by Hiran H. Senewiratne
A prominent specialist in car care from start to finish said that the current crisis of the US dollar and the rise in the price of the US dollar are discouraging investment in Sri Lanka because the cost of investment has doubled over the past few months.
“We were planning to invest in Sri Lanka in a big way but we abandoned our plans due to the high dollar rate and shortage of labor in the car care industry. Skilled labor problems arose during the Covid 19 lockdown period; most of them left the country for higher salaries,” said Auto Miraj Director Ramith Sarathchandra. Island financial review.
Sarachandra said most of the overseas business plans with Bangladesh and Qatar have been put on hold due to the current situation.
Auto Mirage, who specializes in car care from start to finish, said they will invest Rs 200 million to expand the branch and open Sri Lanka’s first water steam car wash center in Colombo city centre.
Sarachandra added, “We will invest Rs.100 million to open the first car cleaning center using steam wash. This new technology will reduce water usage by using less than two liters of water to wash a car, and also reduce the environmental impact.
Initially we will have space to wash six cars and we will expand it by the end of 2022.
In addition, we will open our next branch in Kurunegala next month which will be followed by the opening of three more branches in Vavuniya, Badulla and Gampaha and we hope to invest around 100 million rupees for this expansion.
“Finding skilled painters is a big problem as after learning the basics in Sri Lanka they migrate to the Middle East. Unfortunately, we cannot keep them because we cannot match the salaries offered by the Gulf to skilled painters.
“Today, Auto Miraj has the largest network of automobile maintenance in Sri Lanka as well as filling stations and tire shops, and has also ventured into establishing specialized auto workshops and body shops. Auto Miraj provides genuine spare parts for all Japanese, European, Indian and other vehicles.
Auto Miraj was also the first to introduce a “glass-coated coating”, which protects not only the body from minor scratches, but also bird droppings, dust and other substances.
“Auto Miraj was established in 1994 in Ratmalana, and as Chairman and Founder of Auto Miraj, Iroshan Sarathchandra saw a vacuum for professional car care in Sri Lanka. He introduced many of the first things, which included the clean undercarriage of the robotic lift, turbo-pressure pumps, engine mist cleaning, A customer lounge with refreshments and free Wi-Fi, pre-appointed customers, custom chemicals and car cleaning and many more.
Auto Miraj has also launched two ‘Elderly Care’ projects in London through 365 Care Homes Ltd.