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Coir marvels for the world market

HIS innovative thinking gives birth to thousands of coir items. Managing Director, Thisara Coir Industries and Thisara Enterprises, J.V. Bandula Gunawardana has captured the local and the international markets with his products.

Thisara Coir Industries established in 1992, is situated at Mawathagama, Kurunegala, 85 kilometres away from Colombo.

“I am living in the coconut triangle. It is easy to find raw material for the industry. At the beginning no body assisted me. There was a big competition. I had to face a lot of problems. I did not give up. My dedication and interest in this industry brought success,” Gunawardana said.

“Coir industry brings in lot of foreign exchange. At present there is less competition for me because of the standard of our product. I pay a lot of attention on the quality of the product,” he said.

Starting the factory with three workers today Gunawardana employs 50 workers.


Some of the products.

“We produce a range of coir-based products using natural coir fibre. Sri Lanka produces the world’s best fibre and is one of the main suppliers of raw coir and coir based products to the world market,” he said.

“We manufacture twin twisted fibre with various diameters according to the buyer’s requirement. Our monthly production capacity is 42,000 metric tons. We also produce UK type coir twin ball and Korea type coir twin,” he added.

Gunawardana noted that twin is used for various agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture purposes such as coir bag, geo-textile, coir net, for wineyards and as a winter protection for the bank of terraces. “It is exported to USA, UK and Korea.

Our products are high in quality. We produce various types of quality yarn especially for the local market

These are used in various applications in the agricultural, fishery and industrial fields. They come in length of 50 feet, diameters 15mm, 20mm and 25mm,” he said.

“High quality brooms and ekel brooms are produced on a monthly capacity of 10,000 units from each type. We also supply high quality bristle fibre in clean, combed hackled bundled, cut and coloured fibre. Our monthly capacity is 15 to 20 metric tons. We also produce coir pots in various sizes for the export market. This is widely used in green houses in Europe, Japan and Korea,” he explained.

Gunawardana has taken thirteen awards including Sri Lankan Best Entrepreneur (FCCISL) 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, Provincial Gold Award, CNCI Achiever of Industrial Excellence and Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation (SUNFO) Jeewanashuri award.

‘At present I can’t supply the demand. The production is not sufficient. I hope to develop and expand my business in the future, he said.

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