Service Industries and Almar Group enter footwear manufacturing joint venture

26 October 2015 02:46 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Pakistan’s Service Industries and Sri Lanka’s Almar Group announced a Joint Venture for the manufacture and export of high end shoes. 
The newly built facility, located in the Export Promotion Zone in Katunayake will commence operations in November 2015. The Joint Venture (JV) agreement was signed by Service Industries’ Chief Executive Officer, Omar Saeed and Almar Group’s Joint Managing Director, Asanga Weerasinghe.
 The Joint Venture, Service Shoes Lanka (Private) Limited, will initially develop, manufacture and export shoes to top brands in the UK, with plans to expand the facility to employ up to 500 people with an export target of US$ 10 million of leather shoes, by 2018. The new operation combines the resources and expertise of one of Pakistan’s largest industrial organisations, with core businesses in footwear, retail, tyre and auto parts, and the experience of the established Sri Lankan family business that holds a diverse portfolio of businesses in international trade, manufacturing and renewable energy. 
Service Group is one of Pakistan’s most well-known industrial conglomerates.  The group employs 9,000 people and has an annual revenue of $200 million.  The Group’s main businesses are footwear, retailing, tyre and auto parts.  The footwear division, which manages one of South East Asia’s largest manufacturing facilities in Pakistan, is expanding its regional manufacturing base.   
Speaking on the occasion, CEO of Service Group, Omar Saeed said, “Sri Lanka was chosen as our first foreign destination for a Service factory, mainly because of skilled workforce, world-class logistics and foreign investor-friendly policies.” 
“Service and Almar have a history of working together and this venture represents each organisation’s commitment to ensuring that Service Lanka is a resounding success,” explained Amanda Weerasinghe, Joint Managing Director of Almar Group.  Capitalizing on the strong reputation both Companies have built over the years, Service Shoes Lanka will take bold steps in positioning Sri Lanka as a manufacturing destination for high end European and US brands.   Almar Group is a diversified Sri Lankan group of businesses established by Ally Weerasinghe in 1966. A family company that began with rubber as the core business has since diversified into Tea, Granite, Plastics, Packaging, and Renewable Energy amongst others.  The decision to embark on this venture with Service Shoes was spurred by the Almar Group’s efforts to launch into high value consumer products. Joining hands with the renowned Service Industries is an opportunity that will vastly benefit the Almar Group as well as highlight Sri Lankan manufacturing capabilities. Asanga Weerasinghe and Amanda Weerasinghe are Joint Managing Directors of the Group. 
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