THE 100 CLUB

The 2019 A-List

Sri Lankan businesspeople who continue to drive the engine of growth

LMD pays tribute to 100 Sri Lankan businesspeople who continue to drive the nation’s engine of growth

Sri Lanka is said to be in its deepest economic slump in more than a decade with mounting debt, political uncertainty and global headwinds piling the pressure on an economy that lies at the crosscurrents of regional trade.

It’s been more than 10 years since the end of the protracted civil conflict but the nation continues to grapple with concerns over security, stability and sustainability while recovering from the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in April last year.

This means that the corporate community is left to pick up the pieces, sustain its resilience and help Sri Lanka’s development journey stay on track.

THE STATE OF PLAY The Sri Lankan economy grew by 1.6 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Department of Census and Statistics. The services sector was the chief contributor to GDP (60%) although it recorded its lowest ever growth since 2010, which reflects the impact of the Easter Sunday attacks, while industry and agriculture followed with contributions of 26 and seven percent respectively.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka finds itself in 99th place in the ease of doing business rankings, which is a step up the ladder from 2019. In the World Bank report’s analyses, Sri Lanka also stands as the leader in the South Asian region when it comes to registering property, which is one of 10 categories considered in assessing an economy’s ‘doing business’ environment.

This therefore, is a reflection of the business climate in which the nation’s engine of growth has operated, and where our businesspeople and professionals have strived to succeed.


HALL OF FAME This New Year edition of LMD pays tribute to the business front-runners in 2019. Dubbed ‘The 100 Club,’ our A-List of Sri Lankan businesspeople is based on nominations received from LMD’s contributors, as well as an in-house think tank led by the editorial and senior management teams.

In the 2019 hall of fame, LMD showcases 100 leaders from among the best in Sri Lanka’s corporate and professional community.

LMD’s collective think tank works on the basis of nominating those who helm Sri Lanka’s best in class business houses for financial performance (with the LMD 100 being a key point of reference), corporate respect (LMD’s Most Respected rankings come into play here) and branding successes (our Brands Annual, which is compiled in collaboration with Brand Finance, says it all) – and indeed, other dimensions including entrepreneurship, the spirit of innovation, major accolades in the recent past and all else that make for inspiring leadership.

A-LIST PROFILE In this edition’s roll call of the island’s leading business personalities, we pay homage to leaders from diverse fields.

The 2019 lineup is led by representatives of Sri Lanka’s diversified companies, which are followed by the financial services industry. Meanwhile, the hotel sector, apparel industry and tea trade also feature prominently, alongside domains such as construction, ICT, gems and jewellery, real estate development, telecommunications, and economic and policy research.

When it comes to designations, the majority of leading businesspeople are chairpersons or managing directors, or members of the corporate C-Suite.

Reflecting the diversity of the private sector, the 2019 A-Listers span at least two generations; and on the gender front, 11 percent of the 100 strong list comprise women. Sri Lanka’s ‘Business Hall of Fame’ is also graced by those who happen to share ‘family ties’ with one another.

Many of the 2019 A-Listers have in fact appeared on the cover of the country’s pioneering business magazine and together with their fellow 100 Club counterparts, they continue to blaze a trail for and on behalf of their companies – and therefore, the nation.

Research specialist

Subhashini Abeysinghe is armed with an in-depth understanding of the national economy; and in addition to her expertise in multilateral and regional trade agreements, she has access to people and data in both the private and public sectors in her capacity as the Research Director of Verité. Abeysinghe holds a BA and an MA from the University of Colombo, as well as an MA from the World Trade Institute. Her fields of expertise also include trade policy and facilitation.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Lack of accountability of public servants is a severe drawback to the development of Sri Lanka’s economy

Tea connoisseur

Deshamanya Abbas Akbarally boasts a track record of over half a century in Sri Lanka’s tea industry. He is the Chairman of Akbar Brothers and Honorary Consul for Jordan. Akbarally’s career began in 1951 in the tea department of Hebtulabhoy & Company, a family business founded by his grandfather. Along with his brothers, he branched out to focus on tea manufacturing in 1969 and would go on to record immense success in the years that followed.

EXPORT TRADE

Decision makers must understand the industry, and their decisions must benefit the entire trade and thereby the country

Cricketer turned moneyman

Jonathan Alles was elected Chairman of the Asian Bankers Association, which is a testament to his dynamism in the banking sector and wider business world. A schoolboy cricketer turned banker, he holds an MBA in finance, is an Associate member of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL) and has extensive experience having worked in the Middle East. As the MD and CEO of Hatton National Bank (HNB), Alles has been instrumental in taking the banking sphere to the next level.

FINANCIAL STABILITY

The most successful and respected corporates around the globe deliver sustainable growth and stability

Apparel ace

Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean is a cofounder and the Chairman of apparel giant MAS and has a reputation for being an exemplary visionary. Conferred the Humanitarian Award at the FEMMY Awards 2019, he was also among five global business leaders recognised by the UN at the Women’s Empowerment Principles’ inaugural ‘Leadership Awards for Cultural Change for Empowerment.’ In addition, Amalean received the CNBC-IIFA Global Leadership award and was ranked amongst the Top 20 Asian Progressive Leaders by World Business Magazine.

INNOVATION QUOTIENT

We need to inculcate an innovation-driven mindset through which businesses can continuously create and add value

Legal eagle

Harsha Amarasekera was appointed to the board of CIC Holdings in 2005 and as Chairman in 2014. With his gamut of expertise – including commercial, business, securities, banking and intellectual property law – Amarasekera practises in the original as well as appellate courts. He also serves as an independent director of a number of companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Amarasekera was admitted to the bar in November 1987 and took oaths as a President’s Counsel in November 2012.

LONG-TERM PROGRESS

To be truly sustainable in the long term, it is imperative that [the group] not only keeps pace with the market but continues to stay ahead of the curve

The banker

Kapila Ariyaratne counts over 30 years of varied experience in banking, having entered the sector in 1984. While much of his experience stems from corporate banking, Ariyaratne has hands-on knowledge of international trade finance and customer service, credit risk management, institutional and correspondent banking, and SME and microfinance. A former student of Royal College, he is a First Class Honours graduate of the University of Colombo – in addition to being a sportsman who won school colours in rugby football, and university colours in rugger and hockey, having also represented CR & FC.

ECONOMIC RENEWAL

We must embark on a journey of stabilising and growing the economy, while addressing critical issues faced by people through sustainable short and long-term plans

Wellness guru

Shalin Balasuriya has already made a name for himself in the wellness space. He is deemed to have been instrumental in repositioning Ayur­veda as a luxury lifestyle brand both at home and abroad. In the past, the cofounder of Spa Ceylon was feted as one of the ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Sri Lanka’ in recognition of his corporate, economic and/or entrepreneurial accomplishments.

HEALTH IS WEALTH

The wellness industry globally is seeing wellness become a key part of several industries from travel and tourism to retail, recreation, food and beverage, and HR

Conglomerate chair

Krishan Balendra follows in the footsteps of his illustrious father Deshamanya Ken Balendra, having taken the reins of the most respected company in the island last January. He is a Director of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Sri Lanka. Balendra is a former Chairman of Nations Trust Bank and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), and holds a law degree from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD.

CORPORATE AGILITY

It has now become essential that one stays abreast of the trends of novel and disruptive business models, and embraces business agility

Legal authority

Dr. Harsha Cabral was appointed a Member of the International Court of Arbitration at the World Council of the International Chamber of Commerce in 2015. A senior legal practitioner with over 25 years’ active experience, he is a member of countless bodies in the field of law. Notably, Cabral is considered among the chief architects of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007. He is also the author of several publications covering company, intellectual property, international trade and commercial law, and commercial arbitration.

FAIR GOVERNANCE

Most of the developed companies have recognised that their chairman must be independent

Tech tsar

Kris Canekeratne co-founded Virtusa two decades ago, seemingly in a bid to apply the intellectual power of international teams and software platform efficiencies to accelerate innovation. A transformational leader and an accomplished entrepreneur, he offers a uniquely global perspective. Canekeratne received a TiE Boston 2018 Entrepreneurship Award for leading Virtusa into becoming a world-class provider of business solutions, as well as a Lifetime Award at the inaugural SLT Zero One Awards in 2017.

TECH EXPOSURE

In Sri Lanka, every student should be exposed to technology, design and problem solving

Gem virtuoso

Akram Cassim is a fourth generation jewellery designer in addition to being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). As Managing Director, he has been responsible for transforming Colombo Jewellery Stores (CJS) into a designer jewellery brand that lays claim to a wide selection of international luxury watches.

LUXURY BRANDING

A long-term strategy is required for duty and tax structures to make the luxury products segment viable

Number cruncher

Gihan Cooray is the Deputy Chairman and Group Finance Director of John Keells Holdings, and was appointed Chairman of Nations Trust Bank in 2018. He holds an MBA from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. An Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA), a Certified Management Accountant of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (Australia) and Diploma holder in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing – UK (CIM), he also serves as a Member of the Sub-Committee on Economic, Fiscal and Policy Planning of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

POLICY REFORMS

Speedy implementation of policy reforms and trade arrangements with key trade partners could bode well for business sentiment and economic recovery

Hospitality maestro

Hiran Cooray is a graduate of business administration from the University of North Carolina and a former schoolboy cricketer. He chairs the trendsetting Jetwing Symphony. Cooray’s lengthy track record in the hotel sector is reflected in being appointed Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) for 2010-2012, which put Sri Lanka on the map of the world’s travel dignitaries. He has served as President of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), was appointed an Alternate Member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics (2013-2017), and holds over 50 directorships in hotels and related companies.

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

If you don’t make profits in a business, you cannot look after the people and the planet

Travel junkie

Shiromal Cooray is a highly regarded professional in the travel and hospitality sector, and an accountant by profession. She helms the family owned Jetwing Hotels and is tasked with taking the business to new heights. A past president of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID), Cooray is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA) and is armed with an MBA as well. Prior to joining the travel trade, she was the Finance Director of J. Walter Thompson Sri Lanka. She is also a former Vice-President of the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL) and past President of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO).

BUSINESS AGENDA

To gain new business, it is imperative that we communicate stronger messages and ensure they are disseminated effectively

Realty master

Hemaka De Alwis continues to play a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s real estate management and property development space. Although he embarked on a career in law over a decade ago, the Chairman and MD of Fairway Holdings now runs a business with interests in renewable energy, manufacturing and trading, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and travel and leisure. He’s open to taking risks, which is ingrained in his entrepreneurial spirit. De Alwis has played a hand in diverse business areas and in the sporting arena too, by way of a legal posting at Sri Lanka Cricket.

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

Government must stop seeing itself as a real estate agency and act more like a development agency

Healthcare magnate

Dr. Jayantha Dharmadasa was awarded an honourary doctorate by Swinburne University of Technology in 2017 for his impact on various sectors in Sri Lanka. A former Chairman of the National Film Corporation, and President of both Sri Lanka Cricket and the Asian Cricket Council, he completed his secondary education at S. Thomas’ College, and is a Fellow member of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers.

ETHICAL STANDARDS

Adopting an ethical approach to business, and treating customers and other stakeholders ethically, is needed to be responsible and conduct business in a sustainable manner

Economist turned banker

Dharma Dheerasinghe joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as an economist in 1976 and was appointed Deputy Governor in 2009. He has published on a number of topics relating to economics, and counts over 30 referred articles in reputed journals (including LMD!) in Sri Lanka and overseas. Additionally, he was the IMF’s Alternate Executive Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka. Dheerasinghe is a graduate of the University of Colombo where he read for a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Philosophy in Econo­mics, and completed a Master’s Degree in Transport Economics at Leeds University (UK).

FINANCIAL INCLUSION

It is imperative to increase financial literacy so that more people have access to finance and engage in banking transactions

Ayurveda rebrander

Shiwantha Dias heads the product development arm of the Spa Ceylon wellness empire. He is credited for helping his mother build Janet Ayurveda over the course of two decades, prior to cofounding the now iconic Spa Ceylon. In recognition of his efforts, Dias was named among the recipients of the Asia’s Greatest Business Leaders 2018 Awards.

WELLNESS MARKET

The continued growth of the international wellness market signals a strong shift in consumer preferences

Maritime anchor

Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake was appointed Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence in 2019. He holds the honour of being the first non-British International President of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (UK), and is widely hailed as an expert in shipping and logistics. Accordingly, Dissanayake has served on the UN/UNCTAD Panel as an expert on ports and shipping among other high-ranking positions in relevant domains. He has also been conferred an Asian Brand Leadership award by CMO Asia.

HI-TECH INVESTMENTS

There’s an opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a knowledge and manufacturing hub for attractive high technology investments

Banking sage

Jegan Durairatnam was appointed to the board of DFCC Bank in August 2018 and Chairman in July 2019. He was named an ‘Outstanding Leader in Asia’ at the 2018 Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards. Upon graduating with a BSc degree from the University of Peradeniya in 1981, he joined Commercial Bank of Ceylon as an executive trainee in 1982.

GREEN ENERGY

There is substantial untapped potential in Sri Lanka for investments in green energy projects

Tourism titan

Abbas Esufally – the first third generation Esufally to join the business in 1977 – boasts over 35 years’ experience in the tourism industry and has played a pivotal role in expanding the Hemas group’s leisure interests. He also serves on several other listed and unlisted company boards. A Fellow member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), he is an all island Justice of Peace and serves as the Honorary Consul of Bhutan in Sri Lanka.

INDUSTRY KNOW-HOW

Decision makers must understand the industry, and their decisions must benefit the entire trade and thereby the country

Corporate mandarin

Husein Esufally has more than 30 years’ management experience under his belt and heads the family centric enterprise Hemas. Having joined the company in 1981, he has provided leadership to the group while demonstrating prudence – he is viewed as someone who espouses the principle of succession planning by appointing high calibre professionals to positions of influence while taking a backseat should an opportunity present itself. His credentials also include a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in electronics from the University of Sussex.

CUSTOMER FIRST

Build strategy around your customer and profits will follow

Pharma giant

Murtaza Esufally holds more than two decades of experience in senior management. He is the Chairman of Hemas Hospitals and Hemas Pharmaceuticals, and functioned as Non-Executive Chairman of the Centre for Poverty Analysis. Esufally has an MBA from Melbourne Business School, is a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and holds an LLB from the University of Essex. Additionally, he is an attorney at law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.

SUSTAINABILITY GOALS

The Sustainable Development Goals are a very useful framework for government, and for companies and civil organisations who want to make an impact

Tea tycoon

Dilhan Fernando was appointed CEO of Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company in 2017. The Director of the Dilmah School of Tea – deemed to be the first such international school of tea – also manages the humanitarian and environmental outcomes for Dilmah, added to which he chairs the private sector driven Biodiversity Sri Lanka national platform.

POSITIVE FORCE

Business as a force for good that does no harm to the societal and environmental fabric of Sri Lanka has more opportunity versus a downside

Smart cookie

Kumudika Fernando was named Business Role Model of the Year at the Professional and Career Women Awards 2016, in recognition of her contribution to the national and regional economy through her involvement at Maliban where she was appointed Managing Director in 2009. A proponent of innovation and product development, she pioneered and implemented an ERP system to integrate the functions of the business. A former student of Holy Family Convent, she pursued higher studies in Singapore and the US, and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology.

CONSUMER INSIGHTS

As consumers are becoming more knowledgeable, it’s important that we change our proposition to cater to these changing tastes

Accidental hotelier

Malik J. Fernando has referred to himself as an ‘accidental hotelier’ and was appointed CEO of MJF Leisure in 2017. He grew up and studied overseas but with the intention of returning to Sri Lanka to work in the family business. A founder member of the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance, he graduated from Babson College in Boston in 1989.

TOURISM LIFELINE

The industry, the public, and both present and past tourists have made it clear they’ll support, tag, share and do what it takes to stand with Sri Lanka

Tea celebrity

Deshamanya Merrill J. Fernando has etched his name in Sri Lanka’s corporate history and made a name for himself beyond the island’s shores, which is why he was the recipient of LMD’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. The iconic businessman is the founder and Chairman of MJF, and celebrated as the doyen of Sri Lanka’s tea industry. He is the visionary behind Dilmah, which is arguably Sri Lanka’s most high profile brand of the golden brew.

GUIDING LIGHT

Quality has to be the guiding light for any product – because it embodies the integrity of a product

Banking whizz

Nanda Fernando is the MD of Sampath Bank, and boasts over 35 years’ experience in banking and finance. He has played multiple roles in the business of banking – including transactional banking in retail and corporate banking among other major growth areas. He is a Senior Fellow member of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL), and holds an MBA specialised in marketing from Sikkim Manipal University in India. Further­more, he is a qualified four bead Leader Trainer and past District Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Scout Association.

VALUE ADDITION

Businesses that strive to deliver greater value to all stakeholders are more likely to succeed

Golfing banker

Renuka Fernando, the CEO of Nations Trust Bank, has honed her skills as a career banker, having joined the digitally savvy financial institution in 2001. She draws on a wealth of knowledge and experience in financial services spanning over three decades. Her previous experience in the banking arena includes spells at ABN AMRO Bank (Sri Lanka), Banque Indosuez (Sri Lanka) and Nederlandsche Middenstandsbank (Hong Kong). She is the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association and was appointed to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka Board of Directors for 2018/19.

LEADERSHIP MANTRA

Lead the change or change will lead you out

Optical illusionist

Dasantha Fonseka is the founder and Chairman of Vision Care Optical Services, in addition to assuming duties as the Deputy Chairman of the Colombo School of Business and Management. During the year, his eyewear business expanded its footprint in the island, most recently inaugurating its latest branch in the heart of Colombo.

GIFT OF SIGHT

In Sri Lanka, the private sector plays a critical role in fulfilling the eyecare needs of the country

Heritage restorer

Sanjeev Gardiner is the Chairman of Ambeon Capital, Galle Face Hotel Group and Kandy Hotels Company. He is a director of several public and private companies, and counts more than 20 years in the sphere of senior management. Gardiner holds Bachelor of Business degrees from RMIT and Monash University. He has been a council member of the governing body of HelpAge Sri Lanka for over a decade and is a Trustee of the Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Trust.

RESULTS ORIENTATION

Be passionate about what you want to achieve – focus on results rather than perfection

Cement authority

Rajaseelan Gnanam claims over 30 years in business management, strategic planning, and social and economic research. He holds the position of Chairman of South Asian Investment as well as Alexandra Industries (Ceylon), and is the CEO of Capital City Holdings, Capital City Development, Capital City Farms, St. Anthony’s Consolidated and St. Anthony’s Hardware.

STRATEGIC FOCUS

We will continue to maintain our strategic focus to strengthen resilience through value addition and diversification

Plantations pundit

Vish Govindasamy has led Sunshine Holdings with aplomb, which is among the reasons why he boasts a track record of being invited to sit on several committees at the House of Tata – a rare honour for an individual in the corporate sector globally. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Hartford. Govindasamy is a Fellow member of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers of Sri Lanka. He was appointed Vice Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for 2019/20

LEADERSHIP IMPETUS

Market recognition provides us with the impetus to keep redefining what it means to be a market leader

Transformative insurer

Ajith Gunawardena is credited for introducing the concept of a direct sales force to the insurance sector and his brainchild of on-the-spot claims settlements transformed Sri Lanka’s insurance landscape. Moreover, he was behind Ceylinco Insurance’s first overseas joint venture. Gunawardena joined the Ceylinco Group in 1978 as a Sales Manager and was appointed Director in Charge of the General Division of Ceylinco Insurance nine years later. His illustrious track record speaks for itself. He was appointed Executive Chairman with effect from June 2019.

LASTING TIES

Your growth should be steady and long-term as you build long-lasting relationships with customers as well as your team

Coatings celeb

Aelian Gunawardene has been the driving force behind JAT’s transformation. He was also conferred the Platinum Award for the 22nd Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL). Today, JAT is a fledgling conglomerate with interests in several key sectors; it has also expanded its reach to regional markets. The group’s MD possesses over two decades’ experience in marketing and management, and holds a Diploma in Marketing Management from the Chartered Institute of Marketing – UK (CIM).

ECONOMIC COG

Financial institutions need to support the construction industry, which is a vital cog in the economy

Capital infuser

Ajit Gunewardene helms Bluestone Capital and Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka of PickMe fame. The former schoolboy ruggerite has engaged in stints as Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Nations Trust Bank, and was President of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holdings (JKH). Gunewardene holds a degree in economics from the University of North Carolina. Moreover, he chairs the founding committee of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka.

CORPORATE DNA

It is living governance that matters – essentially, it must become part of the corporate DNA

Master jeweller

Anura Hemachandra has played his part in the gem and jewellery sector for over 50 years even as Vogue Jewellers continues to innovate under his leadership. His business journey began at a very young age and he continues to drive the organisation’s vision. Hemachandra joined Vogue Jewellers in 1978 and learnt the ropes of the business that was established by his father in 1962.

GILDED LEGACY

Sri Lankans consider that solid gold is a sound investment and certainly a part of the treasures that will be handed down to the next generation.

E-com pathbreaker

Dulith Herath is the founder and chair of one of the nation’s largest e-commerce businesses – Kapruka.com. A recipient of an Eisenhower Fellowship for his project Grasshopper (seed funded by AFF and recognised by the UN as an enabler of e-commerce in developing nations), Herath also cofounded Grasshoppers, which provides logistics solutions to small enterprises in Sri Lanka. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Herath was conferred the Asia Pacific Retail Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2018.

GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY

Our businesses need to remember that local consumers now have access to products from every corner of the world

Traditional healer

Asoka Hettigoda has promoted Ayurveda and the careful use of natural resources, and introduced modern technology to the fledgling sector. The group’s flagship brand Siddhalepa manufactures Ayurveda medicines in addition to healthcare, beauty, skin, oral care, wellness and spa products. The baton was passed on to him by his father Deshabandu Victor Hettigoda, the famed entrepreneur of recent decades. He has also received the Ayurveda Ratna award in recognition of his service in furthering Ayurveda.

KEEPING THE FAITH

Believe in yourself; believe in what you sell

Apparel personage

Mahesh Hirdaramani is the Chairman of the Hirdaramani Group of Companies. He serves as a director in many subsidiary companies of the group. The Hirdaramani Group is a US$ 750 million multi-country apparel manufacturer with 35 facilities across Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Viet­nam.

Leasing pro

Sabry Ibrahim counts 33 years and more in banking primarily in the areas of corporate banking, and treasury and risk management. He holds an Honours Degree (BSc) from the University of Colombo and is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK). The former Director of HNB Securities and People’s Mer­chant Bank was recently appointed Non-Executive and Non-Independent Director of People’s Insurance. He also functions as a Director of People’s Leasing Fleet Management and People’s Leasing Property Development.

INFRASTRUCTURE BINGE

Rapid infrastructure development and construction of high-rises and roads are driving demand for commercial vehicles

Supply chain pro

Shehara Jayawardana heads the McLarens group’s shared services division, overseeing the group finance, HR, internal audit and compliance, IT and company secretarial divisions. She also directs the group’s corporate strategy and planning, and new business acquisitions. Jaya­wardana holds an MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance with Honours from CASS Business School, and a BSc in Economics with Honours from the London School of Economics (LSE).

JOB SEARCH

The drive to open up more jobs to all should be accompanied with parallel discussions and review on competence, commitment and character

Seasoned tycoon

Deshamanya Harry Jayawardena leads the Stassen Group while holding substantial stakes in numerous leading listed entities. He also heads several ventures in diversified fields and is the Honorary Consul for Denmark. In 2010, Jaya­wardena received the Knight’s Cross of Dannebrog from Queen Margrethe II of Denmark for his contribution to the Danish arts, sciences and business life. Over the years, he’s been touted as one of the wealthiest corporate personalities in Sri Lanka.

GROWTH TRAJECTORY

Sri Lanka is making efforts to restore normalcy and get the economy back on a growth trajectory

Classic financier

Kapila Jayawardena’s professional experience ranges from investment banking and banking operations, to audit, relationship management, corporate finance, corporate banking and treasury management. He holds an MBA in financial management, is a Fellow member of the Institute of Bankers, and an Associate member of the Institute of Cost and Executive Accountants (London). Moreover, he served as Country Head and CEO (Sri Lanka and Maldives) of Citibank from 1998 to 2007.

FINTECH OUTLOOK

Technology will drive the future of financial services

Media trendsetter

Dilith Jayaweera set up Triad while studying law at the University of Colombo, having identified a vacuum in the local ad industry. Established in 1993, the agency was modelled as the country’s first local advertising house. Over the years, Jayaweera has also invested in domains such as media (TV Derana), travel, leisure, property development, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.

INNOVATIVE STREAK

I’ve always felt that I could create wealth and value by being innovative

Unconventional lender

Osman Kassim is well-versed in Islamic banking and finance, and considered instrumental in introducing the concept to Sri Lanka with the setting up of Amãna Investments in 1997. He sits on the board of Amãna Takaful – the first Islamic insurance company in Sri Lanka – a founder Director, as well as on the board of Amãna Takaful Life, Amãna Takaful Maldives and the Maldives Islamic Bank. Kassim holds an honorary doctorate from the Staffordshire University in recognition of achievements as a global entrepreneur and educationalist. He is the Founder Chairman of the Expolanka Group and Chairman of Vidullanka.

RISK MITIGATION

Sound governance and risk management systems are the foundation of financial performance within the current operating environment

Construction baron

Deshabandu M. G. Kularatne is cited as the brains behind construction giant Maga, which was founded in 1983. An early stint with Japanese companies in the 1970s honed his passion for precision. And his vision of securing high profile associates and partners has met with success, cementing Maga’s credentials in the construction arena. Kularatne was also among the nominees to the Council of the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (CCI) for 2018/19.

PRECIOUS LABOUR

Adopt a more systematic approach to promote, train and retain both our new and existing labour force, while taking steps to elevate and empower construction craftsmanship

Infrastructure enabler

Suren Madanayake is an alumnus of Royal College and qualified as a mechanical engineer at the University of Texas. Today, he serves as the Managing Director of ACL Plastics and is a director of a slew of other Sri Lankan entities with a particular focus on the infrastructure sector. In 2012, Madanayake was appointed to the board of Union Bank of Colombo as an Independent Non- Executive Director, besides which he chairs the nonprofit CCC Foundation Sri Lanka.

POLICY BACKING

Inconsistency in policy has not been very conducive to attracting foreign direct investment to the country

Paints chief

Mizver Makeen established Macksons Hold­ings in 1970 and under his leadership, the flagship Multilac brand has been the recipient of several sector awards, which according to Makeen demonstrates the company’s commitment to the nation. The Macksons group encompasses 14 companies in retail, manufacturing, hospitality, engineering, energy, motor and property development.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

It is high time politicians of this country work out a plan to make economic policies that will enhance the contribution of Sri Lankan partnerships with international stakeholders

Savvy auditor

Reyaz Mihular is the first Sri Lankan professional to be appointed as a leader in a global capacity within the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms in Sri Lanka. He has served as a member of KPMG’s MESA board and Managing Partner of KPMG Sri Lanka, which ranks among the LMD 100’s leading audit firms. His credentials include being a board member of the International Accounting Standards Committee and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants among others.

INTEGRITY FOCUS

Integrity is the foremost requirement to build credibility

Smooth operator

Ishara Nanayakkara serves on the boards of many corporates and conglomerates in the region, and ventured into the financial services arena by investing in LOLC Holdings. He boasts a proven track record as an entrepreneur with a strategic vision and penchant for taking calculated risks. Appointed to the board in 2002, Nanayakkara is now the Deputy Chairman of LOLC with directorships in subsidiaries and associate companies.

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

We are hopeful that the year 2020 will bring forth increased stability in policy direction and favourable conditions in the macroeconomic arena

Global industrialist

Ashroff Omar is a highly respected industrialist and renowned as a global businessman with a penchant for out-of-the-box thinking. Having assumed duties as the CEO of apparel giant Brandix Lanka, he also serves as a Director of Phoenix Ventures and many group subsidiaries. Omar was a founder member of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF). He is also the Honorary Consul General of Finland and sits on the board of the US-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission.

VALUE ADDED EXPORTS

We need to develop entrepreneurial trade and value added exports

Retail giant

Ranjit Page possesses in excess of 35 years’ management experience with expertise in food retailing, food service and manufacturing. He is credited as having introduced the concept of supermarketing to the Sri Lankan masses. Page also serves on the boards of several CT Holdings group companies.

TALENT OPTIMISATION

Our youth are enterprising and we must help them make the best use of their talent

Seasoned corporate

Mohan Pandithage joined Hayleys in 1969 and was appointed to its board in 1998. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the diversified conglomerate that accounts for a notable share of Sri Lanka’s export income and was recently ranked No. 1 in the LMD 100. Pandithage is an alumnus of Ananda College, a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (UK) and a director of a number of Hayleys’ affiliated listed companies.

DIGITAL ECONOMY

Creating a knowledge-driven digital economy is essential to drive external trade growth

Motor maven

Ranjith Pandithage has been awarded the prestigious ‘Order of Merit’ of Germany, which comes as little surprise given his contribution to German-Sri Lanka relations and promotion of German vocational training in the country. Having joined Diesel & Motor Engineering (DIMO) – the agent for Mercedes-Benz in Sri Lanka – back in 1973, he was appointed to DIMO’s board of directors in 1977. Pandithage also holds a diploma in engineering from Germany.

SECRET OF SUCCESS

You need the trust and confidence of stakeholders, and an ethical approach to business, to be successful

Retail trailblazer

Ashok Pathirage is recognised as a visionary leader in Sri Lanka’s corporate world and manages over 50 companies, providing employment to nearly 10,000 employees. His strategic leadership and penchant for risk taking has built a highly diversified conglomerate that’s laying the foundations of a local business empire. He became Chairman of Softlogic in 2003 while several other entities under his chairmanship are listed on the Colombo bourse. Pathirage has also brought luxury brands to Sri Lanka and made his mark in the healthcare sector. He was recently appointed Chairman of the national carrier.

RAISING THE BAR

Upholding strong principles and consistently pushing the bar to deliver quality nurtures self-esteem, confidence and respect

Ace Insurer

Dirk Pereira functioned as the CEO of Union Assurance from 2010 until September last year. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka). In addition, he holds an MBA from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

VALUE FOR MONEY

We need to push boundaries as much as possible, and work out solutions that offer comprehensive insurance cover and value for money for customers

Tea addict

Deshabandu Anselm Perera – a veteran of the tea industry – is the Managing Director of Mlesna, which he founded in 1983. He’s credited with introducing new concepts that transformed the tea industry in this country. Through his initiatives, Perera has sought to change the mindset of Sri Lankans and proved that Ceylon Tea holds immense value. Accordingly, his life has been dedicated to uplifting the tea industry and raising its standing internationally.

VALUE CREATION

Improving quality and creating a product of greater value would be the only way forward for our industry

Savvy investor

Dhammika Perera is among Sri Lanka’s wealthiest individuals, and is the founding chair and MD of Vallibel One. He holds other high profile positions as well and has invested substantially in a number of listed companies. Having studied at Taxila Central College in Horana, Perera enrolled in the National Diploma in Technology (NDT) programme at the Institute of Technology of the University of Moratuwa before dropping out to pursue his passion for business.

FUNCTIONAL LITERACY

Today, the world is focussing on ‘functional literacy,’ which often tends to be confused with conventional literacy rates

Mobile revolutionary

Nalin Perera is thought to have introduced the prepaid concept to Sri Lanka and its supportive ecosystem that revolutionised the telecom industry. His career at Mobitel began in 2001. A chartered marketer, Perera holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing (UK) and a Master of Business Studies (University of Colombo).

INNOVATIVE STREAK

Continuous innovation by anticipating customer needs and expectations is the need of the hour

Power woman

Sandamini Perera is the holder of an Executive Master of Science degree in Strategic Marketing from Asia e-University (Malaysia) and an active member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM). In 2014, she was feted by the World Consulting and Research Corporation. She has also received the Best Female Entrepreneur award from Women in Management Sri Lanka.

QUALITY LEADERSHIP

Leadership refers to the capacity to transform vision into reality. The quality of leadership is an essential element for an organisation to develop

Deal maker

Sumal Perera is the Chairman and CEO of Access Engineering, and chairs all the companies under the Access Group and Sathosa Motors umbrella. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA). Under his leadership, Access has grown exponentially and marked its presence as a highly diversified business enterprise.

ELECTRIC DREAMS

As an oil importing nation, we should not wait until 2035 – by 2025, we should be all electric

Retail doyenne

Aban Pestonjee is the founder and Chairperson of Abans, and continues to set benchmarks for budding entrepreneurs. In 2013, she was conferred LMD’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her entrepreneurial magic. Pestonjee attracted global renown by winning the Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World award in 2006 and was bestowed The Award of Excellence for Woman Achievers for Outstanding Achievement from the SAARC Women’s association back in 2000.

SUCCESS STORY

HHP – Honesty. Hard work. Perseverance.

Motor mastermind

David Pieris’ astute leadership saw the group expanding to 14 entities, which has directly and indirectly provided employment to over 700,000 people and 2.4 million dependents. In 2011, he stepped down from executive responsibilities and assumed the title of ‘Non-Executive Ceremonial President’ of David Pieris Motor Company.

HISTORICAL PRIDE

It gives me great pride and satisfaction to observe the company developing from strength to strength

Management virtuoso

Murali Prakash – the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ambeon Capital and Ambeon Holdings – has more than 35 years of experience in key management positions. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Manage­ment Institute (London), holds an MBA from University of Southern Queensland and is a certified professional marketer (Asia-Pacific).

BRAND BUILDING

Internal brand building is how brands can fulfil what they profess because that way, all internal resources and the focus live up to the promise

Realty visionary

Brahamanage Premalal is the Chairman of Prime Lands, which was established two decades ago. The group is a leading player in the island’s real estate landscape. Premalal is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA) and a member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM). He holds a postgraduate diploma in marketing from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

QUALITY FOCUS

The service and product quality is important in reputation management

Classic entrepreneur

Kulatunga Rajapaksa is a past president of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) and the Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products. And he is the President of the Sri Lanka Footwear Association. Rajapaksa has also served as an honorary council member of many prestigious universities. At present, he is an Executive Committee member of NCE and a Director of the Mawbima Lanka Padanama.

STATE SUPPORT

To develop the SME sector, there should be government recognition and assistance

Quiet achiever

Damitha Ramanayake has guided the Damro group to reach the upper echelons of Sri Lanka’s private sector. Established in 1986, Damro manufactures furniture and has expanded its presence globally. In 2018, the group launched the Marino Mall and Marino Beach Colombo hotel. The achievements of the Damro Group reflect Ramanayake’s vision and determination.

Life assurer

Rajkumar Renganathan’s ties with the Cey­linco Group date back to 1983. In the life insurance arena, Ceylinco Life has diversified into the healthcare sector. A chartered accountant by profession and schoolboy ruggerite, Renga­nathan helms Ceylinco Life today. He is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).

SMART BUSINESS

Today, managers need to work smart, and keep learning and be aware of external factors that could affect their industries

Banking aficionado

Sivakrishnarajah Renganathan has served Commercial Bank throughout his career and is now its Managing Director. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA), IFS School of Finance and Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL), in addition to being an Associate member of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA).

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

Responsible business means arriving at informed decisions, adopting sustainable business practices – and employing ethical and transparent business practices

Classic jeweller

Rizvan Sahabdeen has seen some of the most prominent global brands including the likes of Four Seasons Hotels choosing Sifani as their preferred jeweller. He is a director of the A. M. M. Sahabdeen Trust Foundation and has assumed Chairman Membership of Rotary Colombo East in the past.

MARKETING PROWESS

Millennials buy jewellery not merely as an accessory; they seek a deeper meaning – and this is where marketing and design skills come to the fore

Sporty insurer

Prakash Schaffter is a leading insurance personality in Sri Lanka. The Cambridge educated Schaffter counts three decades’ experience in the insurance sector both in Sri Lanka and the UK. A former President of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka, he is a Fellow member of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

INSURANCE MODEL

Globally, the insurance sector has been witnessing a steady shift from solvency based frameworks to risk-based capital frameworks

Tech whizz

Mano Sekaram counts over 25 years of global experience in IT and software management. As an industry thought leader, he is a regular representative of Sri Lanka’s IT-BPM industry nationally and globally. He was Chairman of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) in 2015/16.

BEST PRACTICES

Competing in the global marketplace opens up not only new markets but also new ways of thinking, innovating and best practices

Unconventional investor

Dr. Sivakumar Selliah holds over two decades of experience in diverse fields including manufacturing, healthcare, plantations, logistics, packaging, retail and insurance. His passion to guarantee that JAT excels and performs exceptionally is deemed to be paramount in the company achieving sustainability and solidarity.

Elusive industrialist

Hari Selvanathan has been listed among the four wealthiest individuals in Sri Lanka by Forbes Asia. The Deputy Chairman of Carson Cumber­batch and Chairman of Bukit Darah is also a past President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) and Vice Chairperson of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

COST CONTROL

We appreciate the importance of keeping costs down and allocating capital strategically

Veteran chair

Deshamanya Mano Selvanathan has served as Chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and also the Indo Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2011, he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samma Award by the President of India for fostering India-Sri Lanka relations. And in 2013, the Government of Chile conferred the presidential honour of Order of Knight Commander on him. At present, he is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Chile in Sri Lanka.

Biz mogul

Arthur Senanayake is an entrepreneur with an inherent vision, innovative ideas, a thirst for success and business acumen – and the driving force behind IWS Holdings. He has been at the forefront of business circles in this country for the past three decades. Senanayake’s commitment to continuous progress has been reflected in the success of the many sectors that he’s pioneered and organisations headed by him.

Development banker

Dimantha Seneviratne helms the National Development Bank (NDB) and counts more than 26 years in the banking sector. Holding an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) – an affiliate of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura – he is also a Fellow member of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL).

EMPOWERING BUSINESS

It is imperative that local businesses and industries are supported, and empowered to upscale their performance

Brewing baron

Suresh Shah is a Director and the CEO of Lion Brewery (Ceylon) – a home-grown entity with a product conceptualised on traditional recipes and techniques since 1860. He is a former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Emplo­yers Federation of Ceylon, and a member of the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Previously, he served as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), and Member of Council of the University of Moratuwa. He is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).

CLIENT INTERACTION

Communicating with customers to create awareness is crucial to success

Solid financier

Lakshman Silva lays claim to an extensive background and expertise spanning more than three decades in financial services and banking. He holds an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM), which is an affiliate of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and is armed with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Kelaniya. Moreover, he is a former President of the Association of Professional Bankers of Sri Lanka.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

We need to encourage a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the people

Design queen

Linda Speldewinde is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in civil law from Northumbria University. The fashion guru also won the Inter­national Young Fashion Entrepreneur award in 2009. She is a strong advocate of the potential of South Asian women to contribute to the global landscape – especially in the realms of creativity, education, traditional craft and manufacturing sustainability, and entrepreneurship.

DREAM BIG

Dream big, work hard and be humble to achieve what you want in life

Typical banker

Rajendra Theagarajah is a leading light in corporate circles. The accountant turned banker is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA), and has gained extensive experience in banking in Europe, the Middle East and Sri Lanka for some three decades.

MARKET FACILITATION

Relevant state agencies should assist SMEs in developing channels that facilitate access to international markets

Healthcare maestro

Ajith Tudawe lays claim to extensive experience in accounting and finance, and entrepreneurial skills. He is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), in addition to being a Fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – UK (ACCA).

STRIKE A BALANCE

Maintain an environment that motivates people, and strike a balance between conformance and performance

Hospitality luminary

Sanath Ukwatte – who helms the Mount Lavinia Hotel Group – serves as the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in Sri Lanka. He is actively involved in promoting bilateral trade to further ties between Slovenia and Sri Lanka. Ukwatte was elected President of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) in 2016. He is also a recipient of the Sri Lanka Sikhamani, a prestigious award presented by the nation’s president to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the business community.

NATION BRANDING

Every Sri Lankan is a brand ambassador for tourism

Policy expert

Dr. Dushni Weerakoon of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) has worked as a consultant to international organisations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), UN-ESCAP, UNDP and ILO, and served as a resource person on the Asia-Pacific Regional Trade Policy Course conducted jointly by the WTO and University of Hong Kong. She has also held a number of positions at the Ministry of Finance.

ECONOMIC VIEWPOINT

There is no gainsaying that short-term disruptions can take a substantially heavier toll on the economy

Trailblazing developer

Mahen Weerasekara has as a professional and businessman introduced strategic management practices to the Sanken group, which is cited as one of the major success factors of the company.

He holds BSc (Jt. Hons) in Mathematics and Management. The organisation he helms is involved in projects ranging from property development and design, to consultancy and trading.

PRODUCT DELIVERY

We have also won customer trust in the past by delivering a quality product in time

Telco chief

Supun Weerasinghe was appointed Group Chief Executive of Dialog in January 2017. He commenced his career in telecommunications with the Malaysian backed corporate in 1999. A Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK (CIMA), he has a BSc in accountancy and financial management from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and holds an MBA from the University of Western Sydney. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School.

MACRO LANDSCAPE

The forecasts for global and local growth reflect a moderating landscape with elevated levels of risk

Open source evangelist

Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana is a member of the academic advisory board of the School of Computing of the University of Colombo and of the Faculty of IT of the University of Moratuwa. In recognition of his role in promoting open-source participation from developing countries, he was elected to the Board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in April 2005. Weerawarana has been involved with open-source software for several years.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

In many developed countries, CIOs are at the forefront of implementing innovative solutions to create value for all stakeholders

Homegrown industrialist

Deshabandu Hemachandra Wegapitiya is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and self-made business leader. Having gained a business degree and an MBA, Wegapitiya proceeded to study energy management in the UK. The founder and Group Chairman of LAUGFS is recognised for transforming his company into a diversified group with interests in vital sectors of the engine of growth.

INCOME GENERATION

Encouraging entrepreneurship is a key factor for wealth generation

Optical specialist

Dr. Mihira Wickramarachchi is a pioneer in the field of audiology and optometry. His commitment to uplifting the lives of the differently-abled and improving healthcare facilities in the country has borne fruit over the years. Reflecting on his achievements in healthcare and personal philosophies, he has asserted that business should always be for the benefit of the community.

LIFESTYLE BRANDS

Sri Lanka needs to build local brands in all lifestyle areas because when tourists visit, they’re amazed by the aesthetics of our local ware

Confectionery star

Sheamalee Wickramasingha joined Ceylon Biscuits in 1991 as a food technologist and worked in various capacities in the group, joining the board in 1996. She holds an MSc degree in Food Chemistry from Purdue University. Wick­ramasingha won the Best Woman CEO of the Year 2016 award (Gold category) – presented by Women in Management – for leadership and achievement in the field of business and management.

GOOD GOVERNANCE

Along with good governance practices, socially responsible activities can help enhance brand image by earning the respect of internal and external stakeholders

Ratings authority

Maninda Wickramasinghe has been the CEO and Country Head of Fitch Ratings Lanka since 2010. Previously, he was a consultant to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) on the Capital Market Master Plan Project, and Senior Consultant with Ernst & Young (EY). His prior experience also counts over a decade in investment banking.

LIFE GOALS

When our goals are simple, getting there is also simple

Telco genius

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya is a past Chairman of GSM Asia Pacific – the regional interest group of the GSM Association. In 2016, GSMA, the worldwide association governing the global mobile industry, honoured Wijayasuriya with the Outstanding Contri­bution to Asian Mobile Industry Award – the highest honour at the Asia Mobile Awards. He holds a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Cambridge, an MBA from the University of Warwick and a PhD in Digital Mobile Communications from the University of Bristol. Wijayasuriya is a Fellow member of the Institute of Engineering Technology of the UK (IET) and a chartered professional engineer.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The economic growth of our country has to be addressed in the social political backdrop

Central financier

Eranjith Wijenaike is the Managing Director of Central Finance Company and has been a member of the board since 1983. He is a Director of Tea Smallholder Factories, Trans Asia Hotels and Equity One and Central Industries, and served as a founder Director of Nations Trust Bank. Wijenaike is armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance and Management.

FUNDING OVERVIEW

On a positive note, the [non-banking financial] sector remained well funded

Retail chief

Mahesh Wijewardene joined the board of Singer (Sri Lanka) in 2006. He holds an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland and a Diploma in General Management. A past Chair­man of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (Import Section) and Sri Lanka-China Business Council, he also serves on the board of CSR Lanka (Guarantee).

SUCCESSION PLANNING

It’s up to the current leaders to mould, educate, train and groom the next generation