Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sri Lankan Businessman Dhammika Perera's Success Story

Sri Lankan Businessman Dhammika Perera's Success Story
This is Sri Lanka's Millionaire & a Billionaire Businessman, one of the Wealthiest person,Dhammika Perera's Success Story.
This article was extracted from World famous Business Magazine “Forbes” .

Dhammika Perera didn’t become one of Sri Lanka’s richest people by luck. It was actually by design.
Back in 1999, when he was 32, he developed a 20-year plan for his fledgling businesses with the help of a mentor. His audacious goal: Become the country’s leader in each of 12 sectors by 2019. He’s already succeeded in 9 of the sectors, building best-in-class companies in tourism, banking, apparel and other industries. Indeed, his Royal Ceramics Lanka appeared in 2010 and last year on FORBES ASIA’s list of the best 200 listed Asia-Pacific companies with under $1 billion in annual sales.

Today his empire boasts 23 listed companies–that’s 8 percent of all companies traded on the Colombo Stock Exchange–and dozens of private ones. His reach extends to Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, the U.K. and elsewhere, and those outfits employ some 62,000 people.
He supplies Wal-Marts in Canada, makes blue jeans for Levi’s and produces tea that’s shipped worldwide. With Sri Lanka growing fast since its 26-year civil war ended four years ago, his companies are taking off. His listed stakes are worth $190 million. But his three Colombo casinos and other unlisted assets boost his wealth to roughly $550 million, one of the country’s four biggest fortunes (see below). He says his companies pay 5 percent of all corporate taxes in Sri Lanka, and his goal is to raise that number to 10 percent because “more taxes mean [his companies are getting] more business and a bigger market share.”
Perera, 45, works from a cavernous and spartan office on the 29th floor of the west tower of Colombo’s World Trade Center, the country’s tallest building. But this isn’t an executive suite; it’s an investment office. He doesn’t run his companies–he buys controlling stakes in them. Using mathematical models that he’s developed over the years, he’s a numbers guy who hunts for undervalued assets and then swoops in. Once he has the right managers in place, he gives them their head. A turnaround artist, he gets credit for revamping much of corporate Sri Lanka, which stagnated during the long years of war as foreign investors stayed away and competition shriveled.
There are only a handful of pictures in his office, and two of them are of Perera shaking hands with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He is a big fan of Rajapaksa. “Only he had the guts to end terrorism,” says Perera. “He put himself in harm’s way.” The president, in turn, has appointed Perera to top government positions. He was chairman of Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment for three years, until 2010, where he would meet with anyone looking to invest $50,000 or more in the country. He’s now Sri Lanka’s secretary of transport, working to develop the highway system as part of a 25-year master plan. He’s also one of five board members of the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency, which oversees state-owned enterprises. These posts, all unpaid, have generated criticism from some for the appearance of conflicts of interest and praise from others for his service to the country.

Business background
Perera’s story isn’t rags-to-riches. He says his great-grandfather was the richest person in his home village of Payagala, an hour’s drive south of Colombo. He owned most of the farmland in the area, but being rich in poor, rural Sri Lanka was like being middle class in Colombo, which is how Perera grew up. His father was in the grocery business. He credits his mother, a schoolteacher, with teaching him cash-management skills. She began giving him an allowance of $3 a month at age 11, and for eight years he had to stretch that money to pay for drinks, food and school fees.
A born investor, he started as a teenager by putting money into a street hawker’s business in front of his uncle’s café. Then he rented slot machines and installed them inside the café. In 1987, with the country four years into the civil war, Perera dropped out of the University of Moratuwa, a top technology school south of Colombo.
Instead, he went to Taiwan for three months of technical training, then returned home and started a business making slot machines, instead of just renting them. He hired his 17-year-old brother, Harindra, as the floor supervisor of their new factory. (Their youngest brother, Anuradha, was only 15 at the time but now is also in business with them; they have one sister.) In 1993 he moved into the gambling business itself, opening his first casino. He’s replacing the casinos now, starting with construction of the 40-story, 500-room Queensbury Integrated Resort & Casino, which will cost $350 million. But he no longer makes slot machines, and he likes to downplay his involvement with casinos, saying they account for only 3 to 4 percent of the total profits of his companies.

New turn
In 1999 his career took a new direction when he found a mentor in Nadeem ul Haque, the senior resident representative of the International Monetary Fund in Sri Lanka. Perera says ul Haque, “encouraged [him] on how to behave, how aggressive to be.” Ul Haque organized a seminar for him on infrastructure and business development at KfW bank in Germany. Perera came back “with a new perspective on mathematical models.” He had earned a better appreciation “for how to avoid risk factors and for cash-flow management.”
Ul Haque and Perera then sat down and drew up the 20-year plan. With six years to go Perera still needs to conquer 3 of the 12 sectors: health care, insurance and telecoms. He has plans for the health care and insurance sectors, but he is still pondering what the right business model will be for telecoms because the technology changes so rapidly.
Today ul Haque, now the deputy chairman of Pakistan’s planning commission, looks back at how Perera has been able to maneuver around Sri Lanka’s often business-stifling government: “I was particularly impressed by how he converted limited regulatory space into a financial empire. Even more interesting, he was able to lever his business empire into politics and established himself at the policy level in Sri Lanka.”
One of the 12 sectors is tourism, and Perera began investing there in 2000 in anticipation of the war ending. He now has a number of luxury resorts and hotels–600 rooms in all, with another 1,200 in the pipeline. Sri Lanka got more than 1 million visitors last year for the first time. He envisions 2.5 million visitors by 2016 and 5 million by 2020.

A chat with Perera begins with math. He has built his empire largely through acquisitions–15 in all–and for him, fixing companies comes down to getting their mathematical models right. His staff researches business models and balance sheets. “With that knowledge, [we] can identify companies” that are good acquisitions. He makes it sound easy. “Of course!” he says.

Failure and success
Some purchases, however, don’t pan out, and Perera isn’t shy about discussing them. There was a clothing and department store business he exited after one year because custom duties made the business model unworkable. He had a small interest in three ships for a decade, but the global recession that began in 2008 made the shipping business “no longer worth the headache.” There was a local bank he bought with the idea of using it to buy other assets and then turning it around. But reviving it turned out to be more complex than he anticipated, and it failed to give him access to other deals he wanted, so he sold out after 2 years.
Perera is also proud to recite his successes. Royal Ceramics Lanka, which makes ceramic tiles and porcelain bathroom fixtures, earned only $400,000 in 2000, when he bought it; it’s expected to post $18 million in profits on $127 million in revenue for the year ending Mar. 31. Local bank Sampath went from a $10 million profit in 2007 to a $41 million profit last year. He saw untapped value in 135-year-old conglomerate Hayley’s and began buying up stock. He’s now the largest shareholder; Hayley’s is his biggest deal and, with $615 million in revenue for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, it’s his biggest company. Profits have soared from $2.8 million in the year ended Mar. 31, 2009, when he joined the board, to $20.5 million over the 12-month period.

Association with Nimal
His right-hand man in deal making is Nimal Perera, who is unrelated. He met Nimal after buying Pan Asia Bank in 2000. Nimal, 54, worked there and advised Dhammika on buying shares. After he decides on a purchase, Nimal closes the deal. Dhammika sets annual goals for each company, and if it meets the goals, then the management is left alone and “we’re just investors,” he says. If the company doesn’t perform, then the two “interfere in the business” to bring it up to par. Turning around a company begins by changing the management and changing the business model, says Dhammika. He compares a company with world standards by looking at the best company in that sector and aiming for that level.
Many of Perera’s private holdings are waiting to reach a certain size before they’re packaged for an initial public offering. His first holding company, Vallibel One, contains stakes in seven of his listed companies and went public in June 2011. He plans to create a Vallibel Two, Three, Four and Five. Three of these will be for his children, all daughters, ages 13, 10 and 7. “They will own the business, but professionals will manage it,” he says. And the other two Vallibels? “For charity.”

As a Buddhist, as is most of the country, Perera meditated regularly for two years beginning in 1999. He credits meditation with increasing his focus, but he felt that the experience was becoming too intense and he stopped. He doesn’t like to drink or watch movies. He likes cars but only Mercedes–he has six of them. He says he’s owned only two watches in his life, both Rolexes. But these signs of wealth don’t seem important to him. What he really enjoys is spending his leisure time studying the business models of companies around the world.
“I need a little pressure on my mind to be happy,” he says. “Then I feel aggressive, able to work and feel pressure. Otherwise, I’m lazy, too relaxed.”

The Wealthiest Sri Lankans

Dhammika Perera’s estimated $550 million fortune is most likely one of the four biggest in Sri Lanka. It’s impossible to rank the four piles because much of the wealth is held in private assets, but in alphabetical order, here are the other three:

Sohli and Rusi Captain
Family is the largest shareholder in conglomerate John Keells Holdings and Chemical Industries Colombo. Investments include banking, paint, agribusiness, raw materials, packaging and pharmaceuticals. Stock market wealth totals $185 million. Father Sohli turned 80 in September; son Rusi, 48, a graduate of the University of Miami in Florida, is an entrepreneur and investor.

Harry Jayawardena
Chairman of the Stassen Group, which he founded as a tea exporter in 1977, and conglomerate Distilleries Co. of Sri Lanka. The 71-year-old was awarded the Knight’s Cross of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark for his contributions to Danish arts, sciences and business.

Hari and Mano Selvanathan
The brothers’ empire is largely private. Their listed companies Carson Cumberbatch, Bukit Darah, Ceylon Beverage Holdings and others are involved in palm oil, financial management, brewing, real estate and hotels. Hari, 64, and Mano, 66, are the grandsons of an Indian immigrant who arrived in Colombo nearly 100 years ago, started a petrol station and never stopped expanding.

This article Extracted from
(This story appears in the December 2, 2013 issue of Forbes Asia)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sri Lanka Budget 2016 Proposals & Speech

Budget 2014 Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa

2016 Budget Live Blog - Here Click

Steps will be taken to upgraded Ocean University (Sagara Vishwa vidyalaya) as a University.

Take measures to ensure that students received high quality education in ICT.

Propose to increasing and modernizing hostel facilities in universities, steps will be taken to accommodate second and third year students in Hostels or houses close to universities.

Lecturers’ salaries to be increased by 5% Educational allowance.

Moratuwa University & Japura Campuses to be modernized.

Will take steps to build University Townships Projects.

Live Updates via DailyMirror and Adaderana
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to present budget proposals for 2014 today in Parliament at 1.00 p.m.
We, Lanka University News hope this year budget will be more development focused and specially attention will be paid for Education & Higher Education sectors.

The second reading of the budget would commence on the 22nd. The debate will continue till the 29th and the vote will be taken on the same day at 6.30 p.m.
The committee stage of the budget proposals would commence on 2nd December and conclude on the 20th. At 6.30 p.m. on the same day vote would be taken for the third reading of the budget.
The Appropriation Bill on total government expenditure estimated at Rs 1,542 billion for next year was presented to Parliament on the 22nd October.
The biggest allocation has been made to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development at Rs 253 billion. This year's defence budget is Rs 289 billion.
The President's expenditure for the next year has been estimated at Rs 85 billion. This year it is Rs 74 billion.
Among key spending amounts set for ministries for the next year, include Ports and Highways Rs 144 billion up from Rs 131.4 billion this year, Health Rs 117.6 billion from Rs 93.5 billion this year, Mass Media and Information Rs 26.8 billion from 27.1 billion this year, Education Rs 38.8 billion from 37.9 this year, Higher Education Rs 29.5 billion from this year 27.9 billion.
The Ministry of Public Relations had been allocated Rs 2.4 billion while Economic Development Ministry has been allocated Rs 106 billion for the next year.
Ministry of Law and Order has been allotted Rs 52.3 billion for next year.
The Appropriation Bill has set a borrowing limit of Rs. 1,100 billion for 2014, down 15 percent, from the Rs.1,295 billion set in the Appropriation Bills for 2013.
Rs 300 million has been allocated to the Prime Minister for next

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lanka University Students to Protest Colombo

At the moment heavy traffic reported near Thummulla junction due to a protest by Colombo University students over a Hostel issue.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka Inter University Students Union IUSF is to launch a huge protest today in front of Fort Railway station Colombo at 12 noon. Students will be demanding to reinstate the 3 year Allied Health Sciences program back into 4 years.

New Comet ISON Sri Lankan Can see November 20- 28 -2013 වර්ෂයේදී දක්නට ලැඛෙන දීප්තිමත්ම වල්ගාතරුව

The Comet ISON Walgatharuwa Sri Lanka
2013 වර්ෂයේදී දක්නට ලැඛෙන දීප්තිමත්ම වල්ගාතරුව 
There is a good Chance for all the Students. Sri Lankans can see the ISON Comet (අයිසෝන් වල්ගාතරුව) from November 20- 28.You knows that there is a belief that comets bring Happiness.
Students have lot of dreams and hopes. See the ISON Comet and think a Wish. Your Wish will be accomplished.

So you all can think about a Wish. About your University Life, About Your Results..Whatever …It will Come True!!
I have that experience.
පැරැන්නන් වල්ගාතරුවක් දර්ශනය වීම අසුභ නිමිත්තක් කොට සැලකුවත් නූතන තාරකා විද්යාඥයින්ට නම් වල්ගාතරුවක් යනු ඉතාමත් සුභ දෙයකි.

"සියවසේ වල්ගාතරුව" පියවි ඇසින් දැකබලා ගැනීමට අවස්ථාවක්

අයිසෝන් දුරේක්ෂයක් භාවිතා නොකර 20 වන දා සිට නිරීක්ෂණය කළ හැක
නිරීක්ෂණය කරන විට හිරු පායා ඇත්නම් හිරු දෙස එක එල්ලේ නොබලන ලෙසට අවවාද

2013 වර්ෂයේදී දක්නට ලැඛෙන දීප්තිමත්ම වල්ගාතරුව මේ දිනවල කෙමෙන් කෙමෙන් හිරු වෙත ළඟා වෙමින් පවතී. එය මේ මස 28 වන දා හිරුට ඉතා සමීපයෙන් ගමන් කරයි. හිරුගේ සිට කිලෝමීටර් මිලියන 1.8 ක් පමණ දුරකිනි. හිරුට මෙතරම් ආසන්න වීම වල්ගා තරුවකට එතරම් සුභදායක නැත. මන්ද යත් හිරුගේ අධික ගුරුත්වාකර්ෂණ බලය නිසා වල්ගාතරුව හිරු මතට කඩා වැටීමට හෝ කුඩා කැබලි වලට කැඩීයාමට ඉඩ ඇති බැවිනි. අයිසෝන් මෙම අනතුරුවලින් මිදුණහොත් පාන්දර අහසේ නැගෙනහිර දෙසින් දීප්තිමත් වල්ගාතරුවක් ලෙස දර්ශනය වේ. ආරම්භයේදීම අයිසෝන් පුරහඳටත් වඩා දීප්තිමත්ව දැකිය හැකි යැයි අනාවැකි පළ විය. එනිසාම මෙය "සියවසේ වල්ගාතරුව" ලෙස හැඳින්වුණි. මෙය බොහෝ දුරට දැකබලාගත හැකිවන්නේ දුරේක්ෂවලින් පමණි. නමුත් නොවැම්බර් 20 වන දා පසුවන විට පියවි ඇසින් එනම්, දුරේක්ෂයක් භාවිතා නොකර අයිසෝන් දැකබලා ගැනීමේ අවස්ථාව උදාවී තිබේ. පාන්දර 5.00 පමණ නැගෙනහිර අහසේ ක්ෂිතිජයට මදක් ඉහළින් අයිසෝන් දර්ශනය වන බව ශ්රී ලංකා ග්රහලෝකගාරය පවසයි. අයිසෝන් වල්ගාතරුව සූර්යයාට සමීපව පිහිටන බැවින් එය නිරීක්ෂණය කරන විට හිරු පායා ඇත්නම් හිරු දෙස එක එල්ලේ නොබලන ලෙසත් හිරු පායා තිඛෙන විට දුරේක්ෂ, දෙනෙති හෝ කාච වැනි ප්රකාශ උපකරණ තුළින් හිරු දෙස නොබලන ලෙසත් ශ්රී ලංකා ග්රහලෝකගාරය නිවේදනය කර සිටී.  

අයිසෝන් යනුවෙන් නම්කර ඇති මෙම වල්ගා තරුව මුලින්ම සොයාගනු ලැබුවේ 2012 වර්ෂයේ සැප්තැම්බර් මස  රුසියානු ජාතික තාරකා විද්යාඥයින් දෙදෙනෙකු විසිනි. මෙම වල්ගා තරුව International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) නම් නිරීක්ෂණාගාර ජාලයෙහි ආධාරයෙන් සොයාගත් බැවින් එයට 'අයිසෝන්' ලෙස නම් තබා තිබේ.

වල්ගාතරු යනු කාලයෙන් කාලයට අහසේ දිස්වන අභ්යවකාශ විශේෂයකි. අභ්යවකාශය යනු පෘථීවියේ වායුගෝලය එපිටින් පිහිටි අති විශාල අවකාශයයි. මෙම අවකාශය තුළ ඇති ඕනෑම ලොකු කුඩා වස්තුවක් අභ්යවකාශ වස්තූන් ලෙස හඳුන්වනු ලැබේ. වල්ගාතරු සාමාන්යයෙන් ප්රමාණයෙන් කුඩා අභ්යවකාශ වස්තූන්ය. මේවායේ දිග පළල කිලෝමීටර් කිහිපයකි. මේවා තැනී ඇත්තේ මිදුණු ජලය, වායූන්, කුඩා පාශාන කැබලි සහ දුහුවිලි අංශ මිශ්රවීමෙනි. බොහෝ විට "අපිරිසිදු හිමබෝල" යනුවෙන්ද වල්ගාතරු හඳුන්වයි. වල්ගාතරු අපේ සෞරග්රහ මණ්ඩලයට අයත් වස්තූන් කාණ්ඩයක් වන අතර සූර්යයා සහ වටා ගමන් කරනා සියළුම අභ්යවකාශ වස්තූන්ගේ එකතුවකින් සෞරග්රහ මණ්ඩලය සකස් වී තිබේ.

පැරැන්නන් වල්ගාතරුවක් දර්ශනය වීම අසුභ නිමිත්තක් කොට සැලකුවත් නූතන තාරකා විද්යාඥයින්ට නම් වල්ගාතරුවක් යනු ඉතාමත් සුභ දෙයකි. මීට වසර බිලියන 4 කට පමණ පෙර අපේ සෞරග්රහ මණ්ඩලය නිර්මාණයවීමේදී ඉතිරි වූ ද්රව් මිදී, ගල්වී මෙම වල්ගාතරු තුළ තැන්පත් වී ඇත. ග්රහලෝක, ග්රාහක වැනි අනෙකුත් සෞරග්රහ මණ්ඩල වස්තූන් කාලයත් සමග විවිධ වෙනස්කම්වලට භාජනය වුවත් වල්ගාතරු තුළ අඩංගු ද්රව් එසේ වෙනස් නොවන බව තාරකා විද්යාඥයින්ගේ අදහසයි. සෞරග්රහ මණ්ඩලයේ උපත, පෘථීවිය මත ජීවයේ සම්භවය වැනි වැදගත් කරුණු පිළිබඳව විද්යාඥයින්ට වඩාත් පුළුල් ලෙස අධ්යයනය කිරීමට වල්ගාතරු උපකාරී වේ-  
තාක්ෂණ හා පර්යේෂණ අමාත්යංශය

The Comet ISON, said to be a very bright comet with a dazzling show, will have its closest point to the Sun (perihelion) on November 28. It will visible in Sri Lankan from November 20 to 28. A release said the public should look at the area of the sky close to the eastern horizon before the Sun rise around 5.00 a.m. to see the comet. Details are available at the Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT) web site

Ancient people believe that comets have always been associated with fear, suspicion, and evil. But modern people believe comet brings fortune and happiness to them. Some believes that “The Star of Bethlehem” which appeared when Christ was born was a comet.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sri Lanka UCLan Private Campus launched by UK minister

Uclan Sri Lanka University UK Private Campus UClan
Sri Lanka UCLan campus launched

A campus of UK's University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) launched in Sri Lanka this week will strengthen links between the two countries, British foreign secretary William Hague has said.
UCLan is the fifth largest in the UK in student numbers and has over 500 undergraduate programmes and 180 postgraduate courses.
"I am pleased to take part in the launch of the University Of Central Lancashire campus in Sri Lanka, marking the significant strengthening of educational links between the people of Britain and Sri Lanka," UK's High Commission in Colombo quoted Hague as saying after unveiling a plaque at the campus.
"Education is a significant factor in building peace and stability and this British new campus should be celebrated,"
Sri Lanka's current administration is encouraging foreign universities to start in Sri Lanka as part of a strategy to build education hub enhancing the educations freedoms of the people.
Students who could not enter the tax-payer funded education system have to go abroad at great expense to get higher education due to a state monopoly in degree awarding.
The British High Commission said about 8,000 Sri Lankans gain UK education qualifications each year, while 35,000 more get professional qualifications through the British Council. UCLAN Web Site -
Source: LBO
However, the Inter University Student Federation had organized protests in Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Galle and Rathnapura demanding the government put a stop to education trade zones.
Sri Lanka UCLan campus University of Central Lancashire UCLan Sri Lanka launched The students who engaged in the protest in Kandy had to disperse after a short while due an order issued by the Kandy Magistrate’s Court which was obtained by the Kandy Police.
Speaking during the ceremony to unveil the memorial plaque regarding the University of Central Lancashire Minister of Higher Education S. B. Dissanayaka stated that an educated young generation is needed to face the challenges of the modern economy.