Columnists

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

Views - 3851 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 - 3971 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


SOV = SOM = Share of market

Views - 4436 Thursday, 4 May 2017 00:08

  In marketing, we work on a model that if we increase the Share of Voice (SOV) in the market place by increasing the marketing spend, it will have a direct link to the Share of Mind (SOM) of the target consumer grou


10 key challenges for an MBA CEO of today

Views - 6179 Tuesday, 4 April 2017 00:00

  Over the weekend I was invited to address the final year MBA graduates of a premier university in Sri Lanka, the Colombo University, at their residential workshop. The topic was ‘Key Challenges of Sri Lanka for a Youn


Sri Lankan housewife further challenged

Views - 5392 Tuesday, 28 March 2017 00:00

    Whilst Sri Lanka at the macro end is grappling to pay the $ 15 billion debt in the next four years, private sector and civil society is pressuring the Government to bring in structured reforms and stronger governance


Brand Trump faltering; lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 5268 Wednesday, 22 March 2017 00:18

In a typical marketing situation when a brand loses its appeal in the target market, a deep dive is done and there after the brand is re-launched after correcting the product offering or any other element of the marketing mix.  For instance


SL heading for tough times; exports drop 2.8%, FMCG growth halved

Views - 5478 Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:00

The other day when the Prime Minister mentioned that Sri Lanka needs to honour debt payments to the value of $ 15 billion during the next four years, it sure shook Sri Lanka. This was in the backdrop of IMF apparently advising the Government that


7 things Sri Lankan consumers say

Views - 6467 Wednesday, 8 March 2017 00:00

Whilst the world is experiencing volatility fuelled by the drastic decisions taken by US President Donald Trump, Sri Lanka is grappling with fiscal, political and corruption issues that are tainting the good work of the current Government. 


Philippine lessons for Sri Lanka tourism and economy

Views - 6545 Tuesday, 28 February 2017 00:00

  There has been a continuous debate on evaluating the impact of tourism on a country’s economy. Sri Lanka in particular has grown from $ 500 million in 2009 to $ 4,000 million currently in 2016 which indicates the powe


Is Trump destroying $ 19.7 t brand USA?

Views - 6157 Thursday, 16 February 2017 00:00

Tourism and exports are key pillars in the US, being a 19.7 trillion dollar brand. Seen here are US President Donald Trump and his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn     Many people are not aw


What have we done to ‘Brand Sri Lanka’?

Views - 6161 Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

  Sri Lanka as a brand is valued at $ 80 billion and is poised to be $ 100 billion in 2017     Last week’s revelation of Sri Lanka certainly made many of us who love this country not very proud


Corporate Sri Lanka needs to be emotionally wealthy

Views - 5746 Tuesday, 17 January 2017 00:00

 Emotional maturity needs conscious training with self-evaluation        Rough 2017 Sri Lanka is currently challenged with a very rough business economy with the stock market reeling for t


What happened to the most powerful brand in 2016?

Views - 6030 Tuesday, 10 January 2017 00:00

    In my view one of the most talked about events of 2016 was the US Presidential Elections. The market share of the two candidates kept rolling in the forties and the final tally resulted in Clinton garnering 64.7 milli


Sri Lanka heading for an agricultural issue in 2017?

Views - 8109 Tuesday, 3 January 2017 00:00

A labour force of almost 2.6 million serves the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka      2016 performance – 4% GDP Let’s accept it, the performance of Sri Lanka in 2016 was rather mediocre


Brilliant companies are brilliant at the basics

Views - 5938 Tuesday, 6 December 2016 00:02

Top research company AC Nielsen last week announced that the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) had picked up from a downward trend. But challenges to the consumer remain given that the economy grew by a modest 2.6% in the backdrop of the drought and


Trump’s marketing strategist

Views - 7869 Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:02

  Every time the world turns to elections I personally take the learning mode, given that the best techniques in marketing comes into play, challenging conventional procedures. On this perspective, the US election 2016 was a case stud


Tea: where do we go from here?

Views - 5759 Tuesday, 22 November 2016 00:02

The recent Budget proposal that the ownership of tea would be restricted to 5,000 acres sure surprised the privatised tea industry of Sri Lanka. Though a privatised business of the industry generates only 35% of the total production of the country


Will Budget 2017 achieve inclusive growth?

Views - 5667 Wednesday, 16 November 2016 00:01

  The Sri Lanka Budget 2017 has come into play at a time when the world is being challenged with the appointment of a new President in the United States which led to a nosedive in the stock markets around the world whilst at home ther


Sri Lanka worth $ 74 billion but impact of CBSL Bond scandal?

Views - 6170 Tuesday, 1 November 2016 00:10

In the recent Brand Finance release on the value of a nation, Sri Lanka registered a 74 billion dollar value at a commanding growth of 9% as at the 2016 report. However, the good news got wiped away last week when the cutting-edge COPE report on t


Reforms drive up country brand value 

Views - 5056 Tuesday, 25 October 2016 00:10

Pakistan grows by 38% to $ 128 b in 2016 Sri Lanka grows by 9% to $ 74 b Latest research reveals that a country’s image has a positive correlation on inward investment, adding value to expo


Supplies the key issue for Sri Lanka exports

Views - 5184 Tuesday, 18 October 2016 00:02

Sri Lanka’s handloom industry has carved out a niche in the global market      As a former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and serving the Board of the EDB for almost five years, I wa


Sri Lanka must get aggressive internally!

Views - 4701 Tuesday, 11 October 2016 00:38

The other day when I heard that Sri Lanka will not attend the SAARC summit in Pakistan given the issues related to security, the first thought that came to my mind was that whilst we need to drive and build external relationships and partnerships,


Tea new business model - backdrop of a debt Crisis

Views - 5495 Tuesday, 4 October 2016 00:00

Let’s accept it, Sri Lanka is in a serious debt crisis. We owe a staggering Rs. 9.5 trillion and the current Government is facing an uphill task to reconcile and recommend a way forward. Experts recommend that the way to get out of this trap


STP In action: Philippines tourism

Views - 4243 Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:04

Given the celebration of tourism week, it is interesting to study the different practices of countries in driving tourism strategy. One case study which emerged showing a destination which drove the basics of business - Segmentation, Targeting and


Where do we go from here?

Views - 3829 Tuesday, 20 September 2016 00:05

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admitted that the UN failed with Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war    As the delegation from Sri Lanka leaves to the US for the 71st Session of the UN General Assemb


Is Trump a marketer?

Views - 3647 Wednesday, 14 September 2016 00:01

Donald Trump’s promise – ‘Making America Great again’ with new thinking   The US elections always intrigue me. Just imagine a marketing budget on two brands exceeding $11 billion aimed at getti


Dealing with Sri Lanka’s true issues

Views - 4093 Tuesday, 6 September 2016 00:01

The recent visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sure motivated the country. He said: “This is my first visit to Sri Lanka since 2009, when I saw great suffering and hardship. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and in need of


Going back to the basics: SMEs need a single line ministry

Views - 3922 Tuesday, 30 August 2016 00:02

Let’s accept it - we are facing challenging times politically and economically. While some can blame the past, the fact of the matter is that the private sector is crying out for policy consistency and the support of the public sector throug


Lessons from the 2016 Olympics for Sri Lanka

Views - 3821 Tuesday, 23 August 2016 00:02

However tight our schedules, there were some of us who allocated time to watch the Olympics. To be honest, I was obsessed. Not by the Olympic medals that were won but by the story behind each winner; their struggle and triumph. Their achievements


The ‘restage’ of Brand Sri Lanka Cricket

Views - 3888 Tuesday, 16 August 2016 00:01

The other day I was talking to the Treasury Secretary at the Ministry of Finance who was a board member of the Export Development Board when I was Chairman of the EDB way back in 2005.  Given his vast experience in the public sector I have


Today's Columnists

Chulla Setthi Jathaka: An entrepreneur creating magical wealth out of nothing

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

For over a decade, I have travelled as a lending banker to every corner of the country and it has exposed me to thousands of entrepreneurs. My close interaction with them helped me to understand their attributes, qualities and characteristics that se


How not to do a strategic plan

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

‘Strategic planning and budgeting’ are vital items in the corporate agenda of any organisation. As a CFO and a member of the senior leadership team of several large organisations both in the private sector and the public sector, I have tasted the


What is needed to complete the revolution of 8 January

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The challenge before our country is to institute a transformed system, because most of our political ills are a functional result of a poor system. Our politicians and our political culture is a dependent outcome of bad system. This systemic change,


Political moves after 10 February

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Who or what is the main political problem facing Sri Lanka today? The answer you give will reveal where you are on the ideological spectrum, and will in turn have determined your answer. Here are the answers that form the political spectrum of our s


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