Interview with Mr Dian Gomes

Mr Dian Gomes
Mr Dian Gomes
Group Director
MAS Holdings
MAS Holdings

Incorporated in 1987 and based in Sri Lanka, MAS is the region’s largest intimate apparel supplier with 39 world-class manufacturing facilities backed by 35,000 dedicated employees. Initiated as the team of just 60 people, and now, operating through 3 divisions viz. MAS Intimates, MAS Active and MAS Fabric, the Group has established a strong regional presence spanning 8 countries and partners renowned brands of intimates, sports wear and leisure wear which includes Victoria’s Secret, GAP, Nike etc. MAS Intimates is a US $250 million entity consisting eight operating units: Slimline in Pannala being the largest. The Division’s employee strength is over 12,700 and specialises in the manufacture of intimate apparel primarily to USA and UK markets. Mr Dian Gomes, a Management Accountant with a passion for people and always a ‘people’s person,’ is the Group Director of MAS Holdings and heads the MAS Intimates Division. He commenced his career at KPMG Ford Rhodes and later was the Director Finance for Saracen Interiors International. Subsequently, he held General Manager – Sri Lanka position, for May Department Stores International Inc. Mr Gomes has a sound academic background and well-rounded corporate experience. He is the Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK); Executive Educationist at Wharton Business School, The Ashridge Business School and Harvard Business School. Bearing a versatile personality, he is the President of the Sri Lanka Amateur Boxing Association and Vice President of the National Olympic Committee and Director of the Ceylon Tourist Board. He was the President CIMA – Sri Lanka Division (2001/2002). He co-authored the book ‘Costumes of Sri Lanka;’ was awarded the best prose non-fiction at the State Literary Awards 2003. In 1999, he was profiled in the prestigious ‘Wall Street Journal’ earning laurels for the Sri Lankan apparel industry. Mr Gomes was awarded the Business Leader of the Year 2003 in the large-scale category at the CIMA-Janashakthi Pinnacle Award and was ‘Highly Commended’ by CIMA-UK at the Business Leader Awards in London in 2004. Face2Face presents Mr Gomes who discusses about intimate business; next generation of merchandising; revolutionizing business philosophy; and the challenges faced by manufacturers in Sri Lanka.

Next generation of merchandising will be more granular, real-time, closed-loop and pro-customer than what we have seen in the past. What micro-merchandizing solution does MAS Holdings as a manufacturer have to offer retail customers?

Over the years, MAS Holdings has evolved from a very generic/single customer model to multiple models/different customers where each customer has own unique set of requirements which are driven by their respective market conditions. However in order to continue to be a preferred vendor to each of these brands, MAS has been able to achieve true micro-merchandizing capability through integrating several key capabilities.

With reducing lead times we are moving into quick response ‘replenishment models’ -

  • Our Lean model, MOS (MAS Operating System which is based on the principles of Toyota Production System) has been instrumental in becoming highly responsive and customized throughout our value chain The emphasis on waste elimination in both process/resources has enabled to customize solutions affordably
  • Technological integration & ‘virtual verticality’ – SAP, POS, Web technology, Supplier-Customer tech partnerships
  • ‘Physical verticality’ with backward integration & logistics partnerships
  • What are the benefits of having information about consumer behavior trends at the retail end, to a factory thousands of miles away, and how can this be passed down to factory staff, if it is necessary to do so?

    Organizations such as Toyota and DELL, have worked successfully on ‘mass-customization’ and ‘change-to-order’. This is key information at factory level, in order to be better prepared to take on future business requirements. This will forewarn us of the resource requirements in terms of technical skill base in order to meet forecasted demand.

    With MOS, these learnings are being applied to transform the apparel industry’s traditional ‘push-driven’ philosophy to one that is responsive to the market needs as well as the specific requirements of MAS. A further development in the pipeline is the integration of our internal information backbone with our external partners’ systems. With web-based systems (as opposed to customer-specific EDI for example), we’ll be able to do this integration more seamlessly.

    Published on: 18/06/2007

    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

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