COYLE mulls expanding offshore businesses | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

COYLE mulls expanding offshore businesses

Dinuk Hettiarachchi
Dinuk Hettiarachchi

The members of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) are focusing on expanding their businesses offshore.

COYLE is now working on a plan to facilitate expansion goals of its member organizations by formulating MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) with corresponding business chambers of other countries and by organizing trade delegations both locally and internationally, Chairman, COYLE, Dinuk Hettiarachchi told the Business Observer.

“As the chamber approaches its 20th anniversary in 2019, our main focus is to support our members to expand their businesses globally,” he said in an interview.

Talking about the entrepreneur culture in the country, he said, this concept should start at school level where the focus on the importance of entrepreneurship for a country to thrive should be taught at an early stage in education.

“Sri Lanka has many stories of successful entrepreneurship stemming from the ancient times which should be used to inculcate pride into the hearts and minds of the next generation. This will help create a positive entrepreneurship culture in Sri Lanka.”

Excerpts:

Q. What are the key priorities your Chamber is focusing on at present?

A. As the chamber approaches its 20th anniversary in 2019, our main focus will be diverted towards helping members expand their businesses globally. Currently our members are leading enterprises in their respective sectors locally.

As a chamber we will strive to facilitate expansion goals of these organisations by way of formulating MOU’s with corresponding business chambers of other countries and by organising trade delegations locally and internationally.

Q. To achieve this mission - what is the commitment you get from your team?

A. COYLE is a collection of 116 entrepreneurs who over the years have associated each other to create a sense of brotherhood within the Chamber.

Each member is actively involved in the activities of the Chamber and I have the fullest commitment of the executive committee and general membership of our Chamber.

Q. Does the regulatory environment in the country support opportunities for entrepreneurs today?

A. While we acknowledge the positive steps taken by the government to increase market accessibility by way of free trade agreements with other countries we are concerned on the lack of regulatory controls which exist domestically which will in turn affect local entrepreneurs. As a Chamber we are always willing to help the government in whatever way possible to establish these regulatory controls swiftly in order to proceed with the proposed free trade agreements.

Q. How optimistic are you about the growth in industries when you look at where the world is today?

A. The world is in an era where technology is changing the way we do business. Industries will always exist as long as it is coupled with new technology trends in order to be at the forefront of business.

Q. In the present scenario, how do you think the private sector can spur economic growth?

A. The private sector is the backbone of any thriving economy. Therefore it is important to ensure that the economic environment is conducive for the private sector to carry on business.

In the present scenario the lack of political stability, the increasing borrowing rates and the challenges in raising capital are stumbling blocks for the private sector to spur economic growth. Having said that the private sector is quite resilient; we experienced this during the 30 years of war. I am sure this passion will continue within the private sector in today’s context as well.

Q.How do you propose to increase public private partnerships (PPPs) in industries? Can you name a few projects suitable for PPPs?

A. . The PPPs are an ideal structure that governments can employ to help deliver services to the public where the government needs to maintain its involvement in those respective sectors. Industries such as aviation, power and energy, telecommunication, information technology relating to national security and specialized infrastructure projects are key sectors which the government should continue to be involved in. However, to ensure high quality and timely provision of these services PPPs will certainly be beneficial. The government should study these sectors in detail to identify areas which the private sector can add value, start a process to get the private sector involved in these projects which will in turn help the government provide better services and generate more revenue from these sectors.

Q. What are the immediate steps that the government should take to tackle GDP (Gross Domestic Production) growth?

A. GDP growth is dependent on increased demand. Higher production leads to lower unemployment and increase in wages, which in turn fuels demand.

Therefore, creating demand for local industries will be the most important factor the government should tackle in order to increase GDP.

Free trade agreements should focus on the strengths of local industries to gain increased market share in other countries while having an eye on protecting local industries. Also focusing on the value added production sector is an important area for the government.

Q. How could the young entrepreneurs support the government’s plans?

A. Once the government lays down a solid plan based on a national agenda which will not be changed frequently, I’m sure the young entrepreneurs will find ways to innovate and implement products and services to help the government’s overall strategy. The key here is laying down a stable and consistent policy.

Q.What are your suggestions on cultivating a positive entrepreneur culture in Sri Lanka?

A. This should start at school level where the focus on the importance of entrepreneurship for a country to thrive should be taught at an early stage in education. Sri Lanka has many stories of successful entrepreneurship stemming from ancient times which should be used to inculcate pride into the hearts and minds of the next generation. This will help create a positive entrepreneurship culture in Sri Lanka.

Q. What advice would you like to share with the upcoming and to be entrepreneurs?

A. Life of an entrepreneur is not always easy. The start for many entrepreneurs has always been challenging. My advice for upcoming and to be entrepreneurs is to mainly have perseverance. There are many stories of successful entrepreneurs who have failed repeatedly but perseverance, commitment, dedication and creativity have made them successful today.

COYLE is a business chamber with 120 members comprising of business owners and entrepreneurs having an extensive national and international business network, offering a broad spectrum of activities and services. Chamber members collaborate with Government officials, policy makers and community organizations to support the community and each other with the mission of building businesses and community through its motto, “Recognition through Excellence.” It initiates a number of schemes to support young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. 

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