Blog: Final day in crazy Colombo

Joe Ayling | 15 November 2010

I'm nearing the end of my trip to Colombo for the Sri Lanka Design Festival 2010, which is showing few signs of fizzling out.

As fashion brands try to ink last-minute deals with local suppliers, just-style set off set off down Colombo's coast to interview Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar.

He was in fine form, describing how while other industries were making more money yet selling better products, apparel retailers had fallen behind.

Brandix offers a vertical supply chain, and is one of Sri Lanka's largest suppliers to the Western market. Omar also said that the company had not yet been affected by the removal of GSP+, but warned of a possible lag effect.

Having interviewed one of Sri Lanka's most successful businessmen for half an hour I left the office upbeat.

Unfortunately, though, my driver was nowhere to be seen, prompting a local guard to beckon him from the beach without further ado. My trusty chauffeur returned but was dripping wet and shaking his head.

Turns out he'd used the 'free time' - as they all call it here - to have a bit of a stroll along the waterfront, but had dropped his phone into sea. As the time passed by he was plunged into darkness as the lapping waves washed away his cherished mobile phone.

Fear not though, because I have taken his address to send him a redundant one from my old gadgets drawer back home.

Farewell from a now-stormy Colombo, just how just-style found it a week ago.


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