Talent and oomph were on abundant display when apparel factory workers transformed into singing sensations at the grand Season One final of the 'Brandix Rasadiya Gee Tharuwa' talent contest at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium recently.
Adorning with confidence a stage that had all the trappings of a mega concert, the four finalists sang their hearts out cheered on by 5,000 of their colleagues, winning valuable cash prizes and adulation in the process.
At the end of the night, judges Nirosha Wirajini, Rohana Bogoda and Chamika Sirimanna were unanimous in their choice of the first ever Brandix Mercury Star - Sanjeewa Premaratne of Brandix Lingerie, Nittambuwa.
It was also a night of lifelong memories for Navaratnam Namasakary of Brandix X'pressions in Batticaloa, who was adjudged the 'Brandix Geetha Kokilaviya' (Brandix Best Female Voice) among the four best female performers at the competition.
The culmination of five months of preliminary rounds at far-flung manufacturing plants in diverse locations of the country, the talent competition was open to more than 30,000 Brandix associates who were given the opportunity, space, encouragement and guidance to demonstrate their singing talents.
More than 300 contestants were chosen at the first round of the competition at 33 factory locations. Thereafter the three best singers at each strategic business unit were identified by a panel of professional artistes, Sankha Dineth, Amila Nadeeshani, Chamika Sirimanna and Chandana Liyanarachchi.
Brandix then deployed an innovative mobile stage fitted with professional sound equipment which was driven across the country to these locations for the winners to perform and for the best among them to be chosen at the third round of the competition.
The fourth round of the Rasadiya Gee Tharuwa competition took place at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium and the four best singers at Cluster level emerged. These four, Sameera Seneviratne of Brandix Intimate Apparel, Sanjeewa Premaratne of Brandix Lingerie, Nuwan Alawatta of Brandix Essentials and Asitha Lakruwan of Brandix Casualwear and the female finalists were provided with training in singing, performing and attire by professionals before the final night.
"Season One was a spectacular success that far exceeded our expectations," said Colonel Sujith Jayasekara, Group Human Resources Manager of Brandix. "We believe that encouraging the talents of our people must not be limited to their work requirements alone and that competitions of this nature, that engage thousands of workers and their families, contribute significantly to holistic development of the individuals while building team spirit."
Sri Lanka's single largest apparel exporter, the Brandix Group comprises of over 43,000 employees at 42 manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka, at a 1,000 acre industrial park in India and a large operation in Bangladesh.