The Legacy of a Golden Heritage – Premadasa & Co. – Upali Senarath Premadasa and Dhanika Senarath Premadasa

In Sri Lanka, the Gem and Jewellery trade is a significant economic sector, with pioneering Jewellers such as Premadasa & Co. setting the standard. They were one of the first companies to secure the Japanese market and penetrate the Maldives, paving the path for others to follow in their footsteps. Premadasa & Co. is led by J. G. Upali Senarath Premadasa, Chairman, and Managing Director, who has followed the company’s growth trajectory established by his father. Premadasa & Co., a family firm that has weathered the test of time, maintains its status as a trusted and recognized Jeweller in Sri Lanka.

Reminiscing the founding and history; when Upali’s father, J.G. Premadasa, established a jewellery store in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka, in 1960, he had one goal in mind: to create the greatest jewellery possible using the finest Sri Lankan gemstones. He was on a never-ending drive to improve the perfect, and he inspired the same desire in Upali from the first day at the workshop. Upali says that making the best requires much more than excellent stones, high-quality metals, and skilled craftsmanship and that his father taught him that unwavering integrity and innovation are also required. It is because of this trait that Premadasa & Co. Jewellers has become a globally recognized design company.

Premadasa & Co. has been in the sector for more than five decades, and in the 1990s, a large portion of their clientele was Japanese. With the opening of the first gem shop in one of the resorts, they were the first to venture into the Maldives. They are known for being one of the country’s finest Jewellers and gem merchants, with one of the largest collections of jewellery and gemstones. 

The company’s priority, according to Upali, is to handpick admirable gemstones from Sri Lanka and transform them into timeless pieces of jewellery in yellow, white, and rose gold, as well as silver, that is of the highest quality and design. To accomplish this, their artists use a combination of current technology and old ways to ensure that their jewellery is elegant and of lasting worth.

When asked about the benefits and drawbacks of having his son as a business partner, Upali says that nearly half a century later, his son Dhanika Senarath Premadasa and himself head a team of 150 of the industry’s best. Upali also expresses his pride in his family-owned business’s evolution into a world-class jewellery manufacturer with a sophisticated worldwide customer base. It is crucial to him that the family values are carried on via the firm, and he is pleased that Dhanika is able to uphold the values on which Premadasa & Co was founded.

Dhanika Senarath Premadasa, son of Upali and Director of Premadasa & Co., graduated with a diploma in gemology and jewellery design and manufacture from the reputed GIA (Gemological Institute of America) in Carlsbad, California. He began his career in the family business as a head designer and now controls all domestic and international activities. He is dedicated to introducing Sri Lanka’s gems and jewellery to the international market by incorporating international styles that highlight the beauty of the country’s stones.

When asked what qualities he has learned from his father as business partners, Dhanika says that honesty and integrity have always been valued at Premadasa Jewellers, dating back to his grandfather’s time. Given their line of business, Dhanika believes it is vital for them to establish a reputation as a trustworthy Jeweller among Sri Lankan and International clients. Furthermore, he claims that his employees have been with them for decades and are considered members of the Premadasa Jewellers family since treating his employees with trust and respect like family is another virtue they hold dear. Taking this into consideration, he stated… “People with an eye for beauty will always be enamoured by the work of our skilful craftsmen, who make no compromise in their love for detail and perfection.”

On the note of how the brand continues to maintain their standard, Dhanika responds that they have rigorous quality controls in place, from purchasing, which is overseen by his father and him, to production, which requires each and every piece to be inspected by their senior design staff and himself, in order to ensure that every piece of jewellery sold by Premadasa Jewellers is of the highest quality. Dhanika continues, “In order to get Sri Lankan gemstones and jewellery out in the world market, we want to increase our store presence overseas in the Maldives, Switzerland, and China.” 

A legacy built upon integrity and honesty, Dhanika ends his statement by emphasizing, “I hope to continue to strengthen on what my father and grandfather have built and carry out further expansions to take Premadasa Jewellers to bigger and better heights.”

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