Columnists

Can SAARC facilitate SL’s hub agenda?

Views - 1725 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 - 1488 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 - 13055 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 - 981 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 - 2864 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 - 1099 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 - 1343 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 - 1489 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 - 1930 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 - 1272 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 - 1517 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 - 1295 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 - 3663 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 - 1436 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 - 1643 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


SL exports making progress

Views - 7388 Wednesday, 28 August 2013 00:00

40.9 to 26.8 on DCI, but growth lagging vs. regional counterparts Even though Sri Lanka recorded a negative growth of 6.09 in 2012 and in the first half 2013 we are trailing by 7.9%, the good news is that from a export market dispersion perspec


What happens when a brand falters?

Views - 7144 Tuesday, 13 August 2013 00:55

When I heard about the Fonterra debacle on DCD in Sri Lanka, from the announcement from Fonterra (New Zealand) to the 100% safe advertising campaign in Sri Lanka and the subsequent advertising ban from the Consumer Affairs Authority to today’s medi


The Apple saga on innovation

Views - 1107 Tuesday, 6 August 2013 00:00

Cutting edge innovation lowers marketing costs Sri Lanka’s R&D investment was 0.21% in 2004 but dropped to 0.11 in 2008 Private sector contribution to R&D value is only 18% The holy grail in business is innovation in today’s wor


Is SL ready for a tough 2013?

Views - 1617 Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:28

Blue chip companies like JKH down by 4% in Q2 2013 Overall exports down by 4.6% in HY 2013 Global GDP outlook slashed downward in 2013   Private sector down? Last week, we saw Sri Lanka’s premier blue chip company John Keells ann


Agriculture: The bedrock of Sri Lanka’s economy

Views - 5128 Wednesday, 24 July 2013 00:00

When a sector is 33% of the economy and 2.6 million of the labour force of the country, one can just imagine the political significance even though the hype is on the service sector like tourism and the IT/BPO industry – especially in an election y


Wimbledon lessons for Sri Lankan policy makers

Views - 2841 Tuesday, 16 July 2013 01:31

Being a sports enthusiast, the last few weeks have been really entertaining, given that the time difference allows us in Sri Lanka to complete our daily routine and enjoy the sports late in the evening, be it the tri-nation cricket tournament from th


Time for a dialogue with Ceylon Tea

Views - 2592 Tuesday, 9 July 2013 00:30

It was great to see two powerful brands of Sri Lanka coming together to take Brand Sri Lanka forward with the sponsorship of Sri Lanka Cricket given that this pivotal industry provides employment to almost two million people in the total value chain


ICC pick-ups for Sri Lanka

Views - 2224 Tuesday, 2 July 2013 00:00

Given that sports give the best lessons to the world, be it the drive of the blade runner from South Africa to the come-back of Tiger Woods in the game of ,golf we see how sports tend to give the world a lesson politics or academics can teach. Let me


Balancing profit and brand building: Where is the line?

Views - 2570 Tuesday, 25 June 2013 10:17

The biggest challenge for a CEO of today is making profits in the short-term so that one can keep the share price intact, whilst for the long-term it is how one can add value to the brand and thereby build the equity of the company. The latter is im


Walt Disney lesson for Sri Lanka

Views - 1661 Tuesday, 4 June 2013 10:37

Given that the financial year is over, we see on a daily basis a highlight on record profits and bottom line growth but I seldom see a chairman commenting on aspects like brand value and the importance a brand plays in driving a sustainable business.


Stock market picks up but focus on agriculture

Views - 1718 Tuesday, 28 May 2013 01:29

With the stock market once again on a high-powered rally by infusion of capital from overseas, it indicates that Sri Lanka’s economy is considered to be more promising than many of its counterparts in the South Asian region.   But we


SL’s tea industry needs market-driven policies

Views - 3168 Tuesday, 21 May 2013 00:38

Sri Lanka’s tea industry generates over a one-and-a-half billion dollars in revenue to Sri Lanka, whilst provides almost a million jobs to the economy today. In my view, with some cutting-edge decision making in the past, Sri Lanka has earned t


No need of a Blue Ocean strategy for SL exports!

Views - 2044 Tuesday, 14 May 2013 00:00

In the recent past I have seen many news releases and articles on the declining export industry of Sri Lanka. But, in my view, highlighting issues does not get anywhere. We need to speak to the industry and ask what they require to change the directi


IPL and business: Performance-led

Views - 1624 Tuesday, 7 May 2013 00:00

With two top cricketers of the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathew not being able to sustain the rigour of the expectations at IPL 2013 and having to be dropped off the captaincy and then making a comeback after a breather, we can just imagin


Technology or marketing?

Views - 3682 Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:21

Last week, I was on a discussion panel at the British Computer Society’s evening meeting and it was really interesting to hear the non-marketing thoughts shared. One professional mentioned that out of the top 100 brands globally, seven of the m


Today's Columnists

Untruth is the crisis

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Political language, said George Orwell, is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the subject of this essay. In addition to his current incarnation of a p


Rise, Sri Lankans – our country needs you now!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

I am sick, tired and bloody fed up of reading and listening to pessimistic tales of woe on the unprecedented crisis we and our country are facing at this dark moment in time. I am also fed up to the back teeth with reading and listening to lamentatio


Ranil abused and subverted parliamentary democracy

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

TIME: What was the immediate reason for calling an election? President Kumaratunga: I was forced into it by a total breakdown of cohabitation in Government. The Prime Minister (Ranil Wickremesinghe) was determined to harass me and chase me out. He ha


The Bench must ensure that the judges will continue to be trusted

Monday, 12 November 2018

In the backdrop of the recent developments and the strong arguments that have been presented against the dissolution of Parliament saying the President has no constitutional power to do so, before four and a half years into a Parliamentary term, as s


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