Business Leaders Convene to Discuss Practical Steps to Build Global Sri Lankan Brands

Jan 30, 2013 | Shape The World Summit, STWC Media Release


60 private and public sector leaders from the country gathered at the historic Galadari Hotel on 28th January 2013 for Shape the World Initiative: Creating Leading Corporate Brands. Headlining the event were discussions on new ideas and the challenges facing Sri Lankan brands parallel to the country’s expanding economy. This is the first time a Shape the World initiative took place in Sri Lanka and was well publicized in partnership with Ceylon Today, one of the nation’s leading daily.

With Europe in turmoil and a US economy still struggling to find its feet, Asian economies are playing a bigger role in driving global sustainable growth. However, while Asia is expected to serve as a growing market for consumer products, few Asian brands have neared the top league of brands. To lead the future, Sri Lankan companies must catch up in terms of creating intellectual property, developing unique business models and designing new experiences.

Lawrence Chong, CEO at Consulus, shared his thoughts about how Sri Lankan brands can evolve their business models by taking advantage of their inherent strengths of having a strong professional diaspora, cultural identity and high education.

During his 2-hour presentation, Chong shared that Sri Lanka as a small nation compared to India can take heart in the trend that smaller nations such as South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have produced more world-beating brands than larger nations such as China and Russia. He also cautioned against complacency by saying that Asian brands are at a cross-roads and that they must be prepared to redesign their business models to meet the challenges of the 21st century. He then presented case studies which demonstrated how Consulus’ approach of combining business and design have helped brands move up the value chain through innovation.

“Sri Lanka is so well-positioned to shape the future of Asia with a well-educated population and a strong network of Sri Lankan professionals in the region. The opportunity is there for Sri Lanka to take bold steps to leap-frog and become brand leaders through technology and experience design,” said Mr. Chong.

Organised by Hummingbird International in partnership with Consulus Singapore, the talk explored trends and challenges affecting the rise of Asian brands and Sri Lanka brands; the development of a new generation of Asian leaders; organisational strategies to enable collaboration and innovation; the role of the public sector in nurturing the growth of Asian brands; fresh strategic perspectives derived from an integrated business and design approach.