From left: Managing Director Fazal Abdeen, Chairman John Taylor and Co Founder late Howard Goth
ATG Ceylon Ltd. of the ATG Group celebrates its silver jubilee on 27 February this year. The company was founded in 1992 by three visionaries, Sri Lankan born Fazal Abdeen along with British nationals John Taylor and the late Howard Goth, who saw great potential in their investment.
To date the Group has created over 5,000 job opportunities for Sri Lankans through their various subsidiaries which they plan to increase to 7,500 by 2020. ATG plans on maintaining this momentum by further developing their technology, engineering and human resources in order to equip themselves to face all future challenges. ATG whose offices and factories are based in Katunayake, Wathupitiwala and Koggala export promotion zones has now expanded their operations with five factories under their name. They have become a strong global player exporting their products to over 35 countries.
Earlier known as John Ward Ceylon Ltd., they started out as a small PVC glove manufacturing plant located in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone, manufacturing their first glove brands Vysol, Vysol Plus, Vygen and Vygen Plus. They went on to establish a Nitrile glove plant in 1993.
2009 marked a significant change for this Sri Lankan, British partnership when they rebranded the Company as ATG which stands for Advanced Technology Gloves. Incidentally, ATG is also a combination of the first initials of the three partners’ surnames. The rebranding spelt positive change for the company as their focus changed to expanding their global presence as well as their local operations.
The company’s success in the global market can be attributed to the value they place on innovation and quality. They design and manufacture to enhance the performance of the most sophisticated work tool – the hand; and deliver quality products and services, through core teams who regularly track markets, observe products in use and have discussions with end-users, forming the basis to continually improve the needs of varied customer segments.
Their factories are outfitted with fully automated plants and employed with highly skilled staff who produce a world class product manufactured to the highest international standards. ATG Gloves Knitting Ltd., established in the Wathupitiwala Export Promotion Zone in 2007 was another major step by the Group. The plant which operates fully automated seamless knitting machines, manufactures linings for the gloves, a component which was previously imported for their production process.
ATG Managing Director Fazal Abdeen says that the company does not outsource anything, “We are now a fully integrated manufacturer and can control all elements within our manufacturing facilities. From the covering and twisting of yarns to knitting glove liners, coating, finishing and packing, we have the facility to do it all.”
He says that apart from enabling them to deliver high-quality gloves, the fully integrated approach assists the company in transitioning products from their state of the art Research and Development laboratories to full production. “Unlike other R&D departments, ATG facilities focus on developing technology platforms as opposed to one-off individual gloves.”
Another important element that is a major contributor to their global success is their commitment towards sustainability. Fazal Abdeen says, “It’s part of our everyday life. When we look to modify, change or implement a new process it always has to satisfy our ideology.”
The Group’s entire manufacturing process is in line with the EU directives. ATG has acquired several international quality, environmental and safety standards certifications i.e. ISO 9001:2015 quality management system, ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system, OEKO TEX (independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production), REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals), SKIN HEALTH ALLIANCE (dermatological accreditation).
The Group launched their most recent venture, ATG Hand Care in the Koggala Export Promotion Zone. Chairman of the Group and co-founder John Taylor who has had a 25 year connection with Sri Lanka, says that another vital key to the Group’s success is their people. “We owe our success to every single person who worked tirelessly from the inception of this company to this day. Everyone here in Sri Lanka and throughout the rest of the world can be justly proud of their hard work and dedication as a member of the ATG family,” he says.
The ATG Group consists of five member companies in three Export promotion zones in Sri Lanka. They consist of ATG Ceylon Ltd., ATG Occupational Ltd., and ATG Lanka Ltd., located in the Katunayake EPZ; ATG Gloves Knitting Ltd., and ATG Handcare Ltd. located in the Wathupitiwala EPZ and ATG Handcare Ltd., located in the Koggala EPZ