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					 Market                                                                                                   Customer Excellence for its implementation of
 The apparel industry in Sri Lanka, one of the                                                            SAP. MAS was the first in the region to use the       History                                              intimate apparel brand, Amanté, targeting the         foundation of partnerships characterised by
 country’s highest foreign-exchange earners for                                                           SAP R3 Apparel and Footwear system, and               In 1986, the founders of MAS Holdings –              Indian market.                                        trust, the operational excellence of MAS, its
 several decades, has weathered many storms                                                               launched a global SAP consulting firm focusing        brothers Mahesh, Sharad and Ajay Amalean –              MAS Investments overlooks a diversified            strong raw-material base and an innovative and
 over the years. Although a plethora of local                                                             entirely on the apparel and footwear industry.        invested in a small factory in Ratmalana with 26     portfolio of investments including the                futuristic spirit make it the fastest-growing
 companies were involved in the manufacture of                                                               The company has a history of partnering with       sewing machines and 60 employees,                    development of integrated apparel and fabric          supplier of niche-market lingerie and
 apparel for global brands, few companies have                                                            vendors in community initiatives, including           manufacturing synthetic dresses for Limited          parks in the region, retail and outsourced            competition sportswear in South Asia. A world-
 been able to sustain the momentum, and create                                                            piloting the Marks & Start programme to               Brands Inc., in the US, through Mast Industries,     information-technology services. The divisions        class Sri Lankan organisation, MAS differentiates
 and use opportunities to build an enduring                                                               empower people with disabilities, promoting fair      Inc. (US).                                           are brought together under a common vision            itself through its best practices to position Sri
 organisation. Confronted by the elimination of                                                           trade and organic cotton products with                   In 1990, Mast Industries entered into a joint     and corporate governance by MAS Corporate             Lanka as the preferred destination for ethical
 the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) at the end of                                                            Victoria’s Secret, sustainability education with      venture, setting up Shadowline in Katunayake.        Solutions.                                            apparel solutions.
 2005, many of these companies wilted under                                                               GAP, and tsunami reconstruction supported by          The next big leap for MAS came in 1992 when
 the pressure of dwindling margins and                                                                    customers and well-wishers.                           it entered into a joint-venture partnership with     Recent Developments                                   www.masholdings.com
 competition from emerging markets. As the                                                                   A demonstrated commitment towards                  Triumph International (Germany) and Mast             Encouraged by consumers’ increasing demands
 global apparel-manufacturing market became          replenishment models to lean manufacturing           employee well-being, health, safety and working       Industries to set up Bodyline in Horana, which       for ethically manufactured products, MAS
 more sophisticated, there was a shakedown –         with rapid product changeovers, the company’s        standards earned MAS the Willis Caroon Risk           continues to be its single largest plant for         continues to raise the bar on internationally
 not least in Sri Lanka, where only the preferred    fully-integrated model allows it to innovate         Management Award and the Sara Lee Corp                manufacturing bras in the region.                    accepted standards of employee well-being and
 manufacturing partners for large global brands      across the value chain.                              Millionaires Club Award for Health & Safety. It          Slimline, which emerged in 1993 as a joint        social accountability. MAS is building an iconic
 survived the challenging market forces. MAS is         Today, MAS is the lead strategic partner for      was felicitated for its dedication to uplifting the   venture with Mast Industries and Courtaulds          eco-manufacturing plant to support the Plan-A
 one such success story.                             Victoria’s Secret (VS), servicing numerous global    community via the John Bryan Community                Clothing (UK), a key sourcing arm of M&S, went       initiative of M&S for sustainable sourcing in the
    Apparel manufacturing has evolved through        brands including Marks & Spencer (M&S),              Service and National Corporate Social                 on to set benchmarks for excellence in employee      South Asian region and is implementing MOS
 the years from vendors outsourcing simple cut-      Triumph International, DIM Branded Apparel,          Responsibility (CSR) awards. Leveraging its best      relations and put MAS firmly on the global map.      (MAS Operating System), a lean manufacturing
 and-sew operations to working with integrated-      Nike, Speedo, adidas, Reebok, GAP and Banana         practices in employee well-being, MAS launched           The first overseas venture for MAS was Linea      philosophy based on the Toyota Production
 solutions providers. MAS embraced the evolving      Republic. It operates design studios and 28          a unique CSR initiative in 2004, titled MAS           Clothing in the Maldives in 1996. Since then, the    System to improve efficiency and deliver faster
 supplier-vendor relationship, undertaking           facilities across five countries with a family of    Women Go Beyond. The programme seeks to               group has continued to make strategic                turnaround times. This initiative has been highly
 functions that were previously the prerogative of   over 45,000 people.                                  empower women employees by supporting                 investments overseas with operations spanning        successful as it melds well with the MAS culture
 the vendor, allowing the latter to focus their                                                           them with training and development to advance         five countries. MAS initiated vertical integration   of empowerment. Anticipating an imminent shift
 resources in managing retail brand and              Achievements                                         in their careers while successfully balancing their   within the Sri Lankan apparel industry with its      in the industry orientation from service to
 consumer relationships.                             Led by progressive and visionary leader              personal lives. They are recognised and               joint venture with Mast Industries and               knowledge, MAS set up the MAS Institute of
    As South Asia’s largest intimate-apparel         Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, MAS pioneered             rewarded for their accomplishments and                Charnwood Elastics (UK) to establish                 Management Technology to function as a centre
 manufacturer, MAS also happens to be the            and perfected the manufacture of lingerie in a       developed as role models for others to emulate.       Stretchline, the country’s premier supplier of       of industry knowledge and innovation in liaison
 region’s fastest-growing supplier of sportswear.    country that specialised in casual wear and             The initiative won the American Apparel &          elastics, in 1996. Stretchline is now a globally     with internationally reputed academics. Having
 The company manages the entire value chain –        outerwear. From an entrepreneurial venture,          Footwear Association Award for Excellence in          recognised brand for narrow performance              consolidated its position in Sri Lanka, MAS is
 from product design, development,                   MAS has grown to be a global entity with a           CSR in 2005. In 2006, INSEAD (France) used it         elastics with a global manufacturing base. A         now expanding to India to offer customers the
 manufacturing and raw-material supply – whilst      consolidated annual turnover of approximately        to model a case study for Strategic CSR in the        partnership with Noyon Dentelles of France in        benefits of a regional supply base through the           THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT
 commanding the latest technology and know-          US$ 750 million. With an annual growth rate of       apparel industry for its MBA and Advanced             2004 created South Asia’s first lace                 development of an integrated apparel and
 how. With in-house research, design,                15%-20% over the past two decades, MAS is set        Management programmes. The case study is also         manufacturing facility, Noyon Lanka.                 fabric park.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       MAS HOLDINGS
 development and product-engineering                 to achieve its target of US$ 1 billion revenues      used by the London and Copenhagen Business               Joint-venture partnerships with Prym
 capabilities, MAS provides sophisticated            by 2010.                                             Schools and North Carolina State University           Intimates (Germany), Dogi International Fabric       Promotion                                                 The acronym comprises the initials of
 concept-to-delivery solutions to its customers.        True to its spirit of excelling in every aspect   (US).                                                 and Textprint SA (Spain) consolidated the            MAS has been regularly featured in the                    founding members Mahesh, Ajay and
    Design and product development is the new        of the business, MAS has won numerous awards            MAS has won international acclaim through          regional supply base for intimate apparel            international press with emphasis on its ethics           Sharad.
 heart of the business – a sphere in which MAS       through its journey, including 5S, All Star,         the UN Global Compact for best practices,             accessories, warp-knitted fabrics and fabric-        and innovative people-management practices.               A handshake sealed the company’s first
 excels. In addition to working with vendor          National Productivity, Export, Software Quality      embedding human rights in the workplace. It is        printing capabilities. This breadth in the supply    The list includes the Wall Street Journal, Fortune,       deal with Mast Industries. A formal
 concepts or design briefs to create new product     and HR awards. Last year, MAS won the coveted        currently ranked fourteenth among the Top             chain has helped position Sri Lanka and the          New York Times, Financial Times and World                 written contract was drawn up only
 ranges, MAS also works with vendors to create       Vendor of the Year award from Victoria’s Secret,     Twenty Asian Progressives (World Business) and        region as a centre of excellence for intimate        Business. Driven by a philosophy of sustainability,       several years later.
 new technology and products – often in multi-       the awards for Outstanding Performance and           fourth among Sri Lanka’s Most Respected               apparel and sportswear. MAS Linea Aqua, a            the company represents the balance it strives
 year efforts that redefine the industry.            Innovation from Nike and the award for Most          Entities (LMD). Encouraged by the recognition,        partnership concern with Speedo International,       for in social and environmental spheres                   Ninety-five sportspersons who
 Innovation is second nature to MAS. From            Innovative Supplier from adidas, while MAS           MAS continues to work towards positioning Sri         is one of the first dedicated swimwear plants in     alongside its operational excellence in all               represented Sri Lanka in 21 different
 working with Victoria’s Secret on fast              Intimates was presented with the Award for           Lanka as the hub for ethical apparel sourcing.        the region excelling in performance swimwear.        vendor interactions, corporate promotional                sports work at MAS (as at October
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     material and media. The group reflects a                  2007).
                                                                                                                                                                Product                                              passionate and competitive spirit balanced by             Swimmers from 13 countries competing
                                                                                                                                                                MAS Intimates designs and manufactures niche-        unmatched commitment towards employee                     in the 2004 Olympics wore Speedo
                                                                                                                                                                market lingerie for high-street fashion retailers    well-being through all media. Publications of the         FastSkin swimsuits manufactured by Linea
                                                                                                                                                                and brands, while MAS Active supplies leading        real-life stories of its employees have received          Aqua, the company’s dedicated swimwear
                                                                                                                                                                brands in competition sportswear. MAS Fabrics,       rave reviews from its business partners. The              plant. Linea Aqua manufactures swimwear
                                                                                                                                                                made up of manufacturing facilities for elastics,    company’s aggressive support of sports at the             for 17 countries (including Sri Lanka) for
                                                                                                                                                                warp-knit fabric, lace, intimate apparel             organisational and national level has helped              the 2008 Olympics.
                                                                                                                                                                accessories and moulded bra cups,                    build the MAS persona. One such instance was
                                                                                                                                                                complements the Intimates and Active divisions.      in 2005, when MAS signed up as official clothing          A unique feature of the FastSkin swimsuit
                                                                                                                                                                   Through the integrated business model, MAS        sponsor for Sri Lanka Cricket in a symbolic               is the fabric, which increases water
                                                                                                                                                                innovates new and exciting solutions from            gesture of national pride and solidarity.                 resistance by replicating the biological
                                                                                                                                                                state-of-the-art silicon-embedding technology                                                                  skin characteristics of the shark.
                                                                                                                                                                to organic and fair-trade products. Some             Brand Values
                                                                                                                                                                innovative products include the Speedo FastSkin      From inception, a progressive management                  MAS is one of ten companies cited for
                                                                                                                                                                FS-Pro swimsuit which was first worn at the          culture that disregarded traditional employer-            best practices among some 4,400
                                                                                                                                                                2004 Olympics and the Nike Revolutionary             employee relations has been the hallmark of               companies worldwide in the UN Global
                                                                                                                                                                Support Bra – the highest-selling sports bra in      MAS. This culture of respect for all, fair play,          Compact Annual and Mackenzie Reports
                                                                                                                                                                the USA – worn by international tennis players       honesty and integrity continue to be the                  (2007).
                                                                                                                                                                and athletes. In 2007, MAS launched its own          company’s most distinguishing traits. Built on a


54   BUSINESS SUPERBRANDS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               BUSINESS SUPERBRANDS   55

				
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