Srilankan Studies

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THE COMPETITIVENESS PROGRAM (TCP)
 
 

A Sri Lankan Case Study of Firm-Level
Competitiveness
Hemas Holdings Limited
Shehara de Silva & Christine Dias Bandaranaike
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                      
 
 
                                                                                                    SUBMITTED TO                                                                                                      USAID/Colombo   

                                                                                                    IN RESPONSE TO          PCE‐I‐0098‐00016‐00 Task Order No. 841 

 
       SUBMITTED BY 
       Nathan Associates Inc. 
       J.E. Austin Associates Inc. 
 
       November 2005

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Study supported and funded by The Competitiveness Program (TCP) – a US Agency for  International Development (USAID) funded project in Sri Lanka, implemented by   Nathan Associates Inc. and J.E. Austin Associates Inc. 

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank Husein Esufally, CEO Hemas Holdings, for allowing Hemas to serve as our first case study under this project. Shiromi Masakorala was very helpful in coordinating the scheduling of interviews at Hemas. We thank Hemas board members and staff for cooperating with our efforts. All our interview candidates (See Appendix A4) gave of their time most generously and spoke to us frankly of their experiences. We are also very grateful to our external interview candidates who helped us immensely by providing sometimes both an outside view and a historical perspective of the company.

We would also like to express our gratitude for the support of the staff and consultants at The Competitiveness Program (TCP). We are indebted to Jagdesh R. Mirchandani of TCP for critical reading and logical guidance towards the finished product contained herein. In all respects, this study would not be in the form it is in today without Jagdesh’s support. Thanks too to Michelle Gunawardene for her proofing of the draft text.

3

 

Table of Contents
Executive Summary ..................................................................................................... 7 1

Background ........................................................................................................ 12

2

Case Study Goals and Methodology ................................................................. 15 2.1
2.2

3

Objectives .................................................................................................... 15 Methodology ................................................................................................ 15

Cultural Context and Company History ......................................................... 17 3.1

Family Businesses........................................................................................ 17

3.2

The Hemas Culture ...................................................................................... 19

3.3

The Esufally Family..................................................................................... 21

3.4

The Beginning.............................................................................................. 21

3.5

The Early Years ........................................................................................... 22

3.6

The Open Economy Years ........................................................................... 24

3.7
The Business Activities................................................................................ 26 3.7.1
Leisure.................................................................................................. 26 3.7.2
Transportation ...................................................................................... 27 3.7.3
Pharmaceuticals...
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