Sri Lanka tableware exporter goes niche

Dec 07, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tableware exporters Dankotuwa Porcelain has said it is shifting strategy away from mass production to focus on specialty designs for niche markets. The move is in response to growing competition from cheaper manufacturers in other Asian origins, especially those with access to cheap energy.

“It is impossible to compete on price with large scale manufacturers in Asia whose unit production cost are much less than ours, said Sunil Wijesinha, chairman of Dankotuwa Porcelain said in a statement.

The island’s ceramic manufacturers have to cope with high gas prices as industrial consumers are charged higher to subsidize domestic consumers as well as exchange rate appreciation in the face of unprecedented domestic inflation.

Dankotuwa has gradually revamped its strategy to produce small lots for niche markets, at short lead times, rather than volume markets at lower prices.

While manufacturers in countries with cheap natural gas such as, Bangladesh and Thailand, cater to mass markets with competitive prices, Dankotuwa said it is becoming recognized as a niche market manufacturer.

The company announced it has been selected t