‘Dash’ing through business for 25 years | Sunday Observer

‘Dash’ing through business for 25 years

The Dash factory
The Dash factory

Dash, the flagship brand of Multichemi International has recorded a steady growth in its market share during the past 25 years which I would proudly say were excellent and successful years for the iconic brand, said Multichemi International Ltd. Director Samuditha Kumarasinghe in an interview with the Sunday Observer.


Q: How do you see the past 25 years of the brand?

Samuditha Kumarasinghe

A: When we launched ‘Dash’ in 1993, there was only one brand in the detergent industry. It was not a smooth sailing for the company which invested a lot on brand building and promotion. However, recalling the years gone-by, it was a fruitful time for the company and the brand.

Q: How did you gain a competitive advantage in the market?

A: We have always been an innovator in the industry. In addition to being the first to introduce biodegradable, environmentally friendly detergents, ‘Dash’ also introduced Sri Lanka’s first laundry liquid under the brand name ‘Safematic’. So being innovative and having the first mover advantage has helped us gain a competitive edge in the market. Our continued commitment to quality and customer service has also enabled us to gain and maintain consumer trust for 25 years.

Q: What is the contribution by local industrialists to the national economy?

A: We as local industrialists create job opportunities, help add value to the local supply chain and support the local economy in many ways. However, today, the country is facing a foreign exchange crisis due to unfavorable policies and also due to uncontrollable external factors.The trade deficit in 2017 was over of US$ 9.6bn. The government should encourage local manufacturers and align government policies accordingly to come out of the current economic crisis.

Q: Could you elaborate on the regulations, taxation and challenges faced by local manufacturers?

A: The biggest challenge for businesses today is the non-existence of a clear economic policy in the country. Particularly, the inconsistent policies of the government during the past three years has had a negative impact on local manufacturers. Sri Lanka does not have a trade policy or an industrial policy. With such weak and inconsistent policies, it is difficult to develop business.

Q: What are the new trends in the detergent industry and the importance of biodegradable products?

A: When we introduced ‘Dash’ products to the market in 1993, we were the first company to manufacture detergents which were biodegradable. During this period other manufacturers and consumers were not aware of the harmful environmental damages, specially, to our waterways and aquatic life from non-biodegradable products. As a pioneer in the industry, we continue to innovate and hope to introduce more natural detergents which is a trend in the world market today.

Q: Could you describe the products of the company?

A: The company manufactures detergents under the name ‘Dash’; these are biodegradable, non-toxic, phosphate-free, and environment friendly detergents that guarantee a high degree of efficiency. ‘Dash’ has grown to be the market leader in the car care category and has also established other reputable brands, such as, GlizDish Wash, Safematic Laundry liquid, Magic Soft Fabric Conditioner, SpringTime Air Freshener and Comox Toilet Bowl Cleaner under the ‘Dash’ umbrella of products.

Q: What plans do you have for the company?

A: While continuing to identify consumer needs, we will be improving our range of products and have planned to introduce products with modern and improved packaging into the market. A new range of environmentally friendly natural products are also in the pipeline. These developments will take place within the next six months.

From a humble beginning with only a capital of Rs. 1.2 million and 12 employees, Multichemi Group of Companies is today proud to celebrate 25 years in business with over 700 employees and advanced manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka and overseas.

In 1993, the Group’s first company, under the leadership of Samantha Kumarasinghe, Chairman and Managing Director of Multichemi International Limited, launched ‘Dash’; Sri Lanka’s first environment-friendly, biodegradable, non-toxic and phosphate-free household and car care detergent range.

The company recently celebrated its 25th anniversary reflecting on successes and goals for the future. Special awards of appreciation were given to employees who had been with the company for over 10 years. Sister companies of Multichemi Group are Nature’s Secrets, Panda Baby, Chandi Panda and Misumi.

The Group is also Sri Lanka’s first and largest exporter of textiles enzymes, and has also won the country’s highest National Green Award for efforts to safeguard the environment.