The late Mr. A.L. Thambiayah who represented Kayts in Sri Lanka’s first two parliaments between 1947 to 1956, was chairman of Cargills and Millers as well as Cargo Boat Dispatch Company Limited, a well known port operator in its day, is credited with the vision that saw the birth of Hotel Renuka.
A.L. Thambiayah saw prospects for the hotel industry when development incentives were offered in 1970 and decided to embark on setting up a star class city hotel on family property in Galle Road, Kollupitiya.
He sent his younger son, Ravi, who had just completed a degree in economics, for training at the Royal Lancaster in London. Ravi returned to Colombo to take over the management of Hotel Renuka in June 1972, when the first hotel was commissioned. Renuka City Hotel was built on the adjacent property in 1995 under the auspices of a quoted company.
Ravi Thambiayah passed on the baton to his two daughters, Shibani Thambiayah and Arnila Thambiayah, who are now the Joint Managing Directors of the two hotel companies, Renuka Hotels Plc and Renuka City Hotels PLC, from February 2010.