Columnists

The importance of building brand Sri Lanka

Views - 3021 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 - 2497 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 - 2764 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 - 2774 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 - 3039 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 - 3531 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 - 2840 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 - 2861 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 - 2955 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 - 3383 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 - 2637 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 - 3636 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 - 2531 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 - 2589 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 - 2796 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 - 2337 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.&


SL must go back to basics: STP approach to marketing

Views - 3462 Tuesday, 1 March 2016 00:02

Case in point: Thailand Tourism  The new ethos of business is that by monitoring best practice in the market we can sharpen our strategy, much more than going to any business school globally, the logic being that the dynam


SL must give leadership to SAARC post ETCA

Views - 2461 Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

 The academia and private sector must support the Prime Minister’s bold decision to sign the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Sri Lanka must connect deeper with the world.    


Fourth Industrial Revolution: Implications for tourism in SL

Views - 4697 Tuesday, 16 February 2016 00:06

Davos analysis positive In the backdrop of a looming global recession brewing from China, Sri Lanka Tourism has set a target of being the number revenue earner for Sri Lanka by 2020. If we strictly evaluate from a resource availabil


Marketing a political candidate: Is it right?

Views - 2285 Tuesday, 9 February 2016 00:10

Given my passion for the discipline of marketing, I have experienced that watching closely how a political candidate is marketed is the best way to understand the changing best practices in marketing.  Right now, my attention is on the US p


Sri Lanka must target $ 50 b in exports with TPP agreement

Views - 2517 Tuesday, 2 February 2016 00:01

Way back in 2005 when Sri Lanka export revenue crossed the $ 6 billion mark, many of us were elated with the performance but little did we know that after almost 10 years we as a country are struggling, with the number just doubling to $ 12.5 bill


10 insights Ricardo Haussman must know about Sri Lanka 

Views - 3243 Tuesday, 19 January 2016 00:53

I guess anyone’s dream will be to study at Harvard and get a rub off this power brand on their personality, be it formal education or executive education. There were two lecturers who made a mark during my experience at Harvard – Profe


Modi lessons for Sri Lankan economy post-Harvard analysis

Views - 2574 Tuesday, 12 January 2016 00:01

As a passionate practitioner of marketing, I have this love to admire good marketing practice. Good marketing practice involves the management of the ups and downs of a brand life across time, which is where Indian Premier Narendra Modi scores str


Why hurt brand SL whilst inching to launch a nation brand building campaign?

Views - 3019 Tuesday, 5 January 2016 00:02

The Sri Lanka Economic Forum is a strong start Going well for Sri Lanka Whilst Sri Lanka is having challenges internally, given the coalition Government at play, and having to manage the shocks from the world economy, the fact of the mat


When will Sri Lanka move from talk to action?

Views - 2627 Tuesday, 29 December 2015 00:03

Financial hub in 2016? Tea Hub in 2016? Software to be $1 billion? Global tourism campaign in 2016? What’s wrong? Whilst Sri Lanka has been very optimistic in the last ten years, more precisely the


Give life to Budget 2016 with marketing thinking

Views - 3011 Tuesday, 22 December 2015 00:02

Given that the Budget 2016 has come to a close with a mandate of over a hundred-plus, now the challenge is implementation. This can happen only if a strong private partnership exists and each of us agrees to take the country forward. 2016 will be


Tourism marketing; more powerful than we think?

Views - 2793 Tuesday, 15 December 2015 00:01

Budget proposal 2016 The budget proposal of abolishing the TDL that wiped off almost a billion rupees from the marketing budget of Sri Lanka Tourism and the directing of the rest of the funds to the treasury sure shook the industry. Whilst there


SL must absorb Budget 2016 shocks to be competitive in the future

Views - 2787 Tuesday, 8 December 2015 00:03

Budget proposal on tea a case in point Given the exposure to policymaking in the Sri Lankan economy under the NCED banner, Budget 2016 is the recommended treatment that the Sri Lanka economy requires, subject to a few exceptions. But a poi


Jaffna must be made a production city in the backdrop of UNP manifesto

Views - 3113 Tuesday, 1 December 2015 00:05

Given that I was responsible for the conceptualisation of the first post war industrial zone – Atchchuvely – way back in 2008 and subsequently together with Industrial Development Board (IDB) and United Nations (UNOPS) funded by the Go


The Top 15 from the market oriented Budget 2016, challenge is execution!

Views - 3250 Tuesday, 24 November 2015 00:05

Further to the Economic Policy statement made by the Prime Minister in early November, which was essentially an external market oriented export-led policy statement, in my view the Budget 2016 further gave details to the overall strategy of brand


Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


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


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