Strategy Sri Lanka- I feel I had missed them…

Communicate like Obama

Present like Steve Jobs

Negotiate like Donald Trump

Sell ideas like Richard Branson

Strategize like Tzun Tzu

Today it was a very useful day for me. Morning I attended a workshop organized by Strategy Institute held at Excel World. It was a last minute decision as the facilitators were good industrial experts. So I made up my mind attend this workshop.  One of the facilitator, Mr.   Lewie diaz is one of my favorite lecturer and although  I have heard about the other two facilitators, I did not get chance to study under  them. I cancelled my lecturing class in the morning and attended this workshop.  It was a fantastic and very useful one for me.  Lewis Diaz, Shehan and Yasus Hewage were the three conductors who facilitated the workshop. The topics were about “Communicate like Obama and Present like Steve jobs” Which was done by Lewie Diaz , Negotiation by Shehan and Strategy and Career Management by Yasus. I’ was  really impressed with the way they explained everything. At the end Yasus mentioned that “ you guys will forget once you go out of this class”,  but I don’t think I will forget the input I achieved  from the workshop, and decided to  put those in to practice.

“Communicate like Obama and Present like Steve jobs” Was the topic presented by Lewie Diaz, one of my favorite marketing lecturer.  It was about doing perfect presentation. He mentioned 8 rules that a good presenter should follow and it has got imprinted in my mind.  I thought of sharing them with you all. I was worried that I didn’t possess a note book with me to note down the  important points delivered  by them,  but as I was eager to take down them and I used my phone as a notebook.

Rule One – Break the ice –   imprinted

Rule Two – Body Language

Rule Three – Control Nervousness

Rule four – Vocal variety

Rule five – Use rhetorical devices

Rule six – Story telling and anecdotes

Rule Six – I missed this one J

Rule Seven – Be yourself

Rule Eight – Keep it simple

He mentioned many tactics under each rule which were perfect and I gained a lot of knowledge from his presentation today.  Each and every rule was further strengthened by suitable video clips, and these will be posted in my next post.

The next one was from Sheehan; he explained everything with more practical and it was really interesting as well, and at the last Yasas Hewage.  Some of my colleagues are working under him and always says that it was a pleasure to listen to Yasas.  Today I realized that it was simply true because the presentation given by him was really superb. At the beginning he raised a question for the audience asking why we were there. I replied saying “I want to build my own brand”, but he misunderstood my version assuming that I was talking about a personal brand for myself. What I really wanted was to build my own business in Sri Lanka. I learned a lot from him as well.

Now I have completed my CIM but I feel the people who follow CIM at strategy are lucky to get these people as lecturers. I thought in future not to miss any workshops organized by the above lecturers.

I am not going to forget what I learned and gained from this workshop.  I am also glad to state that I won a raffle book titled “Trout on Strategy” which is also very useful.  Today was a great day for me.

How you would like to start your day?

Everyone has their own way to start a day. Some stay awake till late night and get up around 8 am in the morning and rush to work or school or anywhere they are supposed to be. Some sleep early and wake up early to do their work. Obviously there is a set of people who go to bed early but get late to wake up.  I have done all the above so I thought of sharing something that worked-out well for me and which I find more effective and productive.

By this time you might have realized about what I am going to talk about. The OBVIOUS FACT which has been overlooked! I would like to make this possible for everyone by following a few steps.

As coined by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”, was not the theory which I followed during my school and university period. I was a person who stayed awake all night but then would get up early and go to work or school or university. It worked very well for me those days. Starting from my advanced level to higher education to the professional educational to my work life it worked well and I was able to achieve much and accomplish various things.

However it did not work out very well when I started my own venture. I followed the same routine but I started to realize that I was not productive during the daytime. Later, I discovered something very interesting and thought it worth sharing with others.

Some Tips that I found Useful and Productive


  • A productive day does not depend on the morning; it depends on the previous day. Especially if you are into your own business staying up late in to the night will not make your next day very productive. Go to bed early and avoid watching TV, eating late etc. Have your dinner early and when going to bed listen to some soft music. From the first day I started to practice this I found it amazing as it encourages a peaceful sleep. I found after practicing this, my sleep did not get interrupted. Some of the music that I playfrequently in the mornings and night.
  • Get up early. Make sure you sleep 6 to 8 hours and wake up accordingly in the morning. Once you get up just go out for a walk, and do at least a 10 minute exercise / workout. Those days I never did any exercise in the morning or walking. Later I found a video on Youtube regarding a morning 10 minutes physical exercise. It was really amazing and now I find my day more productive. I’m not quite sure if the physical exercises shown in the video are recommended or accurate, but I find it effective.
  • If you get enough time in the morning make use of it to think of something creative, new ideas and any business plans. Do not spend that precious morning moments in checking mails, checking social media networks, answering calls unless it’s really important. Morning times should be allocated for creativity and innovation which are the keys for successful Entrepreneurship. You will definitely find ideas flowing and you will feel refreshed. You can even make use of this morning time to find solutions for your organizational problems. Allocate mornings for planning and strategizing.
  • Alternatively you can develop a morning hobby if you prefer. When I shifted to a new house which had some spare space in front, I started doing some gardening. In that small space, I planted some trees and each morning I spend some time there, looking at them grow. Definitely this refreshes my mind and thoughts.
  • Most of us get into a bad mood when we drive along the Colombo roads. Getting pissed off at the drivers who break the road rules and become a problem for other drivers is unavoidable. Make a practice of driving carefully and staying cool. Be calm and do not yell or get mad at others. First of all try to forgive the drivers who make mistakes and who do not care about others. Also listen to some calming music while driving.

These are just my opinions and the ways which help me to proceed with new ideas that become a daily boost.

Nothing is wrong in trying some good things and experience by yourself. Start today itself!


How are you going to spend 2014 – Let’s practice Robin Sharma’s advice


Thought of writing a blog post after a long time as it is a holiday, a Poya day, and I had some time to think freshly. The first thing that impressed upon my mind is an inspirational video that I watched which I have wanted to share with my blog visitors for quite some time now.

Everyone was born with a purpose in life. Knowingly or unknowingly we set goals that may range from very short term to 10 or 20 years or a lifetime. At the beginning of a new year, individuals make various resolutions and companies formulate their business plan for the year.

As I am well used to online searches, I did some browsing and came across some nice thoughts by Robin Sharma. I found them inspiring and useful and thought of sharing it with you. Though I have not shared the entire presentation in this post, I believe that what I have listed below is useful. For me these points were absolutely true and helped trigger some real changes in myself.

If time permits, follow this 8 steps process and enjoy a significant change!

I have tried to give the exact words used by Robin Sharma to explain these 8 steps in certain sentences.

1-   Develop your reality distortion field – RDF is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple in 1981, to describe co-founder Steve Job’s charisma on the developers who worked in the Macintosh project. Steve Job always brought everyone together in Apple for even practically not possible projects. RDF was said to distort an audience’s sense of proportion and scales of difficulties and made them believe that the task at hand was possible. In real life you should have the RDF developed around you. You might have unbelievable dreams and ideas. But may be worrying about whether it could be done, whether it could be achieved, whether the team will support to achieve it, whether parents will allow you to achieve it. But remember all brilliant ideas sounded crazy before being revealed. Begin to sell yourself on your vision and your goals for the next 12 months. Write them down on paper so they become real. Believe in those dream, publicly tell everyone that you are going to do it. Remember Self Belief is the catalyst for spectacular achievement. If you don’t personally believe in yourself, you won’t start doing it. People might laugh at you, but the best you can do is, smile back. Fall in love with your dream, once you fall in love with it, you will talk about it all the time. So this year develop your reality distortion field.

2-   Start visualizing your goals. Do not waste time in watching TV, gossiping, watching TV shows etc. Remember every expert was once an amateur, and every master once a beginner. So dream big, start small and act now, says Robin Sharma. We always tend to wait until everything becomes perfect to start something. But one thing is prevalent; nothing will become perfect in any case. If you think of starting a new venture, do it now.

3-      Leave the echo chamber – Stop being an echo of the beliefs and the lives of the people around you. Start thinking of yourself versus buying in to the definitions of success and achievement that society has sold you as the way to happiness and a life of meaning. Live the personal value that feels right to you. Do not worry about others. Stop worrying and thinking about what others might say about you.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And the most important thing is, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Develop your personal brand rather than copying someone else.

4-   Practice giver gain – To truly reach your goals this year, become a giver rather than the taker. Someone who helps other people grow their dreams, their lives become alive when they give. Help people around you to help. Do not be a taker, rather be a giver.

One of the networks that I am connected with currently holds the motto “givers gain.” Help others to grow you will automatically succeed.

5-   Walk with giants – We rise or fall to our level of conversation. We become our associations. If you are the talented person in your group it is time to find a new group. If you think you are the intelligent person, it is time to know new people. The people with whom you spend your time will affect the level of your thinking, influence what you believe to be possible and leave lasting impressions on your personal performance. Based on the theory emotional contagion, speaking to the scientific fact, that we subconsciously pick up and then adopt the mindset and feelings of the people we associate with. If you think you are among the wrong people, move away or look for better association. As it says in the law of attraction, if you have people around you who are negative, pulling you down all the time, it will not allow you to reach your goals. At one point you will come down to that level and your dreams will disappear. Always look for new people, new talents, new skills, new friendship, and new communities better than the current.

6-   Protect great days – To play world class you do not need to be vastly smarter or more gifted than everyone else. Instead you have to be slightly better, but with total consistency. If you commit 5 little goals each day for the next thirty days that means 150 little wins in one month from today. Keep doing this daily, and by end of one year you will have completed 1850 little goals. So protect great days by forgetting about doing grand acts of achievements and instead making each of your 24 hours a splendid and super tiny gift of success. Remember that your days are your life in miniature. Each day you craft your life. Small daily improvements will guide you to inspiring results. Many of us formulate big goals every year, but rather that it is time to break those into small quantifiable goals per day. You work out every day for one big goal, at the end of a year you achieve the rest.

7-   Get smarter by getting fitter – What is the point of being the most successful person in the cemetery? Real wealth is health. Making a commitment to getting fit is a must. It has been proved that exercise helps increase your brain power. Research has also shown that exercise causes a phenomenon known as neurogenesis which means that when you workout you actually grow new neurons. Getting fit will massively raise your game in every area of your life.

8-   Become a serious investor in You Inc. This year work on developing your knowledge, skills and learning about everyone around you. Invest more in your personal growth. Spend three hours per day for your personal development. Start thinking like an investor and invest in a place that will yield the finest return on investment people would have ever seen, that is YOU INC. The fastest way to double your income is to triple your investment in learning and self-development. When you know more, you can do more.



Business Network International (BNI): Growing via Referrals

In this post I am going to discuss the importance of Referral Marketing and Networking for a successful growth and expansion of businesses. In the Sri Lankan context, the country has started to upgrade its socio-economic affairs within the country limits as well as outside of its geographical boundaries. This will soon impose stagnation in almost all industries where the competition will be high while the profit making abilities and widening the revenue channels may become difficult. In such situations the businesses should be ready to proactively face the maturity stage. In such circumstances, my personal view is that the Marketing sphere should differ from the status quo. The dynamic features of marketing such as Offline Advertising, Online Marketing, Branding, Loyalty Marketing etc. should be combined with Referral Marketing and Networking.

It has become apparent that a business, being a sole entity, cannot survive anymore in this fiercely competitive business world. For example unlike ever before, most of the value chains have started to shrink and the entities have started to invest more in backward and forward integration while making mutually benefiting agreements with the value chain members. Hence the phenomena of marketing via referrals and networking will be the dominant feature of the forthcoming business era. Though this is a global trend which has not yet thoroughly dominated the Sri Lankan context, this will soon be the trend in Sri Lanka as well. Hence Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs should be ready to welcome such a transformation.

Recently I came to know about one of the world’s largest referrals and networking organizations, Business Network International (BNI). I got to know about this organization through my Business Partner who resides in California, USA. As I have stated initially, I strongly believed that referrals and networking can render immense benefits to businesses in Sri Lanka, especially small scale ones and start-ups. Hence I was interested to know more about it and soon experienced the worthiness of such an organization in the contemporary world. This encouraged me to become a member of its Sri Lankan wing too. Resultantly I am writing this post by connecting the importance of referrals, word-of-mouth and networks and the experiences I collected to this point as a member of BNI, Sri Lanka.    

Word-of-mouth is arguably one of the most effective forms of Marketing, and has an especially significant effect in the B2B market. While referrals are not guaranteed sales, clients who have been directed towards your business through mutual intermediaries are much more likely to become loyal customers. However, in order to conduct proper referral marketing, a company must first establish a network of business contacts. This can be especially hard for new business owners and young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka who are yet to forge healthy, lasting business relationships, which is where a business networking platform like BNI comes in.

Chapter members hold regular meetings in order to foster stronger business relationships with each other. At these meetings, each member is given a chance to describe their business and the services they offer to the others, and what kind of referrals they are looking for. When a member comes across a potential client looking for a service provided by one of the other members, they recommend the member to the individual and provide them with a referral slip at the next meeting for them to follow up on. This is how the business network uses word of mouth marketing for the mutual benefit of members. These meetings are also useful to culture professional networking skills, and will aid members in making long-term business relationships.

BNI has recently established chapters in Sri Lanka, and is currently looking for new members. This provides valuable networking opportunities for new entrepreneurs and established professionals alike; bringing together high level decision makers that can contribute towards each other’s success. The current roster of members includes recognized businessmen from the fields of Digital Marketing, Media, Hospitality, Textiles and Education, among others, and is looking to expand through the addition of new members. This is assured to facilitate the growth of the local business network by putting several professionals in regular contact with each other.

As its name suggests, BNI is an international network, and has over 150,000 registered members in several countries around the world. This network is accessible to all BNI members through BNI Connect, and is an invaluable resource for business owners looking to upscale their operations globally. I strongly recommend all business professionals, both new and established, from all fields to take advantage of this opportunity and join this growing network.

For more information on how to get involved and expand your network of referrals, contact me on 071 303 2422.

Refresh Colombo – Let’s get refreshed

I’m writing this post to tell about a gathering which I took part in Royal College, today- “Refresh Colombo” . Yeah I was refreshed today by a good initiative. It was a last time decision that I took to participate this event. I was planning to attend this for over 3 months but today only got the chance to be present.

The gathering started with two interesting videos, which I would like to share.

Since concept wise I’m too familiar with the topics the speakers addressed, but it was interesting to know about Sarvodaya-Fusion which is contributing towards the Sri Lankan knowledge economy.  These types of events are very important to people who seek knowledge in different areas and it is good for networking as well. I would say there is no sufficient awareness regarding this event. Since it has non- commercial objective there are several ways to attract audience for this event.

One of the speaker stated that she never watches the TV because the time she spend for one tele drama, she can make use of the time usefully by reading. Good one :-). It is also worthy to note that traditional media is using social media and it seems to be a good sign for social media marketing in Sri Lanka.

Hope I will not miss the future gathering of this community. Let’s get refreshed every month by attending this type of event.



I would like give you a picture regarding the conferences which I attended on 26th April. 2009 at the HNB Tower, Colombo Sri Lanka. I just thought of recording because they were very important and would help me to revert back to the learning which I got at that point.

At the yesterday’s conference three Sri Lankan top professionals made very useful presentations. The first one was given by Mr. Theagarajah, CEO of Hatton National Bank Sri Lanka, the next was from Mr. Dilshan Rodrigo, the Head of Risk Management, Hatton National Bank, and the final one was by Mr. M.P. Jazeel, the Head of Treasury Management.

The conference topics were not familiar to me because I’m more in the marketing field and having less knowledge on Finance but anyway the morning session helped me to understand some important aspects such as the global crisis and the implication of it in Sri Lanka, Professionalism and ethics and treasury management.

The speech delivered by Mr. Theagarajah was interesting and his experience spoke a lot. Each and every point seemed very useful and interesting. I got impressed by the following words which was said by him – “Do not request others to do a job, if you are not fully competent about it” .What he said was really true and he also mentioned if you doesn’t know one thing do not hesitate to ask from your junior, juniors are the best teachers. Anyway I wanted to thank ACCA for inviting him to be a key speaker.

The second conference conducted by Mr.Dilshan was also fine and which gave me an opportunity to learn the full finance aspects with regard to the global crisis. Although the final topic did not impress me but it would have been useful to people who are interested in that subject.

On the whole I would like to say that my first half of Sunday was spent usefully.