MAS Holdings

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MAS Holdings
Formerly called
Sigma Industries
(1984 – 1987)
Industry Apparel & Textile
Founded 1987 in Panadura, Sri Lanka
Founder Mahesh Amalean
Sharad Amalean
Ajay Amalean
Headquarters Colombo, Sri Lanka
Number of locations
17 Countries
Key people
Deshamanya Mahesh Dayalal Amalean
Sharad Amalean
Ajay Amalean
Gail Klintworth
Frank Cohen
Timothy Speldewinde
Eliaz Poleg
Products Intimate wear
Sports and active wear
Performance wear
Industrial parks [1]
Brands amantè
Revenue US$ 1.7Bn ( 2016 )
Number of employees
93,000 ( 2017 )
Subsidiaries MAS Intimates (Pvt) Ltd
MAS Active (Pvt) Ltd
MAS Fabrics (Pvt) Ltd
MAS Brands (Pvt) Ltd
Website Official Website


MAS Holdings is a design to delivery apparel and textile solutions provider and is South Asia’s largest manufacturer of lingerie.[2][3][4] The company was founded in 1987 by Mahesh, Sharad and Ajay Amalean, deriving its name from the initials of the three brothers.[5] MAS Holdings began as an intimate apparel manufacturer and later diversified into sportswear, performance wear and swimwear.

MAS Holdings is one of Sri Lanka’s largest apparel manufacturers [6] and is noted for its emphasis on ethical and sustainable work environments.[6][7] MAS Holdings has 53 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries employing over 93,000 people globally. The company has design and development hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong and Colombo. Its customers include Victoria’s Secret, Nike, Lulu Lemon and PVH.

The company manufactures apparel accessories and fabric and also provides services beyond apparel manufacturing. MAS Holdings’ current portfolio encompasses businesses in IT, brands and industrial parks.

MAS was recognized as the second most respected corporate entity in Sri Lanka in a 2017 survey conducted by LMD Magazine and The Nielson Company, Sri Lanka.[8]


Early Years[edit]

1980s to 1990s[edit]

In the late 1970s, the liberalization of Sri Lanka’s economy heralded new opportunities for Sri Lanka’s growing apparel exports industry. Prior to beginning MAS Holdings, Mahesh and Sharad Amalean worked for a 60-year-old family apparel business run by their extended family. In 1984, the three Amalean brothers embarked on their own. They pooled US$ 10,000, bought 40 sewing machines and founded an apparel company named Sigma Industries.

In 1986, the company attracted the attention of MAST Industries, a US based clothing supplier and subsidiary of The Limited Inc. It formed its first joint venture with MAST Industries, to manufacture women’s synthetic dresses, a product which was not under the prevalent quota regime. However, before production could begin, a quota restriction was imposed on the product, forcing the company to seek out alternative products to manufacture.

During a visit to the MAST Industries office in Sri Lanka, Mahesh Amalean spotted a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and suggested that the company manufacture lingerie, a product which was outside Sri Lanka’s quota category.[9] His suggestion was initially met with resistance as lingerie was a complex product and Sri Lanka did not have any experience in manufacturing lingerie despite its growing apparel export industry.

The company soon began honing its skills in intimate apparel manufacturing, and MAS Holdings was officially inaugurated as a new business entity to manufacture intimate wear. On a visit to Ohio, USA, Mahesh Amalean and Martin Trust, CEO of MAST industries, met with senior executives of Victoria’s Secret, securing MAS’ first big order . For the next decade, the company focused on intimate wear, embarking on strategic partnerships with companies and growing its customer base.

MAS Holdings soon expanded and established joint ventures to manufacture elastics and sleepwear. Subsequently, the business started to specialize in seamless knit operations and later branched into performance clothing in the late 90s.


The expiry of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) in 2005 raised fears that countries like Sri Lanka would lose out to cheaper manufacturers like China.[9] However, Sri Lanka’s textile and apparel exports business increased by 8% in 2005 in a post-MFA environment.[9] As customers began to place more emphasis on service and innovation, early-adopters like MAS Holdings gained a footing despite the expiry of the MFA.[9]

While venturing into sportswear, MAS embarked on new joint ventures, attracting investments in the production of ancillaries in Sri Lanka. The company began manufacturing lace, weft-knit fabrics, bra accessories and fabric printing in Sri Lanka. MAS Stretchline expanded to Mexico in 2001[10] while the company opened its first specialized swimwear plant during the same year.[11]

By 2003, MAS Holdings began to provide value additions such as product development, design and sourcing facilities.

In the early 2000s, the company began absorbing Lean manufacturing principles into its production facilities, and also launched its first in-house intimate apparel brand, amantè[12], in India. An early adoption of Lean Enterprise helped MAS Holdings better withstand the brunt of the world economic downturn and its effects on Sri Lanka’s apparel industry.[13]

In 2004 when Nike sought out socially and environmentally conscious strategic partners to link with, MAS Holdings was the only South Asian supplier selected and was also the first in a number of Nike’s strategic initiatives.[9]

In 2007 and 2008, MAS holdings opened Fabric Parks in Sri Lanka and India.

In 2008, MAS Holdings unveiled Thurulie, the world’s first carbon neutral, eco-manufacturing apparel plant.[14]


As of 2016, MAS Holdings was the second largest supplier to Nike, worldwide. [15] After the conclusion of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, MAS also opened up facilities in Killinochchi, northern Sri Lanka, to provide employment opportunities. [16]


The company’s strategic partnerships include:

  • Brandot International Ltd, USA
  • EME Holdings, S.A de C.V, Mexico
  • Ets Lucien Noyon Et Cie, France
  • Groupo Deal, S.A de C.V, Mexico
  • Hogwarts Ltd, HK
  • Ling Chee Yan, Samuel, HK
  • MAST Industries, Inc, USA
  • New Impact (Pvt) Ltd Singapore
  • NIKE Inc.
  • NSL Infratech (Pvt) Ltd, India
  • Prym Intimates Group Ltd, HK
  • Regina Pacific Investment Ltd, Mauritius
  • Speedo International Ltd, UK
  • Stretchline (UK) Ltd, UK
  • Tradecard, Inc, USA (Also known as GT Nexus)
  • Triumph International Overseas Ltd, HK
  • Ultimo Brands International Ltd, UK
  • Wind force (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka

Global Operations[edit]

After 2010, MAS Holdings gradually began expanding globally, opening manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Honduras, Jordan, Vietnam and USA.[17][18]


In 2016, the company announced its investment into manufacturing facilities in Caracol Industrial Park, Haiti.[19] In 2017, the company acquired Acme-McCrary as its first manufacturing and development centre in Asheboro, USA.[17]

Clients and Customers[edit]

Key Business Units[edit]

Apparel Manufacturing[edit]

Intimate Wear (MAS Intimates and Bodyline)[edit]

MAS Intimates - The company’s intimate wear product portfolio includes bras, briefs and shape wear. Through MAS Design and its design and development centres in Asia, America and UK, the company works with its customers from the initial concept development process. In 2011, MAS partnered with Marks and Spencer to create the world’s first carbon neutral lingerie product range for the UK High Street.[20][21]

Bodyline was established in 1992 bringing together Victoria’s Secret and Triumph, with MAS Holdings as its Sri Lankan partner.

Dedicated Sportswear (MAS Active and MAS KREEDA)[edit]

MAS Active - Established in 2005, MAS Active is a provider of high performance sportswear, athleisure and men’s premium essential wear. MAS Active manufactures performance wear (sports bras, performance bra tops and pants, yoga wear), sleepwear and lifestyle wear (hoodies, T-shirts, pants, jackets). As of September 2017, MAS Active consisted of multiple operation centers, a design and innovation studio, 6 factories in Sri Lanka and overseas ventures in Haiti, Italy and USA.

MAS KREEDA derives its name from the Sanskrit word for sports and is MAS Holdings’ exclusive partner for Nike. MAS KREEDA has 14 manufacturing facilities across Jordan, India and Sri Lanka and was launched in 2017.

Swimwear (Linea Aqua)[edit]

MAS Holdings partnered with Speedo International (UK) and Brandot International (USA) in 2001, to form Linea Aqua. Linea Aqua manufactures high-performance competition swimwear, designer swimwear, leisure swimwear and children’s swimwear and has manufactured competition swimwear for Speedo for the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2006 Melbourne World Championships.[22]

MAS Innovation[edit]

MAS Innovation was formally launched in 2013 and is a formal cohesion of the fragmented research and development divisions within the organization. The company develops its own products through in-house innovation teams and also adopts an Open Innovation model, investing in start-ups and business collaborations.

At the wearable technologies show in San Francisco in 2017, MAS unveiled ‘Firefly’, the result of a collaboration with Flex to integrate IoT into clothing. The smart clothing embeds a series of flashing LED lights in order to provide better safety measures for runners, cyclists and construction workers.[23]

MAS Innovation has partnered with international universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology[24] and Stanford University[24] as well as Sri Lankan universities to research on areas such as wearable technology, health, wellness, digitization, and customization.[25]

MAS Brands[edit]

amantè, an MAS-owned lingerie brand designed to suit the silhouettes of South Asian women, was launched in India in 2007.[26] amantè was subsequently launched in Sri Lanka in 2012[27] in Pakistan in 2016 and in Maldives in 2017.

In November 2014, MAS Brands gained controlling stake of Ultimo, a Glasgow headquartered designer lingerie brand.[28]

MAS Fabrics[edit]

The company’s fabric cluster caters to MAS’ internal production requirements as well as external clients. MAS Holdings prints fabric and produces elastics, lace, hook and eye tape, bows, motifs and warp knit fabric and has manufacturing and sales centers in ten countries.

MAS Fabric Parks[edit]

MAS Holdings has established two fabric parks – one in Thulhiriya, Sri Lanka and another in Chennai, India. MAS Fabric Park, India was a joint venture partnership on a 737-acre area, located close to the Krishanapatnam Seaport and Chennai airport.[29]

The MAS Fabric Park in Thulhiriya was Sri Lanka’s first privately owned apparel intensive free trade zone.[30] The eco-friendly fabric park in Thulhiriya spans 165 acres and provides employment to 8,200 associates.[30]

In 2017, the company announced the launch of a new industrial park in Giriulla, Sri Lanka.[30] The abandoned lace facility, which was shut down for twelve years, was handed over to MAS Holdings to develop and run, by Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe.[31]


Social Sustainability[edit]

MAS Holdings were among key players in the Sri Lankan apparel industry to open manufacturing units in rural areas, moving away from cities. As a result, MAS Holdings worked closely with the communities it was based in. MAS Holdings was also one of the first Sri Lanka-based conglomerates to provide employment opportunities in Northern Sri Lanka after the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s civil war.[16]

In 2003, MAS launched an in-house programme named Women Go Beyond, designed to encourage and recognize female achievers, community leaders and sportswomen within the organization.[9] Founder, Mahesh Amalean, was recognized with a U.N. award at the inaugural women’s empowerment principles awards in 2013 for MAS’ efforts to advance female empowerment.[32] In 2017, MAS Women Go Beyond partnered with the UNFPA in Sri Lanka to identify and address gaps and gender inequalities in the working environment.[33]

Environmental Sustainability[edit]

As of 2016, 41% of the company’s operations run on renewable energy.[34] In 2008, Thurulie, the world’s first clothing factory powered solely by carbon-neutral sources, was rated LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.[14]

The water and energy usage, rate of emissions and waste at each factory are regularly monitored through an “Eco-Tracker” measurement system.

MAS’ Great Brick Project at MAS Fabric Park, Thulhiriya, converts sludge to eco-bricks and was a long-term solution to achieve zero landfill, addressing the problem of ETP sludge and effluent waste in the apparel industry. In 2015, 600 tonnes of ETP sludge was converted into 70,000 bricks and used for the group’s landscaping facilities.[35]

Associated Businesses[edit]


Attune was officially incorporated in 2006 and began as an in-house project partnering with a German based company SAP, to develop and roll out SAP Apparel and Footwear Solutions (AFS) within MAS Holdings in the late nineties.

Attune evolved from a small-scale ERP implementer within MAS to a global consulting firm, specializing in IT solutions for the fashion and lifestyle industry. The company has nine offices in four continents.


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External links[edit]