Sri Lanka’s apparel sector inspiration Brandix is planning to grow in to a US$ 500 million business “very fast” while going Greener by reducing its carbon footprint by 25 per cent over the next five years, and raising its on-time delivery to 95 per cent in the year ahead.
The country’s largest apparel exporter whose 2006-07 revenues topped US$ 320 million told suppliers last week the Group had witnessed growth of 14 per cent up to June 2007 and would continue to aggressively invest in new growth in the current year.
Addressing a gala Vendor Summit attended by some 180 leading suppliers at the Waters Edge Golf Club, Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar said the Group is focusing on creating a compelling offer to retailers with the support of its suppliers. Towards this end, Brandix had begun sharing its key performance indicators and its customer calendar with suppliers to improve visibility and ensure that suppliers share in the challenges, he said.
Stressing that the retail environment is getting tougher in the apparel industry, Mr. Omar pointed out that at the same time, the environment was becoming an important factor in the supply chain. Unpredictable weather patterns and climatic changes had added another dimension to the business with seasonal clothing being outpaced by unexpected changes in the weather in the retail markets, he said.
Intended to brief key supply chain partners on the latest developments in the industry and at Brandix and to reward top suppliers for their contribution to the Group’s growth, the Vendor Summit was attended by more than 65 overseas suppliers as well as key customers such as Marks & Spencer, Gap Inc., NEXT and Mast Industries.
An important area of focus was the Brandix Group’s Green initiatives, including programmes to reduce energy and water consumption and improve solid waste management. Hilary Nath, Head of Environment Management & Research at Brandix said the Group had achieved a 10 per cent saving in energy consumption last year and was on target to reduce consumption by 15 per cent in the next two years.
The Group is focusing on creating a compelling offer to retailers with the support of its suppliers. Towards this end, Brandix had begun sharing its key performance indicators and its customer calendar with suppliers to improve visibility and ensure that suppliers share in the challenges,
Ashroff Omar, CEO
Mr. Nath’s presentation of Brandix’s Eco Plan was preceded by a presentation by Paschal Little, Head of Technology – Lingerie at Marks & Spencer, of his company’s environmental programmes including the award-winning ‘Look Behind The Label’ (LBTL) and a £ 200 million campaign with a 100-point Eco Plan spanning five years. Mr. Little disclosed that a survey had shown that 78 per cent of customers wanted to know how their products were made, and that ethical and environmental issues are now at the top of the political agenda in the UK.
Brandix Lanka Director Udena Wickremasooriya gave the forum an insight into the progress made at Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC) the Group’s vast vertically-integrated apparel manufacturing park in Andra Pradesh. Positioned as ‘the next frontier for Brandix and its partners,’ this US$ 1 billion investment is expected to generate exports of US$ 1.2 billion a year while delivering a 21 per cent saving on utility costs and a 10 per cent reduction in FOB to companies that locate there, Mr. Wickremasooriya said.
Among the top Brandix suppliers recognised with awards at this year’s Vendor Summit were Pacific Textiles as Vendor of the Year (Textiles) and Paxar, the Vendor of the Year (Accessories). Other award winners included Debs Corporation (Most Innovative Partner – Textiles), Stretchline (Pvt) Ltd. (Most Innovative Partner – Accessories), Thermo Plastics (Pvt) Ltd. (Most Flexible Partner), Ceylon Tapes (Pvt) Ltd. (Best Support Product Partner), Screenline (Pvt) Ltd. (Best Apparel Service Partner), Wah Fung Knitting Hong Kong (Best Emerging Partner – Textiles) and Cargear Industrial Ltd. (Best Emerging Partner – Accessories).
Brandix pioneered the concept of total solutions in the Sri Lankan apparel industry and is Sri Lanka’s largest apparel exporter. The Group is a preferred solutions provider to some of the world’s best brands, including Gap, Marks & Spencer, Victoria’s Secret, NEXT and Abercrombie & Fitch and specializes in casual bottoms, intimate and active wear, textiles, knitted fabrics, sewing and embroidery thread, accessories and hangers. The Group also offers wet processing and finishing and fabric printing. With a vision “to be THE inspired solution for branded clothing” Brandix is supported by over 25 manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, India and strategically located international sourcing offices.