Revival of industries, an uphill task - Industry experts | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

Revival of industries, an uphill task - Industry experts

16 January, 2022
Hasitha Premaratne
Hasitha Premaratne

Worker absenteeism, rising logistics and raw material costs and demand for higher wages by workers have stifled revival of industries that were rocked by the global pandemic for nearly two years.

Industry experts believe bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels would take a considerable time given the scale of the impact of the health crisis.

According to them, worker absenteeism is still at around 10-15 percent, raw material cost has risen by over 100 percent and logistics cost by around 500 percent making a come-back an uphill task. Construction sector personnel said last week that construction costs had gone up by around 30-40 percent making the sector unsustainable.

According to the Construction Chamber, the apex body representing the sector, bouncing back to pre pandemic levels would be a daunting task to the sector.

The import ban on non essential goods had a strain on most industries relying on raw materials for value added exports.

The deepening foreign exchange crisis forced law-makers to impose an indefinite ban last year causing businesses, especially smaller ones to battle for survival.

Imports ranging from motor vehicles, air-conditioners to beer, clothing items and cosmetics have been banned.

Group Finance Director and Managing Director Brandix India, Hasitha Premaratne said that profit margins of the company have dipped despite the strong order book and sales due to the rising production costs.

“Our worker absenteeism is still around 8-13 percent and at industry level raw material costs such as cotton had shot up by around 100 percent triggered by the US ban on Chinese cotton and logistics expenses have risen by around 500 percent affecting margins,” Premaratne said.

The global pandemic resulted in all industries incurring additional costs on conducting PCR tests, provision of Personal Protective Equipment and transportation of workers to and from the workplace.

However, the recovery in the West provided a sigh of relief to local export-based industries last year.

Brandix got back to its regular orders and we are confident of bouncing back quickly to pre pandemic levels, Premaratne said, hoping this year would  be a better year for industries.

Brandix has been adding capacity at its local, Indian and Bangladesh operations and plans to expand its Haiti operations with an additional  work force of around 800.

The plant employees around 700 workers.

The company plans to add another 5,000 workers to its global  workforce of around 65,000 employees within around one and half years.

The apparel manufacturer continued its annual Ran Daru Thilina program for the sixth consecutive year, providing 8,354 children of Brandix Associates with school bags and stationery items for the new school year among a host of its other CSR projects to uplift the living conditions of marginalised segments of society.