Columnists

Why not an FTA with Brazil?

Views - 2410 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 - 1848 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 - 2122 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 - 2028 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 - 4449 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 - 3784 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 - 2332 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 - 4402 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 - 3433 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 - 5642 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 - 3601 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 - 3242 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 - 3030 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 - 4565 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 - 1855 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 - 1478 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 - 2877 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 - 4368 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 - 1904 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 - 2173 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 - 1255 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 - 1853 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 - 1434 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 - 2821 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 - 1135 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 - 1418 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


Gampaha, Jaffna: Poverty same!

Views - 1988 Tuesday, 15 July 2014 00:01

Every Sunday I spend two hours of my time to write a key thought for Sri Lanka that might be of benefit to different stakeholders. A key happening last weekend was the opening of Arcade Independence Square. In my view it was one of the most beautiful


Tea: Link producers with exporters?

Views - 2149 Tuesday, 8 July 2014 00:41

The Ministry of Finance and Planning Annual Report of 2013 states that Sri Lanka’s tea industry generates over $ 1.5 billion in revenue to Sri Lanka, whilst provides almost a million jobs to the economy. Though privatised business of the industry


What happened in Monaragala?

Views - 2739 Tuesday, 1 July 2014 00:00

Whilst the overall growth of the country is commendable, reaching 7.5% in the last four years and overall poverty being reported at 6.7%, I was quite surprised to see the performance of Monaragala District, where the poverty level has increased to 20


Why take the shine off Sri Lanka?

Views - 1612 Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:01

A person who has one of the best insights into Sri Lanka’s economy in my view in Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, not only due to his experience but also his power of conceptualisation and understanding of the issues of the micro economy. The other day I was


Today's Columnists

“Sri Lanka’s future lies in producing exportable manufactured goods”: Dr. Howard Nicholas

Monday, 22 July 2019

Drawing lessons from Vietnam’s experiences The Sri Lanka-born economist attached to The Hague based Institute of Social Studies – Dr. Howard Nicholas – addressing a packed audience consisting of the alumni of the Postgraduate Institute of Manag


We should sell our water

Monday, 22 July 2019

When you read the title of this article, you will probably feel disgusted with me as selling our water has been a controversial topic since a long time ago. By the way, I am talking about virtual water trade and you would be surprised to know that we


A voice of compassion amid howls of zealotry

Monday, 22 July 2019

The unrestrained freedom extended by the current regime to a bunch of saffron-clad street vendors of Sinhala Buddhist zealotry is pushing Sri Lanka once again into a cauldron of ethnic and religious convulsion. The nationwide spread and virulence of


Roger Beteille: The man who reinvented the commercial airliner

Monday, 22 July 2019

The visionary engineer, pilot and manager who led Airbus to some its most significant decisions, passed away last month. Beteille, who was the head of French aircraft manufacturer Sud Aviation’s flight testing section, was made technical director


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