Sri Lanka’s McLarens Holdings eyes automobile component manufacture

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s McLarens Holdings, a shipping sector player that has started an advanced engineering and productivity enhancement business is now planning to make automobile components, group chairman, Rohan De Silva said.

McLarens is already making engineering and design related components, to boost productivity in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry.

“We are currently working closely with the apparel sector, with discussions already in place with three potential partners to expand into automobile components manufacturing,” De Silva told EconomyNext.

The group’s innovations unit has developed technology that could almost doubling output in some factory machinery, he said, helping bring down costs.

McLarens’ Innovations Officer Ashan Amarasinghe, a specialist in advanced manufacturing, has been working with a team of engineers to boost productivity in factory machinery.

“We hired engineers and started innovating machinery for local industry by improving their current manufacturing capacity,” De Silva said.

“And we found that we could outsource these products to buyers overseas and locally.”

Top apparel groups which have factories in Sri Lanka and overseas have already ordered over 100 machines, he said.

In Sri Lanka, electricity was the biggest cost faced by manufacturers followed by labour, De Silva said.

McLarens is eyeing other industrial sectors and is ready to make the required investments.

“Since it is the largest industry in Sri Lanka, we have started off with the apparel sector but are open to look at other industries as well, going forward,” De Silva said.

“The budget for 2020 is a 100 million rupees. If confirmations from other high-end sectors like railway and aviation come in, then it will call for a bigger investment from our end.”

(Colombo/Dec16/2019)