George Steuarts unveils new logo
George Steuart & Co Ltd, established in 1835 as the first mercantile
firm in Sri Lanka, unveiled a new logo last week, and with it relaunched
the company image. The directorate said that they were ready to face the
changing challenges of the corporate world.
Claimed as one of the oldest mercantile firms in the world, the
Steuart seed was planted when sea captain James Steuart realised that
the natural resources of Sri Lanka could be harnessed into abundant
In the days of Ceylon's thriving coffee industry, George Steuarts
played the role of manager and financier of coffee plantations. When the
coffee blight struck in 1870 George Steuarts put on a rear guard action,
collecting money from the public in England to finance the new tea
plantations. The firm even got down James Taylor, the pioneering tea
planter, who planted the first tea garden in Lullekumbura, group
chairman, S. Skandakumar said.
At this historic time, novelist Arthur Canon Doyle has been etched in
record, when he said that hitherto, nowhere in the world had people
risen up so gallantly, as the defeated coffee planters of Ceylon, to
rebuild the new tea industry on the same grounds. From then, until the
nationalisation of plantations in 1975 George Steuarts financed and
managed 25,000 hectares of tea, rubber and coconut estates in Sri Lanka.
In 1975, with no business left, the firm began a process of
Skandakumar said that the spirit of George Steuarts is defined by its
commitment to quality and service delivery and is driven by the passion
and team spirit of its employees. "As we unveil our new logo, we renew
our commitment to the highest standards of business excellence and
The firm's directorate believed that the step taken would bring about
a stronger and more centralised corporate focus to the group which will
enable it to grow stronger in the coming years.
Incorporated as a limited liability company in 1954, George Steuarts
is today managed by its working directors with a staff of 450, carrying
out operations in a number of diversified sectors.
Today George Steuarts has interests in the export of tea, import and
distribution of pharmaceutical, airline ticketing, inbound and outbound
tours, sale of travellers cheques assembly and installation of
telephones and allied services and products, manpower recruitment for
prestigious overseas principals, general sales agency for airlines,
insurance, freight forwarding and education.
A prominent brand under the George Steuarts umbrella is that Steuarts
Tea, marketed by George Steuart (Tea & Marketing). This company received
the prestigious Gold Award for the Tea Sector from the National Chamber
of Exports for 2005. The company has operations in many areas of tourism
including outboard travel and tours, airline ticketing and issuing
George Steuarts Recruitment (Pvt) Ltd won the National Gold Award for
skilled manpower recruitment in 2002. Another subsidiary Steuartel (Pvt)
Ltd which was granted pioneering status, manufactures and markets
Steuartel brand telephones and other electronic equipment together with
a range of telecommunication services.