Our History

  • 1866: The Cargo Boat Despatch Co. Ltd is established with the aim of launching into the world of shipping. In 1936, Mr. Alfred L. Thambiayah, Member of Parliament of Ceylon, acquires controlling interest of the company from its then foreign owners, and grows it to the forefront of shipping, trading and agriculture, accounting for the majority of the business of the port of Colombo prior to nationalization in 1958.
  • 1969: Mr. Thambiayah establishes Renuka Hotels Ltd, the company being named after Mr. Thambiayah’s youngest daughter, Renuka.Also Mr. Thambiayah’s association with Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner paves the way for the founding of C.T. Holdings PLC (formerly Ceylon Theaters). He was Chairman and Managing Director of Millers and Cargills Ceylon, as well as a Director of Hatton National Bank, where the group had significant shareholdings until his demise.
  • 1975: Renuka Enterprises Ltd is established by Mrs. I. Renuka Rajiyah and within the first three years of operations becomes one of the leading exporters of agriculture commodities – desiccated coconut and spices from Sri Lanka. The export business grows by 500% in the first 3 years, paving the way for investments in other areas.
  • 1976: Renuka House, an office and warehouse building is constructed in Colombo 2.
  • 1978: Dr. S. Ranjit Rajiyah, a medical doctor by profession, joins the business. Renuka Holdings Ltd is incorporated to act as a promoter for infrastructure development projects such as the construction of the Mahaweli dams, with foreign partners. The Kent warehouse complex is constructed in Colombo 09.
  • 1980: Renuka Teas Ceylon (Pvt) Ltd commences as a producer and exporter of Ceylon tea bags from Sri Lanka.
  • 1980: The Cargo Boat Development Co PLC commences construction of a high rise building in Colombo Fort and is listed under the property sector of the Colombo Stock Exchange.
  • 1982: Renuka Agro Exports Ltd commences as Sri Lanka’s pioneer value added exporter of Coconut products.
  • 1989: Ceylon Botanicals Ltd is formed to venture into organic cultivation and processing; it’s Wiharagama Estate, Matale Valley having been in the family since the turn of the century. The successor to the company Kandy Plantations Ltd establishes Sri Lanka’s largest organic certified coconut farms.
  • 1989: Renuka Group Ltd emerges as the parent company, with only minority affiliate stakes retained in Renuka Hotels and Cargo Boat.
  • 1990: Renuka Foods PLC (formerly known as Coco Lanka PLC) is established and becomes the leading manufacturer of value added coconut based food products. In 1994 it is listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange under the Food and Beverage sector.
  • 2001: The next generation of the family joins the organization.
  • 2003: The business of Renuka Foods PLC is expanded by its subsidiary
  • Renuka Agri Foods PLC, commissioning a state-of-the-art Coconut based food and coconut water beverage manufacturing facility.
  • 2008: Renuka Holdings PLC is listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange and becomes a sub holding company.
  • 2010: Renuka Agri Foods PLC is listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange.
  • 2011: The Shaw Wallace Group is acquired, consisting of Shaw Wallace Ceylon (est. 1909), Bois Bros. & Co Ltd, (Est 1891), and Shaw Wallace Properties. Shaw Wallace Ceylon is a leading FMCG Food and Beverage, Automotive business house with strong national brands. Bois Bros. & Co. is one of the pioneering firms of Ceylon’s Tea industry.
  • 2012: The Renuka Building, a state-of-the-art 61000 Sq.ft. office building in Colombo 08, is opened to house group companies.
  • 2012: McShaw Automotive Ltd is incorporated as a joint venture by the transfer of the automotive business, while the Tea business of Bois Bros. is amalgamated with Renuka Teas.
  • 2012: Richlife Dairies Ltd, Sri Lanka’s first UHT Dairy milk manufacturer, is acquired.
  • 2014: Unagahadeniya Desiccated Coconut Mills (est. 1961) is acquired, while Renuka Agri Organics Ltd opens an expanded Virgin Coconut Oil manufacturing facility.
  • 2015: The property companies of the group are combined under Renuka Development Ltd to form a new sector. Galle Face Properties Ltd commences a high rise building project in the Central Business District of Colombo.
  • 2016: Renuka Capital PLC (formally known as Kalamazoo Systems PLC), established in 1958, is acquired. The company becomes an investment trust.
  • 2017: Acquisition of Mayfair Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s market leader in Bubblegum and related confectionery products.
  • 2017: Investment in Royal Candle Works Ceylon (Pvt) Ltd, with over a century of experience in candle manufacturing and exports.
  • 2017: On’ally Holdings PLC, a pioneer in property development and owners of Unity Plaza, Colombo becomes an associate company.