The art of winning in business

Sports, teaches a lot about making businesses successful under high competition. A good sportsman displays all the qualities a manager should posses to make the company successful, under pressure and under intense competition. A deep look at the present Mega Sports event, ICC World Cup 2007, will help us to learn some of the most important facts of running a business and winning in business.
An organization that aspires to be successful needs to make sure that every member have a clear idea of what the organization is trying to achieve, but more than that members of the organization must see that vision in very vivid concrete terms.

By Andrew Rohanaraj
Success is the dream of every businessman. The game of competition has changed tremendously over the past 50 years, with the removal of trade barriers and other restrictions in most of the countries. The nations that preferred to be closed economies a decade ago have come forward to open and create a level playing field for all partners. This paradigm shift in the attitudes of the countries, has granted an hitherto unimaginable power to the customer, making quality and pricing as the two most important factors of success. In short the customers expect the organizations to excel, or go beyond ‘ordinary’ performance in all aspects, in providing a ‘satisfier’ for their needs.
Sport and business
Sports, teaches a lot about making businesses successful under high competition. A good sportsman displays all the qualities a manager should posses to make the company successful, under pressure and under intense competition. A deep look at the present Mega Sports event, ICC World Cup 2007, will help us to learn some of the most important facts of running a business and winning in business.
An organization that aspires to be successful needs to make sure that every member have a clear idea of what the organization is trying to achieve, but more than that members of the organization must see that vision in very vivid concrete terms. The vision, on the other hand, should energize people to strive for higher performance in their own domains, and this energizing will work exceptionally well when employees are encouraged to see the connection between their own needs and the dreams of the organization. The strategic planning process of the organization should kick off with a visioning process which is concrete, colourful and engaging, resulting in a narrative or story about the organization and its future and the results that are sought.
Winning means being number one. To be number one, the organizations need to plan in advance on how to overcome the obstacles that could come in their way in the near future. The organizations working in the South Asian region were constantly reminded of the need to consider scenario planning. The volatile macro economic variables and ever changing political balances compel the organizations to visualize scenarios and be ready for them even before the wind strikes. This gives the organization the much required competitive edge over other competitors.
Ability to adapt
The success of any business requires the ability to adapt to changing situations. In most cases nothing ever goes as planned. The world of business is full of surprises and unforeseen events. Using the habit of adaptability allows business owners to respond to circumstances with the ability to change course and act without complete information. Being flexible allows us to respond to changes without being paralyzed with fear and uncertainty. In order to achieve this, the senior managers should spend most of their time in anticipating different scenarios and finding suitable solutions that could save the organization in case the scenario what was thought about becomes a reality. In the mean time, organizations should encourage their employees also to do similar planning, in their work, and take decisions on how to react to challenging and unexpected situations.
Continous learning
Continuous learning is another factor that plays an important part in sustaining the success. The competitive advantage today is short lived. The competitive advantage of an organization could easily be copied by other organizations due to the growth of technology. As such, the organizations need to continuously come out with new and innovative products, to overcome the competition and sustain their competitive advantage over a period of time. Sustaining the competitive advantage means keeping the innovative pipeline active all the time. In other words organizational leaders, should constantly strive hard to learn something new and beneficial to the organization just like the athletes. Leaders should encourage their staff to learn continuously so that the organization could always keep their innovation pipeline dynamic and functional.
A focused organization keeps in mind that its success is more important than how it does things. What is important is producing the result, the service or the product, and that the procedures to create the results are subordinate to this goal. Discussions of procedures are always linked to results, and have no value in themselves, and organizational members understand that.
Being focused helps the organization as well as its employees to understand the problems and pitfalls in advance and avoid them. Once the employees are focused, it allows the organiztion to spend more time in planning strategic issues and less time on dealing with tangible ones. An unfocused organization will spend a great deal of time wrestling with issues like internal structure, organization of work, who does what, and numerous administrative processes.
Right experience and best known practices
In order to improve and sustain the effectiveness in the world of intense competition, companies need to incorporate the right experience, known best practices, and industry standards in designing the infrastructure and in strategic projects. As a result of optimal design, the infrastructure requires less maintenance, and will experience fewer complications. Optimal design also leverages existing technology, so systems and applications are not under-deployed or under-utilized. Scalability is important in supporting increasing demands as a result of business growth, without compromising service levels.
Organizations that fall into the category of efficient and effective should be fast-moving, pro-active and responsive. In such an environment, employees should be able to access accurate and real-time information – on demand. This will result in intelligent organizations with people who are able to make informed and accurate decisions based on the latest information available. The flow of required information will play an important role in identifying and anticipating the future needs and developing a satisfier to fulfill those needs.
No matter what happens in the field, the responsibility of winning a game relies primarily in the hands of the Captain. Similarly, the most important ingredient of a winning organization is the efficiency of the leader and the effectiveness of his leadership. Leaders need to set the tone and climate of the organization that supports the building of real visions, supports the notion of planning and preparedness and continuous skill building and learning, and constantly helps employees focus on what is important. Without this leadership that could make the organization as one family and motivate them to go that extra mile to achieve success, an organization may be able to function adequately just to survive in the competitive landscape, but will not be able to move with changing contexts and ride the wave, or to excel exceptionally in its accomplishments.


John Keells pledges support to 8th ICAAP

Principal local sponsor of largest international conference to be held in Colombo

John Keells Holdings Limited has extended its support as the principal Sri Lankan corporate sponsor of the 8th ICAAP – International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific scheduled to be held in Colombo in August 2007.
“Every day nearly 8000 people die from AIDS. Faced with such staggering facts, there is a burning need for us to address this fast growing epidemic that can potentially have a significant impact on Sri Lanka as well. Our sponsorship of ICAAP is an extension of John Keells’ commitment to make a significant contribution towards HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in Sri Lanka,” commented Mr. Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of John Keells Holdings, at the formal ceremony to announce the company’s sponsorship as the Principal Sri Lankan Corporate Sponsor.
The sponsorship was handed over to Dr Sujatha Samarakoon, a Co-Chair of the 8th ICAAP in the presence of fellow co-chairs Deshamanya Prof. A. H. Sheriffdeen and Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon. Also present were Ms. Marina Mahathir, Advisor to the Local Organizing Committee and Mr. Kah Sin Cho, Regional Programme Advisor, Asia and the Pacific, UNAIDS.
ICAAP is an international body that seeks to bring partner organizations under one roof to create dialogue on critical issues affecting the region and to discuss the ways through which countries can create awareness, education, improve access to treatment, care and support and to lessen the impact of AIDS. Deemed the largest ever international conference, Sri Lanka will have the honour of hosting the 8th annual conference to be held in Colombo in August this year – an event which will see more than 3500 delegates attending from 60 countries.
Dr Sujatha Samarakoon, Senior Consultant Venerealogist of the National STD/AIDS Control Unit and a Co-Chair of the 8th ICAAP Local Organising Committee expressed her appreciation of John Keells for their role in HIV/AIDS awareness and education. “The Ministry of Health is pleased to have partnered with a strong conglomerate such as John Keells –such public-private partnership is essential when tackling a national issue such as HIV/AIDS” she said. “Their proactive commitment is heartening, and we are pleased to have been able to undertake several noteworthy initiatives as a part of continued efforts to mitigate the problem here in Sri Lanka.”
John Keells Holdings has been actively involved in HIV/AIDS Awareness creation over the past few years, through a three year programme that targets creating awareness among its staff, the communities around its business locations and the general public. The project, carried out by the Group’s CSR arm - John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation - is the first such campaign launched by a corporate in Sri Lanka. Having identified the potential impact that HIV/AIDS can have on Sri Lanka, the Foundation’s goal was to create awareness of HIV and AIDS, how the virus spreads, how it could be prevented and the care and support needed by the infected and the affected. The first phase of the initiative was dedicated to building awareness among the staff of John Keells Group companies. To date, about 5000 employees of the group have benefited from the Staff Awareness Campaign, which continues to run parallel to the second phase activities. The second stage looked at raising awareness among vulnerable groups and external communities. Stage three of the campaign will seek to take the campaign on an island wide scale to the masses. The programme is supported by the Ministry of Health and the ILO/USDOL HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme.
Mr Sumithra Gunesekera, Director - John Keells Holdings who heads the group’s CSR activities said, “In Sri Lanka, HIV is a fast growing concern with a recorded 815 cases of infected and an estimated 5000 persons living with HIV. Although the country has a relatively small number of people living with HIV/AIDS, high-risk behaviours that contribute to the spread of HIV are prevalent, making the country vulnerable to an increase in infections. Sri Lanka has a narrowing window of opportunity to forestall the spread of HIV among high-risk groups and JKH is pleased to be able to play its part in redressing this issue. We hope that ICAAP will be able to bring greater awareness of HIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka and wish the organizers the very best in their endeavours.”


‘Action’ to keep you active through out the day

Your body is your most valuable asset. But modern day living puts it under enormous pressure. It has to endure the onslaught of an irregular diet, environment pollution and sometimes mistreatment. You’ve got deadlines to meet so you may skip lunch. You have a grueling daily to work so you probably skip breakfast. Dinner – you may have a light one.
Many of us need an energy boost during the day. But rather than have a sickly sweet ‘energy’ drink with added stimulants, our bodies will probably respond more favorably to a nutritionally balanced vitamin and mineral packed drink.
Action is a tasty (vanilla / chocolate) dietary supplement. It is nutritionally balanced and provides 27 essential nutrients for each member of you family including pregnant/lactating mothers and children over one year. Aside from the 11minerals, 13 vitamins, protein, carbohydrate and fat. It also contains betacarotene.
Action does not contain added sugar. Every member of your family can benefit from Action.
Children – Energy, Protein, Calcium, Iron, B Vitamins and other essential nutrients.
Teenagers – Energy, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Zinc NMId are essential nutrients. Adults – Protein, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Antioxidants and essential nutrients.
Pregnant / Lactating Mothers - Energy, Protein, Calcium, Folic Acid, Vitamin B 12, Iron and other essential nutrients.
Older Adults – Protein, B Vitamins, Antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Ingredients: Non – fat milk, whole milk, malto dextrin, whey powder, vitamins, minerals and cocoa/ permitted flavour vanilla.


Noel quiz winner chosen

The lucky winner of the Noel Magazine 2007 Christmas Quiz was chosen recently from a large number of entries. The winner Mrs. RBGR Abeywardwna from Rajagiriya received a return air ticket to London with courtesy from Etihad Airways.

The draw was held on April 5, at the office of Holmes Pollard & Stott, the publishers of Noel, Sri Lanka’s only Christmas magazine. Present on the occasion were the company’s Managing Director/CEO Pradeep Amirthanayagam and Accounts Director Subashini Loganathan who drew the winning entry.
In the picture the winner Mrs. Abeywardena receives the air ticket from Mr. Amirthanayagam.


Rainco holds annual productivity awards

Sri Lanka Umbrella Industries, the suppliers for Rainco (Pvt) Ltd held its annual productivity award ceremony for the sixth consecutive year on April 10, 2007 at Venus Reception Hall, Mawanella..
On this occasion more than 25 employees won awards for significant contributions to Quality and productivity which has been the secret behind Rainco’s success.
A significant event was employee Miss. U.G. Pathma Ranjani Kumari receiving the award for best attendance without taking a single leave for three years in succession. The Chairman Mr. S.L.M. Fausz handed over a special cash price to her for her dedication.
After lunch the Rainco factory staff participated in the Sinhala and Tamil new year cultural festivities. Many competitions were held and several won special prizes.
Rainco is an ISO 9001- 2000 and SLS certified company and has many awards to its credit including the 5 S Award in the Central Province .The company is now looking to expand overseas which is a definite possibility considering the fact that its umbrella factory is one of the best in Asia.
The brand, Rainco is here to stay in Sri Lanka and has given a new life and value to umbrellas. The Rainco umbrella is now a fashion item made to match and compliment one’s own lifestyle.








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