Young apparel entrepreneur offers ‘winning deal’ to Sri Lankan nationals living abroad

A 100% Sri Lankan clothing brand competing with several global companies on e-commerce platforms appeals to the Sri Lankan expatriate community to help grow the company’s international sales volume and bring in much needed foreign currency to Sri Lanka at this crucial hour for the country. Ranil Willadarage, CEO & founder of GFlock says, “This is not a charity appeal. This is a win-win transaction for Sri Lankan expatriates across the world that offers value for their hard-earned foreign currency, and the money in turn being used to import essential commodities for their fellow countrymen. As a nation, we have hit the rock bottom. The only way to go if we keep on fighting with each other is six feet under. We cannot start attacking each other again, destroy public property, set fire to private assets and fall even further. Everyone has to come together as a nation and overcome this terrible situation.”

When asked to elaborate on his solution to the foreign exchange crisis, he says,” Our company offers a sustainable solution that can help save this country. Most of our Sri Lankan expatriate community purchases their clothing from brands such as Zara, Mango, Myer, Uniqlo, H&M, and Shein. Most of these brands are based in Europe and other developed countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Sri Lankans living in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe tend to spend an average amount of $300-$500 as their annual clothing budget on aforementioned foreign brands. My kind request to our Sri Lankan communities abroad is to spend their clothing budget at Gflock, and place orders through our global online store, which is brought to them through the efforts of the creative workforce in Sri Lanka.”

“We know that a fashion company is a business that can earn a lot of revenue. If we take Zara, another brand with a fast fashion business model like ours, their annual revenue is between $ 20-25 billion. H&M also has similar revenue. The Shein brand founded 14 years ago in Nanjing, China, now ships to over 220 countries. With highly competitive prices and their online-only B2C model, Shein’s annual revenue is now at a staggering USD 15 billion. With the arrival of the pandemic, their annual revenue increased exponentially within the course of three years and the $3.5 billion revenue in 2019 grew to a massive $15.7 billion by 2021.”

“Taking inspiration from this and with the help of Sri Lankan expats, within 5-7 years it should be possible for us to reach an annual income of USD 5 billion. The Gflock business model is established in a way that can be scaled up as needed. My team and I have the specialized knowledge, experience and integrity required for that. So I request our Sri Lankans living abroad to think about their home country that is on the verge of collapse when spending their monthly clothing budget and buy from Gflock, a brand founded and run by the creative younger generation in their home country. Apart from that, I appeal them to be a brand ambassador for this business by promoting the goal of saving our country with at least 5 more expats and get them to buy clothes from us. If that can be achieved, we will be able to get rid of the oil and gas queues, the shortage of medicines, and the shortage of food and bring the country back to normalcy sooner than we think.”

“1/3 of the profit from our business is spent on providing a monthly essential goods package worth Rs. 8000 to our indirect employees who function as garment workers. Every week we practice gratefulness by publishing photos of such acts on our Facebook page and thanking all our customers who contributed toward these worthy causes. Also, we initiated the project of giving away a free plant with every purchase on World Environment Day -2018. Within the course of 4 years since its inception, we have managed to create over thirty thousand such meaningful bonds that link our brand and customers together with Mother Nature.”

“When the customers realize their purchase contributes to a greater good that goes beyond just a piece of clothing, it gives them a high sense of self-satisfaction, and the next time they make a purchase they do it intending to support a greater good. As owner of Gflock, I am prepared to offer 51% of the business’s shares to the Sri Lankan public in 2025. By implementing this model combined with the expected income, we shall be able to create a strong public movement that can help achieve inclusive prosperity for Sri Lankans.”

According to Ranil, GFlock releases 40-50 new designs every week, categorized under casual wear, work wear, evening wear, menswear, linen and denim for local and international customers through their three retail stores in Sri Lanka and online store, where they ship their products globally.

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