Opinion and Issues

Generalisation as a specialisation

Views - 1799 Monday, 24 October 2011 00:22

The concept of focus in terms of business domain, while being conceptually strong, is one that has come out of the experience of mature markets with high levels of specialisations. In fast growing, developing markets like Sri Lanka, there are many

The ‘Western’ Spring: Has it arrived?

Views - 1270 Monday, 17 October 2011 00:00

The year 2011 marked the ‘Arab Spring,’ triggered by underlying socio, political and economic reasons. Judging by the ongoing protests on Wall Street and in Athens, could this be the start of the ‘spring’ in the USA and Euro

Once upon an Apple: A Job well done

Views - 1285 Friday, 7 October 2011 01:50

I will always remember Steve Jobs for a few strong lessons he effectively demonstrated to the business world: nIn a recessionary era when lower prices were the order of the day, he showed that the customer will be willing to pay a significant premi


Views - 1393 Thursday, 6 October 2011 00:59

Not all great strategies make it to the bottom-line, as they should. One of the main reasons is the lack of an implementation mindset and a bias for action. Here is a simple way in which a strategy can be broken down into actionable granules. First

Greece ‘Yaka’ haunts the global economy

Views - 1895 Monday, 26 September 2011 00:25

The economic crisis that started in Greece has now spread across Europe, while the United States too is expected to take the ‘plunge’. Stock markets across the globe have taken a battering and there is now talk of another global fina

The time accountant

Views - 1240 Monday, 19 September 2011 00:16

How people spend their time in a business is a major determinant of the business’ success or failure. Therefore, time accountability should be one of the most important disciplines at all levels.  However, it is ironic that we rigorously m


Views - 1172 Monday, 5 September 2011 00:56

Conventional wisdom tells us to work hard, play hard and never mix the two! Here are a few reasons why you need to consider a Work-cation: Inability to take time off work for long periods of time. Even if you do, in these highly connected days, s

Is capitalism the cause of the uprisings?

Views - 1515 Tuesday, 23 August 2011 12:35

Tunis, Cairo, Tripoli, Athens and now London have all experienced recent uprisings. An underlying common thread that runs across all of these relates to the younger generation, who feel they have been economically deprived, while a smaller group of c

The sustainability buzz

Views - 1508 Wednesday, 3 August 2011 02:28

The profession of management and the apparel industry have one thing in common – There is always something in fashion. Sustainability seems to be the new buzz and it makes CSR look rather old fashioned! Very simply, sustainability means find

Learning from the movie industry

Views - 1466 Monday, 18 July 2011 00:14

When it comes to organisational structures, the movie industry provides one of the most effective solutions to the business challenges we encounter today. It brings together the best-in-class talent for a specific project and manages complex coordina

Wealth without guilt

Views - 1395 Monday, 11 July 2011 00:22

SRI LANKA’S apparel industry has rightfully earned the recognition of ‘Garments without Guilt’. It has built an entirely new industry (in less than 25 years), created sustainable employment and uplifted the lives of hundreds of thou

An economic paradox

Views - 1237 Tuesday, 21 June 2011 00:49

IT would be fair to say that more than 99% of the world’s population would want peace, not war. However, increasingly more regions in the world are involved in various wars, from the drugs in Mexico to the borders of Thailand and Cambodia to th

Recognising the power of Supply Chain Management

Views - 1447 Monday, 13 June 2011 00:00

Take a closer look at the staggering increase in the price of commodities, everything from sugar to petroleum. By all indications this upward trend in commodity prices will continue. The cause is very simple: Supply vs. Demand. At the same time Ret

Apple polishing vs. apple production

Views - 1549 Monday, 6 June 2011 00:00

The fact that we are on the verge of a global food crisis should not come as a surprise. Agriculture production is not keeping pace with the growing global population, in addition to the negative impact of natural disasters. The skyrocketing food (co

Time to bail out?

Views - 1180 Monday, 23 May 2011 00:00

The news of the IMF Chief being arrested this week has provided the global media a ‘field day’.  Why is this news so sensational? Is it because such acts are so rare in the world today or is it the relentless hunger of the global med

Imaginary Money

Views - 1223 Monday, 16 May 2011 02:35

The valuation of any listed stock has 3 components i.e. the true economic value (based on the current business performance), the future potential value (based on future plans / cash flow) and of course what we know as the ‘speculative / imagina

Have we taken ‘hype’ too far?

Views - 1402 Monday, 9 May 2011 00:00

There is no escaping ‘hype’ in almost all facets of life today. Be it cricket, Bollywood, brands or the stock markets, these are all driven by ‘hype’. As consumers, a significant part of what we pay for these services is the c

Waste management or want management?

Views - 1354 Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:09

As the global population rises, so does the degree of waste – causing major environmental challenges and in some cases catastrophes. A quick glance at the growth in waste numbers (from water to industrial refuse to plastics) show an alarming si

The dark cloud in a bright sky – can you spot it?

Views - 1653 Monday, 25 April 2011 00:38

The greatest danger to an economy, enterprise or even an employee is when the going is good. It is during these ‘high’ times that inefficiencies creep in and get easily swept under the carpet. There are five pitfalls that come with corpor

Brands: Milking cows or puppy dogs?

Views - 1586 Monday, 21 March 2011 00:59

The only reason for the existence of brands and investment in them is the profitability they return. As ‘capital’ gets more and more impatient, there is the added pressure to deliver ‘Now’!  Is the roaring affair that mar

Greed, ego and materialism

Views - 1886 Monday, 7 March 2011 00:37

In my opinion, there are three fundamental reasons for the socioeconomic/political challenges that the world encounters today, i.e. greed, ego and materialism. All of these start with healthy pursuits, such as ambition (that turns into greed), self e

Serving customers – Do senior management have a ‘feel’ for it?

Views - 2254 Monday, 21 February 2011 01:01

Serving customers in a retailing environment can be one of the most stressful jobs and this has a direct impact on the quality of service that the customer experiences. The irony is that senior management sitting in their respective head offices have

Country management as a degree

Views - 1992 Monday, 14 February 2011 00:50

In school and university, we are taught economics, politics, business and social sciences as different subjects. The unfolding of the events in Egypt clearly shows that, from a country management perspective, it needs to be analysed and strategised h

Eaves dropping & Gossip - as a Market Research tool

Views - 2178 Monday, 7 February 2011 02:50

Conventional market research suffers from the bias that creeps in from being a ‘staged’ interview. The consumer is well aware that it is an interview, therefore is very mindful of what she says and in many cases it tends to be in abstract

Technology : The double-edged sword

Views - 2053 Monday, 31 January 2011 00:52

Mankind would not have progressed if not for innovation, from the Stone Age to where we are today. Thanks to technology, the pace of innovation has accelerated, which has certainly improved productivity and efficiency in many facets of life. However,

Branding – Is it ‘worth’ it?

Views - 2326 Monday, 24 January 2011 01:23

We are ‘invaded’ by brands in every sphere of life, almost every moment. We are also made to believe that branding is an unquestionable pursuit if you wish to be successful. Due to this enthusiasm, many branding initiatives get passed wit

Poor countries or poorly managed countries?

Views - 1952 Monday, 17 January 2011 00:24

Countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Dubai and even India (the knowledge economy) have clearly demonstrated that countries that have economically prospered in the last 50 years or so are the ones with a high level of human resources and ma

Auctioning CEOs and senior managers – IPL style!

Views - 2187 Monday, 10 January 2011 00:16

The recent IPL auctions have provided some useful learnings for business managers. Those who have demonstrated solid performance, like M.S. Dhoni, have been retained. Those with great history and fanfare who have yet not delivered in recent times, li

Learning from the jelly fish

Views - 1547 Monday, 3 January 2011 00:38

In structuring today’s business organisations, we can take some powerful lessons from the jelly fish. Depending on the environment and the circumstances, the jelly fish can swiftly change its shape and colour – precisely the kind of

Coconuts – Food for Thought

Views - 2149 Monday, 27 December 2010 00:40

The price of coconuts has become a hot topic and re-active measures are being taken. Through an appropriate econometric analysis, such a crisis could have been predicted well in advance (barring unforeseen natural disasters). What should be of grea

Today's Columnists

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

The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Friday, 21 September 2018

In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of ‘fake news’ and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet

Withholding Taxes – What, why, when?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The tax regime in Sri Lanka historically imposes WHT on both domestic as well as cross border payments. WHT on domestic payments eases revenue collection (e.g.: PAYE) while WHT on cross border payments are adopted by most countries to ensure that the

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