Jayantha Karunaratne, Managing Director, Imperial Teas (Pvt) Ltd, receives the Award for the Most Outstanding Exporter of the Year from Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce
Imperial Tea Exports, the manufacturer and exporter of high quality Ceylon tea was awarded the 'Most Outstanding Exporter of the Year' at the 18th National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) Awards Ceremony. Imperial Tea Exports also walked away with the award for the 'Best Sri Lankan Brand Exporter' for 2009.
The prestigious NCE awards, held every year, identify and reward high performing Sri Lankan exporters, who contribute significantly towards the economic development of the country. Speaking during the awards ceremony, Dr Uditha Liyanage, Chairman of the Panel of Judges, stressed the importance of branding. He also emphasised that one of the aspects considered when selecting the winners was the way in which companies positioned their brands in the international markets.
Commenting on the significance of the award to Imperial Tea Exports, Jayantha Karunaratne, Managing Director of Imperial Tea Exports stated, "This is a neutral and unbiased judgement of our work, which demonstrates the strength and solidity of Imperial Tea Exports and helps outsiders, especially our buyers, gain more confidence in our brand."
He went on to explain that the company has recorded exceptional growth and high export value in the past year, despite the difficulties faced in the international markets due to the global recession. Thus, the awards are a reflection of the company's commitment to build a strong brand identity, backed by a diverse portfolio of tea products coupled with excellent customer service and quality as key drivers of business value additions.
One of the reasons for our applying for the NCE awards was to verify our performance vis-a-vie industry standards, said Deepal Chandrasekera, Chief Marketing Officer of Imperial Tea Exports. The company's value growth in exports, research and development, brand promotions, productivity, net foreign exchange earned, job creation and new market development were assessed during the evaluation.
Established in 1994, Imperial Tea Exports, has made rapid progress in the international market. Today, it stands among the top 10 largest exporters of tea in terms of volume. The company's flagship brand IMPRA has made substantial headway in the international arena, while other brands include Royal Elixir, Heavenly, Regal and Ni-Sal. With a recorded annual export turnover of over US$ 61 million the company boasts of a loyal clientele from a wide range of export markets across the globe such as Russia, Iran, Dubai, USA, Canada, Europe, China, Australia, Japan and the Middle East.
Imperial Tea Exports is committed to ensuring high quality and excellence in all its products. Stringent quality processes are adopted and the company's tea packing facility is accredited by the ISO 22000, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and critical control point), BRC (British retail Consortium), USDA Organic Certified (United States Department of Agriculture), NASAA (National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia), JAS, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certifications. The company engages staff from internationally reputed monitoring companies,
Progressing into the future, steps will be taken to ensure the company maintains its high growth, said Deepal. A strategic planning department has been established to develop new measures and increase profitability. The company also aims to diversify its product portfolio reflecting the current global trends and venture into new markets.
Knowledge of tea consuming markets is vital for the further development of the company and its brand. Therefore, the team from Imperial Tea Exports will continue to participate in international exhibitions to gain enhanced understanding of current trends. Regular training is being conducted for the staff to improve efficiency and knowledge.
The imperial Group is committed to assisting our local communities.
The passion has spurred numerous Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives over the years. Requests from communities are analysed, benefits gauged and group resources and manpower infused into ensuring sustainability of a variety of projects. From presentation of computers to IT literacy in schools in the strife ridden areas of the country, gifting wheel chairs and prosthetic limbs to armed force personnel, assisting in the reconstruction of a school devastated by tsunami, presentation of 'Pahan Weta' to the Historical Kelaniya Temple, assisting the work of the Kidney Transplant Support Foundation, conducting health camps for neighbouring communities, to continuous assistance via dry rations for communities who are rendered destitute during natural disasters, the company believes in giving back.