Columnists

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

Views - 5633 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 - 6900 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 - 6594 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 - 6190 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 - 6196 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 - 5775 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 - 6052 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 - 9344 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 - 5956 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 - 7901 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 - 5781 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 - 5682 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 - 6210 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 - 5078 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 - 5253 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 - 4713 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 - 5519 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 - 4311 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 - 3845 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 - 3675 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 - 4107 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 - 3943 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 - 3840 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 - 3917 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 - 3178 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 - 3996 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 - 3499 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 - 3200 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 - 2748 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 - 3516 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


Today's Columnists

The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Friday, 21 September 2018

In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of ‘fake news’ and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet


Withholding Taxes – What, why, when?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The tax regime in Sri Lanka historically imposes WHT on both domestic as well as cross border payments. WHT on domestic payments eases revenue collection (e.g.: PAYE) while WHT on cross border payments are adopted by most countries to ensure that the


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