IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section


One reason why Sri Lankan companies have been doing better than those in other Asian countries is the quality factor. How is it that Sri Lankan companies were able to do it, and not others?

Sri Lanka has a good sustainable track record and strong stories to back it
Despite unavailability of raw materials domestically, Sri Lankan apparel industry has been performing well, backed by high quality manufacturing. Fibre2Fashion spoke to few companies in the island nation to find out how they have succeeded.

I think Sri Lanka out-performs our neighbours not only in terms of quality, but also in reliable delivery and the ability to manufacture complex high value-added and technologically advanced products such as wearable tech. The ethical and sustainable positioning also fosters trust and recognition from brands and the global apparel industry. Of course, this is driven by an educated, skilled and trainable workforce committed to high standards.

Sri Lanka is also considered a prime sourcing destination for high-end brands, able to offer quality in terms of product engineering, high-end specialised manufacturing, and agility to adapt to the continually changing customer and market requirements.

Simply by Learning. Sri Lankans at an early stage started learning the trade and adopting to technology very soon. One of the major factors was the push from the government when the industry was set up.

Sri Lanka couldn't effectively compete on pricing, which other countries in Asia did better like Bangladesh. The infrastructure cost in Sri Lanka is comparatively high. After the quota system ended some companies moved to other countries and some Sri Lankan producers started focusing on high quality manufacturing and it became their competitive edge. It was a shift of focus and it's still maintained. In addition, Sri Lanka also has a good sustainable track record and strong stories to back it.

The level of maturity of the Sri Lankan management at top and mid-level makes an impact on the product quality and process. When products out of the tolerance are found, the garments are not shipped out even though the profit is less. Therefore, the buyers are assured of the quality.

Sri Lanka has skilled labourers because most of the students go for further study in garment institutes after completing 12th standard.

Yes, very true. It is because we have a better education system and various other factors including quality health care, clear/greener country as well.

Published on: 01/11/2018

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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