Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Butterflies in my Stomach

Patriots,

I am amazed by the response I got within few days of opening up our blog. Let me highlight my intentions on the Blog and explain few things that we should do together.

  • What are the opportunities available for us to take the country to economic prosperity (What we are good at).
  • What is missing in the equation
  • Help each other in filling the missing parts of the equation.
But what I don't expect is,
  • Government machinery will come and Help, unless we could show some significant changes.
Why I believe we can do it,
  • Because there is a large expatriate community who are knowledgeable, economically better but without being able to help
  • There are good entrepreneurs living in Sri Lanka with something missing in equation
Why I think Government cannot help at this stage,
  • Government has bigger problems to solve (at least they think)
  • Government cannot address verticals easily. But we can be only successful by working on verticals (like many European countries)
  • System has not produced enough Think Tanks -(Politics :-))
What are the pitfalls when we get together and drive this,
  • Remember what is missing in most cases for entrepreneur expansion (5- 25 people companies doing specialized projects - like luxury boats, or special crop etc) is the Capital and Marketing
  • So even if we connect the capital with entrepreneur who will grantee the investment (traditionally I have seen our people have less financial management skills and end up cheating the investors)
  • Benefits for taking the risk is = patriotism only (moreover less)
What can we do?
  • We should take the risk people who live here and people who live outside and also should take the lead to fill the missing gaps
  • Encourage government to participate on this process to learn the dynamics and help secure the environment.
  • Find new opportunities
  • Help in Marketing ( we are too bad at this )
So the list can go on!!

I think the first thing we could do is
  • Identify some industry verticals
  • Collect expertise
  • Create a blog
  • Bring in possible missing parts of the equation
  • create an echo system so that vertical will survive - bringing in gov to keep transparency and investment security

Here goes my two cents, so patriots, can you please add your two cents to this as well.

Jayawewa!!

59 comments:

  1. BOI site is working now

    http://www.boi.lk/BOI2008/

    ReplyDelete
  2. we must increase levels of protein intake of people by making fish affordable to all. chicken may be too expensive.

    both are terribly expensive at present.

    therefore increase present sea catch & breed inland fish in present lakes & resevoirs.

    this will help millions of sri lankan children to be healthy & wise.

    the wealth will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have worked on a survey in 2001 and there were some interesting facts we found which are not normally been seen.

    Lowest amount of Protein intake - Kegalle District

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This post is not channeling me to do anything. Let me state my experience about people that they are opportunist firs than patriots. Those who are with money care about that the most and wishing to multiply.

    People will invest in Sri Lanka mostly if they see the profit.

    I suggest someone come up with a close ended project first. For example, talk to an entrepreneur in Sri Lanka and find out what he or she wants. Of cause every one is going to say capital. If we can't move forward beyond the capital, then we need to know how much? If the request is not capital, people here will be able to brainstorm and find ideas. For example, how to find the market a product, how to improve packaging, how do I improve the appeal, what sells and what doesn't etc.


    Regarding the discussion about protein: They don't have to be animal based. We can identify protein rich vegetables and grains. I am sure soy based products are rich in protein.

    Here is something I like to eat to get protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
    http://www.edamame.com/
    Parsnip is also a good source of protein, not sure whether this is in Sri Lanka.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip

    ReplyDelete
  6. They way forward is we need to start it. I think the first thing is we need to have number of people who is willing to contribute their knowledge first.

    Then the secondary thing is all the other things that matters as I have explained in my post.

    For an example if I start with myself, I am an engineer turned businessman with IT background. I also lived half of my life abroad, came back to start something and has achieved something.

    When I had started had almost no capital, but I had the specialization, which gave me the foundation stone for achieving what I have achieved.

    I will contribute my personal views on Harnessing Solar, IT for automation and Transforming enterprises to corporates in my future articles.

    opportunity is immense but we lack initiative.

    Thanks for all the contributions mates.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Since you talked about Solar:
    Can solar panels be manufactured in Sri Lanka?

    About IT:
    What is the growth in IT industry in Sri Lanka?
    How do you compare with with India? If we are behind, what is the reason and what can we do to improve it?

    What is the meaning of sanercomic?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tell us about your business model. Initiation of IT in Sri Lanka is one of the most practical things right now. Perhaps your background can inspire lot of people in your field to start something similar.

    Cost cutting is the king now and most western companies find IT outsourcing is one way right now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ReallyCold,

    Solar Cell manufacturing is done in few countries only and it is very heavy capital investment project which requires lot of energy as well. So other words, not for us.

    But we did was to design a Software based Charge Controlling and release module which enhances power usage. Then we designed few products around that where we were successful.

    There many million opportunities around that. The name of the game is VERTICALS

    We buy Solar Cells and Batteries from other countries, but we compete with our product internationally, as I said still we are very weak in marketing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ReallyCold

    Outsourcing, has been name of the game for a while, specially for countries like India. But the real story in unsaid. Most of the outsourcing projects are given to the branch offices of the respective companies residing in the outsourcing country. Those are the big players. The second thing is most of those early outsourcing projects were based on the numbers (1000-50000 seats) where SL cannot play a major role.

    But KPO's or knowledge process outsourcing is a market is an opportunity for SL where you do not need the numbers but professionals (Sri Lanka has the largest CIMA qualified pool outside UK). But still for outsourcing to happen properly you need a representative companies who do the undertaking,QC etc at respective countries. But rare cases there are direct outsourcing jobs, but the bulk goes other way.

    The other issue SL had was, we brought in few large outsourcing businesses, which are more over less Cost+ % basis ones, where SL is not reaping the benefits. However it was better than nothing.

    I started a outsourcing company where we never had to go out of the country to find business.

    If you need more information about the outsourcing business we have an association which I can link up for you to take the conversation forward.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mate, don't worry about the Nick Name it is just one. Since I do not have any business interest here I rather stay in a Nick Name.

    ReplyDelete
  12. sanercomic
    It looks like you have positioned well to contribute to SL business growth directly.

    If I can generate a vision for Sri Lanka, it is something based on IT, Engineering, and Technical which is something you are already doing.

    Solar panel manufacturing is an ideal business for Sri Lanka. I am somewhat familiar with semi conductor fabrication. It is possible to find Sri Lankans with expertise in that field. I think currently we pay import tax whenever we buy a panel. We can think of internal market first and then think global. A FAB can be expensive and this is when we need government help. We can start slow with the help of a university in Sri Lanka making students specializing in manufacturing. If someone can do a business model and look for capital needs, if the needs are limited, there can be some venture capital initiatives with expats around to raise moderate capital ($10-$100 thousand range).


    Do you have plans to grow your business?

    I don't have plans or expertise to create an IT outsourcing in Sri Lanka. If you can write your experience, that will inspire anyone who wants to start one. There won't be enough foriegn technical jobs abroad during next few years. The foriegn graduate will return home. There will be a good pool of potential employees as well as companies wiling to outsource to lower cost basis levels in the future.

    We missed Y2K and growth after due to the war and lack of vision. We shouldn't miss a potential up surge of the global market which is bound to come up in about few years.

    I asked about the nickname since it has the 'comic' part and wanted to make sure you are serious before committing my time here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A while ago, government had an initiative to create a business model around nano technology. They had hired a person to work on it as well. I haven't heard what happened to that project afterwords.

    Are you in a position to open up a training center for a multinational company based in India?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Solar Panel Duty is set to Zero by last budget.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nano Technology research is something that can bring lot of hope. But I am not quite sure whether we as a country has identified which line of business to research on. Like IT it can be applied in to many areas and unless we understand which area to pursue based on our talents and marketable needs then we get no where.

    Academics in SL are not the best to decide which way, as with my experience they are less enterprising and lack industry perspectives.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the solar panel tax info.
    How about laptops? Are they duty free like desktops?

    Most academic institutions don't have the industry perspective. Their pupils have become employees and therefore don't have the real life industry expertise. However they can be inspired.

    If you can employ some interns for short term projects, let me know and I will try to connect you with some future Engineers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a great effort of starting a blog focusing on economy.

    Any blog's start is a struggle (other than Mahen's blog). Keep the light going and people will contribute.

    However, your color selection and font type/size selection may not be appropriate for fast readers and contributors. You may need to look for much readable environment for your blog.

    Keep it going! All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Sri Lankans,

    First of all I would like to thank for the people behind (sanercomic, Ananda-USA) who created this blog to discuss very important and contemporary issue of our country. I have been following DW and Serendipity (wow….not a spelling mistake and great meaning) for quite some time. I have to admit that I do not have an extensive knowledge on economics or finance but I have some thoughts which can be shared with you guys and hoping to contribute developing our one and only country.

    Before going further I have to say, everybody please make this effort fruitful and productive, since I have seen many programs, projects started with great enthusiasm but failed to keep the momentum and focus going, resulted in utter waste of time and resources.

    Firstly I would like to stress on the point (and everybody probably knows) that if a country increases its production, inevitably the economy will grow. Therefore whoever wants to develop a country will be looking into increasing the domestic production with the intention of fulfilling the needs of the domestic requirements (self sufficient) and export the excessive production.

    What I believe is we need to focus on developing the economy by increasing the production of agriculture based products. Now I may sound like old fashioned, but given the current situation of the world, recession and lack of world food, it is time we increase our cultivations with the intention of meeting the requirements of domestic and international.

    I think we have a great opportunity and access (now that our forces have cleared) to country’s most fertile land for cultivation (Sri Lanka's East after liberation: Prospects and Challenges- SCOPP http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20070922_04). In fact currently I am planning on such cultivation and how we can develop export based cultivation.

    Further I think we need to spend significant amount on R&D to introduce new food products based on these cultivations and market them by highlighting the nutrition and organic features (nowadays organic food products have high demand and price).

    Another interesting area is to help earn Carbon credits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_credit) for companies which are willing to offer funds or sponsorship. It is also possible to develop a Carbon Project which can be funded by western companies. What I have learnt from the ground reality is that merely cultivating or creating forests does not help to earn much credits, but having projects like developing new energy sources or alternate power sources help to earn more carbon credits.

    I hope these thoughts might help to explore new avenues of opportunities. Please feel free to correct me or add anything, after all the quality of these thoughts will be improved only thru discussions. I sincerely believe this effort will be very realistic, effective and productive in developing our great country.

    All the very best

    Jaya Wewa!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. JJ
    You have mentioned two key initiatives. Organic and CC. I am an organic food consumer myself. It is very difficult to produce organic food in Sri Lanka, however not impossible. The business ethics in Sri Lanka are poor, however with organic, that can be improved. No one can fool around with Organic standards.

    What is the feasibility of producing organic rice? If you can produce good quality brown organic rice, there will be a very good market for it in USA. That rice is rich in fiber an neautrients than most rice varieties.

    What about organic herbal drinks? Ranawara will be a great drink like Chamomile. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamomile.

    I can share what I know about the natural food market in USA (consumer perspective).

    One of the key item missing from Sri lankan products are the packaging. First, you have to understand the customer before packaging is made.

    We have very poor practices of customer satisfaction. We need to think customer is right always and cater to customer requests. One of the best packaging from Sri Lanka is coming from Dilmar tea. Dilma did not have a good none tradional tea product line. The taste wasn't there to match up with nice packaging. I once wrote to Dilmar chairman about it and he seemed to be fine with the taste.

    One of the close ended project one can do is to building string hopper machines. The current ones imported form India doesn't work well. It is not too difficilt to develop a technique to make string hopper maker that can produce more hoppers during a fill up of doe. String hopper makers can be marketed with organic brown rice floor with a mix to make dhall curry.

    ReplyDelete
  20. http://www.krimiraja.com/

    Patriots, We need to help companies like this to flourish.

    I do not know them personally but my family has used these product since we were small and I am sure some of you also have tried. Excellent!!

    Shouldn't our great products like these take over!!

    Jayawewa!!.

    ReplyDelete
  21. JJ , RC

    Thanks for your contributions. I am sure we will find lot more contributions in the future and will able to use the knowledge and ideas we discuss here to serve our other lanka.

    One of the things that I will request from all the people who live in Sri Lanka is to discuss about great products that they have seen or great service they got while living here.

    For all those living abroad, please see how we can get them to go international, what is missing in the equation.

    Jayawewa!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. krimiraja and peyawa can be marketed in the west for westerners. I would like to present some of my ideas in a none public forum. As a consumer, I always think of new products and how things can be incorporated into the current market. I can write down number of different avenues these two products can be used.

    My mother still makes the best peyawa and I always have an year supply of them. They are really popular among Sri Lankans however even lot of Sri Lankans don't use them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am not trying to sound negative, it is very difficult to create interest in Sri Lankans in a mission like this. Their main interest is daily news and gossip. I have tried this number years with not much success. There are few people I have met with good ideas and I can introduce them here as we become successful. However you have to keep trying without being discouraged. If people in Sri Lanka can come up with a nice close ended projects, people can be signed up. In any society, people with inventive ideas and decision makers are so few.

    In my blog, I have included this and few other sites so that I don't forget to check them once in a while.

    I suggest you create a private version with people that you feel credible and keep this open for attracting public to your mission.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ RC,

    Thank you for the information, yes I think we can produce organic food items if we study and adopt the standards available. I think its the matter of initiation with right resources and controls to maintain the quality of the product (for that matter the rest of the production life cycle elements). Further as I said before, we need to focus on R&D for other kinds of products (Ranawara herbal drink)

    I have found a link to download the audio book of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1PAON6R6 I don’t know how long this link will be working but I could download it yesterday. I think this is a very valuable book for developing personality and become leaders. So anybody wants download please do so as quickly as you can.

    ReplyDelete
  25. JJ,

    I have his both books 7th Habits and the 8th Habit and also his son has written a one for youngsters, which is also nice.

    Nice Books, I like those.

    ReplyDelete
  26. JJ, thanks for the link. I am downloading it now. That is the kind of information exchange we need. I was told one of the Agricultural minister or his secretary is a graduate from SL and USA (quite rare to have someone with post graduate experience working for the SL govt.) and he has some interest in organic farming.

    Here is a popular organic manufacture in US:
    http://www.horizonorganic.com/earth/index.html

    It is a new lifestyle that can upgrade lives of those who are involved in the long run.

    For example if anyone is marketing herbal tea from Sri Lanka like Ranawara, three has to be an assortment of them and I can already think of a few. If you actually look at dilmahtea site and how Mr. Fernando market his product, that is perfect kind of marketing. You need to tie up products and the families involved in. Most customers like to feel good about the product they consume and where the money goes. These are not marketing for the masses, finding the specific market and catering for them for a long time.

    One good thing about organic products is that the margins can be high.

    I just found this article and nice to see experts are thinking about that:
    http://www.asiantribune.com/?q=node/10186

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nice articles! Good Job mates, please keep on going!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sorry about the earlier post. I am new to this but I thought that I should share my ideas as well.
    If you are really interested in developing Sri Lanka it must start from within. We need to change our habits.
    I am sorry to say but this is quite a corrupt country. Ok it is not as bad as some others but with this corruption it is very hard to develop.
    WE have to stop being corrupt. WE have to stop taking bribes and even giving them. This means that we don't give the policeman who cops us a bribe of Rs.500. If you broke the law, you jolly well go to the cop shop and pay your fine.
    I have told this to people and what they say is that it doesnt matter taking a bribe or cheating someone as you have to develop first before helping others. Remember if you can read and comment here you are more well off than 80% of the Sri Lankan population.
    So let us start off by being non corrupt from today.
    I will post more after seeing the reactions to this comment.
    Jaya Wewa

    ReplyDelete
  29. janithri
    I agree with you.
    When I speak with Tamil nationalists, what they say is, yes there are Tigers and they are terrorists, that doesn't mean you should punish innocent Tamils and they deserve their homeland.

    When I talk with 'patriots', what they say is, yes there is bribery, thuggery, white vans, corruption, that doesn't mean you shouldn't help Sri Lanka.

    I would like to push both platform. Government reform and creating new businesses.

    ReplyDelete
  30. One of the thing we don't talk in Sri Lanka is innovation. Our culture promotes cramming. I say so looking at the study habits of our middle to lower classes for A/L. We can't expect to market the same old same old product with the changing world.

    Commercial institutions are changing the customer appetite every day. The shirt we wore yesterday is not good enough tomorrow.

    Great inventors create the market. The best example is iPod. It is just another music player with with product innovation (cool looking) and clever marketing, it has created its own market space for a higher premium.

    What customers are paying high for the iPod because of the image associated with it. They purchase an item that they think will look cool. So, iPod is not just another gadget. It is a gadget with pre-loaded perception.

    Fortune 500 company executives have found the right market to promote their product which is 12-25 year olds since they are the most none rational. The children are being used to get the money out of their parent's pocket.

    We shouldn't and can't be that exploiting. However we can borrow certain aspects from their marketing to understand the customer.

    Sri Lankans are intimidated by innovators and therefore they are not being promoted well. Our culture doesn't support individual growth. We have to understand our limitations and find a way to work around them.

    We can't expect Sri Lankans to live in Sri Lanka and be innovators to the world. However we need a find a way to promote inventions to our society.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The functions of a government is to create a conducive enviornment which will attract investment.

    This can only be achieved by creating the environment which spells 'opportunity' to the profit-oriented risk takers out there.

    Entreprenuers and investment is always looking for the right opportunity. What SLG needs to believe in is "if you build it, they will come'.

    A govt must never be in the business of doing business. It must have very little interference in business.
    It must never attempt to micro-manage the economy.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think great nations are created and carved by great leaders. leaders inspire their followers to reach dream that the leader saw in the past. The success of the leader is the effectiveness of transcending his dreams to those who follow! so they get inspired.

    Leaders may be correct or wrong, base on the measurement platform used and the yard stick. So anything and everything can be critically discussed. Nothing wrong with it except the progress of massive nature can happen only there are more followers than leaders.

    This gives rise to a another conclusion that if people do not question and follow (even if they did not see the dream of their leader) things will happen (at least for the leader. But we call this slavery (perhaps) or non democracy

    Therefore The challenge would be to bring everyone together see the same dream and work for it to realize it. Then Serendipity - happens!!

    Thanks you for your comments folks..!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks RC for the links. Dr. Sarath Ranaweera's article was very informative. In fact he is the chairman of Bio Foods Ltd., which provides services on organic agriculture practices in SL and is the worlds 1st Fair Trade registered processor and exporter of organic spices.

    It seems there is some kind of initiative in SL gov with regard to Organic agriculture also. Thanks again RC….and keep'em coming

    ReplyDelete
  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  35. JJ,

    There are lot of people who are working on these stuff. Even I myself has invested some time and money on Organic Foods, However the local market is not the place yet for someone to aim for.

    We need to look at organic food for exports, where there is enough interest.

    At end of the day -when we were small we used to eat only Free Range EGGS and vegetables from "ovita". Look at us where we are now!

    So to transform back (I think it should be for the health reasons - more than anything where our percentage of Cancer patients are going high as the contamination levels are going higher as well), first it needs to be economically viable.

    I have some friends who are inspired on Bio Farming, but have not being able to make it profitable. My own experiment was for our consumption which also had some issues on insects etc,.

    So I guess this to be successful, there are two ingredients missing

    1. market to sell (I think this is where our Diaspora can help )
    2. knowledge (our old farmers had this, but the ones who are interested in this is not those people, so we need some help to fill the gap)

    I will post some information about older knowledge on fertilizer and insects soon. I am still collecting more information.

    SanErComic - Comics for economics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics

    ReplyDelete
  36. Here are some products offered by Bio Foods

    http://www.biofoodslk.com/products.html

    Excellent initiative...

    ReplyDelete
  37. sanercomic,

    I think, for two issues u have raised,

    1. yes as u said we need help from our guys outside SL collecting info on Mrkt trends, Inside Connections (Super Market chains), prices, packaging, standards, laws, etc..

    2. I think if we approach to right people/gov institute we can obtain this knowledge to bridge the gap....it is possible

    ReplyDelete
  38. JJ,

    Do you know any folks whom we can invite to this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Primitive agriculture is frequently dismissed as primitive and unproductive. In fact, it represents our best hope for the future.

    From: "Traditional Agriculture in Sri Lanka - Edward Goldsmith interviews Mudyanse Tennekoon"

    "In a Goiya's Looking Glass": Farmer-folklorist Mudyanse Tennekoon on Sri Lankan history and society

    Please visit http://goviya.com/

    I will try invite him to come and comment on this blog

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sanercomic (Did I spell it correct?)

    I just saw your post on DW today, as some people offended you I try to give you some feed back

    I was partily involved in organic food business in NZ. From my experience for the organic food exports we need to have a government backed (Ex. Agriculture dept) Quality Assurance System and a propaganda arm to visit each country we are aiming to export. NZ has MAF and Australia has something similar. Otherwise importers do not belive what individual exporter says from a 3rd world country.

    Those QA systems works from the farm yard to the consumer and each stage is carefully monitored by the govt employees or designated QA companies. Most of the times for an example if they intend to export to USA they try to address the requirments of US FDA requirements. For Japan it may be different.

    This is my 2cents contribution. Good Luck

    ReplyDelete
  41. sanercomic

    "We are limited by our own imagination"

    [However the local market is not the place yet for someone to aim for.]

    We need to create a local market. We can target high end Sri Lankan population. If we educate them with the benefits, they will buy. Organic farmers should sit down with mega markets like Cargils and have a section opened up for Organic food. The high end hotels can use them as well. Contact International schools and have them create interest in Organic food among students. If you can hire some white people in Sri Lanka and get some pictures of them eating Organic, Sri Lankans will have a greater interest in them. First, we need to show people pros and cons.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The organic tea asortments we talked about already here on
    http://www.biofoodslk.com/products.html.

    The packaging isn't appealing for US/Euro market.

    Since Organic is expensive, I am personally interested things that I consume in large quantities, not things like spice. I certainly eat things like Banana, Apple, and try to get Milk as well. However for products on this web site, there is a market. They just need to get the packaging straightened out.
    After spending some time on their web site, I feel good that we have already started this.

    One of the easiest way to do organic farming is through Green Houses. You can grow certain kind of vegetables in it. A friend of mind is doing it and however having struggle with import tax. He says the tax is killing everything. Other handicap is the interest in loans. He says there is no way to make a profit with 30% interest charged by the banks. People living in foreign countries can step in and create a way to offer loans for these people with limited interest like 15% or so. That way, both parties will benefit.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Gemunu,

    Thanks for the comments mate, I am not an expert in Bio Foods, but my expertise lies in IT and Renewable energy. But I like the subject, as agriculture is dear to my heart.

    I agree with your comment, if we work on it there is nothing we cannot achieve. What I meant at the time was developing the local market would be more challenging, where it require marketing, compared to mature markets you need to deliver standards and price. But overall yes I agree.

    BTW I saw some one is bit upset on my post but I am not the defense expert so it be. I will do what it takes to give my 2 cents.

    ReplyDelete
  44. RC,

    This is exactly why I was trying to bring people together, people cannot start any business here by borrowing (capital). Borrowings has to be limited to Operating capital on short term at max.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I will be willing to invest in sustainable farming expecting moderate profits as returns. I was hoping to do that about an year ago with a friend, then he became a Buddhist devotee. He has no interest in making money now. Which is good for him. This is an example of how our culture can affect the financial growth of the nation. On the low moral end, people steal, high moral end people are only interested in wisdom.

    If there is a genuine consortium with some sort of a credibility and passion to succeed, people will step in and help. Over 95% of the business people approached me were planning on scamming. This biofoodslk venture interest me greatly with their sustainable farming efforts. I am hoping this is a sincere venture and planning to create a connection with them in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Really Cold,

    "A friend of mind is doing it and however having struggle with import tax. He says the tax is killing everything. Other handicap is the interest in loans. He says there is no way to make a profit with 30% interest charged by the banks."

    There is no "import tax" for exports.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Really Cold said,

    "We need to create a local market. We can target high end Sri Lankan population. If we educate them with the benefits, they will buy. Organic farmers should sit down with mega markets like Cargils and have a section opened up for Organic food. The high end hotels can use them as well. Contact International schools and have them create interest in Organic food among students. If you can hire some white people in Sri Lanka and get some ictures of them eating Organic, Sri Lankans will have a greater interest in them. First, we need to show people pros and cons."


    The main reason is the high cost than the lack of awareness. ( Assuming SL's would eat Organics when they see "white people" consume organics is purely an insult ) As you may already know, Organic farming in SL is costly for three main reasons

    1. Cost of certification is high - Comparatively, Control Union is less costly but still way too high for local farmers who would target the local market

    2. Small scale farmers ( who are already in the agri business ) do not have access to suitable land - what is available is already been used

    2. Low productivity - Yield is low and wastage is high

    ReplyDelete
  49. Good to see our patriots talking about economics - timing could not have been any better.

    Thank you SanerEconomics for the initiative

    ReplyDelete
  50. RC,Reo

    I also have some friends who wanted to do this. What we will do is when we gather reasonable number we will open up a separate blog which works on the basis on invitees only and take it forward.

    BTW, I posted a link http://www.goviya.com very interesting

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Sanercomic

    Thanks for the reply. I have not lived in SriLanka for about fourteen yrs(other than holidays). So I do not know the trend in SriLankan Market. What I know is TV can sell any thing in SriLanka. Govt should intervene in the Media to sell the goodness on the product(such as Organic foods). There is a another trend that some people blindly follow what higher socio economic groups do. Such as going to international schools, holidays in five star hotels, shopping in Singapore etc.

    If we can promote the product in that sort of higer socioeconmoic groups people in the relatively lower classes would definitly follow. So it is a sort of chain reaction.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi Sanercomic

    What is the future for Bio Fuels in Sri Lanka. I am interested in Bio diesel

    ReplyDelete
  53. Organic for the sustainability for the planet theme is well received in the west. In USA itself, the so called generation Y (the 20 something ) is more interested in saving the planet and some of them have become leading customers. They even wear organic cotton even though you pay a higher price for it.

    It seems Sri Lanka has the idea and understand Organic farming well. What we need to perfect is marketing and like Gamunu says establishing the credibility. People will pay a higher price and drink sustainable coffee and tea. We develop lot of agricultural minds through our universities. Do we develop enough international marketing minds? We have been sending hundreds of students abroad as undergraduates and I am sure we have few of them in marketing. It is difficult to find jobs in the west and some of them may be returning and their skills can be focused to good use.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Gamunu
    Sri Lanka always had the interest for Bio Gas. A friend of mine has done a fun project. He has rescued some of the cows from the local butcher and use their dung to create bio gas and that powers the house of his caretaker.

    Sri Lanka will have a greater interest in Bio Diesel since we are hungry for diesel vehicles.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wow, where do I start?

    I speed-read through the comments, getting the gist and flavor rather than actually the specifics, which I will have to revisit later since there's really good material. I am really impressed and excited by the creativity, the sheer drive and enthusiasm. here’s an initial observation that I feel will help.

    1. Fix scope quick: Honestly, motherhood and apple pie grand plans that will fix Sri Lanka for good don't work. All change is incremental, frustratingly slow and can only be identified over a period of time, or over a multitude of small projects. Settle on a 100 little individual projects, or 1000 if you can and start them working in parallel. If you have to, assign someone, let them spin of their own blog on the project and blow the whistle to set them off.

    2. Plans that depend on a sudden shift in human nature don’t work either. Cataclysmic, unprecedented events like the Tsunami took place, and guess what, human nature is still the same: the assholes benefited from the chaos, people's pain and vulnerability, the good people gave and did what they had. Don't expect people to be any different, to their natures, only create the dynamics that BRING the best out of people, that’s how successful societies/organizations work (e.g. Dubai, uses materialism and gain to balance and hold together an incredibly diverse group of people’s interests) or be prepared to struggle in the same place.

    3. Set a date in stone for the first project to be off ground. Life, families, our jobs, sleep will all be attractive and we’ll keep shifting things forward. If you want 1000 projects over 25 years, that’s one business every 9 days. Assuming you need LKR 1Mn and 3 people to seed each small project, you need 40Mn and 120 people in the next 12 months. You’ll need to keep this in mind for financing and hiring. So I don’t know give yourself some time to get the dynamic together and then start seeding off these businesses.

    Theres more, and I will get back it for you, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  56. thanks aasvogel, I will take your advice and incorporate it in to the plan

    ReplyDelete
  57. thanks SanerComic! of course i am doing the agricultural project at http://goviya.wordpress.com , which frankly will absorb more capital than i can come up with and given that in all likelihood, i may have to bail out myA parents before much longer from the finacial loss the F&G fiasco is turning into, I offer my support and effort in all areas except capital.

    ReplyDelete
  58. @sanercomic,

    Yes I will work towards to bring here somebdy(s) who have expose to this area, or any other areas in that matter.

    wow lot of posts are coming up....good sign and environment...good work guys keep'em coming..

    ReplyDelete