Compiled by Allaam Ousman


Dr. Dananjaya Wijesekara highlights the importance of technology for SMEs

Q: How can small and medium travel businesses use digital marketing to increase bookings?

A: Social media is a potent tool for SMEs, exerting comparable engagement to multinational corporations.

Despite the size disparity, SMEs have agility and precision, ceding similar outcomes with a mere US$ 100 budget. This equality in impact underlines the potential of social media platforms.

Through mainstream advertising and mass media, these businesses leverage economies of scale for heightened engagement. Yet within social media, parity reigns.

Q: What steps ensure product quality and compliance while managing costs?

A: For SMEs, their business is more than simply a job; it’s their life’s work.

Unlike employees in large corporations who may work for their salaries, small and medium-scale entrepreneurs invest their hearts and souls into their products and services. They always seek to improve their offerings, innovate and raise the bar, and focus on ways to evolve and grow.

In contrast, corporations often face bureaucratic hurdles when pursuing change due to their hierarchy. SMEs on the other hand, quickly adapt and make decisions without being hindered by bureaucracy.

Q: How can handicraft businesses tackle niche markets?

A: A niche market focusses on profitability with a select customer base using an approach similar to sniper marketing. Unlike mass marketing, niche marketing offers customised products tailored to meet individual preferences.

These handcrafted offerings foster strong customer loyalty and advocacy, shielding niche markets from economic fluctuations as customers sustain demand.

This presents an opportunity for SMEs to excel. By catering to unique customer needs and trends, SMEs can establish a niche and thrive amid changing economic landscapes.

Q: What innovative teaching methods enhance student engagement in education?

A: Integrating technology into education is crucial for keeping pace with the rapidly changing world. Despite traditional teaching methods prevailing over generations, it’s imperative to modernise education.

Sri Lanka lags behind world trends in tech developments in education, highlighting the need for change. Embracing technology can change teaching methods and improve learning outcomes. While the shift from library-based learning to online resources shows technology’s transformative potential, concerns about misuse particularly with social media persist.

In contrast, my experience in China shows how social media platforms such as TikTok are utilised for educational purposes through specialised channels, optimising online learning.

To maximise the benefits of technology in education, proper management is essential. Recognising technology’s role in modern education is key to navigating its complexities.

Embracing innovation, leveraging technology and managing digital resources wisely are essential for realising the potential of education in the digital age.

Q: How can cosmetic brands leverage social media for effective engagement?

A: In today’s marketing landscape, social media reigns supreme, presenting opportunities for cosmetic brands to engage with consumers. However, successful social media marketing transcends mere views; it needs an understanding of the audience’s preferences.

To excel, brands must position their content amid the vast array of trends and viral content. And they must be mindful of showcasing their products to create an exclusive brand image, steering clear of links to lower market segments.

While viral content may offer short-term attention, brands must prioritise long-term goals, focus­sing on brand perceptions. In essence, effective social media marketing for cosmetic brands hinges on knowing the audience, positioning strategic content and long-term brand building.

Q: What challenges does e-commerce present for handicraft businesses?

A: In the e-commerce landscape, accessibility has surged, enabling anyone to start a business through platforms like Facebook. This has flooded the market, raising concerns about product quality as many opt for white labelling.

The number of negative reviews and complaints lends credence to the importance of quality assurance. Balancing quality and affordability is paramount for e-commerce entrepreneurs aiming for long-term viability.

Q: And last but not least, how can technology improve education in small institutes?

A: Proper use of technology is key to enhancing education. With advanced databases and software, educational institutions now have opportunities for interactive learning.

Moreover, institutions can improve creativity and critical thinking, preparing students for a changing job market as traditional paper qualifications are giving way to practical skills. Today, jobs are based on work experience rather than credentials.

Therefore, education should focus on nurturing practical skills and creativity to prepare students for a dynamic job market. Incorporating technology into education drives innovation. And by prioritising practical skills and adopting new approaches, institutions can equip students for success in the business world.

The interviewee is a Director and the Founder of Kahawanu, La Lurella Ceylon and Global Companion.