Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Thinking Beyond a Profession and Entering the Market - EDITORIAL

16 Feb 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      



There was a popular breakfast show on television a few days ago where singers Bathiya and Santhush shared their ideas about being successful in music; the business that’s close to their hearts.
What the duo underscored was the fact that they didn’t merely enter the music industry, but created a space for themselves in the music market. In other words, the duo had ‘selling’ in mind, whenever they came up with a new album. 

There are many talent shows in this country which serve in finding the next generation of performance artistes. Bathiya maintained that during these live shows, coaches can only focus on improving skills of budding singers, but cannot teach them marketing. 
We can see hordes of teachers entering the teaching profession and being unhappy after a few years in the industry. On the contrary, we also see the tuition masters rule the roost; enjoying the time spent with children and minting money. 

The issue with people of this country can be seen when university graduates get on to the road and demand state employment. These undergraduates must study the farmers who are staging protests after being in the farming industry for decades. Then they can see similarities. Both groups want someone to nurture them or feed them. 

An advertising expert who spoke on a recent morning television show maintained that the farmer must think of marketing his products using a brand name. He also added that farmers must clean themselves of the mud brought from the field, and think of becoming entrepreneurs. When this writer pens this idea, he can reminisce the words of politician Ranil Wickremesinghe  (before he became President) saying that he would make all farmers ‘mod goviyars’ (Modern farmers), making them wear t-shirts and bellbottoms. 

There have been schoolchildren who have started earning money from schooldays. Some have worked in business organizations of their relations after school hours just to make a contribution to a syndicate that handles expenses at home. But that is not going to serve the purpose of mending the minds of teenagers in choosing their career paths, and what they wish to do during higher education. But just consider teenagers who are studying Arts for the Advanced Level Examination and get to work with professional artistes at their galleries or studios. Such assignments have a direct connection with where they want to head in life. 

This writer once watched a youtube video where a former Sinhala tuition guru interviews a promising artist, who does his creations using brushes and paint. This artist, now a youth, asked the question whether the interviewer can name at least five famous artists who have graduated from the Faculty of Arts who are earning money through the sale of their art. 

Even in recreation like sport, we see some of those who did voluntary services demanding a price. A good example is rugby refereeing. Rugby union was one sport where referees officiated for free, and the two touch judges assisting him and running along the sidelines were arranged after consultations with the two school teams to release a member from the school rugby squad. Now all the roles of the referees are played by referees employed by a referees’ society. Big money is paid for such services. This is all because the referees, umpires and cricket scorers all thought that money must be in some part of the equation when a professional service is sought. 

When we walk on the pavement leading to the church or temple on the days of a religious festival we see women selling some of the best kalu dodal and muscat, but most of the time these products come without a brand name. These aged women who sell us sweetmeats sometimes ‘take’ the best recipes for such products to the grave, because there are no recorded details or logbooks which are maintained for posterity. The same fate is written for anyone who enters an industry for the sake of doing so, and neglecting the aspect of entering the market related to such products and services.