One of the most reputed hardware merchants in Sri Lanka, Janatha Steels was established in 1986, as a partnership and celebrates 35 years of excellence this year. A pioneer hardware supplier with a wealth of experience in the industry, they currently supply to a variety of construction industries including and not limited to engineering firms, plantations, and hydro projects. With focus on imports, procurement, manufacture, warehouse, supply, wholesale and retail of all general hardware materials inclusive of tools, pipes, tubes, sheets, plates and many more, Janatha Steels offers the best products with imports from the world’s leading manufacturers such as Germany, China, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and Korea.
Janatha Steels has had many iconic moments within the past 35 years. Commencing operations in 1986 with only a 3-member staff, they proceeded to import hardware items from Singapore in 1988, acquired their own warehouse in 1990, and by 1994 had started importing steel rods. By 1999 they had acquired more warehouses, which enabled their venture into the manufacturing of wire nails, nuts, bolts and fencing barbed wire in 2006. In 2007 they commenced the manufacture of wire nails at the Ekala factory and had started importing tools by 2010.
Providing productive direct employment to over 700 workers and indirect employment to thousands, Janatha Steels is now a force to be reckoned with and has remained reliable for 35 years. In 2013, Janatha Steels was named as one of the ‘Most Respected Companies’ in the prestigious LMD magazine further boosting its image.
Speaking to Vasudevan Subramaniam – Managing Partner, Janatha Steel, on the journey of over three decades, he stated, “During the early part of 1980s, when I was working with my father at his business, I had a dream of starting my own business to introduce my innovative thoughts. Having discussed my ideas with members of my family and after explaining my passion and ideas to them, they encouraged me to take that first step and embark on my journey towards setting up my own business. As the country’s economy was open in 1980s, both the private and the public sectors were actively involved in new construction projects such as the low-cost housing projects initiated by the then Prime Minister Hon R Premadasa under Gam Udawa in 1987, the accelerated Mahaweli scheme and related small and large scale irrigation projects and hydro power plants, which needed hardware items as well as some general housing projects. Under these circumstances, I thought it was the ideal time to enter the field to address the growing demand for steel. It is amazing to see the fruit of our efforts as we are now one of the pioneering hardware companies in the country.”
Bonds of steel were formed when Mr Shayanthaan, the elder son of Mr Vasudevan, formally entered the business as a partner in 2016. The subsequent acquisition of Gamage Trading (Pvt) Ltd in Matugama to manufacture round and square tubes, in 2018, is evidence of the continuous growth and prosperity of the company.
From 2018 till the present day, the group has diversified into related and non-related fields such as Taprobana Island (Pvt) Ltd., a company engaged in importing and trading of stationery items, and Hemka Pharma (Pvt) Ltd., importers and traders of pharmaceutical equipment. In addition, Janatha Steels established Janatha Green Solution (Pvt) Ltd., to supply and install roof top solar panels, Janatha Cement (Pvt) Ltd., to import, package and supply quality cement to construction industries and Janatha Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd., to acquire international agency representation for agricultural equipment and auto spare parts. Janatha Plantation (Pvt) Ltd. was also established to develop the existing poultry and agri-farm business located in Wattala as this would facilitate the expansion into the coconut and other cash crop plantations.
Janatha Steels has also initiated multiple CSR projects as they believe in the importance of ensuring the welfare of the people. The ground floor of Ganapathy Hindu Ladies College, Colombo was constructed by the Managing partner Mr S. Vasudevan. He also donated computers to Thiruvalluvar Tamil Vidyalayam in the district of Matale. Numerous donations in cash and kind are made periodically to several religious and educational institutions island-wide. The team at Janatha Steels believe in carrying out their CSR projects without the glitz and glamour of publicity, as the act of serving the people is their priority.