Columnists,Rohantha Athukorala,Opinion and Issues

Will ‘10 February’ be repeated?

Views - 400 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 - 978 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 - 255 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 - 364 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 - 491 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 - 245 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 - 469 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 - 950 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 - 858 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 - 897 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 - 4026 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 - 1116 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 - 503 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 - 1577 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 - 503 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 - 499 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 - 834 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 - 1056 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 - 325 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 - 692 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 - 447 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 - 1168 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 - 415 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


Lesson from India to Sri Lanka as India powers to $ 2 trillion

Views - 1145 Thursday, 20 December 2018 00:00

In the backdrop of the exchange rate fluctuations due to the strengthening of the dollar, the Indian Government pushed for ‘governance’ by asking the British Government to extradite the Indian liquor baron Vijay Malaya who has taken refuge in the


Sri Lanka beaten by Algeria and Ukraine now

Views - 1349 Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka has been grappling on the ’Governance’ criteria in the last one month, we see how the world is passing us by – not only Singapore, Malaysia or Bangladesh but now countries like Ukraine and Algeria as per the latest data release


The reality of Sri Lanka – household end!

Views - 874 Wednesday, 14 November 2018 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka is debating what is right and wrong on the governance of the country, the Sri Lankan household is falling part due to escalating costs, as per the latest data released by respected research agency Nielsen. For the seventh quarter in


Lankan housewives lift their heads but BCI at low 87

Views - 360 Thursday, 1 November 2018 00:21

Whilst the country is moving to unravel the constitutional challenge at hand, the good news emerging is that consumption that has been in decline quarterly has seen a turnaround in the last quarter (Q3-2018), as per the latest Nielsen Report. But the


Clear national strategy results in strong brands

Views - 309 Wednesday, 10 October 2018 00:00

Last week the Daily FT-Colombo MBA Alumni Association staged the first-ever pre-Budget Forum dedicated to women entrepreneurs and professionals. If one were to conceptualise the presented proposals, they hinged on two points. The first was the overa


Teacher Ma, an example to today’s world

Views - 450 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

Recently, I was on route to Sri Lanka from India and was killing time at the Kochin airport when I got my hands on the autobiography of the owner of the world’s top brand, Alibaba. The founder’s actual name was Ma apparently and he had started b


Modi celebrates birthday whilst making India strong – Lesson for SL

Views - 320 Thursday, 20 September 2018 00:00

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


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Trendvertising: The new world of communication in a hashtag world

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Rahul Bose, an Indian actor, caught a lot of attention for a video post that went viral, where he complained about the price of bananas during his stay at a five-star hotel in Mumbai. As he explained in his story – he went to the gym at his hotel w


Company Law intertwined with Income Tax – Understanding the nexus! Part II

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

A comparison and analysing the impact of corresponding provisions of Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 and Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 reveals invaluable insights corporate management must be aware of in day-to-day management activities as well as st


Will ‘10 February’ be repeated?

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

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


Shanta Devarajan: Economist who cannot get disconnected from his motherland

Monday, 19 August 2019

For me, Shanta Devarajan, formerly the Acting Chief Economist of the World Bank Group succeeding the Nobel Laureate Paul Romer and presently Professor at Georgetown University, USA, was a legend by himself. When I met him in early part of the new mil


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