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The apparel industry in Sri Lanka, one of the country's highest foreign-exchange earners for several decades, has weathered many storms over the years. Although a plethora of local companies were involved in the manufacture of apparel for global brands, few companies have been able to sustain the momentum, and create and use opportunities to build an enduring organisation. Confronted by the elimination of the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) at the end of 2005, many of these companies wilted under the pressure of dwindling margins and competition from emerging markets. As the global apparel-manufacturing market became more sophisticated, there was a shakedown ­ not least in Sri Lanka, where only the preferred manufacturing partners for large global brands survived the challenging market forces. MAS is one such success story. Apparel manufacturing has evolved through the years from vendors outsourcing simple cutand-sew operations to working with integratedsolutions providers. MAS embraced the evolving supplier-vendor relationship, undertaking functions that were previously the prerogative of the vendor, allowing the latter to focus their resources in managing retail brand and consumer relationships. As South Asia's largest intimate-apparel manufacturer, MAS also happens to be the region's fastest-growing supplier of sportswear. The company manages the entire value chain ­ from product design, development, manufacturing and raw-material supply ­ whilst commanding the latest technology and knowhow. With in-house research, design, development and product-engineering capabilities, MAS provides sophisticated concept-to-delivery solutions to its customers. Design and product development is the new heart of the business ­ a sphere in which MAS excels. In addition to working with vendor concepts or design briefs to create new product ranges, MAS also works with vendors to create new technology and products ­ often in multiyear efforts that redefine the industry. Innovation is second nature to MAS. From working with Victoria's Secret on fast

replenishment models to lean manufacturing with rapid product changeovers, the company's fully-integrated model allows it to innovate across the value chain. Today, MAS is the lead strategic partner for Victoria's Secret (VS), servicing numerous global brands including Marks & Spencer (M&S), Triumph International, DIM Branded Apparel, Nike, Speedo, adidas, Reebok, GAP and Banana Republic. It operates design studios and 28 facilities across five countries with a family of over 45,000 people.


Led by progressive and visionary leader Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, MAS pioneered and perfected the manufacture of lingerie in a country that specialised in casual wear and outerwear. From an entrepreneurial venture, MAS has grown to be a global entity with a consolidated annual turnover of approximately US$ 750 million. With an annual growth rate of 15%-20% over the past two decades, MAS is set to achieve its target of US$ 1 billion revenues by 2010. True to its spirit of excelling in every aspect of the business, MAS has won numerous awards through its journey, including 5S, All Star, National Productivity, Export, Software Quality and HR awards. Last year, MAS won the coveted Vendor of the Year award from Victoria's Secret, the awards for Outstanding Performance and Innovation from Nike and the award for Most Innovative Supplier from adidas, while MAS Intimates was presented with the Award for

Customer Excellence for its implementation of SAP. MAS was the first in the region to use the SAP R3 Apparel and Footwear system, and launched a global SAP consulting firm focusing entirely on the apparel and footwear industry. The company has a history of partnering with vendors in community initiatives, including piloting the Marks & Start programme to empower people with disabilities, promoting fair trade and organic cotton products with Victoria's Secret, sustainability education with GAP, and tsunami reconstruction supported by customers and well-wishers. A demonstrated commitment towards employee well-being, health, safety and working standards earned MAS the Willis Caroon Risk Management Award and the Sara Lee Corp Millionaires Club Award for Health & Safety. It was felicitated for its dedication to uplifting the community via the John Bryan Community Service and National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) awards. Leveraging its best practices in employee well-being, MAS launched a unique CSR initiative in 2004, titled MAS Women Go Beyond. The programme seeks to empower women employees by supporting them with training and development to advance in their careers while successfully balancing their personal lives. They are recognised and rewarded for their accomplishments and developed as role models for others to emulate. The initiative won the American Apparel & Footwear Association Award for Excellence in CSR in 2005. In 2006, INSEAD (France) used it to model a case study for Strategic CSR in the apparel industry for its MBA and Advanced Management programmes. The case study is also used by the London and Copenhagen Business Schools and North Carolina State University (US). MAS has won international acclaim through the UN Global Compact for best practices, embedding human rights in the workplace. It is currently ranked fourteenth among the Top Twenty Asian Progressives (World Business) and fourth among Sri Lanka's Most Respected Entities (LMD). Encouraged by the recognition, MAS continues to work towards positioning Sri Lanka as the hub for ethical apparel sourcing.


In 1986, the founders of MAS Holdings ­ brothers Mahesh, Sharad and Ajay Amalean ­ invested in a small factory in Ratmalana with 26 sewing machines and 60 employees, manufacturing synthetic dresses for Limited Brands Inc., in the US, through Mast Industries, Inc. (US). In 1990, Mast Industries entered into a joint venture, setting up Shadowline in Katunayake. The next big leap for MAS came in 1992 when it entered into a joint-venture partnership with Triumph International (Germany) and Mast Industries to set up Bodyline in Horana, which continues to be its single largest plant for manufacturing bras in the region. Slimline, which emerged in 1993 as a joint venture with Mast Industries and Courtaulds Clothing (UK), a key sourcing arm of M&S, went on to set benchmarks for excellence in employee relations and put MAS firmly on the global map. The first overseas venture for MAS was Linea Clothing in the Maldives in 1996. Since then, the group has continued to make strategic investments overseas with operations spanning five countries. MAS initiated vertical integration within the Sri Lankan apparel industry with its joint venture with Mast Industries and Charnwood Elastics (UK) to establish Stretchline, the country's premier supplier of elastics, in 1996. Stretchline is now a globally recognised brand for narrow performance elastics with a global manufacturing base. A partnership with Noyon Dentelles of France in 2004 created South Asia's first lace manufacturing facility, Noyon Lanka. Joint-venture partnerships with Prym Intimates (Germany), Dogi International Fabric and Textprint SA (Spain) consolidated the regional supply base for intimate apparel accessories, warp-knitted fabrics and fabricprinting capabilities. This breadth in the supply chain has helped position Sri Lanka and the region as a centre of excellence for intimate apparel and sportswear. MAS Linea Aqua, a partnership concern with Speedo International, is one of the first dedicated swimwear plants in the region excelling in performance swimwear.

intimate apparel brand, Amanté, targeting the Indian market. MAS Investments overlooks a diversified portfolio of investments including the development of integrated apparel and fabric parks in the region, retail and outsourced information-technology services. The divisions are brought together under a common vision and corporate governance by MAS Corporate Solutions.

foundation of partnerships characterised by trust, the operational excellence of MAS, its strong raw-material base and an innovative and futuristic spirit make it the fastest-growing supplier of niche-market lingerie and competition sportswear in South Asia. A worldclass Sri Lankan organisation, MAS differentiates itself through its best practices to position Sri Lanka as the preferred destination for ethical apparel solutions.

Recent Developments

Encouraged by consumers' increasing demands for ethically manufactured products, MAS continues to raise the bar on internationally accepted standards of employee well-being and social accountability. MAS is building an iconic eco-manufacturing plant to support the Plan-A initiative of M&S for sustainable sourcing in the South Asian region and is implementing MOS (MAS Operating System), a lean manufacturing philosophy based on the Toyota Production System to improve efficiency and deliver faster turnaround times. This initiative has been highly successful as it melds well with the MAS culture of empowerment. Anticipating an imminent shift in the industry orientation from service to knowledge, MAS set up the MAS Institute of Management Technology to function as a centre of industry knowledge and innovation in liaison with internationally reputed academics. Having consolidated its position in Sri Lanka, MAS is now expanding to India to offer customers the benefits of a regional supply base through the development of an integrated apparel and fabric park.



The acronym comprises the initials of founding members Mahesh, Ajay and Sharad. A handshake sealed the company's first deal with Mast Industries. A formal written contract was drawn up only several years later. Ninety-five sportspersons who represented Sri Lanka in 21 different sports work at MAS (as at October 2007). Swimmers from 13 countries competing in the 2004 Olympics wore Speedo FastSkin swimsuits manufactured by Linea Aqua, the company's dedicated swimwear plant. Linea Aqua manufactures swimwear for 17 countries (including Sri Lanka) for the 2008 Olympics. A unique feature of the FastSkin swimsuit is the fabric, which increases water resistance by replicating the biological skin characteristics of the shark. MAS is one of ten companies cited for best practices among some 4,400 companies worldwide in the UN Global Compact Annual and Mackenzie Reports (2007).


MAS has been regularly featured in the international press with emphasis on its ethics and innovative people-management practices. The list includes the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, New York Times, Financial Times and World Business. Driven by a philosophy of sustainability, the company represents the balance it strives for in social and environmental spheres alongside its operational excellence in all vendor interactions, corporate promotional material and media. The group reflects a passionate and competitive spirit balanced by unmatched commitment towards employee well-being through all media. Publications of the real-life stories of its employees have received rave reviews from its business partners. The company's aggressive support of sports at the organisational and national level has helped build the MAS persona. One such instance was in 2005, when MAS signed up as official clothing sponsor for Sri Lanka Cricket in a symbolic gesture of national pride and solidarity.


MAS Intimates designs and manufactures nichemarket lingerie for high-street fashion retailers and brands, while MAS Active supplies leading brands in competition sportswear. MAS Fabrics, made up of manufacturing facilities for elastics, warp-knit fabric, lace, intimate apparel accessories and moulded bra cups, complements the Intimates and Active divisions. Through the integrated business model, MAS innovates new and exciting solutions from state-of-the-art silicon-embedding technology to organic and fair-trade products. Some innovative products include the Speedo FastSkin FS-Pro swimsuit which was first worn at the 2004 Olympics and the Nike Revolutionary Support Bra ­ the highest-selling sports bra in the USA ­ worn by international tennis players and athletes. In 2007, MAS launched its own


Brand Values

From inception, a progressive management culture that disregarded traditional employeremployee relations has been the hallmark of MAS. This culture of respect for all, fair play, honesty and integrity continue to be the company's most distinguishing traits. Built on a





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