Rohantha Athukorala

Rebuilding brand Sri Lanka

Views - 2872 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 - 1212 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 - 2167 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 - 2765 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 - 2150 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 - 5697 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 - 3452 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 - 3373 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 - 2675 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 - 1329 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 - 3198 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 - 1432 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 - 1430 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 - 2214 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 - 1834 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 - 1737 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 - 1496 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 - 13066 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


Brand Japan lost $ 679 b in just one year

Views - 991 Tuesday, 19 November 2013 00:01

As Sri Lanka is moving out of the CHOGM fever, the question asked by many is, what was the ROI that Sri Lanka made from the event? The Commonwealth Business Forum Secretariat is very clear that it only works as a platform for businessmen in the worl


Marketing a brand without advertising

Views - 2917 Tuesday, 12 November 2013 00:01

With the development of the country in the 1970s, its consumption patterns changed from self-sufficient to exchange economy where the rural lifestyle of milking cows for liquid milk consumption moved to packeted milk powder, in order to adjust with t


How politics kills economic development

Views - 1108 Tuesday, 5 November 2013 00:02

In the recent past the Maldives has been in the news for the political turmoil that has been unfolding, with elections annulled and re-polling being opposed by different parties. Whilst the realities can be different to perception created, the fact o


FTA with China?

Views - 1348 Tuesday, 29 October 2013 00:30

In the recent past we have seen the media hype over the proposed FTA with China on the sidelines of CHOGM. This development is key given that Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Bangladesh were at just $ 2 b in exports way back in 1990 but today Bangladesh as sur


Chinese lesson for SL on hosting CHOGM

Views - 1495 Tuesday, 22 October 2013 00:17

If we were to drive around Colombo, the one thing that we see is the beautification of the city taking place in view of CHOGM that is to be staged in Sri Lanka shortly. The thoughts that crossed my mind was how China stages the Beijing Olympics in th


CHOGM must highlight Sri Lanka’s wildlife

Views - 1945 Tuesday, 15 October 2013 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka has registered over a million tourists visiting the country, we see the leading wildlife park attracting the highest number of foreign visitors. SLTD reports that in 2011 there were almost 99,000 foreign visitors and 217,000 local v


Is poverty or governance the cause of terrorism?

Views - 1283 Tuesday, 8 October 2013 00:00

Given the recent developments we see in Sri Lanka, it’s opportune to revisit the debate on whether it was poverty or governance that caused terrorism in Sri Lanka and what key strategies we need to develop to ensure that we do have a repeat of this


Launch SL financial hub at CHOGM?

Views - 1525 Tuesday, 1 October 2013 00:26

I still remember how one of the financial industry stalwarts mentioning at a Bankers’ Association conference that the idea of the financial hub in Sri Lanka had been in the system for over 20 years, but had not been made a reality. Given that CHOGM


Drive a new positioning for Sri Lanka at CHOGM

Views - 1307 Tuesday, 24 September 2013 00:00

Tourism has now become one of the world’s largest foreign exchange earners with the industry set to cross the one trillion dollar mark and visitor numbers crossing one billion globally. This growth has been ignited with the launch of e-commerce, wh


Does terrorism actually affect tourist arrivals?

Views - 3676 Tuesday, 17 September 2013 00:23

New research reveals that natural disasters are a bigger concern for travellers Latest research emerging is revealing that global travellers of today are more sensitive to natural disasters like earthquakes, typhoons and floods and diseases tha


When a brand gets hit due to a business issue

Views - 1446 Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:00

One of the highest spenders on advertising and promotions in Sri Lanka is the banking sector of Sri Lanka. Given the many issues we have seen globally and the stringent protection measures adopted in Sri Lanka, this sector has remained stable even th


Brazil as an opportunity?

Views - 1649 Tuesday, 3 September 2013 00:00

Overall market size on imports worth $ 226 b in Brazil Sri Lanka’s exports to Brazil are $ 48 million at 0.021% share. 11 Sri Lankan product sectors in the top 10 in Brazil Last week I met up with sought-after international personality Ru


Today's Columnists

Come, let us build!

Friday, 26 April 2019

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best because Sri Lanka was united in what it did well: being at peace, on an extended sabbatical, pursuing the absence of conflict – even mindlessly – and enjoying the fruit of island life. Wor


Black Easter

Friday, 26 April 2019

To Sri Lankan Christians, Easter this year was a day of God where demons reigned. It can be considered an unfortunate day in which the country was plunged again into the uncivilised wretchedness that prevailed in the country during the violent confli


Explaining Sri Lanka’s new Emergency Regulations on ‘publication’

Friday, 26 April 2019

Sri Lanka’s President issued a new set of Emergency Regulations on 22 April. This note explains the contents of Emergency Regulation 15, which concerns the ‘control of publications’, and certain other regulations relevant to publication. There


A secular public space is essential for the safety and wellbeing of all

Friday, 26 April 2019

The heart is heavy and the pen is slow. The environment is thick with the shared sorrow of many. Pain and suffering caused by deaths of hundreds and maiming of more on Easter of 2019 will linger for the rest of our lives. But life must go on and we m


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