In Sri Lanka’s Northern Jaffna District, a region ravaged by 30 years of war and unrest, Prinson Thuraiaiya’s unique brass foundry business (producing castings from waste metal) encompasses entrepreneurial spirit, sustainability and a positive social mission.
Prinson (32) left school at 16 and, facing limited job prospects, sought work at a foundry. He later opened his own foundry but with limited success due to a lack of machinery and mentoring advice. Banks refused him finance but YBI member Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) saw the potential in Prinson’s business model, andrecognised his manufacturing and design skills.
YBSL’s support through finance, access to key markets and mentoring provided a significant boost to the business. Sri Lanka’s central environmental authority backsPrinson’s venture, which each month collects and recycles 1000kg of waste metal to transform into Hindu religious products. He also buys discarded engine oil, which is used to melt the metal.
His unique venture has generated full-time employment for 5 people, and it indirectly supports 20 others. Prinson’s business has also received government support – its continued expansion could meet government aims of reducing reliance on imports of similar items from India.