Columnists

USA becomes top nation brand – lessons for Sri Lanka 

Views - 2981 Tuesday, 26 April 2016 00:01

EU lifting ban on SL fish will generate 16 b Nation brand building intrigues me given that Sri Lanka is building bridges once again and the recent award of EU exports of fish from Sri Lanka is testimony that Sri Lanka’s efforts


What’s happened to Sri Lanka?

Views - 3409 Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:10

Yesterday’s Daily FT reported that Sri Lanka is negotiating for a IMF facility of $ 1-2 billion whilst over the weekend the papers reported that respected Central Banker W.A. Wijewardena had mentioned that a minimum 4.5 billion was required


73% of the economy needs greater visibility

Views - 2657 Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:05

SMEs, which accounts for over 73% of the economy, are intriguing given that all we see in the papers are large companies and multinationals. This means that over one-third of the economic activity gets unaccounted.    The


Maldives lessons for Sri Lanka Tourism: 4 plans in 35 years

Views - 3732 Tuesday, 5 April 2016 00:01

Whilst many of us are proud of the performance of the tourism sector of Sri Lanka with arrivals crossing two million visitors and foreign exchange earning touching three billion dollars for the country, sometimes it’s interesting to understa


Private sector must focus on Vavuniya

Views - 2560 Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:00

The other day we celebrated ‘Consumer Day’ in Vavuniya. I realised that many private sector companies were amazed at the sales of their products from the model outlet we had set up.  I explained that as per the last Department o


Barak Obama guards $ 19.7-trillion Brand USA; offers lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 2612 Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:00

  In an unprecedented move last week, the world saw US President Barak Obama comment on the ongoing competitive US elections at a St. Patrick’s Day launch event. He accused billionaire businessman Donald Trump of damag


Sri Lanka must focus on Baby Boomers just like Millennials

Views - 2937 Tuesday, 15 March 2016 00:01

Today is World Consumer Rights Day Sri Lankan consumers are challenged due to the changing policy decisions and pressure on the consumer purse   The challenge As Sri Lanka celebrates ‘Consumer Rights Day’


Successful trade agreements take 3-5 years to launch

Views - 2360 Wednesday, 9 March 2016 00:00

The buzz word in today’s media is the proposed agreement between Sri Lanka and India called ETCA. Just like any other innovation that policymakers try to launch in Sri Lanka, we see a share of media which is not that positive, to be honest.&


SL must go back to basics: STP approach to marketing

Views - 3540 Tuesday, 1 March 2016 00:02

Case in point: Thailand Tourism  The new ethos of business is that by monitoring best practice in the market we can sharpen our strategy, much more than going to any business school globally, the logic being that the dynam


SL must give leadership to SAARC post ETCA

Views - 2484 Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

 The academia and private sector must support the Prime Minister’s bold decision to sign the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Sri Lanka must connect deeper with the world.    


Fourth Industrial Revolution: Implications for tourism in SL

Views - 5211 Tuesday, 16 February 2016 00:06

Davos analysis positive In the backdrop of a looming global recession brewing from China, Sri Lanka Tourism has set a target of being the number revenue earner for Sri Lanka by 2020. If we strictly evaluate from a resource availabil


Marketing a political candidate: Is it right?

Views - 2313 Tuesday, 9 February 2016 00:10

Given my passion for the discipline of marketing, I have experienced that watching closely how a political candidate is marketed is the best way to understand the changing best practices in marketing.  Right now, my attention is on the US p


Sri Lanka must target $ 50 b in exports with TPP agreement

Views - 2543 Tuesday, 2 February 2016 00:01

Way back in 2005 when Sri Lanka export revenue crossed the $ 6 billion mark, many of us were elated with the performance but little did we know that after almost 10 years we as a country are struggling, with the number just doubling to $ 12.5 bill


10 insights Ricardo Haussman must know about Sri Lanka 

Views - 3283 Tuesday, 19 January 2016 00:53

I guess anyone’s dream will be to study at Harvard and get a rub off this power brand on their personality, be it formal education or executive education. There were two lecturers who made a mark during my experience at Harvard – Profe


Modi lessons for Sri Lankan economy post-Harvard analysis

Views - 2597 Tuesday, 12 January 2016 00:01

As a passionate practitioner of marketing, I have this love to admire good marketing practice. Good marketing practice involves the management of the ups and downs of a brand life across time, which is where Indian Premier Narendra Modi scores str


Why hurt brand SL whilst inching to launch a nation brand building campaign?

Views - 3038 Tuesday, 5 January 2016 00:02

The Sri Lanka Economic Forum is a strong start Going well for Sri Lanka Whilst Sri Lanka is having challenges internally, given the coalition Government at play, and having to manage the shocks from the world economy, the fact of the mat


When will Sri Lanka move from talk to action?

Views - 2647 Tuesday, 29 December 2015 00:03

Financial hub in 2016? Tea Hub in 2016? Software to be $1 billion? Global tourism campaign in 2016? What’s wrong? Whilst Sri Lanka has been very optimistic in the last ten years, more precisely the


Give life to Budget 2016 with marketing thinking

Views - 3052 Tuesday, 22 December 2015 00:02

Given that the Budget 2016 has come to a close with a mandate of over a hundred-plus, now the challenge is implementation. This can happen only if a strong private partnership exists and each of us agrees to take the country forward. 2016 will be


Tourism marketing; more powerful than we think?

Views - 2827 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 - 2811 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 - 3144 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 - 3267 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 - 3732 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 - 11438 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 - 2204 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 - 2521 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 - 2406 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 - 1847 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 - 2121 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 - 2025 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


Today's Columnists

Our Cricket Board simply cannot deliver – why not they all quit honourably?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

“It is necessary, therefore, for the Government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.” Question for Sri Lanka Cricket (board) Sri La


Yesterday Tamils, today Muslims and tomorrow who?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

From the time of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, one and only one issue had dominated political party campaigns in this country; and that was communalism. The Tamil community was the main focus of these campaigns for over 50 years


Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


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