The multi-generational lineage of family-owned businesses such as Ford Motor has been integral to their success. In the popular zeitgeist, family-owned companies embody stability, longevity, and, if nothing else, an ability to get along. Yet, even though branding a family-owned business often starts with history, at the same time, they are versatile and adaptable to survive.
Suren Cooke Agencies is one such versatile family-run business known widely for its excellent standard of ultimate brilliance in pest management. Contributing to this great expedition are Suren Cooke, Sheran Cooke, and Rajitha Cooke, three experts in the industry, who continue to carry their legacy for generations ahead.
Recognizing the family back-story, Suren Cooke, the Managing Director of Suren Cooke Agencies, made his first emergence with James Finlay & Company as a young twenty-year-old and tarried with the firm for nearly two decades. He worked as a Mills Manager and was also the Managing Director of Finlay Rentokil (Ceylon) Ltd.
The company was established in 1985 after Suren resolved to go on his own journey. This wasn’t easy because he had to start from scratch, which meant that he and his wife were responsible for practically every part of the firm at the moment. It was a challenging endeavour because the country was experiencing an insurgency at the time, which meant that conditions were not friendly to business, especially for a fresh start-up. Nevertheless, Suren achieved the summit quickly because of the loyal employees they had who rallied behind and provided their all in terms of effort and dedication. After that, his two sons, Sheran and Rajitha, joined him and helped him take the company to the next level with novel ideas and customer-centric solutions. Suren is delighted to announce that the company currently represents several international corporations and has built a sustainable, environmentally friendly business model. They make some of the materials they use themselves from recycled plastic.
Branding for any business is more than a snappy logo, a marketing budget, excellent product or great customer service — for good or ill, there’s always the backstory. While not all family-owned businesses are de facto moral or reliable, a family-owned business nevertheless engenders a strong sense of trust in consumers. This brings us to the warm and fuzzy factor: family-owned businesses seem more stable, more customer-friendly, more approachable and more trustworthy.
Interestingly, even the appearance of a family connection increases market visibility and consumer trust. As Suren affirms, the company sets the standard for current technology and innovation, backed up by international partnerships. They are now one step ahead of their opponents as a result of this. In addition, they also deliver customer-centric solutions owing to the fact that the customer is at the heart of their concept.
In general, the family aspect gives most people positive associations. Internally it unites the owners, especially the next generation, when their assets grow to include more than what’s historically been the core business. It also connects employees and managers across business areas by creating a shared sense of belonging to the family. Suren believes that his family’s corporate beliefs are based on biblical principles and do their best to follow them. According to him, one of the organization’s fundamental values has been and will continue to be integrity. Furthermore, they place a high value on their employees and strive to instil a sense of belonging in them to regard the company as their own.
On the other hand, the oldest son of the family, Sheran Cooke chose to follow his legacy, redeeming his reign alongside his father’s support and leadership. Sheran details that the organization is always on the hunt for innovative products that improve their treatment quality more safely, adding that the company uses the latest and most innovative pest control methods that are non-toxic and chemical-free. He asserts that he has a robust international network to collaborate to help develop new creative items. He also discusses allocating a significant amount of time and resources to guarantee that sufficient R&D is carried out before launching a new product, given the importance of sustainability.
Progressing into more detail of how Suren Cooke Agencies is the leading pest control services management company in Sri Lanka, Rajitha Cooke, the youngest of the Cooke family, iterates that there are many reasons for this. He begins by emphasizing that his organization is the only entirety licensed to perform all aspects of pest management, including fumigation, pest control, termite treatment, and disinfection. Rajitha maintains that they only utilize the most significant quality items and equipment with the highest safety ratings as if that isn’t enough of a reason. They perform extensive research to develop treatment methods to ensure that they are of the highest standards in terms of safety and quality control. He affirms that the organization is accredited and approved by international bodies in all areas to ensure that it adheres to safety and quality, which benefits both customers and the environment. Finally, he declares that the technical teams and entomologists have received training abroad; thus, the pest control treatments supplied are assessment-based rather than unprofessional ways in which anyone can apply pesticides with an applicator.
In terms of values, Rajitha, like his father, believes that integrity is one of the company’s essential characteristics. He praises how they handle all stakeholders with empathy and respect, which he admits has cost them some business in the short term but has benefitted them in the long run by allowing them to reap the benefits of their efforts, which they all deem to be worthwhile.
We are in the era of impact investing and significant pledges as companies step up to tackle the most demanding environmental and social issues of our time. As more companies commit to adopting CSR strategies that address social and ecological problems, it’s becoming more critical than ever for these strategies to be goal-driven, ambitious yet achievable, and authentic. A goal-driven corporate responsibility strategy can help think bigger and do more while also increasing accountability to stakeholders. In this context, Suren Cooke Agencies is committed to its CSR initiatives, guaranteeing that company practices are sustainable in every way. They are consciously devoted to upholding the most outstanding standards in environmental excellence and practising social responsibility with all of their stakeholders, as Rajitha puts it, while reducing their negative environmental impact.
Sheran goes into greater depth about the company’s Earthly Warrior program, which focuses on assisting those committed to sustainability despite encountering financial difficulties. The program’s mission is to reward these individuals by giving them the resources to achieve their sustainability goals. Another move they’ve implemented to reduce their environmental impact is using post-consumer recycled plastics as a raw material in several of their products. They have also joined with other sustainability-focused organizations, such as Save Our Seas (SOS), to improve the effectiveness of their own CSR programs and to assist these organizations to grow their reach. “We’ve done various activities with SOS, including beach clean-ups, reef clean-ups, and awareness campaigns,” he stated.
Sheran contemplates that the company endeavours to expand and diversify into other areas of public health and pest control in the future. His father and brother perceive that this will open up many new prospects to develop into the previously untapped territory, which will benefit Sri Lanka in the long run. Sheran states that they have comprehensive plans to improve on existing sustainability projects, use more recycled materials in the manufacturing of pest control products, and implement more sustainability projects in the future to warrant that their actions benefit the environment and planet.
As strong-willed and optimistic individuals following goals to fortitude, the brothers share a glimpse of their motivation to succeed in this meteoric journey. Most businesses strive for uniqueness, but in a crowded, cacophonous market, it’s challenging to convey how your business is not only different from but better than all the others. All in all, Suren and his sons Sheran and Rajitha are fully committed to following best practices in terms of environmental and social responsibility. In doing so, they hope to inspire other organisations and individuals to do the same.