live on the net
Sri Lanka's one and only Irish restaurant and pub will be launching
off to cyberspace with the launch of the official website www.clancys.lk
on July 19. Clancy's has become one of Colombo's happening nightspots,
thanks to its live music entertainment though the week and its relaxed
pub atmosphere, the club said in a statement.
become the first ever restaurant and pub in Sri Lanka to launch
its very own website. Geoffrey Fernando, the Director and founder
owner of Clancy's said: "We always put our customers first
and we want to keep them informed about what we are doing, what
better way to do it than through our website, they can get information
about all our live events and even make reservations on line. Our
customers are busy people and this way the information is available
at their fingertips."
and powered by Eureka Online Pvt. Ltd, this interactive website
gives up to date information about the latest events and promotions
as well as menus. In addition an on line booking service membership
subscription is available and to celebrate the launch prizes are
being offered to the first 20 on line subscribers.
been entertaining Colombo with their unique blend of European cuisine
and Sri Lankan hospitality since 2000. Its flamboyant live music
events all week long have also helped make it one of Colombo's favorite
and most talked about nightspots.
Auto Lanka files for damages
The auto gas company of Laugfs, Gas Auto Lanka
(Pvt) Ltd (GAL) recently filed action in the Colombo high court
seeking damages against four other auto gas companies over an enjoining
order that interrupted its business earlier this year. GAL through
four separate lawsuits has sought to recover Rs. 25 million from
each company for loss and damage to its reputation, goodwill and
loss of market share, business and profits. In January earlier this
year, Gas Conversions (Pvt) Ltd, Auto Gas On (Pvt) Ltd, City Auto
Services (Pvt) Ltd and Petro Gas (Pvt) Ltd sought an order in the
Commercial High Court restraining Gas Auto Lanka from operating
its filling stations on the grounds of unfair competition and that
it was using an illegal supply of LPG.
the same time GAL's sister company Laugfs said it had signed a Memorandum
of Understanding with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to purchase
its supply of LPG for domestic cylinders. Due to a problem with
the slow stabilization of its domestic LPG demand, the company had
made temporary arrangements to use the same for industrial purposes
also. At present, this problem has been overcome as demand has exceeded
this quantity and Laugfs is reportedly importing its additional
order that was invoked on January 24 was suspended a few days later.
During this period 11 auto gas stations of GAL had to shut down
their operation. The four companies withdrew their lawsuits on May
21 and the cases were dismissed with legal costs.
Gas Auto Lanka
(Pvt) Ltd, a member of the Laugfs group of companies operates the
largest network of auto gas dispensing stations in the island.
Recently the company took over the assets of another auto gas station
operating under the name of Elco Auto Gas. The market now comprises
of GAL and five other auto gas companies.
world is falling out of love with celebrity chief executives
leaders are being knocked off their pedestals faster than communist
heroes after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Bernie Ebbers, a deal
maker from Mississippi whose creation, WorldCom, was the epitome
of telecom excitement, was forced out recently. Diana "DeDe"
Brooks, a forceful former chief executive of Sotheby's, was sentenced
to house arrest and narrowly missed jail - the fate handed out to
her former chairman, Alfred Taubman. Even Jack Welch, the former
boss of General Electric who was perhaps the best-known celebrity
chief executive of all, has seen his reputation dive.
of today's reaction against business leaders is partly a reflection
of how far their companies' shares have fallen, and also of the
extent of their personal greed. But it is also a reaction against
the worship heaped on them in the 1990s. Revolutions devour their
children, and the impact of new technology and the bull market on
business was little short of a revolution. Now for the devouring.
The cult of the all-powerful chief executive was fostered by
the fact that investors found themselves lost in the maths of e-business.
Company accounts, once a trusty guide, were ill-equipped to measure
the strange things going on in the new economy. Investors reverted
to familiar faces and seductive speeches. In their search for winners,
it was easier to follow the jockeys than the form.
often follows when first-time investors are seduced en masse to
a stockmarket, as they were in the late 1990s. It happened in Britain
in the 1980s, when privatisation set out to show that equities need
not be just for toffs. Naive investors then chose to follow stars
- such as Anita Roddick of Body Shop and Asil Nadir of Polly Peck
- without looking too closely at the numbers. Then, as now, it often
ended in tears. Polly Peck, for example, went spectacularly bust.
This time the
catalyst was Enron. Few understood its accounts. But they trusted
Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling when they said that their company
was in a totally new Internet game, a game that was going to lead
to undreamed-of riches. Likewise, they loved and trusted tough Mr.
Welch when he produced uncannily smooth earnings growth at GE, the
company Americans most admire.
this process is self-perpetuating. Stars become chief executives,
not the other way round. "If you were making a movie and said
'Get me a CEO' to the casting director, he'd give you Michael Armstrong,"
wrote Jeffrey Garten, the dean of the Yale School of Management,
in his book, "The Mind of the CE0". Mr. Armstrong had
a "vision" to take an old telecom company, in the shape
of AT&T, to the heart of the new-economy revolution. The vision
destroyed $140 billion of shareholder value and brought AT&T
to its knees, a feat that few from central casting could ever hope
not alone in turning against their former heroes. Europe is at it
too. Jean-Marie Messier, the chauffeur's grandson who turned a French
utility into Vivendi Universal, a global media empire, was once
adored for having planted the French flag near the summit of Hollywood.
he was heckled at the company's four-hour annual meeting and is
now fighting for his business life. Lousy results, much publicised
infighting nd a 40% fall in the share price this year have turned
investors against him.
Then there is Percy Barnevik, a soft-spoken Swede once described
by Fortune as "Europe's answer to Jack Welch". Mr. Barnevik
was perceived as having single-handedly turned ABB into Europe's
greatest transnational corporation. But that was before ABB announced
massive losses last year and disclosed retirement benefits of $136m
arranged by Mr. Barnevik for himself and his successor. The erstwhile
hero is now being vilified for his greed.
raises their corporate heroes as high as America; and nowhere are
they knocked down so low. The hero worship has this time been vastly
encouraged by the growth of new media. A new breed of television
channel devoted to business and finance - CNBC, Bloomberg and CNN
Money-needed faces to put on their screens. And there were new business
magazines with covers to fill. "Mugs sell mags" is a tenet
of cover designers, and the likes of Jack Welch, Jeff Bezos, Larry
Ellison and even Bernie Ebbers were favourite fillers. One piece
of research actually found a correlation between the number of times
that chief executives appeared on magazine covers and the excessive
amount they had paid for their acquisitions. Call it the cost of
It took Enron's
demise to shatter completely investors' illusion that backing the
jockeys was a good idea. The greed and deceit of its bosses have
tarred everybody. Mr. Welch is now widely portrayed not as a star
chief executive but as an ageing philanderer; business journalists
in America yearn to be the first to reveal the accounting tricks
that made GE's earnings levitate for so long.
A call to
Now that they no longer trust the man, investors (and others)
need to put more faith in the figures. It is for those who set accounting
standards the world over to ensure that the numbers improve That
will involve at least three things. Investors must learn to live
with figures that are more volatile, but more truly reflect the
shifting risks of the real world. Accounts should become less focused
on a single "bottom line" number, such as "profits".
attention is focused on a single figure, undue effort is devoted
to manipulating it. Finally, there needs to be a return to the practice
whereby accounts (always to some extent subjective) are judged "fair"
by an independent and trustworthy outsider.
consultants are trying to prove that modest, unassuming folk are
the ideal chief executives for the 21st century. But big business
today has too much in common with show business. When there are
no stars, they tend to be created.
By all means
tear the statues down, but don't destroy them. The faces can be
rechiselled next time round.
(Courtesy, The Economist)