“All of Sri Lanka” in new turnaround

Published in Economy & Commerce
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (right) with DG/CEO of Laksala Ali Ahlam Nawaz (left). Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (right) with DG/CEO of Laksala Ali Ahlam Nawaz (left).

Sri Lanka’s leading national market facilitator for its historic arts and crafts has turned around with surging profits in hand.

“Laksala’s return to profits shows that high quality Sri Lankan SME creations have local and international demand” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 30 March in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was responding to latest Laksala financials reported to him by Director General/CEO of Laksala Ali Ahlam Nawaz.

“Our efforts to bring Laksala to profit levels are successful” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “Laksala supports the local arts and crafts sector by directly purchasing from them. We are now able to show that supporting local arts and crafts sector is worthwhile and it is more than handing out subsidiaries to them. They are showing results. Laksala’s return to profits also shows that high quality Sri Lankan SME creations have local and international demand. We are looking for bigger sales in Avurudhu season.”

According to CEO Ali, Laksala which incurred a loss of Rs. 21 Million, reports a net profit of Rs. 4 Million in 2016.  “Supplier payments”, Laksala’s main channel of direct support to the arts and crafts sector of the country, rose by a huge 33% in 2016 to Rs. 74 Million, from 2015’s Rs. 223 Million. As a result of management initiatives on cost cutting and stringent supply chain management, Laksala also managed to reduce expenses by Rs. 30 Million in 2016 in comparison to 2015. Laksala’s rural purchases in 2016 increased by 9% to Rs.30 Million in comparison to 2015. 

“Laksala clinched the Industrial Excellence Award for 2016, awarded by the Sri Lanka Chamber of Small & Medium Industries (SLCSMI). Laksala joined hands with other truly Sri Lankan brands. Under the guidance of the Minister  Bathiudeen, launching of new Laksala showrooms in “Kekirawa” and “Mirissa” and also the establishment of a new Purchasing Center in the Northern Province are on the cards” said CEO Ali.

The only state owned gift and souvenir market channel aligning with “All of Sri Lanka”, was established under the National Crafts Council and Allied Institutions Act of 1982, functions under Minister Bathiudeen. Today Laksala operates 12 showrooms island wide. The Colombo 7 showroom (Racecourse Promenade) and Katubedda have now been transformed to offer a wider range of exclusive Sri Lankan handloom products for local and foreign visitors with competitive price points.