Hilmy Cader

Having ‘fun’ on-the-job

Views - 1479 Monday, 25 March 2013 01:07

We in the corporate world are taking are ourselves and our jobs too seriously. It is leading to high stress levels and that in turn affects work performance. When did you last have ‘fun’ in your job and at the work place? Being relaxed

Match fixing: Why are we surprised?

Views - 1448 Friday, 8 March 2013 00:52

People cheat/steal for three reasons i.e. desperation, genetic and greed, with the latter having the biggest impact on society.  What helps the ‘greedy’ is when there are easy ways to make big money. In business, white collar cr

Powerty Vs. Poverty

Views - 2050 Monday, 4 February 2013 00:00

Think about the socioeconomic and political upheavals that we are encountering in many parts of the world. In most of these organisations (including business), the challenge is the widening gap (financially and ideologically) between the bottom of th

Management waste

Views - 1473 Monday, 28 January 2013 00:00

At a recent forum, I was asked about corruption in business, which got me thinking. Rather than looking at a narrow definition of corruption, the real ‘thief’ in business is the ‘waste’ that takes place in management jobs. Thi

Brand managers: Essential or extinct?

Views - 1650 Monday, 21 January 2013 00:00

Like many white collar jobs that ‘float’ in the middle of organisational structures, the role of brand managers is now being challenged in the process of downturn cost optimisation. In many new-to-marketing industries (like technology,

Retailer brand power vs. consumer democracy

Views - 1685 Tuesday, 25 December 2012 00:00

In pursuit of higher profitability (and corporate ego) supermarket chains do try to ‘push’ their private labels, which certainly can be appreciated from a shareholder perspective.  However, if this comes by curtailing the consumers&r

Oppan Gangnam Style

Views - 1546 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 - 1558 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 - 1229 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 - 1122 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 - 919 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 - 909 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 - 852 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 - 994 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 - 1261 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 - 1437 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 - 1688 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 - 1624 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 - 1404 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 - 2127 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 - 2168 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 - 1370 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 - 1053 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 - 1153 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 - 985 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 - 971 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 - 806 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 - 949 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 - 1311 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 - 1368 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

Today's Columnists

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch

Wounding the social psyche

Friday, 19 April 2019

In this article, I intend to discuss the serious wounds inflicted on the psyche of Sri Lankan society, which have not received adequate attention, but need immediate cure, for they might develop into a dangerous cancer if not treated without further

What 5G could be to Game of Thrones (and vice versa)

Friday, 19 April 2019

We will be hearing a lot about these two seemingly unrelated topics this month. In a hurriedly but meticulously organised event, Dialog Axiata recently demonstrated 5G applications for the first time in South Asia. 5G will be commercially available

On time – Only for a week! A must-change!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

We are in April and the month where we witness the declaration of a new year as per our traditional practice. It is that period of time when a huge majority of our population, which certainly can be counted in millions, intends to act in unison and q

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