A. Baur & Co. (Pvt) Ltd, also widely known as Baurs, a name synonymous with bringing about transformational innovation across various industry sectors in the country whilst continuing to instill its Swiss traditions and values, this year marks a significant milestone as it celebrates 125 years of revolutionary growth and progress.
Since its humble beginnings in 1897 as the first fertilizer company, Baurs today is a diversified business group with a distinctive reputation not just in its core agriculture business but also healthcare, consumer, airlines, machinery, and education segments. Its rich history also hints that the company has witnessed and evolved with the agricultural, industrial and now the knowledge era.
Baurs continue to emerge stronger, embracing contemporary challenges that not just maintains its status quo but giving a new face to the organization to proactively stay ahead of times, together with its people-centric culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, and the many socially responsible agendas especially among children. Its track record of being an industry first goes without saying.
From pioneering manures and fertilizers since its inception, building the country’s first ever industrial rail in 1901, deploying the first tractor used in agriculture in 1919, establishing the first fully electrified tea factory in 1936 through to ending the malaria epidemic in Sri Lanka during 1946, bringing Swiss Air to Sri Lanka, producing the nation’s first basmati rice in 1975, registering the first biopesticide in 2020 to eradicate and control fall army worm, and last year launching the first Swiss apprenticeship model in the hospitality sector together with the world’s first and number one hospitality management school, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
Rolf Blaser, CEO of A. Baur & Co. (Pvt) Ltd, commenting on the anniversary, said ‘We pay tribute to each and every individual for making Baurs a success over the past 125 years, especially to our prescient founder Alfred Baur who had a visionary leadership with core beliefs centered around the benefit of this nation and these are deeply rooted in our foundation and values today. We have strengthened our resilience and responsiveness and look forward to taking on the many challenges and possibilities to continuously expand our horizons.’
As a leader, Baurs indulges in various knowledge-sharing and thought-leadership initiatives, through a combination of sound professional and scientific advice. During the latter half of last year, Baurs contracted and engaged two globally renowned research institutions in organic agriculture and brought down key experts to Sri Lanka for a comprehensive study tour with the view on how best to take on the fertilizer challenge. Baurs is now further exploring the preliminary research and findings with experts, including constant dialogue across all key stakeholders and participants, both industry and academia.
The company stands strong in its founding agri business, and undoubtedly possesses one of the most advanced high-tech fertilizer factories probably in the entire South Asia region. Digital transformation efforts are also underway for its Consumer Division with the view of bringing increased efficiency and transparency across its entire supply chain including business partners. The company’s growing relationships and longstanding partners are a testament to the core pillars of Baurs, namely trust, reliability, quality, and innovation.
Its Healthcare Division is exhibiting a significant growth over the years, and today has evolved to be the second largest pharma importer in Sri Lanka representing a majority of the top 10 global leaders in pharmaceutical, surgical & diagnostic, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, herbal and ayurvedic. This is a testament to the world-class compliance and performance of Baurs that enabled meet their respective standards and requirements. Baurs is also pleased to highlight that its first ever healthcare supplier is still with the company till date.
Sustainability is a key priority at Baurs, and this is not just in the numerous responsible innovations spurred throughout its journey but also in the principles and values instilled in its people. During the beginning of last year, Baurs committed to the UN Global Compact (UNGC) initiative in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption, in addition to pursuing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).