Fentons Timeline
  • Started as a Proprietary Company by Mr. Herbert Fenton (a Chartered Electrical Engineer) with one employee.

  • As the business took off, he registered a Company, Fentons Limited, under the joint Stock Company ordinance and the first Chairman of the Board was Sir Henry De Mel who was a highly respected Sri Lankan businessman who was a major shareholder. The Head of Ernst and Young was amongst the other Directors. The registered office was situated at No. 1, Union Place, with the cable address "Electric Colombo".

    Although the initial focus was on Electrical Wiring and Maintenance, which for a long time included the servicing of ceiling fans in commercial buildings, banks etc. as business improved, we diversified into the electromechanical field and started installing Mini Hydroelectric Systems in tea estates.

  • Telecommunications - We owned and operated our own telephone exchanges, commencing with the Talawakelle and Tillicoultry district exchange systems.

    Radios – Agents for Marconi radios; at one point in time Mr. Marconi himself visited Ceylon and came to Fenton’s.

    Imported and distributed P&R brand accumulator, the forerunner for today’s UPS.

  • In early 1950’s, all the private telecommunication exchanges were taken over when the government Telecommunications Department was started.

    Similarly, in the late 1950’s when the full scale hydroelectric schemes came on stream, the government wanted tea estates to obtain power from national electricity grid. Therefore, Mini Hydro Systems were neglected and we exited that business sector.

    As an Electrical Engineering service provider and cabling specialist, we were appointed agents for Belling cookers and BICC of Great Britain (largest cable manufacturer in the world at that time).

    During this time, we became the largest electrical contractor as we used to win an annual tender to wire all government buildings that were constructed by the Buildings Department.Most of the schools, hospitals, government buildings that were built between the mid-1940s and the mid-1980s were wired by Fentons.

  • In 1978, a major metamorphosis took place with the opening of the economy,and following the liberalization of imports, we re-entered theTelecommunicationsbusiness with one of the largest telecommunication organizations in the world; NEC of Japan.

    The first telephone systems that were installed were Electromechanical Systems, Key Telephone Systems, and PMBX (Private Manual Branch Exchanges).

    Those became electronic systems (PABX), and hence our recruiting of Electronic Engineers which became the platform to diversify into other areas of Electronic Engineering.

  • When one of our Electronic Engineers went to NEC, Japan for training it was suggested that we enter the Fire Detection business as it was an extension of our thrust into Electronic Engineering. On his return , the Fire Detection Division was formed in 1980 and Fentons was appointed agents for Zettler of Germany.

    CCTV, Access Control, Fire Detection, Intruder Detection were all started in the 1980s which resulted in the formation of alliances with international companies.

    1982 – Parliament PABX system was installed. In 1991, we installed at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority the largest capacity PABX in the country. (100 direct lines and 2000 extensions).

    After 1983 there was a transformation from analogue to digital electronic systems. Now IP systems are ubiquitous in our product offerings.

  • In 1994, Fentons Limited was categorized as EM1 Contractor (ability to quote or tender for projects with unlimited contractual value) by the Institute for Construction Training and Development.

  • Energynet (Pvt) Limited was formed in the year 2000.

    In 2002, A section was formed to develop and market telecommunication related software applications and other interface related software for fire prevention equipment.

  • In 2010, the first Cloud based international VOIP soft switch was commissioned interconnecting client offices in USA, Sri Lanka and Romania.

    Fentons Limited invested in start-up software development company Iphonik (Pvt) Limited. Iphonik is engaged in cutting edge ICT products and solutions focusing on unified communications in the year 2010.

    Appointed business partner for FCS Hospitality solutions, providing software solutions to leading hotel properties in the year 2011.

    Fentons Smart Facilities commences operations, providing Mechanical and Electrical facilities management services to large commercial buildings.