Thursday, August 30, 2007

Damro

We wanted to buy some furniture last weekend and we did an internet search and found a couple of big places at the same location and it was the Northland Home Centre in Preston. When we went to the place, we found more shops than expected and there were at least 10 big furniture shops. And guess what? There was a Damro shop as well! For those who don't know Damro, it is a renowned Sri Lankan furniture brand, considered as the biggest furniture manufacturer in South Asia and its furniture are exported all around the world and they have branches in many countries. The quality of the stuff was as good as the rest of the shops (other famous brands available here) or even better. They seem to be having a lot of sales and crowds kept coming into the store. Felt good to see a Sri Lankan brand (other than tea and garments!) doing that well in an overseas country.

Damro Australia: http://www.damro.com.au

Monday, August 27, 2007

On a personal note,

I am back after a vacation in Sri Lanka! Well, it’s more than a month since we came back, but couldn’t blog about it due to being too busy. Vacation was great and wonderful, so happy to be able to spend some time with family and friends after some time. We visited so many places. I did a rough count, by the end of the tour, we had visited 21 homes! And so many people visited us and met some people at outside places like restaurants.

Our vacation was not only a break from everything but a logical break in between two phases. Sasani had to transfer her PhD studies to Swinburne University in Melbourne, so we had planned to move to Melbourne from Adelaide after the vacation. Parallel to this, as I hinted before, I was looking for a move as well and upon relocation, I started to work for Accenture in Melbourne as a Consultant. I am happy to be able to move to a role of Consultant and in a company of the calibre of Accenture. Accenture is a Fortune500 company, has branches in 49 countries with a staff of over 150,000 people, serves the best companies in the world, is one of the strongest brand names in the world and is one of the best companies in the world to work for. I am in the process of settling in such a huge organization. This definitely is a hard earned milestone in my career. My project is for Telstra, the leader in Telecommunications in Australia. This is my second experience with a client of that calibre as I have served British Telecom before in the UK. I am located onsite at a Telstra site in Melbourne.

Sasani is settling in well with her studies, her studies are in Optical Fibres, an exiting and high potential area in the domain of telecommunications. Her father is the owner of a successful telecom company in Sri Lanka (Entel) and it’s kind of interesting and fateful that both of us are ultimately in the same industry.

We just settled in at a permanent place in Melbourne, so were busy with all the arrangement and move and stuff. It was just hectic over the past couple of weeks. However, now we are kind of all set and good to live the normal life. It will take a couple of days to fix the broadband internet, but after that, its just good as it can be!

I just passed my birthday as well!!

Oh by the way, I have been continuously helping out people (even while I was on vacation!) on their career related matters and seems to be that that there are many people accepting my open and free offer. Nice to hear from people from different countries as well (No, I won’t disclose more info, as safeguarding their privacy is very important for me!).

For the regular readers, thanks for continuously coming here, even though I didn’t write that much, but from here onwards, hopefully, I will try to write more often. Well, at lease one post a week wouldn’t be that bad…..but it’s just a hope.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sri Lankan Denims - Heading on Yahoo News!

AVISSAWELLA, Sri Lanka (AFP) - The denims look tattered and frayed, but shoppers in Europe and the United States are prepared to pay good money for "distressed" jeans and Sri Lanka is cashing in.

In the industrial town of Avissawella east of the capital Colombo, it takes workers around 13 minutes to cut and sew basic five-pocket denims.They then spend another four days torturing the pants by dying, bleaching, and sandpapering them to get a "distressed" look. "Each garment is dyed or dipped around 16 and sometimes as many as 30 times to achieve the proper torn, tattered look," explains Indrajith Kumarasiri, chief executive of Sri Lanka's Brandix Denim.

"We earn more money by making denims look dirty and torn, the classic clean look doesn't bring us much," Kumarasiri told AFP during a visit to the 10-million dollar plant, which can make over three million pairs of jeans a year.

Basic denim jeans cost around six dollars to make, but the shabbier "premium" ones cost twice as much. "In many ways, premium denims are replacing the little black dress as the wear-anywhere fashion staple," he said.

Overseas buyers such as Levis, Gap and Pierre Cardin are now regular buyers of premium jeans from Sri Lanka where they can be made for as little as 12 dollars a pair, and often sell for over 100 dollars. Buyers have been gradually shifting production out of Europe to low-cost countries such as Sri Lanka, explains Ajith Dias, chairman of the Sri Lanka Joint Apparel Association Forum. "Retaining the business and growing the order book is tough with India and China competing with us on price and quicker lead times," Dias said.

Sri Lanka's three-billion dollar garment industry accounts for more than half its annual seven billion dollars of export earnings, and it provides jobs for nearly one million people. Nearly all the garments are shipped to the United States and the European Union. But Dias said casual wear, including jeans, are they key to Sri Lanka's success in the price-sensitive global apparel market, and now account for 16 percent of total garment export earnings. "We have invested millions to install high-tech plants, develop a sound raw material base and design garments, to ensure we remain competitive, by doing everything from fabric to retail hangers," Dias said.

Brandix, Sri Lanka's biggest exporter with annual sales in excess of 320 million dollars, and MAS Holdings, are also expanding overseas.

In an attempt to get an advantage over the competition, Sri Lanka is trying to position itself as an ethical manufacturer in the hope of getting greater access to the US and European markets at lower duty rates. "We have high labour standards. We don't employ child labour, we provide rural employment and we empower women. There are no anti-dumping cases against us on trading practices," said Suresh Mirchandani, chief executive of Favourite Garments.
While eco-friendly and ethically-made clothes are becoming increasingly fashionable, their manufacture provides challenges for Sri Lanka.

Big-name brands are now adding organic-cotton clothes to their collection. "The joke is that one day we'll have a shirt we can eat," said Prasanna Hettiarachchi, general manager of MAS Holdings.

He said Levis recently launched eco-jeans using organic cotton, natural dyes, a coconut shell button on the waist band and a price tag made of recycled paper printed with environmentally friendly soy ink. The price tag is a cool 250 dollars.

"We are also working on an eco garment," said Brandix Denim's Kumarasiri.
And when asked what made a perfect pair of jeans, he had a quick answer.
"Same as always. It comes down to how your behind looks when you wear them," grins Kumarasiri.

"No matter how good the wash, the detail or the label, if it doesn't look good on your behind, it won't sell."

Source : http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070812/wl_sthasia_afp/srilankaeconomygarments_070812080616

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New world's tallest man

KIEV, Ukraine - A Ukrainian man is the tallest person in the world at 8 feet 5 inches, overshadowing a Chinese man who previously held the title, Guinness World Records said Wednesday.
Leonid Stadnik, a 37-year-old former veterinarian, is 8 inches taller than the former titleholder, China's Bao Xishun, who measured 7 feet 9 inches, Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza said in London.
Stadnik's growth spurt started at age 14 after a brain operation apparently stimulated his pituitary gland, which produces the human growth hormone.
He lives with his mother, Halyna, in northwestern Ukraine, taking care of the family's house and garden.
According to Guiness, the tallest man in medical history was Illinois native Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was 8 feet 11 inches and died in 1940 at the age of 22.

Source : Yahoo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070808/ap_on_re_eu/ukraine_tallest_man_2)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Best Global Brands 2007

Visit here to see the Best Global Brands of 2007.

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/07/top_brands/index_01.htm

This is an annual survey done by the BusinessWeek.

Some of the IT/Computer related brands in the list are given below.

Microsoft-2
IBM - 3
Intel - 5
Cisco - 18
Google - 24
Dell - 25
Oracle - 29
SAP - 34
Apple - 39
Accenture 49
Yahoo - 55

Best Corporate Career Websites

Top Employer Web Benchmark has conducted a survey to find the Best Corporate Career Websites. First 5 are as follows.

1. Deutsche Bank 2. Microsoft 3. BCG 4. Merrill Lynch 5. Accenture

Source and Full List at : Link