Rohantha Athukorala,Opinion and Issues

Ceylon Tea: Not an adoption driver?

Views - 293 Tuesday, 15 October 2019 00:00

The latest research study done using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on consumer perceptions on a sample market like ‘Australia’ reveal that, the key attributes that a consumer looks for when selecting tea are: quality of tea, type of tea and tea fl


Sanga as MCC President: Future of SL cricket?

Views - 1023 Wednesday, 9 October 2019 00:00

The first non-British President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), a true son of Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara, took over the club’s reins on 1 October 2019 for the next 12 months. His mandate, as was clearly outlined by outgoing president Anthony


Brand Sajith wave gets traction

Views - 2268 Tuesday, 1 October 2019 00:00

After a long wait, brand Sajith was declared to be the contender against brand Gotabaya for 16 November showdown at the Presidential Elections 2019.  Whilst there is much speculation and Sri Lanka went into many theories during 49-day lag, the ultim


Rogue MBAs: How to identify them

Views - 1171 Tuesday, 24 September 2019 00:44

Many of us who are into imparting knowledge were thrilled to hear the Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. Mohan de Silva stressing on the importance of a national quality assurance system for both State and non-State education.  He we


Gotabaya’s promise and corporate Sri Lanka

Views - 1668 Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:00

In the backdrop of the $ 93 billion economy, Sri Lanka is wobbling with overall household consumption declining to 4.7% growth and GDP forecasted at 2.7%, which means Sri Lanka is in for tough times. In this backdrop the first candidate off the block


Sri Lankan household sinking: HH consumption drops 4.7%

Views - 898 Friday, 6 September 2019 00:00

Whilst powers may be busy forging alliances and contemplating how one can stay in power, the poor housewife is squashed between meeting the needs of the family and balancing the disposable income she has in her hand. When we hear the narratives of th


Time that Govt. sees reality – CCI drops to 36

Views - 725 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

Whilst many of us believed in the Yahapalana regime and decided to serve the country, when we look back it’s sad to say that what we feel is that that the sacrifice we made was in vain. The last four years have been a disaster when it comes to livi


Will ‘10 February’ be repeated?

Views - 772 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka is in election mode, the thought crossing every Sri Lankans mind is, ‘Will the 10 February 2018 elections behaviour be repeated?’ given the head-start that ‘Brand Gota’ has got. Whilst many are speculating who will be the fig


What a brand architect means to me – Rev. Fr. Trevor G. Martin

Views - 1060 Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:00

I still remember the day that my mentor Rev. Fr. Joe Wickramasinghe bid adieu to St. Peter’s College; the thought that flashed through my mind was that we would never see this calibre of administrator at college again, given that Fr. Joe ran the en


Sri Lanka needs an IPL approach to nation brand building

Views - 288 Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

The world of marketing has intrigued me, not only because I have spent most my life in this profession and managed powerful global brands like Dettol, but because it is the only discipline in business that makes one close to the end customer. It is t


Federer lessons for Sri Lanka tourism

Views - 381 Thursday, 18 July 2019 00:10

The Wimbledon Men’s Final in 2008 was termed as the best match the world has seen between the two arch rivals Federer and Nadal. But, what we saw last Sunday between the two of them after 11 years sure shocked the world. Many just asked the questio


Corporate Sri Lanka needs to be psychologically strong

Views - 511 Wednesday, 10 July 2019 00:00

When I was reading Monday’s newspapers I was disturbed to see the Government’s responses to the new Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chief Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya’s very straightforward and candid comments on the proposed forces agreement SOFA and MCC,


Become a corporate athlete

Views - 279 Thursday, 4 July 2019 00:15

Last week Sri Lanka staged ‘Rotary Performance Awards 2019’ at the Cinnamon Grand with a packed audience of almost 600 people. The attendees included Past Global President K. Ravindran and Governor 2018/19, former Sri Lankan cricketer Dushan Soza


Sri Lankan companies: Be brilliant on basics

Views - 558 Thursday, 20 June 2019 00:00

The $ 87 billion Sri Lanka economy is registered a 3.5% GDP growth in Q1 2019 in the backdrop of South Asian growing at 6% which explains how far away we are in relation to our neighbouring countries – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I guess the Q2


Sri Lanka Tourism gets third chance: will we blow it?

Views - 983 Thursday, 13 June 2019 00:00

Whilst many are looking at the downturn in Sri Lanka tourism, in my view, we have got a third chance to make Sri Lanka Tourism a world-beater in the future. We can use the next year to re-position the brand, just like Bhutan and Rwanda Tourism, did t


One month gone: No charge on over 200 Catholics murdered

Views - 867 Wednesday, 22 May 2019 00:00

It’s been one month since the murder of around 300 innocent Catholic children and parents but no has yet been charged for the biggest negligence of duty that Sri Lanka has seen in recent history. The President and Prime Minister have both denied a


Cost to tourism: LTTE $ 7.8 b, ISIS $ 1.5 b?

Views - 914 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:10

The country is yet grappling to come to terms with the manmade disaster on 21 April. The attendance at schools is slowly recovering whilst the private sector is returning to normalcy. The Army Commander’s announcement that Sri Lanka is safe and re


9 lessons for marketing from the terror attack on Easter

Views - 4094 Tuesday, 30 April 2019 00:00

It was not only Sri Lanka that was shaken from the Easter attack but also the world. The lights on the Eiffel Tower were switched off, parliaments around the world observed a minute’s silence. US President Donald Trump made a special comment to the


Countries can recover post-disaster; strong policymakers a must

Views - 1130 Wednesday, 24 April 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka was devastated on Sunday when suicide bombers went on rampage. Whilst the actual impact will be seen in the near future, what is sad for Sri Lanka is that the policymakers are at sea despite all the experience we had in dealing with the LTT


Sri Lanka at crossroads?

Views - 519 Wednesday, 10 April 2019 00:00

The Sri Lankan economy is worth around $ 93 billion with the per capital income at $ 4,310 and the country achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals. However, the country is going through some tough times with questions on governance stemmin


AI and political marketing

Views - 1619 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Artificial Intelligence has become a hot topic in the recent past in Sri Lanka, with an eminent business personality explaining how his companies like Singer and HAYLEYS are using this technology to better serve the customers. Let me do a deep dive i


Ceylon Tea or Sri Lanka Tourism the stronger category brand?

Views - 543 Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:00

The Central Bank officially reported last week that Sri Lanka exports have grown to $ 11.9 billion, recording a growth of 4.7%, which means that the country has not performed up to expectation in 2018. The export volume index has grown by 0.5% in 201


Budget 2019 off target?

Views - 506 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

The share of voice (SOV) of the Budget 2019 was very strong with almost every newspaper every media station, paper or radio highlighting the opinions and challenges. But I did not see anyone report the research presentation that was made on 6 March (


Will SL Budget 2019 capture key trends globally?

Views - 868 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:10

As per the latest estimates of the World Bank, the South Asian region is ranked the fastest growing with a whopping 6.9% GDP growth in 2018, whilst the estimated growth in 2019 is to be 7.1% which indicates the appetite that private sector has and no


Will tourism lose another chance?

Views - 1067 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:16

Last week we saw the appointment of another respected business professional to drive Sri Lanka Tourism – the sixth Chairman to drive the entity Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) within a space of just four years. If I may capture since 20


Sri Lankan housewife raises her head

Views - 343 Tuesday, 29 January 2019 01:21

Whilst Sri Lanka is grappling with a 2.9% GDP growth in Q3 2018, which happens to be the lowest growth seen in the recent history of Sri Lanka, thankfully the Sri Lanka housewife is raising the head at the household end due to the low inflationary at


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Views - 717 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Sri Lanka must focus on quality of exports rather than value

Views - 492 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka needs to be commended on the exports value of $ 17 billion that was achieved last year (the numbers include merchandise and export of services), a point to note us that Sri Lanka is ranked the lowest in our part of the world for new


Sri Lanka: Target exports from $ 37 to $ 50 billion

Views - 1312 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

It was great to see the communique that Sri Lanka has reached $ 17 billion in exports in 2018, registering a growth of 15% in the backdrop of the Colombo Stock Exchange reporting the worst trading recorded in the last 10 years last Friday. The 2018 e


Marketing a political candidate in 2019: Is it right?

Views - 435 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

If we track back at last year, the highest share of voice topic was undoubtedly ‘politics’. Many are speculating now that 2019 will be the year of elections, starting from the Provincial Council elections to General elections and subsequently the


Today's Columnists

Facing the chill wind: Decline in agricultural exports in Sri Lanka

Thursday, 17 October 2019

During the past two years, there is a marked increase in the export revenue as indicated in table 1. The export earnings from January to July 2019 also grew by 2.8% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, despite the uncertainties


The ‘Strategic Blueprint’ of your firm: Articulating your competitive strategy

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Why do many firms fail to achieve their ambitions and growth targets in revenue and profitability? Several reasons can be found and one of the fundamental issues lies with the firm’s leadership not being able to articulate its competitive strategy


Innovation conundrum: We do or don’t do!

Thursday, 17 October 2019

It is perhaps important to highlight the need for seriously considering an aspect that we need to embrace and embed if we are ever to transform our economy from a dependent deprived status to a one worthy of emulation. The aspect in question is innov


Palaly comes to life again

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Today, 17 October, Sri Lanka is scheduled to re-open the Palaly Airport as its third international aerodrome. There will be many who will applaud and give praise for the refurbishment and upgrading of the new airport; and there will be others who wil


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