SL’s financial environment positive - Pestonjee
“Sri Lanka’s a financial environment after the end of the conflict is
showing positive signs and to meet this growth, we must also grow with
the nation,” said Aban Pestonjee; founder and chairperson of Abans Pvt
Ltd. For this IT and English is specifically needed to meet business and
Abans Pvt Ltd is one of the market leaders in Sri Lanka, offering a
variety of products and services. Through human resources and with
technological advancement, the company has been able to surpass
expectations and bring growth to the nation.
Companies under the Abans Group belong to one of the five strategic
business units which includes retail, services, manufacturing,
logistics, real estate and infrastructure development and with this they
are beginning to expand island-wide and in the overseas market as well.
“People at Abans are not employed to be in the same position for the
rest of their careers, instead we want them to be able to fulfil their
potential and for that, we need them to have knowledge in IT and
English,” she said.
To achieve this, an academy has been created for those that are not
familiar with these two main subjects. They can learn it from accredited
Whilst fulfilling the academic purposes, this plan also acts as a CSR
project with the Jaffna challenge. As most people in that area are only
familiar with Tamil language, a programme has been created where
employees from the Western province exchange places with those in the
Jaffna area, giving them the chance to learn English and Sinhalese.
This not only provides more jobs but also unifies the Sri Lankan
community by breaking down the language barrier.
“It’s healthy to have competition, without it, a business doesn’t
seek to improve the standard of their products,” she exclaimed.
With over 350 outlets and 15,000 employees across the nation, the
business is continuing to prosper further. Plans are underway to
flourish Abans’ stance in the tourism sector including the construction
of a mall in the Colombo region which will provide a family friendly
environment with food, shopping and entertainment, all in one
destination. They are also looking into the hotel industry outside of
Colombo with land already being bought in Nuwara Eliya and Bentota.
“We’re looking at partnering with an international hotel chain but talks
are still in discussion,” she said.
Pestonjee began Abans in the mid-seventies as a small shop in
Bambalapitiya. She had envisioned to free housewives from the
constraints of having to do everything by hand and began to attend
auctions of household appliances in countries such as Australia. After
1978 when the import tax was introduced she partnered with Swedish
brand, Electrolux and from there the making of Abans as a market leader
was set, “I could never have imagined that this is where my small
business would end up. I could not have done it without the support that
I had received from my family and workers,” she expressed gratefully.