In 1976, my father, Kumar Paul Sr., established his own business in the name of K. Paul Associates Limited, which was one of the first few family-owned and operated companies in Sri Lanka in an industry still dominated at the time by the British. In fact, he had been among the first Ceylonese that were trained by the British in 1954 and was apprenticed at Colombo Commercial Company (Teas) Limited as a Trainee Tea Taster. Much later, having worked his way up through the firm, he served as Chairman from 1970 to 1976 when the Company was subject to the nationalization policies of the government at that time.
I began working in the family business in January 1983 at the age of sixteen and received in depth training in tasting, grading, blending and trading during a period spanning more than 25 years. In September 2004, I ventured out on my own and established S. St. Clair Teas (Private) Limited.
Founding one’s own business, nurturing it and watching it grow has been no easy task. Dealing with a wide variety of business and economic issues has made it both challenging but also very rewarding. Very early on, we adopted a simple trading policy of owing our first responsibility to our customers and providing them with the highest quality products and superior personalized service. That has been the key to the continued success of S. St. Clair Teas (Private) Limited. I am proud to mention that the Company has surpassed its predicted growth rate by nearly 100% during the relatively short time we have been in operation. Needless to say, this achievement would not have become a reality if it were not for the support and encouragement we have received from our customers and business partners worldwide, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. A special mention of appreciation is due also to our loyal and dedicated personnel, past and present, many of whom have been working with me since my days in the family business.
While continuing to strive to provide improved product ranges and improved service to our existing clientele, we also seek and welcome new business opportunities and partners alike in our endeavors to bring the world a good “cuppa “of Ceylon Tea. The following pages will provide a brief but comprehensive account of our ideas and views for the Company and its future progress. We are confident that the core policies of honesty, quality and responsibility, combined with personalized service will guide and strengthen S. St. Clair Teas (Private) Limited in the years to come.
My fellow Directors join me in extending to all our warmest greetings.
Shehan St. Clair Paul