Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Graham Parley in Mauritius

Interview of Graham Parley

Meet Graham Parley, Director of Manufacturing for the Esquel Group, one of the world’s largest and most progressive textile companies.

Settled in Mauritius for the last five years, Graham has recently taken over the additional responsibility of Esquel’s garment manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka. In this interview he shares with us the group’s ethos and highlights the rewards of living and working in Mauritius,
Graham began his career in the garment industry more than 25 years ago in Fife, Scotland where he originates from. A prominent and exciting career which led him to work in various countries including England , Zambia , Zimbabwe, South Africa , Malawi , China , Mauritius and more recently Sri Lanka.
He fondly recalls his parents as the two people who have had the most significant influence over him. His father, a coal miner with a challenging and difficult job, was a contented person whose admirable work ethic and cheerful predisposition to life continues to be a source of inspiration to Graham till today.
His mother abided by the motto “if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, then better to say nothing at all”, and Graham is proud to add “it is to their parenting skills and their moral example that I attribute my success in life”
The Esquel Group -

Embracing the Esquel Group five years ago, Graham firmly believes in the principles and philosophy that the founder YL Yang had in mind when he started this company and which still apply today 30 years down the line. The Chairman Ms Marjorie Yang and the CEO John Cheh have five guiding business principles; ethics, environment, exploration, excellence and education. These form Esquel’s “e-culture” and the values which continue to be used to grow their business which in 2007 produced sales of almost 70 million shirts and revenue exceeding US$ 650 Million.
With around 47,000 employees worldwide the group is regarded as the premier global shirt designer and manufacturer. Esquel has a totally vertical supply chain, from growing cotton in North West China, to spinning , dyeing and weaving in Southern China, and has Garment manufacturing operations in several countries, including China , Malaysia , Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Mauritius. Even though the ending of the MFA (multi fiber arrangement) in Jan 2005 resulted in comprehensive job losses in the Mauritius textile & garment industry, it is worthy to mention that this did not have an impact for Esquel ( Mauritius ) Ltd, The company grew substantially during this period and is currently the largest exporter of garments form Mauritius to the US
As Graham puts it “If you purchase a 100% cotton shirt in the USA or Europe from brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, Lands End, JC Penney, Marks & Spencer, and Nordstrom, then there is a very good chance it was manufactured and supplied by Esquel.”
Recently promoted to take over the additional responsibility of Esquel’s garment manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, with a current total of 5,000 employees distributed over 4 factories, Graham has come to further appreciate in comparison the relative safety and security that living and working in Mauritius offers.

Family –
Graham is the proud father of four wonderful children and the husband to the lovely and dynamic Simone from South Africa whose zest for life is quick to rub off on her entourage. The children are particularly fond of attending school in Mauritius and the couple is delighted with the balanced approach to study provided by both Le Clavis Primary School & Le Boccage Secondary School. The multicultural and multiracial environment of these two very fine educational establishments contributed largely to the family’s smooth relocation to Mauritius. Graham trusts that “the wide cross section of various nationalities with whom our children have made friends while attending school in Mauritius is something which we hope they will maintain and cherish as they look back at their school years.”
It is little wonder that Graham places Mauritius at the forefront of the most enjoyable location in which he happens to be employed “the climate , the environment , the sheer beauty of Mauritius makes living here a pleasure.” Further to that his predilection and passion for golf are amply gratified in this golfers’ paradise.
“After 5 years in Mauritius I still feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to play golf on a regular basis in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. The combination of the Indian Ocean coupled with the lush green vegetation makes the experience truly unforgettable I would encourage any visitor to Mauritius to try at least one or two of the many spectacular courses available on the island”
A lingering custom from the many years spent in South Africa is the weekend barbecue or “Braai” in which the family regularly indulge in over the weekend. And according to Graham washing it down with a local Phoenix beer is an additional satisfying bonus. Graham also enjoys snorkeling with his children around the many reefs of the island. Lately one of the Sunday rituals enjoyed by the entire family has been a late breakfast at the Sunset Café in Grand Bay where in Graham’s opinion the bacon and eggs and picturesque setting right on the bay are second to none !
To conclude with Graham believes that "Usually in life there are no such things as a “QUICK FIX” , be it success in business , or at school , or at making a relationship work , “ we will always reap what we sow”

© Islandinfo

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