thursday, 15 November 2018

In Sri Lanka, despite the complexity of overlapping policies, the slow pace in implementing economic policies has been of central concern in the past few years. The current political state in Sri Lanka poses a series of e


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