The 24th Annual General Meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce was held on Thursday 29th September 2016.
Managing Director/Citi Country Officer - Citibank, N.A.
Mr. Ravin Basnayake currently holds the position of Citi Country Officer, Sri Lanka. He is a veteran banker with over 23 years of banking experience and has served in several key positions within Citi Sri Lanka. Prior to his appointment as CCO, he served as Head of Corporate Banking Group, where he led the Global Banking Business in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Basnayake holds a M.B.A. from the Post Graduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayawardenapura and is an Associate Member of Institute of Financial Services of The United Kingdom
Director – Stax Inc
Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera, Ph.D., is a Director at Stax Inc. where he is leading the firms APAC expansion efforts. With offices in Boston, Colombo, Chicago, New York, and Singapore, Stax for more than 20 years have been providing corporations and private equity firms with clear, actionable, fact-based strategic advice on growth, profit improvement and M&A.
Prior to joining Stax, Kumudu was a Principal Economist with Parsons Brinckerhoff (Washington D.C.), the professional services arm of Balfour Beatty, a global infrastructure group that delivers services essential to the development, creation and care of infrastructure assets; from finance and development, through design and project management to construction and maintenance. At Parsons Brinckerhoff, Kumudu successfully led global, multi-disciplinary consulting teams on large (> $ 1 million) and small (< $ 1 million) strategic consulting assignments in Burkina Faso, Canada, Curacao, England, Mali, Nigeria, Panama, Scotland, Qatar, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
Kumudu was the founding editor (2006-2013) of the Economic Forecasting Review and a monthly columnist (2007-2013) of Roads & Bridges. Additionally, he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and industry magazines; has presented at conferences, workshops, focus groups, and stakeholder meetings in Canada, Pakistan, Panama, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and the United States; and has instructed numerous undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses.
Group Director – Mountain Hawk Express (Pvt) Ltd
Mr. Asanka Ratnayake had his preliminary education at St. Anthony’s College, Kandy and completed his diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK in 1997. He completed his MBA at the University of Wales, UK and Certified Management Accountant - Australia Examination In 2009. He is a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK and Certified Management Accountants - Australia. He has also obtained a doctorate from the International University of America, UK.
Mr. Ratnayaka is currently serving as a Group Director at Hayleys Advantis Limited - The Logistics and Transportation Arm of Hayleys PLC. - Where he is responsible for seven locally-based strategic business units and one overseas-based strategic business unit. Mr. Ratnayaka possesses more than two decades of experience in the field of logistics and transportation with two years overseas experience. He is also serving as a VP of the Sri Lanka France Business Council.
Chief Executive Officer – Standard Chartered Bank
In January 2015 Jim McCabe was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Sri Lanka. He Joined the Sri Lanka team from Bangladesh where he was the Chief Executive Officer since November, 2009.
Jim has held a range of senior management positions within Standard Chartered group, in the Americas as well as Asia. He joined Standard Chartered Bank in December 2000 as the Risk Head for North East Asia, Wholesale Banking. He moved on to become the CEO of the Americas in 2002, based out of New York. He held the position of CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Taiwan, between 2006 and 2008. Prior to joining Standard Chartered, he was the President of Bank of America in Mexico. Jim holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) Degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona, USA.
Managing Director/CEO – Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC
Mr Michael Koest joined British American Tobacco in 2001 in Zug, Switzerland. He has a proven track record in sales & marketing at British American Tobacco - a global FTSE 100 FMCG business. Experienced in working across geographies and in complex market environments, he has built high performing, motivated and engaged teams through his inspiring and achievement driven leadership style. Extremely determined commercial leader, strategic thinker and renowned team player, he consistently achieved outstanding business results.
Prior to his assignment in Sri Lanka, he held various positions in BAT mainly in the areas of strategy & planning and marketing. Mr. Koest was Commercial Director in BAT Netherlands from 2010-2012 and in BAT Korea from 2013-2015.
Mr. Koest has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Dutch retailer Primera B.V. between 2010-2012. He has also been appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce and Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd. In 2016.
Mr. Koest holds a BA degree from the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) in Philosophy, Geography and German Literature.
Chairman – Infotechs Ltd
Mr. Pinto has diverse experience over 30 years having started his career as an Accountant at Capital Maharaja Organization which is a leading Private sector company in Sri Lanka. He further served as a Director to Bartleet Freighters Ltd. and Bartleet Electronics Ltd. and was formerly the Director of American Chamber of Commerce. Currently he serves as the Chairman to Infotechs (Pvt) Ltd. and serves on the Boards of Infotechs International (Pvt) Ltd., WaveNet International (Pvt) Ltd., and Infotechs Travels (Pvt) Ltd.
J. M. Swaminathan
Senior Partner – Julius & Creasy
Dr. J. M. Swaminathan holds LLB (Ceylon), LLM, M. Phil. (Colombo) and LLD (Honoris Causa) Degrees and is an Attorney-at-Law. He has been in the legal profession for over 50 years. He is the Precedent Partner of Messrs. Julius & Creasy and is a Member of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and Former Member of the Council of Legal Education. He is also a Member of the Company Law Advisory Commission and Intellectual Property Law Advisory Commission. He is a Member of the Board of the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo. He also serves as a Member of the Legal Cluster of the National Council for Economic Development. He is a Visiting Lecturer and an Examiner at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and was a Lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Unit of the Sri Lanka Law College and was also a Faculty Member for the LLM Courses of the University of Wales and LLM Colombo and serves on the Boards of several public and private companies.
Country Manager – Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd
Brian is a senior leader with over 17-years in diverse technology experience. Brian’s innate curiosity and his passion for building sustainable, high performance organisations has seen his career span a diverse set of assignments in both the public and private sectors. Brian is currently the General-Manager of Microsoft’s Sri Lanka and Maldives subsidiary with responsibility for all Microsoft’s operations and engagements across the region.
Originally from Australia but with an international pedigree including business operations across Australia, the USA, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and South East Asia, Brian's various roles have included work with globally recognised organisations across internal operations, strategy, consulting and commercial management. He is a sought after mentor and advisor to senior officers in some of Australia's largest and well known organisations and a number promising start-up businesses; he has held numerous board and chair responsibilities for universities and industry associations. He holds undergraduate qualifications in Engineering and Technology and postgraduate studies in Risk and Information Assurance.
Prior to leading Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives, Brian lead Microsoft’s South Australian operations. Brian’s passion for entrepreneurialism and the start-up sector lead to him establishing the two Microsoft Innovation Centres in Australia focusing on accelerating early stage businesses, start-ups and student entrepreneurs to create economic value with technology. To date, these centres have trained thousands of entrepreneurs and students and helped establish dozens of new start-up business, creating hundreds of new jobs in the process.
In his time at Microsoft, he has been a long term member of the organisational culture team and has been a key leader implementing Microsoft’s transition to a more diverse organisation leveraging Activity Based Working and has been an advocate of modern work styles and management practices.
Managing Director – Glaxo Wellcome Ceylon Ltd
Mr. Damian Gilkerson is an accomplished commercial leader in the Pharmaceutical sector, and a lifelong believer in challenging the status quo. Currently, the Managing Director of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Sri Lanka & Maldives, he has a passion for making the complex simple, and an appetite for bold decision making. Experienced in direct line and matrix leadership, business transformation and risk management; Damian relishes the opportunity to support colleagues to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Damian is a husband and father of two energetic children, aged seven and five. Outside of the office, Damian enjoys rugby, motor racing and golf.
Chairman – Best Western Elyon Colombo
Mr. Presantha Jayamaha counts over 14 years of leadership experience in a broad array of industries including software services, leisure, real estate development and construction.
His current executive roles include the capacity of Co-Founder of Pyxle; a global software and web application development company. Mr.Jayamaha is also the Executive Chairman of BestWestern Elyon Hotels; in which capacity he is responsible for spearheading Best Western International’s foray into one of Asia’s most exciting emerging markets - Sri Lanka. Elyon Hotels & Best Western aim to create a chain of price sensitive hotels throughout Sri Lanka.
Amongst his other roles; Presantha is an avid investor in key industries and strategic companies. He is entrepreneurial with a commercial acumen; able to bridge innovative ideas with an uncompromising and persistent approach, in the pursuit of results, vision and values.
In his leisure time, he enjoys points of thrill and adventure; from mountain climbing to scuba diving.
He is an alumna from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and received his executive education from the University of Oxford UK.
Managing Director – Associated Motorways (Pvt) Limited
Mr. Samantha Rajapaksa is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of UK, and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing of UK. He also holds an MBA from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
He began his career at Ms. Ernst & Young. He went on to serve as Director/General Manager at Informatics International.
Thereafter, he took on the appointment of Director/Chief Executive Officer of CF Venture Fund Ltd. He was also appointed as a Group Director of Central Finance Co. PLC during the same period. He thereon took a posting overseas as Senior Project Manager at AT&T Inc. USA.
He returned to Sri Lanka in 2008 to take up the appointment as Group Director of Kshatriya Holdings PLC and thereafter joined as a Group Director of the Softlogic Group responsible for group business development initiatives and as Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Softlogic Communications Ltd handling the Nokia operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Samantha is currently the Group Managing Director of Associated Motorways (Pvt) Ltd., which is today a fully owned subsidiary of the Al-Futtaim Group of the United Arab Emirates.
He also currently holds Directorships on the Boards of Asiri Hospitals Holdings PLC and Asiri Surgical Hospital PLC, where he also Chairs the respective Audit Committees.”
Managing Director – Cake Labs (Pvt) Ltd
Mr. Shanil Fernando is a CO- Founder, Senior Vice President - Engineering & Managing Director of CAKE LABS a subsidiary of Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY). He was a founding member of Virtusa and senior leader of its global delivery organization and spent a considerable period of time, living in the US consulting with leading US based fortune 500 companies. Starting with under 15 engineers he helped Virtusa grow and eventually going public in the Nasdaq.
Mr. Fernando was named in Echelon’s 40 under 40 list of most important risk takers and was conferred the title of ICT Leader of the Year for 2016 by the Computer Society of Sri Lanka the Apex body representing computer professionals in Sri Lanka for his contribution to the growth of the industry.. He is also a keen advocate and change agent for the Sri Lankan IT industry to move away from IT services and focus on product innovation and engineering.
Mr. Fernando has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Warwick.”
Country Manager - MasterCard Singapore Holdings (Pvt) Ltd
Mr. R B Santosh Kumar, Country Manager – Sri Lanka & Maldives at MasterCard, a sales and Marketing professional with over 20 years experience across Sales and Marketing, Customer service, Credit and operations in the financial Services/ Banking sector. Enabling experience in Media & Hospitality Industry. Demonstrated strengths include strong Sales and Relationship skills, People Management skills and strong Analytical and Execution skills.
US Embassy Representative
Economic Chief – U.S. Embassy to Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Mr. Partha Mazumdar is the Economic Counselor at United States Embassy Colombo. He is a career Foreign Service Officer with previous postings in Pakistan, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, as well as Washington D.C. Previous to working for the United States Government, he taught history on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.