ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Expolanka Holdings is diversifying its core logistics business into moving technology products, in addition to its garments shipments and also aiming to expand warehousing overseas, chief executive Hanif Yusoof said.
“We are very strong worldwide in fashion and in fact we are now listed among the top 30 air freight companies in the world,” he told economynext.com.
“But now we are exploring other options,” he said, soon after ringing the opening bell to start trading on the Colombo stock exchange, to mark the company’s inclusion in the S&P SL 20 index.
“We are happy to have always been a company which has had good spirit and boldness,” Yusoof said.
“Expolanka is now diversifying from its traditional portfolio of garments to moving tech products.”
Currently, the firm, now owned by Japan’s SG Holdings, are shipping tech equipment like Fitbit activity and fitness trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices, HP computers and Electrolux home appliances.
Yusoof also is excited about the transformation of the company’s warehousing operations and is looking forward to take the model into international markets.
Expolanka has warehouses in Taiwan, USA and India. Company officials said that they are looking to increase warehouse space in India.
The company’s air freight business is doing better than ocean freight in sales and profit, Yusoof said.
“Regarding the challenges we face in ocean freight, the biggest is the fact that the ships are larger and a bit slow to get to the destination.”
“However, with Sri Lanka’s ports being developed, it is going to be a kind of a hub for us in order to get the big ships to come in.”
Yusoof said Expolanka is currently looking at Central America and the Caribbean as their next step in expanding.
“We are also focusing on African countries like South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar and Ethiopia.”
Africa is still a growing market and will take some years to reach its full potential.
At the moment their biggest markets are the Vietnam and South East Asian markets.
Recently, Expolanka took over the Malaysian business of its parent company, Japan’s SG Holdings.
“Malaysia is a developed country, therefore it takes a little longer than other markets but we are digging our heels in quite strongly,” Yusoof said.
(Colombo, 28 June, 2019)