An Extraordinary Journey
The original corporate entity was established in 1997 by Patrick and Champika Claesson. The Claessons planned to migrate to Australia and sought a buyer to look after the interests of their clients and ensure the continuity of the company. The company was bought over by Sandaruwan Madduma Bandara, formerly with ANZ Grindlays Bank, and Muthukumari Madduma Bandara, a Chartered Architect, in 1999. Among the first clients of 3CS were Delysia Gunewardena, wife of the late Norman Gunewardena, former Chairman of Aitken Spence, and mother of Otara Gunewardena, Founder of Odel, and Ruchi Gunewardena, CEO of Strategic Initiatives Group. Clients like Delysia helped the young company grow by recommending our services to their contacts, and we gratefully remember their contribution to our success. Initially the company focused on equipment solutions, but as it grew, we moved into software, web solutions and online marketing.
The early years of the company were a struggle as we had to operate in a country burdened by civil conflict. In 2000 the country experienced the first recession since Independence in 1948, and these economic conditions severely hampered growth. Over time we acquired new technologies and broadened our portfolio. We began to emerge as one of the top web solutions providers in Sri Lanka. The development of the Vijitha Yapa Bookshop website in 2004, our first mainstream eCommerce site, was also an important milestone in our journey. Over a decade and many redesigned versions of the solution later, Vijitha Yapa Bookshop remains our satisfied client and the leading online bookstore in the country. It was around this time that we abbreviated the name of the company to create the trademark 3CS.
In 2008 3CS started delivering solutions to the hospitality sector in Sri Lanka by redesigning the websites of Aitken Spence Hotels, and building a reservation engine that would go on to earn hundreds of millions of rupees in online revenue. In 2009 we continued this trend by redesigning the Mount Lavinia Hotel website. Based on the runaway success of both websites, hoteliers sought us out to design their websites and provide solutions such as online booking engines and search engine optimisation. We have designed and delivered more than 80 hotel and travel websites across several countries. Due to demand from our clients in the hospitality sector, 3CS expanded its portfolio to include professional photography.
In 2010 Mount Lavinia Hotel won the Gold award for Best Corporate Website in Sri Lanka at the Bestweb competition organised by the .LK Domain Registry. 3CS won Silver as the Best Website Developer. In 2011 the Mount Lavinia Hotel website won the Best Tourism Website in Sri Lanka Award at the national Tourism Awards. In 2012 the Mount Lavinia Hotel website was again named the Best Corporate Website in Sri Lanka at Bestweb. It was also named the Best Sri Lankan website. 3CS won Gold as the Best Website Developer in Sri Lanka.
In 2010 Asia Broadcasting Corporation selected 3CS to be its web solutions partner. 3CS took over the Hiru FM, Sun FM, Gold FM, Sooriyan FM and Hiru News websites. With a complete overhaul of the design, software systems and servers, 3CS completely revamped these websites. 3CS acquired the capability to build sophisticated audio streaming solutions with this project. Hiru FM which was attracting only 150,000 visitors a month grew to reach over one million visitors a month across nearly 200 countries. In 2011 Hiru FM and Hiru News were awarded the Best e-Entertainment Website in Sri Lanka award at the national e-Swabhimani awards. The sites went on to win the Best e-Entertainment Website in South Asia award at the Manthan Awards in New Delhi. ABC later added Shaa FM and Hiru TV to its portfolio. 3CS deployed cutting-edge video streaming technology to make Hiru TV the leading TV station website in Sri Lanka. In 2013, Hiru TV won the Silver award for Best Media Website in Sri Lanka.
In 2013, 3CS-designed sites won several awards in the Travel and Leisure, Media and Open categories at the Bestweb competition. In 2013 3CS bought netAugusta, another web hosting company, increasing our web hosting market share in Sri Lanka to over 5% and making us the 5th largest provider of web hosting solutions, ahead of Sri Lanka Telecom. Over the past 24 years we have served more than 1,000 corporate clients across 57 countries and across four continents. Among these are some of the top blue chip companies and conglomerates in Sri Lanka, including John Keells Holdings, Aitken Spence Group, Hayleys Group, LOLC Group, Asia Capital Group, Maliban Group, Promate, Elasto, The Kingsbury, Mount Lavinia Hotel and Amaya Resorts. We have also worked with major international brands, including Nestle, Kia and Standard Chartered Bank. 3CS continued to win the Best Web Developer award in 2014, 2015 and 2017, as well as numerous awards across many categories at the Bestweb competition. In 2017 3CS was also awarded the SLT Zero One Award for the ground-breaking e-Learning platform we developed for the John Keells Foundation.
In 2017 we marked an important milestone by being selected to redesign the website for Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate – John Keells Holdings.
3CS continued to develop exciting websites for major brands in Sri Lanka and won the gold medal for Best Web Developer at the Bestweb competition in 2018 and 2019. The award in 2019 marked a decade of dominance as the Best Web Developer at this competition. In 2018 the News 1st website, which was completely redesigned by 3CS, won gold as the Best Media website and also the gold medal for the Best Overall website in Sri Lanka. In 2019 3CS won gold in the Best Travel & Tourism category for the Wattura Resort & Spa website.
2019 brought new challenges with the Easter Attacks that had a major impact on the economy. With the safety of our team in mind, 3CS switched many team members to working full time from home and reduced our dependence on a centralized office. When the country was locked down in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, our systems were fully geared to work from home. We were able to switch our entire team to working from home and saw no loss of productivity when the office was closed for over 2 months. After the lockdown was relaxed in May 2020 we decided to follow the model of global technology giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter and continue most of our team working from home. We have always been a highly agile company, ready to make fundamental changes to the way we operate in order to adapt to changing conditions. We continue to remain at the forefront of of this trend in Sri Lanka.
Over time we have grown from just two people to an elite team of 25 people. We have significantly expanded our infrastructure, resource base and team capabilities, improving our ability to deliver high quality solutions. We have a highly skilled and dedicated team of consultants, designers, software developers, content writers, engineers and digital marketing specialists. Technology is constantly evolving but 3CS has remained ahead of the industry in Sri Lanka. 10 years ago 3CS was using technologies that have become mainstream today. We are among the pioneers who introduced eCommerce to Sri Lanka. We were among the first companies to effectively optimize websites for search engines. We are pioneers in web design for the travel and leisure sector. We continue to introduce tried and tested innovations to our solutions. We have a broad-based portfolio of projects successfully implemented, supported and maintained over many years.
After 24 years 3CS looks back on an extraordinary journey, along which we have learned, grown and reached great heights in our industry. We look with confidence towards a future we hope to play a role in shaping.