he minimum room rates in Colombo hotels have been a hot topic in the tourism industry for some time. There are many proponents of it, and too few opponents.
What neither of these parties publicizes is that all of them break the regulation—which was introduced in 2009 to provide a revenue boost to city hotels. They undercut each other below the regulatory price floor when selling to corporate clients or through long-term partners, while offering guests ‘complimentary’ meals and services when selling to retail clients during the off seasons. In peak seasons, they operate as cartels, setting high prices.
In such a context, why the government allows Colombo hotels to continue to lobby for this nonsensical regulation is confusing and why the cash-strapped government hasn’t taken any action on these detractors—a fine of US $ 1,000 and the difference between the selling price and regulated price per violation—is further perplexing.
Corrupt officials, tax cheats and the financial backers of terrorism have one thing in common: they often exploit vulnerabilities in financial systems to facilitate their crimes.
Money laundering and terrorist financing can threaten a country’s economic and financial stability while funding violent and illegal acts. That is why many governments have stepped up the fight against such practices, helped by international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, known by their acronym as AML/CFT, are designed to prevent the misuse of the financial system.
The tactics are all too familiar – when you are the one who has built something from scratch, you think you cannot let go. When you know the pain of having to create something from nothing, you do not want to give up easily. You fear no one will understand what you have worked so hard, given your life’s worth, to create. You think others may undermine your authority as the founder. You may even think that until and unless you rule with a firm hand, things will not work.
Well, guess what, you are wrong.
There will be that day when you finally have to let go – we all do. The sooner you keep that end goal in mind, a better entrepreneur you will become. There are zillions of examples around us; men and women who stubbornly clung on to power, position and the companies they created – only to watch it all fade away or lose it often because they were not willing to let go.
The danger of clinging on to the original dream that made you a successful entrepreneur, in the first place, happens when you start assuming – wrongly of course – that you must have a final say in everything - in other words, when you start wearing the robes of a tyrant. The management and the staff may not tell you but will fear you instead. While a firm grip, a firm hand at the helm is always sought, there must be room enough for new ideas and new talent to grow. You should also think about what will become of the company – someday, when you are no longer at the helm. Not to do so is not only selfish but dangerous for the survival of the company as an entity.
The trouble for many business owners is that the business is often a second child – one that they and they alone must take care of. They may have CEOs in place but they have the final say, even though it starts becoming less and less democratic. They become almost childish, picking fights and expressing strong opinions that may not always be in the best interests of the company they built.
Entrepreneurs must learn the art of letting go – the sooner they think about it the better it is for everyone