Nestle Lanka to invest Rs 1 bn billion for Pannala factory expansion
Managing Director Ganesan Ampalavanar, tasting the new product
Sri Lankan's one of the leading food and beverage multinational giants Nestle Lanka Plc will invest more than Rs one billion for the Pannala factory expansion and brand building activities this year to increase its brand equity in the market, its Managing Director Ganesan Ampalavanar said.
"At present our company produces several food and beverages for the local market and most or our products are enjoying the market leader position in Sri Lanka, Ampalavanar told the Daily News Business. He said so at the launching of Maggi Noodles re-launch ceremony where it has introduce two flavor namely curry and chicken fortified with Vitamin A.
He said that the some of their brands like Milo Milk products, Nestle condense milk, Maggi noodles, coconut milk power and several other brands enjoy the market leader position. With these developments the company is now in the process of investing in heavily on the factory expansion and brand build activities in Sri Lanka, Ampalavanar said.
"The direction of the Nestle the world over is towards nutrition, health and wellness. We are using our food and beverage to bring about nutritional benefits to our consumers, in addition to fortifying our products with essential micro nutrients and other nutritional advantages for our consumers," he said.
He also said that the company is also constantly improving the nutritional profile of their products by reducing public health sensitive nutrients and their Maggi product has continuously reduces saturated fat levels and also salt content through their world renowned research and developments, he said.
Nestle has supported the Sri Lankan dairy sector since the 1980s. "Today Nestle Lanka has three milk factories," Ampalavanar added. Nestle is Sri Lanka's single largest private sector collector of fresh milk, procuring fresh milk from over 15,000 local dairy farmers every day.
Netherland chemist, Rob Klerkx with product coordinator, Sanjeevani Jayalath at their laboratory.
The noise from cutting steel and sparks from welding was something young Palitha Bandara Alahakoon hated. However lack of opportunities in Kandy forced him to work as a steel worker for six years.
Determined to excel in this field he thought of an advanced training which takes him first to German Tech in Katubedda and then to Ahmadabad in India. “Here I saw a world which was far beyond the steel cutting industry in which I spent six years of my prime youth.”
Deepani Enterprises factory complex at the Pallakelle Industrial Zone. Pictures by Shirajiv Sirimane
Workers in the factory
Alahakoon receiving a Central Provincial Chamber award from Chief Minister T. B. Ekanayake.
Palitha Bandara Alahakoon with some of ‘Paba Excellent’ products at the factory
On my return flight I was thinking what I should do with my future and when I descended from the aircraft my future was planned.
With the assistance of several banks in the area and his own funds (Rs. 50,000) he invested Rs. 225,000 on an injection moulding machine and first started manufacturing yoghurt spoons and cups for the domestic market in 1996.
This was a very successful business until pressure was mounted on him from the neighbours that the noise generated from the machine was unbearable. “To find a solution to this pressure I went to the Industrial Development Board and they in turn suggested that I move to the Pallekelle Industrial Zone. The IDB also helped me to find a 48 perch land and then I moved my operations to Pallekelle in 2002.”
Due to my on time track record I saw a surge of new orders and with the assistance from the Bank of Ceylon I bought the second moulding machine and also invested on a steel workshop for which I had gained knowledge for six years. He also started manufacturing bottles and jars for the cosmetic industry. During this time I also got an opportunity to visit the Canton Trade Fair in China and subsequently to another fair in Germany. After my return and on a friend’s advice I started thinking as to why I can’t start my own cosmetic factory.
After a lot of market research I first started manufacturing Sandalwood night cream with raw material imported from China and this was manufactured for a third party.
During this time the IDB also managed to link me to PUM, an NGO from Netherlands who provided the technical assistance to add more value addition for my products. The feedback from the products which I manufactured for the third party was also very encouraging.
This gave me confidence and after gaining Health Ministry approvals and hiring a full time chemist I introduced, ‘Paba Excellent’ cosmetic range investing around Rs. 70 million to import machinery.
The product soon caught up in the market and today I have a fair share of the market and my monthly turn over exceeds millions.
The brand name “Paba’ was extracted taking two letters from his first two names, Palitha Bandara.
He also floated Deepani Enterprises and today Paba Excellent’ product range includes, Day and Night creams, Three face washes, Body lotion and Body Milk and hair oils. “Now I am looking at investing another Rs 5 million to move into manufacturing perfumes and introducing more products. I am also looking at the export market seriously.”
His entrepreneurial skills did not go unnoticed and he had received many regional and national awards.
“Looking back I think one of the reasons for my success was the international exposure I received by way of attending exhibitions. I got exposed to novel products,ideas and opportunities that the world has opened to entrepreneurs.
I advise budding entrepreneurs to travel and gain knowledge and see the opportunities for themselves.
Ministers Basil Rajapaksa and Kumara Welgama at the opening of the new CEAT Kelani radial tyre production facility looked on by Chanaka De Silva, CEAT Kelani Chairman. Picture by Sulochana Gamage
Leading tyre maker, CEAT Kelani is contemplating to set up a Rs 6.5 billion truck radial plant at its Kelaniya premises said, N. C. Venugopal, Managing Director and CEO of CEAT Kelani Holdings at the official inauguration of a new hi-tech production facility for radial tyres for passenger cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) at CEAT Kelani Holdings.
Since 2009, the CEAT Kelani joint venture has invested Rs. 2.5 billion in enhancing capacity, modernising its factory and setting up this new radial plant.
This initiative enables the company to increase its radial tyre building and curing capacity by 70 percent to 450,000 tyres per annum, thereby substituting more than 60 percent of the country's imports in this category.
CEAT Kelani Chairman Chanaka De Silva said initially the company was only capable of producing two kgs finished goods per man hour and today it had increased to 12 kgs finished goods per man hour which is ample evidence to the investment in man management and machinery the company had made which was showcased at the event.
De Silva said 35 to 40% of the product was exported and added the post-conflict resurgence of Sri Lanka has provided companies with a fresh incentive to grow and CEAT Kelani has supported this process very tangibly, by investing in capacity expansion, and enhancing the range and quality of its products.
"The new radial tyre production facility that has just been declared open is only part of this commitment," he said.
N. C. Venugopal, Managing Director and CEO of CEAT Kelani Holdings said CEAT Kelani was one of the most successful JV's in operation in Sri Lanka and from 2009 till date the JV has infused Rs 2.5 billion which has led to the increase in the tyre production from 840,000 to 1.35 million.
Venugopal said, " We produce and export 35 to 45% of our production and today we have established a Sri Lanka automobile tyre in the world market and there is epecific demand for our tyres made in Sri Lanka."
He added that in 2009 they were just about Rs 5 billion in top-line and today it stood at 11 billion almost a increase of 2.1 times in the last four and half years.
LECO launches the first Digital Electronic Energy Meter in Sri Lanka
0 June 30, 2014 2:00 am
By Ayesh Maldeniya
Ceylon FT: The Ministry of Power & Energy and LECO took the initiative to go for the next breakthrough to introduce Electronic Energy Meter manufacturing technology to Sri Lanka through converting the Ante LECO metering factory. The launch of the first Digital Electronic Energy Meter was held at Taj Samudra hotel earlier this week.
"Ante LECO metering factory has acquired modern technology to manufacture electronic energy meters, high performance meters and smart energy meters which are incorporated with communication facility. With this development the Sri Lankan electricity consumers are enabled to get facilities such as remote metering, prepaid facility, proximity meter reading and facilities to even check their consumption through the Internet. We will be able to save 700 million annually by using this digital meter in Sri Lanka as it does not take much power to run and the people will be able to get the exact data. This is not only a contribution for the electrical & power industry but also a good investment for the country's economy," said LECO, Chairman Sagara Kariyawasam.
"Engineering metrology is the starting point of engineering. The Sri Lankan market size is not sufficient to see the growth of a domestic metering technology. The country saw a major breakthrough in this industry, with a landmark decision taken at the Economic Council in year 2006 to establish an electrical energy meter factory in Sri Lanka to cater to the energy meter demand of Ceylon Electricity Board and the Lanka Electricity Company. This is a clear indication of the foresight of the government to identify that energy meter scarcity, and the electricity utilities were suffering during the period was a clear impediment to go for the electrification of the country," he added.
Pursuant to this decision the Lanka Electricity Company was entrusted with the task of establishing the energy meter manufacturing venture in the country. LECO through an open invitation under the supervision of the Ministry of Power and Energy selected the Joint Venture partner, Ante Metering Company of Zhejiang, China as the technology partner and started manufacturing energy meters on 5 October 2008. The first consignment of the energy meters to CEB was supplied from the factory on November 2008. The factory acquired the process for ISO 17025 from Sri Lanka Accreditation Board in 2010. The management system of factory was certified under ISO 9001:2008 by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute in 2010. The energy meter supplied to the Sri Lankan market was developed throughout with the participation of Ceylon Electricity Board to a robust energy meter fully compatible with the Sri Lankan climatic conditions. Anti LECO Metering company has supplied more than 1.7 million meters to CEB up to now.
(Pic by Manjula Dayawansa)
Ceylon FT: Establishing the Micro image in the domain of Ruhunu Magampura, Micro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd has recently expanded its roadmap by constructing its third motor vehicle manufacturing plant coupled with a motor engineering vocational training centre in the Investment Promotional Zone in Mirijjawila, Hambantota.
Partnering with Ceno Truck Ltd., of China, the new plant will be used to upsurge the vehicle production capacity expanding further into the Southern part in the country. Since equal development in all parts of the country is foreseen by the vision of Mahinda Chinthana, which preserves the domestic manufacturer in very means of its application, Micro expects to deliver the modern technology and...
...business opportunities to the local entrepreneurs with their new expansion. Micro also inaugurated its full-fledged first ever automatic motor vehicle production plant in Polgahawela last April.
Speaking to Ceylon FT, Chairman of Micro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., Dr. Lawrence Perera stated, "We believe in sustainable development of the country along with the growth of the organization and thus engage in developing the areas where micro grows. Hitherto, the company has generated many skilled employees in this field and many more indirect employments opportunities have been made around the country.
Through the years of operation, Micro holdings have earned customer satisfaction through continuous innovation and product development. Being the 11th patent holder in motor vehicle manufacturing industry in the world Micro has a wide opportunity of exporting local manufactured products. The expected growth potential is massive and all sort of industry benefits lies in favour of Sri Lanka. The proposed 500 acre Investment Promotional Zone in Mirijjawila is primarily aimed at export oriented businesses due to the geographical advantages in the surroundings, he added.
Micro holdings has invested over US$ 750 million on this project and over 800 direct employment opportunities will be created. The full-fledged vehicle manufacturing plant will be powered with world's latest technological advancements along with industry expertise.
The foundation stone for the plant was laid by Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa. The event was also attended by Dr. Lawrence Perera, Chairman of Micro holdings (Pvt) Ltd; Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ceno Truck Ltd., Liuwei; and Koggala Industrial Processing Zone Director Jayantha Gunasekara.
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Lanka’s Int’l Reserves up to US$ 9 bn Fizel Jabir ([email protected]) The private sector should project Sri Lanka well to the outside world and stand for the interests of the country, said Dr P B Jayasundara, Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance & Planning and Economic Development delivering the key note address at the 44th AGM of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council on Friday. He said the country’s economy which was essentially in the hands of the home grown private sector nurtured by many efforts made by President in recent times deserve to take that positive message outside Sri Lanka. Dr Jayasundara opined that although there were many more concerns to be addressed with regard to private sector grievances that did not mean what had been done should be undermined by anybody. Dr Jayasundara said for instance Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao had realized that what he saw on his way to Colombo in newspapers recently, which had given the impression that the country was in the verge of another chaos in the wake of the Aluthgama incident was not the ground reality that Nakao actually witnessed upon arrival and Nakao had sent him a memo after he had left in his own hand writing which said “here is a country that would be the next Miracle of Asia.” Hence Dr Jayasundara urged the private sector and the media to speak loud and clear and tell the world that there was no human right violation here. He reiterated that the Sri Lankan economy has grown above 7 % which was much decent considering the fact that the population growth was one percent making it almost a per capita growth and this should not be underplayed. He said the inflation in June stood at 2.8% and the last five months the country had witnessed a single digit inflation less than 5%. The monitory policy and financial stability was in place and although the exchange rates were flexible, it remained stable as flexibility did not mean footless fluctuation and needed to be predictable. The country’s International Reserves were very buoyant and now reached the US $ nine billion mark with a target of $ 10 billion. The banking system was consolidating with system stability and no banks have collapsed. “ Similarly our current account deficit has declined to 3.9 % from 9.5% in 2008. Tourism is now not a $ 300 million business. Last year it was a $ 1.7 billion business and this year we are predicting $2.5 billion. Tourist arrivals is up, those who were questioning the target of 2.5 million tourists are now quit,” he said
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