Stax recognized for helping automate Sri Lanka's Tea Industry

December 22, 2021

The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA) recently recognized Stax for its contribution towards the automation of the Colombo tea auction at the e-auction platform felicitation ceremony. The event was graced by Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation, Hon. Kanaka Herath State Minister of Company Estate Reforms, Tea and Rubber Estates Related Crops Cultivation and Factories Modernization and Tea and Rubber Export Promotion, Tea Board Chairman Jayampathy Molligoda, CTTA Chairman Mr. Jayantha Karunaratne and other prominent figures representing the buyers, brokers and producers of Sri Lanka’s tea industry.

In March 2020, Covid-19 restrictions forced the industry to abandon the physical tea auction and move quickly to an online system This move provided the impetus to acquire a more sophisticated, future-ready platform that would provide better functionality and pave the way for the digitization of the value chain.

With so many different stakeholders being part of the value chain and raising valid concerns about a change of this magnitude, the CTTA had to ensure that all viewpoints were taken into consideration. Stax was hired to

understand key requirements across the industry and to facilitate the selection of a suitable vendor who could provide a solution that not only catered to current needs but would also be agile enough to adapt quickly to future trends.

After a rigorous vetting and implementation process managed by Stax, the CTTA officially launched its advanced digital platform in September 2021. Commenting on the project, Stax Managing Director Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera said, “Stax is proud to have supported the CTTA on this project of national significance since June 2020. In order for Sri Lankan industries to be competitive globally, digitization is a must. The consultative and solution-led approach we took to automate all processes connected to the auction system―from the time the produce leaves the factory to payment settlement―will benefit the entire industry in the years to come.”

Colombo tea auction is the largest single origin tea auction in the world where approximately six million kilos of tea, more than 95% of the tea produced in the country, are sold each week The challenges brought on by the pandemic have been unprecedented however, even within its long history, and tea industry leaders had to act quickly to move vital processes online and to assess how best to prepare for the future.

CTTA Chairman Mr. Jayantha Karunaratne elaborated, “Stax worked closely with CTTA’s Automation Committee to ensure that a future-proof solution―which represents the best value for producers, buyers and brokers alike―would be selected and implemented, laying a strong foundation for industry’s vision of digitizing the value chain. The knowledge, professionalism and integrity demonstrated by Stax was crucial to the successful implementation of the e-auction system.”

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, over several months in 2020, Stax and the CTTA Automation Steering Committee had collaborated to conduct a transparent and diligent process, shortlisting four vendors―out of the ~70 initial applicants―to provide proof of concept. Following further evaluations and negotiations, Stax worked with the selected vendor to design and develop a cutting-edge platform linking pre-auction, auction, and post-auction processes. CTTA’s Automation Committee Chairman Mr. Huzefa Akbarally commented, “The value brought by Stax through their business & technology capabilities and ability to understand and manage multiple needs of industry stakeholders was invaluable for the project.” 


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