No organization had a risk matrix that accounted for the speed and severity at which Sri Lanka’s economic troubles unfolded in 2022 in the aftermath of a prolonged pandemic. Everything happened at lightning speed, from an acute foreign exchange shortage, import restrictions, breakdown in electricity/gas supply and transport due to the fuel crisis, and loss of income topped off by galloping inflation and the rising interest rates coupled with unprecedented political instability and social unrest due to the shortage of basics and essentials. Any one of these would have been difficult for a business to model in a risk matrix in assessing the same vis-à-vis proposed strategic action, leave alone all of them.
In this interview, Ramesh Shanmuganathan discusses how the Year 2022’s economic crisis became a period of great learning and reflection, from how to redraw and remodel the business risk matrix to taking a holistic view of our business with an especially empathetic view towards employees given the team had to perform under incredible circumstances to make sure the clock kept ticking and our stakeholder needs were fulfilled without any compromises. At John Keells group Shanmuganathan leads the organization and teams that serve the group’s Digital & Tech requirements whilst managing clients across SAARC, MENA, and APAC as Chief Executive of John Keells IT (JKIT), a boutique consultancy organization.