Columnists,Rohantha Athukorala,Opinion and Issues

Sri Lankan consumer sinking ?

Views - 756 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 - 598 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 - 3241 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 - 2506 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 - 724 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


Sri Lanka Cricket not helping battered brand Sri Lanka

Views - 658 Thursday, 28 June 2018 00:00

As you may be aware, brand Sri Lanka is under attack with growth dropping to a single digit since 2016 which has been tainted by ‘Governance’ and the drive down of the economic activity that has reached 3.1% in GDP as of Q12018. Governance If we


Strong trade agreements need 30-50 consultations

Views - 247 Wednesday, 20 June 2018 00:00

Coming from a multinational working background, I strongly support free trade given that open competition tends to sharpen


IPL: Start-up to $ 5.3 b in 10 years – Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 576 Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:00

The world of marketing has intrigued me not because I have spent most my life in this profession and managed powerful global brands like Dettol, but I have got the opportunity to lead categories like Ceylon Tea when I served the Sri Lanka Tea Board f


After 9 years: War lessons for GOSL in 2018

Views - 270 Friday, 1 June 2018 00:00

We saw the agitation by certain quarters once again on 18 May wanting to commemorate war heroes from one side


Sri Lankan consumer in trouble?

Views - 833 Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:00

When Sri Lanka voted in a new government in January 2015, none of us in the private sector thought that we will be faced with today’s tough reality after three years. Whilst many of us are yet positive and optimistic, we must also be practical and


Central Bank to drive compliance of property developers

Views - 1204 Wednesday, 25 April 2018 00:00

Way back in 2009, the country’s economy was just $ 30 billion dollars and as at today, Sri Lanka is almost at three times the value touching $ 85 billion


Move from politics to district development

Views - 196 Tuesday, 3 April 2018 00:00

Last week I was invited to speak to the senior management team of an eminent bank in Sri Lanka on the topic ‘What Sri Lanka must do’. Rather than getting into the rhetoric of Sri Lanka, I thought of focusing on a sample district and then doing a


Googling Sri Lanka today

Views - 515 Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:00

The other day I received a call from Germany from the Sri Lankan Tourism team attending the premier tourism exhibition ITB. The objective of the call was whether I could support the task of implementing the ‘destination marketing campaign’ for Sr


Strong brands can sustain shocks!

Views - 230 Thursday, 22 March 2018 00:00

The recent media highlighted the impact of communal violence on the tourism industry. The press conference earlier this week threw out a number as high as 10% whilst the actual cancellation was around 500 room nights around the Kandy vicinity was rep


Life without Facebook

Views - 426 Wednesday, 14 March 2018 00:00

Recent media over the weekend has been highlighting the blockage of Facebook and social media networks.


Sri Lanka cannot have another terror backlash 

Views - 253 Thursday, 8 March 2018 00:00

The recent incidents in Ampara, Teldeniya and Digana and the declaration of a state of emergency for 10 days across the country was very disturbing to me personally given that I was part of the larger team that fought the ruthless terrorist organisat


Sri Lankan consumer under pressure

Views - 410 Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka is grappling to understand how to structure the Government to run the country, the reality is thWhilst Sri Lanka


Why did voter behaviour change on 10 Feb?

Views - 1586 Tuesday, 13 February 2018 00:00

What Sri Lanka saw on 10 February, 2018 will go down in history as a show of the ‘power of a Sri Lankan voter’. A typical Sri Lankan may look submissive, quiet, and gentle but they are decisive and are change agents. We saw this on 15 January, 2


SL must reach ASEAN via Singapore FTA

Views - 225 Thursday, 8 February 2018 00:00

Whilst the Share of Voice (SOV) is currently focused on the local elections, the fact of the matter is that Sri Lanka is at a crossroads to pay almost a $ 10 billion debt in the next three years. With our income sources not very competitive, with exp


10 Federer lessons for Sri Lankan sportsmen

Views - 273 Thursday, 1 February 2018 00:00

Last Sunday when Roger Federer won the 2018 Australian Open, it sure shocked the world as all the top players were eliminated earlier in the championship 2 sets all and going into the 5th set speculation was rife whether a 37-year-old could pull it t


Sri Lanka Tourism lives on the edge

Views - 296 Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:00

One of Sri Lanka’s focused industries which has attracted dollar investments and share of voice globally in the last three years is the tourism sector. Essentially private sector-driven, the industry has crossed the $ 4 billion mark and attracted o


Marketing and war are similar; who will win on 10 February?

Views - 420 Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:00

If we watch any media channel today, the focus is on the 10 February elections in Sri Lanka. For the first time we see how


IPL brand crosses $ 5.3 b; pickups for Sri Lanka’s Global Rankings

Views - 486 Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:00

When an economy is growing at around 4% and the size of the economy is around $ 80 billion, the consumer is challenged when it comes to purchasing power. Inflation in November is at 8.4%


Sri Lanka’s No. 1 brand BOC dented by bond scam?

Views - 811 Wednesday, 3 January 2018 00:00

The highest share of voice(SOV) event of Sri Lanka in 2017 was undoubtedly the alleged bond scam of the Central Bank. Via TV, radio


Politics move to the village, will it work?

Views - 236 Friday, 29 December 2017 00:00

Whilst the economic challenges remain in Sri Lanka stemming from exports to foreign remittances, from tourism to FDIs in the backdrop of a sluggish economy growing at 3.4%, we now move to the political battle at the village level.


Doing business in Sri Lanka 2017

Views - 528 Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

The other day I was at the Daily FT-Interbrand awards 2017 presentation and global expert from Holland was explaining how a country brand can be calculated and if the brand is strong then we can attract higher quality tourists,


Kodak moments for Sri Lanka Tourism

Views - 505 Wednesday, 13 December 2017 00:00

It was quite disheartening to see the tourism numbers for November 2017 dropping to 167,511 visitors at 0.2% growth against


Top global brand being destroyed: Lesson for SL

Views - 235 Wednesday, 6 December 2017 00:00

One of the key issues faced by Sri Lanka is the reduction in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from $ 1.5 billion in 2014 to $ 0.8 billion in 2016


Private sector must help build beaten brand Sri Lanka 

Views - 300 Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

Let’s accept it, brand Sri Lanka has received a severe beating in the last three years due to the overall performance suffering from all fronts.


Ceylon Tea: go back to basics

Views - 484 Tuesday, 21 November 2017 00:00

During the last couple of weeks the banter between a brand owner for Tea and the Tea Exporters Association was very interesting. Ultimately the editor of the said newspaper mentioned that no more correspondence would be


Today's Columnists

Identifying traitors: I cannot wait until Dr. Padeniya presents his point scheme

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Cause for excitement I am excited! A way of identifying and measuring a traitor is soon to be unveiled; by no less than the President of the GMOA! Hasn’t he also qualified in some department of neurology? All the more reason to justify my excitemen


The evils of translocating wild elephants

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The subject of translocating wild elephants has been a much-debated topic recently, after the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), acting on the orders of the Minster for Wildlife, wanted to move the only two wild elephants habituating the Sin


Climate scientists cheating us to a $ 12 b/year economic loss in 2050

Monday, 20 August 2018

Local news media carried the disturbing pronouncement by World Bank economists to the effect that Sri Lanka will become an extremely hot territory with 30C temperature rise and $ 12 billion per year economic loss by 2050.


Singapore miracle – How SL could benefit from trade with Singapore

Monday, 20 August 2018

According to a media report released by President’s Media Division, a committee of experts has been appointed by the President to examine and report on ‘the practical impact and use of the proposed officer policy guidelines and recommendations on


Columnists More