Columnists

Why does the UN exist?

Views - 8467 Saturday, 20 August 2016 00:53

The strategic intent of the League of Nations (in 1920) was to prevent a Second World War, which it couldn’t do, leading to it being replaced by the UN in 1945. Unlike the first two WWs, the world may have not come to a grinding hal


Ministers should spend more time to  ‘Analyse > Strategise > Realise’

Views - 7966 Friday, 5 August 2016 00:00

When a country is at economic crossroads, the policy makers should be deeply engaged in strategising, which in turn has to be based on strong rational analysis.  For this to happen, the Minsters must develop their strategising competencies an


How can ‘Start-ups’ earn a living?

Views - 9077 Monday, 4 July 2016 00:00

 Start-ups, like any business, have two ways of earning a living. Either get the ‘customer’ to pay for the value you create and/or grab share from another business by doing it better. There is of course a third way, which is to wh


Will we learn from Brexit?

Views - 8732 Monday, 27 June 2016 00:00

Consequent to Brexit, $ 2 trillion was wiped off stock markets. Where did it ‘evaporate’ to? Did this money ever exist in the first place?  Human greed to make quick big money (with a simple click transaction) has driven us to pla


Why only ‘dress down’ on Fridays?

Views - 10140 Friday, 13 May 2016 00:00

Why do some organisations have a so-called ‘dress down Friday’?  Are the activities they perform on a Friday any different to the rest of the working days? Why do we really need to ‘dress-up’ on the other days?


Why does a country need a national airline?

Views - 8591 Tuesday, 3 May 2016 00:01

If it is a profitable business As a ‘loss leader’ to the national tourism industry – provided the tourism industry’s profits ‘compensates’ for the national airline’s losses! If intern


First round of MTI’s ‘idea2fund’ closes today

Views - 7450 Monday, 29 February 2016 00:00

The first round of applications for MTI’s idea2fund will close today.  “The initial response has been very encouraging. We will now start the evaluation and short-listing process, with the first round of presentations to MTI sch


Will India invade or inspire IT?

Views - 7040 Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:35

Bi-lateral trade agreements must be strategically justified and then evaluated on their mutual benefits, considering all relevant socio-economic factors. The Indian ITES industry, globally competitive with world class operators, is &n


Why endure a second loss making airline?

Views - 6411 Tuesday, 19 January 2016 00:01

Is the main airline too big and/or growth restrained, that it warrants a second airline? Are there domestic airports that a second airline can better serve, in terms of costs and access new market segments? Are there internat


Build more roads or reduce traffic?

Views - 6444 Tuesday, 5 January 2016 00:00

Except for a ‘joy ride’, traffic on the road is a derived demand. Therefore we should we first challenge why are people on the road ?, before we decide to build more roads With the advancements in affordable technology and


The ‘enemies’ of strategy

Views - 6091 Monday, 28 December 2015 00:00

 Love:  Falling in ‘love’ with your strategies, when in fact they should be clinically challenged on a regular basis. Strategies must be market-responsive, hence even be prepared to ‘kill’ your own strategies


Talking Rubbish!

Views - 5464 Wednesday, 23 December 2015 00:00

If we continue to ‘consume’ the way we do, we will soon run out of space to dump our garbage. Colombo is looking to transport its garbage to Puttalam, but that is only a temporary ‘cure’ to an escalating global cha


MTI highlights economic reality of Sri Lankans working abroad

Views - 6082 Thursday, 3 December 2015 00:00

There have been calls to ban Sri Lankan maids from going abroad. Emotionally, this is understandable, but logically and realistically consider the following as well: • We have 1.7 million Sri Lankans working abroad, remitting over $ 6.5 B a


Budgeting revisited

Views - 5349 Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

 As a discipline, budgeting should focus on income and expenditure, be it for a country or a business. Direction, policies and strategies (in that order) should precede budgeting.   Shouldn›t all parties in Parliament


Economic dreams await reality!

Views - 4847 Monday, 9 November 2015 00:00

Our politicians have always had big economic dreams, manifested in grand slogans that have made crispy sound bites. The best way to judge if these dreams have become a reality is to measure the socioeconomic prosperity of the base population &ndas


If…

Views - 5361 Wednesday, 4 November 2015 00:00

If my parents could have afforded private or foreign higher education? If my education gave me a reasonable chance of getting a job that gave me a decent livelihood?  If I had a fair chance of securing a job, either in p


Why all the fuss about the Budget?

Views - 5350 Wednesday, 28 October 2015 00:00

The Government and the private sector (in anticipation and lobbying) spends disproportionate amount of ‘energy’ on the National Budget. What is more important and an essential pre-requisite is a National Strategic Plan. This


Preventive justice

Views - 4297 Saturday, 10 October 2015 00:00

 Every time we hear of a gruesome crime, we seem to believe that a death penalty will be the deterrent.  Human behaviour is driven by one’s self-justified perception. These perceptions in turn are strongly influenced b


Putting ministers in their place!

Views - 4460 Monday, 7 September 2015 00:00

If the job of a minister is to be equated in corporate terms, it would be like a non-shareholding/non-executive chairman of a group of companies. To be a minister, neither is management competency nor subject specialisation a pre-requ


Sanga’s next job?

Views - 5277 Tuesday, 25 August 2015 00:00

My take on Sanga being offered the job of Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK: For what Sanga has contributed to Sri Lanka and cricket, he deserves the highest recognition. Foreign Service is as specialised a job as cricket


Whoever gets elected to govern

Views - 4329 Tuesday, 18 August 2015 02:10

‘Walk the talk’: Focus on delivering what you promised ‘Cut to the chase’:  Start the value-delivery process now!  Celebrations can come after you have delivered! ‘Show me the money&rsq


Elections reflections

Views - 3930 Monday, 17 August 2015 00:00

If I vote for a candidate from Party A, if he/she decides to switch to Party B after winning – is that not a fundamental violation of my choice? Sri Lankans working abroad are, by far, the country’s highest export earner &


MTI proposes ‘Ground Zero’ process to restructure Cabinet

Views - 5760 Friday, 7 August 2015 00:00

MTI Consulting, over the last 18 years, have worked on organisational re-structuring projects across diverse public and private organisations in over 40 countries. In this feature, MTI applies their research, learnings and expertise to propose a &


Power Quote

Views - 3439 Tuesday, 14 July 2015 00:00

  If we believe in democracy, let the voters decide. People will get the government they deserve. The results will reflect how ‘smart’ we are as a nation! Hilmy Cader |MTI Consulting hilmy@mtiworldwide.com


Power Quote

Views - 3634 Friday, 3 July 2015 00:00

"More bonding, less bonds, no bandits - that's the need of the hour"


Simple lessons from the Greek crisis

Views - 4027 Thursday, 2 July 2015 00:00

An economy, much like a household, must learn to live within their means. If what they ‘consume’ far exceeds what they produce (domestically) and what they earn (via exports), then bankruptcy is a matter of time Printing m


What more can we export?

Views - 3499 Monday, 22 June 2015 00:00

The world’s top exporters (for the different sectors) demonstrate one or more of the following ‘base’ capabilities. These are the ‘platforms’ on which they enable profitable export industries:  


Corporate Awards: Sanity or vanity?

Views - 3483 Monday, 15 June 2015 00:00

Corporate Awards, if effectively awarded, help recognise genuinely outstanding performances and improve motivation. However, with ‘Awards’ becoming a lucrative business, the awarding could be compromised and send out the wrong


‘Be good’ before you ‘do good’

Views - 4080 Monday, 18 May 2015 10:23

In the last decade there has been a significant increase in CSR activity. However, within the same period, corporate crime reached unprecedented levels. Interestingly, some of the biggest CSR spenders have also been the biggest offenders!


Rags to riches

Views - 1187 Friday, 8 May 2015 00:00

The ‘rag trade’ (apparel) is Sri Lanka’s largest export earner ($ 5 b); thrice the size of the next highest (legacy tea). Some key learnings for the other sectors: Look outside your industry - the two biggest players


Today's Columnists

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


Columnists More