The regulatory authorities of the Government of Sri Lanka decided to restrict the imports of luxury goods in 1963, which included many household items, as a means to prep up the local industry and also save valuable foreign exchange. It was during this rather dark and bleak history of the nation that Aban Pestonjee, with a loan from her father, together with her husband, Peston Nadirshan Pestonjee, started purchasing used sewing machines, repairing them and selling them back on the market. Subsequently, they ventured into purchasing used household goods from Embassy and private auctions and reselling them in the market.
In 1970 they opened a small business in the town of Bambalapitiya which was later renamed to Abans. In 1983, the Company opened a duty free shop which further strengthened the business into a leading player in the local market. They were one of the few Companies who offered guarantees on heir products, and, as a result the business became very popular, reliable and successful.
Mr Pestonjee's father, Nadirsha Pestonjee, came to Sri Lanka in 1905 to work in Ceylon Wharfage Company and subsequently established his own business importing "Baby" brand butter.
Today, Abans Group, comrising of 21 individual subsidiaries, with well over 7 billion Rupees turnover and a staff of over 6,000 across the island, s one f the leading consumer and household goods organization in Sri Lanka.
Their subsidiary, Abans Environmental Services, provides solid waste management solutions to Colombo Municipal Council.
In recent years they have entered the automotive industry with the establishment of their subsidiary; "Aans Automotive Pvt Ltd".
The main areas of business of the Group are, Trading, Serviceds, Manufacturing, Real Estate, and Infrastructure development. The retail sector is represented by over 200 showrooms island-wide, which exclusively sell a fool range of Aban's goods. There are Abans owned franchises, which also offer hire purchase, leasing, and insurance services.
A further 450 non exclusive range of dealers carry some of the range of Aban's goods island-wide.
Abans Electricals has a BOI approved factory in Ratmalana that manufactures and assembles electrical appliances in collaboration with Belling of UK, Electrolux from Sweden and LG from South Korea.
The Group has also expanded into automobile trading, leasing and hiring. They own the McDonald's franchise in Sri Lanka and are also agents for a range of mobile phone brands. LG from South Korea is their leading band.
The main companies in the Group are:
Abans Lmited - deals in a wide range of electronic and electric home appliances
Abans Automobiles Limited - imports motor cycles and trucks from India and China
Abans Office Automation Pvt Limited - imports and sells moble phones PABX systems CCTV sstems, agenst fr Motorola, Sony Ericcson, Panasonic, LG, Nokia, and ZTE Mobile Phones
Abans Central AC Division - specializes in Central AC Installation
SA Electricals Pvt Limited - incorporated in 1981 to supply kitchen, laundry, and commercial reerigeration equipment to the hospitality industry
SA Medicals Pvt Limited - launched in 2005, importing medical and surgical equipment
Abans Environmental Services Pvt Limited - provides slid waste management services
Abans Restaurants Pvt Ltd - holds he dealership for McDonald's Inc in Sri Lanka established in 1998
Abans Tours Pvt Limited - tour and travel company registered with the Ceylon Tourist Board since 1976 operating a fleet of vehicles and provide transportation services, rent a car services, as well as arrange hotel accommodation for travelers
Abans Financial Services Pvt Ltd - incorporated in April 2005 as a strategic business unit to provide lease, finance, and hire purchase for consumer durables and vehicles
ABS GDH International Pvt Limited - BOI joint venure between Abans Ltd and Gardner Dixon Hall of Australia incorporated in 1996, handling advertising and media representation for the entire Abans Group and a few external clients
ABSGRO Pvt Limited - grows iceberg Lettuce and high value vegetables in green houses under controlled cnditions, which enerates about 4 tons of Lettuce and other products every month
SF Jeans Store at Crescat - SF Jeans, a fashion brand, launched in 2002 by Madhura Garments in India, imported and marketed in Sri Lanka