-- Top apparel exporter becomes first corporate entity to formalise cooperation agreement with the university --
Top apparel exporter Brandix will support academic excellence and the development of professional and soft skills of the undergraduates of the University of Kelaniya, in a new partnership forged recently.
With this partnership, Brandix becomes the first private sector entity to enter into a formal collaboration with the University of Kelaniya. The Group has already established similar partnerships with several prominent universities.
The latest agreement envisages the presentation of six 'Brandix Gold Medal Awards' to batch-topping undergraduates of six departments at the annual convocation of the University of Kelaniya and the provision of permanent employment, training and internships to the university's undergraduates at all of the Group's Strategic Business Units (SBUs) in Sri Lanka.
In addition, the agreement contains provisions enabling the university to further the knowledge of its undergraduates with the assistance of Brandix by inviting the Group's leadership team for guest lectures, arranging for tours of Brandix's manufacturing facilities and requesting the Group's feedback on the relevance of course content of degree programmes to industry.
Reciprocally, by organising interviews with its undergraduates, the university will assist Brandix in fulfilling the Group's needs for future leaders with strong academic backgrounds. Accordingly, a 'Brandix Career Day' has been designated, at which the Group can exclusively interview undergraduates of the university.
Speaking at the occasion, Professor Sarath Amunugama, Vice Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya said: "Apart from providing the necessary academic knowledge it is also the responsibility of universities to develop the skills of students in order to enable industry to absorb them. In order to fulfil this responsibility, collaborations of this nature are required and it is commendable that Brandix is taking the initiative in this regard." He added that the university was keen to find placements for its undergraduates to gain professional experience, a requirement for the successful completion of several courses. The agreement with Brandix would help significantly in this regard.
"This mutually beneficial agreement represents an important investment in future leaders with potential, especially at a time Brandix is focusing on the development of young professionals specialising in key areas," Ishan Dantanarayana, Chief People Officer (CPO) of the Brandix Group said. "Strengthening collaborations with the universities has the potential to substantially assist the growth of the apparel industry while simultaneously supporting university undergraduates and the academia to further engage in arriving at 'win-win' solutions for both parties to add value. Brandix is committed to play a key role in facilitating this process."
In discussions held at the ceremony to formalise the collaboration, it was also noted by high ranking officials of the university that the University of Kelaniya has developed facilities and substantial expertise in research and development as part of its EDCON programme and that these have already been leveraged by several organisations. The University of Kelaniya is also capable of developing software at a much lesser cost than that charged by businesses in the sector, these university officials said.
It was noted that the signing of an Executive Agreement would pave the way for Brandix to access these resources, and to conduct soft skills development programmes for the students of the University of Kelaniya in the form of a road show.
The batch topping students who will receive 'Brandix Gold Medal Awards' will be from the Departments of Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, Commerce and Financial Management, Accountancy, Industrial Management and Statistics & Computer Science of the University of Kelaniya.
Those who played a key role in the formulation of the agreement were Professor Sarath Amunugama - Vice Chancellor and Dr. M. P. Deeyamulla - Director, Career Guidance Unit on behalf of the University of Kelaniya and Ishan Dantanarayana, Group CPO and Ashanthi Fernando, Head - Group HR Operations, on behalf of Brandix; all of whom were present at the signing of the agreement, along with Professor Sarath Kulathunga - Dean, Faculty of Science and Dr. (Mrs) Chitra Ranjani - Dean, Faculty of Commerce & Management Studies of the University of Kelaniya.
Even prior to the signing of the agreement, Brandix has been affiliated with the University of Kelaniya and has taken part in its 'Career Fair' since the programme's inception five years ago. The Group has recruited a substantial number of undergraduates of the university via this annual initiative.
The Brandix Group is supported by 38 manufacturing locations in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. The Group provides direct employment to over 40,000 associates in total, while providing indirect employment to an equivalent number. The Group's foray into India in the form of Brandix India Apparel City - a 1,000 acre self-sufficient industrial park - is based on the 'Fibre to Store' concept and uses the advantages of scale and strong business fundamentals to leverage global expertise to offer 'total solutions' within the site - a first of its kind in South Asia and perhaps in the world.
The pioneer of the concept of 'total solutions' in Sri Lanka's apparel sector, Brandix is a preferred solutions provider to some of the world's leading apparel brands, including Victoria's Secret, PINK, Gap, Banana Republic, Marks & Spencer, Lands' End, Tommy Hilfiger, Hanes, Express, H&M, Old Navy, Intimissimi and Tesco.