Country should aim at $12,650 per capita income - DHAMMIKA PERERA | Sunday Observer

Country should aim at $12,650 per capita income - DHAMMIKA PERERA

Vallibel chief Dhammika Perera at the ‘Bell Ringing’  ceremony to mark Vallibel One’s entry into the S&P SL 20 Index at  the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) last week.
Vallibel chief Dhammika Perera at the ‘Bell Ringing’ ceremony to mark Vallibel One’s entry into the S&P SL 20 Index at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) last week.

Building knowledge and focusing on district oriented development are key factors that will boost development in the country in the next five years, leading businessman Dhammika Perera told journalists at the ‘Bell Ringing’ ceremony to mark Vallibel One’s entry into the S&P SL 20 Index at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) last week.

He said, “Look at how NASA invested US$ 4 billion on space companies in the US to develop space technology. I conducted some brain storming sessions for Ordinary Level students and urged them to think about what they want to be in the future.” “A per capita income of US$ 12,650 is what the country should aim at in the next three years to achieve development. Colombo will achieve it in the next three years and the balance 95 percent must come from the other cities. If we can bring the other cities to that level it will not be difficult to achieve the goal,” the versatile businessman said.

He said tourism is a key sector and how we could drive growth in is not simply banking on attracting only high end spenders but also the low end segment. Around 50 percent of the airlines flying to Malaysia and Thailand are budget airlines which has helped attract large number of visitors. “If someone says there are too many taxes in the country or the currency has been weakened too much, they must have better strategies to counter the argument. I have told my board directors not to make the country an excuse for performance. There is no way they could get away. They have to come up with answers,” the entrepreneur cum investor said.

The optimistic and pragmatic looking entrepreneur said that his companies are not harnessing technology adequately to reduce cost and boost efficiency. “I realise that we are not using technology sufficiently. I have studies the benefits of using artificial intelligence and within the next six months all board discussions will be captured into a screen using business intelligence tools which will help save time and cost. Reducing cost is the biggest challenge and we will be having a solution for the cost increase in the next five years,” Perera said.

Vallibel One, a conglomerate under Dhammika Perera, comprises 45 subsidiaries across seven industry sectors with a market capitalisation of Rs. 18.66 billion. The company is engaged in multiple business sectors such as finance, lifestyle, plantations, leisure, packaging, healthcare and consumer.

Vallibel One incorporated in 2007 is public quoted company in the Colombo Stock Exchange.

CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike said the S&P SL 20 Index is designed to guage the performance of 20 largest and liquid companies in the country and entering into the index means that the company is among the top 20 having adequate liquidity, size and is in a position to attract foreign investors. 

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