Columnists

What happened to the most powerful brand in 2016?

Views - 5984 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 - 7654 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 - 5932 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 - 7852 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 - 5752 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 - 5655 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 - 6154 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 - 5046 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 - 5147 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 - 4692 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 - 5491 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 - 4227 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 - 3824 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 - 3643 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 - 4086 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 - 3910 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 - 3817 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 - 3880 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


Did Brazil benchmark China on staging the Olympic Games?

Views - 3155 Tuesday, 9 August 2016 00:01

Lesson for Sri Lanka The Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (OCOGs) always highlights that every city that has hosted the Olympics since 1984 has broken even. However, the problem is that the OCOG budgets refer only


Is Sri Lanka hurting its global brand identity?

Views - 3968 Tuesday, 2 August 2016 00:05

Believe it or not, the estimated brand value of $ 100 billion plus is said to beat the GDP value of Sri Lanka in 2016, given the strong democratic Government that came into power on 8 January last year. What this performance means is that the co


Kilinochchi: The forgotten city of today!

Views - 3447 Tuesday, 26 July 2016 00:01

I still remember travelling in an armed car on route to Kilinochchi and then taking an Air Force chopper that hugged a railway track to avoid sniper attacks way back in 2007-2009. At that time Kilinochchi was making headline news daily, given that


Clear national strategy results in strong brands

Views - 3180 Wednesday, 20 July 2016 00:00

Whilst we have heard a lot of rhetoric about Sri Lanka becoming the ‘Tiger’ nation of South Asia in the last couple of years, we are yet to see some ground activation on this direction. The fact of the matter is that unless th


Focus on the East but strengthen the West 

Views - 2729 Tuesday, 12 July 2016 00:00

Whilst there are many thoughts shared on the UK quitting the EU and its implications, one thought shared was to focus on agreements like the Trans Asia Partnership. Let’s accept it, over 60% of export income comes from the West, whilst if we


Should Sri Lanka Tourism be ready for ISIS?

Views - 3478 Tuesday, 5 July 2016 00:01

Whilst many keep saying that the hot spot for the turnaround of Sri Lanka’s economy is IT and the tourism industries, globally we see the shocks that keep hitting this industry. Now the question asked by many is how resilient an industry can


The importance of building brand Sri Lanka

Views - 2950 Tuesday, 28 June 2016 00:02

BREXIT costs $ 2.1 trillion SL exports to UK, $ 1 billion When Britain went to vote on the referendum, little did the world realise that in the event it went the other way, there would have been shock waves globally –


Focussing on the US presidential election

Views - 2469 Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

The adage ‘money talks’ holds true in the 2016 campaign too with the estimated turnover to be almost 10 billion dollars by the end of the campaign. Apparently the 2012 campaign cost eight billion dollars whilst the 2008 campaign cost t


Project Management style in times of uncertainty

Views - 2742 Tuesday, 14 June 2016 00:05

On a sample of 269 companies the report that Q1 2016 delivered 16% growth at 61 billion was a performance for which Sri Lanka’s private sector must be commended, given the key issue that the country has been up against – policy inconsi


IPL 2016 and lessons for the Sri Lanka

Views - 2751 Tuesday, 7 June 2016 00:02

Over time it has been proved that sports has been a great teacher for business due to the similarity of the behavioural dynamics. Given my exposure of working in the South Asian multinational businesses, my pick of drawing parallels between sports


Invest in Sri Lanka needs a step change in strategy

Views - 3022 Tuesday, 31 May 2016 00:02

In the backdrop of the financial crisis, when the dreaded flood hit Sri Lanka, my mind went back to the time of 2007/08 when the war was ranging at its highest with the prices of petroleum touching $ 150 and foreign reserves were at just one month


Is the Indian FTA really working?

Views - 3488 Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:02

There is much debate on if the current FTAs are really working and what we need to do before moving to ETCA. The fact of the matter is that even after 15 years of work by Sri Lankan exporters on the 1.2 billion Indian population, the export value


Today's Columnists

Bringing beedi into tax net can yield Rs. 40 b in revenue

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Last week, the Financial Times quoted an AFP article that stated Sri Lanka will start regulating the toddy industry to boost tax revenues from the informal sector. This same principle should be applied to the beedi trade, which has also grown unabate


Grade 5 Scholarship examination and the future of the country

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Grade 5 scholarship examination results have been released recently. Although this is known as the “Mothers’ exam,” the mentality of the children can be well articulated when children come from the examination halls after the exams. Today w


Need for tax reforms: Government should not lose it this time but go for them early

Monday, 23 October 2017

In the first economic policy statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Government would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the e


Lessons from Geneva

Saturday, 21 October 2017

‘Mission Impossible – Geneva’ is an inspiring account of developments at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when Dayan Jayatilleka was our Permanent Representative there. It is written by his wife Sanja, which provides for fascinating insights


Columnists More