Art of Textile to Take on the Global Fashion Industry – Assistant General Manager Sales and Marketing of Ocean Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Ruwan Mudalpath

Ruwan Mudalpath refers to himself as a successful team player who is focused and enjoys working with the Ocean Lanka team. He jogged his memory back to his school days and the school background, environment, the discipline he nurtured at Trinity College, Kandy, which is his beloved Alma Mater. He believes that his teamwork ability was developed during his school days when he was playing Cricket where he recalls some great memories as well.  He believes the early training he received in the life of being a team player, responsible person and discipline have moulded him perfectly to be able to handle the Ocean Lanka team, who to him is the ‘One Ocean Family’. Ruwan is the Assistant General Manager Sales and Marketing of Ocean Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s largest weft-knitted manufacturer and a multimillion-dollar company.

According to him, this is not the industry that was in his mind initially. He believes the influence has caught up with him from his father, who was in the textile industry, dominating the market with his natural aptitude and competence. However, Ruwan’s first step towards the corporate world was as a Field Marketing Executive at Coats Thread Lanka (Pvt) Ltd in 1994. He remembers the training, the exposure he received also and he was proud to be part of that successful Coats story as well at that time.  He reminisces about the time with humility and appreciation for the lessons and experiences he gained, which are now a strong force behind his continuous success. He also mentioned that he is grateful to a few special people in his life who have encouraged and guided him in his early years of life and also given him the vision and aspiration to the future of success.  

After 6 years in the role, he stepped into Ocean Lanka as a Deputy Sales Manager, pioneering the development of new businesses within the company. By the year 2006, his opportunities for personal and career growth emerged from within the company rather than from outside, which he nailed as a group player in Fountain set Holdings, putting his teamwork skills to excellent use. 

In the year 2008 end, he took his leave from Ocean Lanka, knowing little that he would be back 7 years later to take over his current position as the main eyes and ears behind the sales and marketing of the company. During the 7-year break between his advancements in Ocean Lanka, he joined Ocean India (Pvt) Ltd in Visakhapatnam in India which is again a Brandix group company.

Ocean Lanka (Pvt) Ltd holds a proud history, not without ups and downs, that runs back over two decades. It is a joint venture of three major industry players, Hong Kong-based Fountain Set Holdings and local apparel giants Hirdaramani Group and Brandix Lanka Limited. According to him, the potential and rapid growth of the Sri Lankan textile industry was no secret and could not be hidden away from the rest of the world. With the opportunity that is open to masterminds to make use of, the investment rapidly grew. The official commercial production of Ocean Lanka commenced in 1996. Right now, it runs with one of the best teams in the industry including Sales and marketing, Production and other Support Services in the Industry with uncanny knowledge, talent, and experience in its field. He finds ultimate joy and pleasure in having to work with such an outstanding group of people.

The dominance of Ocean Lanka is not a factor that is restricted to the motherland. It is also a regional and a global player, expanding its hegemony with every step along the way. According to Ruwan, a unique mix of variables has led to their accomplishments as a firm and a high-performing staff. Among a few are the quality, innovation, customer-centricity, and dedication of the ‘One Ocean Family’, which includes every associate involved in the process. 

Ocean Lanka has set benchmarks when it comes to rapid and innovative strategies, which enables them to adapt to ever-changing market models and practices. According to Ruwan, with such practices, the team is ready to accept challenges and deliver the solution as a part of the strategy.

With a clear and precise vision to be the leading textile manufacturer with a people-centered culture, the company is poised to become the preferred supplier of fabrics in Sri Lanka and the wider region. However, this is no simple journey of progress. Ocean Lanka is a one-stop-shop for all buyer requirements, allowing them to take the competition head-on and thereby maintaining the competitive edge. Ocean Lanka has tremendous export potential as it has gained a strong reputation worldwide for ethical manufacturing of premier fabrics trusted by the leading global fashion brands such as Victoria Secrets, PVH (CK/Tommy), Uniqlo, Nike, LBI, Gap, Amazon, Lidl, Lacoste, Thinx, Torrid, M&S, Intimissimi, Express, Hugo Boss, La Senza, Columbia Sportswear, MK, Seasalt, etc. The company continues to diversify its product portfolio beyond traditional export nations and provide sophisticated and creative solutions to customers without breaking a sweat. Under Ruwan’s guidance, the team follows a three-pillar strategy at work, which are sustainability, speed models, and the art of innovation. Beginning with only a few service options, the Ocean Lanka team dramatically improved their frontiers by deploying modern tactics and creating a learning culture instilled with a ‘growth mindset’. They aspire to be the go-to source for all fabric needs, and to be the top-of-mind provider, carving out a niche.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, necessary things prospered, but how could clothing, which isn’t exactly an essential commodity, maintain its supremacy during such a trying time? Ruwan is quick to praise his team for accomplishing the unimaginable by making production appear simple and partly managing operations from the comfort of their residences. The company restored back to full-scale operations when the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, and successfully commercialized protective face mask material to be used in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ocean family’s devotion, flexibility, resilience, courage – and above all a genuine regard for the wellbeing of others helped the tumultuous 2020 to eventually turn out splendidly, rendering it a memorable year of success and growth all while continuing to work proactively with the BOI and relevant government authorities to ensure the safety and welfare of employees, stakeholders, and society.

“Believe in yourself. Have the courage to face the challenges. Focus and positive attitude, always do the right thing and always try to do good for others”, added Ruwan, who is certainly the definition of hard work, perseverance, and giving life to the quote he stands by.

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