Our story began in 1974, when coconut production in Sri Lanka was still a small-scale industry and used traditional practices that had been passed down through generations of local farmers. Our founder, P. John Aloysius Fernando, first launched his business after receiving 500 rupees (a little more than US$3 today) from his father. Armed with a vision and entrepreneurial spirit, he spent 200 rupees on a bicycle and used the rest of the money for coconuts, which he would buy from farmers and supply to local stores. By 1978, he was one of the main suppliers of coconuts in Sri Lanka.
In 1980, six years after the days when he would tirelessly buy and supply coconuts on his bicycle, he set up his first coconut oil mill for the purpose of manufacturing and trading coconut oil, an essential ingredient in local cuisine and a staple in Sri Lankan households. In 1987, as lifestyles and demands changed, his company would be one of the first to import palm olein from Malaysia to Sri Lanka. Twenty years since its inception, in 1994, Fernando rebranded his company as Manisha Private Limited.