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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2402

Maliban rises from the ashes of near ruination, to compete to be market leader

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 28 July, (Asiantribune.com): The perennial family favorite - Maliban Cream Cracker was relaunhed with a new taste as well as a new look at a media briefing held recently at Trans Asia Hotel, where the Chairman and the Board of Directors of the House of Maliban were present.

A G R Samaraweera, Chairman, Maliban said that the Company's key strength right throughout in its long history has been its emphasis on quality. From the insception Maliban has focused on quality which has in turn built trust and loyalty among generations of consumers. He said that this was possible, due to Maliban has always been a brand close to the consumers' heart and today's launch is a further reinforcement of their commitment to giving the consumer a quality, great tasting Cracker which is on par with any international product.

He indicated that their key strength throughout its long history has been its emphasis on quality and declared “Maintaining quality standards is our religion”.

At this press briefing it was revealed that a worker strike that took place in 2005 almost ruined the giant Maliban biscuit industry and during a six month period the entire plant came to a standstill.Chairman Maliban Biscuits, A G R Samaraweera (fifth from left) tastes the New Taste New Look Maliban Cream Cracker biscuit.  Others in the picture are from left: Shanaka Wickramapala, Director, Ms Tharangithi Samaraweera, Director, A G Wimalasiri, Senior Director, Nirosh De Silva, Advisor, Kumerini Candappa, Head of Marketing and Keerthi Peiris, Product Development and International Marketing Director – all of them from the House of Maliban.Chairman Maliban Biscuits, A G R Samaraweera (fifth from left) tastes the New Taste New Look Maliban Cream Cracker biscuit. Others in the picture are from left: Shanaka Wickramapala, Director, Ms Tharangithi Samaraweera, Director, A G Wimalasiri, Senior Director, Nirosh De Silva, Advisor, Kumerini Candappa, Head of Marketing and Keerthi Peiris, Product Development and International Marketing Director – all of them from the House of Maliban.

Consequent to the strike, as there was no production, for six months Malibans went through a treacherous period where they had to put maximum efforts to be in the market and managed to provide supplies from their stockpiles. The overall financial constraint caused by the outcome of the strike is estimated at Rs 1.5 billion

What transpired at Trans Asia Hotel was unfurling the story of how from the ashes of that damning strike, the emergence of the giant manufacture to regain its lost grounds.

Maliban learning from the bitter past, not only revamped the organization, but adhering to the modern trends, has infused young blood to augment the professional skills and also focusing their products to be exactly within the consumer liking.

Nirosh De Silva, Advisor to Maliban Biscuits, unfolding the past, the present and the future, said that Maliban is not only a heritage brand but is essentially part of the business history of this country.

He said that consequent to the strike there arose financial constraints and other logistically problems and during that slump their competitors have captured a share of their market and during the last one year they were strategizing to regain their lost market share and laid a strong foundation for a steady future with a sound financial structure and young professional network.

He said the launch of the new look, new taste cream cracker is the meticulous planning for the last 10 months. More emphasis would be made to capture the younger people and they are confident that the older people are with them ever since Maliban has been in the market.

Their strategies are well focused to capture the hearts of everybody and the machinery is set into motion to become the market leader in this range, very soon. He said “Soon we will be the top of the mind brand in Sri Lanka”.

Due to their consistency in quality maintenance has paid rich dividends throughout as quality is niche in even capturing the foreign markets, since a longtime. He said that they are very happy the the certain quality norms they have set has been emulated by their competitors.

Kumerini Candappa, Head of Marketing, Maliban Biscuits said that great brands are founded on simple promise and the launch of the new Maliban Cream Cracker reinforces this. She said that cream crackers are generally eaten as a hunger stopper – an in between meals product and theirs is a cream cracker focused on the satisfaction one gets when consuming the biscuit ‘Hitha Pirenna’.

Four Sirasa Super Stars – Nadini, Premadasa, Sanka Dineth, Chamika Sirimanne and Sureni are part of the new Cream Cracker communications material.

Keerthi Peiris, New Product Development and International Marketing Manager, Maliban Biscuits said that the Company currently exports to over 20 countries in five continents – a brand with a wide global presence. They commenced exports as early as 1963 and are currently exported to countries including Canada, USA, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Australia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Seychelles, India, Bangladesh and Ghana.

- Asian Tribune -

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