Sri Lanka investment opportunities draw US strategy consulting firm

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s post-war economic growth and changing demographics offer profitable opportunities for investment especially in tourism, healthcare and retail, officials of a US-based global strategy consulting firm said.

Family-owned Sri Lankan business along with public ones are now getting more used to management strategy consultants, according to Rafi Musher, founder and chief executive of Stax, headquartered in Boston, USA.

The firm helps private equity (PE) investors find good places to invest their money and Asian family businesses on how best to attract capital and improve growth.

PE allows firms to take a longer-term view of their businesses than what public markets allow listed ones, he told a news conference.

Stax, which marks its10th year of operations in Sri Lanka, has worked with several local firms, its Director Kumudu Gunasekera said.

Clients, whose names the consultancy said they were not allowed to disclose, include large pharmaceutical, healthcare and retail firms as well as a bank.

Stax believes tourism offers high return opportunities with ‘Millennials’ (those born after 1980) entering their peak earning years and currently accounting for around one-third of all business travel expenses.

In the next 5-10 years they will provide the majority of spending for travel and leisure, Stax Managing Director Ruwindhu Peiris said.

Sri Lanka’s aging population and high prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes also offers growing opportunities for businesses in healthcare, he said.

Asia’s growing middle class and rising consumer spending offers growth opportunities for retailers, he added.

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Musher said Stax provides "data-driven and actionable insights" to help companies improve growth.

Stax competes directly with the big three global consulting firms, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, and McKinsey, in providing strategic advice on profit improvement and mergers and acquisitions.

Its clients include 14 of the top 20 private equity firms.

Musher said there was 129 billion US dollars worth of "dry powder" – PE funds – looking for investments in Asia.

 

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