La Niña can cost Lanka one percent of GDP
Marketeers must have GOSL policy on their radar :
Marketing professional Rohantha Athukorala addressing the marketing
fraternity of the country at the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM)
said that just like brands are being tracked in the market place for
share and penetration, marketeers must monitor how government policy is
being rolled out in the country so that marketing opportunities can be
identified early for brand activation programming.
Athukorala highlighted the recent Sri Lanka Designer Festival that
was staged by way of a private-public partnership where weavers from
Maruthumunai were infused with the most hip design trends by eminent
product development specialists and then the end merchandise found its
way into the leading department stores in the UK which highlighted the
marketing discipline at its best at national level.
“Very soon these products will be tagged the “Peace Collection” brand
name which will give an identity and a premium price at consumer level.
This pilot project will now be expanded to rest of the country in
different product categories and marketeers must track such developments
so that these households can be targeted for brands to be purchased with
the increasing household income”, he said.
Commenting on the recent floods that has destroyed livelihoods and
homes in the Eastern province, he said the La Nina phenomenon will not
only affect the East but across the country including the tea industry
fruits, vegetables and the output of paddy which in effect will shave
off one percent of GDP.
But he re-iterated that even in 2005, this same sentiments were at
play but Sri Lanka rebounded and ended the year at a commanding level
that certainly explains the resiliency of the nation.
But he cautioned that this time around global finding can be tight
and the developmental agenda can take a rough ride but it is also an
opportunity for Sri Lanka to capture the learning’s from the Tsunami and
develop an effective implementation agenda. This can include a stronger
data base management and implementation with a stronger control
mechanism by using professional partners to get the best out of the
moneys invested. Apparently the 1992 flood costed the country 1.03
percent GDP and the 1978 cyclone 3.78 percent of GDP.
During the presentation titled ‘Marketing opportunities from budget
2011’ the speaker shared some insights marketing opportunities that will
unfold in the near future. A top highlight was the 1 million economic
units that will come into play based on a household entity, which will
be crafted on the lines of the Maruthumunai weavers project. Athukorala
said this will open up a new income source to each household and with it
comes branding and marketing opportunities that marketeers can latch
He also emphasized the double deduction leverage that moneys invested
on R&D in the company P&L as well as the 75 percent accruing of
advertising as an expenditure that is ideally savings that can be
ploughed back to brand marketing.
Athukorala who is a Board Director of the Industrial Development
Board of Ceylon, the Export Development Board and the Tea Board said
that marketeers must track the 200 common service centers that is
sprouting in different parts of the country which are new opportunities
for sampling brands while the emerging non tariff barriers being removed
in India can be utilized by marketeers of tea into countries such as
He also asked the fraternity to watch the developments of APTA
agreements as once it is in place there will be duty free access to
countries in the Far East including China.
Finally the speaker said that knowing the line Ministry Secretary and
key Government officials was key to the future organizational success in
post war Sri Lanka.
“If this relationship is not built between marketeers and the public
sector the ultimate loser will be the brands we manage” he said.
SLIM President Rohan Somawansa said due to the strong hands on
experience of working in the private and public sector there were many
pick ups to companies.
Project Chairman Ruwan Liyanagamage said it was the highest
membership puller that SLIM has experienced in the recent past but said
more such interesting and useful programs will be presented in the