The formidable DSI brand had humble beginnings. Losing his parents early in life, the visionary founder of DSI, the late Mr. D. Samson Rajapaksa JP, was driven at a very young age to make a successful livelihood for him and his family. He was brought up by his grandmother who encouraged and facilitated opportunities for him to excel, which ultimately led to the founding of the finest footwear company in Sri Lanka- DSI.

Even from the young age of 14, Mr. D. S. Rajapaksa was inherently self-disciplined and motivated and travelled to and fro from his hometown Galle. He gained valuable work experience in several stores in Colombo, and opened his own white cloth trading business in Pettah, which was his inspiring dream. Showing his resilience, even after the devastating repercussions of World War II which made him go back to Galle, he once again returned to resurrect his business.

The foundation for DSI was slowly being set up in the busy streets of Pettah when Mr. D. S. Rajapaksa began to venture into the local footwear industry and also commenced importing fashionable slippers such as the famous ‘ballerina’ style. He noticed the interest generated and recognized the potential of the trade which led to the opening of his first factory in Galle to manufacture slippers in Sri Lanka.

He wanted to create a work environment that fosters loyalty and friendship and to manufacture a product of comfort and superior quality. He was later commended by the late Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike at the Industrial Exhibition in 1964 for his significant achievements.

To maximise on business opportunities, Mr. D. S. Rajapaksa then diversified into garments which expanded the DSI brand further. He understood that brand loyalty was the key factor in the acceptance and success of his products, and always strived to supply goods considering the customers’ needs and desires. Suitable advertising campaigns were launched to promote all these ideals. His savvy business ideas and inherent talent to identify the gaps in the market enabled the company to grow into one with diverse and exciting products.

Along with the company, the family expanded. In the 1970s Mr. D. S. Rajapaksa’s children were part and parcel of the organization and followed in their father’s footsteps. They believed in the intrinsic values imparted to them and continued to promote impartiality, equal opportunities, impeccable discipline, and with it came abounding employee and customer loyalty.

Despite the many difficulties and obstacles Mr. Rajapaksa had to overcome on this journey he reached many heights in the corporate world. On a personal note, he always treated his colleagues and staff as if they were his own flesh and blood. Throughout the years and even today, he and his vision for the company has touched lives and communities around, and influences positive change in the areas of education and religion.

D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Limited has received many accolades, such as, SLIM Brand Excellence Award, NCE Export Awards and CNCI Achiever of Industrial Excellence, and the product portfolio has reached the highest echelons of diversity.

DSI brand has certainly been on an exciting journey and we are ‘pumped up’ about what the future has in store for us. From humble beginnings to a conglomerate of stature and standing, respected locally and internationally, we believe that the best is yet to come!



D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. is restructured as a marketing and distribution company.


The first international showroom opens in Chennai, India.
FILA and REEBOK appoints D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. as an authorized seller in Sri Lanka.


The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) names DSI as one of the top three brands of Sri Lanka.


D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. opens their 100th ultra-modern DSI showroom in Kandy.


D. Samson & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. wins the coveted ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’.


The ‘Sithuvili’ art competition is initiated to encourage the inherent talent in school children island-wide.


DSI opens its first showroom in the heart of Colombo, signifying the success and popularity of the brand.

Prior to 1962

The journey begins. Our Founder together with his children launches D. Samson & Sons Ltd., in Pettah – Colombo, to sell local and imported footwear.