Rainco’s journey towards excellence
Q: How has Rainco grown both as a brand and company?
A: We have evolved from being a manufacturing-oriented company that produces umbrellas, raincoats and mosquito nets at competitive prices to a forward-looking specialist lifestyle solutions provider.The company has transformed its core products – i.e. umbrellas and raincoats – to be more fashion oriented instead of being merely functional. Whilst working with fashion designers to incorporate elegant and trendy styles and colours into our products so they become fashion accessories, we’ve also provided consumers with a personalized version of our products.Rainco umbrellas have myriad functionalities that cater to different customer requirements – for example,
products that are rainproof, windproof and sun proof with UV resistance.The company’s product lines extend to mosquito-proof nets – they’re made as smart and modern nets that include improvements and features to address customer pain points. In addition, we have moved into multiple product categories such as foot and shoe care, and mother and baby care. Being market leaders in all three of our core product categories reflects the immense growth and success that Rainco has achieved as a brand and company.
Q: How is the company’s ongoing transformation being strategically positioned?
A: Our vision is to be a truly global Sri Lankan brand -our mission is to strive for excellence in everything we do while taking ownership of our environmental responsibilities. To achieve this, we’re moving into environmentally friendly packaging – and we are in the process of becoming a carbon neutral organization by reducing our carbon footprint by 2020.We are conscious of our purpose of enriching the lives of all those who touch and are touched by our brands every day.
Q: How would you rate the supply chain and delivery times of the local manufacturing industry?
A: Supply chain and delivery activities mainly affect the lead times of product cycles, and these areas have improved in the manufacturing industry by adopting modem improvised techniques.There are many innovations in the industry, and modem organizations are adopting new concepts such as lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, JIT concepts, and automation.These concepts not only lead to better supply chain activities but also contribute towards improving the efficiency of business activities and reducing manufacturing costs. Waste is minimized, more value is created for customers, and inventory systems such as JIT help organizations improve their return on investment, by reducing work in process inventory and associated carrying costs.
Q: What is your take of the competition and how does Rainco stay ahead of it?
A: Rainco maintains an estimated 68 percent share of the market for umbrellas. And in many of the categories that we compete in, the competition stems from multiple local players who compete more on the basis of price points. With Sri Lanka being a tropical country, umbrellas, raincoats and mosquito nets are required throughout the year. We always seek to understand consumers and their expectations and design our brand proposition accordingly. While focussing on consumers, we also strive hard to understand their service parameters. To this end, we are streamlining our supply chain and maintaining strong supply chain integration which gives us the competitive advantages of flexibility and economies of scale. Moreover, we see increasing international competition in the form of imports especially from China. Given the upcoming FTAs, we have to really gear ourselves for foreign competition. Our strategies are based on Rainco’s core strengths: innovation consumer centricity, a fully integrated supply chain, and our own sales and distribution network – this enables us to access over 8,000 stores directly and a similar n number indirectly.
Q: Could you share the organization’s outlook for the future with us?
A: We are working on the company’s vision to double its business by 2020. To achieve this target we’re focussing on two strategic pillars of excellence – viz. commercial excellence in sales, marketing and branding; and supply excellence with regard to our supply and value chains.
In addition, we’re transforming ourselves to become a gold standard corporate entity in Sri Lanka.Creating a new culture of performance is the key to realizing our vision. We are taking into account the skills and competencies needed and recalibrating our talent pool to gear ourselves towards them. Rainco has many avenues of business: private labels where we manufacture umbrellas for brands, promotional umbrella manufacturing and strategic tie-ups with global brands. We are also moving into international markets with Rainco’s retail brands to broaden our horizons. We provide protection and style for multiple customer segments. Our aim is to create a brand that offers something for everyone whether they be kids, teenagers, young adults, elders, teachers, nurses, working women, fashion divas, the clergy and anyone else.