The Gnanam family own 16.70 percent of Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited through individual shares, as well as shares through other shareholding companies in Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited. The three brothers of the Gnanam family i.e. Simon Rajaseelan Gnanam, Arul Selvaraj Gunaseelan Gnanam, and Elijah Jeyaseelan Gnanam, own 0.15% of shares in the company. However, through South Asian Investments (Pvt) Limited they collectively own 16.55 percent of Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited.
Venturing into the Sri Lankan market from India, the Gnanam family established a conglomerate spanning over a variety of business fields. Currently, the second and third generation members of the Gnanam family manage the businesses in Sri Lanka. During the Second World War, Arulanandan Gnanam (the father of Simon, Arul and Elijah), commenced his career by collecting and exporting scrap iron. He later established the Ceylon Synthetic Textile Mills or Cyntex that helped build his reputation as an industrialist. Expanding his business, Arulanandan Gnanam ventured into hardware, plastics, radios, radio spare parts and also initiated Asian Cotton Mills. During his time as Chairperson of the Textile Manufacturing Association, Arulanandan campaigned for positive government policy changes in the local textile manufacturing industry.
The vast expansion of the business saw Arulanandan create the St. Anthony’s Group, a business conglomerate that includes prominent industrial companies such as the Tokyo Cement Group, Sascon Knitting, St. Anthony’s Solar, Capital City Farms (Pvt) Limited and Rhino Roofing Products Limited. These companies dealt with the industries of civil engineering, machinery, hardware, chemicals, tiles and sanitary ware, and solar energy. For his dedication and services for the country, he was awarded the titles of Deshabandu in 1986, Deshamanya in 1996 and Vishwaprasadini in 1996. Arulanandan Gnanam also served as the Chairperson of Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited. His sons, who are members of the second generation of the Gnanam family, manage several companies, including the subsidiaries of the St. Anthony’s Group.
Construction and Power Supply
St. Anthony's Hardware (Pvt) Limited
Family & Friends
Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends
Simon Rajaseelan Gnanam – the eldest brother is the current Chairperson of Orion City Limited, South Asian Investment (Pvt) Limited, St. Anthony’s Hardware (Pvt) Limited, Capital City Holdings (Pvt) Limited, and Alexandra Industries (Ceylon) Limited, Managing Director of St. Anthony’s Consolidated (Pvt) Limited, St. Anthony’s Hydro Power (Pvt) Limited, Tokyo Cement Group, and Sofia Hospitality (Pvt) Limited.
Arul Selvaraj Gunaseelan Gnanam – the second brother is the current Managing Director of St. Anthony’s Industries Group (Pvt) Limited and St Anthony’s Property Developers (Pvt) Limited, Chairperson of Rhino Roofing Products Limited and a Director of many private companies including Tokyo Cement Group and Water Tec - India (Pte) Limited.
Elijah Jeyaseelan Gnanam – the youngest brother of the Gnanam family is a Director of the Tokyo Cement Group, Managing Director of South Asian Investment (Pvt) Limited, Orion City Group, and Rhino Roofing Group.
Jeevan Gnanam – one of the grandsons of Arulanandan Gnanam is the Managing Director of Digital Realty (Pvt) Limited, S.A. Knowledge Services (Pvt) Ltd, a Founder/ Director of Orion City Group, Lankan Angel Network, a Director of Crowdisland (Pvt) Limited, Loops Digital Marketing (Pvt) Limited, Founder of Hatch Sri Lanka, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) and the CEO and Executive Director of the St. Antony’s Industries Group.
The official websites of Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited and the Virakesari newspaper do not provide any information regarding the owners of Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited. However, the response provided by the company was referenced along with secondary sources and the annual returns available at the Department of Registrar of Companies. The most recent data was available for the year 2017. Information regarding the Gnanam family was collected through annual reports and websites of other business companies which are under the management of the Gnanam's such as Tokyo Cement Company and St. Anthony's Hardware. Further, data from LinkedIn profiles and Facebook profiles of certain key individuals were collected. While the Media Ownership Monitor research team reached out to Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited by formally requesting for the company’s information on 20 July 2018, the company responded to the aforementioned request on 20 August 2018.