Entrepreneurs are born or made 0 2465

By : Chantal D

Entrepreneurs are born or made?

Simon Arthur Wickramasinghe would have been a successful lawyer, had he continued to practice.  Although this was not what he had in the back of his mind?

If he was the ordinary, the Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL) would not have flagged its way to become the Sri Lanka’s largest confectionary manufacturer, producing and marketing 11 categories of branded food products catering to the diverse palates.

In 1939, Simon W. dropped out from the law college and bought over William biscuit factory from the owner. The lawyer capitalized in it and renamed the factory which came to be known as Williams Confectionary Limited. After relocating the location from Kolonnawa to Dehiwalaand then to Akuressa during the war.

Ceylon Biscuits - Meeting

The biscuits were handmade and baked in a long-fired oven. The dough was mixed by hand,rolled out and cut into shape and placed on trays. These were then baked and cooled. They were packed into gallon tins with a round lid for sale. It was sold locally.

Simon and his wife Enid had four children, sons.

Paul was their firstborn. He was in the first batch of graduates from the University of Peradeniya. He went on to setup Ceylon Essences. Ranjith, their second son excelled in the field of Engineering. Mineka, the third, also known as Micky was the first to follow in his father’s footsteps. Ramya was the youngest. His interests lay in food Science and Technology.

Simon W. was keen to expand the production of this non-traditional snack called a biscuit. A snack introduced by the British. He wanted to find new ways to make better biscuits, a greater variability and make all this easily available. He did this by introducing high-tech manufacturing machinery to the country.

Ceylon Biscuits - Chairman

During this period Mr. S W R D Bandaranayake was the Prime Minister of the country. Due to the mishandling of the economy imports were becoming challenging. Imports of biscuits were banned. It was up to Williams and Maliban which was opened in 1954, to meet the demand and satisfy the market.

Realize this in 1957, the biscuit production line was mechanized with the introduction of Baker Parkins lines from the UK. The then Governor General of Ceylon Sir Oliver Goonethilake declared open the new building which housed the factory.

As the company grew the ‘Williams’ brand packed biscuits in branded tins called ‘Orchid Assorted’ and ‘Cheese Cuts’ with advertising taglines that said ‘Pick the Best’. Simon W. even had many British nationals working for him at his factory.

The products made were Cream Crackers, Marie, Arrowroot, Tea Ginger Nuts, Nice, Custard Cream, Bourbon and Assorted.

In 1960 Simon W. installed an automatic wafer ovenwith 12 plates for better production. It also came with cream spread attached to a cooling conveyor. After cooling, it went to a cutting machine. The packing was done manually into 4 oz. packs and bulk pack into tins.

Munchee LogoTo Simon W. and his family this was a momentous and a historical venture. It was the birth of “Munchee”. The wafer manufactured were branded as Munchee. The name Munchee was given by Mr. Edger Corray.

Simon W. and his sons Mineka and Ramya realized that new machinery with high capacity was the need of the day. To expand, the Ministry of Industries approval had to be obtained. But, the ministry was not keen as private sector industry was not encouraged. Finally the Ministry wanted Williams Confectionary Limited to show exports to grant approval

With much difficulty an export order was obtained from Saudi Arabia. With this in hand approval for expansion was gained by Simon W. At that time William Confectionary Limited did not have land for expansion. This was the next obstacle faced by Simon and his sons. Finally land was bought at Pannipitiya.

Ceylon Biscuits Limited was incorporated in 1968 as a new company under the leadership of Simon Wickramasinghe’s son Mineka Wickramasinghe.

Simon Arthur (Artie) Wickramasinghe renamed Chairman of Ceylon Biscuits Limited until August 1984 when he passed away leaving behind a legacy of fair play, both by the worker and the consumer.

Today CBL offers diversity of captivating tastes to International consumers, stormed export market gaining acceptance in 52 countries and counting.

Winning Export Awards since the year 2003, having won recognition by awarding bodies including National Chamber of Exports and Presidential Exports Awards.

When it came to Simon W. a self-made Entrepreneur, the sky was not the limit.

Entrepreneurs aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.

 

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Whither Goes the Real Estate Market? Comments Off on Whither Goes the Real Estate Market? 640

 BY T.V. PERERA

The real estate sector is one of the most internationally renowned sectors. In India, the real estate sector is rated the second major sector following agriculture. Until around mid last year the real estate sector in Sri Lanka had been a prospective business investment with good returns.  Uncertainity, however, which set in the property market resulted in the residential sector taking a declining trend with many construction projects being on hold, property developers facing difficulties in re-paying their loans, and some even ending bankrupt. 

While property developers are weighed down, being unable to earn expected profits, those who buy apartments to sell them at gains are saddled with cost excursion. In Sri Lanka, land prices keep rising year after year. The Colombo District Land Price Index compiled by the Central Bank reached 132.2 during the first half of 2019 recording an increase of 13.6% compared to the first half of 2018. The sub-indices of land price, namely Residential, Commercial and Industrial have contributed to this increase. The averge price of a residential lot was up 15.3% in 2018 and in Colombo, by 15.5%. 

There is evidently a bubble in the market when buying a property with intention to sell it at a higher price although not on a very high scale in Sri Lanka, due to land prices constantly rising.  At some point of time this bubble will surely burst where none of the apartments could be sold. 

The subdued economic performance which resulted in the drop in the real estate sector is attributed to weak domestic demand, continued tightening in monetary conditions, government consumption spending, stagnant fixed investment, and lower net exports. 

The tightening monetary policy enforced on the recommendation of the IMF was one cause that led to drag down domestic demand and investments, and further,  inconsistent economic policies driven by instability adversely affected public and private sector investments, the key drivers of economic growth.

The real estate sector, which is described as property consisting land and the buildings on it as well as the natural resources including crops, water, and mineral deposits, is linked with the overall performance of the economy. Hence fluctuations within the sector magnify ups and downs of the overall economy.  As a result of this link, large movements in the real estate market tend to amplify fluctuations in the overall economy in addition to potentially destabilising the financial system. An example of this is the financial crisis where the real estate market had vast and disasterous effects on the overall economy on a global scale. 

Cont..

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Biznomics Note Pad 0 474

biznomics-note-pad-2

By Biznomics Research Team

Monetary Policy Dilemma Everywhere

Global Financial markets have turned their attention to the emerging split among monetary policy makers towards policy rate cuts. The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States reduced its policy rate by 25 basis points, but indicated further rate reductions could be on the card as members split on what to do next. Reduced its benchmark overnight lending rate range from 2-2.5 PCT to 1.75-2 PCT

The US President Donald Trump has gone on record that Federal Reserve Bank is risking US competitiveness by keeping interest rates substantially higher than most of the developed countries.

Oil Prices Back to near normal

BiZnomics-note-spad-1Brent Crude price which soared to near USD 70/bbl after the attack on Aramco oil facility declined to near USD 60/bbl when Saudi Arabia announced that they will ensure no shortage in medium term. In the background of slowdown in global economy, the attack on Aramco oil infrastructure facility did not reflect sustained pressure on the market demand.  The surprised drone strike at the Saudi oil facility on 14th September halt the oil production impacting nearly 5 million barrels of crude processing a day which is 5 PCT of world’s daily production. The US blamed Iran for the attack.

 

US-China Trade Tension

Us and China delays further tariff increase pending high level talks between the two countries.

The Wall Street journal on 19th September reported that the World economic growth remain low in 2020 and possibly beyond if trade conflict spills over into other aspects of two country economic relationships. OECD expressed its worry over sliding economic growth among major trading partners. Slowing trade flows and business investments are signs that the trade disputes are taking a toll on global growth. The US-China official are due to meet in the third week of September to hold talks ahead of high level trade talks in October. Several rounds of tariffs have been levied by two countries on a larger percentage of commodities traded between two countries.

 

US Hit USD 1 trillion budget deficit

The US budget deficit passes USD 1 trillion mark for 2019. Reuters reported that the US government posted a USD 200 Bn budget deficit in August 2019 raising the eight-month budget deficit towards USD 1 trillion.

Cont..

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