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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top apparel exporter supports uni research

Daily Mirror 11/07/2011

The Brandix Group has come forward to support the University of Moratuwa with a research grant, becoming the first corporate entity to contribute to an intensified drive by the University to establish a research-oriented culture as a key to achieving world class academic excellence.

Valued at Rs. 5 million, the grant presented recently to the University by Brandix will supplement the Senate Research Fund of the University, which finances PhD related research. It will be directed to the University’s Faculty of Engineering.

The research grant will be used to conduct research on chosen areas of significance to the country’s top apparel exporter, with focus on aspects such as improvement of productivity and efficiency and minimisation of waste in production processes.

Ishan Dantanarayana, Chief People Officer (CPO) of the Brandix Group presented the sponsorship cheque to Professor Malik Ranasinghe, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa.

“Lack of funds for research especially with respect to PhDs in Sri Lanka has led to the brain drain, with many graduates leaving the country for foreign universities for post-graduate studies,” Professor Malik Ranasinghe said. “Graduates of the University of Moratuwa are comparable with those produced by the best universities in the world, but they are constrained by lack of funds to conduct research. Therefore this contribution by Brandix is both timely and vital.”

“Establishing a research-oriented and research-conducive culture is essential to bringing our universities to the forefront globally,” he said. “This cannot be achieved through high academic standards alone.”

“Apart from providing an opportunity for graduates of the University to further their post-graduate studies, this grant also has the potential to generate nationally-relevant findings that could contribute to the development of the apparel industry,” Mr. Dantanarayana said. “Brandix has consistently promoted academic excellence in the country and now steps have been taken to streamline these initiatives and enhance their impact across all universities.”

Professor N. D. Gunawardena - Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor U. G. A. Puswewala - Dean Faculty of Engineering, Mr. E. M. R. L. Munaweera - Bursar of the University of Moratuwa, Ms. Ashanthi Fernando, Head - Group HR Operations of Brandix Lanka and Mr. K. P. Thayakaran, Chief Executive Officer of Brandix Hangers Ltd. were the other dignitaries present at the presentation of the sponsorship cheque.
The grant by Brandix covers expenses related to hiring technical support. A key academic appointed by the University will head the research accompanied by a PhD student from the University. Research is expected to commence within three months. Similar research projects undertaken by the University of Moratuwa have delivered significant results.

In another recent initiative to support academic excellence, Brandix entered into an agreement to annually award a Gold Medal to the best student in the BSc. Operations and Technology Management (Special) degree programme of the Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce (FMSC) of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

The Brandix Group is supported by 34 manufacturing locations island-wide, in addition to other facilities in the South Asian region, and strategically located international sourcing offices globally. The Group provides direct employment to over 40,000 associates in total, while providing indirect employment to an equivalent number.

The pioneer of the concept of ‘total solutions’ in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector, Brandix is a preferred solutions provider to some of the world’s leading apparel brands, including Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Gap, Banana Republic, Marks & Spencer, Lands’ End, Tommy Hilfiger, Hanes, Express, H&M, Old Navy, Intimissimi and Tesco. The Group specializes in casual bottoms, underwear, lounge and sleepwear, bras, textiles, knitted and woven fabrics, sewing and embroidery thread, accessories and hangers, and also offers wet processing, finishing and fabric printing.