Competitiveness of Leather Products and Footwear Industry of Sri Lanka
Keywords:Innovations, Technology, Competitiveness, Innovativeness, Skills
AbstractThis research paper explores the relationship among skills of entrepreneurs of leather products and footwear industry in Sri Lanka and entrepreneurs’ involvement of innovations in product, process, raw material and market in the industry. Further, the survey investigates firms’ competitiveness and innovativeness in the industry. Database of firms in the industry available in Sri Lanka Industrial Development Board was used to administer an expert reviewed and piloted questionnaire among the population of firms. Personal interviews and a mail survey were undertaken which jointly brought above-average response rate of completed questionnaires used for analysis. The research has found that there is a strong link between skills of entrepreneurs and their involvement in innovations. Research has found that entrepreneur focus on product innovations rather than process, raw material and market innovations due to their low level of general education and the main mode of acquiring skills remains on-the-job-training. Usage of technology has been found to be lower level which has a negative effect on innovations. However, the entrepreneurs have a positive attitude towards innovations the relevant agencies can capitalize-on for expansion of the industry and increase competitiveness. The research unearths an intelligent view that in an efficiency-driven economy, what matters is productivity where skilling of entrepreneurs will yield enormous results for harnessing the potential of this ever growing industry.
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