ACL Cables

Q: What is your take of the pandemic’s impact on brands in general?
A: The initial months following the outbreak witnessed a high degree of uncertainty among the general public, mostly from a financial perspective. People were reluctant to opt for branded items, resulting in brands facing a challenging period in the pandemic’s immediate aftermath.

However, there was an impressive uplift from the government with import restrictions, which stopped the inflow of fake and duplicate alternatives, and reopened the market for local manufacturers to offer their brands.

For ACL Cables, there was a silver lining in the third and fourth quarters of last year when Sri Lanka witnessed a notable increase in construction – in both homes and projects – due to the government facilitating attractive housing loans and low interest rates on savings.

Q: How can brand investments accelerate a recovery on business?
A: Although there weren’t as many investments last year, smart brand building activities carried out by our marketing and branding teams enhanced the company’s performance while providing affordable solutions to customers.

The government is doing its part to facilitate businesses, and corporates have invested their share by contributing to Sri Lanka’s revival. As the months pass, there will be more emphasis on brand investments, undoubtedly uplifting the economy.

Even at this time, ACL Cables has invested in infrastructure expansion projects to extend our capacity and maintain our position as a leading cable solutions provider in Sri Lanka.

Q: Does ACL Cables use technology to enhance its product offering?
A: We have undergone a massive transformation – in addition to our large distribution network, we recently launched an e-commerce platform. This opened the door to a new sales channel and expanded our reach, to enhance accessibility and affordability for customers.

People have different priorities today, which are mainly financially driven so they cannot spend large sums of money at once. We have used this insight to access more target markets – viz. dealers, electricians and consumers – with easy payment schemes and discounts through our online sales channel.

Q: How have you built brand loyalty through quality?
A: Quality is a philosophy at ACL Cables; it’s our main differentiator, which has led to a massive loyalty base not only locally but overseas as well.

ACL Cables sets standards in Sri Lanka – our products are manufactured to tested and proven local and international standards. Our strength lies in quality and we are unable to compete cheaply.

Quality is a compromised variable in this sector, mostly in regional markets. Yet, we’ve always maintained our standards and this has established very high market entry barriers.

We believe in ethically manufactured and distributed products that are of the highest quality, provided at affordable prices to customers. This philosophy has locked in the brand loyalty we command.

Q: How has the company grown over the years?
A: We have maintained our positioning as Sri Lanka’s pioneering cable solutions provider for over six decades.

Since our chairman first capitalised on the country’s growing needs for cables – providing high quality products built with Japanese technology, machinery and engineers – we have enjoyed a growth trajectory cemented by our foundation of quality.

We’ve maintained a continuously evolving portfolio, going from copper cables to aluminium conductors, armoured cables and our hallmark product – aerial bundle conductors – which was conceived in 1989 with technology from Nokia. ACL Cables was the first cable company to manufacture this product in Asia.

Our efforts have focussed on related diversification, which includes products such as switches, circuit protection devices, ceiling fans and other electrical accessories.

Q: And what are the brand’s plans for 2021?
A: We operate in a rapidly changing market; in a decade, it will become fully modernised and digitalised. And ACL Cables adopts a proactive stance to stay on top of trends.

Following our e-commerce platform’s success, we’ll be expanding into more digitalised sales avenues such as mobile apps to introduce more automation to our business model.

Having evolved our business from cables to switches, circuit protection devices, ceiling fans and other electrical accessories, the company’s plans for the brand include further related diversification in the near future. We will be investing in brand building to position ourselves as a one stop shop electrical company that is committed to quality driven innovation.

Suren Madanayake
Managing Director