Columnists

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

Views - 3710 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 - 11420 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 - 2185 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 - 2488 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 - 2367 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 - 1829 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 - 2104 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 - 2002 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 - 4425 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 - 3760 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 - 2301 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 - 4378 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 - 3412 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 - 5623 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 - 3423 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 - 3224 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 - 3010 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 - 4549 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 - 1839 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 - 1463 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 - 2847 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 - 4332 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 - 1870 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 - 2153 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 - 1236 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 - 1834 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


UDA: Performance culture driving strategy

Views - 1410 Tuesday, 12 August 2014 00:01

                  Last week I was invited to take a session on ‘Marketing and Finance Implications in Urban Development’ for the top brass of the pivotal State organisati


Tea exports up 16.4%; quasi tea hub?

Views - 2794 Tuesday, 5 August 2014 00:00

At the 35th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, my mind wandered to the key sectors that Sri Lanka has been operating in the last 35 and their health. Apparel which started its business way back in 1974 is today a five


Indian FTA and next steps

Views - 1117 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:01

In the recent past there have been many discussions on the proposed FTA with China. If one analyses the trade between India and Sri Lanka post the Indo-Lanka FTA even now after 12 years, the reality is that almost 75% of the imports from India happen


Duplicity of the world: SL has faced many MH17s!

Views - 1397 Tuesday, 22 July 2014 00:01

Duplicity of the world Many of us may have been privy to the global backlash on the downing of the MH17 by Ukrainian rebels. It was a lead story in every single news channel. All world leaders were expressing their outcry. When I was watching the s


Today's Columnists

Laurels of ‘Living Together’: Refreshing reflections

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

It was a memorable evening with a mega gathering for a meaningfully different reason. It was not just another book launch with ego-boosting speeches about the author. It was also not an event where a popular politician coming late and preaching about


The fate of the rupee: Central Bank is caught with ‘Devil’s Alternative’

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Not all are losing when the rupee depreciates The recent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the market has apparently driven the entire nation to a panic mode. While it had been a field day for the media and opposition law makers, the


Southbound rupee and northbound CoL

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Sri Lankan Rupee hit a record low of 170 per $ last week, and the Minister of Finance warns of further depreciation. This is inevitable given the chaotic state of the nation’s economy. While the rupee turns south, CoL (cost of living) has no o


In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Columnists More