Blondes and “crossovers”

Published : 12:00 am  December 18, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  814 views  |  
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There is this blonde out for a walk. She comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank. “Yoo-hoo” she calls out, “How can I get to the other side?” The second blonde looks up the river and then down the river and shouts back “You ARE on the other side” To the confused public observing the endless cross-overs and cross-backs occurring in the political arena in the run-up to the presidential elections, it must be like chancing on a conference of blondes, in this very tropical country!   Choreography of the drama perfected Whether they stand on this or the other side of the river seems to matter little to our politicians merrily changing parties. The choreography... 

Ranil as a leader in national politics

Published : 12:00 am  December 18, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  804 views  |  
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Ranil, the political magician, brought out Maithripala Sirisena after keeping citizens guessing for many months. No doubt behind-the-scenes deliberations must have taken place with CBK on the best strategy. This time the UNP Executive Committee was ‘unanimous’, a clear victory for the strategists behind the move to project Maithri as the common candidate. Ranil chose peace in 2002 to end the ethnic conflict against the backdrop of an economy which had produced a sliding GDP for the first time in our history. Sri Lanka could not have pursued a war with a negative GDP, war risk insurance, the Katunayake Airport attack and the negative image of Sri Lanka overseas. Ranil never thought India would... 

Killing innovation and being rewarded!

Published : 12:00 am  December 18, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  611 views  |  
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It is indeed important and perhaps timely to reflect that some of the methods and systems that we take for granted, and solidly declare our corporate allegiance to, are not really held in that high esteem at all times. This is where Schumpeter’s creative destruction become relevant in today’s boardrooms. The spirit of King C. Gillette should be understood. He has stated that they will stop making razor blades when he cannot keep making them better. Well Gillette has not stopped yet and continuous innovation as well as keeping global leadership should be a lesson in organisational ethos for us   Adding insult to injury, these organisations may well be rewarded for following these systems... 

Sri Lanka at another crossroads: A half-outsider’s view

Published : 12:00 am  December 17, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Razeen Sally  |  9 Comments  |  2,696 views  |  
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Sri Lanka has thrown up a few surprises in the past month. Only a few months ago, the hegemony of the Rajapaksas seemed assured for years ahead. Then cracks appeared with the Uva Provincial Council election results. President Rajapaksa called a snap election believing he would cruise to a third term in power. But, unexpectedly, a hitherto feeble and divided Opposition united around a common, seemingly viable presidential candidate. Every so often, an opportunity for redemption presents itself – to recover from bad times and disaster, to fulfil long-held hope and promise. Sri Lanka missed these buses for 60 years after independence. Now, with the war over, will it finally catch the bus? Sri... 

Sri Lanka’s Brand Value to outdo GDP in 2015?

Published : 12:52 am  December 16, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  730 views  |  
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By Rohantha Athukorala Last week when Brand Finance announced that Sri Lanka’s nation brand value had reached $ 61 billion in 2014, given my responsibilities at a national level on category marketing I was absolutely thrilled as it was not long ago when Sri Lanka was trailing at just $ 30 billion while most of our neighboring countries were getting very strong ratings.     GDP vs. Brand Value From a very practical point of view while we can be proud of the GDP growth numbers during the last five to six years, namely the last two quarters of 2014 which recorded a growth in GDP touching an eight percent, as marketers whenever someone talks about brand value our adrenaline flow picks... 

CR comes back with too little, too late

Published : 12:03 am  December 16, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  284 views  |  
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With the last few games to be worked off for the conclusion of the first round, Kandy and Navy appear to be impregnable. There has been the odd upset, with some of the lesser-fancied teams turning in sterling performances on a particular day and upsetting the more-fancied team. The quality of rugby has not reached any great heights. This brings into focus the effect, if any, and the influence of the expatriate players on the local lads. The expatriates have been flown down at a fair cost to the clubs, with several clubs struggling to make ends meet. Has there been an adequate return on investment? Have the local players become over-reliant on the expats? Air Force started off the season in the... 

State capitalism in crisis!

Published : 12:02 am  December 16, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  502 views  |  
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What of Sri Lanka’s SOEs? When the economies of the Western world went into crisis mode in 2007 and 2008, in the emerging economies, state capitalism was seen as the solution. Sovereign wealth funds which had gathered resources in the years before invested in state commercial ventures. Also a new hybrid, involving State plus private capital combining together was launched. Earlier when SOEs were privatised, the State sold out its entire stake. However, this time around, private investors were invited to take a minority investment, playing a subordinate role, with the State keeping a controlling stake in the business and supposedly making enlightened business decisions in the best interest of... 

Not an Arab Spring, it is a Sri Lankan Winter of Discontent

Published : 12:02 am  December 16, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  473 views  |  
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“A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed; but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttlefish.” G.K. Chesterton. This observation of the poet, philosopher and essayist of Victorian times captures the quintessence of the political debate of the past week. It was week that produced many “manipulative pieces of persuasive art.” I begin by reiterating that the movement for a just society headed by the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero and the movement for a ‘Pivithuru Hetak’ (an ‘untainted dawn’) promoted by the ecclesiastical oratory of Athuraliye Rathana Thero form... 

Presidential debates and its impact on the voter

Published : 12:01 am  December 16, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  381 views  |  
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My eyes caught the attention of a recent web publication which had the caption ‘Mahinda-Maithri debate in the offing’. If such a debate actuallytakes place, it will doubtless herald a new era for democracy in Sri Lanka.It can be a catalyst for better understanding presidential aspirants from the standpoint of the voter. Personally I would prefer if such a process is constitutionally made compulsory. A well-informed voter is such an important issue in a democracy. Whichever organisation or organisations making this initiativemust be commended.It behoovesthe citizenry of any democracy whether professionals, intellectsor ordinarypeople to strive hard and establish and entrench important electoral... 

MBA as ‘Mind Before Action’

Published : 12:00 am  December 15, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  465 views  |  
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It was indeed memorable to organise an inauguration of another MBA batch at the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM). It was even special for me as I had the first opportunity of carefully selecting 240 candidates for the MBA 2015 batch after taking over the reins of PIM. Today’s column is all about it.   Overview It was last Friday that we had the MBA 2015 inauguration. Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawarathne, Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education was the chief guest whist Udena Wickremasuriya, Senior Director, Brandix was the key note speaker. Dr. Navarathne spoke of the role of an MBA graduate towards national prosperity. Wickemasuriya spoke on MBAs as innovators. From the process point... 

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