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Industry Talk

Huge expansion drive by MAS Holdings

Responding to the growing demand for the on-shoring and near-shoring of production by brands.

9th March 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Colombo, Sri Lanka

Clothing/​Footwear

Sri-Lanka-headquartered MAS Holdings, South Asia’s largest apparel and textile manufacturer, is significantly expanding its global footprint as it seeks to capitalise on opportunities stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic while further aligning with the needs of its customers.

The expansions further enhance the speed and agility of the company and its ability to manage costs and risks and respond to the growing demand for the on-shoring and near-shoring of production by customers.

The company has already increased its employee base by more than 18,000 people over the past year and from January 2021, its global production capacity has increased by 15%.

Agility

“This expansion further strengthens our capability to manufacture multiple products across a number of locations, which allows greater organisational agility and responsiveness, especially in times of crisis,” said MAS Holdings CEO Suren Fernando. “If one region faces challenges we can still serve our customers through a truly global ecosystem. This has provided us with a competitive edge, especially in mitigating the impact of the pandemic. In addition, this expansion also increases our contribution to high-quality employment creation and strengthening the export earnings of many developing countries.”

Factory floor at MAS Arya in Indonesia. © MAS Holdings

“This concerted global expansion strongly positions MAS to leverage preferential tariff rates and has significantly elevated organisational agility, productivity and talent growth,” added COO – Shakti Ranatunga. “It also presents new possibilities that can potentially make a transformative impact. For instance, looking ahead, we are working with identified strategic suppliers and partners to create regional supply chain ecosystems to enhance our overall operations.”

Asia and Africa

The expansion strategy is substantially increasing the company’s presence across Asia.

Indonesia is now one of the largest manufacturing locations outside Sri Lanka for MAS. The company expects to double its current footprint and production capacity there by 2024. Currently, the company employs over 10,000 associates in Indonesia. Its lace manufacturing arm, Noyon Lanka, recently established a joint venture with PT Sinar Para Taruna (Sipatatex) Indonesia, adding to raw material capacity in the country, which already include bra cups, elastics and trims.

In the Middle East, MAS recently opened its third manufacturing facility in Jordan and also has manufacturing capabilities in Amman, Madaba, and Dulayl. From these locations it is aiming to ramp up its supply of duty-free sports and performance apparel to customers in the US and EU.

Associates at MAS Intimates in Kenya. © MAS Holdings

MAS also set up a new facility within the Chittagong Export Processing Zone in Bangladesh in 2021, enhancing its ability to supply lingerie to European markets by utilising trade concessions made available under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP).

Similarly, a joint venture company, Linea Aqua, is geared to expand operations in Vietnam in 2022. The country has duty free access to many large economies via the RCEP, including Europe, Australia and many Asian countries.

India-for-India

MAS is poised to double its production capacity in India by 2024. For the world’s second-most populated nation, the company can support brands that have adopted an ‘India-for-India strategy,’ focusing on sourcing entirely for the Indian retail market from within the country itself.

As part of its expansion in Africa, MAS will double the capacity of MAS Intimates in Kenya within the next two years, capitalising on opportunities stemming from the suspension of Ethiopia from the AGOA trade programme and losing duty-free access for its exports to the US.

MAS planned expansions also cover many of its operations in Sri Lanka, with the company signing an agreement with the Sri Lankan Board of Investment to expand a number of its Sri Lanka based businesses, namely MAS Legato, Bodyline, Unichela and Trischel.

In Sri Lanka, MAS is also increasing its focus on automation and digitisation for improved productivity.

In line with all of these expansions, the company will also focus more on economic, social and environmental sustainability. Its ‘Plan for Change’ sustainability initiative ensures that local communities benefit from the growing presence in their region.

As the largest apparel tech company in South Asia, MAS Holdings is among the most recognised design-to-delivery solution providers in apparel and textile manufacturing. Home to a community of over 115,000 people, its manufacturing plants span 15 countries, with established design locations placed in key style centres across the world.

www.masholdings.com

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