Hilmy Cader

Oppan Gangnam Style

Views - 1537 Monday, 10 December 2012 00:00

With close to one billion YouTube downloads, makes it the most watched. Even personalities as diverse as Ban Ki-Moon, Amitabh Bachan and Chris Gayle have tried it. What are the learnings from Psy’s Oppan Gangnam style? The fading geographic

Stickiness is not happiness

Views - 1552 Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

Stickiness is a criteria used to measure the duration a customer remains with a service provider – the argument being if they have not moved out, they must be happy! In measuring customer satisfaction (particularly in industries like banking

The Wealth Test

Views - 1222 Tuesday, 30 October 2012 00:24

 The financially measured wealth of any person is only possible due to 3 reasons: 1. Adding value to someone else’s life or business 2. Inheriting   3. Speculative/imaginary wealth (artificially inflated) The world faces dange

Cost Cutting Vs. Slack Elimination

Views - 1111 Monday, 22 October 2012 00:00

When confronted with a need to reduce costs in a downturn, the kneejerk reaction of most businesses is to cut ‘headcount’. The number of staff on your current payroll is a function of your organization’s strategies, structure and sy

Consider it done

Views - 914 Monday, 15 October 2012 00:00

Delegation of tasks in an organisation can happen upwards, downwards and sideways in the hierarchy. A significant amount of management ‘energy’ is ‘sapped-up,’ making sure others do their assigned tasks as per expectation.

Never mind the T20 loss now, think strategy

Views - 902 Tuesday, 9 October 2012 02:26

While Sri Lanka mourns the T20 finals loss, is our ‘cricket strategy’ in need of a serious review? Where is our ‘supply chain’ to take over from the likes of Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan and Malinga? Whose KPI is this? In the last

Ground Zero thinking

Views - 839 Monday, 1 October 2012 00:00

If you take a closer look at how senior managers add value to their organisations, it all starts with and is significantly influenced by their thinking. It is such a simple yet critical competency that is often taken for granted or assumed as ‘

‘Ground Zero’ your organisational structure

Views - 987 Monday, 17 September 2012 02:40

As organisations age, their structures get firmly entrenched and run the risk of creating high cost, low agility bureaucracies. Consequently, their ability to sense and respond to new opportunities become impaired (think Kodak).Therefore, rather than

The Treasure Hunt

Views - 1255 Monday, 3 September 2012 01:30

The last 50 years has seen the emergence of nations that have prospered because of their ‘intellectual assets,’ think Japan, Korea, Switzerland, India (the ITES industry). This is quite a contrast, given that nations once succeeded on &

The new face of globalisation

Views - 1430 Monday, 20 August 2012 00:19

Who said the Chinese are only interested in infrastructure and minerals in Africa? Didier Drogba has moved from Chelsea to China – a sign of things to come! Welcome to the world’s largest multi-national, CHINA INC.  Economies and ent

Olympics: Will London follow Greece?

Views - 1678 Thursday, 9 August 2012 02:01

Is the spirit of Olympics (going back to its roots) still relevant today? What is the economic and environmental justification for building multi-billion dollar infrastructure in countries that least ‘deserve’ it? For over two billion hum

The other side of strategy

Views - 1617 Monday, 23 July 2012 00:57

Most strategies tend to focus on ‘demand gains’, for instance US$ 5 billion for the BPO industry, two million tourists etc. Often forgotten, yet critical in any strategic exercise is to address: What will competition do while we &ls

Telecommuting to work

Views - 1401 Friday, 13 July 2012 13:55

As knowledge workers, why do we have to physically commute to work every single day? In the process, consider the fuel costs, commuting time, traffic jams, wear and tear of vehicles and above all the carbon footprint? Imagine the time that can be s

Strategising ‘Ceylon Tea’

Views - 2116 Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:01

Strategy, in its simplest definition, is how a business responds to its environment (in terms of challenges and opportunities), in pursuit of its goals. Therefore, in a highly competitive market, nothing should be ‘sacred’ when it comes t

‘Loss leader’ airline for profitable tourism?

Views - 2158 Tuesday, 5 June 2012 01:56

Countries have used their national airline as a ‘loss leader’ to promote tourism. If this is the case, then a fair share of  a country’s tourism success should also be attributed to the national airline, particularly if the air

A Balanced Scorecard for the nation

Views - 1359 Tuesday, 29 May 2012 02:52

Economic indicators in its simplest form are an aggregation of human behavior. In a highly interlinked and complex global economy, over-reliance on a single indicator like GDP growth can be misleading and less than holistic. Countries should have

Storm in our tea cup

Views - 1046 Monday, 21 May 2012 00:08

The battle brewing between the ‘Tea Traditionalists’ and the ‘Hub Hopers’ is detrimental to the industry; there is a much bigger ‘battle’ to be fought in the ‘real world’ of retail shelves and consumer

IPL lessons for business leaders

Views - 1146 Tuesday, 8 May 2012 01:20

The IPL provides some hard lessons for business leaders. Consider the following: Kolkata let its iconic leader Ganguly go Murali and Dilshan have to ‘fight’ for their place Captains Sangakkara and Vettori dropped themselves from t

Payback time for dream holidays and cars!

Views - 975 Monday, 30 April 2012 00:00

If you are in the business of financial services, 2009-11 were unprecedented ‘bounty’ years for retail lending. Based on such liberal lending, many categories such as auto, travel, entertainment, fashion, etc. recorded phenomenal increase

Critiquing the CEO

Views - 961 Monday, 16 April 2012 00:10

CEOs, like politicians, can get ‘high’ on power and lose touch with ground reality. They can get surrounded by ‘Yes Men/Women’ (who will dare not be the messenger of bad news) and those who ‘pump-up’ the CEO with u

Earth Hour?

Views - 796 Monday, 9 April 2012 00:00

It is interesting to see the prominent international attention that the recent ‘Earth Hour’ received. We all wish the problems of the earth will disappear with a token show of ‘dimness’, but unfortunately it will not! The al

Thought prisoners

Views - 944 Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:37

A conventional prisoner is one who is confined to a limited physical space. In today’s highly-automated, process-driven and activity-addicted business world, many ‘knowledge workers’ have become ‘thought prisoners’. Th

Thought prisoners

Views - 1305 Thursday, 15 March 2012 01:14

A conventional prisoner is one who is confined to a limited physical space. In today’s highly-automated, process-driven and activity-addicted business world, many ‘knowledge workers’ have become ‘thought prisoners’. 

Economic cost vs. ecological cost

Views - 1356 Monday, 13 February 2012 00:01

The rate at which global population and resource consumption is growing is alarming. Yet, high users of resources continue to ‘drain’ these resources. In my opinion, the main reason is that the economic costs of many products we use today

Global financial crisis: What can we do?

Views - 1163 Wednesday, 8 February 2012 09:11

Not a day passes by without bad news on the economic and financial front. Globally, we seem to respond to these challenges with more and more ‘band-aid and plaster,’ when what we need is ‘surgery and soul searching’. The fact


Views - 1157 Monday, 16 January 2012 00:00

As businesses grow bigger and more complex, it is easier to hide inefficiencies and lose sight of value-addition. An ‘acid test’ for any job in such large organisation would be an affirmative answer to the following: How does your job (

Consumer ignorance

Views - 1070 Monday, 9 January 2012 00:00

Take a harder re-look at your business success – how much of this is due to well-informed and comparatively advantaged reasons and how much is due to ‘consumer ignorance’?  For instance, how much of monies in savings accounts c

New Year: So what?

Views - 1205 Monday, 2 January 2012 01:05

WHILE the dawn of a new year is good time for warm fuzzy feelings, given the global challenges we face today, it is also a time to ask some hard questions. How can my lifestyle be more responsible and responsive to the ‘alarming’ depletio

Rethinking capitalism

Views - 1045 Monday, 19 December 2011 00:00

‘Division of Labour and Specialisation’ as articulated by Adam Smith is one of the main reasons for material improvement in the human quality of life.  This also means that as human beings we have to ‘cross-serve’ each ot

Freedom of expression in business organisations

Views - 1209 Monday, 5 December 2011 00:00

Around the world, we expect democratic governments to allow reasonable freedom of expression, rightly so. How much freedom of expression do we allow in business organisations? Perhaps it may be unrealistic to expect a ‘Tahrir Square’ in

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

Columnists More