Columnists

FDIs into capital markets?

Views - 5454 Saturday, 25 March 2017 00:00

  Yesterday’s FT article on the CSE road show in Melbourne, appealing to expat Sri Lankans, triggered this. Emotional pleas and guilt appeals may be good enough to generate some charity or philanthropy (and do not confuse it w


Economic Progress Happiness of the wider population

Views - 5554 Wednesday, 8 March 2017 00:00

Countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai are often used as examples of countries that Sri Lanka should emulate. For sure, there are great learnings we can take from these countries. But should we not set our own balanced socio-economic goals


Ting, Ting!: Alarm bells for the economy, jingle bells for the banks!

Views - 6252 Friday, 24 February 2017 11:31

Even after discounting for political rhetoric (on all sides), economists are convinced that our economy is in a critical stage. This course is the culmination effect of how the economy has been managed over the last few decades. At the sa


What does a CEO do?

Views - 6438 Monday, 30 January 2017 00:00

With some exceptions, the business leadership culture of an organisation tends to mirror the political leadership of that country, be it good, bad or ugly. In a world where leadership is portrayed to be infallible, ‘sacred’ and full of


Who treats corporate induced stress?

Views - 6298 Monday, 2 January 2017 00:18

WHO calls it’s the ‘the health epidemic’ of the 21st Century and estimates its global cost-to-business  in excess of US$ 300 billion.  In an increasingly competitive, fast-changing and materialistic world, ‘Corp


FDIs – get the basics right first

Views - 6754 Friday, 23 December 2016 00:13

Sri Lanka’s economy is in desperate need for a strong FDI pipeline. The first step would be to have a compelling and globally competitive ‘Country Value Proposition’ (CVP) – which should simply answer the question ‘Wh


Start-ups need more logic, less magic!

Views - 6584 Thursday, 15 December 2016 00:01

As part of MTI’s idea2fund, we screened 300 start-up applications and listened to 85 presentations. Here are some key learnings:  Pick your domain based on real ‘pain points’ in the demand or supply chain –


Learnings from the ‘Trail’

Views - 8775 Friday, 28 October 2016 00:00

Judging by the public response (qualitative) and the donations received (quantitative), the ‘Trail’ need to be commended. How do you explain such an overwhelming volunteer response to the ‘Trail’? The cause is l


Employee valuation

Views - 7440 Tuesday, 11 October 2016 00:01

Businesses carry out financial valuation of their assets, be it property or brands. We also claim that “people are the most valuable assets”. But rarely do we carry out a financial valuation of the HR factor. After all, if HR is a fact


Time to reengineer management education?

Views - 8345 Thursday, 1 September 2016 00:00

There is growing evidence of graduate/postgraduate students (particularly in management streams) ‘out-sourcing’ their academic assignments. There are now small KPOs offering such services! To an employer, this raises major con


Why does the UN exist?

Views - 8521 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 - 7986 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 - 9105 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 - 8752 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 - 10162 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 - 8614 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 - 7463 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 - 7057 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 - 6429 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 - 6462 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 - 6106 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 - 5480 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 - 6098 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 - 5366 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 - 4870 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 - 5381 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 - 5368 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 - 4320 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 - 4480 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 - 5300 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


Today's Columnists

Implementing SC Orders

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The Supreme Court on 18 April has ordered six Ministries, their Secretaries and three Government authorities to take immediate several effective measures to be enforced in the design and construction of all parts of new buildings and services the pub


Need for an education revolution: Future of our kids and the nation is at risk – Part I

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

It is said that a country is only good as her people. A country belongs to her people. In a democratic country, people elect the leaders to manage the country on their behalf. Hence, to be hailed as a progressive country, it is paramount for a countr


Universalism versus tribalism

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The most venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero Mahanayake of the Asgiriya chapter has announced that his recent remarks, have been misconstrued and distorted. The authenticity of recorded information in cyber space is an inconvenient truth of t


A sermon on stoning

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

It is generally assumed we have passed the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Age, and the Space Age.After a breath-taking dive in to the Digital Age, we are well on our way to the Age of Automation and Artificial Intelligence. N


Columnists More