Orange Electric Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku believes that over a period of time electrical appliances will have to connect with handheld mobile devices, which have become a part of modern day society!
Just imagine one driving back home from work on a hot August night and being able to cool a bedroom in readiness beforehand with just a touch. All one would have to do is take out a smart phone and go to home appliance on the touch screen and in a blink the bedroom A/C goes on!
This technology may not be something that is very far in the future. All the exposure to sci-fi we have today can make us believe that anything is possible, but in reality these types of applications can change lives drastically!
Kodituwakku, who heads Orel Corporation, the patent holder for the renowned local brand Orange, has an R&D department which is all set to develop these kind of technologies for the future.
As a first step in this direction, Orel Corporation has signed an agreement with India’s Spice Mobile, a BK Modi Group venture, which has a strong presence in the sub-continent. Under the agreement, Orel Corporation, in collaboration with Spice Mobile, will set up its newest arm, which will integrate the brand Orel into Sri Lanka’s mobile phone industry.
As a local company specialising in design and manufacture of electrical items Orel has made a name for itself in household electrical products. The company, which is now readying itself to launch into the telecommunication and IT industry, is probably the only Sri Lankan company with ambitions in this direction.
“Developing such technologies in a very globalised world makes sense as today our customers reach right across the world, due to the global partnerships we have made. It makes good business sense when we have global customers and the economies of scale to make it a success.”
One thing is for certain that in the past R&D companies who developed products for local consumption were stifled as huge expenses in research and development did not make sense in a limited market.
Kodituwakku is no stranger to making challenging decisions. In 1995 as a young man just out of the University of New Haven USA, bearing a Degree in Industrial Engineering, which specialised in R&D and manufacturing; he came home to change the direction his family company was taking.
Rather than remaining an import and assembly company, he opted to go into direct manufacturing of electrical items and within 10 years grew the company tenfold.
Today, Orange Electric is the No. 1 electrical manufacturing company in the country, even exporting some of their product lines to global markets.
Explaining why the company plans to enter the new industry, Kodituwakku said: “Some may view this as an unconventional move; which is true to some extent. But, there is a new global trend where the electrical manufacturing industry is developing seamless connectivity with Telecommunication and IT industries. Two or three years from now, people will operate their domestic electrical devices through mobile apps. For instance, people will switch lights on, using mobile phones, without moving an inch from their seats. When they buy electrical items, they will also want to buy mobile phones capable of supporting such operations, and the two industries will go hand in hand. Consumers may want to buy electrical items and mobile phones under the same roof. What we are doing right now is preparing the ground for that ‘future’. It is a diversification with a clear-cut game plan.”