Dilanka Jinadasa


Aspire to position the local apparel industry as a hub office destination

Singular take on the apparel industry
Its resilience.

Latest innovation in the industry
Sustainability backed by traceability.

Major barrier to its growth in Sri Lanka
Political and macro instability – and the lack of preferential trade agreements with key retail markets.

How to overcome this
By maintaining political and economic stability with policy consistency – this will be critical.

Other strategies
Using the opportunity to implement significant structural reforms, which the economy needs to thrive – including further trade liberalisation.

Role of technology in the local industry’s growth
Given the increasing importance of speed, robust and integrated digital solutions are crucial to ensure agility in decision making and manufacturing.

Maintaining competitiveness
It’s critical that Sri Lanka remains at the forefront of technological developments in the industry in order to maintain its global competitiveness.

Evolving consumer trends
Sustainability is increasingly at the forefront of consumers’ minds and purchasing decisions.

Local compared to regional apparel industry
Sri Lanka continues to punch above its weight as an apparel manufacturing hub in Asia.

Reason for this
Its established reputation for technical skills and ethical work practices.

Sri Lanka’s competitiveness in apparel
The key to Sri Lanka’s competitiveness in apparel manufacturing is its established reputation for technical skills and ethical work practices.

And textiles…
Sri Lanka is home to a world-class textile supply chain.

Strategy to stay ahead of the competition
Taking a step forward to optimise business processes with the implementation of SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning software.

Its upshot
The platform will enhance productivity and efficiency through better integra¬tion of digital systems across the group.

How the local industry can improve its competitiveness vis-à-vis costs and quality
It should focus particularly on offering additional services to customers beyond manufacturing, which helps address their supply chain challenges.

CRM benefits
This will ensure that customer relationships are strategic and long term, rather than being driven by cost only.

Impact of the ongoing economic crisis on the apparel landscape
The country’s global reputation as a reliable apparel sourcing destination was affected the most.

Industry resilience
The apparel industry has come together to demonstrate its resilience and ability to continue to meet its delivery commitments, and greatly mitigated the impact of the economic crisis.

Initiatives amid challenging times
Communicating with customers to ensure that the narrative is controlled.

Continuing to drive newness on a platform of operational excellence helps maintain the country’s image irrespective of the ground situation.

Scope of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry
Sri Lanka can continue to grow as a centre for product development, research and innovation; and also as a design hub.

This is whilst looking to expand its manufacturing base in other countries with distinctive advantages.

Role in economic recovery
In addition to providing thousands of jobs, the apparel industry is a major contributor to the Sri Lankan economy – it accounted for 52 percent of the revenue from export goods last year.

Focus areas of improvement for apparel professionals
Efficiency, productivity and attention to detail.

Noteworthy fact about the industry
The industry’s resilience and continuous hard work over the past few years have repeatedly proven its commitment to the economy – and the country.

Qualities one needs to pursue a career in the apparel industry
Empathy is a particularly important quality in a labour-intensive industry such as apparel manufacturing.

Your vision for Sri Lanka’s apparel industry
For Sri Lanka to evolve into being a hub office destination for apparel brands by taking advantage of initiatives such as the Port City (CIFC).

The icing on the cake…
For Sri Lankan manufacturers to become global players with attractive multi-country origins that cater to customers’ specific needs while retaining the island as its centre for operations.

Your mantra for success
Haven’t discovered it yet!

– Compiled by Dona Senara

Dilanka Jinadasa is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Hela Apparel Holdings.