Incorporated over five decades ago in 1961, Varna Limited is the very first flexible packaging company to be established in Sri Lanka. The company was founded by Sri Lankan entrepreneur and press tycoon Esmond Wickremesinghe, the Chairman of the Lake House, home to the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon, the country’s oldest publication company.
Varna commenced operations by introducing Rotogravure printing of wrappers for the local confectionery and biscuit industry for the first time in Sri Lanka. Toffee manufacturing, in particular, was a booming industry at the time, but manufacturers were dependent on imported cellophane wrappers for the conventional twist wrapping of toffees. Varna ventured into the picture, competing as a low-cost, superior quality alternative to imported items that we’re entering into the country at that time.
Manufacturing started at our newly built factory premises at Ratmalana, Sri Lanka, which was equipped with the best in class machinery available at the time in the mid-1900s, including a 4-color Rotogravure printing machine, a darkroom process camera, Rotogravure printing cylinder processing equipment, and a slitter rewinder.
The pioneering vision of our founder also led to the company complementing their printing with the manufacturing of printing inks, starting off with Rotogravure printing inks that were required for our own production line. The printing cylinders too, a growing demand as we catered to an expanding list of customers, were soon manufactured in-house, another first in the flexible packaging industry in Sri Lanka. A few years down the line, Varna also purchased a dual-purpose(wax/glue) laminator to cater to evolving customer requirements.
With import liberalization in 1977, we diversified into 6-colour gravure printing, investing in solvent-based lamination and printing on all types of plastic films including OPP, polyester, nylon, and aluminum foil.
Over the next few decades, Varna evolved into a large-scale automated operation to become one of the largest flexible packaging manufacturers in Sri Lanka, having invested in the latest cutting-edge technologies such as 9-color gravure printing, three-layer film extrusion, solvent-based, solvent-less, and water-based lamination.
At the core of Varna’s success lies the simple principle of perfection, a constant throughout our journey across the past five decades. This philosophy has been instilled into our people, products, and process, leading to Varna’s recognition for its superior, unparalleled customer service and satisfaction. ISO and HACCP certified, we pride ourselves in nurturing highly skilled and motivated individuals to produce the best in quality products in accordance with international quality and safety standards. Innovation and efficiency are not only encouraged, but recognized and rewarded as well.
In keeping with the evolving conditions of the industry, we have ventured into bag making, which includes stand-up pouches, zipper, side-sealed, center-seal, and paper bags. This diversification and focus on continuous investments in advanced technologies has ensured that Varna remains at the forefront of flexible packaging in Sri Lanka while making our brand presence felt across the Asia Pacific region.