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DateLine Wednesday, 4 February 2009

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Innovative thinking vital to sustain business

Innovative thinking is vital to sustain business under the prevailing global crisis, according to experts.

This view was also shared by a young entrepreneur with wide experience in the field.


Kamal Dole

The owner of Celcius Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. Kamal Dole whose company manufactures a range of comfortable bedding products, started concentrating more on the local market which has helped him to sustain the business.

Dole told Daily News Biz Buds that a good night’s sleep is invaluble for all human beings after tiresome day’s work. A comfortable set of bedding which everybody would like to have, plays a key role here. Therefore, the local demand for Celcius products continues to increase.

Early education

The youngest in a family of three sisters in Kandy, Dole’s mother was a teacher and his father, a cricket umpire. He had his early education at Kingswood College, Kandy. After his A/L examination he obtained higher qualifications in CIMA UK.

He joined a leading company in the apparel sector as a Management Trainee which had a lucrative export business in the good old days. He gained nine years’ experience in three different companies in the industry and finally became the General Manager in one of the subsidiary companies of Lanka Eqities which manufactured paddings for warm clothes. As a result of the economic downturn the management decided to close this company.

The innovative thinking of Dole then began to develop and the idea of manufacturing bedding products which is a basic need for everybody came to his mind. Celcius Solutions (Pvt) Ltd emerged in 2007 as a result. He was able to get certain machinery and equipment from the company he worked and absorbed four employees as well. The name Celcius was given as it originally manufactured paddings which kept people warm and hence the name Celcius.

His initial investment was around Rs. 10 Million including a loan. The company was set up in a small three-bedroom house in Biyagama. The business went on well and soon he found that the place was not sufficient to expand. Then he rented out the present location in Seeduwa and built a 15,000 sq ft factory.

Within a short period he was able to provide employment to another hundred people directly and indirectly. He had a good demand in the export market at the inception but he never ignored the local market which had a reasonable demand. “ I am very happy about my decision today because it is the local market that keeps my company sustainable inspite of the global crisis, he said.

Unique products

The Celcius product range includes high quality, bacteria free pillows, cushions, duvets, bed linen, matress protectors, performance fabrics and Geotextiles. A range of luxury and hygenic baby products and eco friendly bags sold in Cargills were also innovative introductions of Celcius. Dole hopes to introduce another unique and exclusive product shortly. The company also undertakes orders for tailor-made products.


Some ‘celcius’ products

“All my products are based on highly specialised expertise coupled with the latest innovations in the field which provide health benefits while ensuring the user’s comfort, he said.

Asked about the barriers he had faced up to now, he said the banks did not like to lend us at the inception. We would have done better if we had more capital to increase the capacity.

Future plans

However, this business was just an idea which turned in to a plan and was adopted to suit the current situation and together with my partners stuck to it,” he said. Asked about his future plans, he said,” We have a very good potential to grow in the Asian region and my aim is to become a leader in the region with more unique products.

But the time is now crucial so we concentrate on training and are looking at new business opportunities while doing research and development during this period.

I have employed a highly qualified person from the Moratuwa University as the Head of Rand D. I hope by the time the global market improves we will catch up,” he said.

We will need the support of the relevant authorities such as Chambers of Commerce and Export Development Board to get some exposure in the international market.


Economic crunch will force Aussie budget into deficit -Treasurer

Plunging demand for mining resources amid the global economic crisis will force Australia’s once-robust budget surplus into deficit, Treasurer Wayne Swan admitted for the first time Sunday.

“Company taxation could be down as much as 50 billion dollars over four years as a consequence of the global recession,” Swan said.

“Of course what that means is — because of the unwinding of China, the global recession — it will be inevitable that Australia has a temporary budget deficit,” he told Channel Nine television.

Demand in China and other Asian countries for Australian resources such as coal and iron ore has driven the economy for years, but exports have been hit hard by fading growth in major trading partners. The surplus of 21.7 billion dollars (14 billion US) forecast in May’s budget was slashed in November by three-quarters to 5.4 billion as the government warned the crisis would cut tax receipts, growth and jobs.

But the acknowledgement that even that will disappear follows Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement Saturday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had predicted the country could go into recession this year.

The government is widely expected to announce further measures to stimulate the economy after a 10.4 billion dollar pump-priming exercise in December aimed at getting consumers to spend.

Swan would not be drawn on speculation that the measures will include tax cuts.

AFP

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