Opinion and Issues

Gampaha, Jaffna: Poverty same!

Views - 1918 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 - 2122 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 - 2672 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 - 1590 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

Tennis lessons for the Sri Lankan economy

Views - 1519 Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:16

With the French trade organisation Coface predicting Sri Lanka to be the second best performing economic growth country in Asia next to China, I was wondering ‘what next for Sri Lanka?’ In this backdrop, I was watching the French Open Championsh

IPL, Modi and Sri Lanka

Views - 4999 Tuesday, 3 June 2014 01:15

It’s strange but India was at the centre of attention last week on many media channels with the appointment of Narendra Modi after a blistering marketing campaign that garnered him 62% of the seats at the elections of the largest democracy whilst I

Lifeline for SAARC by Modi?

Views - 1609 Tuesday, 27 May 2014 00:14

If one analyses Modi’s management style, he likes taking daring decisions, which is what he did last week, commanding 339 seats in the Indian Parliament, that makes him one of the most powerful Indians and may be one of the top leaders who will sha

Modi lessons for SL marketers

Views - 1750 Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

Whenever it is election time, be it in Sri Lanka or overseas, I block my time to monitor the key strategies that are being used and the opinion poll movements as it is good learning for modern day brand marketers; the logic being, the best cutting-ed

SL defies UN resolution with record exports performance

Views - 1754 Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:01

Even with all the issues that Geneva has brought on to the country, the World Bank and ADB have forecasted an economic growth of around 7.5% for 2014 and 2015 whilst Coface had ranked Sri Lanka as a top growth economy globally last month. In this ba

Should Sri Lanka stage the Asian Youth Games 2017?

Views - 1499 Tuesday, 6 May 2014 00:18

I was surprised to read in yesterday’s media that Sri Lanka is in danger of losing the rights of hosting the Asian Youth Games 2017. If we track back around two years back, Sri Lanka convinced the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) that Sri Lanka wishe

Googling Sri Lanka today

Views - 6213 Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

Given that Sri Lanka is a country that has an overdose of communication over 25 TV stations and 55 radio channels, I thought of Googling to see what the world gets exposed to. There were some interesting pieces of data. The British tourist who sport

War crimes and nation branding: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 2733 Tuesday, 22 April 2014 00:16

Last week I was invited to talk on the recent Annual Report that was launched by the Central Bank. The fact of the matter was that from 1950 to around 2006 Sri Lanka experienced only an average 4% GDP growth, however in the last four years Sri Lanka

Rebuilding brand Sri Lanka

Views - 2854 Tuesday, 8 April 2014 00:01

Last Saturday’s papers reported that foreign selling of stocks had reached four billion dollars as at last week; the take out to me was that the brand Sri Lanka was losing its shine post the UN resolution on Sri Lanka. But the good news from a bra

Can time be actually managed?

Views - 1199 Tuesday, 1 April 2014 01:00

It is very unfortunate that the UNHCR resolution and the subsequent activities that the media has been reporting will definitely have an impact to the overall competitiveness of the country. A point that the world forgets to note is that Sri Lanka l

Cost of terrorism on a country

Views - 2148 Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:00

Sri Lanka has lost Rs. 3,000 b due to terrorism directly 24-year of terrorism has cost the country over $ 200 b The catch-22 situation that Sri Lanka is up against in Geneva is very sad for me personally given that I was part of the larger t

How powerful brands can support Sri Lanka

Views - 2751 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 01:01

On Sunday, Sri Lanka saw a new chapter unfolding with Femina Miss India staging a part of the pageant in Sri Lanka presented by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts that received attention the world over, triggering a positive buzz about Sri Lanka. My mind w

Executive health and wealth creation in companies

Views - 2134 Tuesday, 11 March 2014 00:22

87% of SL senior managers are overweight, diabetic prone or having high blood pressure A 5-day work-out a week can increase your productivity at work Better health leads to better decision making Given the challenges that organisations hav

Power of branding in the poultry business

Views - 5574 Tuesday, 4 March 2014 00:01

The industry Ceylon Grain Elevators (CGE) PLC is a company of Prima Group of Companies. Through subsidiary companies, CGE has diversified from this core activity into commercial farms, poultry processing and retailing of poultry products, import and

Ceylon Tea to follow the Kodak saga?

Views - 3419 Tuesday, 25 February 2014 00:00

$ 1.5 b revenue achievement in 2013 at a growth of 11% only academic If one were to track the psyche of a consumer of today, a key attribute that influences the purchase decision is value for money. For instance, if we take the automobile indu

A better way to engage the world?

Views - 3363 Tuesday, 18 February 2014 00:01

Last week I was at a discussion with a top graduate of journalism and communication from an eminent university, who also happened to be a former Miss Sri Lanka, who commented that the most contestants at the Miss Universe pageant associated brand Sri

Role of a school in Sri Lanka’s economy

Views - 2652 Tuesday, 11 February 2014 00:12

Unemployment at below 5% in SL Culture fit of university graduates to private sector an issue In the recent past we have been exposed to allegations and counter claims about a Rector of a leading private sector school, which was very unfortun

Managing a brand in today’s economy

Views - 1318 Tuesday, 4 February 2014 00:01

Controversies and scandals has cost IPL brand $ 1 billion I have always seen that sports been a great teacher for business. One of the best pick-ups that I have seen was the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the lessons for brand marketing. A bra

Marketing a political candidate in Sri Lanka

Views - 3179 Tuesday, 28 January 2014 00:01

The weekend media was highlighting the changing dynamics of the local political arena with many actresses coming into the fray for the upcoming local election. To be honest, personally I feel it’s an interesting dimension purely from a marketing pe

Companies heading the right way?

Views - 1422 Tuesday, 21 January 2014 00:01

Recently, I was at a ‘Strategy & Marketing’ program in Cambridge, UK. The core of the program was for each of individual to do a piece of original work on some of the organisations we work on; be it in our home country or overseas. After many

Balanced business leadership in 2014

Views - 1416 Tuesday, 14 January 2014 00:01

Last week I had a task of making a presentation to a chamber on balanced business leadership in 2014 and I based my argument on ‘Brand value vs asset value’ building. It was an interesting challenge given that the more I researched, the more comp

Jan. to June advertising spend Rs. 34 b in 2013

Views - 2198 Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:01

We hear often that Sri Lanka’s economy is growing at 7% plus but many institutions are talking of difficult trading conditions. The other day I was invited by a Rotary Club to address their monthly meeting and I was wondering about addressing this

Importance of an MBA in a political economy

Views - 1791 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00

Last week I was invited to address the MBA batch of a top university in Sri Lanka on the subject ‘Markets and Strategy’. The first thought that came to my mind is how useful an MBA is in today’s world, when there is a political economy at play,

Can SAARC facilitate SL’s hub agenda?

Views - 1720 Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:00

On 8 December we celebrated the 28th anniversary of the SAARC Charter. If one goes back to the original document that was signed, SAARC meant a collective commitment and greater meaning to the region where it will drive economic growth in the South A

Going back to basics

Views - 1485 Tuesday, 3 December 2013 00:43

Last week I was invited by the University of Jayewardenepura for their ‘Career Day 2013’ and I was wondering what my message would be, given that today’s youngsters want to fast track their career and drive the best cars in town and be seen in

Should development banks be more aggressive?

Views - 13052 Tuesday, 26 November 2013 00:01

In the last few days there was media hype on why development banks like NDB need a guarantee from the Treasury to cover one’s exchange risks when one wants to raise funding such as the said $ 250 million that was specified in the 2013 Budget. DFCC

Today's Columnists

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

Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi

The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation

Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc

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