Rohantha Athukorala

Sri Lanka’s No. 1 brand BOC dented by bond scam?

Views - 861 Wednesday, 3 January 2018 00:00

The highest share of voice(SOV) event of Sri Lanka in 2017 was undoubtedly the alleged bond scam of the Central Bank. Via TV, radio


Politics move to the village, will it work?

Views - 247 Friday, 29 December 2017 00:00

Whilst the economic challenges remain in Sri Lanka stemming from exports to foreign remittances, from tourism to FDIs in the backdrop of a sluggish economy growing at 3.4%, we now move to the political battle at the village level.


Doing business in Sri Lanka 2017

Views - 573 Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

The other day I was at the Daily FT-Interbrand awards 2017 presentation and global expert from Holland was explaining how a country brand can be calculated and if the brand is strong then we can attract higher quality tourists,


Kodak moments for Sri Lanka Tourism

Views - 517 Wednesday, 13 December 2017 00:00

It was quite disheartening to see the tourism numbers for November 2017 dropping to 167,511 visitors at 0.2% growth against


Top global brand being destroyed: Lesson for SL

Views - 242 Wednesday, 6 December 2017 00:00

One of the key issues faced by Sri Lanka is the reduction in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from $ 1.5 billion in 2014 to $ 0.8 billion in 2016


Private sector must help build beaten brand Sri Lanka 

Views - 313 Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

Let’s accept it, brand Sri Lanka has received a severe beating in the last three years due to the overall performance suffering from all fronts.


Ceylon Tea: go back to basics

Views - 659 Tuesday, 21 November 2017 00:00

During the last couple of weeks the banter between a brand owner for Tea and the Tea Exporters Association was very interesting. Ultimately the editor of the said newspaper mentioned that no more correspondence would be


Budget 2018: Enterprise Sri Lanka must address realities

Views - 506 Wednesday, 15 November 2017 00:02

The other day at a post-Budget forum the Minister of Finance said that Enterprise Sri Lanka needed to take off just like the USS Enterprise in the movie Star Trek with innovative solutions while venturing into places that no man


Tourism marketing impacts total country performance

Views - 320 Tuesday, 7 November 2017 00:00

At the recently concluded Colombo university Tourism research symposium 2017, one of the key insights shared by a World Bank speaker was that ‘you have a wonderful product but the world does not know about this’. We have heard this comment many t


Sri Lanka’s global image dented to $ 77 b

Views - 480 Wednesday, 25 October 2017 00:48

When the previous regime lost favour with the people on 8 January, the new Government was elected on the expectation of building a new Sri Lanka.


A SME policy finally in Sri Lanka

Views - 1849 Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:00

The other day there was a communiqué that Sri Lanka must have a SME policy as per the direction from the leadership of the Yahapalanaya Government. It sure gave breath to the economy that is currently nose diving with a growth at 4.7% and all banks


Sri Lanka: Have we lost the way in 2017?

Views - 463 Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

When the country voted in the current Government, the private sector wanted a progressive government which is market-driven with strong governance given the issues of corruption that existed in the previous regime


Sri Lanka Tourism: Carrying capacity and differentiation

Views - 540 Wednesday, 4 October 2017 00:00

The recent focus by many on the tourism sector from restaurant owners to hoteliers and travel agents given is a view of the value chain development taking place in the country


Sloane Stephens’s lessons for parents of child stars

Views - 210 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:00

I yet remember taking my son when he was five years old to our family paediatrician, who said, “If you don’t make him active, he will be a diabetic in three to four years.” The only sport I knew was karate and his life of being a martial arts s


Is Sri Lanka ready for the 2025 growth agenda?

Views - 459 Tuesday, 19 September 2017 00:00

The other day the President and Prime Minister launched the 2025 vision for Sri Lanka which was incidentally the third policy statement of the Government since coming to power in 2015. My view is that the continuous changes to policy is important and


Lessons for the public sector chairman

Views - 478 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

If anyone has served the public sector in any capacity, the decision last week by a High Court on the highest-ranked Government officer of the country sure sent shockwaves.


Fake goods increase to 41 million across the EU border

Views - 127 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

Whilst it was refreshing to see the 2025 national economic policy being launched by the President and Prime Minister, a point that needs to be highlighted is that the trade gap has increased from 8.1% in 2014 to 8.4% in 2015 and 9.1% in 2016 which do


Tourism: Issues Sri Lanka is facing are similar to Japan

Views - 1000 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

After having engaged the tourism industry for the last 10 years at operational and policy level, one thing is very evident in Sri Lanka. Everybody is an expert in developing the tourism industry of Sri Lanka, be it a cab driver to parking attendant.


Sri Lanka must move from politics to business

Views - 1615 Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:14

Last week, the Yahapalana Government, which came on the promise of good governance and weeding out corruption, had its first blow, when a senior minister and deputy leader of the party had to resign over allegations of corruption. Whils


Sri Lanka cannot afford another terrorism backlash

Views - 1513 Thursday, 10 August 2017 00:01

The other day when the news emerged that forms of terrorism were emerging with sporadic attacks in the Jaffna peninsula, the first that that crossed my mind was Sri Lanka which is having a debt of almost 56 billion dollars cannot take ano


Sri Lanka must follow Pakistan’s IMF reform model

Views - 1708 Wednesday, 2 August 2017 00:00

Research reveals that a country’s image has a positive correlation on inward investment, adding value to exports of a country and attracting quality tourists whilst having a positive impact on skilled migrants.  Whilst China remains a


Sri Lanka badly needs global marketing campaign now

Views - 1398 Wednesday, 19 July 2017 00:00

Global growth 6% Destinations globally registered 369 million international visitors during the period January to April 2017 with an incremental volume of 21 million travellers registering a growth of 6%, states a latest release of the UN


Why the 150-year party for Ceylon Tea?

Views - 3180 Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

 The estate workers were not involved in last week’s tea party, nor for that matter were the tea planters who burned the midnight oil to make this turnaround a success story which does not hold in good stead for the industry – Pic


Modi mantra might help in marketing Sri Lanka

Views - 2487 Wednesday, 5 July 2017 00:00

While the US President continues to agitate the world with his out-of-the-box decisions that have resulted in his approval rating dropping to a low of 36%, Indian President Narendra Modi gave him a bear hub which sure shook the world.  Know


ICC cricketing lessons for Sri Lankan economy

Views - 2708 Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00

     It has been proven over time how sports strategies can be used by many other disciplines. An eagerly anticipated event on the cricketing calendar was the ICC Champions Trophy. An underdog in terms of its rank we


SL business leaders: Focus on emotional maturity

Views - 2891 Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00

  Rough 2017 When the new Government came into power two years back, the private sector was upbeat on the future. But sadly, we see the country losing its competitiveness on exports, tourism and FDIs due to poor policy deci


Political marketing gone wrong – Lesson for SL

Views - 2781 Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:02

We have seen the world going crazy on some of the decisions that have been taken by the most powerful seat in the world – the President of the United States. Starting from the initial travel ban decision that created an uproar from the Musli


What is happening to brand Sri Lanka?

Views - 4666 Tuesday, 30 May 2017 00:07

It’s strange but brand Sri Lanka has been under attack for the last two years. Overall exports have declined by 5% in 2015, then again by 2% in 2016. The total FDIs have declined in 2016 in the midst of the global pool expanding, which does


Lessons from the war with LTTE after 8 years: Implications for the Government

Views - 3918 Tuesday, 23 May 2017 00:00

 War and business have many similarities. The issue is to have marketing-oriented policies     On 19 May we celebrated eight years since the cessation of hostilities with the LTTE. My mind goes back to the ti


Paradise threatened; 11.1% GDP contribution by tourism

Views - 4230 Tuesday, 16 May 2017 00:01

    Over the weekend I was honoured to listen to my teacher from Harvard, Professor Matt Andrew’s lecture to the Masters in tourism students of Colombo University. He voiced that if not for the tourism industry Sri


Today's Columnists

Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Thursday, 15 November 2018

A small step was taken by a sovereign court the day before yesterday. It was a giant leap for the supremacy of the Constitution over all three arms of government in a recently benighted Sri Lanka. As well as being the tangible proof of intra-governme


Sri Lanka’s Judiciary in its finest hour

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“We must never forget that the only real source of power we as judges can tap is the respect of the people” –Justice Thurgood Marshall


When scholars turn slayers of reason

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“… I think, that the intellectual is an individual endowed with a faculty of representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, a public. And this role has an edge to it, and cannot be


A stable democracy is a prerequisite for the wellbeing of Sri Lankans

Thursday, 15 November 2018

In Sri Lanka, despite the complexity of overlapping policies, the slow pace in implementing economic policies has been of central concern in the past few years. The current political state in Sri Lanka poses a series of e


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