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Showing posts from 2015

MTI highlights economic reality of lankans working abroad

There have been calls to ban Sri Lankan maids from going abroad. Emotionally, this is understandable, but logically and realistically consider the following as well: • We have 1.7 million Sri Lankans working abroad, remitting over $ 6.5 B and there about five million people (25% of our population) who depend on this. Also, it is this inflow that is helping to pay for the imports (the cars we drive in Colombo) and to ‘hold’ our currency at least where it is today. • The $ 6.5 B that these expat Sri Lankans remit is about four times what we earn from tea, 50% higher than what we earn from apparel (with relatively low value addition) • Most of the lower-end blue collar domestic helpers go for such jobs out of economic desperation. If not why would someone leave your family behind for two years and go abroad for job that pays you as little as $ 250 a month? We can all talk of morals and principals but I guess we have no clue of what it is to be in such a desperate state? • Yet, they have no v…

Build or buy brands, not promote Ceylon Tea - MTI

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The promotional funds for the tea industry comes from the CESS that is collected from the tea exporters. A significant part of this was spent in the last 2 years on sponsoring the Sri Lanka Cricket Team and now the decision to launch a global advertising campaign. Both these strategic decisions needs objective challenging and evaluation against strategic alternatives.  If you are Sri Lanka Tourism, do promote the country – because the customer first decides on the country and then the hotel. If you are Intel, do promote the ‘ functional ingredient’ because that influences the PC you buy, besides Intel has very deep pockets.  But, not if you are ‘Ceylon Tea’ because: The Customer first decides on the brand, in some cases the Retailer, not what’s inside the pack of tea. Against this backdrop, the proposed promotional campaign is the telling Customer (be it London, Moscow or Tehran) to walk into a Supermarket and insist on a brand that will have ‘Ceylon Tea Inside’ and then expect the supe…

People’s Bank unveils MTI-enabled strategic plan for future growth

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The management of People’s Bank recently presented its five-year strategic plan for future growth to over 1,000 head office and branch network professionals, from different levels of the organisation. The plan ‘SP 16/20’ was formulated by MTI Consultants, in close collaboration with the staff of People’s Bank. The plan is based on MTI’s internationally acclaimed 8S Model and outlines key strategic initiatives that will help People’s Bank achieve its 2020 profitability targets and secure its position as the undisputed market leader in the financial services sector. Over the next five years, People’s Bank will continue to remain dedicated to empowering the people of Sri Lanka and as part of its mission the bank will continue to serve and meet the needs of its stakeholders including customers, owners, employees and society at large. At the presentation ceremony, MTI Consultants CEO Hilmy Cader officially handed over the first copy of ‘SP 16/20’ to People’s Bank Chairman Hemasiri Fernand…

Develop the Pola Markets before Capital Markets - MTI

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In a developing country where a significant proposition of population rely on ultra-small businesses for livelihood, governments should invest more ‘energy’ and funds on developing the small business infrastructure Vs. getting distracted by the glamour of capital markets. The message should equally resonate to the chambers and business leaders. Take tea as an example, there are over 400,000 small holders (who are also voters!), who, as we speak are in a desperate situation. The government’s decision to play the ‘buyers role’ is only a very temporary ‘pain killer’.   Similarly, there are over 350,000 ultra-small shop keepers and another 500,000 + who rely on the pavements, polas and walking around to earn a living. This is the base of the economy and if this is fundamentally strengthened, it will permeate upwards and eventually strengthen capital markets Vs. developing capital markets and hoping it will trickle down to the these grassroots.  Even in mature economics like the US and Au…

RDB launches Strategic planning process with MTI

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MTI Consulting initiated the five year Strategic Planning process for the Regional Development Bank (RDB), the largest development bank in Sri Lanka, with an interactive kick-off workshop session recently. This is the first of a series of consulting workshops in which MTI consultants guide and empower the bank’s team to participate in the Strategic Planning process and realize the Strategic Plan. The participants for the workshop represented a cross-section of the Bank, from business units to functional units from all regions. The objective of this full day workshop was to introduce the planning process for the development of the proposed five year Corporate Plan (2016 to 2020) At the commencement of the workshop, RDB Chairman Mr. Prasanna Premaratne addressed the participants and highlighted that RDB has more opportunities to tap into the rural sector development in Sri Lanka. MTI CEO, Mr. Hilmy Cader emphasized that for the strategic planning process using MTI’s 8S® model to be succes…

Look beyond the export headlines - MTI

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MTI Consulting, based on their experience and thought leadership work in international trade strategizing,  have highlighted important export policy and governance issues that Sri Lanka should address. What is the bottom-line on exports? Sri Lanka’s measurement of exports is entirely based on revenue (essentially top-line) and does not measure the degree of value addition that would help determine export profitability to the country, as this is what Sri Lanka will eventually benefit from.  For instance, in the case of tea bags, the bagging machine, energy, paper, printing machines, printing inks and additional freight are mostly imported. With apparel too, there is a high import-input component.  Therefore, the focus needs to be on the net value-addition and not just the top-line.  Having a consistent national formula for sector-wise value-addition would help Sri Lanka to make more effective policy decisions. The export sectors must be told how much ‘value-addition’ they have created fo…

Forget Marketing, focus on Value Creation - MTI CEO

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Delivering the key note speech at the CIM Future Marketer’s Conference , MTI Consulting CEO, Hilmy Cader inaugurated the session with two hard-hitting questions of whether there are sufficient marketers as CEOs and is marketing the most respected function. After the ‘target audience’ agreed that neither one of the questions can be answered satisfactorily, he continued to discourse the importance of ‘value creation’ by the marketers, since the profession is misunderstood and the scope is not appreciated.  His presentation was themed “Forget Marketing – Focus on Cross-Functional Value Creation, Drawing from his consulting experience, he emphasized on how marketing in many scenarios had failed to produce or effectively convey the business value creation made by marketing and that marketing was largely high on ‘silo impact.’ This established the game plan for the session which was to drive the thinking, in order to achieve career progression and respect for the future marketers. He also hi…

MTI CEO to deliver keynote at the CIM Future Marketer’s Conference 2015

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MTI Consulting’s CEO Hilmy Cader will be delivering the keynote at the 4th CIM Future Marketer’s Conference organized by the CIM SL region students committee, which is scheduled to be held on 26th September at the Kingsbury Hotel. This year’s conference is themed on “The new age marketer” and cover presentations of topics such as the power of consumer insights and engagement, adding value to an organization and the 2020 digital marketing mix followed by a panel discussion comprising of CIM study center specialists. “The role of Marketing and therefore Marketers in the new-age domains (like tech, telecom, travel, e-commerce, financial services, entertainment) is markedly different to the role marketers played in conventional FMCG domains.  Marketers are now challenged to find their role in these emerging domains” said Hilmy Cader.
Hilmy Cader - MTI CEO

Toyota Lanka to globally roll-out MTI’s Competency Model

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Toyota Lanka, having successfully launched MTI’s Competency Model in Sri Lanka, plans to globally roll-out this model to its international network.  Speaking at the Sri Lanka Implementation Launch of the Toyota Framework based on MTI Competency Model, Mr. Shungo Yoshioka - Managing Director, Toyota Lanka had the following to say, “Today our HR framework has been accepted by many countries in the Toyota Tsusho Group and I’m glad to see when they speak of HR, they speak of Toyota Lanka”. “Toyota Lanka has always been a pioneer in HR practices and thought leadership within the Toyota international network. This is yet another example of Toyota’s pioneering HR initiatives, which was developed and fine-tuned over the last 18 months, with the active involvement of the entire senior management, covering all functions” said   Mr. Manohara Atukorala - COO/EO, Toyota Lanka. MTI took a hands-on approach in this project from the business environmental scan to listening to the voices of the 4 C’s (Cu…

MTI proposes ‘Ground Zero’ process to restructure Cabinet

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MTI Consulting, over the last 18 years, have worked on organisational re-structuring projects across diverse public and private organisations in over 40 countries. In this feature, MTI applies their research, learnings and expertise to propose a ‘Ground Zero’ approach to re-structure the Sri Lankan Cabinet.


Why apply a ‘Ground Zero’ model to the Sri Lankan Cabinet?
The effectiveness of a Government is significantly determined by the way it is structured, starting with the scoping and segmentation of the ministries – because all other government institutions are structured based on this ‘super structure’.Governments tend to carry on with historical structures, with incremental portfolios added as and when the need arises e.g. technology, disaster management, national integration etc. or combining un-related portfolios (see inset 1)There has also been a tendency to create a plethora of micro focused responsibilities e.g. wild life, botanical gardens, private transportationThe net result o…