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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 commercial gain.

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 diversification.

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 ethical governance."

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 travellers' cheques.

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.

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka
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