About us

About Us

Our Story

Abans was founded in 1968 by Aban Pestonjee, a young homemaker and mother of three. Experiencing the challenges faced in a closed economy when it came to washing, cleaning and taking care of her home, she boldly embarked on the goal of making the lives of homemakers like herself easier and more convenient through the usage of home appliances. Armed with little more than grit and determination, she purchased, repaired and resold reconditioned appliances with a guarantee at her modest corner store in Colombo.

She also set up a makeshift workshop in her home garage to repair and service the appliances sold by her. Despite the initial struggles experienced in a then male-dominated industry, her store became highly popular due to her strong emphasis on personalized customer relations, efficient after-sales services and high-quality appliances.

Today Abans is a regional powerhouse with a presence all over Sri Lanka and in parts of South Asia. Consisting of over 45 companies with more than 15,000 employees, Abans Group has a solid business footprint, and is the Market Leader in many of its business categories encompassing Retail Operations, Services, Logistics, Manufacturing, Real Estate and Infrastructure. The Conglomerate represents some of the world's best brands in Sri Lanka. Aban Pestonjee herself has been honored several times over with international and local Entrepreneurship Awards, and numerous Woman's achievement awards. She was also o featured in a Harvard Business School interview, which focused on the development of emerging markets.

What lies at the core?

Every business decision of Abans Group boils down to a simple goal — The Desire to Improve the lives of Sri Lankan citizens. From ground-breaking retail offerings and financial services to environmental management and the development of Colombo's skyline, Abans consistently seeks ways to enhance Sri Lankan living standards, and meet the globalized preferences and unique needs of their consumers. Perseverance, embracing Risks worth taking, and Innovating along the way make up the value platforms of the Group.

Risks that paid off

Throughout its 50-year history, Abans has been noted for its ability to effortlessly overcome challenges in an emerging market to set new benchmarks for others to emulate. The many achievements over the years include becoming the largest Retailer for Electronics and Home Appliances with one of the best store footprints locally, being the leading IT Hardware Retailer, and growing to become the largest Facility Management Services Provider in Sri Lanka, as examples. The Company has attained several accolades, with Colombo City Centre (CCC) being recently awarded "Best Mixed Use Development" by PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (2018), and "Most Promising Mixed Use Development" by CMO Asia (2017).

The next phase of evolution is here.

Abans today includes some companies which are publicly listed, a Finance Company, an Auto Dealership, Electrical Manufacture, Logistics, high-class Facility Management Operations, Security and Cash Warehousing Operations, Environmental Services, Waste Disposal and City Cleaning, Solar Power, Agriculture, and even Courier and Advertising Services. These complement several hundred Retail points of presence including many large high-end electronic retail locations.

The Company has now set its sights on the next phase of its Evolution. Expanding its reach in fashion retail, delving further into the Real Estate sector, strengthening its online presence, widening its footprint or 'electronics, exploring property investment and becoming a publicly listed conglomerate are some of the benchmark that Abans hopes to achieve in the future. As part of professionalization of the operations, the Company has recently hired several highly competent professionals into key CEO, Finance, HR roles, and many others, to complement the well experienced Top Management team, who work closely with the Pestonjee Family, to drive different business units. The objective would be to bring in the best of global practices, ensure transparency and professionalism, attract and grow top talent, transition from family-owned to professionally run, and embrace the best of technology to propel the Group forward.

In the future, the Group will seek to build local and regional Businesses which differentiate themselves through Abans' entrepreneurial spirit, strong customer centricity, technology-based empowerment, leveraging existing competencies and investments, and delivering strong value to the diverse portfolio of stakeholders and society. While the first fifty years have been indeed golden for Abans, the next decade will indeed prove even more exciting and transformative as we expand beyond our shores. The future beckons!!

Chairperson-Abans PLC

"Abans started business in 1968 as a little corner shop. Today it stands tall in a majestic multi storeyed building in Colombo's main thoroughfare and employs a dedicated and committed work force of over 15,000".

Mrs. Aban Pestonjee - Chairperson

Aban Pestonjee, the chairperson and founder of the Abans group of companies and known as one of the first entrepreneurs who initiated in first bringing Korean technology to Sri Lankan consumers.

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