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Board of Directors

Susantha Ratnayake was appointed as the Chairman and CEO of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) in January 2006 and has served on the JKH Board since 1992/1993. He brings to bear 39 years of management experience; all of which is within the John Keells Group. A past Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, he is also the Chairman of the Employers' Federation of Ceylon.

Ajit Gunewardene is the Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holdings PLC and has been a member of the Board for over 23 years. He is a Director of several companies in the John Keells Group and is the Chairman of Union Assurance PLC. He is a member of the Board of SLINTEC: a company established for the development of nanotechnology in Sri Lanka under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology. He is also a member of the Tourism Advisory Committee appointed by the Minister of Tourism Development and a member of the Steering Committee for the establishment of the National Science Centre in Sri Lanka appointed by the Minister of Science, Technology and Research. He has also served as the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange and Nations Trust Bank PLC. Ajit has a degree in Economics and has over 33 years of management experience.

Appointed to the John Keells Holdings PLC Board during 2002/03, Ronnie, as Group Finance Director, has overall responsibility for the Group's Finance and Accounting, Taxation, Corporate Finance, Treasury, and Information Technology functions. He is also a Director of several companies in the John Keells Group. He was previously the Managing Director of Anglo American Corporation (Central Africa) Limited in Zambia.
He has over 40 years of finance and general management experience in Sri Lanka and internationally. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK, and the Society of Certified Management Accountants, Sri Lanka. He holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Previously, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors, he is currently a member of the Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Krishan Balendra is currently the President of the Leisure Industry Group and is also the Chairman of Nations Trust Bank PLC. He was previously the President of the Retail Sector in the Consumer Foods Industry Group. Krishan joined JKH in 2002 as Head of Corporate Finance after stints at UBS Warburg, Hong Kong in Investment Banking and Aitken Spence Sri Lanka in Corporate Finance. Being a former Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange, he holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD. He is also the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Sri Lanka in addition to being a Member of the Main Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Gihan Cooray is currently the President of the Retail Sector. He is also responsible for the Corporate Finance/Strategy and Group Treasury functions, John Keells Capital – the investment banking arm of the Group and John Keells Research. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Nations Trust Bank PLC. Gihan holds an MBA from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, Houston, Texas. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, a Certified Management Accountant of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia and has a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. He serves as a Member of the Sub-Committee on Economic, Fiscal and Policy Planning of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Appointed a Director on 1st November 2013, Amal Cabraal is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Sri Lanka. He has over three decades of business experience in general management, marketing and sales and has served with Unilever in the United Kingdom, India and Bangladesh.
He is an alumnus of INSEAD-France and holds an MBA from the University of Colombo. A Chartered Marketer by profession, Mr Cabraal is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.
He is presently an Independent External Director of Hatton National Bank PLC, Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, S A Silva & Sons (Private) Limited and also serves on the Supervisory Board of Associated Motorways (Private) Limited. On 1 April 2015, he assumed the role of Non-Executive Director and Chairman of CIC Feeds (Private) Limited. He is a committee member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Management Committee of the Mercantile Services Provident Society.

Nihal Fonseka is a career banker and served as the Chief Executive Officer/Ex-Officio Director of DFCC Bank from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of DFCC Bank PLC, Chairman of the Group Audit Committee of Brandix Lanka Limited, President of the Sri Lanka National Advisory Council of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, UK, Director of the Employees' Trust Fund Board and a member of the National Procurement Commission.
Before joining DFCC Bank, he was the Deputy Chief Executive of HSBC Sri Lanka. He is a past Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). He has also served as a member of the Presidential Commission on Taxation (2009), the Financial System Stability Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA). He holds a BSc from the University of Ceylon, Colombo, is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Studies, UK and a member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, UK.

Premila Perera was appointed to the Board of the Company with effect from 1st July 2014 as an Independent Non-Executive Director. As a former Partner of KPMG in Sri Lanka, she also served as the Global Firms Regional Tax Director for ASPAC in 2000/2001, as a member of the Global Task Force commissioned in 1998. She advised the International Board of KPMG on future directions in determining long-term strategic plans. She is also a faculty member of the KPMG International Tax Business School. She also served on secondment with the US Firm’s National Tax Office in Washington DC, and was a participant at the KPMG-INSEAD International Banking School programme.
She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and currently serves as an Independent Director and Chairperson of the Audit Committee of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, and is also, a Non-Executive Director of Holcim (Lanka) Limited.

Ashroff Omar is a Director of Phoenix Ventures Limited, Chief Executive Officer of Brandix Lanka Limited and serves as Director on many of its subsidiary companies.
He is the founder Chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association.
He serves as a Director of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) and is Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Garments - Export Development Board (EDB).
He is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Finland, a Chartered member of The Textile Institute International UK and a senior member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Connecticut, USA.

Dr Hans Wijayasuriya has functioned as the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog) since 1997. Over the course of Dr Wijayasuriya’s tenure of leadership, Dialog progressed from being the 4th entrant to Sri Lanka’s mobile market to become the country’s leading multi-play connectivity provider and one of the highest valued companies on the Colombo Stock Exchange. Since early 2016, Dr Wijayasuriya has also functioned as the Regional CEO for South Asia of the Axiata Group, heading the operations and investment interests of the Axiata Group across Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India.
During the period 2012-14, Dr Wijayasuriya functioned as the Founding CEO of Axiata Digital Services – the Group-wide Digital Services Business of the Axiata Group. Dr Wijayasuriya serves on the boards of several regional operating companies of the Axiata Group, and also on the boards of Axiata Digital Services and several of its Digital Ventures.
In the Year 2016, Dr Wijayasuriya was honoured by the GSM Association as the first recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Asian Mobile Industry’ Award.
Dr Wijayasuriya is a past Chairman of GSM Asia Pacific – the regional interest group of the GSM Association, and also serves on the Board of the TM Forum (TMF). Dr Wijayasuriya was also named ‘Sri Lankan of the Year’ by Sri Lanka’s premier business journal the LMD in 2008.
Dr Wijayasuriya graduated from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1989. He subsequently obtained his PhD in Digital Mobile Communications from the University of Bristol, UK in 1994. A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology, UK, Dr Wijayasuriya also holds an MBA from the University of Warwick, UK.
Dr Wijayasuriya has published widely on the subject of digital mobile communications, including research papers in publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) USA, Royal Society and the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET), UK (S.S.H. Wijayasuriya et. al).