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 Post subject: DSI Group Exporting Raleigh bicycles to UK
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:03 am 
Exporting Raleigh bicycles to UK
Export of 100,000 per annum to be tripled to cater to other European markets

By Ravi Ladduwahetty
30JUNE2005 / DM

An indigenous Sri Lankan commercial venture is now manufacturing and exporting the globally renowned Raleigh bicycle to the United Kingdom. The exporting firm is Samson Rubber Industries Ltd, a member of the DSI Group, which is owned and managed by the Rajapakse brothers and the buyer is Raleigh UK Ltd.

“The DSI Group has been supplying the rubber tyres for the Raleigh Group and we were asked to supply the bicycle for them as well,” Samson Rubber Industries Managing Director Ranatunga Rajapakse told Mirror Life at his Mahara head office.

He was elated that this was an honour for Sri Lanka as the British multinational (now owned by an American conglomerate) had been selected over China, which also has an international manufacturing ability. The scoring point for Sri Lanka has been the quality. “ We have won their confidence as we have conformed to the EN 71 standard,” he said with conspicuous pride.

The company has been supplying over 100,000 bicycles in the boys’ and girls’ 12 and 14- inch category which are very popular in the UK. Now it envisages in tripling its production to 300,000 where the exports to UK would be increased to 150,000 and the remainder would be exported to Germany and Sweden, he said.

The 150 member factory staff would also be expanded by another 90, he said adding that the product was capital intensive The market expansion would see Netherlands and Poland also added to the portfolio.

The Sri Lankan company would also aim at manufacturing the larger models when it reviews its corporate strategy in 2008.

The origins of this project stems to the British conglomerate deciding to relocate its business in four countries- Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Philippines and the Eastern block nations. Responding to a question as to whether the company was not targeting the gigantic Indian market and especially with the tariff barriers under the Indo- Lanka Free Trade Agreement, the Samson Rubber Managing Director described it as a futile exercise as India would be looking for the low cost product which it failed to produce at that price which the buyers wanted and that the super rich Indians would be able to afford the imported products from the western world. So be it!

Albeit the tariff barriers there are the non-tariff barriers with a 45% import licence there. This product among many others, would see to the diversity of the export base of Sri Lanka.

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