Compiled by Savithri Rodrigo
REACHING OUT TO THE WORLD
Sajidh Farook calls on Sri Lanka to reach out to the global marketplace
Q: In your opinion, what’s the good, bad and ugly here in Sri Lanka?
A: The ‘good’ is that Sri Lanka is endowed with substantial natural resources; the ‘bad’ is that locally accessible raw materials are underutilised by domestic industries, which enables foreign businesses to take advantage of them; and the ‘ugly’ is that domestic raw materials taken from Sri Lanka undergo value addition by foreign businesses and are returned for trade in the local market.
Q: What are the challenges facing the country today?
A: The country is striving to position itself in terms of international relationships and economic stability. Typically, a developing country such as Sri Lanka faces diverse challenges ranging from tackling poverty to maintaining good governance. Sri Lanka has to compete with other nations to attract global markets. The country should take necessary action to motivate domestic industries to enter international markets.
Despite demonstrating balanced growth, Sri Lanka has many shortcomings to overcome. These include rising foreign debt, the absence of entrepreneurial infrastructure, a weak financial system, corruption and intensifying ‘ethnic conflicts.’
Q: How can Sri Lanka retain the talent it possesses?
A: Sri Lanka lacks people who have the drive to accomplish their goals. The government should offer adequate incentives to SMEs and local entrepreneurs who have international exposure and influence.
Many Sri Lankans have lost hope due to the country’s reverse momentum. Most professionals and intellectuals migrate primarily because pay scales are better overseas. But if Sri Lanka can offer competitive remuneration packages, assure job security and create awareness on the scope for advancement in our country, we could retain the talent we have.
Q: What opportunities do you see for young Sri Lankans such as yourself?
A: We are the future. Therefore, we should establish a strong foundation for an optimistic Sri Lanka. Leaders don’t wait for opportunities; they pave the way on their own in creating such opportunities. Quality education and social media make for a great opportunity to strengthen our nation, and we should exploit these opportunities to the maximum.
Q: What challenges do young people face in a global context?
A: Previous generations were more playful, energetic and adored every single day of their childhood. With the introduction of the internet, we (the post-millennials) overutilise resources unnecessarily. I believe that we’re more hooked on technology itself and we experience more complex encounters than preceding generations did.
Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: Technology has dramatically transformed how individuals interconnect and communicate with each other, methods of accumulating information, approaches to spending leisure time and even systems for how people earn an income.
In the present world, successful businesses use social media because of its amplified brand recognition, and the ability to reach target markets through attractive advertisements and augmented social reach.
Social media supports both personal and professional lifestyles while also complementing services ranging from personal messages to online social marketing activities.
Q: Where do you see the world in a decade from the present time?
A: Due to rapid globalisation, various job avenues will be created, and several archaic careers and professions eliminated. The world would probably cross the threshold into a new era where technology would act as the backbone of every single situation.
New education structures would become known and subjects of the past will not be taught. It is also certain that inflation will escalate due to higher earning power.
Q: And where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: My ambition is to become the CEO of Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft Corporation. As the saying goes, ‘nothing is impossible’! Perhaps I may not reach the moon but I might at least hit a coconut!
However, I will always try my level best to reach my goals and therefore, wherever I am in 10 years’ time, I’ll be satisfied – because I would have bettered myself and reached out to achieve my goals. Wherever I am and whatever I do, my wisdom and wealth will be for my alma mater and motherland.