From left - Rohan Rajaratnam, Convener, MarCom Collective; Santhush Weeraman, President, Video and Film Production Association (VAFPA); Thayalan Bartlett, Convener, MarCom Collective; S. R. Attygalle, Secretary - Ministry of Finance; Arjuna Herath, Senior Partner and Head of Consulting, Ernst & Young, Sri Lanka and Maldives; Sulaiman Nishtar, Partner - Tax Services, Ernst & Young, Sri Lanka; and Thanuja Perera, Tax Policy Advisor, Department of Fiscal Policy, Ministry of Finance.
The MarCom Collective, the industry body comprising of eight associations linked to the advertising and marketing communications sectors as well as businesses and professionals associated with them, continued to engage with its members and other stakeholders to bring to light the diverse issues faced by the sectors and how they could work together to address them in a post COVID-19 business environment.
As part of these efforts, a team of senior representatives from the MarCom Collective met the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, S. R. Attygalle, recently. They apprised him on the significant contribution the sector has made to the national economy which has largely gone unrecognised.
A study undertaken by Ernst & Young notes that the MarCom sector generates Rs.151 billion in annual net revenue and employs over 100,000 people directly and indirectly, with about another 200,000 people depending on it. The sector also contributes 1% to the country’s GDP and it, therefore, requires immediate and serious attention before the crippling effects of COVID-19 take its toll on the industry and the economy. The revenue yield from the sector as estimated by Ernst & Young is Rs.1.510 million per employee. The significance and relevance of this is accentuated when juxtaposed with the per employee yield from other key sectors such as Tea - Rs.232,000, Textile and Garments - Rs.444,444, Rubber - Rs.452,308 and Tourism - Rs.1.068 million.
The MarCom Collective also facilitated a discussion with members from within the industry. Ernst & Young Sri Lanka presented their findings and recommended proposals to help complement the government’s effort to accelerate the recovery of the sector and the economy. Taking note of the policy framework shared at the forum, representatives from the eight constituent industry associations confirmed that they would be incorporated into the final proposal to be presented to the government in the coming weeks.