Among Sri Lanka’s most renowned business leaders, Mr Gunewardene’s career has been instrumental in providing strategic direction and business insight which enabled John Keells Holdings PLC to grow from an LKR 1 billion Market Cap (1992) to LKR 190 billion (2016). In his 34 years at the company, his focus had been on real estate, leisure, financial services, retail businesses- distinguishing himself by leading the respective businesses to market leadership positions. He retired from John Keells Holdings in 2017 after serving as Deputy Chairman for over 12 years.
He functioned as a founding Director and, subsequently, Chairman of Nations Trust Bank where he provided strategic direction and leadership in building the Bank. In addition, he provided leadership for other financial organizations when he served as Director and subsequently Chairman of Union Assurance Ltd.
In retail, Mr Gunewardene was instrumental in mentoring and guiding the island’s largest branded retail business ‘Odel’. As its seed Investor and Chairman, Mr Gunewardene guided the management, took them public and sold the company in 2014.
His leadership has also been sought by regulatory authorities when Mr Gunewardene functioned as the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from 2000 – 2003. He was also an advisor to the various governments in Sri Lanka, functioning independently without any political affiliations. He was a member of the Prime Ministers Taskforce for Financial Sector Reform and also functioned as a Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. Recently, he was a member of the Board of the BOI and Head of the Task Force for Foreign Direct Investment and Exports.
He is currently the Founder and Chairman of Bluestone Capital Ltd a leading private equity investment company. He is also the Founder Chairman of Digital Mobility Solutions Pvt Ltd better known as PickMe the leading ride hailing and delivery company in Sri Lanka. He is also the Chairman of Fintrex Finance Ltd a Central Bank of Sri Lanka registered non bank financial institution. He is a Council Member of the University of Colombo.
Group Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka's largest apparel exporter, Brandix Apparel Limited, Ashroff Omar has been instrumental in redefining the Sri Lankan Apparel industry for over four decades. He spearheads a company that comprises of manufacturing and product development facilities offering end-to-end solutions from Tokyo to the US, including UK, Cambodia, Haiti, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh for some of the world's most renowned brands, with a commitment to offering 'Inspired Solutions' to its clientele.
He is also credited with pioneering environmentally-friendly apparel manufacture in the world and establishing the world's first LEED platinum manufacturing facility for eco-friendly manufacture. His extensive experience and ability to think beyond the norm has secured him positions on the Boards of some of Sri Lanka's most respected corporates. He is also the Founder Chair of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), the apex body of the Sri Lanka Apparel industry.
Mr. Premaratne is the Managing Director of the Brandix Group and drives the overall strategy and transformative journey of the Group in Sri Lanka and overseas. Prior to taking the reins as Managing Director, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the Group, and sits as a Director on its subsidiaries and integrated ventures, which includes Teejay Lanka PLC.
As an Independent Director at John Keells Hotels PLC, Mr. Premaratne serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He is also an Independent Director of NDB Bank PLC. Previously, he was a Director at Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s largest state-owned bank, chairing the Board Risk and Nominations Committees. He also served on the Board of the Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka, and the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board (SLAASMB). He was a Committee Member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s oldest and most august trade chamber.
Prior to joining Brandix Apparel Limited, Mr. Premaratne was the Head of Research at HNB Stockbrokers (Private) Limited. He offers a wealth of experience, including over a decade of service as a lecturer for CIMA (UK), in Sri Lanka, India, Singapore and the Philippines, where he won ‘Tutor of the Year’ at the CIMA Global Financial Management Awards in 2009. Mr. Premaratne was also engaged with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK
Prof. Ranasinghe is a Senior Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Chartered Engineer and International Professional Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineers – Sri Lanka, National Academy of Sciences - Sri Lanka, Institute of Project Managers - Sri Lanka. He is the Chairman of Sampath Bank PLC, and Independent Non-Executive Director of Access Engineering PLC.
Resus Energy PLC, Sampath Bank PLC, Teejay Lanka PLC and United Motors Lanka PLC. He is a former Vice- Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, former Member of the University Grants Commission and National Research Council, past Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) of Sri Lanka, former Council Member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), former Fellow of the National University of Singapore, and former Non-Executive Director of the Colombo Stock Exchange, Hemas Power PLC and Lanka IOC PLC.
Prof. Ranasinghe obtained his PhD in 1990 from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada as a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar. He was honoured with the Education Leadership Award 2013 at the 4th Asia’s Best B-School Awards, Singapore, the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education at the World Education Congress 2012, India, the Most Outstanding Senior Researcher in Technology and Related Sciences award in 2012 by the Committee of Vice- Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) of Sri Lanka, the Trinity Prize for Engineering in 2004 for outstanding contributions made to his chosen profession and with the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), General Research Committee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sri Lankan Science in 1999.
Mr. Gooneratne has held several senior positions at Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC and served as the Managing Director from 1996 to April 2012. He is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, United Kingdom and Wales, Fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Sri Lanka and has obtained a Higher National Diploma in Business Studies United Kingdom. He was the Founder Chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Sri Lanka (Guarantee) Ltd. and former Chairman of Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Guarantee) Ltd.
He was also the Managing Director of Commercial Development Company PLC, and was the Chairman of Commercial Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd. He was also nominated to the Board of Sri Lankan Airlines during 2002- 2004 by the Government of Sri Lanka. On his retirement, Mr. Gooneratne assumed duties as Managing Director of Melstacorp Limited, which was the strategic investment arm of the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC which subsequent to a restructure of the Group is now the Holding Company and is listed on the Colombo Stock exchange.
He is the Chairman of Bellvantage (Pvt) Limited, Melsta Logistics (Pvt) Limited; board member of Periceyl (Pvt) Limited, Balangoda Plantation PLC, Lanka Bell Limited, Telecom Frontier (Pvt) Limited, Bell Solutions (Pvt) Limited, Timpex (Pvt) Limited, Texpro Industries Limited, Continental Insurance Lanka Limited, Bogo Power Limited, Melsta Tower (Pvt) Limited, Melsta Healthcare Services and Melsta Hospital Management Services, Melsta Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Limited and Browns Beach Hotel PLC which are subsidiary companies of Melstacorp PLC. He is an Independent Director of Lanka IOC and Commercial Development Company Limited. He is also an Alternate Director on the Boards of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka and Aitken Spence PLC.
Mr. Okutomi, is the Chairman and CEO of Pacific Textile Holdings Limited which is the parent company of Pacific Textured Jersey Holdings Limited. He has an extensive experience in management of textiles business and will be leading the Pacific management team and oversee the overall production and operation of the Group, providing corporate directions and formulating business strategies of the Group.
Mr Okutomi has a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Hitotsubashi University, one of Japan’s top universities, and held senior management positions including Managing Director of Toray Industries (South China) Co. Ltd. and of Toray Industries (Hong Kong) Ltd., Deputy Managing Director of Toray Industries (China) Co. Ltd. in the past. .
Mr. Kit Vai Tou is an Executive Director and the Chief Financial Officer of Pacific Textiles Holdings Limited. Mr. Tou is a Fellow member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He has extensive experiences in factory operations, financial management, project management and ERP Systems.