Columnists,Rohantha Athukorala,Opinion and Issues

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

Views - 641 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 - 836 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 - 866 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 - 3972 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 - 1101 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 - 488 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 - 1507 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 - 434 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 - 491 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 - 793 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 - 1035 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 - 287 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 - 584 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 - 377 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 - 1003 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 - 401 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 - 1129 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 - 1336 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 - 864 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 - 356 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 - 307 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 - 440 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 - 314 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


The private sector speaks, Mr. Prime Minister!

Views - 1326 Tuesday, 4 September 2018 00:00

In the recent past there have been many views about Sri Lanka’s performance. From the Railway strike to students of higher education and recently the fishermen community are some of the indications that there are deeper issues in the system that ne


Economic woes the motivator for FTAs

Views - 380 Tuesday, 28 August 2018 00:00

We have seen in the recent past the heat on the FTA with Singapore that was signed around nine months back. Whilst there can be merits to this argument, we have to keep in mind that when a country is struggling at 3% GDP growth and a debt stock that


Sri Lankan consumer sinking ?

Views - 1190 Wednesday, 15 August 2018 00:10

Globally we see that when an economy gets challenged at the corporate end, it has a ripple effect on the consumer, leading to protests, strikes and agitation. The latter is often termed by politicians as having linkage to


President Kolinda turning around brand Croatia

Views - 708 Monday, 6 August 2018 00:00

Even though France won one of the most popular sporting events globally, the FIFA World Cup 2018, the media highlight was Croatian President Kolinda Kitarovic and how the country was led to its first-ever World Cup final by a refugee, Luka Modric.


Top Cola brand crashing globally; lesson for Sri Lanka

Views - 3701 Friday, 20 July 2018 00:00

We have heard the age old adage, if a brand is not in line to the trends of a customer, they will cease to exist over time.


Has Sri Lanka been beaten by Myanmar?

Views - 2945 Thursday, 12 July 2018 00:00

We have heard that the great Lee Kwan Yu wanted Singapore to be like Sri Lanka way back in the sixties. Today, Singapore is a $ 349 billion economy whilst we are at just a quarter of that value at around $ 85 billion.  Then we consider ourselves to


Gaddafi leadership style and ‘disruptive model’ for business

Views - 1353 Thursday, 5 July 2018 00:00

In this era of ‘disruption’, sometimes it’s important to pick people who work against the grain and develop an output that is not seen in the world. Whilst many of us were against this leadership style of Gaddafi, given the global economic fall


Today's Columnists

Is Sri Lanka under the dominance of a powerful cabal?

Saturday, 15 June 2019

There is a saying that “A fish rots from the head”. That is the expression used when a country’s leadership is seen as responsible for violence and unethical behaviour of its supporters and the citizens in general - agitating the majority commu


Behind the scenes

Saturday, 15 June 2019

We see and hear many things happening on the stage. Some we only hear about and do not see. More things are happening without being seen clearly. An observation with extensive view and survey will be the only means of bringing to light the true natur


My way or the Huawei: global battle for 5G dominance and its impact on Sri Lanka

Friday, 14 June 2019

The ongoing battle between the US and the Chinese tech giant Huawei is escalating due to both parties’ eagerness to dominate 5G technology, the next major global technological revolution. It will define the future of the World Wide Web, creating a


Plunder of public property by rulers

Friday, 14 June 2019

While the failure to build the modern nation has been the prime factor that had caused the wretchedness of Sri Lanka, plundering of public property by rulers when they are under their custody can be considered the next vital factor that had exacerbat


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