MAS and Nike strengthen their  partnership by investing in Kilinochchi

MAS Holdings has been an integral part of Sri Lanka’s history for more than 25 years through employment generation and its extensive community-based projects. With the conclusion of the 30-year war, MAS Holdings has taken the lead to create job opportunities and provide aspirations to youth in the North. With this in mind MAS Holdings chose to invest in Kilinochchi, a long deprived community on account of the conflict.

Kilinochchi, a war-ravaged town, is located in the heart of the Northern Province with a floating population of 117,000 many of whom were displaced in the conflict. These displaced families underwent severe trauma through the loss of family members and unemployment. Even though the conflict ended, their current status has been a severe impediment to normalize their lives. This has been the main challenge for nation-building in areas that suffered prolonged deprivation due to the war. As such the investment by MAS will provide a conduit for assisting the youth of Kilinochchi to access the post-war economic boom of Sri Lanka. This will be yet another important milestone in MAS Holdings’ legacy in Sri Lanka.

The investment in Kilinochchi involves three facilities, an apparel manufacturing facility, a training centre, and a 5-acre residential complex for the employees. This investment is jointly funded by USAID grant and MAS. The MAS Director Operations involved in the Kilinochchi project is Ivan Brown.

The 14 acre development site of MAS ACTIVE’s apparel manufacturing facility in Kilinochchi is located in Arivigall Nagar – Iranamadu which is 6km South of Kilinochchi town. The construction will occur over two phases, with Phase 1 involving the construction of a manufacturing facility which will provide gainful employment to more than a thousand direct employees. Construction will commence in March 2012, with completion targeted to October 2012. In line with MAS environmental sustainability practices the apparel facility will be a Lean and Green facility. The opening of this facility in Kilinochchi will improve the livelihoods of the direct employees, their immediate families and third party contractors within the community.

In March 2012, MAS ACTIVE will also open a training academy in the Kilinochchi town centre. This facility will have the capacity to train 100 prospective employees. The trained individuals would receive in-depth knowledge of apparel manufacturing processes and safety procedures. The recipients of this extensive training would be inducted to the apparel manufacturing facility.

MAS ACTIVE is a Division of MAS Holdings, the largest apparel group in Asia. In addition, MAS ACTIVE is the fastest growing supplier of performance wear, competition sportswear and casual sportswear in Asia. They are a strategic partner to Nike, also serving global brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Columbia Sportswear, Tezenis and Jockey. They clothe Olympians with high performance apparel, aiding them to defy boundaries through technology. The apparel manufacturing facility of MAS ACTIVE will primarily service sports-wear under the leading international brand Nike. In addition, this investment will strengthen the existing partnership between MAS holdings and Nike.

At MAS we believe it is important to empower all our employees, and we believe our involvement in communities across Sri Lanka has made a positive change to communities through our employment activities and our multi-faceted community based activities. Our impact in Kilinochchi will be a positive example of MAS’ economic and social contribution to rebuilding post-war Sri Lanka.

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