Sithara Limited was established in 1964 by Sri Lankan entrepreneur and press tycoon Mr. Esmond Wickremesinghe to meet the demand for printing inks for local print publication companies in Sri Lanka.
In its initial years, Sithara Limited concentrated on refining a small range of inks, including rotary news black and colored inks for newspaper printing, gravure inks for cellophane printing, and letterpress inks utilizing rubber seed oil. But with the advent of import liberalization in Sri Lanka in 1977, the company was able to expand its reach and expertise, carving out a niche in both the local and regional market.
With the aim of matching international standards, Mr. Wickremesinghe worked on a Technology Transfer Agreement in 1982/83 with Sun Chemicals and other training programs. In this way, he and his team acquired knowledge of Western technologies, materials, testing, production, and equipment.
In 1989, the company moved to a new factory and purchased a Buhler TRM machine to increase offset ink capacity, obtaining ‘pioneer’ status from the Ministry of Industries of Sri Lanka.
In the 1990s, Sithara got aid from the United States to upgrade technology and facilities, with two consultants sharing knowledge of inks, varnishes, packaging, and more. Aid also came for machinery and employee training, resulting in numerous product developments.
A Research & Development Unit was set up in 1996, and new workflow systems were introduced. Technical and administration functions were separated, leading to novel products such as surface printing inks and high heat resistant inks.
Sithara focused on improving its process and up-skilling employees, to produce top-quality products according to international standards.
Today, Sithara is the leading printing ink manufacturing company in Sri Lanka. The company has made significant investments in modern technologies and advanced testing equipment, enabling them to increase production batch sizes to a maximum of 1000 kgs for liquid inks and up to 150 kgs for paste inks.
Sithara aims to remain at the forefront of printing ink manufacturing in Sri Lanka, in line with the vision of its founders to become a brand with a strong regional presence. The company plans to continue investing in bleeding edge technologies to further increase production capacity and efficiency.