BY T.V. PERERA

The real estate sector is one of the most internationally renowned sectors. In India, the real estate sector is rated the second major sector following agriculture. Until around mid last year the real estate sector in Sri Lanka had been a prospective business investment with good returns.  Uncertainity, however, which set in the property market resulted in the residential sector taking a declining trend with many construction projects being on hold, property developers facing difficulties in re-paying their loans, and some even ending bankrupt. 

While property developers are weighed down, being unable to earn expected profits, those who buy apartments to sell them at gains are saddled with cost excursion. In Sri Lanka, land prices keep rising year after year. The Colombo District Land Price Index compiled by the Central Bank reached 132.2 during the first half of 2019 recording an increase of 13.6% compared to the first half of 2018. The sub-indices of land price, namely Residential, Commercial and Industrial have contributed to this increase. The averge price of a residential lot was up 15.3% in 2018 and in Colombo, by 15.5%. 

There is evidently a bubble in the market when buying a property with intention to sell it at a higher price although not on a very high scale in Sri Lanka, due to land prices constantly rising.  At some point of time this bubble will surely burst where none of the apartments could be sold. 

The subdued economic performance which resulted in the drop in the real estate sector is attributed to weak domestic demand, continued tightening in monetary conditions, government consumption spending, stagnant fixed investment, and lower net exports. 

The tightening monetary policy enforced on the recommendation of the IMF was one cause that led to drag down domestic demand and investments, and further,  inconsistent economic policies driven by instability adversely affected public and private sector investments, the key drivers of economic growth.

The real estate sector, which is described as property consisting land and the buildings on it as well as the natural resources including crops, water, and mineral deposits, is linked with the overall performance of the economy. Hence fluctuations within the sector magnify ups and downs of the overall economy.  As a result of this link, large movements in the real estate market tend to amplify fluctuations in the overall economy in addition to potentially destabilising the financial system. An example of this is the financial crisis where the real estate market had vast and disasterous effects on the overall economy on a global scale. 

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Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Decisions Comments Off on Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Decisions 687

By: Dr. Gehan S. Dhameeth

DBA, M.Sc., MBA, BBA, CIW Certified Data Analyst
Associate Professor of Business, Business and Economics Department, Wells College, Aurora, New York, USA.

The core of marketing is to find opportunities and challenges to meet them with the right solution in satisfying the expectations of stakeholders.

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing DecisionsEfficient marketers use concepts and tools to handle said opportunities and challenges. A decade or so, few marketers would have imagined that online advertising would pose such a serious threat to conventional advertising while some assume marketing investments to be held to the same standards of financial accountability as investments in more tangible aspects of the firm, like operations.

Only a few visionary organizations prepared themselves to exploit the availability of data and information that often overwhelm today’s marketing decision makers. In today’s marketing context, marketing decision makers are demanded to use data-driven (analytics) marketing decisions, going beyond the conceptual contents that have been honed by experience.

This needs more systematic analyses and processes. Hence, today, marketing decision making resembles design engineering: putting together concepts, data, analyses, and simulations to learn about the market place and design effective marketing plans. One of the famous schools of thought is to view traditional marketing as an art while others regard it as a science. However, modern marketing can be introduced as engineering, as it combines both arts and science to make marketing decisions.

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Marketers today are bombarded with a plethora of all types of content, user and socially generated data, and expert opinions, and they can combine and process that information in new ways to enhance decision making. Hence, basing decisions on such information has become a minimum requirement to be a successful player in their industries. The most important factor when doing business is to be prompt in providing solutions to consumers. In managing a profitable business model, business leaders will have to thrive hard to meet the said expectations of consumers. The above task needs a lot of consideration given to the type of data, sources of data, storing, processing, and types of business decisions to make. As such, designing of an “effective and sustainable data warehouse” is of paramount importance of business leaders. Hence, this is where the big data comes to play with an emphasis on the three Vs; Variety, Velocity, and Variability.

With the growth of organizations facing well-informed customers who seek greater value, organizations must scrutinize the productivity of all their management processes. Therefore, re-engineering marketing functions, processes, and activities in line with the digital age is paramount for organizational survival. Despite the challenges marketing managers face today, such as reduced cost to improve productivity, mass marketing gave way to micromarketing, fine-tuning to meet individual customer needs in their respective market segments, global competition, and demand to use lean management techniques. Marketing managers have access to hardware (computers, hand-held devices, and mobile phones), software, and data and must use these tools to find and deliver value to micro markets through fragmented media and channels. As a result of these trends, marketers need much more than just concepts to exploit their available resources; they must move from conceptual marketing to Marketing Engineering.

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Sri Lanka Strawberries 0 794

Strawberries in Sri Lanka-BiZnomics-Business

By: Savannah Audrey

Source: Jagrofresh website.

The Agricultural Research Institute has described strawberries as a fruit that is difficult to grow, as it needs to be continually monitored for protection from diseases.

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Although the main planting season for strawberries begins in September, the nursery preparation process begins well ahead with the planting of mother stock. Tended with the utmost care, a few weeks after planting these mother plants start shooting runners, which are then cut and potted in preparation for bed planting.

 

 

Greenhouse construction includes the careful laying of gradients for proper drainage, much for proper weed/pest cover and dipper systems for fertigation – a few of the myriad aspects covered meticulously in this phase. Land and bed preparation, as we call the preparation of the lay of the soil and land, is an arduous task requiring much precision and once the beds and irrigation systems are ready, planting begins in earnest. Each potted plant is carefully removed and planted in neatly aligned beds, angled just right to absorb as many nutrients as are required for the months of work ahead.

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From this point on, care is a mix of diligent tending of the plant, weeding and providing the optimum support, in the form of bees for pollination, plant analyses for ensuring the maximum possible nutrients are absorbed, and warding off of pests.

 

strawberry-BiZnomics-Business-4Harvesting of strawberries starts two months after planting, when fruit is at its biggest, tastiest and juiciest. The first fruit from each plant is always the biggest and often the most off-shaped, although extremely tasty! From this point on, harvesting takes place daily, although quantities and sizes vary based on the plant life-cycle and the stage of planting in the staggered planting system.

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