Columnists

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

Views - 7908 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 - 2291 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 - 2132 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 - 4368 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 - 4920 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 - 6854 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 - 1785 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 - 2664 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 - 7229 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 - 4991 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 - 1131 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 - 2628 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 - 2031 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 - 1825 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 - 1389 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 - 5053 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 - 1571 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 - 2108 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 - 4084 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 - 1342 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 - 1349 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 - 1447 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 - 1550 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 - 5119 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


CHOGM’s opportunity to showcase Lanka’s potential

Views - 1152 Friday, 15 November 2013 00:00

The 2013 CHOGM presents a huge opportunity for the Government and the Sri Lankan private sector to present to the world firsthand our country’s economic potential and the development that has taken place since the end of the war. The 2013 CHOGM wo


Building an employable workforce

Views - 1043 Friday, 8 November 2013 00:00

The need to keep upgrading the skills of our workers and adapting those skills to keep up with the pace of change is now accepted by employers, trade unions and workers. For the State this is also critical to ensure we remain competitive and to attr


Issues to address to make Sri Lanka a knowledge hub

Views - 1627 Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:06

Sri Lanka’s total remittance from abroad in 2013 is expected to be in excess of $ 6 billion. Many of our young unskilled people want to go oversees to mainly improve their earning capacity. Therefore, if we are serious about exporting semi skilled


Preparing tomorrow’s leaders

Views - 1321 Friday, 25 October 2013 00:00

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key leadership positions in the company. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees that are ready to


Making sense of pay for performance

Views - 1015 Friday, 27 September 2013 00:50

Many companies today focus on cost containment and performance (organisational and people) improvements as the paths to sustainable profit growth and as a result companies are channelling the limited rewards available in a far more focused way to tho


The ‘right’ stimulus to foreign investment

Views - 2017 Friday, 13 September 2013 03:48

The global picture has changed. It is a measure not only of the long tail of America’s special position in the global economy but also how bad things are in Europe. Going forward, globally businesses will have to deal with stagnant demand, worker


Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


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