Multiplying businesses through machine-building
ENTREPRENEUR WITH A HEART: His aim is to provide the opportunity for
others to start their own businesses while earning a living. The
Proprietor, Asoka Industries and Hardware, Nihal Asoka Egodage,
manufactures of several machines using the resources in Sri Lanka.
"I manufacture machines and others can use them to start their own
business. They can find employment through this. My business helps the
birth of several new businesses," he said.
Nihal Asoka Egodage
"I established the first factory in Karamatiya, Hambantota in 1987.
First we were not manufacturing machines but were involved in welding
and manufacturing items for contractors. Then I ventured into
manufacturing machines. I started in a small way.
In 1994 I shifted the factory to Kirama. I started the factory on my
own," he explained.
Egodage manufactures cake mixers, blenders, yogurt incubators,
driers, oil expellers, flour mixers, fish smokers, bottle sealers,
coconut blenders and dough sheeting machines at his factory.
There are twelve experienced and talented workers under him. "I teach
them. The assistance I get from my family and my staff has paved the way
to success. The business started with the guidance of my father. He used
to repair the machines at a tea factory.
He assisted me in my business. After completing my studies I worked
at a machine-manufacturing factory for three years. With that experience
and the guidance of my father, I was able to start off my own business,"
Some machines produced with local materials.
"There is no specific time period to manufacture the machines. We
manufacture around two oil expellers and two gingerly roll machines for
a month. Meanwhile, we take other orders and manufacture machines
according to the needs of the customers," he added.
He has customers islandwide and provides his service to anyone in
need. "There is a good market for the machines. Our business is not
restricted only to Hambatota. We get orders from all over the island.
We frequently get orders from the Industrial Development Board and
Ambilipitiya Cathyreech food processing company. I am a member of the
Hambantota Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The chamber directs
customers to me. The Business for Peace Alliance also assists me in my
business," he said.
Egodage recalls the invention of the oil expeller as his greatest
achievement. "I worked hard to invent this machine and my greatest
victory was inventing the oil expeller.
I got the idea in 1992. I tried to invent it with my father's help
but it was not successful. In 1995, I tried again and it was successful.
I invented the first oil-expelling machine in Sri Lanka. There were no
imported oil expellers too. I got the opportunity to export the oil
expeller to America in 2002. The yogurt incubator, which we manufacture,
was also exported to California," he said.
"We use local iron to manufacture the machines. In 2005, I won the
gold award for the best entrepreneur. At present I have the knowledge to
manufacture 13 machines including two of my own inventions. My business
has expanded and I own vehicles and buildings of my own. I hope to
improve my business further and serve the country," he said.