The subject of branding is now assuming national significance in Sri Lanka, with the powers-that-be taking notice. This is because the division of first world countries and third world countries is now dependent on the brands each own, with the first word designing and creating brands and the third world sourcing for them.
For example, Sri Lanka only has one third of the global value chain for tea. This is due to the fact that this country has only a few tea brands, according to Prof. Uditha Liyanage, Sri Lankan marketing guru and Advisor to the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) Brand Excellence (BE) awards.
Prof. Liyanage's comments were made at the launch of the 2011 SLIM BE awards, its 10th edition, which are slated to be held on the evening of October 18 at Water's Edge, Battaramulla. The entries for this award programme are now open and will remain so until September 5. Also highlighted, this year's awards will add a Small and Medium Enterprises category, while also continuing specialist categories such as CSR, Innovative, New Entrant, Turnaround, Export and International. This is aside from a number of subcategories under the Product and Service umbrella. Additionally revealed, this year, the big award of the night, "Brand of the Year," may be chosen from any category, another change from previous years.
It was also noted that this year's judging panel, headed by Unilever's Asanga Ranasinghe, would comprise Triad's Michael Holsinger, Nielsen's Shaheen Cader, Ferro Trading's Mahen Perera, Sampath Bank's Tharaka Ranwala, Akzo Nobel Paints's Graham Marshall, Richard Pieris & Co's Ravi Liyanage, Maliban Biscuits's Ravi Jayawardena, Nestle's Norman Kannangara, Etisalat's Riyaaz Rasheed, Hemas's Anil Meegahage, Fonterra's Vidya Sivaraja and Ceylon Agro's Sajith Gunarathne. (JH)