John Keells Group senior management members Krishan Balendra and Gihan Cooray have been appointed as Executive Directors of the group parent John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) with effect from November 5, 2016.
This is in line with the plans of succession to the current Executive Directors who will retire in 2017 and 2018.
Balendra, who holds 9.65 million shares in JKH , is currently the group’s Leisure Industry President and the Chairman of Nations Trust Bank PLC. He joined the group in 2002 as Head of Corporate Finance, and had also served as President of the Retail Sector in the Consumer Foods Industry Group. He is a former Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange, and has had stints at UBS Warburg, Hong Kong in investment banking and Aitken Spence Sri Lanka in Corporate Finance. He holds an LLB from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD.
Cooray, who holds 139,033 shares in JKH, is currently the Retail Sector President, and is also responsible for the Corporate Finance/Strategy and Group Treasury functions at John Keells Capital and John Keells Research. He is also a Director at Nations Trust Bank PLC.
He holds an MBA from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, Houston, Texas, and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, and a Certified Management Accountant of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia.
He has a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.
Both Balendra and Cooray serve as Main Committee and Sub-Committee members respectively at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
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Sri Lanka conglomerate - JKH seeks state help to beat tourism start ups
Jun 16, 2017 11:29 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
MARKET REGULATION: While large booking engines in Asia like Agoda.com use the principle of disclosure regulation, the website yohobed.com uses branding which is founded principle of merit.
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings is seeking government help to beat competition by unleashing new regulations on players on the small business and start up ecosystem which is expanding East Asia-style with the help of online booking engines.
"Although the supply in room inventory was mainly driven by the graded category, competition is also increasing from the informal sector which is priced attractively considering the lower cost base and different service offering," JKH, told shareholders in the annual report.
"Provisions for a suitable regulatory framework for the registration and regulation of the informal sector will be imperative to ensure that tourism services provided in the country are of a minimum regulated standard," the conglomerate which has annual revenues of 68 billion rupees said.
Small hotels, which do not have inflated building costs are mushrooming in Sri Lanka mimicking the growth seen in East Asia earlier, driven by booking engines like Agoda.com and Booking.com.
At sites like Agoda.com hotels are under constant self-regulation by solicited user reviews forcing management to take corrective action or lose ratings, subject them to on-going permanent regulation.
The online booking engine revolution started in Asia with sites such as Asiarooms.com, which is no longer in operation, mainly started by expatriates resident in Thailand. Agoda.com also has Thai links, analysts familiar with the East Asian growth story say.
Sri Lanka's tourism promotion office has already begun to clamp down on smaller establishments with a set of regulations. The regulations go beyond safety and fire codes, which are needed for all buildings regardless of whether occupants and foreign or domestic.
Regulation by the state allows relevant agencies to collect fees by imposing rules. Critics also say in many countries state regulations also allows inspectors and staff to collect cash to help some operators avoid the regulations.
Standards and facilities on online booking engines are however transparent and users are free to accept them or not.
They use the principle of 'disclosure regulation', practiced in many advanced financial markets, instead setting arbitrary rules on number of rooms, their sizes or facilities which users may or not care about, based on perceived merits.
Less adventurous travellers can avoid newer hotels and instead opt for older establishments with a greater number of reviews with established ratings.
Analysts say in a competitive capitalist market system, firms beat others by keeping costs down or building brands and not by seeking state help to crush competition.
Meanwhile the market is also evolving 'merit regulation' mechanisms.
The brand Yohobed.com offers visitors minimum standards without going through the hassle of trolling through reviews.
Meanwhile JKH said the state regulations will "ensure that leisure operators are on an equal platform in terms of regulations and taxes and other levies, which currently deprive the Government of much needed tax revenue."
It is not clear why the government is not getting taxes from rooms sold on booking engines as customers are already charged taxes. A booking engine makes it easier for a government to collect taxes, not more difficult as they can be directly remitted to the tax authorities, observers say.
On sites like Agoda.com a 6.41 percent National Building Tax and another 15 percent tax - presumably VAT - is also already collected from customers.
Due to a shortcoming in Sri Lanka's value added tax law, voluntary registration below the threshold is not possible and all customers are also not required to be given an invoice. (Colombo/June16/2017)
This clearly shows that John Keells is trying to 'Kill the startup ecosystem of Sri Lanka by asking the government to block the websites and applications such as Agoda.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor.com, etc... and to control prices of tourism sector having exorbitantly costly hotels that will kill tourism sector of the country and income. they are bogusly marketing about 'Tax Loss' to block online booking engines and boutique hotels and other rooms available for tourists who wish to spend less for rooms but more for other entertainment. This shows people like Krishan Balendra are old 'Typical' Colombo Shitheads who try to block competition and block avenues of other businesses in the country. Jetwing owner Hiran Cooray and family are also similar ideologists who try to block competition business in the country like that so they can survive without competition.
No government should do such blockade of industries to the benefit of few companies and few billionaires. It is unethical. They try to disrupt industry growth and business growth for their own survival.
John Keells in their latest annual report indirectly hintsout that they are in a difficult position in completing the US $ 850 million Cinnamon Life resort which costs over Sri Lankan Rs. 130 billion to complete. As a result in the Annual Report they says that John Keells is exploring to build properties more in a Asset-Light model where JKH may operate properties owned by others. So for that JKH is trying to eliminate small players and small operators in the Sri Lanka's tourism market because they are already stuck with Rs.130 billion funds for Cinnamon Life. In future JKH will build less hotels because right now they are facing the biggest trouble to complete their biggest ever project.