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oo Mr.Dian Gomes ideas about Velupillai Prabhakaran - 04-12-2009, 08:38 PM

Source:
http://sundaytimes.lk/040509/ft/16.html



Versatility wins recognition for Dian Gomes

In the tough, competitive business of selling sexy underwear to discerning female buyers around the world, Dian Gomes is boxing above his weight class.
The former Royal College and national junior middleweight boxing champion has turned a garment factory in the remote, underprivileged village of Pannala into dynamic, modern lingerie enterprise supplying some of the best brand names and retail chains in the West, such as Victoria's Secret.

He is the group director of MAS Holdings in charge of the Sara Lee Courtaulds/MAS Holdings joint venture cluster of apparel export firms consisting of Slimline, Unichela, Leisureline and Casualline. The group has seven sites employing 6,500 people and an annual turnover of Rs 12 billion.

Gomes has just been named business leader of the year in the large-scale category of the Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards, a prize he shares with Dialog GSM CEO Hans Wijesuriya.

Gomes attributes his success to teamwork and the very competitive attitude to boxing he developed in school.

"I felt humbled, actually," Gomes said in an interview, when asked how he felt on winning the award. "I have virtually won for the organisation 15 national and international awards, which are usually collected by our union leader or both of us together - because corporate success depends on team effort.
"But this was personal recognition as one of the country's business leaders. I felt so happy."

The Slimline factory at Pannala, which Gomes started in 1993, has won a string of safety and productivity awards locally and internationally.

The company is a joint venture between the US retailer, The Limited Inc. and Mast Industries Inc., British apparel manufacturer Sara Lee Courtaulds, and the local firm MAS Holdings.

The energetic Gomes sports an easy smile and friendly demeanour, and quickly gets on 'machang' terms when he meets somebody for the first time.

He believes it was his corporate performance, in what he calls "running one of the larger internationally driven organisations with a high performance team", and his versatility that won him the business leader award.

He holds numerous directorships in public and private sector organisations, has just been elected president of the Sri Lanka Amateur Boxing Association, and gives motivational public lectures free if charge. He also co-authored a book on costumes of Sri Lanka.

Slimline has done much to help the community in Pannala, upgrading schools in the area, recruiting villagers as employees and promoting sports.

Factory teams have begun to make a name for themselves in boxing, rugby and cricket in national tournaments. The workforce also boasts of an Olympic markswoman.

"My 10 years of work at Pannala gave me a greater understanding of life than if I had been a CEO of a top corporate in Colombo. I understand the simpler things in life. It was Slimline which made me," Gomes acknowledged. "I realised what is important to people is not what is important to the managing director - the simple things in life."

Gomes said he feels inspired by the determination and dedication displayed by those less fortunate than him working at Slimline.

He speaks admiringly of the rigorous training schedule maintained by the company's Olympic pistol shooter, Ruwini Abeymanne, and the commitment shown by his cleaner's daughter who used to get up 3am to attend classes and is now a chartered accountant.

"When I look at such people in my organisation I ask 'Have I got the courage to do what they have done'. It changed my philosophy."

Gomes' career began as a management accountant at KPMG Ford Rhodes. Later he became director finance of the British design construction firm Saracen Interiors International and subsequently moved to the US retailer May Department Stores International Inc as its general manager for Sri Lanka.

Gomes has been trained in Holland on international marketing, the UK on apparel manufacturing and in Japan on Japanese management techniques. MAS Holdings has also sent him for executive education at prestigious US business schools like Harvard and Wharton.

His professional and other commitments meant that he is away from home a lot and Gomes is thankful to his wife Dehara who he says "gave me a lot of freedom and space" to do his work.

Although work at Slimline and other group plants is demanding, with constant pressure from buyers to increase productivity and reduce lead times, the company takes good care of its workers, providing above average rates of pay, an air-conditioned working environment and sports facilities.

He has a very egalitarian approach to his staff. His subordinates, except workers, call him by his first name.

Gomes himself walks the factory floor regularly and mingles easily with the staff. He said the greatest compliment he has heard in his corporate life was to have been called "defender of workers' rights, elder brother and friend first, and then the chief executive" by a factory labour union leader at his birthday party a few years ago.

"My responsibility does not end with working hours," said Gomes, referring to his work outside the business of making lingerie, in the rural Pannala community and the world of sports.

He has led the national boxing team as manager for the last Commonwealth Games and South Asian games, where he was at the ringside to motivate his boxers.

"If you want to really lead, you need to lead men from the front. If you want to make a man go beyond, you need to be there, to take the fear off."
The friendly, egalitarian attitude goes along with an energetic, highly focussed and professional work ethic that has enabled Gomes and his team at Slimline to become a key supplier to some of the top brands in apparel manufacture.
How do they do it?


Gomes speaks of the single-minded determination, aggression and ruthlessness of Tiger terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and said the company needs to emulate such attitudes in order to be successful in the international apparel business.

"You have to be like Velupillai Prabhakaran - have the same mentality - be one team. We'll do it like that."
But perhaps it is the training and hard knocks he received as a schoolboy boxer that provided some of the initial


influence and experience that has moulded Gomes into the corporate success story he is today.
Gomes said he abides by the advice his boxing coach, the late Danton Obeysekere, gave him in school:
"When you get knocked down, get up and fight. Don't give up.”


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Last edited by kelaniy; 04-12-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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04-12-2009, 08:44 PM

well said.. v hv to accept prapakaran has a strong vill power.. and ability to command his troops even tho he is fighting for a dumb reason...
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04-12-2009, 09:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damannaked
well said.. v hv to accept prapakaran has a strong vill power.. and ability to command his troops even tho he is fighting for a dumb reason...
NO! I can’t agree with you. If he is good leader, he needs to release those innocent Tamil people in NFZ.
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05-21-2009, 03:57 PM

I recall Dian making similar references to Prabhakaran whilst addressing an Army forum some years ago. Current Security Forces Commander of Wanni Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya was the host for this event. It was an unusual comment to come from a Sinhala Buddhist business leader like Dian. But I think his message was spot on!! The single minded team with a laser focus is what made the LTTE so formidable. I think the success our defense forces had this time around also is due to the same single minded focus on eliminating the LTTE and its top leadership. That was what bought LTTE down & destroyed. It is understanding what made them such a formidable enemy and beating them at their own game.
Lt. Col. Hemantha Weerasinghe
Sri Lanka Army
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05-21-2009, 10:45 PM

Im happy that the LTTE is dead but the international tamil community seem not to keep this situation as it is, And also the stupid people in the US and Canada and Uk are making big issues like WaR CRIMEs and bullshit, Im sick and tired now once and for all we want peace not some stupid war crime bullshit just cuz the army killed prabkaran and his family who killed hundreds of other innocent people now maha loku war crimes
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05-21-2009, 10:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damannaked
well said.. v hv to accept prapakaran has a strong vill power.. and ability to command his troops even tho he is fighting for a dumb reason...
yup!
That type of ruthlessness,manipulation and determination works well in the business world.
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05-21-2009, 10:54 PM



mee kadda sara wadiye ne
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Up 05-29-2009, 03:00 PM

I think the SLA learnt a few tricks from Prabhakran & beat him at his own game. Well said Dian!!!
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05-29-2009, 03:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonD


mee kadda sara wadiye ne
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05-29-2009, 03:06 PM

AGREE
TOTALLY AGREE.............
I Was abt to say it too....
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