Business Times

Cargills looks at new business opportunities

Restructuring: Ranjit Page steps down from day-to-day operations

The Cargills Group, Sri Lanka’s biggest group in food manufacture and retailing, is looking for new business opportunities in the post-war era but more significantly has undergone a restructure of its management.

Ranjit Page, widely credited with driving Cargills’ entry into supermarkets from a staid department store 27 years ago and thus creating a revolution in Sri Lanka’s food retail business, has stepped down from day-to-day operations at the group and will focus on looking at new business opportunities outside the company’s core activity, among other functions.

Day-to-day work will be handled by long-time staffer Imtiaz Wahid, who was associated with Mr Page in opening the first Food City store at Staples Street in the troubled year of 1983. Mr Wahid was appointed Managing Director and Deputy CEO in mid-April.

“He is now totally responsible for the day to day operation of the total business. I continue as Chief Executive Officer and my focus now would be more on mentoring, development of people, on strategy as well as investment in areas outside our immediate business,” Page, also Cargills Deputy Chairman, told the Business Times in an exclusive interview this week.

He said the restructuring was done purely to realise the opportunity the company saw for Cargills in 1999/2000. “With the leadership and team in place, in the new (post-war) Sri Lanka, I believe Cargills can be among the top companies in every aspect in terms of revenue, contribution to the economy, contribution in employment and contribution to the shareholder in terms of sustainable value creation through profitability,” he added.

Mr Page learnt the ropes like stacking shelves as an ordinary employer under Cornel Perera who pioneered the supermarket business in around 1980-81, and then drove the company to a mega supermarket chain and manufacturer, a model that others here are following while being viewed with interest by the World Bank, ADB and the Bill Gates Foundation.

Cargills is ploughing in Rs 2 billion worth of investments in the current financial year and expects these investments to grow year-on-year. In addition to these investments in retail and restaurants, the company has already invested Rs 500 million in the expansion of the Cargills Magic Ice Cream Plant with a new range of products coming into the market shortly.

“All our brands have shown wonderful growth in the last year and I believe by 2015 we would easily double our business or more.

We don’t want to be the greatest. We want to be the best in terms of sustainability in rewarding all stakeholders and thereby become the largest revenue company in Sri Lanka. The model we have built we would tweak it here and there but the engine is the same. The heart is for the people of Sri Lanka. Some would call it CSR. This is not CSR. CSR is our business,” he explained.

The company is also driving a massive investment plan in the North where it has already registered 1500 farmers from Jaffna as suppliers of food products.

“Our team is on the ground at this very moment. It’s simple to open a supermarket but it’s more complex to get the backup operation in terms of the agriculture, dairy farmers, etc. But more importantly we need to touch the people emotionally and create opportunities as we have done elsewhere,” he said.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Business Times Articles
Cargills looks at new business opportunities
Govt. announces Rs 1.7 trillion budget estimate
Cargills Fort: Harrods of Sri Lanka
Five new firms join stockbroking community
Rains: No respector of property, people and tourists!
Kotelawala pulls out of Ceylinco Insurance re-election bid
ADB President visiting Sri Lanka this week
Global Business Forum in Sri Lanka during IIFA
Sri Lanka Post ventures into financial services to reduce operating deficit
New beginnings, just like in 1977
What do you think?
Corporate results are better than forecasted: analysts
First-ever Agricultural Trade Exhibition in Trincomalee
Capital gains help Hayleys records highest ever profits
AVIVA NDB revenue rises in first quarter but reports loss
Sunlight still leads the market after 125 years
No respite from the rains in Seeduwa
Ulagalla Resort organises medical camp for villagers
Cabraal at Sunday Times Business Club meeting
Asha Central Hospital closes
Cargills, the‘Gedera Yana Gaman’ chain, makes way for new blood
Piramal Glass reports loss for 2010 financial year, signs of improvement
Brandix Mercury earns ISO process certificate
Be innovative and aware of your purpose : Laugfs Chairman
SL attends Intel Asia Pacific channel summit
Strategic partnerships between Lankan firms and Care Int.
Rise in net interest margins enhance bank bottomlines in 1Q2010
SL nanotechnology must add value to commodities : top scientist
StanChart in “Music for a Cause” project
Bank of Ceylon profit and revenue down
CB’s Financial Intelligence Unit in MoU with Customs
BASL to build law experts in focussed business areas
Climate change: how business can thrive with the right moves
Luxe Asia hosts FAM tour for top Indian Agents
Emirates adds 4.7 million passengers
MAS Intimates Thurulie wins Globe Award for Sustainability Innovation for 2010
Depositors of Ceylinco Shriram to receive repayments soon
The thrust, need and ingredients for export growth
Protecting the Ceylon Tea brand
72% increase in 2010 profits for Overseas Realty
Don’t bank on GDP growth for your investment returns
Former F&G Company takes angry depositors for a ride


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2010 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution