We are proud
to be the oldest business house in
Sri Lanka

One of the Oldest Companies in the World

George Steuart & Company Limited was founded in 1835 by James Steuart, a gallant British sea captain who sailed the southern seas to Ceylon and discovered the island’s great commercial potential. James together with his brothers Joseph and George Steuart became Merchant Bankers and then established an agency house that became a large-scale exporter of Ceylon coffee. Sri Lanka’s coffee industry was ravaged by blight in the 1870s and the Steuart brothers were at the frontlines of the plantation industry’s transformation from coffee to tea.

The company named after his brother George, took shape as a modern corporate establishment with its incorporation as George Steuart & Co., in 1954. By the 1970s, George Steuart & Co., was managing the largest acreage of tea plantations in the country but Sri Lanka’s government began nationalising its plantation assets in 1975, and the firm thus became one of the most affected. Undeterred by this setback, the company set forth to re-establish its eminence in tea while diversifying into new industries and expanding its footprint.

Today, George Steuart & Co., is Sri Lanka’s oldest company and one of the oldest in the world, widely respected for its dynamism, its sustained ability to stay competitive and relevant and its ability to thrive. It has a significant presence in seven key sectors: tea exports, travel, healthcare, leisure, financial services, industrial solutions and FMCG.

George Steuart & Co., is one of the founding members of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, established in 1939. It has lasted the test of time over almost two centuries and has journeyed through cycles of global and local volatilities. Today the George Steuart group employs approximately 1,400 people.

  • James Steuart
  • (1790 - 1870)
  • George Steuart
  • (1808 - 1896)