Tea new business model - backdrop of a debt Crisis

Views - 5498 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 - 4252 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 - 3830 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 - 3649 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 - 4095 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 - 3824 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 - 3892 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 - 3167 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 - 3983 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 - 3471 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 - 3184 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 - 2737 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 - 3492 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 - 2980 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 - 2480 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 - 2750 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 - 2760 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 - 3028 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 - 3508 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

Why MPs keep hurting brand Sri Lanka?

Views - 2824 Tuesday, 10 May 2016 00:02

When the country voted for change on 8 January 2015, the expectation was that Sri Lanka would see radical changes to the developmental agenda of the country and we would see a new culture of working that would seriously improve the overall value o

Stock market picks up but let’s focus on agriculture and business confidence

Views - 2848 Wednesday, 4 May 2016 00:00

    In the recent weeks we saw how the stock market has begun to pick up given the $ 1.5 billion IMF announcement towards Sri Lanka. Whilst the news is positive, a point to note is that this money can be also withdrawn wi

USA becomes top nation brand – lessons for Sri Lanka 

Views - 2933 Tuesday, 26 April 2016 00:01

EU lifting ban on SL fish will generate 16 b Nation brand building intrigues me given that Sri Lanka is building bridges once again and the recent award of EU exports of fish from Sri Lanka is testimony that Sri Lanka’s efforts

What’s happened to Sri Lanka?

Views - 3370 Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:10

Yesterday’s Daily FT reported that Sri Lanka is negotiating for a IMF facility of $ 1-2 billion whilst over the weekend the papers reported that respected Central Banker W.A. Wijewardena had mentioned that a minimum 4.5 billion was required

73% of the economy needs greater visibility

Views - 2621 Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:05

SMEs, which accounts for over 73% of the economy, are intriguing given that all we see in the papers are large companies and multinationals. This means that over one-third of the economic activity gets unaccounted.    The

Maldives lessons for Sri Lanka Tourism: 4 plans in 35 years

Views - 3598 Tuesday, 5 April 2016 00:01

Whilst many of us are proud of the performance of the tourism sector of Sri Lanka with arrivals crossing two million visitors and foreign exchange earning touching three billion dollars for the country, sometimes it’s interesting to understa

Private sector must focus on Vavuniya

Views - 2515 Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:00

The other day we celebrated ‘Consumer Day’ in Vavuniya. I realised that many private sector companies were amazed at the sales of their products from the model outlet we had set up.  I explained that as per the last Department o

Barak Obama guards $ 19.7-trillion Brand USA; offers lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 2578 Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:00

  In an unprecedented move last week, the world saw US President Barak Obama comment on the ongoing competitive US elections at a St. Patrick’s Day launch event. He accused billionaire businessman Donald Trump of damag

Sri Lanka must focus on Baby Boomers just like Millennials

Views - 2729 Tuesday, 15 March 2016 00:01

Today is World Consumer Rights Day Sri Lankan consumers are challenged due to the changing policy decisions and pressure on the consumer purse   The challenge As Sri Lanka celebrates ‘Consumer Rights Day’

Successful trade agreements take 3-5 years to launch

Views - 2318 Wednesday, 9 March 2016 00:00

The buzz word in today’s media is the proposed agreement between Sri Lanka and India called ETCA. Just like any other innovation that policymakers try to launch in Sri Lanka, we see a share of media which is not that positive, to be honest.&

Today's Columnists

Women’s bodies, masculinities and economic insecurities

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Cat’s Eye was deeply saddened to witness another wave of anti-Muslim violence, yet again, under a Government which promised to protect them from such violence. It was reported that the first round of violence in Ampara was sparked by a claim that

Strong brands can sustain shocks!

Thursday, 22 March 2018

The recent media highlighted the impact of communal violence on the tourism industry. The press conference earlier this week threw out a number as high as 10% whilst the actual cancellation was around 500 room nights around the Kandy vicinity was rep

Racism, riots, and the Sri Lankan State

Thursday, 22 March 2018

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion” – Simone de Beauvoir

Why Ranil is still needed

Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Joint Opposition move to pass a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will come a cropper. Ranil knows that best as he has tersely told a group of opposition pollies (Australia slang for ‘politicians’), “Come on! Pres

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