Leadership
Board of Directors
Krishan Balendra
Chairperson
Krishan Balendra is the Chairperson of John Keells Holdings PLC. He is a Director of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Hon. Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Sri Lanka. He is a former Chairperson of Nations Trust Bank and the Colombo Stock Exchange. Krishan started his career at UBS Warburg, Hong Kong, in investment banking, focusing primarily on equity capital markets. He joined JKH in 2002. Krishan holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD.

Gihan Cooray
Deputy Chairperson & Group Finance Director
Gihan Cooray is the Deputy Chairperson/Group Finance Director and has overall responsibility for the Group's Finance and Accounting, Taxation, Corporate Finance and Strategy, Treasury, Information Technology function and John Keells Research. He is the Chairperson 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 a Fellow 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 committee member of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Nihal Fonseka
Non-Executive Director
Nihal Fonseka is a career banker and served as the Chief Executive Officer Director of DFCC Bank from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. He is currently a Chairperson of Phoenix Industries Limited, Non-Executive Director and Chairperson of the Investment Committee of Phoenix Ventures Limited and Non-Executive Director and Chairperson of the Group Audit Committee of Brandix Lanka Limited. He was a member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka from 2016 to 2020 and from 2011 until recently the President of the Sri Lanka National Advisory Council of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, UK . Prior to joining the DFCC Bank, he was the Deputy Chief Executive of HSBC Sri Lanka. He is a past Chairperson of the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). He has also served as a Director of the Employees' Trust Fund Board and as a member of the Presidential Commission on Taxation (2009), National Procurement Commission and Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA). He holds a B.Sc from the University of Ceylon, Colombo, is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Studies, (FIB) UK and is a Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, FCSI (Hon), UK.

Ashroff Omar
Non-Executive Director
Group Chief Executive Officer of Brandix Apparel Limited, Ashroff Omar, has been instrumental in redefining the Sri Lankan Apparel industry for over four decades. Ashroff 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 in 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.

Amal Cabraal
Non-Executive Director
Amal Cabraal is presently the Chairperson of Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, CIC Feeds Group and Silvermill Investment Holdings (Private) Limited. He is a former Chairperson and CEO of Unilever Sri Lanka and has over 4 decades of business experience in general management, marketing and sales in Sri Lanka and overseas. He is also the Vice-Chairperson of Sunshine Holdings PLC, a Non-Executive Director of Hatton National Bank and a business advisor to a number of leading companies. He is a committee member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Management Committee of the Mercantile Services Provident Society. A Marketer by profession and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing - UK, he holds an MBA from the University of Colombo and is an executive education alumnus of INSEAD-France.

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya
Non-Executive Director
In his role as the Chief Executive Officer – Telecommunications Business, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya heads the pan-region Telecommunications Operations of the Axiata Group Bhd., spanning the markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Axiata is Asia's second largest Telecommunications Group. Up to the year 2016, Dr. Wijayasuriya functioned as the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog), Sri Lanka's leading multi-play connectivity provider, and one of the highest valued companies on the Colombo Stock Exchange. 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 Chairperson of GSM Asia Pacific – the regional interest group of the GSM Association. He was also named 'Sri Lankan of the Year' by Sri Lanka's premier business journal, LMD in 2008. Dr. Wijayasuriya is currently the Chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka's premier business chamber. During the period 2012-14, Dr. Wijayasuriya also functioned as the founding CEO of Axiata Digital Services – the Group-wide Digital Services Business of the Axiata Group. Dr Wijayasuriya is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge UK, and obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol UK. A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology UK, Dr. Wijayasuriya also holds an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Dr. Sharmini Coorey
Non-Executive Director
Dr. Sharmini Coorey is a former senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and currently a member of the Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability advising the Government of Sri Lanka during the economic crisis. She joined the IMF through the Economist Program in 1986 and, during her 35 year career there, worked in positions of increasing seniority in its African, Asia and Pacific, European, and Western Hemisphere departments, as well as its Policy Development and Review Department. Prior to her retirement in November 2021, Dr. Coorey served for almost nine years as the Director of the Institute for Capacity Development (ICD), the IMF’s department for capacity building. As Director—the most senior staff-level position at the IMF—she was instrumental in establishing ICD and providing strategic direction for the governance, management, and funding of the IMF’s capacity building activities. She also oversaw the IMF’s training for country officials world-wide and Established its online program which trained over 100,000 government officials in policy-oriented macroeconomics during her tenure. Before heading ICD, Dr. Coorey was Deputy Director in the IMF’s African Department, where she oversaw the Fund’s work on many Sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. In addition, she led the department’s financial sector work and research agenda. Dr. Coorey’s experience at the IMF also includes surveillance work on the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Canada as well as program work on Korea, Estonia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. She served on the Investment Committee of the IMF Staff Retirement Plan and on the Editorial Committee of IMF Staff Papers. She was also a visiting researcher at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington DC. Dr. Coorey holds Ph.D. and bachelor’s degrees in Economics from Harvard University. She has published papers on inflation and economic growth in transition and developing countries and edited a book on managing oil wealth in Central African countries.

Group Executive Committee
Daminda Gamlath
President
Daminda Gamlath is the President of the Consumer Foods industry group and has been with the John Keells Group since 2002. He was the Sector Financial Controller for the Information Technology sector and then the Consumer Foods sector before he was appointed as the Head of Beverages in 2013 and the Sector Head in 2017. Prior to joining the John Keells Group, he worked at the Hayleys Group. Daminda holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, an MBA from the University of Colombo and is a passed finalist of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK).

Suresh Rajendra
President
Mr. Suresh Rajendra has over 30 years of experience in the fields of finance, travel & tourism, hotel management, property development and real estate management and business development acquired both in Sri Lanka and overseas. Prior to joining the John Keells Group, he was the Head of Commercial and Business Development for NRMA Motoring and Services in Sydney, Australia and Director/General Manager of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. He is also the President of the Leisure Group and responsible for Union Assurance PLC, John Keells Information Technology (Private) Limited, and John Keells Stockbrokers. He is currently the Chairperson of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka.

Charitha Subasinghe
President
Charitha Subasinghe is responsible for the Retail industry group of the Group. He has been with the John Keells Group since 2003. He was the Sector Financial Controller of the Supermarket business, before being appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in 2005. He was also employed at Aitken Spence Hotel Management as the Sector Financial Controller before moving over to John Keells. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) as well as a Diploma Holder of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). He also holds an MBA from the University of Colombo.

Nadija Tambiah
President
Nadija Tambiah is a law graduate from the University of Manchester, UK, a Barrister at Law (Middle Temple), UK and an Attorney at Law in Sri Lanka. She heads the Legal and Company Secretarial functions of the John Keells Group where she has worked for 25 years. She also heads the John Keells Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of John Keells Holdings PLC and is part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative of the Group. She is a Trustee of the George Keyt Foundation, Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Lunuganga Trust, a member of the Executive Committee of the Colombo Museum of Modern Art and sits on the Council of the Sri Lankan Institute of Directors.

Nayana Mawilmada
President
Nayana Mawilmada is the Sector Head of the Property industry at the John Keells Group. With extensive international experience in planning, facilitating, and managing large scale urban development and infrastructure projects across 15 countries, and working within both the private and public domains, Nayana brings a unique perspective to property sector endeavours. He is widely seen as a key advocate and spokesperson for sound urban development policy and planning in the country. Among his previous roles, Nayana has served as the Director General of the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka, Managing Director of York Street Partners (Pvt) Ltd a boutique investment bank in Colombo, and as an Urban Development Specialist for the Asian Development Bank based in Manila, Philippines. His academic training includes an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University in the USA. In recognition of his leadership in Sri Lanka's urban development space, he was also awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2017.

Zafir Hashim
President
Zafir Hashim is the Head of the Transportation industry group and the Plantation sector and has been with the Group for 17 years. He joined the Group in 2003, seconded to Lanka Marine Services where he served as CEO from 2005-2015. He has also served as a member of the Transportation Sector Committee from 2005. During the last 17 years he has held the position of CEO at John Keells Logistics Lanka Ltd. for a short time, and Mackinnons Mackenzie Shipping Co. Ltd., Mack International Freight Ltd and Mackinnons Travels Ltd. He has an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK).

Group Operating Committee
Sherin Cader
Executive Vice President
Sherin Cader is the Chief Financial Officer of the Financial Services industry of the John Keells Group. She has been with the John Keells Group since 1998, serving in many capacities across multiple sectors. She has played diverse roles across finance and operations in Financial Services, the IT Enabled Services sector and JKH Centre functions. She functioned as the Financial Controller at John Keells Holdings PLC from 2009 till 2012. Subsequently she took on the role of General Manager - Finance and Planning at Union Assurance PLC until her current role within the Financial Services industry group of JKH. Sherin also serves on the Board of Nations Trust Bank PLC as a Non-Executive Director. She is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of UK and is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She is also SAP Certified in Managerial and Financial Accounting.

Isuru Gunasekara
Executive Vice President
Isuru Gunasekera is the Chief People Officer of the Group, whilst also overseeing Group Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management and Group Initiatives. He joined the Group in 2001 into the New Business Development Division and thereafter headed Group Initiatives and also new projects for the Transportation sector. He was the CEO of John Keells Logistics for 10 years and CEO of Mackinnons Travels for a short period. Prior to joining the Group, he was attached to J P Morgan Chase. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University, USA.

Nelindra Fernando
Executive Vice President
Nelindra Fernando is the Chief Financial Officer for the Consumer Foods industry group. Nelindra has been with the John Keells Group since 2013. Prior to joining the Group, she worked at the MAS group for 12 years and Ernst & Young, Chartered Accountants for 4 years. Nelindra serves on the Board of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC as an Executive Director and at Keells Food Products PLC as a Non-Executive Director. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of UK and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.

Changa Gunawardane
Executive Vice President
Presently acting as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Leisure industry group, Changa Gunawardane has been with the John Keells Group for over 15 years. He previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the Information Technology sector, as well as the Sector Financial Controller of the Airlines and Logistics SBU within the Transportation sector. With over 26 years of experience as a finance professional in varying industries including Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Management Services, Electrical Engineering and Construction, Changa is also a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Nisreen Rehmanjee
Executive Vice President
Nisreen Rehmanjee is the Head of Corporate Finance, Group Tax & Social Entrepreneurship of the John Keells Group. Starting her career as an accounts trainee with KPMG in 1995, she rose to the position of Director Tax in 2001. She then joined the John Keells Group as Head of Tax Strategy in 2005. Her overseas experience includes a stint with the Global Tax Solutions team in London during her tenure with KPMG and a 3-year secondment to India with the John Keells IT/ITES cluster as Head of Corporate Functions. She was instrumental in conceptualising and launching the 'Plasticcycle' initiative of the John Keells Group, which is focused towards reducing plastic pollution across Sri Lanka. Nisreen is a Fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. Additionally, she is a member of the Tax Sub-committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, a past President of ACCA Sri Lanka and serves on the ACCA Sri Lanka member network panel.

Ramesh Shanmuganathan
Executive Vice President
Ramesh Shanmuganathan is the Group's Chief Information Officer, a member of the Group Management Committee for the Information Technology sector, as well as Chief Executive of John Keells IT and John Keells X. Ramesh is also an Executive Director at John Keells IT, Infomate as well as John Keells Lanka BPO Services in addition to being a Non-Executive Director at Nations Trust Bank. He has over 25 years of experience in the ICT industry in Sri Lanka and the USA, with over 20+ years in C-level management. Ramesh is a Hayes-Fulbright Scholar and holds to his credit a Doctor of Philosophy (Technology Management) from Keisei International University (Seoul, South Korea), Master of Science (Information Technology and Computer Science) with Phi Kappa Phi Honours from Rochester Institute of Technology (New York, USA), Master of Business Administration from Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa. He is at present reading for his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at the International School of Management, Paris. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of the British Computer Society and Institute of Engineers, UK. He has active memberships in several other professional institutions and is a visiting faculty member for several post-graduate programmes. He is an active advocate of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation and speaks in many international events and forums in this regard.

Hishan Singhawansa
Executive Vice President
Presently acting as the Deputy CEO at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts of the Leisure industry group, Hishan Singhawansa overlooks Cinnamon’s entire portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives including the development of the much-anticipated integrated resort project Cinnamon Life Colombo. He has been with the John Keells Group since 2008 and started his career at the Retail industry Group of John Keells, where he headed Category Management and Supply Chain before being placed in the Leisure industry group in 2017. He holds a BSc in Engineering (Hons) Degree from the University of Moratuwa; and a MBA from the University of Wales.

Mikael Svensson
Executive Vice President
Presently acting as the CEO of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Mikael Svensson overlooks Cinnamon’s entire portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives including the development of the much anticipated integrated resort project Cinnamon Life Colombo. Mikael brings with him extensive international senior leadership experience in managing and operating large scale luxury hotels across Asia, the Middle East and Australia, of which over 20 years was with the Hyatt Group. He was the opening General Manager of the landmark luxury hotel on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, Dubai and the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, India. He was also the General Manager of the Park Hyatt Canberra, Australia and Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, Thailand. Prior to joining the John Keells Group, he was the Senior Vice President of Louis T Collection, a Singapore based hospitality management and building solutions company which owns a portfolio of hotels across Asia and Australia.

Aravinda Wanniarachchi
Executive Vice President
Aravinda Wanniarachchi is the Chief Financial Officer of Retail. He joined the John Keells Group in 2007 and was attached to the Corporate Finance and Strategy team prior to joining the Retail industry group. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds a BBA Marketing (Sp.) degree from the University of Colombo.

Ravi Wijewantha
Executive Vice President
Ravi Wijewantha joined the Group in September 2003 and was appointed as Sector Financial Controller of the Property industry group in July 2006 and Chief Financial Officer of the same Industry Group in July 2017. He has over 24 years of experience in the fields of auditing and accounting. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds an MBA from ICFAI University Dehradun India.

Devika Weerasinghe
Executive Vice President
Devika Weerasinghe is the Chief Financial Officer of the Transportation industry group, Plantation Services sector and Information Technology sector. She previously held the position of Sector Financial Controller of the Transportation sector. She also served as the Sector Financial Controller of the Airlines SBU of the Transportation sector during the period 1998-2004. An Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK, Devika also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Leadership
Board of Directors
Krishan Balendra
Chairperson
Krishan Balendra is the Chairperson of John Keells Holdings PLC. He is a Director of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Hon. Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Sri Lanka. He is a former Chairperson of Nations Trust Bank and the Colombo Stock Exchange. Krishan started his career at UBS Warburg, Hong Kong, in investment banking, focusing primarily on equity capital markets. He joined JKH in 2002. Krishan holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD.

Gihan Cooray
Deputy Chairperson & Group Finance Director
Gihan Cooray is the Deputy Chairperson/Group Finance Director and has overall responsibility for the Group's Finance and Accounting, Taxation, Corporate Finance and Strategy, Treasury, Information Technology function and John Keells Research. He is the Chairperson 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 a Fellow 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 committee member of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Nihal Fonseka
Non-Executive Director
Nihal Fonseka is a career banker and served as the Chief Executive Officer Director of DFCC Bank from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. He is currently a Chairperson of Phoenix Industries Limited, Non-Executive Director and Chairperson of the Investment Committee of Phoenix Ventures Limited and Non-Executive Director and Chairperson of the Group Audit Committee of Brandix Lanka Limited. He was a member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka from 2016 to 2020 and from 2011 until recently the President of the Sri Lanka National Advisory Council of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, UK . Prior to joining the DFCC Bank, he was the Deputy Chief Executive of HSBC Sri Lanka. He is a past Chairperson of the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). He has also served as a Director of the Employees' Trust Fund Board and as a member of the Presidential Commission on Taxation (2009), National Procurement Commission and Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA). He holds a B.Sc from the University of Ceylon, Colombo, is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Studies, (FIB) UK and is a Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, FCSI (Hon), UK.

Ashroff Omar
Non-Executive Director
Group Chief Executive Officer of Brandix Apparel Limited, Ashroff Omar, has been instrumental in redefining the Sri Lankan Apparel industry for over four decades. Ashroff 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 in 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.

Amal Cabraal
Non-Executive Director
Amal Cabraal is presently the Chairperson of Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, CIC Feeds Group and Silvermill Investment Holdings (Private) Limited. He is a former Chairperson and CEO of Unilever Sri Lanka and has over 4 decades of business experience in general management, marketing and sales in Sri Lanka and overseas. He is also the Vice-Chairperson of Sunshine Holdings PLC, a Non-Executive Director of Hatton National Bank and a business advisor to a number of leading companies. He is a committee member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Management Committee of the Mercantile Services Provident Society. A Marketer by profession and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing - UK, he holds an MBA from the University of Colombo and is an executive education alumnus of INSEAD-France.

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya
Non-Executive Director
In his role as the Chief Executive Officer – Telecommunications Business, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya heads the pan-region Telecommunications Operations of the Axiata Group Bhd., spanning the markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Axiata is Asia's second largest Telecommunications Group. Up to the year 2016, Dr. Wijayasuriya functioned as the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog), Sri Lanka's leading multi-play connectivity provider, and one of the highest valued companies on the Colombo Stock Exchange. 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 Chairperson of GSM Asia Pacific – the regional interest group of the GSM Association. He was also named 'Sri Lankan of the Year' by Sri Lanka's premier business journal, LMD in 2008. Dr. Wijayasuriya is currently the Chairperson of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka's premier business chamber. During the period 2012-14, Dr. Wijayasuriya also functioned as the founding CEO of Axiata Digital Services – the Group-wide Digital Services Business of the Axiata Group. Dr Wijayasuriya is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge UK, and obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol UK. A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology UK, Dr. Wijayasuriya also holds an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Dr. Sharmini Coorey
Non-Executive Director
Dr. Sharmini Coorey is a former senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and currently a member of the Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability advising the Government of Sri Lanka during the economic crisis. She joined the IMF through the Economist Program in 1986 and, during her 35 year career there, worked in positions of increasing seniority in its African, Asia and Pacific, European, and Western Hemisphere departments, as well as its Policy Development and Review Department. Prior to her retirement in November 2021, Dr. Coorey served for almost nine years as the Director of the Institute for Capacity Development (ICD), the IMF’s department for capacity building. As Director—the most senior staff-level position at the IMF—she was instrumental in establishing ICD and providing strategic direction for the governance, management, and funding of the IMF’s capacity building activities. She also oversaw the IMF’s training for country officials world-wide and Established its online program which trained over 100,000 government officials in policy-oriented macroeconomics during her tenure. Before heading ICD, Dr. Coorey was Deputy Director in the IMF’s African Department, where she oversaw the Fund’s work on many Sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. In addition, she led the department’s financial sector work and research agenda. Dr. Coorey’s experience at the IMF also includes surveillance work on the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Canada as well as program work on Korea, Estonia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. She served on the Investment Committee of the IMF Staff Retirement Plan and on the Editorial Committee of IMF Staff Papers. She was also a visiting researcher at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington DC. Dr. Coorey holds Ph.D. and bachelor’s degrees in Economics from Harvard University. She has published papers on inflation and economic growth in transition and developing countries and edited a book on managing oil wealth in Central African countries.

Group Executive Committee
Daminda Gamlath
President
Daminda Gamlath is the President of the Consumer Foods industry group and has been with the John Keells Group since 2002. He was the Sector Financial Controller for the Information Technology sector and then the Consumer Foods sector before he was appointed as the Head of Beverages in 2013 and the Sector Head in 2017. Prior to joining the John Keells Group, he worked at the Hayleys Group. Daminda holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, an MBA from the University of Colombo and is a passed finalist of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK).

Suresh Rajendra
President
Mr. Suresh Rajendra has over 30 years of experience in the fields of finance, travel & tourism, hotel management, property development and real estate management and business development acquired both in Sri Lanka and overseas. Prior to joining the John Keells Group, he was the Head of Commercial and Business Development for NRMA Motoring and Services in Sydney, Australia and Director/General Manager of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. He is also the President of the Leisure Group and responsible for Union Assurance PLC, John Keells Information Technology (Private) Limited, and John Keells Stockbrokers. He is currently the Chairperson of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka.

Charitha Subasinghe
President
Charitha Subasinghe is responsible for the Retail industry group of the Group. He has been with the John Keells Group since 2003. He was the Sector Financial Controller of the Supermarket business, before being appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in 2005. He was also employed at Aitken Spence Hotel Management as the Sector Financial Controller before moving over to John Keells. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) as well as a Diploma Holder of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). He also holds an MBA from the University of Colombo.

Nadija Tambiah
President
Nadija Tambiah is a law graduate from the University of Manchester, UK, a Barrister at Law (Middle Temple), UK and an Attorney at Law in Sri Lanka. She heads the Legal and Company Secretarial functions of the John Keells Group where she has worked for 25 years. She also heads the John Keells Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of John Keells Holdings PLC and is part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative of the Group. She is a Trustee of the George Keyt Foundation, Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Lunuganga Trust, a member of the Executive Committee of the Colombo Museum of Modern Art and sits on the Council of the Sri Lankan Institute of Directors.

Nayana Mawilmada
President
Nayana Mawilmada is the Sector Head of the Property industry at the John Keells Group. With extensive international experience in planning, facilitating, and managing large scale urban development and infrastructure projects across 15 countries, and working within both the private and public domains, Nayana brings a unique perspective to property sector endeavours. He is widely seen as a key advocate and spokesperson for sound urban development policy and planning in the country. Among his previous roles, Nayana has served as the Director General of the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka, Managing Director of York Street Partners (Pvt) Ltd a boutique investment bank in Colombo, and as an Urban Development Specialist for the Asian Development Bank based in Manila, Philippines. His academic training includes an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University in the USA. In recognition of his leadership in Sri Lanka's urban development space, he was also awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2017.

Zafir Hashim
President
Zafir Hashim is the Head of the Transportation industry group and the Plantation sector and has been with the Group for 17 years. He joined the Group in 2003, seconded to Lanka Marine Services where he served as CEO from 2005-2015. He has also served as a member of the Transportation Sector Committee from 2005. During the last 17 years he has held the position of CEO at John Keells Logistics Lanka Ltd. for a short time, and Mackinnons Mackenzie Shipping Co. Ltd., Mack International Freight Ltd and Mackinnons Travels Ltd. He has an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK).

Group Operating Committee
Sherin Cader
Executive Vice President
Sherin Cader is the Chief Financial Officer of the Financial Services industry of the John Keells Group. She has been with the John Keells Group since 1998, serving in many capacities across multiple sectors. She has played diverse roles across finance and operations in Financial Services, the IT Enabled Services sector and JKH Centre functions. She functioned as the Financial Controller at John Keells Holdings PLC from 2009 till 2012. Subsequently she took on the role of General Manager - Finance and Planning at Union Assurance PLC until her current role within the Financial Services industry group of JKH. Sherin also serves on the Board of Nations Trust Bank PLC as a Non-Executive Director. She is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of UK and is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She is also SAP Certified in Managerial and Financial Accounting.

Isuru Gunasekara
Executive Vice President
Isuru Gunasekera is the Chief People Officer of the Group, whilst also overseeing Group Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management and Group Initiatives. He joined the Group in 2001 into the New Business Development Division and thereafter headed Group Initiatives and also new projects for the Transportation sector. He was the CEO of John Keells Logistics for 10 years and CEO of Mackinnons Travels for a short period. Prior to joining the Group, he was attached to J P Morgan Chase. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University, USA.

Nelindra Fernando
Executive Vice President
Nelindra Fernando is the Chief Financial Officer for the Consumer Foods industry group. Nelindra has been with the John Keells Group since 2013. Prior to joining the Group, she worked at the MAS group for 12 years and Ernst & Young, Chartered Accountants for 4 years. Nelindra serves on the Board of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC as an Executive Director and at Keells Food Products PLC as a Non-Executive Director. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of UK and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.

Changa Gunawardane
Executive Vice President
Presently acting as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Leisure industry group, Changa Gunawardane has been with the John Keells Group for over 15 years. He previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the Information Technology sector, as well as the Sector Financial Controller of the Airlines and Logistics SBU within the Transportation sector. With over 26 years of experience as a finance professional in varying industries including Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Management Services, Electrical Engineering and Construction, Changa is also a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Nisreen Rehmanjee
Executive Vice President
Nisreen Rehmanjee is the Head of Corporate Finance, Group Tax & Social Entrepreneurship of the John Keells Group. Starting her career as an accounts trainee with KPMG in 1995, she rose to the position of Director Tax in 2001. She then joined the John Keells Group as Head of Tax Strategy in 2005. Her overseas experience includes a stint with the Global Tax Solutions team in London during her tenure with KPMG and a 3-year secondment to India with the John Keells IT/ITES cluster as Head of Corporate Functions. She was instrumental in conceptualising and launching the 'Plasticcycle' initiative of the John Keells Group, which is focused towards reducing plastic pollution across Sri Lanka. Nisreen is a Fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. Additionally, she is a member of the Tax Sub-committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, a past President of ACCA Sri Lanka and serves on the ACCA Sri Lanka member network panel.

Ramesh Shanmuganathan
Executive Vice President
Ramesh Shanmuganathan is the Group's Chief Information Officer, a member of the Group Management Committee for the Information Technology sector, as well as Chief Executive of John Keells IT and John Keells X. Ramesh is also an Executive Director at John Keells IT, Infomate as well as John Keells Lanka BPO Services in addition to being a Non-Executive Director at Nations Trust Bank. He has over 25 years of experience in the ICT industry in Sri Lanka and the USA, with over 20+ years in C-level management. Ramesh is a Hayes-Fulbright Scholar and holds to his credit a Doctor of Philosophy (Technology Management) from Keisei International University (Seoul, South Korea), Master of Science (Information Technology and Computer Science) with Phi Kappa Phi Honours from Rochester Institute of Technology (New York, USA), Master of Business Administration from Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa. He is at present reading for his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at the International School of Management, Paris. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of the British Computer Society and Institute of Engineers, UK. He has active memberships in several other professional institutions and is a visiting faculty member for several post-graduate programmes. He is an active advocate of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation and speaks in many international events and forums in this regard.

Hishan Singhawansa
Executive Vice President
Presently acting as the Deputy CEO at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts of the Leisure industry group, Hishan Singhawansa overlooks Cinnamon’s entire portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives including the development of the much-anticipated integrated resort project Cinnamon Life Colombo. He has been with the John Keells Group since 2008 and started his career at the Retail industry Group of John Keells, where he headed Category Management and Supply Chain before being placed in the Leisure industry group in 2017. He holds a BSc in Engineering (Hons) Degree from the University of Moratuwa; and a MBA from the University of Wales.

Mikael Svensson
Executive Vice President
Presently acting as the CEO of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Mikael Svensson overlooks Cinnamon’s entire portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives including the development of the much anticipated integrated resort project Cinnamon Life Colombo. Mikael brings with him extensive international senior leadership experience in managing and operating large scale luxury hotels across Asia, the Middle East and Australia, of which over 20 years was with the Hyatt Group. He was the opening General Manager of the landmark luxury hotel on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, Dubai and the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, India. He was also the General Manager of the Park Hyatt Canberra, Australia and Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, Thailand. Prior to joining the John Keells Group, he was the Senior Vice President of Louis T Collection, a Singapore based hospitality management and building solutions company which owns a portfolio of hotels across Asia and Australia.

Aravinda Wanniarachchi
Executive Vice President
Aravinda Wanniarachchi is the Chief Financial Officer of Retail. He joined the John Keells Group in 2007 and was attached to the Corporate Finance and Strategy team prior to joining the Retail industry group. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds a BBA Marketing (Sp.) degree from the University of Colombo.

Ravi Wijewantha
Executive Vice President
Ravi Wijewantha joined the Group in September 2003 and was appointed as Sector Financial Controller of the Property industry group in July 2006 and Chief Financial Officer of the same Industry Group in July 2017. He has over 24 years of experience in the fields of auditing and accounting. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds an MBA from ICFAI University Dehradun India.

Devika Weerasinghe
Executive Vice President
Devika Weerasinghe is the Chief Financial Officer of the Transportation industry group, Plantation Services sector and Information Technology sector. She previously held the position of Sector Financial Controller of the Transportation sector. She also served as the Sector Financial Controller of the Airlines SBU of the Transportation sector during the period 1998-2004. An Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK, Devika also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.