Our journey began in 1992 when the government of Sri Lanka decided to privatize the “Management” of the then existing 22 Regional Plantation Companies which consisted of Tea, Rubber, Coconut & Palm Oil. This paved the path for a strategic joint venture between Watawala Plantations PLC and Tata Tea Ltd. of India. With this the plantations that came under its wings, received a new lease of life in terms of latest technology, financial stability and personal care where the workers are concerned, by effectively engaging in uplifting the life of the community economically, socially and culturally.
In 1992 up to 1996 Watawala Plantations was in the management custody of Lankem Plantations (Pvt) Ltd. It was only in the latter part of 1996 that Estates Management Services (Pvt) Ltd came to take on this all important role and steer Watawala Plantations to what it is today.
It was in actual fact that our true journey to greatness began from this point onwards. With the joint venture with Tata Tea India, Watawala Plantations PLC did take up the challenge of converting the trade into a productive and competitive one. The unique three crop advantage, tea, rubber and oil palm did provide Watawala Plantations the opportunity to move in many directions in terms of getting involved with the day to day lives of the people in Sri Lanka. In total the area of plantations spread over an area of 12,442.13 ha (hectares) out of which 41% was tea, 18% rubber and 8% under palm oil cultivation. Approximately 7% was kept aside for the purpose of fuel wood and the remaining was uncultivated.