Ishara Nanayakkara is one of Sri Lanka’s leading entrepreneurs, whose strategic vision and intrepid spirit have led to the establishment of businesses of formidable strength in multiple industries, markets and geographies.
Having joined the board of LOLC Holdings PLC in 2002, Ishara has since pursued an expansive ambition to create a multinational conglomerate that encompasses the entire financial service value chain. The LOLC Group under his leadership has set many benchmarks, becoming the world’s largest multi-currency multi geography MSME financing platform in addition to becoming the most profitable conglomerate in the history of Sri Lanka. It has also diversified beyond the financial service arena, with large scale investments in leisure (in Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Mauritius), construction, plantations, trading and manufacturing.
His influence as a change maker in the microfinance and SME sectors has seen the LOLC Group expanding its footprint in the Afro-Asian region. Over the years, reputed financial institutions in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Zambia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi and Tajikistan have reaped benefits from his extensive knowledge. He has also been instrumental in setting up Life and General Insurance businesses within the LOLC Group and pioneered the concept of Micro Insurance in Sri Lanka and Cambodia, focusing on inclusion and sustainable development.
Believing in the power of innovation as a catalyst for growth, Ishara has pursued initiatives in new sciences and technologies, including large projects for the conversion of pure graphite in to graphene and bio-tech businesses, most notably ones that create value for the Group’s plantation portfolio of cinnamon, tea, sugarcane, rubber, and bi-products. This portfolio is enriched by his renewable energy interests in Sri Lanka and in Sierra Leone, where he backs the largest sugar-based bio ethanol and power plant in Africa.
Ishara, who holds a Diploma in Business Accounting from Dandenong College, Australia, has been internationally recognised for his entrepreneurship, and in particular his contribution to Micro Finance. He was named ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012’ Award at the prestigious Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA).
He brings with him considerable Boardlevel experience in both Sri Lankan and overseas and in addition, has key roles in many industry bodies, including being appointed by the government of Sri Lanka as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nano-technology, the apex national body for advanced technology research.
Key appointments within the LOLC Group include: Deputy Chairman –LOLC Holdings PLC, Executive Chairman - Browns Investments PLC, Director - Associated Battery Manufacturers (Cey) Ltd, LOLC Myanmar Microfinance Co. Ltd, Pak Oman MFB, LOLC Asia (Pvt) Ltd, LOLC International Private Limited & LOLC Private Limited, Singapore, Ceylon Real Estate Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, LOLC Advanced Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, LOLC Geo Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, LOLC Capital (Pvt) Ltd, Colombo Marina Development (Pvt) Ltd, Marina Hotel Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, LOLC Ceylon Holdings Ltd, Ceylon Graphene Technologies (Pvt) Ltd and LOLC Ceylon Property Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.
Kapila Jayawardena holds a MBA in Financial Management and is a fellow member of the Institute of Bankers and an Associate Member of the Institute of Cost and Executive Accountants, London. He served as Country Head and CEO (Sri Lanka and Maldives) of Citibank NA from 1998 to 2007.
With his varied experience both locally and internationally in the fields of Investment Banking, Banking Operations, Audit, Relationship Management, Corporate Finance, Corporate Banking, Treasury Management, Capital Market Operations, Construction and Financing of Real Estate Projects Mr. Jayawardena has served on short assignments for Citibank for New York and Manila Philippines. He has also served on the following Boards/Committees:
Mrs. Kalsha Amarasinghe holds an Honours Degree in Economics and has an outstanding vision for investments. She serves on the Boards of subsidiaries of Browns Group of Companies and LOLC Holdings PLC.
Other key appointments: Director – LOLC Holdings PLC, LOLC Finance PLC, LOLC Life Assurance Limited, Palm Garden Hotels PLC, Riverina Resorts (Pvt) Ltd., Eden Hotel Lanka PLC, Brown & Co. PLC, Browns Investments PLC, Green Paradise (Pvt) Ltd., Browns Holdings Ltd., Danya Capital (Pvt) Ltd. Ultimate Sports (Pvt) Ltd. Melana Capital (Pvt) Ltd, Serendib Hotels PLC, Dolphin Hotels PLC, Hotel Sigiriya PLC, Sanctuary Resorts Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Serendib Leisure Management Ltd. and Kammala Hoteliers (Pvt) Ltd
Deshamanya M.D.D. Pieris is a graduate of the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya); Fellow
of the Chartered Management Institute, UK and has been conferred the Degree of
Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Colombo. Doctor of Letters
(Honoris CAUSA) by the University of Westminster (UK) and the title of Honorary
Senior Fellow by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine. He is also “A Distinguished
Fellow” of the institute of National Security Studies - Sri Lanka.
His career was in the then Ceylon Civil Service and later, on the abolition of that service in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service.
He had a distinguished career in the public service and held several important posts, including that of the Secretary to the Prime Minister; Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Home Affairs; Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives & Secretary, Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
He has also acted on several occasions in addition to his duties, in the post of Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs and Secretary to the Ministry of Trade and Shipping.
He has at various times been the Chairman of the National Institute of Education; Chairman, Board of Management of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration; Chairman of the - Agrarian Research and Training Institute; Chairman of the Public Sector Infrastructure Development Company; Chairman of the National Development Trust Fund, Chairman and Director General of Broadcasting; The Executive Vice Chairman - Sri Lanka National Commission for U. N. E. S. C. O. and Chairman of The National Eisenhower Award Nomination Committee on the Invitation of the Ambassador for the United States of America and Chairman S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation Board which governs the B. M. I. C. H., the B. C. I. S. and The Sirimavo Bandaranaike Convention Hall.
He has also served on the Governing Councils or Boards of Management in several Universities and Post Graduate Institutes, including the council of the University of Colombo; the Board of Management of the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine; the University of Colombo School of Computing; the Council of the Buddhist and Pali University; The Board of Management of the Arthur C. Clarke Centre of the University of Moratuwa; the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology of the University of Kelaniya and The Post Graduate Institute of Management of the University of Sri Jayawardanapura.
He has been a Director at People’s Bank, the People’s Merchant Bank, Merc Bank and a Member of the Rural Credit Advisory Committee of the Central bank
He has also from time to time served on the Governing Boards of the National Institute of Plantation management; of The National Human Resource Development Council; The Ceylon Shipping Corporation; The Cooperative wholesale establishment, Sri Lanka film corporation; National Education commission; The Sri Lanka Foundation Institute; The National Committee on Women; The National Council for Elders; Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust; The National Institute of Social Development; Member Board of Trustees of the Tower Hall Foundation; member - Advisory Committee on Regional Cooperation in Education in Asia and the Pacific appointed by the Secretary General of U. N. E. S. C. O; Governor for Sri Lanka on the Governing Board of the S. A. A. R. C. Centre for Human Resource Development - Islamabad Pakistan. He led the Sri Lanka Delegation to the 51st E. S. C. A. P. meeting of ministers held in Bangkok, Thailand in 1995 and was elected a Vice President of the meeting in which role he chaired the ministerial meeting on occasion and was also elected as a member of the Credentials Committee.
He has also lead the Sri Lanka delegation to the Annual sessions of U. N. E. S. C. O. in Paris and been a Senior member of delegations to the Non aligned conference in Colombo and to ministerial meetings of agriculture at F. A. O. in Rome and of Commonwealth Education ministers in Barbados and Islamabad.
He has also been either leader or Senior member of various official delegations on the subjects of food; agriculture; trade; Education; and public administration and Governance for meetings held in the U. S. A., Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, India, Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, The Philippines, Japan, Egypt, The Soviet Union, South Korea, Libya, Italy, Mexico, Barbados & Canada.
He has served as a Member of the National Salaries Commission; a Member of the Presidential Commission on Finance and Banking and has chaired three presidential Committees - one to examine and report on the proposed mechanised gem mining in the KALU GANGA; the other on the Functioning of the Survey Department, and the third on the Sri Lanka Foreign Service. He was a member of a Presidential committee tasked “To identify and study the problems of the university system and to make recommendations”. He was a member of a senior officials committee appointed by the Cabinet and Chaired by the Governor of the Central Bank tasked with producing a report on the overall subject of poverty alleviation. This report was termed the Janasaviya report and formed the basis for setting up the Janasaviya Trust. He was a member and later Chairman of the Panel of Legal/Constitutional experts appointed by the President to serve the National All Party Conference on constitutional reform. He had served from time to time as Senior Adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Science and Technology; Tourism; and Justice.
Currently, he functions as the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Institute of Information Technology and serves on the Board of Directors of LOLC Holdings PLC; the Governing Board of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies; and on the Board of Management of the Institute of Indigenous Medicine of the University of Colombo. He is also a member of the Academic Affairs Board for Post Graduate Studies of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (S.L.I.D.A); the Board of Management of the SANASA Campus; a Director of the Mercantile Merchant Bank / Pathfinder Group and a member of the Board of Governors of VIDYODAYA PIRIVENA - Maligakanda.
Deshamanya Pieris also lectures from time to time on invitation, at S.L.LD.A.; the Defence Services Command and Staff College at Sapugaskanda; the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute and the Kotelawala Defence University and at senior level training courses at various institutions.
He has delivered four convocation addresses, at the University of Colombo; Sri Jayawardenapura; Ruhuna and the Open University. He has, also on invitation delivered four Memorial Orations - the Lalith Athulathmudali Memorial Oration; the Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam Memorial Oration: the Vidyajothi Professor V. K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration; and the Senator Dr. A. M. A. Azeez Memorial Oration, He has also been conferred the high National Honor of “DESHAMANYA” for “Distinguished Service of a highly meritorious nature to the Nation”.
He has written the foreword to several books authored by distinguished professionals in various fields and contributed articles to several commemoration publications including the 50th Anniversary commemoration volume of the University of Peradeniya and the Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaika commemoration volume.
He has published his memoirs of his experience in the public service of Sri Lanka in a book titled “In the pursuit of governance”.
Dr Ravi Fernando is an Alumni of the University of Cambridge having completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business in 2008 and a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership in 2014. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration Degree from the European Business School in Switzerland 2016. At the INSEAD Business School (France) he completed both a Diploma in International Management and the Advanced Management Program. He is an Executive in Residence at the INSEAD Business School from 2010 to 2021. He has an MBA from the University of Colombo and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK).
In 2017, he created the ‘ILA Future Directors’ program for the Institute of Directors of Luxembourg, which set the foundation for the INSEAD Aspiring Director Program in 2018. In April 2020, he created the ‘21st Century Board Leadership Model-MasterClass’ for the Institute of Directors of Luxembourg and Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt.Ltd. In July 2021 he commenced teaching in the INSEAD ‘Advanced Strategy for Directors’ Program.
In 2010 he received a US Copyright for his work at Cambridge University for the concept of ‘Strategic Corporate Sustainability’©. In November 2015, he published ‘Strategic Corporate Sustainability – 7 Imperatives for Sustainable business’ (Partridge), based on his work at Cambridge University.
In June 2020, he obtained a US Copyright for the ‘21st Century Board Leadership Model’©. He also created the ‘21st Century Board Leadership Model – MasterClass’ with Raymond Schadeck of Luxembourg to build a cadre of 21st Century Leaders.
He is the Chairman/CEO of Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt.Ltd, which operates in Luxembourg, Ireland, United Kingdom, Vietnam, China and Sri Lanka. His career with Multi-nationals spanned 1981-2007 with Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Smithkline Beecham International covering Africa, Middle East and Asia in CEO/Business Development positions. He was the first CEO of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology 2008-2011 and Operations Director of the Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Institute 2011-2016. He was the UN Global Compact Focal point 2007-2011 and set up the UNGC Sri Lanka Network.
He serves on the Boards of MNC’s LOLC Holdings, Ceylon Graphene Technologies Ltd, Aitken Spence Plantations, Habitat for Humanity, UN Global Compact Sri Lanka, Ceylon Asset Management and Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt.Ltd.
In September 2007 he won “Global Strategy Leadership award”, presented to him by Professor Renee Mauborgne of INSEAD at the World Strategy summit in Mumbai. In February 2020, he won the ‘World CSR Leadership award’.
Mr. Conrad Dias was appointed to the Board on 4th September 2019. He holds Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Leicester UK, Fellow Member of Chartered Management Accountants UK (FCMA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA -USA). He is also a Fellow of Certified Management Accountant of Sri Lanka (FCMA), and British Computer Society (FBCS).
His experience spans over close to 3 decades and as a visionary thought leader in business technology and his C-Level experience spans over 20+ years.
Fintech enthusiast who innovated many financial technology products and solution and he is the Founder of iPay a revolutionary platform beyond payments and Founder of OYES another fintech platform that making everyday a payday.
His thought leadership on technology and contribution in the field of ICT to the industry, society and in LOLC Group was recognised by many local and international awards including the prestigious Computer Society of Sri Lanka CIO of the year 2016. He was also award and Chartered Management Institute of Sri Lanka Professional Excellence Award 2017. Further he was inducted to Global CIO Hall of Fame 2020 of IDG CIO100 and only Sri Lankan to get this accolade.