Education – Experience – Entrepreneurship
Founded in 2004, by three engineering undergraduates, HiTech Solutions have come a long way as an electrical and electronic product manufacturer and service provider since its inception. Specializing in medium to large scale industrial automation and industry equipment development, Hitech takes pride in its diverse portfolio of services and their clientele based in Sri Lanka and abroad.
It’s not always that one finds education, experience, and entrepreneurship on a single profile. A mechanical engineer by profession, Mr. Buddhika Marasingha, the founder and the current Managing Director of Hitech Solutions PVT Ltd, started his operation in the mechanical and electrical laboratories of his alma mater, the University of Moratuwa. Son of an electrical engineer, Mr. Marasingha was passionate about engineering since a young age and had acquired a range of skills by the time he was admitted to the university. As an undergraduate, he worked with students several years senior to him, helping them with their projects and creating a name for himself as a skilled engineer and innovator. This also helped him develop a strong network of peers who later became partners in his business.
As the first project, the company developed a mechanism to measure the width of fabric using image processing, first for Unicella – MAS group, and later for export markets along with the hardware that was necessary for the process. For Hitech Solutions, it was a journey of learning, adapting, and innovating from day one. Hitech Solutions started its operations in the laboratories of the university. Three years since its inception and several projects later, the company acquired its first office space in 2008. Although the business had grown considerably, being engineers by vocation, the lack of business knowledge of the founders presented severe challenges in the fronts of marketing, sales, accounting, and other business functions. While one of the partners exited the company to pursue a career in the corporate sector, Mr. Marasinghe turned towards further education to gain the much needed business acumen to grow Hitech Solutions. As a result, realizing that the company had been focusing all its energy on product development rather than marketing them, Hitech Solutions immediately changed the direction of the operation to commercialize and find buyers for a selected portfolio out of the 100+ products the company had already developed for several years. One of the products in the portfolio was a fabric relaxing machine with image processing and a measuring system, developed for the textile industry. This solution is used to relax the fabric prior to being cut, which brings down the fabric wastage that results from cutting unrelaxed fabric, from 5% to 0.5%. Mr. Marasinghe says that the saving on the fabric alone enables the user to gain an ROI on the software in six months.
Today Hitech Solutions operates with a staff of 60 and many outsourced resource personnel and is based in a factory of 3500 square feet in Weliweriya. The service and product offerings have expanded into a diverse portfolio that includes products such as Automated car parking systems, Automated Guided Vehicle systems (AGV), Cranes, Material Handling Systems (Conveyors), CNC Controllers, Coir Industry, Chemical Mixers, Fabric Machinery, Palletizers, Mixing units, Granite Industry, Gate Controllers, Naval & locomotive Controllers, Production Displays, Power Electronic Products, Packing/Wrapping Machines, Production Monitoring Data System & Data Handling, Tire Cutting Machine, Vision Based Systems, Weight Based Coconut Oil filling machine, and Automation Components. HiTech Solutions also provides a range of specialized services such as Industrial Automation, Image Processing, Machine Design & Fabrication, Machine maintenance & Servicing and Industrial Training/ Consultation.
The export portfolio of the company includes the Fabric Relaxing Machine, the Camera based width measuring system, and the Computerized paint mixer that are exported to various countries such as China, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. While 20% of the company’s average turnover is generated from direct export revenue, 60%-70% of the company’s products and services are provided to local companies in the export industry.
Mr. Marasinghe gives credit to the Export Development Board (EDB) for the support received towards the growth of the company. The networking opportunities, the global exhibitions, and events that the EDB had provided access to, enabled the company to learn and adapt best practices of global electrical and electronic export giants such as India and Thailand and use towards the growth of their operation.
The future looks promising for Hitech Solutions. An electrical and electronic manufacturer with a diverse portfolio of products and services, the company expects to further expand into the global textile industry, developing machinery and related technology to textile manufacturers around the world. Further diversifying the portfolio, the company plans to enter the agriculture industry by developing machinery and technology as value additions and backward integration mechanisms to increase the efficiency and the productivity of the industry. A company founded and nourished by continuous learning and development, Hitech carries out various initiatives to geared at sharing knowledge and expertise with other businesses and start-ups. A notable endeavour that has been in practice for the last 15 years, the company engages in specialized mentoring services to other businesses who wish to launch, grow, and expand in the manufacturing industry. The company also provides a range of internships and training opportunities for undergraduates during which they are trained not only in the areas of technological expertise but also provide business related acumen.