Sri Lanka doesn’t produce cheap garments - JAAF | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka doesn’t produce cheap garments - JAAF

Tuli Cooray
Tuli Cooray

The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) looks forward to having a stable rupee and is not very keen on short term gains, JAAF Secretary General Tuli Cooray said.

With the launch of JAAF’s new logo, the industry plans to forge ahead with its third strategic plan, taking the industry to the next level.

“We want to continue our third strategic plan and for this we deviated from the norm of getting the executive committee to prepare the plan. The strategic plan was prepared by the future leaders of the industry. We created a new sub committee called ‘future leaders’ as the industry vision has to be always to introduce newness to the process. This newness should come from the young or the third generation,” he said.

The rationale behind allowing the third generation to come up with the strategic plan was to ensure that the apparel sector becomes an $ 8 billion industry by 2025.

“We cannot take the industry to that level with what we have done so far. There has to be a new vision and a new solution to take the industry to the next level facing the emerging challenges, local and international, he said.

“Earlier we were harping on the tagline, ‘Garments without Guilt’ and it is ‘Seamless Solutions’ at present. We continue to evolve by having a contract manual, supply chain management and offering certain solutions. We plan to take front-end operations right to the back-end with efficient logistics services. In this process, we will innovate, not only in production, but in the way we do business,” he said.

“We have certain challenges within the economy, and we are not producing cheap garments any more. We have to look for alternatives. For this, there is a two fold approach. We need to see to what extent technology could be use to minimise human intervention, and the second is, which component of the value chain could be undertaken by us on a competitive basis. We may outsource basic production from the region and we may also engage in Order Management, Supply Chain Management, offer Design Chain management and new business capabilities. This will enable the strengthening of synergies in the South Asian region,” he said.

“To begin this journey, we have taken a number of measures. The efforts to become a reliable supplier to the market will continue. We are heavily involved in Digital Marketing which is the way forward in this modern era.

We have to work with government agencies to enable Sri Lankan companies to engage in e-commerce for the export of goods. This will give flexibility to any company to reach the market. We could work with well-known brands or supply goods to the brands at a competitive cost,” he said.

The development of electronic technology and Artificial Intelligence has reduced the cost of e-commerce equipment. These advancements will make us more tech savvy and solve the issues of labour to a certain extent.

The new thought process in digitalisation is reflected in our new logo where the diversity of Sri Lanka and its main elements, starting with education, are shown, Cooray explained.