From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dilmah (Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC)
Founded1988; 33 years ago (1988)
FounderMerrill J Fernando
HeadquartersPeliyagoda, Sri Lanka
Area served
Key people
Merrill Fernando (Chairman)
Himendra Ranaweera (Deputy Chairman)
Dilhan Fernando (CEO)
ProductsCeylon Tea
Flavoured Tea
Green Tea
Production output
Increase 5,200 MT (2018)[1]
RevenueIncrease Rs 10.713 billion (2018)[1]
Increase Rs 1.852 billion (2018)[1]
Increase Rs 1.591 billion (2018)[1]
Total assetsIncrease Rs 12.805 billion (2018)[1]
Total equityDecrease Rs 11.522 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees
Decrease 644 (2018)[1]

Dilmah is a Sri Lankan brand of tea, sold internationally.[2] The company was founded in 1988 by Merrill J Fernando. The name Dilmah was chosen by combining the first names of Fernando's sons Dilhan and Malik. It is available in over 100 countries, including Estonia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Lithuania, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Canada, Chile, South Africa, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan and New Zealand. In 2009 it was considered that Dilmah was the sixth-largest tea brand in the world.[3]


The Company's founder, Merrill J. Fernando, was born in 1930 in the village of Pallansena, near Negombo. He moved to Colombo, where he became one of the Ceylonese tea tasters, training at Mincing Lane, London.

In 1974 Fernando bought his first few tea estates to try his hand at producing Sri Lankan tea, and in 1981 he founded Ceylon Tea Services Limited.

In 1985, Merril Fernando convinced the Australian supermarket retailer Coles to stock his brand of tea, Dilmah. He spoke to a Coles buyer about stocking his tea and eventually won him over. In 1988 a Melbourne Coles store started stocking Dilmah on its shelves. It eventually spread to 35 other Coles stores in Victoria and then Woolworths started selling the product as well. Dilmah later exported the tea to New Zealand, where it was the top-selling brand in 2013,[4] and also to Europe and North America. In 2013, Australia made up 10 percent of Dilmah's global annual retail sales.[5]

In September 2009 Ceylon Tea Services, Dilmah's parent company, earned US$5.2 million on US$19.7 million in revenue, which was up from profits of US$1.3 million, on US$18.6 million in revenue the year before.[3]

In 2007, Dilmah Conservation was founded, "to incorporate environmental and wildlife conservation efforts into the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation, which primarily focuses on social justice".[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Dilmah 2018/2019 Annual Report" (PDF). Dilmah Plc. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  2. ^ Rosenfeld, Cynthia (11 February 2015). "Tea in Sri Lanka: Travelers take sips steeped history". CNN. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Bajaj, Vikas (8 January 2010). "A Sri Lankan Underdog Battles Global Tea Giants". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  4. ^ Khona, Minnal (6 June 2013). "People: The Dilmah story". India Link. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Dilmah founder draws on 25 years of tea business". BRW. Archived from the original on 6 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Conservation of Biodiversity and Heritage | Dilmah Conservation". Retrieved 28 April 2021.

External links[edit]