Founded in 1878 as Charles P Hayley & Company, today, Hayleys is one of the largest Sri Lankan multinationals conglomerate with a portfolio of globally competitive core businesses spanning Fibre, Rubber, Environment, Plantations, Agriculture, Transportation, Inland Marketing, Knitted Fabrics and Tourism. It is a quoted and truly broad-based company with no single individual, family or institution owning more than 12 per cent. In 52 years since its incorporation as Hayleys, it has a record of 26 scrip issues and 4 modestly-priced rights issues, together with dividend payouts averaging 25 per cent in each of these years. Hayleys today accounts for 2.7 per cent of Sri Lanka's export income, 2.2 per cent of GDP and 3.2 per cent of market capitalization on the Colombo Stock Exchange. Hayleys carries a AA(lka) credit rating by Fitch Ratings. Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills, the textile arm of the group, is leading knit fabric manufacturer in Sri Lanka for export oriented apparel industry. Mr Bandula Weerasinghe is the member of Group's Management Committee and is responsible for managerial affairs of Textile sector at the ‘World of Hayleys’. He joined Hayleys in 1988. Since the inception of Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills in 1992, Mr Weerasinghe held various positions for the last 15 years, and was recently elevated to the rank of Joint Managing Director. Mr Weerasinghe is a Structural Engineer by profession. He holds BSc and an MBA from the University of Colombo, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering from the National Institute of Business Management, Sri Lanka. With Face2Face team, Mr Bandula Weerasinghe shares his views on current natural and synthetic fibres market in Sri Lanka, and world over.
Can you chronicle Hayleys "textile traverses through tapestry of time"?
Hayleys got into textile business few decades ago being the sole agent for Bayer of Lever-Kuzen, Germany selling dye stuff and chemicals.
With the successes made by involving in textile industry in Sri Lanka for a long period, in 1992 Hayleys decided to diversify by venturing in to knit fabric manufacturing. This paved way to incorporate Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills as the pioneer knit fabric manufacturer in Sri Lanka for export oriented apparel industry.
Can you explain about the current natural fibre’s market for global textile industry?
Global market for apparel made out of natural fibres is growing rapidly despite emergence of newer synthetic fibres. Increasing demand on clothing made out of organic fibres and increasing awareness on fair trade has contributed to this increase during recent years.
Srilanka’s coir industry is very vital in boosting the local economy. What role does Hayleys play in it?
Hayleys has contributed tremendously towards the development of Sri Lanka’s coir industry. For instance, in 2005/06 our total value of natural fibre purchases amounted to Rs 129mn. The number of our subcontractors for this period is estimated at around 2,009 persons.
It’s noteworthy that Hayleys has placed Sri Lanka on the world map as a market leader in value added coir fibre and fibre products over the decades.
Hayleys is in fact the world’s largest producer of natural brushware, accounting for 22 percent share in this segment and is also the world’s no. 1 supplier of coir twine, accounting for 55 percent of this market.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.