Visiting Faculty INSEAD Business School(France)
Pursuing a Vision, with Tenacity
It was a great Honour to interview the founder of Dilmah Ceylon Tea -Merrill Fernando for the impending INSEAD Business School Case study in February. The idea of the case study was mooted when he addressed the Ceylon Tea 150 year celebration in 2018, where he articulated the passion, commitment and vision he had to create a ‘Pure Ceylon Tea brand’ to be globally marketed on the promise of ‘unblended, pure and of the highest quality’.
This visionary idea haunted the young Tea taster whilst working at ‘Mincing lane’ in the UK in 1954 at the age of 24. But it was in 1988 at the age of 58 the ‘dream became reality’. The two key words that exemplify the ‘Father of Branded Ceylon Tea’ are Vision and Tenacity. The tenacity to hold on to the dream for nearly 34 years amidst untold crises after crises, seemingly impossible mountains to climb is as mentioned by him, his faith in his Lord and savior. His journey has been underlined by his tenacity and epitomized by the line ‘Rise, fall after fall!
May the Vision, tacit knowledge and tenacity of the Merrill Fernando continue to be the ‘inspiration’ as Dilmah and Ceylon tea go from Strength to Strength to be the Single origin SustainabiliTEA of the World!