WORLDLY AND WISE
Yes, considerable tenacity and shrewdness is required to excavate success from the corporate milieu in any society – and Ashroff Omar could be called a determined and astute businessman. But what has shone through Omar’s leadership and attainments is his calm compassion; and on occasion, an ability to say ‘mea culpa.’
As the pandemic raged, so did tempers. Aspersions were cast against Brandix that the company had broken protocol when repatriating Sri Lankan colleagues and their families back home from India.
Omar addressed the issue head-on, writing to his staff, calling for compassion and calm, and assuring accountability. As Group Chief Executive of Brandix Lanka, he could have left it to others to do the needful… but he did it himself.
Addressing a specific incident of victimisation associated with the incident, he said: “We do not support this, and stand by her as we would for all our employees who trust us and are dedicated to our business… Our factory associates are the lifeblood of our organisation and I am devastated at the impact this has had on them.”
Omar is lauded as a highly respected industrialist and renowned as a global business personality with a gift for innovative and unique ideation; but his human touch is what most who encounter him will take away as an enduring impression.
“It takes a quietening of the mind to find and tap into the compassion that is also there inside each one of us. Compassion for ourselves and for one another is the need of the hour. I have no doubt that we will look back at this experience as a time when our mettle was tested and we came through it victorious – as a kinder and more humane race,” he has said.
This is an attitude that has enticed success in all his ventures too. The Brandix Group is the single largest apparel exporter in Sri Lanka and a lead provider of apparel solutions to many of the world’s superbrands.
His name will be written in the annals of the flourishing Sri Lankan apparel industry for he was instrumental in redefining it, and driving so much of its business models, collaboration within the value chain, employing breakthrough technologies and innovations, and enabling agile manufacturing and mass customisation.
Omar pioneered environmentally friendly apparel manufacture and established the world’s first LEED platinum manufacturing facility, conscious not only of profit but people and planet too.
Ashroff Omar: a global mindset bred in an island.