Columnists,Rohantha Athukorala,Marketing

Sri Lanka at tipping point ?

Views - 1486 Thursday, 23 January 2020 00:00

Let’s accept it, Sri Lanka is in trouble with the economy growing at +2.6%, exports declining for the fifth month in a row to register a marginal +1% growth, tourism declining by -20% and S&P credit rating at B with Negative Outlook, which sure ind

YouTube: No. 3 channel with 6.5 million viewers

Views - 990 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:23

Latest media insight on Sri Lanka reveals that almost 6.5 million people can be reached via the YouTube channel and is currently in third place on reach, next to Derana and Hiru TV channels. This has resulted in brand marketing companies having to mo

What a brand means to me

Views - 1395 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:10

The year gone by was an interesting year given the chaos in the market place. Starting from the Easter attack and fear psychosis that gripped the nation and wiped out the buoyant economy of Sri Lanka. The quarter-two GDP crashed to 1.6% with tourist

Re-build brand Sri Lanka: Exports at +1%

Views - 307 Wednesday, 18 December 2019 01:46

With the appointment of the new Government we see the re-building of brand Sri Lanka has commenced – starting from the launch of the Port City, rejuvenation of the stock exchange and tax cuts to jump start the economy, all commended by the private

Tourism an export industry: Fourth chance?

Views - 486 Tuesday, 3 December 2019 00:32

It took a lot of thought before I decided to put pen to paper. Whilst the key industry stakeholders like THASL and SLAITO have raised the red flag on the industry with almost 70 hotels up for sale, in my view we have got the fourth chance to make Sri

Brand power or a consumer issue?

Views - 411 Tuesday, 26 November 2019 00:00

Coming from a marketing background and having worked in very competitive markets for several years, the recent Presidential Elections deployed the most cutting-edge marketing practices that I have seen in action. It was very evident that the top two

Serving Sri Lanka and the presidential manifestos

Views - 497 Wednesday, 13 November 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is entering a decisive week given that the country will be selecting the leader who will drive the country for the next five years. The reason I say decisive is that Sri Lanka has hit the lowest level of economic performance. Sri Lanka is c

Both presidential candidates have missed: Nation brand value building

Views - 702 Tuesday, 5 November 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is entering one of the most decisive time periods in recent history; just 11 days for the appointment of the new president of Sri Lanka. The manifestos of both key contenders are highly focussed on what Sri Lanka requires and must be commen

Is Sri Lanka going the way of Sony?

Views - 642 Tuesday, 29 October 2019 00:00

While Sri Lanka’s recent Share of Voice (SOV) has been dominated by heavy political marketing, with every newspaper bearing a false cover with political brands or inundated with election rally rhetoric, the rest of the world is passing us by. This

Elpitiya test market: Implications for brands Gota and Sajith

Views - 1070 Wednesday, 23 October 2019 03:52

In the traditional world of marketing, we tend to test market a product before going national with it. There are three test marketing areas that are normally selected by FMCG companies - Gampaha, Kandy and Negombo. The logic behind this is that the c

Ceylon Tea: Not an adoption driver?

Views - 412 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 - 1264 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 - 2365 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 - 1231 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 - 1789 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 - 1055 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 - 825 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 - 1115 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 - 1095 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 - 308 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 - 405 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 - 531 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 - 306 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 - 598 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 - 1050 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 - 890 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 - 950 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 - 4160 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 - 1146 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 - 537 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

Today's Columnists

Research and Development: Is it essential for Sri Lanka?

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Not long ago, on the day of our 71st Independence Day celebrations, the Army for the first time in our history paraded a locally built Multi-Barrel rocket launcher. It was never revealed that the Sri Lanka Army had an R&D wing named Center for Resear

Our heritage is Kandyan law; not Roman Dutch law as Rathana Thero thinks

Thursday, 23 January 2020

There were four bills presented by private members to the Parliament on 8 January (one bill is to be presented) which were already advertised in the gazette. They were to repeal the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act No. 44 of 1952; to repeal the Musli

Sri Lanka at tipping point ?

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Let’s accept it, Sri Lanka is in trouble with the economy growing at +2.6%, exports declining for the fifth month in a row to register a marginal +1% growth, tourism declining by -20% and S&P credit rating at B with Negative Outlook, which sure ind

The importance of business incubators for emergence of new businesses

Thursday, 23 January 2020

The new Government is poised to enter an arena in the development of entrepreneurship in the country which most of the developed countries have succeeded at the initial stages as well as in continuous efforts. The appointment of the new chairman and

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