Hilmy Cader

Cost Cutting Vs. Slack Elimination

Views - 1106 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 - 909 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 - 898 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 - 836 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 - 984 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 - 1252 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 - 1425 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 - 1677 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 - 1614 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 - 1397 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 - 2113 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 - 2153 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 - 1352 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 - 1043 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 - 1145 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 - 971 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 - 956 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 - 793 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 - 941 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 - 1301 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 - 1353 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 - 1159 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 - 1154 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 - 1061 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 - 1201 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 - 1043 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 - 1207 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

‘Governance without Guilt’

Views - 1371 Monday, 21 November 2011 00:21

The claim of ‘Garments without Guilt’ by Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is a good example of a credible customer promise that the industry does truly ‘live’ by. How many business organisations can make the claim and more

Open-ended quality thinking time

Views - 1446 Monday, 14 November 2011 00:00

IN our consulting practice, we work with CEOs and senior management from diverse industries and countries. One common striking feature I see is the lack of quality thinking time. Despite the advances in technology (that are supposed to make us more t

The Corporate Ladder Vs. The Corporate Carousel

Views - 1490 Monday, 7 November 2011 00:27

I recently asked a prospective job applicant to MTI what she hopes to achieve at MTI?  “To climb the management ladder,” was her response. My response was, “We do not have a ladder, only a carousel that helps you to go around t

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STEAMing STEM – Moving from horoscopes to telescopes!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Walking into an inventors’ exhibition should give one an experience similar to an immersion into the future. The world change with inventions and inventors lead the change. The creativity displayed is an indicator of the creativity of the society f

There is smoke in the eyes of those who do not want to see!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Shyamon Jayasinghe, a former citizen of Sri Lanka, now living in Victoria, Australia, writing to Daily FT in a Guest Column article has given an old college try at the President of Sri Lanka by announcing about a cloaked portentous writing on the wal

Modi celebrates birthday whilst making India strong – Lesson for SL

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Indian Prime Minister celebrated his birthday earlier this week in the backdrop of India growing at a blistering performance of 7.1%. The January-March quarter saw the highest GDP growth in the last seven quarters with India becoming the sixth la

Maximum Residue Level: Dilemma of agricultural product exporters in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Due to increased emphasis on consumer health, majority of developed countries such as EU, Japan and the US insist on MRL testing of food items which has to be done by the exporter. The Codex Alimentarius Commission which is an inter-governmental bod

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