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Also receives Special Category Award for ‘Leadership and Key Talent Management’

The Brandix Group has won two top awards for Human Resource Management at the National HRM Awards presented by Association of Human Resource Professionals in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) the world’s largest professional body in the sphere of HR.

Brandix won one of the ten Gold awards presented at this prestigious bi-annual gala event, and won the Category Award under best HR practices for ‘Leadership and Key Talent Management’ reaffirming its position as a corporate sector leader in Human Resource Management.

This was the second successive Gold Award presented to Brandix at the National HRM Awards, which were last presented in 2012. 

The awards recognise the passion and commitment of organisations whose innovative thinking and strategies have broken new ground in human resource management. The2014/2015 awards event was conducted in partnership with AON Hewitt India, the largest human resource consulting group in the world.
Nilangani De Silva, Manager - Group Capability (Right)
receives the Gold award on behalf of the Brandix Group

Commenting on the accolades won by Brandix, the Group’s Chief People Officer Ishan Dantanarayana said: “These awards are prestigious because they are based on extremely stringent audits and judging by SHRM. Brandix chose to be evaluated as a Group, requiring the HR practices of all the companies in the Group to be audited for the award, making it more challenging than having just the holding company’s HR practices assessed. Thus, we had to cover the HR practices as applicable for a team of over 48,000 employees across a large number of companies in the Group.”

The criteria for selecting winners included HR and business engagement, HR interaction with the leadership and across HR planning, hiring, employee relations, performance and talent management, career and leadership development, training and capability development; access to resources, compensation, rewards & recognition, people administration, communication, working environment, health and wellbeing, retention practices, branding and exit management.
Members of the Brandix Group HR team with the trophies won at the 2015 National HRM Awards

In July last year, Brandix became the first company in Asia to be featured on the cover of ‘HR Magazine’ the global publication of the Society for Human Resource Management. The magazine reaches more than 247,000 professionals in 170 countries. The feature was produced after a visit to Sri Lanka by two representative of SHRM from the USA.

One of the largest suppliers of apparel to top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter. The Group employs more than 48,000 associates across several integrated manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, a 1,000 acre Industrial Park in India and a large operation in Bangladesh.


The National Blood Transfusion Service (NTBS) has felicitated the Brandix Group for the donation by its employees of 3,321 units of blood in 2014, the largest donation by a single corporate entity in the country in the year.

This is the fifth year in succession that Brandix, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter, has been acknowledged as the largest donor of blood among private sector organisations that donate annually to the NTBS.

Brandix began an organised blood collection drive across the Group’s manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka in 2007. The Group works with the NTBS to conduct blood collection drives at its factories from September to December every year. Donation of blood by associates employed in these factories is completely voluntary, and the donations are non-remunerative.

In 2014, the largest contributors to the Brandix blood donation campaign were Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited (BASL) - Lingerie, Wathupitiwala with 350 units, BASL - Casualwear, Ratmalana with 321 pints and BASL - Intimate Apparel, Polonnaruwa with 302. In all, 25 business units of the Group in Sri Lanka participated in the campaign.
Dr Anil Dissanayake, Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service
(second left) presents a plaque of appreciation to Gimhara Jayakody,
Cluster Manager - Human Resources & Administration at Brandix Apparel Solutions
Limited - Lingerie. Dr Senal Rupasinghe, Medical Officer In-Charge
of the Blood Donor Section of the National Blood Centre (extreme left) and
Anuk De Silva, Manager - Corp. Communications at Brandix are also in the picture

“The response to our annual blood donation programme reflects the culture of civic consciousness and social responsibility that we strive to create and maintain across all business units of the Group,” said Ishan Dantanarayana, Chief People Officer of the Brandix Group. “Whilst all who wish to donate do not meet the qualifying criterion of the NTBS, having 3,000 plus donors and their enthusiasm is inspiring.”

According to the NTBS, donations of this scale over a significant time period are necessary to meet the organisation’s requirements. By being geographically widespread, the Brandix campaign increases supplies of blood in many areas, including those that do not usually receive donations of significant volume compared with areas like Colombo. Brandix’s blood donation campaigns are also extra significant as they are conducted on weekdays instead of the general norm of weekends. This is particularly helpful in sustaining blood platelets, which have a lifespan of five days, for use during the course of the week.

The entirety of the 380,000 pints collected by the NTBS annually comes from voluntary non-remunerated donations.

One of the largest suppliers of apparel to top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix employs more than 47,000 associates across several integrated manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, and large operations in India and Bangladesh.


Challenges associates across 30 factories in Sri Lanka to become ‘water soldiers’ to reduce consumption innovatively

The Brandix Group is motivating its 30,000 plus employees in Sri Lanka to mount a mass assault on water usage in their work places in an innovative new initiative to commemorate World Water Day 2015.

Declaring a ‘World Water Month’ from 20th February to 20th March across 30 local factories of the Group, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter has pledged Rs 500,000 in prize money to the three most innovative water saving ideas that come from cross-functional teams  from each of these factories.

Titled ‘Diya Senevi’ or ‘Water Soldiers,’ this initiative by the Brandix ‘Bindu’ Foundation -- the Group’s water-centred Corporate Social Responsibility unit -- requires each factory to constitute a team of 15 associates tasked with studying  its water consumption over a three week period, and to submit an innovative way in which that consumption may be reduced.


The winning team will receive Rs 250,000 while the first and second runners up will receive Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 respectively, the company said.

World Water Day is commemorated around the world annually on 22nd March. This year’s theme is ‘Water and Sustainable Development.’

“The most innovative and practical ideas that this competition generates will be considered for implementation wherever applicable across the Group,” said Anusha Alles, Head of CSR of the Brandix Group. “Conservation of natural resources is not just part of the corporate DNA of Brandix, it permeates the consciousness of individuals too, and we eagerly look forward to the results of this year’s initiative.”

In previous years, the Brandix Group celebrated World Water Day by rewarding associates in Sri Lanka who through their own individual efforts and expense had helped others in their communities with their water-related needs. This programme, titled ‘Nihanda Mehewara’ (silent service), provided financial support to community water or sanitation projects identified by the winners.

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector and a preferred supplier to some of the top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice. The Group’s principal CSR efforts are driven by the central corporate theme of ‘Water’ and constitute a long term commitment to increasing the availability of water and the provision of safe drinking water to those most in need.


Designated Official Apparel Solutions Partner and Bronze Sponsor of 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York

The Brandix Group supported the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York for a second consecutive year, gaining valuable visibility in the USA, a key market for Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter.

Brandix was a Bronze Sponsor and Official Apparel Solutions Partner of this tournament, the world’s largest spectator squash event. Some of the sport's greatest practitioners were among the 23 nationalities represented at the tournament, held in New York’s Grand Central Terminal from 16 – 23 January, and watched by an estimated 200,000 spectators.
The winners of the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
Raneem El Welily (left) and Mohamed Elshorbagy (right)
with John G. Nimick, President, Event Engine, Inc.
at the presentation of the official Brandix Tournament of Champions
player shirts in New York

As part of its sponsorship of this major event on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) calendar, Brandix presented custom-designed and branded players’ shirts to the 32 players in the Men’s draw and the 16 players in the Women’s draw. Top Egyptian squash players Mohamed Elshorbagy, the world’s no. 1, and Raneem El Welily, world no. 2, pictured here with their Brandix branded shirts, won the Men’s and Women’s championships respectively, beating England’s Nick Mathew and Alison Waters. 

The Tournament of Champions has been a staple on the PSA circuit since 1993 and is played at a specially erected court in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. Spectators are treated to an action-packed week of competition involving virtually all of the top ranking players in the world.


Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) reported a net profit of Rs. 376mn for the quarter ended 31st December 2014 (3Q FY2014/15), a significant increase of 25% compared to the corresponding period of last year. The company’s strong cash position has allowed TJL to maintain its trend of generous dividend pay-outs with Rs. 0.50 per share being declared as an interim dividend for FY2014/15. According to Mr. Bill Lam, Chairman of TJL, a combination of increased margins and strong revenue growth enabled TJL to post this impressive result this quarter. 

Mr. Lam further stated that with demand from its main customers back on track, TJL was able to record a strong revenue growth of 12% year-on-year for 3Q FY2014/15, and report an impressive Rs. 3.8bn in sales. The better demand conditions also enabled TJL to improve its product mix and achieve higher levels of production efficiencies through optimal capacity utilisation and planning. This in turn allowed the company to expand its gross profit margins to 12.8% from 10.6% of last year, causing gross profit to rise 34% to Rs. 481mn for 3Q FY2014/15. 

The strong performance at gross profit level also enabled TJL to post an operating profit of approximately Rs. 354mn and record 34% year-over-year growth at the operating profit level as well. According to Mr. Lam, this was achieved despite a 25% year-on-year increase in administrative and distribution expenses largely due to increases in provisions and some increases in training and development expenses.

TJL continued to maintain its near debt-free balance sheet as at 31st December 2014, with a net cash position of Rs. 1.65bn. TJL’s strong cash generation ability has enabled it to increase its net cash position by 33% compared to Rs. 1.24bn recorded as at 30th September 2014. However, due to increased levels of investment and working capital, the net cash balance was 29% less compared to the same period of the previous year. 

Lower interest rates, combined with a lower cash position compared to a year before contributed to net finance income coming in at Rs. 9mn for 3Q FY2014/15, compared to Rs. 22mn in the corresponding quarter of last year. The quarter closed at a net profit of Rs. 376mn, a significant increase of 25% from last year, pushing up the net profit for 9 months ended 31st December 2014 to Rs. 822mn, putting it back on track to achieve a strong annual performance despite the setbacks during the early part of the year.
Textured Jersey Lanka PLC

Commenting on the strategic initiatives, Mr. Lam highlighted that the operational ramp up of the multi-fuel boiler is progressing well though slightly behind schedule. This was due to the fine tuning work being undertaken to achieve the envisaged level of efficiencies during the testing phase. The plant is expected to commence full scale operations in the coming quarter. 

He concluded by stating that with TJL’s additional capacity of 10-12% coupled with the continuous focus on improving its capabilities and demand from its main markets back on track, the management is confident that the company will continue its growth and create shareholder value for the foreseeable future.


The race to a prize of US$ 50,000 (about Rs 6.5 million) in seed funding, leading to a lucrative business start-up, has begun in earnest for 54 innovators competing in the ‘500 Hours’ innovation competition hosted by Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator.

Launched at Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Intimate Apparel in Welisara, the competition brings together external entrepreneurs as well as “intrapreneurs” from within the Brandix Group. 

Each participating team has exactly three weeks to develop a technology-driven conceptual solution to one of 15 apparel industry challenges posed by Disrupt Unlimited. The 500-hour clock started ticking at 9am on Monday, 19th January.

The teams have until 29th January to work on their ideas and present them on that day to Disrupt Unlimited at the ‘semi-final’ of the 500 Hours competition. Selected finalists identified as contenders for the prize money of US$ 50,000 for every game-changing solution, will go on to present their ideas at the final ‘Pitch Day’ on 9th February 2015.

Six of the challenges have also been posted online at http://www.disruptunltd.com/2015/new-set-challenges/ by Disrupt Unlimited, and are open to anyone to solve and submit a solution online.

These challenges are: Tracking fabric throughout the manufacturing process; Capturing real-time manufacturing output; Increasing asset utilisation and eliminating machine downtime; Error-proofing the production line; An ‘Apollo 13’ style waste challenge; and Automating fabric inspection and stripe matching. Details about each challenge can be found online.
A group of innovators discusses one of the challenges posed
at the 500 Hours competition of Disrupt Unlimited

Surendra Karunakaran, Disrupt Unlimited’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “If participants can stretch their minds to understand the root problems and develop game-changing solutions, in three weeks they will achieve a level of impact that would normally take three years.” 

Winning teams would have the opportunity to commercialise their ideas through Disrupt Unlimited’s four-month seed accelerator programme, which offers start-ups seed funding, office space, continuous mentorship, experienced advisors, practical workshops, networking opportunities, and legal and administrative services.

Launched in early 2014, Disrupt Unlimited runs a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough, technology-driven solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors.


The Brandix Group’s fascination with invention and innovation has found new expression in the form of a stirring tribute to Sri Lanka’s ancient designers, engineers and artisans in the Group’s 2015 calendar.

A rich and inspiring collection of information on some of the island’s great inventions and creations, dating as far back as 300 BC, provides uncommon depth to the arresting images in this distinctive calendar, themed ‘Innovations of the Ancients.’

Vying for approbation as great Sri Lankan inventions emerging from the mists of time are the world’s first lightning conductors; the ‘beheth oruwa’ that testifies to the first hospital in the world; the ‘Ravanahatha’ – the world’s first violin; and Jetavanaramaya, the world’s largest brick structure. Each month of the year is dedicated to a unique invention or concept from the country’s evocative past.

“The past is a prophecy, pointing us towards what we may one day achieve by showing us what we have already accomplished,” the calendar says in its preamble. “Sri Lanka’s ancient engineers, architects, craftsmen, and builders have established a template for greatness, creating works of wonder that continue to inspire us today. At Brandix, we hope to continue their legacy, honouring their ground-breaking achievements by redefining what is possible.”
Some of the leaves from the 2015 Brandix calendar

“Let us walk in their steps, contemplating the incredible innovations that they set their hands and minds to, so that we may see the world through their eyes: as a place of ceaseless potential, bounded only by the limits of our passion, ingenuity and imagination. Let us take a page from Sri Lanka’s glorious past so that, generations hence, our descendants will speak in pride of our innovations, of potential fulfilled and a world bettered.”

With the 2015 edition of its much anticipated calendar, Brandix continues its practice of adding value to this ubiquitous guide to the days, weeks, and months of the year, with painstaking research and custom photography that bring to life a well-deliberated theme. 

This novel approach to calendar-making began with its trilogy titled ‘Water in Reflection’ (2009), ‘Water in Vessels’ (2010) and ‘Water in Life’ (2011), which highlighted the transcendental significance of water (the Brandix Group’s main CSR focus) to diverse cultures and religions. These were followed by ‘The Difference is Passion’ (2012) which traced the history and evolution of the textile and apparel industries, ‘Fashioning Sri Lankan Identity’ (2013) which examined Sri Lankan culture through the lens of changing fashions and ‘Fabric in Motion’ (2014) which used subcontinental dance forms and costumes to examine the common threads that connect the cultures of Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. 

Some of the leaves from the 2015 Brandix calendar
The 2015 Brandix calendar as well as its predecessors were conceptualised and produced in collaboration with the Group’s creative partner Q&E Advertising, Colombo. Commenting on this latest effort and the concept of the themed, information-rich calendar, Q&E CEO Asiri Abhayaratne said that “the project allowed us to shed light on the achievements of our ancestors, and set an inspiring example for present and future generations of Sri Lankan innovators.” He characterised the research and execution stages of the project as “incredibly exciting, giving our team the opportunity to trek through jungle, pilot drones, and learn about largely unexplored parts of our collective heritage.”

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector and a preferred supplier to some of the top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter and is a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice.


Metallics, neon colours, laser cuts, sequins and leather vied for attention when Brandix, Sri Lanka’s inspiration-driven apparel manufacturer, brought the curtain down on the ‘Fashion Innovation Runway’ of the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) with a show-stealing segment.

In-house designers and the products of several business units within the Brandix Group came together to present ‘Urban Collective’ – an assortment of purpose-designed casual wear, active wear, lingerie, lounge wear, sleep wear and evening wear that held the audience spellbound.

Clothing solutions for a day in the life of a hip young professional, encompassing multiple activities including yoga and a night out on the town and catering to many tastes from the conventional to the daring and the zany, gave the segment a kaleidoscopic aura that highlighted the diversity of the design talent behind it.

Innovative visual support in the form of a projection of an exchange of text messages identified each set of clothing as morning, active, afternoon and evening to provide a storyline as the models took to the catwalk.

The Brandix portfolio was an amalgamated representation of the expertise and manufacturing capabilities of the Group’s business units as well as its backward integration partners. Besides showcasing the design skills of multiple Brandix in-house designers, the innovative apparel modelled on the runway also depicted the Group’s capabilities in the manufacture, finishing and printing of fabrics and its proficiency in producing bespoke clothing for any occasion.

Brandix was one of the Fashion Industry Patrons of the 2014 edition of the Sri Lanka Design Festival, which took place from 4th to 7th December at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector and a preferred supplier to some of the top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is also a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice.

Pictured here are some of the designs of Brandix’s ‘Urban Collective’ presentation on the SLDF Fashion Innovation Runway.





Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix led start-up seed accelerator, has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to support innovators in its incubator programme with the technical resources and networking offered by the latter’s BizSpark initiative.

Microsoft BizSpark is a global programme that helps software start-ups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed in Colombo recently by Disrupt Innovation (Private) Ltd. and Microsoft Sri Lanka (Private) Ltd. paves the way for Microsoft to provide BizSpark to companies in the Disrupt Unlimited programme and to provide the necessary training on Microsoft technologies to such start-ups.

As an international network of entrepreneurial start-ups and partners, BizSpark supports its member community worldwide with up to three years of free software, support and visibility. This includes opportunities to publish and market their apps and free access to Windows Stores.

“BizSpark connects more than 100,000 start-ups and over 1,500 start-up organisations,” said Udena Wickremesooriya, Director of Disrupt Unlimited. “We are therefore delighted to promote BizSpark to the start-ups in our programme, because the value of its benefits and global perspective are immeasurable.”
Brandix and Disrupt Unlimited Director Udena Wickremesooriya (left)
and Microsoft Country Manager Imran Vilcassim exchange the agreement

Imran Vilcassim, Country Manager for Microsoft said: “Microsoft’s vision is to create a sustainable impact in the country through the power of technology. BizSpark is an initiative that helps promote a vibrant start-up eco-system in the country that would help in promoting innovation and economic growth. We are delighted to partner with Disrupt Unlimited to take this initiative forward and extend this benefit to companies in Sri Lanka.”

Launched earlier this year, Disrupt Unlimited runs a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough, technology-driven solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors. Among the company’s identified roles are collaboration with industry partners, securing the support of private partners, mentors, and advisors, development of idea/entrepreneur pipelines, building a network of investors in Sri Lanka and overseas, investing in start-ups, running seed accelerator programmes and supporting start-ups through commercialisation.


A Brandix apparel factory manufacturing lingerie for international labels has been recognised as Sri Lanka’s best in energy conservation with the 2014 ‘Vidulka’ Gold award at the country’s apex awards for energy efficiency.

The Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited (BASL) – Lingerie business unit’s manufacturing plant at the Wathupitiwela EPZ in Nittambuwa received the main award in the ‘Large Scale Manufacturing’ category for its impressive achievement of a 34 per cent reduction in electricity consumption in the period of evaluation.

Another Brandix business unit, Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited – Essentials at Ratmalana received a merit award in the commercial building category, for the effort it has made to improve its level of energy performance over the past five years. BASL – Essentials is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified facility by the US Green Building Council and is certified for ISO 50000, ISO 14000 and ISO 18000.

Commenting on the award won by BASL – Lingerie, the Company’s CEO Rajiv Malalasekera said: “The process of reducing the environmental footprint of our operations is a continuous one at Brandix. We keep exploring the boundaries of what is possible in our search for reductions in the use of natural resources, and this has resulted in noteworthy results in energy efficiency and water conservation.”

The National Energy Efficiency awards are presented by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA), a unit of the Ministry of Environment, as part of the government’s Vidulka Energy Week programme. Energy consumption data of three years is evaluated to determine the winners in each of the award categories.

Among the initiatives taken by BASL – Lingerie to reduce its electricity consumption were an upgrade of its
Rajitha Wellagiriya, Manager - Engineering at BASL - Lingerie (second left)
and Ajith Ranathunga, the Company’s Assistant Maintenance Manager,
receive the Vidulka Gold award from Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne
central air-conditioning system with a high energy-efficient water cooled chiller, equipping the plant with a building management system (BMS) to monitor, control and evaluate its energy performance, installation of a solar hot water system for the kitchen and laboratory, the replacement of all clutch motors with energy efficient servo motors and the optimisation of the compressed air distribution network.

The lighting system of the plant is a combination of natural and artificial lighting with skylights, LED and fluorescent bulbs, the company said.

Enterprise-wide Green initiatives have enabled the Brandix Group to reduce its energy cost per product by 15 per cent in 2013-14 over the preceding year, cut electricity cost per product by 12 per cent despite increased tariffs, and reduce its carbon footprint by 9 per cent. Renewable energy now makes up 20 per cent of the Group’s energy mix.

Previous Brandix Group winners of the ‘Vidulka’ National Energy Efficiency Awards include the Brandix Casualwear plant at Seeduwa in 2010 (Gold), Brandix Casualwear, Ratmalana (Silver) and Phoenix Industries, Makandura (Bronze) in 2011, and Phoenix Industries (Gold) and Brandix Essentials, Koggala (Silver) in 2012. The Group did not participate in the awards programme in 2013.

Brandix is the pioneer of and process leader in eco-friendly manufacture in Sri Lanka, and the first apparel manufacturer in the world to receive Platinum status for Green manufacture from the US LEED Green Building rating system.

In September 2012, the Group set itself the target of reducing its environmental footprint by a further 20 per cent by 2020, and released its maiden Sustainability Report, the first by a private company in Sri Lanka. To support this initiative and track its progress, Brandix has developed its own ‘Eco Index’ -- an assessment tool which can be used to measure the environmental performance of Brandix factories and offices across the Group and facilitates a fair and easy comparison between factories and clusters.


Also receives Special Category Award for ‘Leadership and Key Talent Management’

The Brandix Group has won two top awards for Human Resource Management at the National HRM Awards presented by Association of Human Resource Professionals in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) the world’s largest professional body in the sphere of HR.

Brandix won one of the ten Gold awards presented at this prestigious bi-annual gala event, and won the Category Award under best HR practices for ‘Leadership and Key Talent Management’ reaffirming its position as a corporate sector leader in Human Resource Management.

This was the second successive Gold Award presented to Brandix at the National HRM Awards, which were last presented in 2012. 

The awards recognise the passion and commitment of organisations whose innovative thinking and strategies have broken new ground in human resource management. The2014/2015 awards event was conducted in partnership with AON Hewitt India, the largest human resource consulting group in the world.
Nilangani De Silva, Manager - Group Capability (Right)
receives the Gold award on behalf of the Brandix Group

Commenting on the accolades won by Brandix, the Group’s Chief People Officer Ishan Dantanarayana said: “These awards are prestigious because they are based on extremely stringent audits and judging by SHRM. Brandix chose to be evaluated as a Group, requiring the HR practices of all the companies in the Group to be audited for the award, making it more challenging than having just the holding company’s HR practices assessed. Thus, we had to cover the HR practices as applicable for a team of over 48,000 employees across a large number of companies in the Group.”

The criteria for selecting winners included HR and business engagement, HR interaction with the leadership and across HR planning, hiring, employee relations, performance and talent management, career and leadership development, training and capability development; access to resources, compensation, rewards & recognition, people administration, communication, working environment, health and wellbeing, retention practices, branding and exit management.
Members of the Brandix Group HR team with the trophies won at the 2015 National HRM Awards

In July last year, Brandix became the first company in Asia to be featured on the cover of ‘HR Magazine’ the global publication of the Society for Human Resource Management. The magazine reaches more than 247,000 professionals in 170 countries. The feature was produced after a visit to Sri Lanka by two representative of SHRM from the USA.

One of the largest suppliers of apparel to top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter. The Group employs more than 48,000 associates across several integrated manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, a 1,000 acre Industrial Park in India and a large operation in Bangladesh.


The National Blood Transfusion Service (NTBS) has felicitated the Brandix Group for the donation by its employees of 3,321 units of blood in 2014, the largest donation by a single corporate entity in the country in the year.

This is the fifth year in succession that Brandix, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter, has been acknowledged as the largest donor of blood among private sector organisations that donate annually to the NTBS.

Brandix began an organised blood collection drive across the Group’s manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka in 2007. The Group works with the NTBS to conduct blood collection drives at its factories from September to December every year. Donation of blood by associates employed in these factories is completely voluntary, and the donations are non-remunerative.

In 2014, the largest contributors to the Brandix blood donation campaign were Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited (BASL) - Lingerie, Wathupitiwala with 350 units, BASL - Casualwear, Ratmalana with 321 pints and BASL - Intimate Apparel, Polonnaruwa with 302. In all, 25 business units of the Group in Sri Lanka participated in the campaign.
Dr Anil Dissanayake, Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service
(second left) presents a plaque of appreciation to Gimhara Jayakody,
Cluster Manager - Human Resources & Administration at Brandix Apparel Solutions
Limited - Lingerie. Dr Senal Rupasinghe, Medical Officer In-Charge
of the Blood Donor Section of the National Blood Centre (extreme left) and
Anuk De Silva, Manager - Corp. Communications at Brandix are also in the picture

“The response to our annual blood donation programme reflects the culture of civic consciousness and social responsibility that we strive to create and maintain across all business units of the Group,” said Ishan Dantanarayana, Chief People Officer of the Brandix Group. “Whilst all who wish to donate do not meet the qualifying criterion of the NTBS, having 3,000 plus donors and their enthusiasm is inspiring.”

According to the NTBS, donations of this scale over a significant time period are necessary to meet the organisation’s requirements. By being geographically widespread, the Brandix campaign increases supplies of blood in many areas, including those that do not usually receive donations of significant volume compared with areas like Colombo. Brandix’s blood donation campaigns are also extra significant as they are conducted on weekdays instead of the general norm of weekends. This is particularly helpful in sustaining blood platelets, which have a lifespan of five days, for use during the course of the week.

The entirety of the 380,000 pints collected by the NTBS annually comes from voluntary non-remunerated donations.

One of the largest suppliers of apparel to top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix employs more than 47,000 associates across several integrated manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, and large operations in India and Bangladesh.


Challenges associates across 30 factories in Sri Lanka to become ‘water soldiers’ to reduce consumption innovatively

The Brandix Group is motivating its 30,000 plus employees in Sri Lanka to mount a mass assault on water usage in their work places in an innovative new initiative to commemorate World Water Day 2015.

Declaring a ‘World Water Month’ from 20th February to 20th March across 30 local factories of the Group, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter has pledged Rs 500,000 in prize money to the three most innovative water saving ideas that come from cross-functional teams  from each of these factories.

Titled ‘Diya Senevi’ or ‘Water Soldiers,’ this initiative by the Brandix ‘Bindu’ Foundation -- the Group’s water-centred Corporate Social Responsibility unit -- requires each factory to constitute a team of 15 associates tasked with studying  its water consumption over a three week period, and to submit an innovative way in which that consumption may be reduced.


The winning team will receive Rs 250,000 while the first and second runners up will receive Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 respectively, the company said.

World Water Day is commemorated around the world annually on 22nd March. This year’s theme is ‘Water and Sustainable Development.’

“The most innovative and practical ideas that this competition generates will be considered for implementation wherever applicable across the Group,” said Anusha Alles, Head of CSR of the Brandix Group. “Conservation of natural resources is not just part of the corporate DNA of Brandix, it permeates the consciousness of individuals too, and we eagerly look forward to the results of this year’s initiative.”

In previous years, the Brandix Group celebrated World Water Day by rewarding associates in Sri Lanka who through their own individual efforts and expense had helped others in their communities with their water-related needs. This programme, titled ‘Nihanda Mehewara’ (silent service), provided financial support to community water or sanitation projects identified by the winners.

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector and a preferred supplier to some of the top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice. The Group’s principal CSR efforts are driven by the central corporate theme of ‘Water’ and constitute a long term commitment to increasing the availability of water and the provision of safe drinking water to those most in need.


Designated Official Apparel Solutions Partner and Bronze Sponsor of 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York

The Brandix Group supported the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York for a second consecutive year, gaining valuable visibility in the USA, a key market for Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter.

Brandix was a Bronze Sponsor and Official Apparel Solutions Partner of this tournament, the world’s largest spectator squash event. Some of the sport's greatest practitioners were among the 23 nationalities represented at the tournament, held in New York’s Grand Central Terminal from 16 – 23 January, and watched by an estimated 200,000 spectators.
The winners of the 2015 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
Raneem El Welily (left) and Mohamed Elshorbagy (right)
with John G. Nimick, President, Event Engine, Inc.
at the presentation of the official Brandix Tournament of Champions
player shirts in New York

As part of its sponsorship of this major event on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) calendar, Brandix presented custom-designed and branded players’ shirts to the 32 players in the Men’s draw and the 16 players in the Women’s draw. Top Egyptian squash players Mohamed Elshorbagy, the world’s no. 1, and Raneem El Welily, world no. 2, pictured here with their Brandix branded shirts, won the Men’s and Women’s championships respectively, beating England’s Nick Mathew and Alison Waters. 

The Tournament of Champions has been a staple on the PSA circuit since 1993 and is played at a specially erected court in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. Spectators are treated to an action-packed week of competition involving virtually all of the top ranking players in the world.


Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) reported a net profit of Rs. 376mn for the quarter ended 31st December 2014 (3Q FY2014/15), a significant increase of 25% compared to the corresponding period of last year. The company’s strong cash position has allowed TJL to maintain its trend of generous dividend pay-outs with Rs. 0.50 per share being declared as an interim dividend for FY2014/15. According to Mr. Bill Lam, Chairman of TJL, a combination of increased margins and strong revenue growth enabled TJL to post this impressive result this quarter. 

Mr. Lam further stated that with demand from its main customers back on track, TJL was able to record a strong revenue growth of 12% year-on-year for 3Q FY2014/15, and report an impressive Rs. 3.8bn in sales. The better demand conditions also enabled TJL to improve its product mix and achieve higher levels of production efficiencies through optimal capacity utilisation and planning. This in turn allowed the company to expand its gross profit margins to 12.8% from 10.6% of last year, causing gross profit to rise 34% to Rs. 481mn for 3Q FY2014/15. 

The strong performance at gross profit level also enabled TJL to post an operating profit of approximately Rs. 354mn and record 34% year-over-year growth at the operating profit level as well. According to Mr. Lam, this was achieved despite a 25% year-on-year increase in administrative and distribution expenses largely due to increases in provisions and some increases in training and development expenses.

TJL continued to maintain its near debt-free balance sheet as at 31st December 2014, with a net cash position of Rs. 1.65bn. TJL’s strong cash generation ability has enabled it to increase its net cash position by 33% compared to Rs. 1.24bn recorded as at 30th September 2014. However, due to increased levels of investment and working capital, the net cash balance was 29% less compared to the same period of the previous year. 

Lower interest rates, combined with a lower cash position compared to a year before contributed to net finance income coming in at Rs. 9mn for 3Q FY2014/15, compared to Rs. 22mn in the corresponding quarter of last year. The quarter closed at a net profit of Rs. 376mn, a significant increase of 25% from last year, pushing up the net profit for 9 months ended 31st December 2014 to Rs. 822mn, putting it back on track to achieve a strong annual performance despite the setbacks during the early part of the year.
Textured Jersey Lanka PLC

Commenting on the strategic initiatives, Mr. Lam highlighted that the operational ramp up of the multi-fuel boiler is progressing well though slightly behind schedule. This was due to the fine tuning work being undertaken to achieve the envisaged level of efficiencies during the testing phase. The plant is expected to commence full scale operations in the coming quarter. 

He concluded by stating that with TJL’s additional capacity of 10-12% coupled with the continuous focus on improving its capabilities and demand from its main markets back on track, the management is confident that the company will continue its growth and create shareholder value for the foreseeable future.


The race to a prize of US$ 50,000 (about Rs 6.5 million) in seed funding, leading to a lucrative business start-up, has begun in earnest for 54 innovators competing in the ‘500 Hours’ innovation competition hosted by Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator.

Launched at Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited - Intimate Apparel in Welisara, the competition brings together external entrepreneurs as well as “intrapreneurs” from within the Brandix Group. 

Each participating team has exactly three weeks to develop a technology-driven conceptual solution to one of 15 apparel industry challenges posed by Disrupt Unlimited. The 500-hour clock started ticking at 9am on Monday, 19th January.

The teams have until 29th January to work on their ideas and present them on that day to Disrupt Unlimited at the ‘semi-final’ of the 500 Hours competition. Selected finalists identified as contenders for the prize money of US$ 50,000 for every game-changing solution, will go on to present their ideas at the final ‘Pitch Day’ on 9th February 2015.

Six of the challenges have also been posted online at http://www.disruptunltd.com/2015/new-set-challenges/ by Disrupt Unlimited, and are open to anyone to solve and submit a solution online.

These challenges are: Tracking fabric throughout the manufacturing process; Capturing real-time manufacturing output; Increasing asset utilisation and eliminating machine downtime; Error-proofing the production line; An ‘Apollo 13’ style waste challenge; and Automating fabric inspection and stripe matching. Details about each challenge can be found online.
A group of innovators discusses one of the challenges posed
at the 500 Hours competition of Disrupt Unlimited

Surendra Karunakaran, Disrupt Unlimited’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “If participants can stretch their minds to understand the root problems and develop game-changing solutions, in three weeks they will achieve a level of impact that would normally take three years.” 

Winning teams would have the opportunity to commercialise their ideas through Disrupt Unlimited’s four-month seed accelerator programme, which offers start-ups seed funding, office space, continuous mentorship, experienced advisors, practical workshops, networking opportunities, and legal and administrative services.

Launched in early 2014, Disrupt Unlimited runs a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough, technology-driven solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors.


The Brandix Group’s fascination with invention and innovation has found new expression in the form of a stirring tribute to Sri Lanka’s ancient designers, engineers and artisans in the Group’s 2015 calendar.

A rich and inspiring collection of information on some of the island’s great inventions and creations, dating as far back as 300 BC, provides uncommon depth to the arresting images in this distinctive calendar, themed ‘Innovations of the Ancients.’

Vying for approbation as great Sri Lankan inventions emerging from the mists of time are the world’s first lightning conductors; the ‘beheth oruwa’ that testifies to the first hospital in the world; the ‘Ravanahatha’ – the world’s first violin; and Jetavanaramaya, the world’s largest brick structure. Each month of the year is dedicated to a unique invention or concept from the country’s evocative past.

“The past is a prophecy, pointing us towards what we may one day achieve by showing us what we have already accomplished,” the calendar says in its preamble. “Sri Lanka’s ancient engineers, architects, craftsmen, and builders have established a template for greatness, creating works of wonder that continue to inspire us today. At Brandix, we hope to continue their legacy, honouring their ground-breaking achievements by redefining what is possible.”
Some of the leaves from the 2015 Brandix calendar

“Let us walk in their steps, contemplating the incredible innovations that they set their hands and minds to, so that we may see the world through their eyes: as a place of ceaseless potential, bounded only by the limits of our passion, ingenuity and imagination. Let us take a page from Sri Lanka’s glorious past so that, generations hence, our descendants will speak in pride of our innovations, of potential fulfilled and a world bettered.”

With the 2015 edition of its much anticipated calendar, Brandix continues its practice of adding value to this ubiquitous guide to the days, weeks, and months of the year, with painstaking research and custom photography that bring to life a well-deliberated theme. 

This novel approach to calendar-making began with its trilogy titled ‘Water in Reflection’ (2009), ‘Water in Vessels’ (2010) and ‘Water in Life’ (2011), which highlighted the transcendental significance of water (the Brandix Group’s main CSR focus) to diverse cultures and religions. These were followed by ‘The Difference is Passion’ (2012) which traced the history and evolution of the textile and apparel industries, ‘Fashioning Sri Lankan Identity’ (2013) which examined Sri Lankan culture through the lens of changing fashions and ‘Fabric in Motion’ (2014) which used subcontinental dance forms and costumes to examine the common threads that connect the cultures of Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. 

Some of the leaves from the 2015 Brandix calendar
The 2015 Brandix calendar as well as its predecessors were conceptualised and produced in collaboration with the Group’s creative partner Q&E Advertising, Colombo. Commenting on this latest effort and the concept of the themed, information-rich calendar, Q&E CEO Asiri Abhayaratne said that “the project allowed us to shed light on the achievements of our ancestors, and set an inspiring example for present and future generations of Sri Lankan innovators.” He characterised the research and execution stages of the project as “incredibly exciting, giving our team the opportunity to trek through jungle, pilot drones, and learn about largely unexplored parts of our collective heritage.”

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector and a preferred supplier to some of the top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter and is a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice.


Metallics, neon colours, laser cuts, sequins and leather vied for attention when Brandix, Sri Lanka’s inspiration-driven apparel manufacturer, brought the curtain down on the ‘Fashion Innovation Runway’ of the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) with a show-stealing segment.

In-house designers and the products of several business units within the Brandix Group came together to present ‘Urban Collective’ – an assortment of purpose-designed casual wear, active wear, lingerie, lounge wear, sleep wear and evening wear that held the audience spellbound.

Clothing solutions for a day in the life of a hip young professional, encompassing multiple activities including yoga and a night out on the town and catering to many tastes from the conventional to the daring and the zany, gave the segment a kaleidoscopic aura that highlighted the diversity of the design talent behind it.

Innovative visual support in the form of a projection of an exchange of text messages identified each set of clothing as morning, active, afternoon and evening to provide a storyline as the models took to the catwalk.

The Brandix portfolio was an amalgamated representation of the expertise and manufacturing capabilities of the Group’s business units as well as its backward integration partners. Besides showcasing the design skills of multiple Brandix in-house designers, the innovative apparel modelled on the runway also depicted the Group’s capabilities in the manufacture, finishing and printing of fabrics and its proficiency in producing bespoke clothing for any occasion.

Brandix was one of the Fashion Industry Patrons of the 2014 edition of the Sri Lanka Design Festival, which took place from 4th to 7th December at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector and a preferred supplier to some of the top retail brands in the US and Europe, Brandix is also a benchmark and international award winner for eco-friendly manufacture and commitment to environmental best practice.

Pictured here are some of the designs of Brandix’s ‘Urban Collective’ presentation on the SLDF Fashion Innovation Runway.





Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix led start-up seed accelerator, has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to support innovators in its incubator programme with the technical resources and networking offered by the latter’s BizSpark initiative.

Microsoft BizSpark is a global programme that helps software start-ups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed in Colombo recently by Disrupt Innovation (Private) Ltd. and Microsoft Sri Lanka (Private) Ltd. paves the way for Microsoft to provide BizSpark to companies in the Disrupt Unlimited programme and to provide the necessary training on Microsoft technologies to such start-ups.

As an international network of entrepreneurial start-ups and partners, BizSpark supports its member community worldwide with up to three years of free software, support and visibility. This includes opportunities to publish and market their apps and free access to Windows Stores.

“BizSpark connects more than 100,000 start-ups and over 1,500 start-up organisations,” said Udena Wickremesooriya, Director of Disrupt Unlimited. “We are therefore delighted to promote BizSpark to the start-ups in our programme, because the value of its benefits and global perspective are immeasurable.”
Brandix and Disrupt Unlimited Director Udena Wickremesooriya (left)
and Microsoft Country Manager Imran Vilcassim exchange the agreement

Imran Vilcassim, Country Manager for Microsoft said: “Microsoft’s vision is to create a sustainable impact in the country through the power of technology. BizSpark is an initiative that helps promote a vibrant start-up eco-system in the country that would help in promoting innovation and economic growth. We are delighted to partner with Disrupt Unlimited to take this initiative forward and extend this benefit to companies in Sri Lanka.”

Launched earlier this year, Disrupt Unlimited runs a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough, technology-driven solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors. Among the company’s identified roles are collaboration with industry partners, securing the support of private partners, mentors, and advisors, development of idea/entrepreneur pipelines, building a network of investors in Sri Lanka and overseas, investing in start-ups, running seed accelerator programmes and supporting start-ups through commercialisation.


A Brandix apparel factory manufacturing lingerie for international labels has been recognised as Sri Lanka’s best in energy conservation with the 2014 ‘Vidulka’ Gold award at the country’s apex awards for energy efficiency.

The Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited (BASL) – Lingerie business unit’s manufacturing plant at the Wathupitiwela EPZ in Nittambuwa received the main award in the ‘Large Scale Manufacturing’ category for its impressive achievement of a 34 per cent reduction in electricity consumption in the period of evaluation.

Another Brandix business unit, Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited – Essentials at Ratmalana received a merit award in the commercial building category, for the effort it has made to improve its level of energy performance over the past five years. BASL – Essentials is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified facility by the US Green Building Council and is certified for ISO 50000, ISO 14000 and ISO 18000.

Commenting on the award won by BASL – Lingerie, the Company’s CEO Rajiv Malalasekera said: “The process of reducing the environmental footprint of our operations is a continuous one at Brandix. We keep exploring the boundaries of what is possible in our search for reductions in the use of natural resources, and this has resulted in noteworthy results in energy efficiency and water conservation.”

The National Energy Efficiency awards are presented by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA), a unit of the Ministry of Environment, as part of the government’s Vidulka Energy Week programme. Energy consumption data of three years is evaluated to determine the winners in each of the award categories.

Among the initiatives taken by BASL – Lingerie to reduce its electricity consumption were an upgrade of its
Rajitha Wellagiriya, Manager - Engineering at BASL - Lingerie (second left)
and Ajith Ranathunga, the Company’s Assistant Maintenance Manager,
receive the Vidulka Gold award from Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne
central air-conditioning system with a high energy-efficient water cooled chiller, equipping the plant with a building management system (BMS) to monitor, control and evaluate its energy performance, installation of a solar hot water system for the kitchen and laboratory, the replacement of all clutch motors with energy efficient servo motors and the optimisation of the compressed air distribution network.

The lighting system of the plant is a combination of natural and artificial lighting with skylights, LED and fluorescent bulbs, the company said.

Enterprise-wide Green initiatives have enabled the Brandix Group to reduce its energy cost per product by 15 per cent in 2013-14 over the preceding year, cut electricity cost per product by 12 per cent despite increased tariffs, and reduce its carbon footprint by 9 per cent. Renewable energy now makes up 20 per cent of the Group’s energy mix.

Previous Brandix Group winners of the ‘Vidulka’ National Energy Efficiency Awards include the Brandix Casualwear plant at Seeduwa in 2010 (Gold), Brandix Casualwear, Ratmalana (Silver) and Phoenix Industries, Makandura (Bronze) in 2011, and Phoenix Industries (Gold) and Brandix Essentials, Koggala (Silver) in 2012. The Group did not participate in the awards programme in 2013.

Brandix is the pioneer of and process leader in eco-friendly manufacture in Sri Lanka, and the first apparel manufacturer in the world to receive Platinum status for Green manufacture from the US LEED Green Building rating system.

In September 2012, the Group set itself the target of reducing its environmental footprint by a further 20 per cent by 2020, and released its maiden Sustainability Report, the first by a private company in Sri Lanka. To support this initiative and track its progress, Brandix has developed its own ‘Eco Index’ -- an assessment tool which can be used to measure the environmental performance of Brandix factories and offices across the Group and facilitates a fair and easy comparison between factories and clusters.


 
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