Sri Lanka Memon Family Genealogy
KASSIM - Family #275
The Kassim family traces its origins to Haji Kassim Yusuf, son of Yusuf Bhangra & Haleema Bhoja, who was born on Feb 19, 1920. He married Hawa Hajiani, daughter of Haji Omar Bhoja in Oct 1939. The couple had four sons, Osman, Sattar, Farook, and Shafik, all of whom pursued very successful and lucrative business careers.
The four Kassim brothers, with Osman at the helm, went to establish the Expolanka Group of Companies, a leading business conglomerate in Sri Lanka for the past two decades (2006) involved in a variety of business ranging from manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, essential oils, garments, and packaging material, production and export of local agricultural produce, freight forwarding, aviation and information technology, with overseas branches in more than ten countries. The pioneering company of the Group, Expolanka Ltd., established in 1978, is presently the market leader in the export of fresh coconuts, dessicated coconut, fresh fruits and vegetables, from Sri Lanka. Expolanka Teas, established in 1989, is a leading exporter of all varieties of pure Ceylon Tea in the form of tea bags, packets and bulk, as well as specialty teas such as flavored teas, fruit teas, and herbal teas. One of the major subsidiaries, Expolanka Pharmaceuticals (pvt) Ltd., is involved in the manufacture of a variety of medicinal products extracted from Black Seed (Nigella Sativa), which figures in a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (sal), as a panacea for all ills except death marketed under the brand name Barakah. It today enjoins the position of the worlds leading manufacturer of Black Seed Oil, exporting its Black Seed - based products to more than 30 countries around the world including Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, United KIngdom and the USA.
Expolanka also ventured into the promising field of Aviation a little less than 10 years ago, forming Expo Aviation which handles cargo flights for leading airlines in the world, flying to India, Pakistan, Maldives and the Middle East, particularly Dubai & Sharjah. It also operates passenger flights to Jaffna in the extreme North of the island using 50-seater airplanes for the purpose. Expo Aviation also runs an aviation school which trains cabin crew with special emphasis on food and beverages and many of those who have passed out have found placements in local as well as some international airlines.
Osman, being the eldest, functions as the Chairman of the Group, and Shafeek, who is a Pilot is also in charge of the Groups Aviation Operations. Sattar is in charge of the Groups Trading and Pharmaceutical interests. The Group is, today, a global company with 20 offices around the world diversified into areas like logistics, aviation, real estate, manufacturing, shipping, and entrepot trade.
Farook is the Managing Director of Al Bogari Group of Companies, Dubai, which had a humble oriogin there a little over 30 years ago. It took to dealing in food, chemicals and cement, and later in dried fruits and nuts importing Cashew Nuts, Almonds, Dates, and Sultanas, for distribution in the region. He is content in being based in Dubai, where over the past three decades the business has seen considerable development in all spheres of its activities. He recalls that although the UAE of which Dubai is the Capital was a virtual desert at the time of his first visit, he could foresee the potential it held. In contrast, Sri Lanka, then under a closed economic regime restricted the movement of foreign currency to and from its shores. The UAE, on the other hand, had an open and liberal environment free from any restrictions even at that time - hence its rapid success in the past decade or two.
Osman, since recently, also floated the first Islamic Financial Institution in Sri Lanka named Amana Investments Ltd. which offers its customers Shariah compliant Islamic Financial transactions. With its head office located on the Galle Road at Kollupitiya, Amana Investments has branched out into Islamic Insurance with its subsidiary named Amana Takaful located on Duplication Road at Bambalapitiya. Since its launch in the mid nineties, many other privately owned Islamic Financial Companies have also sprung up, one of them being Ceylinco Investments run by Lalith Kotalawela. Several foreign banks in Sri Lanka have also embarked on setting up subsidiaries to sell Islamic Financial Products based on the Shariah.
1 Yusuf Bhangra + Haleema Bhoja
2 Haji Kassim Yusuf, b:Feb 19 1920 + Hawa Hajiani, daughter of Haji Omar Bhoja, m:Oct 1939
3 Osman Kassim (aka Rafeek Bhai)
3 Sattar Kassim
3 Farook Kassim
3 Shafik Kassim
Compiled by the Webmaster of the Sri Lanka Genealogy Website from available data in Sri Lankan archives together with data extracted from "Memons of Sri Lanka" - Men Memoirs Milestones, by Asiff Hussein & Hameed Karim Bhoja, May 2006, iSBN 955-1408-00-4, Published by The Memon Association of Sri Lanka