Sunday, August 29, 2010

Im on Sunday Times Today!!! [Daily Mirror Article]

I was so glad to find my name on ST Business Times 2 Today - BT2 articles do not appear in their web version - So my search directed me to daily mirror page - wow - 2 paper articles - this is awesome!!! 

Highlighted in Green is my statement...

Panelists on "Team Building & Leadership Skills" at The Final Step - Soft Skills Workshops - Dr. Harsha Alles (Director, Gateway Group), Mr. Rohantha Athukorala (Head of National Portfolio Development - Sri Lanka & Maldives, United Nations Operations), Moderator Dr. Uditha Liyanage (Director, Post Graduate Institute of Management), Mr. Mahendra Jayasekera (Managing Director, Lanka Walltile PLC, Lanka Tiles PLC and Parquet (Ceylon) Limited) and Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya (Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC) making his presentation
By Anandi Jayawardene
"The average man who is successful is not a genius.  He is a man who has merely ordinary qualities but who has developed those ordinary qualities to a more than ordinary degree." - Theodore Roosevelt
Studies by the Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation found among Fortune 500 CEOs that 75% of long-term job success depended on people skills and only 25% on technical skills. Meanwhile, a Harvard University report stated that career achievement was 80% determined by soft skills and only 20% determined by hard skills.  It is therefore a well-accepted phenomenon that employers do in fact place great emphasis on "soft skills", which is considered an absolute vital in personal development as well as the organization's well-being.
Along with the realization that in today's competitive world an academic qualification alone is insufficient, comes the understanding that the acquisition of soft skills remains un-factored in the local education curriculum. As a graduate of a Sri Lankan University myself, I found a distinct gap between the 'academic' and facing the real world. This dilemma, which is surely felt by most local University students, is precisely what John Keells addresses in The Final Step programme, dedicated to developing soft skills in Sri Lankan University students.
The Final Step - a five-day series of Soft Skills Workshops developed by John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation (JKSRF) - was recently conducted at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in collaboration with the Career Guidance Unit of the University. Aimed at enhancing the employability factor of local graduates, the programme seeks to attune their perspectives regarding employment in Sri Lanka's private sector which today is the primary employer accounting for over 70% of the jobs. Therefore, the sessions included in-depth discussions on employer expectations, leadership and team building, CV writing and interview facing, developing confidence and personality, working in a corporate environment, corporate hospitality (including social etiquette) and personal grooming. The programme saw an enthusiastic response of approximately 250 participants, mainly from graduating batches eager to shine in an imminent competitive working environment. 
The panel discussions involved leading personalities of the private sector. Mr. Rienzie Wijetilleke (Chairman, Hatton National Bank), Ms. Pulasthika Weerasinha (Head of Human Resources - Processes and Systems, JKH), Mr. Deepal Sooriarachchi (Former Managing Director, Aviva NDB Insurance PLC) and Mr. Dirk Pereira (CEO, Union Assurance PLC) participated in the panel discussion on "Employer Expectations", while Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya (Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC), Dr. Harsha Alles (Director, Gateway Group), Mr. Mahendra Jayasekera (Managing Director, Lanka Walltile PLC, Lanka Tiles PLC and Parquet (Ceylon) Limited) and Mr. Rohantha Athukorala (Head of National Portfolio Development - Sri Lanka & Maldives, United Nations Operations) were part of the panel discussion on "Team Building & Leadership Skills". Dr Uditha Liyanage (Director, Postgraduate Institute of Management) chaired both sessions. Interactive workshops followed with Mr. Prasanna Perera, Director, Vishvaka Marketing (Pvt) Ltd, elaborating on the unwritten rules of the corporate environment, drawing up a winning CV, facing interviews and developing one's personality and confidence while Ms. Nayana Karunaratne of Image Consultants delved into personal grooming, corporate hospitality and social etiquette.
JKH's Head of the CSR, Mr. Lallith Ramanayake, commented that the workshops are intended to help the graduates shine, as they get ready to take on the world. "University graduates are the future leaders of our country. John Keells is delighted to be a part of their overall growth, impacting attitude, adaptability, interpersonal relations and business ethics. We have called this `The Final Step', not because there is nothing more to learn, but rather since it facilitates the stepping out from the academic world into the real world."  Manger JKSRF, Carmeline Jayasuriya added, "Whilst 'hard skills' such as academic skills and expertise are required to prove a person's suitability for a job, it is the 'soft skills' that determine the efficiency and overall success that a person might have on the job. The Final Step seeks to impart some of these soft skills that will not only increase your employability but will set you for life."
Third year student and part of the CGU organizing committee, Gayani Meegolla, said that there was great keenness to partake in these life lessons as they "develop our personal skills, play an immense role in increasing our employability and develop confidence as we face the world." Harshi Waththa added, "While we learn theories in various HR courses, this is an opportunity to explore practical approaches making it a valuable learning." Final year student, Nadheera Udawatta, agreed, saying, "we are all grateful to JKH for giving us this wonderful exposure and aiding us as we take on our futures." Indeed, having been a part of the locally university system, I would agree that such an experience would have been most beneficial for my colleagues and me.
Having held similar Workshops in the University of Kelaniya and the University of Moratuwa, The Final Step at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, is the 5th of its kind. Based on the overwhelming success of the programme and the growing demand for same, JKH promises more such programmes for the future.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

19th Century Sri Lankan Proverbs

On my way to dinner at my uncles place. Reminded me of some of the saying he has told us.

1. "If you have lived in Batakettara* (A village in Piliyandala) you can live in any village in Sri Lanka"
Batakettara* - A village in Piliyandala.
Batakettara Happens to be our neighbouring village where every village event ended up in a fight, knife incident, murder...etc.

2. If you have driven a vehicle in Moratumulla* you can drive in any road in Sri Lanka"
*Moratumulla - A village in Moratuwa. 
Moratumulla people has been very indisciplened in road and it has been really hard to drive without an accident in Moratumulla. Worst is if you bang - the reaction you get from the flock of people.

I think this wasnt like that before 19s and its surely not this bad now. So it belongs to mid 19s - 1950-1990 era - Thats why i called it 19s.

If you know more sutff liek this - pls comment here. And please tell any places to find more proverbs - Bcz i think they aren't documented...

Friday, August 27, 2010

One third of women view adult sites!!!

Being a STAT graduate I was so excited to find daily-stat program of Harvard Business Review. This is the latest daily-stat finding.

34% of women worldwide view adult web sites, more than view sites devoted to health (23%), clothing (21%), or family and parenting (20%), according to comScore research that looked at people's internet visits over a one-month period. As for men:46% viewed adult sites, and 17%, 15%, and 14%, respectively, visited health, clothing, and family-parenting sites at least once during the study period.

Ladies : Pls comment on your defence..., Gentlemen : At least once comment to prove your facts are RIGHT...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

[Funny] Suraj Randiv wasn't the first Sri Lankan to "No-Ball"

Shewag standing at 99, Randiv sending a massive 1 foot No-ball - Guys - Why is this such a big deal???? This isn't new to Sri Lanka - it has always happend  - some examples

  • 2005 - Hela Urumaya No-balled Chandrika by going to courts in when she tried to go for an extra year as president

  • 2005 - Prabha no-balled Ranil by boycotting North Polls when he was close to get elected to President

  • 2006 - Mahinda no-balled Ranil by taking 17 UNPers to Govt. when Ranil was honestly engaging in discussions

  • 2010 - Mahinda no-balled Fonseka by a court martial when Fonseka entered Politics as the General who finished 30 yr war

Suraj Randiv - Dude. come on???...LOL

Monday, August 23, 2010

[Funny] ODEL- NOLIMIT Syndrome by Nadheera Udawatthe

My cousin sis is also showing signs of ODEL- NOLIMIT Syndrome and i thought of explaining her the theory again...

FYI - ODEL- NOLIMIT Syndrome is a theory in brand equity i built after an awful chat with Madhu on Horton Trip. (For full story read -

ODEL- NOLIMIT Syndrome by Nadheera Udawatthe states that
If there are two brands A and B, with value of A higher than B (Because brand equity of A higher than B). The general public is likely to openly criticize brand A and show no dislike for brand B but actually liking brand A.

Example 1 : People do not complain about NOLIMIT bcz everyone goes there. The stuff are not so cheap, not so expensive. But they do criticize ODEL for its prices, designs (Almost everything) but actually being proud of ODEL.Whatever said and done they are proud to tell that you brought it in ODEL...

Collarary 1 : I know that ODEL now has really cheap stuff based on its strategy of expansion. Well done Mrs.Gunawardena on recent IPO and expansions to Maharagama, Kohuwala, Dehiwala...etc. Will we see one in Piliyandala??? (Watch out

Example 2 : Girls say they hate Royal. If you ask why - they go blank but tries and makes up numerous reasons and finish by saying - I dont have a problem with Anandians (Come on Madhu...LOL). But actually liking Royal from the inside. Its because the brand equity of Royal is higher and so is the price. 

Come on bro.s - This is a stab at girls...One of my best friends in UNI is Solith from Ananda. Seriously you cannot judge a guy by where they have gone to school for....

[Serious Note] There are loads of brand competitions like that. For e.g. Toyota -Maruti, Anchor - Nestamalt..etc. I wonder whether there is a real theory for this. Pls share your marketing expertise - Indika ayya...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

[Funny] The Bridesmaid Paradox

is mentioned in "How i met your mother" - Season 3, Episode 7

Also Known as "Cheerleader Effect".

Bridesmaid Paradox
Is when a group of girls appear together as a good looking bunch but when viewed individually are actually unattractive.

You will know why it's called Cheerleader Effect and Bridesmaid paradox...LOL

Saturday, August 21, 2010

[Funny] Consumer Behavior in a bar of an event (For e.g.Wedding)

My czn bro.s homecoming is 2mrw and we were planning it...My uncle was sharing this consumer behavior with me out of his 100s of event experiences.

People drink less when there are so many bottles to be seen. They can be seen drinking very small shots...But if you show them that there's very less amount of bottles - they will drink like hell.

We can call it "Drinkers Paradox"...LOL

Friday, August 20, 2010

E Marketing 3 : Consumer Behavior in the Internet 2 : Technological Factor

Technology plays a greater role in the way consumer behaves. Though in E-Marketing theory it's explained only using connection speed, i consider many more technological constraints. They are discussed below -

1. Connection speed

Is the speed at which customer exchanges data in internet. There can be 3 main speed categories with their normal expectations
  1. PDA, Smartphone - Only text
  2. Dial up - Text with pictures
  3. Broadband - Text, Pictures, Music, Video
When designing a web site, there are 3 ways to tackle this technological context
  1. By designing for the slowest user (E.g.Google)
  2. By having separate web pages for different speeds (
  3. By designing for the fastest user (E.g. You tube)
2. Browser compatibility
A browser is a software consumers use to view web pages. For e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google chrome. Browsers have slightly different functional methods and they may load web pages in different ways. Web designers use different tactics to handle this. Usually they write codes to identify the browser type and customize the content.

3. Display resolution (For graphical needs)
This is mainly for the graphical users. For e.g. If you are into photography or video editing you may experience that a LCD monitor has better resolution than a CRT monitor. No.of colours shown, Depth of screen may change from monitor to monitor. So it might not be the same colours you see in one screen from another. We usually recommend clients to check how your designs are viewed from different types of monitors.

4. Add-on availability
I'm sure everyone has experienced this. How many times were you asked to download Adobe Flash Player to see that Web banner, and how many times were you asked to install Java runtime environment to upload photos to Facebook???
When having add-on using technologies in your web site you should always make sure you give an option to download it if consumer do not have that facility.

Next - We shall talk about socio-cultural factor effecting consumer behaviour online...


RIBELZ E-Marketing Company,
2nd Lane, Rubbar Watta Road, 
Gangodawila, Nugegoda, 
Sri Lanka.

Tel: (094) 0112-809-610, (094) 0718-112-063
P  Save a tree - Conserve nature. Print this email only if it is absolutely necessary...

Met a friend after 5+ years : Now working in HR dept.of a garment

I met one of my friends in the Sunday School, who was 2 years snr to me and was the treasurer of the Student Council in my Sunday school.

Having done certain HR qualifications - now he is working in an apparel garment of 1500 employees. What he shared with me was amazing. He's job role involves calculation of salaries and other rewards, safety..etc.

Today is 20th and he had been calculating salaries all day long without having lunch. He hasn't eaten after breakfast (At that time it was 9PM). He said the worst thing about calculating salary is this.

All employees get a monthly dinner coupon from company. When you take dinner it marks one of 21 squares in the card. At the end of the month HR should calculate how many dinners they have had and cut that amount from the salary. IMAGINE : counting 21 into 1500 employees???

Technology still has a long way to go in developing countries like us. An automated system could have saved all of their time.

Another experience was one electrician having a needle go through his palm : There had been no medical personnel because it was night. Somehow they have admitted him to a hospital. The management concern had been running the garment without the electrician!!!

Guys - Stop complaining - Just feel good about the job you are doing...You dnt miss your meals...You dont work  8AM-8PM, 12 hrs non-stop. You read this blog and email someone (You use technology) - you do not count cards by hand...We are all lucky in someway...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

E Marketing 2 : Consumer Behavior in the Internet I

To successfully implement your business online, it is key to understand the consumer behavior in the internet -
For e.g.HANOVER Direct Inc. - Major E-Commerce firm in US did a research to find out why internet consumers start to buy products in their web site but fail to purchase. The reasons were
  1. Web page takes time to load
  2. There is too much jargon in web page they do not understand
  3. Consumers become indecisive - they are not sure (need help)
What Hanover did was they built easily loading pages without jargon and with web chat, skype or live call customer help. It worked!!!
Likewise - It is important to understand how customers feel in your web site...
According to Sri Lanka had 1,163,500 Internet users as of Sept/09 - That was 5.5% penetration from total population.
There are few factors that determine consumer behavior -

  1. Technological factor
  2. Socio-Cultural factor
  3. Legal factor
  4. Personal Factor

Lets discuss how each factor effects customers one by one in next posts...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

E-Marketing blog post #01 : From Traditional marketing to E-Marketing

Im reading E-marketing by Judy Strauss this days and is fascinated by the subject. Since the book is published in 2006 I thought of writing some updated posts about interesting facts there.

You can also find these blogs in -

Technology effects traditional ways of marketing in three ways. IT increases efficiency in marketing, it transforms marketing strategies and it changes the consumer behavior due to the power shift from firms to mouse holders.
Lets discuss how electronic technologies effect the famous 4 Ps in marketing


It has produced variety of innovative products from E-greeting cards(Our client sending flowers for orders in website - is a good example), internet auctions to interactive games.
Technology made it possible to do anything to the price. Bidding, dynamic changes and individual pricings are a matter of blink of an eye.
Good example is an email i received yesterday by CIMA division saying i can get a special discount because i participated in CIMA business competition.
"Dear Student,
We thank you for your participation in the CIMA Global Business Challenge 2010.
As an incentive for taking part in the CIMA Global Business Challenge we are pleased to inform you that you can now register for CIMA at a very special rate of GBP 20. The normal rate being GBP 60. This offer is valid till 30 September 2010...."

Once they know my login they can easily discount my price (Individual pricing) without any paper work. This kind of dynamic pricing is possible only because of technology.

IT made it very easy to distribute items. For e.g. You no longer needs Lady Gaga's new album to be shipped from US - you can simply download it. Technology made such products placeless!
Technology assists is numerous ways to promotion, from Websites, emails, SMSs to live chatting. Do you remember MP Basil Rajapakshe's advertisements in Facebook during last election? Promotion to 80,000 voters might not have been easier.
The effect by technology to marketing is inevitable. Watch out for more changes in the future. But the question is, "ARE YOU READY FOR THE CHANGE?"

Monday, August 9, 2010

USP (Unique Selling Point) : Is it for Marketeers to find out?

I was to market a product and i asked for the USP from the producer : An intro to USP is given below

The Unique Selling Proposition (also Unique Selling Point or USP) is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and that this convinced them to switch brands. The term was invented by Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company. Today the term is used in other fields or just casually to refer to any aspect of an object that differentiates it from similar objects.

They did not have a defined USP in their product. And said that the marketeers should find it...My question is whether the uSP should come from the product design or the marketer should find it out? But how do you find something if its not there?

A/Ls in Sri Lanka : How come most Sri Lankans are concerned?

Today the A/L exams started. I know because my lil bro.s taking A/Ls and i went to drop him to the exam centre. To my surprise many people i talked to (None of them doing A/Ls or have anybody doing A/Ls) asked me about it.

Sri Lankan A/Ls they say is the most hardest exam on the earth. Highly competitive because of the very low opportunities available. Only 20,000 out of 360,000 (Less than 1%) can enroll to Universities thru A/Ls.

Is it the reason why everyone knows about the exams? Or something else. You decide!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Majority of people still unaware of E-Business!!!

Having read few chapters of E-Marketing by Judy Strauss - I was fascinated by the subject and was talking to few people only to get to know that they are simply unaware of it...

A guy with years of sales experience -

  • Didnt know he could look for houses for rent in Internet
  • Didnt know that Facebook actually generates job vacancies and of course 
  • Didn't know that google maps can help you draw a map to your place to give your friends before a party

I think its our duty to take technology to the community. It comes without a cost - but the benefits are unbelievable...

Friday, August 6, 2010

This blog goes PUBLIC!!!

Initial public offering (IPO) of 
Just kidding - even though its my dream to offer one of my companies public...Im sure its a long long way to go...

But the following bit is to those who read the blog secretly.

I was writing the articles without publicizing the blog - in order to have something worthwhile to read once i go I mean the initial public offering will take place soon and do not be ashamed that there are no followers yet. Not even myself. Ive shown the blog only to one person - my boss - Mr.Indika Jayapala.

So secret readers - wait for big stuff to happen...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

In 1993 - Cambodia - the first country to have more mobile subscribers than fixed line subscriber!!! How and why?

I'm reading E-Marketing by Judy Strauss ( oh come on bros - im not paid by Amazon to E-market the book...lolz. Just wanted you to feel the book.

The 4th Chapter is about global markets and there are really interesting stories. Look at this -

Cambodia is the first ever country to surpass the no.of mobile subscribers by the no.of fixed line subscribers. The reason is given below :

There was a civil unrest in Cambodia like in Sri Lanka. ( The party - Khemer Rouge had planted lots of landmines thru out the country. Once dust was settled in 1991 by a UN peace effort economy was settling. Still there were 4-6 million land mines in the ground.

So digging up the ground to lay telephone cables was too risky and mobile telephony offered a better solution. Along with green light for free market and lot of investments - mobile phones surpassed no.of fixed lines within an year.

The Moral  (What you can learn is) - Whether you are an E-Marketer, Businessmen, accountant, doctor, engineer, cricketer or even a DJ - knowing HISTORY is key!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Community websites - what is the secret of success?

Today in the E-Marketing chat we have in office we talked about E-Marketing Strategy and how community building is one such strategy. We discussed by taking examples from the real world - especially from Sri Lanka...

Few popular social sites in Sri Lanka we discussed - Started as a songs downloader for Sri Lankan music fans. Now traffic rank #1 local web site ( in Sri Lanka. Glad i've met the creator at the Java Exhibition. - One of the best designs. Awesome writing. Is branding to be the ultimate youth Magazine. Catering the popular school crowd (Well - yes.Im also one of them.lolz). -  Novel idea. Started to discuss College sports. Now have 5000+ fans. Im not favoring my classmates Feroze and Hafeel who were involved in initiating papare - Started by one of my teachers - Malinda Alahakoon as a network in Ning. Is addressing a focused area of technology young crowd of Sri Lanka.

We discussed how our own is not doing so well. I have few theories for a successful community site in Sri Lanka.

1. All successful sites have their own physical crowd or presence involved.
For e.g.
papare - has the sportsmen, fans who spend Saturday evening watching a match..etc. Its great if there is a place where they can chat about happenings in other 6 days.
erbenizer - The college crowd needs somewhere to talk about al lthe parties,events..etc.
Technohug - The guys who learn Java in technohug, IT students of Universities in SL, BIT Students and those who read for BCS in eSoft are the target market. Just go and see - they talk about simpel Java programming to ROBOT programming there. They might have their lectures, classes once a week - And technohug is the perfect place to meet in other 4-5 days.

2. Successful sites address one critical need of members (Focused product, focused market segment)
Elakiri - Music fans need to listen to their fav.songs
Ananmanan - Music fans need songs, lyrics.etc
Papare - Address Sports fans in Sri Lanka.
Technohug - Address hi-tech students.

More theories are welcome...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nobody complaints about NOLIMIT, But about ODEL???

"Consumers will complaint about the quality of the high-end brand and will say they are happy with some medium brand."
Nadheera's theory of high-end brands

[Origin] On our way back from Horton Plains, Madhu was telling me her bad experiences of my college students. And she said - "Im ok with Anandians" which brought out the best metaphor i have ever ever created.

I said - Everybody goes shopping to NOLIMIT. Its not too expensive, its not too cheap. The goods are not soo quality, yet not pavement-bad quality. Nobody complaints about NOLIMIT like you do not complain about Anadians. Royalists are like ODEL - high end brand. Expensive, yet high quality. Sometimes its the same quality - But you are proud to go and say - "Its from ODEL".

Shash (Musaeuist) was really furious at hearing something Royal...lolz and said nowadays ODEL has cheaper stuff. Same like Royal has few different cases.

But i was thinking that this situation is the same with many brands. Nomatter whether its is NOLIMIT-ODEL or ANANDA-ROYAL or ANCHOR-NESTAMALT, high end brand is publicly hated by everyone...What do you think Marketing experts???

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hedgehog concepts' "Economic Engine" - applicable to Social Entrepreneurs?

Today for the first time I learnt about the Hedgehog concept technically from my boss. I guess ive learnt it wrong. We tried to apply it to many existing businesses and personalities.

The finding was that many people do not have all 3 aspects involved. And those who have all three are best!!!

Many people (specially those in to social entrepreneurship) lacks the circle two. I argue that it should not be economic engine for  Social Entrepreneurs. Please comment on what you think...I specially expect Suchith ayya (From Sarvodaya) here...