Rohantha Athukorala

Strong trade agreements need 30-50 consultations

Views - 23 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 - 539 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 - 254 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 - 784 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 - 855 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 - 189 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 - 484 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 - 214 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 - 419 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 - 235 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 - 395 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 - 1486 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 - 211 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 - 251 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 - 247 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 - 411 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 - 476 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 - 746 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 - 228 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 - 503 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 - 489 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 - 229 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 - 279 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 - 458 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


Budget 2018: Enterprise Sri Lanka must address realities

Views - 466 Wednesday, 15 November 2017 00:02

The other day at a post-Budget forum the Minister of Finance said that Enterprise Sri Lanka needed to take off just like the USS Enterprise in the movie Star Trek with innovative solutions while venturing into places that no man


Tourism marketing impacts total country performance

Views - 285 Tuesday, 7 November 2017 00:00

At the recently concluded Colombo university Tourism research symposium 2017, one of the key insights shared by a World Bank speaker was that ‘you have a wonderful product but the world does not know about this’. We have heard this comment many t


Sri Lanka’s global image dented to $ 77 b

Views - 452 Wednesday, 25 October 2017 00:48

When the previous regime lost favour with the people on 8 January, the new Government was elected on the expectation of building a new Sri Lanka.


A SME policy finally in Sri Lanka

Views - 1221 Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:00

The other day there was a communiqué that Sri Lanka must have a SME policy as per the direction from the leadership of the Yahapalanaya Government. It sure gave breath to the economy that is currently nose diving with a growth at 4.7% and all banks


Sri Lanka: Have we lost the way in 2017?

Views - 437 Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

When the country voted in the current Government, the private sector wanted a progressive government which is market-driven with strong governance given the issues of corruption that existed in the previous regime


Sri Lanka Tourism: Carrying capacity and differentiation

Views - 425 Wednesday, 4 October 2017 00:00

The recent focus by many on the tourism sector from restaurant owners to hoteliers and travel agents given is a view of the value chain development taking place in the country


Today's Columnists

Strong trade agreements need 30-50 consultations

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

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


The case of our concealed subservience to China

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

If one takes a close look at the general trend of discourse and debate that has been going on in Sri Lanka, one cannot but be


Muslim markers in Sri Lanka: Changes and challenges

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

If we exclude from our consideration the wars that owe their origin to religious hatred, or to difference in fundamental principles


A 10-point guide on bank credit facilities that suit your business best

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

As a businessman when you visit a bank seeking credit facilities you are faced with a lot of banking jargon with which you are often not conversant. You tend to learn about them only when you start utilising such facilities. Further, if are young and


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