Great Place to Work® Conference 2021 – Agenda-Speakers

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Agenda for CXO Forum

7:30 AM

The Workplace of the Future is here – Are we ready?  – Kshanika Ratnayaka

7:40 AM

Dare to lead -Yeshasvini Ramaswamy

8:40 AM

Gender diversity in the Best workplaces in Sri Lanka – Rukshanie Vidyaratne

8:40 AM

Building an Inclusive culture in the Workplace – Panel Discussion – Thushari Perera | Niluka Fernando

Agenda for Conference

10: 00 AM

Evolution not Revolution of the Workplace – Kshanika Ratnayaka

11:15 AM

We are all in this together – Engage and inspire your team in the midst of challenging times – Mike Robbins

11:15 AM

Resilience in Sport – Learnings for Business – Kasturi C. Wilson | Niloo Jayatilake | Harshana Godamanna | Julian Bolling

11:15 AM

Powering an Inclusive Future FOR ALL – Learning from Best Workplace – Amar Raj Singh | Kaushal Mendis

3:30 PM

Culture Shift – at Great Workplaces – Kaneru Godagama | Sandya Ramesh

3:15 PM

Hybrid Work – the New Normal – Panel Discussion – Sheamalee Wickramasingha | Dimithri Perera | Lasantha Dasanayaka

12:00 PM

Building Crisis-Ready Organizations – the Leadership Challenge – Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya


Mike Robbins
Author | Global Thought Leader | Leadership Expert

Mike Robbins is the author of five books: Focus on the Good StuffNothing Changes Until You DoBe Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken, and Bring Your Whole Self to Work, which have been translated into 15 different languages.  His fifth book, We’re All in This Together: Creating a Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging, came out in 2020.   He’s a thought-leader, executive coach, and sought-after speaker who works with Fortune 500 companies, pro sports organizations, government agencies, start-ups, and high performing teams of all kinds.  Some of his clients include Coca-Cola, Twitter, Uber, Schwab, LinkedIn, Gap, Genentech, the NBA, State Farm, Pinterest, and many others.  He and his work have been featured in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal, as well as on ABC News and NPR.  He’s a regular contributor to Forbes, and hosts a weekly podcast called We’re All in This Together. Prior to his current work, Mike was drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees, but chose instead to play baseball at Stanford University, where he pitched in the College World Series.  He then played baseball professionally in the Kansas City Royals organization, before an injury ended his career.  He worked for two start-ups in the 90s, before starting his own consulting company 20 years ago.   

Yeshasvini Ramaswamy
CEO - Great Place to Work® - India | Founder - Culturelytics & e2e People Practices

Yeshasvini is a Cultural Transformation & Analytics expert with extensive exposure in leading projects for Fortune 100 across UK, US, Australia, Dubai and China. She has represented India among emerging 25 women leaders in the Fortune Most powerful women partnership program hosted by the US State Dept in 2012 & 2017.
She was awarded The Super Achiever Award by the World Women Leadership Congress Awards in 2017. She was awarded the Times Power Women Award (Excellence in Entrepreneurship) in 2019 and was recognized by I-Create for achieving the milestone of creating 4k entrepreneurs and 12k jobs among the disadvantaged women and army veterans in 2020.
She is the founder of Culturelytics Pvt.Ltd, which has developed the world’s first AI platform that defines and measures the culture of an organization mapping it to a $impact. She started her entrepreneur journey in 2009 by founding e2e People Practices, a respected boutique consulting firm that undertakes large business transformation projects and is involved deeply in building purposeful leadership practices across sectors

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya
Chief Executive Officer – Telecommunications Business and Group Executive Vice President of Axiata

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya is currently the Chief Executive Officer – Telecommunications Business and Group Executive Vice President of Axiata, Asia’s second largest Telecommunications Group. In this capacity, he heads the pan-region Telecommunications Operations of the Axiata Group Bhd., spanning the markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.  Dr Wijayasuriya serves on the Boards of several Axiata Group Companies across Asia including Dialog Axiata PLC in Sri Lanka, where he also held the role of Group Chief Executive up to the Year 2016. He is also an Independent Director on the Board of John Keells Holdings PLC., and a member of the Board of Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd., as well as the immediate past chair of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Dr Wijayasuriya is an alumni 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, he also holds an MBA from the University of Warwick UK. In 2016, Dr Wijayasuriya was honored by the Global Mobile Industry Body, the GSM Association as the first recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Asian Mobile Industry’ Award, and in 2008 was named ‘Sri Lankan of the Year’ by Sri Lanka’s premier business journal, LMD. 

Niluka Fernando
Centre Director - HSBC Electronic Data Processing Lanka

Niluka has extensive experience in leading international teams in large, complex organisations and overseeing the running of multiple back office operational teams. She is currently the Managing Director for HSBC Electronic Data Processing Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, and is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction to a comprehensive business services hub with a staff count in excess of 2500 supporting HSBC’s customers and operations from 41 markets across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East. She is also the Global Head of Publishing Services and VP Fulfillment Operations for HSBC, where she is responsible for developing future strategy and driving change and execution. Prior to joining HSBC, Niluka has held senior leadership roles in a number of organisations in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Australia.

Thushari Perera
Director Human Resources - AIA Sri Lanka

Thushari leads the Human Resources and Facilities functions of the Company. She is a senior HR professional who counts over 15 years of experience in all areas of human resource management and leadership practices.  She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, UK and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK. She also holds licentiate in Chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon. She is a Certified Associate Coach from Corporate Coach Academy, Malaysia and is a certified Training and Development Specialist in many areas of people management. Thushari represents the Company in many HR forums including the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka. 

Kasturi C. Wilson
Group CEO Hemas PLC | Former Captain & Player of the National Basketball & Netball Teams

Kasturi joined Hemas in 2002, where she held many senior management positions, including Chief Process Officer and Managing Director of the Hemas Transportation Sector. In 2016, Kasturi took over as Managing Director of Hemas Pharmaceuticals, Surgicals and Diagnostics, driving the company’s local and regional expansion. She was also the Managing Director of Hemas Mobility Sector prior to being appointed as Group CEO in October 2020. Kasturi is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an alumnus of the Senior Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She serves on the Board of Capital Alliance Limited as a Non-Executive Director, along with several other Hemas subsidiaries in the healthcare and consumer industries. Kasturi is an active member of several industry associations and currently serves on the main committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and as a Committee Member of the National Sports Council of Sri Lanka. She was recognised as one of the twelve Top Women Change-Makers in the country in 2019 and represented Sri Lanka as a member of the National Netball and Basketball Teams.

Amar Raj Singh
Chairman & Managing Director - Gamma Pizzakraft

Amar oversees the franchisees of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Delifrance, with 75 outlets in NCR Delhi, Sri Lanka and Maldive. He is a consultant in the food and beverage industry and a director on the board of Sapphire Foods India Pvt. Ltd., a franchisee of Pizza Hut and KFC pan India. Amar started his career as a chartered accountant and then moved to Nepal for 14 years and rose to become the CEO of Soaltee Group, one of the largest and most prestigious business houses in the country, having international joint ventures and interests in Hospitality, Tobacco, Tea, and Transportation. He returned to India in 1996 as Vice President with Coca Cola India and after 5 years, he moved to Diageo – the world’s largest liquor company – as the Managing Director for India and South Asia. He has worked extensively with CII and other business chambers in India and Nepal. He graduated from Sri Ram College of Commerce and completed the Senior Executive Programme from London Business School and a specialized course in Strategy and Organisation from Stanford Business School. Amar is a keen golfer and sportsman. and Captain of the Royal Nepal Golf Club. He is  a guest lecturer at Management Institutes on Culture & Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility.  He is a poet, actor and singer. He is the former President of The Aravali Center for Art & Culture and a trustee of The Akshar Foundation which works in the field of dyslexia education. He was decorated twice by His Majesty the King of Nepal for his services in the SAARC region. 

Kaushal Mendis
Director - Human Resources & Administration - Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka

Kaushal is a Human Resources generalist with vast experience in the Human Resources Industry over 16 years with greater focus on Talent Development & Succession, Employee Resourcing, Organizational Culture & Effectiveness, Industrial & Employee Relations and Compensation & Benefit Management. He has served both local conglomerates and multi-national companies, having been posted overseas for short term assignments as well. Kaushal started his career at Lanka Equities Group in 2004 and moved to American & Efird Lanka (Pvt) Ltd – Brandix Group in 2006. In 2012 he joined Ceylon Tobacco Company and played a pivotal role in uplifting the CTC’s talent landscape and Industrial Relations and was assigned to British American Tobacco, Bangladesh as a HR business Partner during his tenure at BAT. Post his role at Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC he was at DHL Keells Pvt Ltd and Laugfs Holdings Limited as Head of HR until 2017. He is currently also a Governing Council Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA). Kaushal holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Sikkim Manipal University India, Master in Labour Relations and Human Resources Management from University of Colombo, CIMA Passed Finalist and National Diploma in Human Resources Management from the Institute of Personnel Management, Sri Lanka. He is currently reading for Doctor in Business Administration at University of Kelaniya.

Dimithri Perera
Country Manager - DHL (Keells)

As the Country Manager of DHL Keells (Pvt) Ltd, Dimithri is responsible for managing, developing and growing the DHL express business whilst providing direction and leadership to ensure profitable growth, satisfactory cash flow, market leadership and the establishment of industry leading service standards. Dimithri’s working experience spans 29 years in multiple industries including Office Automation, Automobiles, Advertising, Apparel and Logistics. Dimithri has a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Post Graduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, a Post Graduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (U.K) and a Certified Professional Marketer (CPM) – Asia Pacific status from the Singapore Marketing Federation. Dimithri has over the years served on several chamber committees and is a former President of the Sri Lanka Association of Air Express Companies.

Lasantha Dasanayaka
Vice President - Group Human Resources - NDB

Lasantha is a member of the Banks Senior Leadership team and has over 22 years of work experience in various corporate sectors such as the Aviation Industry, IT/BPM Industry, Manufacturing sector and the Financial Services Industries, where he has held progressive HR leadership positions in both local and multinational corporates. He had his early professional education at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) Sri Lanka and is a Certified Human Resources Manager and Fellow of the Cambridge Association of Managers (UK). He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (UNEM). Apart from being a HR professional, he is also a Licensed Flight Operations Officer (ICAO) and was a General Council Member of the IT / BPM Industry Chamber SLASSCOM and is currently a Steering Committee Member of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon’s (EFC’s) Network on Disability.

Pulasthika Wirasinha
Head of Human Resources - London Stock Exchange Group Sri Lanka

Pulasthika joined LSEG in April 2018 from Midas Safety, following a significant career over 15 years which included senior HR roles at MAS Holdings, WNS Global Services, John Keells Holdings, and Dialog Axiata PLC. Pulasthika largely led HR Strategy Formulation, Enterprise Transformation and Sustainable Talent Development & Engagement.  She has been the recipient of the “HR Leadership Award” at the 5th Asia Best Employer Brand Award” for her contribution toward organization development, leadership development Innovation and Change Management. Pulasthika is an alumnus of the University of Southern Queensland and holds a Masters in Human Resources from the university.  Her personal roles stretch to being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunty and a friend. Her passion is to make a difference in the lives that she touches and feels that her chosen field offer her abundant opportunity to deliver her professional and personal passions in life.  

Sheamalee (Shea) Wickramasingha
Group Managing Director - CBL Group

Shea joined Ceylon Biscuits Limited in 1991 as a Food Technologist and worked in various capacities in the Company and the Group.  She was invited to join the Board in 1996 and currently sits on all the Subsidiary Boards of the Group. She is the founder and Managing Director of Modern Pack Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and a Director of JF&I Packaging (Pvt) Limited. Presently she is a member of the EDB Advisory Committee on Processed Food and Beverages, Council of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, the Board of AmCham Sri Lanka, and the Board of United States – Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission. She has been a member of the main committee of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce since 2013 and was a Board member of the institution’s first Board from June 2015 to May 2017. She has a MSc degree in Food Chemistry from Purdue University, USA and a BSc in Food Science & Industry from Kansas State University, USA. She has an interest in the functional and healing properties of food and has studied extensively on the subject. More on Sheamalee Wickramasingha

Niloo Jayatilake
Head of Investments- Softlogic Holdings | Golf Player | Chairperson - Womens Committee NOC - SL

Niloo currently heads the Investment division of the Softlogic Group, one of the fastest growing listed conglomerates in Sri Lanka with business interest in health care, retail, ICT, financial services, automobile and leisure. With more than 25 years in the investments and portfolio management field, she currently manages the Group’s investment portfolio as well as the life insurance portfolio of Softlogic Life, the insurance arm of the group, with a fund value of Rs. 35 bn, covering both fixed income and equity securities.  She is also actively involved in evaluating Group investments in both listed and unlisted investment opportunities in the market.  Prior to joining Softlogic Holdings, she held the position of Head of Portfolio Management/Director of Guardian Fund Management Ltd for a period of 10 years, and led the fund management team and was involved in building of AUM under the fund management company of the Carson Cumberbatch Group.  Niloo has represented Sri Lanka and holds national colours in golf. She currently serves as a Council Member of the Sri Lanka Golf Union (SLGU) and as Chairperson of its Junior Sub Committee overlooking the national golf development programme.  She also heads the Women’s Committee of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka.  She is Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, UK. 

Harshana Godamanna
Head Coach - Men’s and Women’ Tennis University of Massachusetts, Boston USA

Harshana is an experienced coach with a demonstrated history of working in the sports industry.  He was a Davis Cup player for Sri Lanka for 17 years and played professionally on the ATP tour for over 2 years, competing in 25 international tournaments. He obtained a ranking of 811 in singles and 845 in doubles in 2008.  He is a bronze medalist at the 2016 South Asian Games and 6-time National Champion of Sri Lanka. The top player in the history of the Sri Lanka Davis Cup Team, he holds the record for the most singles wins for Sri Lanka in Davis Cup play and the most overall victories. In 2018, he was awarded the Davis Cup Commitment Award for his contribution. Skilled in mentoring and leadership, he is a strong community and social services professional, with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) focused in International Management from University of Massachusetts Boston and holds 3 certifications from the Professional Tennis Registry. 

Julian Bolling
Swimming Coach and Olympian 

A prolific aquatic sports celebrity in his own right, he represented Sri Lanka in three consecutive Olympics in Swimming from 1984 (Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona). He put his country on the map by winning over 15 Gold Medals at the SAF Games in the period between 1984 and 1991.  His post-competition life mainly revolves around enriching the lives of the current Sri Lankan youth and millennials who are engaged in the sport, based on his tradecraft. Julian constantly strives to imbue a sense of professionalism in them by creating bridges between local sportsmen and the global community to share expert resources.  The Rainbow Swimming Academy is also a brainchild of that desire which has empowered the future of many Sri Lankan Swimmers. Julian continues to actively contribute his expertise to the National Sport Council as a member. He is also the Country Lead for 3D Coaching and the ‘World Needs a Father’ Programmes. In 1988, he was honoured with Deshabandu, the third-highest national award in Sri Lanka. His passion is to inspire and empower Sri Lankan Swimmers. His purpose is to show them that sports transcends results in the playing field. 

Kshanika Ratnayaka
Director/CEO - Great Place to Work® - Sri Lanka

Kshanika is the CEO of the Sri Lankan branch of Great Place to Work®.  She counts for more than 25 years of Corporate, Entrepreneurial and General Management experience in the Information Technology (IT) /Business Process outsourcing (BPO) Industry, of which the past 12 years have been at a Senior Management Level. She has developed Good leadership skills and solid Project Management skills and has a technical background in various Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and architectures. Kshanika has significant experience of planning, execution and management of projects and resources in multicultural environments efficiently and effectively. Before joining Great Place to Work® Sri Lanka as the CEO, Kshanika was a Director of Technik Research Pvt Ltd (TR) which is an IT consulting company founded by her in 2006, through which she represented the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Company (SLASSCOM), The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and C-Level.​ Prior to this Kshanika was the Executive Director of SLASSCOM, which is the association that represents the IT/BPO industry in Sri Lanka, Director CEO of Computer Systems Limited where she developed her career over 15 years and an associate systems engineer at IBM World Trade Corporation where she started her career in the technology field in 1989.

Sandya Ramesh
Great Place to Work® - India

“Sandhya (pro-noun She/ Her) is a Certified Diversity Practitioner from Diversity Training University International, USA, and has completed her PGCHRM from XLRI Jamshedpur. She is curious about the subject of intersectionality and inclusion and her key contribution in this space has been to co-create the Workplace Inclusion Index™, a holistic measure on workplace inclusion. Over the last five years, her role in the Institute has been to lead Advisory services for client organizations in the space of culture and leadership transformation, along with leading the research study on India’s Best Workplaces for Women. Her professional background includes a blend of Corporate HR in organizations like Landmark Group & Aditya Birla, Teaching, as well as an entrepreneurial role in a family-owned business. She is an ultra-marathoner and draws inspiration and lessons on resilience from sport. “

Preeti Malhotra
Great Place to Work® - India

“Preeti leads the Wellness Practice and Partnerships for the institute. Prior to taking on her current role, she has led the assessment business nationally that focuses on identifying and recognising organisations characterised by High-Trust, High-Performance cultures, with leaders committed to creating great workplaces for all. Preeti has over 18 years of experience of working in the areas of human resource management, employee experience, diagnostic assessment of workplace culture, key drivers of employee engagement and motivation, and foundational elements of building and sustaining Trust in organisations. She has worked with HR and leadership teams of organisations across various industries and is passionate about partnering with them to make a difference for their employees and in turn the society. She holds a Masters degree in Science and is a gold medallist in Human Resources Management diploma from AMA, Ahmedabad. Keeping abreast with latest management practices and business innovations and exploring collaborations to create higher impact are her key interests. “

Rukshanie Vidyaratne
Great Place to Work® - Sri Lanka

Rukshanie has over 8 years experience in business analysis, project management, international business, policy & strategic planning across various sectors including exports, logistics, information technology and event management. She is an entrepreneur, having founded her own business in 2019, creative gift items and managing events. She was also Assistant Director at Sri Lanka Export Development Board for over 3 years. She holds Master of Business Administration from the University of Jayewardenepura and a Bachelor of Information Technology from University of Moratuwa. Rukshanie is interested in promoting Diversity & Inclusion, Women Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the workplace and Sri Lanka.

Kaneru Godagama
Great Place to Work® - Sri Lanka

Kaneru has been at Great Place to Work over 3 years, establishing himself as a key member of the team, overseeing the Consulting arm of the business, as well as the Operations Unit. He has additional experience in project management in the information technology and apparel sectors. He obtained his first degree from the University of Colombo (UoC) in Statistics and his MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University. He was an active member of AIESEC during his time at UoC, serving as President in 2015.