GEM CARPETS: The SME Bank’s first loan recipient Kumuduni Weerasekara is to venture out on a Rs 5 million project on manufacturing gem carpets and rugs.
Managing Director of Hashani Gem and Jewellery, Kumuduni Weerasekara told Daily News that she expects to manufacture carpets and rugs through waste collected at the gem cutting centres. During the gem cutting process a large amount of gem parts are removed as waste. Many gem cutters have a large stock of these gem parts at their cutting stations.
These waste gem parts could be used for value addition and to manufacture utility products such as carpets and rugs, she said.
The new project will generate around 100 job opportunities and she is targeting the local market as well as the international market. The factory will be located in Kandy.
Kumuduni who is involved in the gem cutting and polishing business took a Rs 600,000 initial loan from the SME bank to invest in new machinery to cater the international market in 2005. At the moment she is exporting gem to America, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The new project will cost Rs 5 million and Kumuduni expects to raise another loan from SME bank to invest in new machinery.
‘I will be investing my own funds for the buildings and raw materials. SME bank is providing an excellent service for the local SMEs,’ she said.
However she has planned to commence the project before end of this year. At the moment she is on the process of designing the products and conducting market research for the product.