Sri Lanka’s premier biscuit manufacturer Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd, which has been in existence for over 60 years and has the distinction of winning the CNCI gold award, will be upping its production capacity soon to increase its present dominance of the industry. Maliban is presently equipped with world-class infrastructure, which includes the most [...]

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Maliban increases production for greater dominance


Sri Lanka’s premier biscuit manufacturer Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd, which has been in existence for over 60 years and has the distinction of winning the CNCI gold award, will be upping its production capacity soon to increase its present dominance of the industry.

Maliban is presently equipped with world-class infrastructure, which includes the most modern machinery, but according to the company the key aspect of its success is its skilled and motivated workforce backed by a superior image.

Top Maliban officials revealed that the company’s position in the local and foreign markets has been further consolidated after it won the gold for the extra large category of the CNCI The Achiever Awards 2013, organised by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries for Industrial and Service Excellence at the national level.

These popular and highly-acclaimed Achiever Awards have been rated as the benchmark of industrial excellence in Sri Lanka.
The evaluations conducted during the Achiever Awards competition were a distinct indication of company performance and will be a valuable yardstick and guideline for the senior management to implement corrective procedures that will add to the prestige of the enterprise.

The award-winners

The award-winners were chosen by the CNCI after all applications were subjected to a stringent evaluation procedure, mainly through an audit and financial verification, then by evaluation of all strategic factors expected through a special internal panel and by final evaluation by an eminent panel of judges.

The Chairman of Maliban Biscuit Manufacture Mr.Ratnapala Samaraweera with the Board Directors holding the awards received.

The Chairman of Maliban Biscuit Manufacture Mr.Ratnapala Samaraweera with the Board Directors holding the awards received.

Commenting on the victory, CEO Sales and Marketing, Ravi Jayewardene said that they have been rewarded for their teamwork and commitment and also recognised the trust consumers have for their products.

“Though the market is cooperatively stagnant, by implementing the right strategy and a very disciplined framework, Maliban has been able to achieve all key performance indicators such as volume growth, operational efficiencies, and financial management,” he said.

“This was possible with the combined efforts of all the departments across the organisation. The management identifies these efforts and we reward and recognise all our employees,” he added. He stated that the company is currently a dominant entity in the biscuit industry and has strengthened its position by introducing six new and innovative products and seven new lines of production.

With the consumer at the heart of its business, Maliban regularly conducts extensive consumer research in its processes.

Consumer-focused strategies

The CNCI Gold award for Industrial and Service Excellence will further bolster the company’s presence in the local and international markets as it adopts more consumer-focused strategies in continuing to offer its customers world-class products that have been trusted for generations, Mr. Jayawardena revealed.

He noted that this was a significant achievement in Maliban’s journey.

Confidence in our brand

Expressing his gratitude, he said, “I would like to thank all our consumers, for their confidence in our brand year after year, which has helped take Maliban to a higher pedestal, our dealers for their commitment and hard work, the Chairman and the Board of Directors and the senior management for their support and guidance and the sales force and the entire Maliban team for their continuous effort and dedication.”

He added that the non-conventional techniques used by the Marketing Department have really worked to achieve this through the consumers and Maliban has recorded a significant growth in sales and production volume this year following its principle of looking after taste along with the good health of consumers by supplying them with high quality biscuits manufactured using high quality ingredients under hygienic conditions through the 100,000 retail outlets countrywide, including the North and East.

Phenomenal growth

Group CEO D. L Weerasuriya mentioned that the company has achieved phenomenal growth in the market during the last couple of years, a manifestation of the determination and clear strategic focus of our key management team. 
“This achievement was possible due to all the stakeholders of Maliban; consumers , distributors etc I thank every employee of Maliban for the contribution they made toward achieving this award

Based on consumer surveys conducted by Maliban in 2012, the company developed products based on consumer preferences and introduced innovative products to the market. These included Cheese Puff, Premium Marie, Maliban Sugar-free Feel Good biscuit, and Spicy Crackers. Meanwhile, the entire gift product range was revamped, and the popular Maliban Lemon Puff was re-launched making them softer to the palette using natural lemon oil sourced from UK, and given a youthful and vibrant look. Maliban sources its raw material from specialized countries, getting chocolate from Ghana and natural lemon oil from the UK.

These products resulted from extensive tests in Singapore and several Western countries, and have a proven high quality. They are hygienically produced, safer in consumption and accepted for healthy living. Outlining the financial performance of Maliban, Chief Financial Officer Dilum Bellana noted that the company has achieved 28 percent growth in volume, consolidating its financial stability during the period reviewed by the award’s panel of judges.

Business expanded

The business has been expanded and there was tremendous growth in sales, mainly created through exports to Asian and Australasian countries, he revealed. Exports of Maliban biscuits have also made a significant contribution to the upward trend in the company’s financial performance in the recent past.

Of the exports, 80% go to developed countries such as France, UK, Canada and Germany and the balance to African and Asian countries. The demand from developed countries is for the high-quality and taste of Maliban biscuits. To date Maliban is noted for its acceptance locally and abroad, he said.

Maliban currently has a network of over 140 distributors making its products available in every nook and corner of the country. At the moment, consumer demand is growing as Maliban products continue to deliver what is best for the consumer by using the best ingredients, raw materials and continuous R & D processes. A reflection of the pulse of the people, the CNCI Gold Award demonstrates the trust and confidence placed on the Maliban brand by Sri Lanka ‘s public and the company’s financial performance was a major factor towards clinching this prestigious award for excellence. 

Wide recognition

Since its establishment over 60 years ago, Maliban products have grown into household names and have gained wide recognition both locally and internationally for its high quality.

Outlining the importance of human resources and its significance for the achievement of the CNCI gold award, Bandula Perera, Group General Manager-HR/Admin, told the Sunday Times ‘For Better Living’ that around 1,400 employees work round the clock to assure the highest standards in quality due to precise and undeviating guidance given through the HR and the key aspects of its success is their skilled and motivated workforce backed by a superior image of the company.

Sustainable development

With the focus on achieving further sustainable development, the company has implemented several initiatives within the past few years including projects focused on employee skills development, local and international training and identifying the gaps to be competitive in HR, he said.

The approach to training and skill development has enhanced employee motivation and their engagement to the company, where the company gains long-term achievement in HR sustainability which enhances employee productivity.

Achieved many awards

The company has achieved many awards in quality, benchmarking the National Quality award for large-scale manufacturing sector in last year and many other ISO standards.

As a result of training and development based on the gap identified, improved employee competencies and skill level enabling them to comply with the required standards. Furthermore, he emphasized that the management of Maliban looks at workers’ problems and works for the improvement of employee welfare.

Maliban’s employee base includes members, who are experts in their field of work, as well as newcomers. The company believes this provides motivation for new employees to perform their duties to the highest standards and contribute towards the progress of Maliban.

The employees are the driving force of the company. Therefore, managing and developing human resources is a vital aspect of any company. With that focus the company’s human resources department frequently directs the employees to improve their knowledge and skills.

Employees’ contribution 

Thus, the Chairman and the Board of Directors, CEO of Maliban duly recognize the employees’ contribution towards the company’s growth and believe that the current company achievements were made possible with their support, positive attitudes, tirelessness and willingness.

Maliban has always given priority to sharing its success with society hence Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a major part of the company’s identity. Beginning by donating a hospital in early 1962, Maliban has implemented numerous CSR projects including facilitating IT education for students, donating computers for rural schools as well as several rural community development projects, Mr. Perera said.

“The House of Maliban has indeed proven that it can withstand the test of time and we are confident of bettering our performance, expanding our product range and continuing to cater to all our customers. We have established, implemented and are maintaining Integrated Management System which includes Quality Management System, Environmental Management System and Food Safety Management System along with other quality concepts such as Cleaner Production, Quality Circles, and effective 5 S System etc. to enhance consumer delight by delivering what we promise to the consumer,” he revealed.

Sarath De Silva, Factory General Manager, who is a food technologist and a chartered chemist along with practical experience in food manufacturing process, noted that the company is planning to shift to a new production plant operated using solar power renewable energy, saving electricity as well as conserving the environment.

He revealed that the company has adopted a zero breakdown concept during the past three years, improving the skills of workers.

There was a 25 percent increase in labour productivity and reduced waste considerably during the period under review he disclosed.

Fully automated

The production line of the factory will be fully automated increasing overall equipment effectiveness, he said.
The CNCI Gold Award recognises organisations in Sri Lanka for their annual performances.

Expressing her views, Warna Fernando, Assistant General Manager, Quality Assurance and Research Development, stated, “While achieving this Gold Award we believe that we have been recognised for our performance and commitment towards managing the environment in a responsible manner, which gives real weight to the Maliban theme ‘Inspired by goodness’.
Building its practices on the ’5R principles’, the company adopts the concepts of Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Refuse and Reform in its activities. In moving into the future, Maliban has identified the concept of ‘refuse’ as a key aspect in its ‘Environment Road Map’, through which the company aims to avoid the purchase of environmentally burdensome materials where possible and use optimum materials. This will enable Maliban to achieve environmental benefits by minimising the harmful effect on the environment, as well as cost benefits.

“We are one of the few major food businesses that have the ISO 22000 certification that relates to food safety management system. We were also the first biscuit manufacturer to be awarded Super Brand status and today we have been presented with the Gold award for Industrial and Service Excellence at the national level,” she said

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