Ethics and professionalism have always been at the core of building MAS. Especially in an industry where ethics have continuously been called into question, we were resolute from the beginning to never compromise on it.

As it turns out, that resolve has set our company apart in terms of our uncompromising value system and industry expertise.

As founders, coming from a family run business, we shaped the organisation through our personal values and ethics of putting people first, and always choosing to do the right thing at every turn.

But we understood that both ethics and professionalism are critical to keeping an organisation in balance.

For this, we were determined to bring in the right expertise and professionals from outside to strengthen the organisation. As business leaders, we defined the moral grounding of our business with care, ensuring it could operate as an anchor for our workforce while we let the professionals do their job.

These two aspects have formed two critical pillars of what is now a global apparel tech conglomerate and an industry leader that has journeyed over 35 years with agility and resilience.

What is striking about these two pillars is that they matter immensely in helping companies adapt to moments of crisis. In crises, business ethics and professionalism drive organisations to be sensitive to externalities, adjust to change and embrace new opportunities, whilst uplifting the people and communities around them.

We can see this happening now in Sri Lanka. Today, manufacturers are working together to protect Sri Lanka’s standing as an industry leader, to build the export sector and strengthen the economy – and they are making every effort to provide large-scale support to vulnerable communities.

Ethics make these efforts genuine and uncompromising while professionalism sharpens these decisions to make business sense.

This is not something new or unique to the present crisis. There have been times in the past when we made big business decisions based on the same thinking. In 2009, when the nearly 30-year conflict ended in Sri Lanka, we asked ourselves what we can do as a corporate to help postwar transition and reconciliation.

We could have set up manufacturing anywhere in the world but decided to do so in the north. For us, helping the economy and people in war affected areas served an ethical purpose. As it turned out, the business prospered. In retrospect, we can be proud of our decisions.

A foundation of ethics and professionalism help companies identify new, necessary points of focus in the face of change. They steer organisations to make tough decisions that ultimately help the entire ecosystem thrive.

A foundation of ethics and professionalism help companies identify new, necessary points of focus in the face of change