At Brown & Company PLC (Browns), sustainability means driving operational excellence across all areas of the organisation, while ensuring that we meet our social responsibilities to the people and communities we work with.
Sustainability for us is also equated to responsible resource use and environmental safeguards to minimise any impact our operations have on the environment. Browns has a presence in several sectors of the economy that contributes significantly to national growth.
These include sectors such as agriculture and plantations, healthcare, tourism among others, and therefore, in recognition of its scale and impact, Browns recognises the importance of ensuring sustained and productive growth. The long history the organisation enjoys in Sri Lanka has also resulted in strong and close links with stakeholders, which Browns is committed to maintaining. Some specific initiatives undertaken during the year was in support of the agriculture and poultry sectors, with an emphasis on education so as to improve their livelihoods in the long-term.
Sustainability in Agriculture
The organisation is well known as a pioneer in agricultural mechanisation in Sri Lanka, changing the face of the agriculture industry and enriching the lives of farming communities. Browns has extended this support by working with the Government to provide farmer education programmes that helps them maximise their efficiency and yields.
Browns entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Farm Machinery Training Centre (FMTC) to provide training programmes for farmers on agricultural mechanisation.
The FMTC is a state institution appointed by the Department of Agriculture and is responsible for sharing of information and knowledge on agriculture among farmers, agriculture students and all relevant Government and private institutions. Browns reaches out to farmers in the Kurunegala, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa Ampara, Trincomalee , Batticaloa and Moneragala districts, where most of its customers are based.
The Company also offers the ‘SAPSA Sisu Nena Pahana’ programme for students of agriculture studies to educate them on the use of farm machinery. Browns revived the formerly state-owned Hingurana Sugar factory, creating 1,000 jobs in direct employment and supporting over 4,000 farmers through its out-grower network.
The factory operations have improved livelihoods of the farming communities and contributed to the growth of the local economy in the past two years. The Gal Oya factory also runs a water purification plant that provides purified water to over 2,000 families in the area.
Supporting the Veterinary Industry
The Browns Veterinary Pharmaceuticals Division also conducted farmer training and education programmes during the year. One such programme was conducted for clientele of one of its main customers – Shantha Vetmedicare in Kobeigane (North Western Province, Sri Lanka).
A farmer education programme was also conducted in Kirindiwela in collaboration with Nevil Farms, on chronic diseases facing poultry and treatment methods, and on ways to increase productivity of the farms.
Browns has taken the lead in expanding the scope of its services to provide education and awareness building for farmers on how they can sustain and grow their businesses. Brown & Company PLC’s Veterinary Pharmaceutical sector recently joined hands with Animal SOS Sri Lanka towards creating a rabies-free country. Browns will be providing free rabies vaccinations for these outreach programs, while also providing printed educational material as well as food samples. Other Divisions of the organisation continued to support charity events and causes.
To be a leading Sri Lankan conglomerate excelling through sunshine industries with a global presence and cutting edge technology.
With generations of trust and reliability, our aim is to continuously enhance the value propositions to our stakeholders through innovative and customer-centric solutions.
Sri Lanka in the 1800’s was a nation growing around the hopes and dreams of hundreds of traders and merchants who arrived upon these shores, when business houses were created with all the excitement and optimism of the time.
A few of the hundreds of companies founded in those years still exist today.The ones that do are legendary. Brown & Company is one of those famous names that generations of Sri Lankans grew up with and depended upon. Today we are a vibrant, fast expanding, diversified conglomerate working in a broad range of industries, with many more sectors still to be penetrated
Although our heritage is a powerful factor in our success, our focus is on how we will shape our future. Because as an industry leader, we know we must have a very clear perception of who we are and where we are going in the years that lie ahead.
We’ve been here since 1875. And we’re here to stay. Because Browns is a company that was built to last upon a foundation of strength, driven by a vision and a will to succeed that is today, simply legendary.
As we celebrate 140 years, Browns recognises that our human resources are an asset that will create and drive the organisations competitive advantage in the market. As an organisation committed to developing a strong performance driven culture, our focus is on building unique and winning capabilities by being a trusted business partner and by unleashing the potential of all employees of the organisation.
We believe that nurturing talent will be the determining factor in our ability to double the size of our business. Our main aim is to provide our employees with leadership development opportunities that will help them develop their full potential, irrespective of level or role, and gain functional skills that will further the business strategies of the organisation. We intend driving our talent on agreed leadership principles that include: demonstrating entrepreneurship, business achievement, empowering and developing, collaborating for success, and customer delight. Further the focus on technical skills, especially for the manufacturing sectors, is considered a high priority.
An Agile, Flexible and Diverse Organisation
Inclusion is at the heart of being an agile, flexible and diverse organisation. It means having a representative workforce, empowering our people with policies and infrastructure to help them work quickly and effectively, and creating flexible ways of working to suit their circumstances. The smarter we work, the more effective and efficient we will be at meeting the needs of our customers in a rapidly changing world. One of the main objectives of the centralisation of support functions was to create agility and flexibility for all subsidiaries and divisions.
Building a value and performance based culture
As more people look for meaning in their work, our values of respect and inclusiveness at Browns are what guides our employees in the actions and decisions they make each day. These values are especially important as we expand into new businesses, recruit new people and face new challenges. We have also created a culture driven by performance, introducing for the first time in the history of the company a performance based bonus, which encompasses individual, divisional and group performances, which has been an important driver of motivation.
Employee engagement plays a key role in the process of motivating employees, and a structured employee engagement calendar was launched during the year. We have identified that an engaged employee experiences a blend of job satisfaction, organisational commitment, job involvement and feelings of empowerment. Our focus during the year was on driving these principles throughout the workforce.
In order to reach our goals of sustainable growth, we need people with a winning mind-set, a passion for customers and an appetite to drive personal performance. To do this, we are building a winning culture in which every employee is encouraged to grow to his or her full potential. Our performance-based reward structure recognises those who have delivered results and have the right values for our business. We believe that these pillars will support us as we become an organisation with a reputation for being a great place to work.
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