CIC Holdings PLC, one of the leading conglomerates in Sri Lanka, announced in a press release that it will undergo a restructuring process, aiming for impactful change within the organization by 2020. CIC was established 50 years ago as an offshore branch that distributed products of the British chemical firm, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
Today, as a conglomerate offering diversified products and services, CIC has entered a crucial phase of restructuring with the aims of seeking future prospects, the release added.
After realizing the limited scope of the chemical industry, CIC contemplated new industries that could make an impactful contribution to the national economy. As a result, the company entered the Agriculture sector and thereafter expanded to agro-chemicals, PET bottles for packing, fertilizer, animal feed, poultry and dairy products, in addition to health and personal care.
CIC is also the first company in Sri Lanka to manufacture seed paddy to compensate for its shortage in the market. Since then, CIC has been providing seed paddy for 30 years, and today the company easily meets a third of market demand. The company has also embarked on a drive to reintroduce Sri Lanka’s oldest known varieties of rice via its Research and Development Unit. Once popular in the country, these ancient rice varieties – Suwandel, Madathawalu and Kaluheenati – were not available in the market. To re-acquaint consumers with these flavours of rice, CIC took measures to refine and reintroduce a number of such varieties to the market under its premier brand, Golden Crop. In addition, it has also taken steps to produce and popularize a fragrant, high grain quality rice variety on par with the international market under the name Red Basmati.
CIC Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer S.P.S. Ranatunga noted, “The economic status quo has given us the opportunity to take new measures to stay ahead of the competition while facing numerous challenges. Multi-national companies are involved in the manufacture of dairy products, while private firms are involved in the production of rice. Regrettably, the Government has no connection to the food chain involving the food and nutrition of the people, and this is not a very positive fact.”
He added that instead of increasing the price of products, CIC has made a positive move to make substantial investments in agriculture and pharmaceuticals, saying this would not only pave the way towards earning foreign exchange, but also help to build a unique identity for the company.
CIC has further invested in the production of fruits and vegetables using cutting-edge technology. Computers are incorporated in greenhouses for the production of superior quality vegetables and fruits aimed at the foreign market, while the second-standard products are then supplied to the local market.
“When it comes to agriculture, we need to be at the forefront of technological innovation and this requires funds. Therefore, we are making plans for restructuring in an attempt to make an impactful change in our company by 2020. We will be restructuring our human resources to a certain extent, preventing any possibility for injustice. We’re focusing on incorporating new investors to expand our dairy solutions. This will help us develop market presence while offering employment opportunities to a great number of persons. Certain enterprises will be downsized, and our existing employee base will be shifted within the frame. This is a crucial time where we see the significance of driving our human resources, financial resources and expertise towards future prospects,” Ranatunga said.
CIC has already taken several measures to streamline its competencies in several aspects. Driven by the aspiration for the impactful change in 2020, the company intends to incorporate state-of-the-art technology, while offering a good price for farming produce and upgrading storage facilities. While improving the market for rice seeds, CIC will also aim to reach new heights in pharmaceutical industry. The company has made a new entrance to ingredient export, and has embarked on a fresh journey towards success, greatly based on the knowledge economy, the release concluded.