The Vijitha Yapa Group of Companies began in April 1981 when Vijitha Yapa Associates were appointed by Dow Jones & Company Limited of USA to represent them for advertising sales and distribution of their publications as the exclusive agent. The International Herald Tribune of Hong Kong, Newsweek Magazine, The Reader's Digest, The Economist, Business Week and The Times Group of India are among those who are represented by Vijitha Yapa for the sale of their publications in Sri Lanka. In addition, Lonely Planet Publications of Australia, Periplus Publications of Singapore, Konark Publications of India and Time Warner Books of UK are among the publishers who distribute their books on an exclusive basis through the Vijitha Yapa Group in Sri Lanka. In 1991 the Vijitha Yapa Group decided to establish a chain of bookshops, and today, there are twelve branches. Vijitha Yapa Bookshop is the largest English bookstore chain in Sri Lanka and offers more than 250,000 titles altogether.. The Vijitha Yapa group hold the exclusive rights to sell books in the transit lounge of Colombo's International Airport.
Vijitha Yapa Subscriptions is the largest subscription agent in Sri Lanka. The Vijitha Yapa group has 150 employees and is primarily involved with media related activities.
VIJITHA YAPA ASSOCIATES - PUBLIC RELATIONS (VYAPR)
A subsidiary company of the Group is VYAPR, Sri Lanka's first Public Relations Company, serving a number of international companies.
VIJITHA YAPA PUBLICATIONS
Vijitha Yapa publications have so far published 120 titles on a variety of subjects. The most successful Vijitha Yapa Publications so far have been "Sam's Story" by Captain Elmo Jayawardena, and "The Road from Elephant Pass" by Nihal de Silva. These books won the prestigious Gratiaen Award in 2001 and 2003 respectively as the best literary works in English, produced in Sri Lanka.Marshall Cavendish bought the rights to Sam's Story for south east Asia.
THE GRATIAEN AWARD
The Gratiaen Award was established by Michael Ondaatje, the well-known author, from the proceeds of the Booker Prize. He received the Booker Prize for his book "The English Patient".
OTHER AUTHORS PUBLISHED BY VIJITHA YAPA
Other well known authors whose books have been published by Vijitha Yapa Publications include Punyakante Wijenaike, who won the gold medal at the first Commonwealth short story competition, and Carl Muller whose books have been published by Penguin India. Both these authors have won the Gratiaen Awards for their books.
Mr. Vijitha Yapa - Founder, Chairman and Managing Director
Vijitha Yapa was the founder editor of three National Newspapers of Sri Lanka, The Island, The Sunday Island and The Sunday Times. He is also the author of three books, including the Travel book – “Insight pocket Guide” published by APA publications, Singapore. He is a well-known journalist and his articles and photographs have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Financial Times and The Far Eastern Economic Review.
Mrs. Lalana Yapa - Director
Lalana Yapa worked in the Attorney General's Department and is married to Vijitha Yapa.