Ocean Lanka is Sri Lanka’s largest weft knitted fabric manufacturer with 26 years in producing high quality, world-class fabrics for international brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Next, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Gap, Nike, Intimissimi, M&S, H&M, Levi’s and Hugo Boss. It’s a joint venture between Hong Kong-based Fountain Set, one of the world’s largest circular knitted fabric manufacturers, and local apparel giants Hirdaramani Group and Brandix Lanka. It is focused on achieving capacity improvements and greater innovation while expanding its sustainable product portfolio as strategies to increase profitability.
Q: How did you cope with challenges from COVID-19 to the ongoing crises?
A: The pandemic changed the way the industry was doing business as the supply chain shut down in the second quarter of 2020. Orders dropped drastically, industry wide.
However, Ocean Lanka made a quick shift to fulfil a demand for face masks to keep the engine running. By end year, we managed to sustain profits from the previous and were back to normal operations by 2021.
This demonstrated to buyers how flexible and adaptable we are in the face of any crisis. In fact, Ocean Lanka achieved its highest export value in 2021 despite a resurgence of the pandemic.
The political and economic crises of today are different: we cannot exercise much control over these if the government does not support the manufacturing and export sectors.
Q: What are the pillars of your business’ success amidst challenging conditions?
A: Our pillars are people and leaders – for only their team efforts can help us achieve our goals. Strong leaders show the correct path around obstacles while the wrong people can ruin a business. This is why we have engendered a winning culture geared to achieving our vision and mission.
Q: How does respect in workplaces nurture admiration for organisations as employers of choice?
A: Employees should feel that the organisation is taking care of them. They must have a sense of belonging and trust the enterprise.
Our employees are active sportspersons and we encouraged them by hiring a professional volleyball coach. Ocean Lanka’s men’s volleyball team won the ‘Super League Champions’ title at the 8th edition of the Mercantile Volleyball Championship – our second win in the last two editions of this tournament.
We also organise funfairs and marathons, and song and dance competitions, and celebrate special days such as Mother’s and Father’s Days, which have created a very happy family at Ocean Lanka.
Q: Does social responsibility – including community engagement and environmental activism – continue to be a part of corporate respect?
A: Such engagement is important because our employees hail from the local community. Our social responsibility projects are focused on the welfare of our staff and their families – including scholarships for their children who score high marks at major exams – and distributing school supplies.
As an enterprise that uses natural resources such as water and energy, Ocean Lanka ensures it optimises these and recycles them where possible. Our workshop monitors discharge, and external auditors ensure industry standards are maintained through audits. We are in the process of patenting a particular process that could help reduce current water usage by 50 percent.
Q: How does a corporate’s commitment to continuous innovation help garner respect?
A: Innovation is very important in our industry as we have to absorb ideas from buyers and convert them into products. Ocean Lanka has a cutting-edge product development team that fulfils this demand.
Members of our development team are all graduates of the University of Moratuwa’s Department of Textile and Apparel Engineering with extensive work experience in related manufacturing, thereby building product innovation in the industry.
Q: What are the main attributes of your business’ image?
A: Ocean Lanka is open, very energetic, unafraid of challenges and embraces a growth mindset. Our slogan is ‘ACTIVE,’ which stands for accountability, consistency, team spirit, integrity and honesty, value for time and environmental responsibility. These are the core values that define us.
With a ‘people first’ culture and belief in continuous improvement, Ocean Lanka aims to maintain a prominent position in the textile market segments where it competes. With intrinsic motivation, sense of purpose, and greater levels of personal investment and engagement, it is looking forward excitedly to the future.
Three recommendations to revive Sri Lanka’s economy
It’s important for the government to support industry; but increasing corporate taxes works against keeping the same alive and deters investors.
Attracting overseas investors is a key element of reviving the country’s economy. The government has to remove restrictions on overseas investors – such as requiring a local partner as the major shareholder in the business – while inability to own land may also reduce their desire to invest in the country.
Avoid borrowing more money. Instead, encourage and support export sectors to earn more foreign exchange for the country.
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Telephone 4827100 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Website www.oceanlanka.com