Focus on the magic than logic

Tuesday, 8 November 2011 01:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Premier Middle Eastern Coffee and Tea Convention, which  attracts top names in the UAE to the World Horse Racing Hotel Meydan featuring featured Rohantha Athukorala who address delegates on the finer points to taking a brand global.

Athukorala said that focus needs to be placed on the magic of a brand of tea or coffee rather than getting logged on to logic-based research statistics, given that overall global brand values have declined by a staggering 23% in the last financial year and the old business model might not hold ground in today's chaotic new world owing to economic slumps and rough times for consumers: from what we see of the Greek debt issue and global calamities the modern world is up against.

He however cautioned this strategy comes to play with its own risks, but if carefully architectured, a new business model can take form, which is the 'only remedy' in today’s crazy economic landscape.

The Middle East, which innovated the ‘Arab Spring’ has now become fashionable across the world and penetrated larger democracies of the world like India and lately the US with the 99% movement creating pressure globally to the bottom end of the pyramid of consumers in a country to fight for equality and a better quality of life, which in turn, impacts brand strategy, voiced Athukorala.

Athukorala said, "I am sure if the brand magic is properly presented with gold standard execution, it will be favourably accepted  given that in the UAE consumption of tea has doubled in the last two years even with all the issues politically."

Athukorala, now attached to the United Nations (UNOPS) as the Head of National Portfolio Development for Sri Lanka and Maldives, also sits on many key policy boards in Trade and Commerce played a key role in the Government in the development of business and trade in the Jaffna Peninsula in the height of the war on terrorism in the periods 2007-2009.

He cited the first Industrial Exhibition that was staged in December 2008 in the height of the war as an example where people believed in magic over logic of driving business in a war torn environment.

Today, the Jaffna peninsula has over 1000 companies operating in the area and some products are marketed globally citing the famous Jaffna Nelli crush that is available in most supermarkets of the world.    

He went on to say that when going global, companies should not to stick to one PR agency but use local agencies who have a better understanding of ground market conditions, given that the need now is to produce innovative ideas than conventional strategies that worked before.

He said, "From a supply perspective, the coffee and tea industry needs a new business model which require innovative thinking rather than just tinkering with past business."

One delegate, Dr. Usamah Altaf whose company plans to launch a range of tea houses with Ceylon Tea in U.A.E commented that this kind of new thinking is what is required from people who are young and aggressive as the world is too chaotic to be run with past business models.