Persistence Won the Name in the Business World: Withanage Stores-Products & Distributors

Persistence Won the Name in the Business World: Withanage Stores-Products & Distributors

SME Inspirations

Commercial Bank LEAP Team

Commercial Bank LEAP Team

56 week ago — 4 min read

Enterprise: Withanage Stores-Products & Distributors

Founder: Manoj Withanage

Industry: Manufacturing of Yogurt, Ice Packets & Watalappan

Year it was founded: 1993

Location: Ampara


Most of the businesses which have shaken the business world have started very small. But the effort and dedication of those entrepreneurs is enormous. So, let us talk to the owner of Withanage Stores-Products & Distributors, a business which started small and is now a well-known business name among many people.


1. Firstly, let’s talk about your business and how it started. Shall we?

I started this business in 1993 with one employee. Talking about this business, Withanage Stores-Products & Distributors is a business that manufactures high quality yogurt, drinking yogurt, Curd, watlappan, jelly yogurt and ice packs.


2. The business which started with one employee is highly successful today. You must talk about it, don't you?

Yes definitely, the business which started in that way, gradually developed and now has the capacity to produce 25,000 liters of milk per month. And the workforce consists of forty-five employees. Especially since we collect milk from local dairy farmers, indirect jobs have been created for the residents of Ampara District in addition to direct employment opportunities. We were also able to bag a Gold Award in the Dairy & Allied Products category at the Industry Excellence Awards 2022 organized by the Industrial Development Board (IDB).


3. How does your business differ from other competing businesses?

Our business is fully equipped with modern machinery and we use modern technology in production.  Also, the employees have been given the necessary training to ensure smooth operation of the business.  We do all this because we know the importance of providing consumers with nutritious, tasty, quality, and clean products. Another special thing is that we do not separate the fat from the milk and many yogurt manufacturers do so to make extra income by producing ghee from the fat.


We also have the necessary technology and machinery to mix fat with milk in the processing of dairy products. As this is well known to the common people of the area and we have won a high position in the market without any competition. In addition, our specialty is that the prices of the products are very reasonable.


4. What challenges have you faced in this journey and are you facing any recently?

The main challenge we are facing is the difficulty in getting the necessary milk stocks due to the crisis in the country. Difficulties in dairy farming have forced many dairy farmers to find alternative livelihoods. However, we are working to minimize the impact by making long-term advance payments to milk suppliers to procure milk early. Also, due to the rising cost of transportation and regular power cuts, the production process is disrupted.


5. Let's talk about your future business dream, shall we?

It is a well-known fact that Witanage's products have captured a large share of the market in Ampara District. However, it is hoped to make the business an export-oriented business and bring foreign exchange income to the country. In addition, work is underway to move our factory to Ampara Industrial zone. It is also expected to create more job opportunities for local residents.

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