The HVA Group which was formed in 1990, celebrates 20 years of success this year. It was formed as an offshore arm of the Dutch trading company Hans Veering Amsterdam or the Trading Company of Amsterdam and was established primarily to export tea from Sri Lanka.
Although the company was keen to capitalize on its growth potential while continuing with its traditional core operations in the tea industry, there was one man who saw “Tea in a whole new dimension”. He vehemently believed that Tea was not a mere beverage but a symbol of an upwardly mobile and dynamic lifestyle. He passionately believed that the real business opportunity lay in this non-conventional thinking and thus laid the foundation for the creation of the company’s flagship brand and its unique aura.
Under the stewardship and hands-on operation of Rohan Fernando, the veteran tea personality, the company began to take off - initially focusing on consolidating its bulk business and shipping “pure Ceylon tea” to large tea drinking countries like the Middle East and CIS. Although exporting to these traditional markets proved to be fruitful, there was always a yearning to explore new ground. The birth of the company’s flagship brand “Heladiv” was the result of this lacuna and the need for Fernando to drive his vision to deliver innovation in Tea, hitherto considered being a traditional beverage in Sri Lanka.
Heladiv – poetically spun from the word “Heladiva (our land)” with an European phonetic lilt was expected to carve out its unique niche in the world tea markets, as a premium quality brand of teas from the renowned tea gardens of Sri Lanka. This brand was expected to carry the goodness and richness of a commodity deeply ingrained in tradition, culture and superior taste quality. The response from the world markets was stupendous and Heladiv began its journey as a truly global brand originating from Sri Lanka.
Over time, as markets grew so did the product portfolio. Each time, adding on just that little something extra to the already endowed collection of teas - comprising of flavored teas, black teas, golden & silver tips and of course the specialty gift packs.
The milestone achievement of the company was winning ‘The Exporter of the Year Award’ in 1998 and being recognized for the great contribution the brand was making to the industry and the nation. The Heladiv team looked at this achievement as a realization of their vision – now a fulfilled dream.
The cornerstone of the company’s success stemmed from the commitment towards Research & Development. Establishing the industry’s first standardized laboratory and development centre aptly titled – The Heladiv Concept Centre, newer and out-of-the-box innovations based on the raw material Tea and its by-products were created under the brand Heladiv and patented for introduction into the global markets at an opportune time. Some of these inventions won both local and international recognition for product novelty, packaging designs and new-age thinking.
Heladiv Ice Tea was launched into the local market as a pioneer product in 2000 and has since made great strides not only in introducing a new facet to traditional tea drinking but setting a new standard for innovation in tea, in the industry. A firm favorite with the young and old alike, Heladiv Ice Tea is consumed as a lifestyle beverage for its health offering, energy boosting promise and as the refreshing non-carbonated beverage option.
Registered in over 42 countries, Heladiv Teas took a new dimension when the brand entered the Chinese market. With a strategic partnership, Heladiv has now opened close to 10 exclusive tea boutiques cum parlors in Beijing and the Fujian Province. These high profile tea parlors under the “Infini-T” banner, serve the best quality tea from Sri Lanka and hope to expand its chain of parlors to 100 by the end of 2011. Heladiv is proud to be the first and only Tea brand from Sri Lanka to have its branded chain of tea parlors in China, the super power of Asia.
In reminiscing about the company’s 20 year’s journey, its founder shareholder and Chairman Rohan Fernando says that “HVA is built on a family concept. Everyone is energized with a powerful spirit to work as one to conquer the world. Through the many triumphs and tribulations, this team has forged strong bonds - bonds that form the bedrock of this company. We believe in hard work and integrity. These are the two most vital ingredients that have made us strong today. As we celebrate a colossal milestone in the history of the company, we renew our energies and set our course on the path of the future – for there are many new challenges to face and with that there will be many new successes to savor”.