“Foreign companies steal our secrets, technology”

Haycarb grouse:

Some Sri Lankan companies like the Hayleys group are gradually showing the world its capability in world-class technology but lopsided policies at home are stalling growth.

“We are rated number one in the world as a quality activated carbon supplier but Sri Lankan authorities don’t realize this fact. We are world leaders and like any global company have secrets to protect from technology that we have developed,” said a frustrated senior official at Haycarb, Hayleys Group’s activated carbon subsidiary.

Hayleys is a world-class producer in two products – activated carbon and rubber gloves for the health care industry.

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times FT, the official said:
“Because of some state policies, foreign companies steal our people, our secrets and our technology. We spend millions on R & D. Because of this situation we are forced into intensive discussions with industry and the government on some decent policy measures that won’t ruin local industry that has developed world-class technology.

I can’t afford to spend so much time on this process when that time could be spent on the company but I have no choice. It’s a shame we have to plead with the government to protect our technology. We have in the past shied away from seeking the attention of government officials and politicians and prefer to mind our own business and work according to the book. But now we are forced to plead for attention – when the government should be coming to us; backing and encouraging world-class local entrepreneurs.


Last year we acquired a factory in Indonesia where the charcoal supply is much greater than in Sri Lanka and not many compete for the raw material there. Our plan was to complete the acquisition in April/May last year the process was delayed due to due diligence and only completed later in the year. We plan to modify two kilns there and also add a new kiln which will raise the capacity by end June to 4,200 metric tones of activated carbon from a current 2,400 MT.

The plan is to have plants in Thailand (currently operative) and Indonesia where charcoal prices are lower and not to depend on the Sri Lankan supply. The market is growing for this product but there aren’t enough supplies.”

Back To Top Back to Top   Back To Business Back to Business

Copyright © 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.