Renuka Holdings PLC traces its origins to a shipping company founded in the later part of the 19th century in then Ceylon.
The Cargo Boat Dispatch Company was established in 1866 by Ana G. Mahamadu. In 1936 the late Alfred L. Thambiayah member of parliament acquired the company from Harry and John Cosmas, its then foreign owners and grew it to the forefront of shipping, trading and agriculture, accounting for the majority of the business of the Port of Colombo prior to nationalization in 1958. Although the company was facing great difficulties, to counter the adverse business climate Mr A.L.Thambiyah set about diversifying. During his tenure the company became a leading shipping agency house, set up Renuka Hotels Ltd and The Cargo Boat Development Co. PLC and became significant shareholders in Millers, Cargills and Hatton National Bank.
In the early 1970’s nationalization of plantations and land took place, followed by the liberalization of the economy. In 1976 Renuka Enterprises was incorporated by Mr. Thambiayah's daughter Renuka, to commence business as an exporter of agricultural commodities. The export business grew by over 500% in the first 3 years, paving the way for investments in other areas. During this period the group also acted as a promoter for infrastructure development projects such as construction of the Victoria and Randenigala dams with foreign partners.
During the 1980's Renuka forayed into the value added export of Ceylon tea, manufacture and export of coconut products and logistics. In the late 1980's the Group was re-organized with certain shareholdings being divested.
Since the 1990's we have being on a path of rapid growth venturing into plantations, manufacture and export of organic certified products, portfolio management, forestry among others.
Today Renuka Holdings PLC is the holding company of a diversified organization and is responsible for the strategic direction of the group.
In 2011 Renuka Holdings PLC acquired controlling interest of Shaw Wallace Ceylon Ltd, making it a subsidiary. Shaw Wallace Ceylon Ltd is one of Sri Lanka's oldest firms engaged in the distribution of Automotive products, Foodservice, FMCG and acts as importers and agents.