Be competitive without exporting guilty garments – Chairman, Tristar Group
Mr Deshabandu Kumar Dewapura
The Sri Lanka based Tristar Group had its humble beginnings in 1979 and its first garment factory, with only 10 machines and 15 employees was set up by group founder and Chairman, Mr Deshabandu Kumar Dewapura. A significant development occurred in 1989, when Tri-Star secured an order for 100 dozens of garments from UK based international brand, Marks & Spencer. Since then, there has been no looking back and due to its highest standards, quality and efficiency; the group has been able to grow into a major player in the industry, attracting several reputed buyers from abroad, particularly from US and UK.
In an exclusive chat with Fibre2fashion, the Chairman of the group, Mr Deshabandu Dewapura, shared the progress of the company with us since its inception. We began the conversation by asking him as to what spirit has driven his company to achieve this success and also share with us the core competencies of Tristar, to which he said, “Well I would put it down to the people in the organization, with the dedication and commitment that Tri Star had during the initial stages of the company, it is through them that the company is, where is it now. It is the people in the organization that make the difference in any company, since without our committed staff and work force our company would be just buildings and machinery”.
Next we asked him on his views on the over all global textile and apparel market, to which he explained by saying, “Well as you would know, now, more than before, the apparel market is very competitive and price driven. The apparel business will always be around as clothing is a basic need like food or water however, what I feel now is that there is so much that you can be competitive on like price, etc and I understand that companies need to be competitive to gain market share etc, but also it is the responsibility of each and every company to be competitive without exporting guilty apparel and has to be the sole responsibility of the manufacture and buyer to make sure that you can be competitive, but not by exporting poverty”.
Tristar caters to all segments including, men, women & children. We asked him to reveal his observations on consumers' preferences and behaviors and divulge as to how Tristar, maintains the pace with demands of time, to which he said, “Well for now I think the end customer is more demanding than before, as I think a lot of people are traveling more and more around the world and experiencing a lot of different things, so when they come back they expect to see exotic fabric's, designs and are more adventurous when it comes to fashion, so they require their local dept stores to cater to their needs, and expect to see a lot of changes happening with fashion, also further to this as there is more choice now for customers”.
“Customers are more in tune with price and value for money, and hence have a more demanding power and this is felt by the manufacturing shop floor, as this is where we see changes in trends compared to a few years back and now. We have taken steps to maintain pace with training our staff and keep ourselves in tune to what is happening around us in the world and we have invested a lot into machinery and upgraded our production units to be more efficient to cut down on lead times, so that we can be a quick response manufacture to customer demands and changes in trends”.