Columnists

Tourism marketing; more powerful than we think?

Views - 2800 Tuesday, 15 December 2015 00:01

Budget proposal 2016 The budget proposal of abolishing the TDL that wiped off almost a billion rupees from the marketing budget of Sri Lanka Tourism and the directing of the rest of the funds to the treasury sure shook the industry. Whilst there


SL must absorb Budget 2016 shocks to be competitive in the future

Views - 2793 Tuesday, 8 December 2015 00:03

Budget proposal on tea a case in point Given the exposure to policymaking in the Sri Lankan economy under the NCED banner, Budget 2016 is the recommended treatment that the Sri Lanka economy requires, subject to a few exceptions. But a poi


Jaffna must be made a production city in the backdrop of UNP manifesto

Views - 3119 Tuesday, 1 December 2015 00:05

Given that I was responsible for the conceptualisation of the first post war industrial zone – Atchchuvely – way back in 2008 and subsequently together with Industrial Development Board (IDB) and United Nations (UNOPS) funded by the Go


The Top 15 from the market oriented Budget 2016, challenge is execution!

Views - 3254 Tuesday, 24 November 2015 00:05

Further to the Economic Policy statement made by the Prime Minister in early November, which was essentially an external market oriented export-led policy statement, in my view the Budget 2016 further gave details to the overall strategy of brand


Recession in 2016 globally; should Sri Lanka do nation brand building?

Views - 3713 Tuesday, 17 November 2015 01:39

Whilst the third generation economic reforms is exactly what Sri Lanka requires supported by deeper structural policy reforms, the challenge we are up against is to evaluate the operating environment and the impact it can have on the success of su


Seven All Black lessons for 3rd generation economic reforms

Views - 11423 Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:18

We have been privy to very strong share of media on the All Blacks performance at the World Rugby championships 2015. A particular piece that caught my eye was ‘All Blacks have the world at their feet but could fail to realise the potential&


Ceylon Tea requires a strong marketing drive

Views - 2187 Tuesday, 10 February 2015 01:11

In this age, the lifeline of the world is the brands that a company owns. If we examine the tea industry, it’s strange but the top 10 destinations for Ceylon Tea in the 1960s, 1985 and in 2010 are continuously changing. Every 15 years the industry


Sri Lanka must beat Estonia

Views - 2491 Tuesday, 27 January 2015 00:01

Since 8 January we have seen how Sri Lanka has unleashed a new attitude to the world. My mind went to the words of nation brand building expert Simon Anholt, who said: “If a country doesn’t like its image – and most countries don’t – then t


Why not an FTA with Brazil?

Views - 2373 Tuesday, 20 January 2015 00:47

Overall market size on imports worth $ 226 b in Brazil Sri Lanka’s exports to Brazil $ 48 m at 0.021% share Lanka within top 10 importing countries in many product sectors FTA struggling Whilst we can be proud of the export performance,


Marketing pickups and challenge for Sri Lanka

Views - 1833 Tuesday, 13 January 2015 00:01

What Ruchir said When I was watching the election results on 8 January, my mind went back to the oration by the J.P Morgan Managing Director Ruchir Sharma at the Central Bank’s 60th anniversary. The essence of his presentation was that any state l


Mobile to tip the next Sri Lankan president?

Views - 2108 Tuesday, 6 January 2015 02:02

Given the media blackout from today, the challenge will be who gets the share of voice with a potential voter with clever media strategies that can lead to a share of mind and thus lead to a behaviour on 8 January. Whilst traditional media like TV, r


Can the tea industry make Sri Lanka worth $ 100 b?

Views - 2006 Tuesday, 30 December 2014 00:52

Tea poised to cross $ 1.6 b dollar mark in 2014 SL the only country to be awarded Ozone-friendly tea positioning Supply chain issues in tea industry must be addressed Rs. 6.5 b plus marketing spend must be unleashed  We all are aware of


Sri Lanka’s Brand Value to outdo GDP in 2015?

Views - 4430 Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:52

By Rohantha Athukorala Last week when Brand Finance announced that Sri Lanka’s nation brand value had reached $ 61 billion in 2014, given my responsibilities at a national level on category marketing I was absolutely thrilled as it was not long ag


Marketing a political candidate: Key insights

Views - 3765 Tuesday, 9 December 2014 00:08

This year’s Christmas holidays will be very interesting as the share of voice at every home get-together or party will be the entrenchedly competitive campaigns to the most powerful seat in Sri Lanka. My interest is mainly on the cutting edge marke


Building brand Sri Lanka in 2015

Views - 2306 Tuesday, 2 December 2014 00:12

Last week I was invited to address an international audience on the power of Nation Branding. It was an interesting challenge given that Sri Lanka has had its share of economic success while also being up against the issues that the West has driven t


Obama pick-ups for Lanka’s presidential campaign 2015

Views - 4382 Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:16

Just imagine a marketing budget on two brands exceeding Rs. 5 billion aimed at getting one brand into the most powerful seat in Sri Lanka. The only thought that will come into a marketer’s mind will be that the most cutting-edge strategies will com


Winning in today’s tough business world

Views - 3418 Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:11

Winning in today’s competitive business world is among key buzz words whenever I talk to a youngster. Let me capture some pickups that I have experienced in my tenure guiding youngsters in the world of business and marketing. Past failures I


Political marketing: Lessons from Modi

Views - 5628 Tuesday, 11 November 2014 00:15

Given that 2 January was announced by the weekend media to be the presidential elections, my mind took me to the sharpest marketing campaigns that we have seen in South Asia that might be relevant to the Sri Lankan candidates. Let me capture the rele


Sri Lankan marketers see the power of social media

Views - 3445 Tuesday, 4 November 2014 00:24

Last week Sri Lanka witnessed a landmark event when we saw an allegedly controversial advertisement by a top biscuit manufacturer back-benched by the adverse comments on social media. The decision was all the more important given that there was no me


Fish exports to EU: $ 125 m at stake

Views - 3229 Wednesday, 29 October 2014 00:00

The latest data reveals that Sri Lanka’s exports are booming at 14.7% as at end August 2014 with the apparel industry growing at a commanding 18.9%, tea at 12.3%, whilst the top two countries, USA and UK growing at 16.1% and 11.9% respectively. The


Sri Lanka: Get the facts right and then market

Views - 3014 Tuesday, 21 October 2014 00:05

The weekend newspapers were highlighting the decision by EU General Court from Luxemburg stating that the EU has revised the proscription of the LTTE and that appeals be limited to points of law within two months of notification. I was confused on th


‘Made in China’ does not mean poor

Views - 4552 Tuesday, 14 October 2014 01:56

Sri Lanka witnessed the 100,000th Chinese tourist coming into Sri Lanka the other day. Ha Yeon and Chen Yu Hua were welcomed at the BIA airport and apparently they decided to come to Sri Lanka upon seeing the bus branding in Shanghau, which made my m


Why keep hurting brand Sri Lanka?

Views - 1842 Tuesday, 7 October 2014 01:32

The corporate sector of Sri Lanka was shocked at the unfolding events at the New York ‘private party’ that emerged initially via digital media and was then absolutely mismanaged at the weekly press briefing of the Government and subsequent declar


Turn East, further link West

Views - 1467 Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:01

Last week the world saw the launch of the ‘Make India’ campaign by Indian Premier Narendra Modi, branded ‘Turn East – Link West,’ which was an interesting idea given that a new vision was required for brand India with the fast-earning reput


Chinese secret agenda?

Views - 2853 Tuesday, 23 September 2014 00:01

27 agreements signed between Sri Lanka and China in 2014 The recent visit by the Chinese President that chalked up $ 4 billion on projects was interesting, but a point to note is that the investment in India by the Chinese that was signed post


What happened to Sri Lanka?

Views - 4340 Tuesday, 16 September 2014 00:01

Being actively involved in the growth agenda of Sri Lanka in the private and public sector at policy and operational level, I was quite disappointed and surprised on the recent ranking of Sri Lanka in the World Competitiveness Index released by the W


Jaffna as a production city

Views - 1880 Wednesday, 10 September 2014 00:00

The challenge – 2008 My mind goes back to the year 2008 when I met the Security Forces Commander Major Chandrasiri in the Pallaly Army Camp under very heavy security given that the war was at its height and on a daily basis there were incidents.


Building ‘Brand Sri Lanka’ over and over again

Views - 2157 Tuesday, 2 September 2014 03:03

Last week we saw some key events unfolding in Sri Lanka, the first being the announcement officially that Sri Lanka is engaging a global PR agency to give a balanced picture of Sri Lanka in the US market and the other being the staging of Miss China


Sri Lanka must not be blind to global realities

Views - 1241 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 01:00

What is being blind? The other day I was sharing with a close friend on how a group of us used to teach English at the School for the Deaf and Blind in Ratmalana and one day, a kid asked: “If God has created us equal, why are we blind?” I did no


SL’s SMEs must have a single line ministry

Views - 1839 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 02:27

Rotary Club insight I was at a Rotary Club forum last week on the importance of value chain development rather than just having a multitude of projects, and some interesting information was shared. This organisation that focuses on SMEs – in terms


Today's Columnists

Reaching global quality standards through Deming Award

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The importance of quality in the contemporary competitive business environment cannot be over-emphasised. Total Quality Management (TQM)is a company-wide, all pervasive management philosophy, which organisations globally, in many business sectors hav


Ramsar accreditation of Colombo Wetlands: Rebranding Colombo as a Wetland City

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Colombo, once known to be “kolonthota,” has always been identified as a wetland complex at the heart of the Kelani river delta. Today this city is increasingly drying up, with around 20 sq km left as wetlands which continue to be threatened every


Coup Sri Lanka: some winners, mostly losers

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

As a president proves shockingly stubborn, a nation waits with baited breath as to what His Excellency the loose cannon on a rocky slope will do next. Two Prime Ministers and the fates of their respective parliamentary groups hang in the balance lik


Rising dollar and bank NPA, brothers in arms?

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The rising Non-Performing Advances (NPA/NPAs) is a matter of concern to the entire financial industry. It is a nightmare. The weekend papers have published some articles based on interviews journalists conducted with respective bank CEOs and also bas


Columnists More