Dilhan C. Fernando, the CEO of Dilmah Tea, is the Director of the Dilmah School of Tea, the first international school of tea, with sessions in Colombo, and in partnership with the Institute Paul Bocuse, in France.
His desire to share the pleasure in tea with a new generation of tea drinkers saw the birth of the t-Series, designer gourmet teas and an entirely contemporary approach to a traditional beverage.
In addition to his responsibilities in tea, Dilhan also manages the humanitarian and environmental outcomes of Dilmah. These are the fulfilment of his family's commitment to making business a matter of human service. The MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation utilise revenue from the global sales of Dilmah in implementing humanitarian and conservation projects in Sri Lanka. The MJF Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in Sri Lanka and has changed the lives of thousands of underprivileged people, working in the tea sector and in the wider community.
Dilmah Conservation operates on a similar principle, using revenue from Dilmah to implement conservation, environmental education, habitat restoration projects and promote sustainability. Dilhan currently chairs the Biodiversity Sri Lanka Platform which was pioneered by Dilmah Conservation together with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Rathika completed his University education in the USA. He is an Alumni of the Prince of Wales Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge, UK.
Previously, a senior in marketing, with leading multinational companies/brands, handling some of the most unusual and complex situations in the local arena, he counts for over twenty years of experience in senior management.
He also served on EXCO of Holcim Lanka for several years as Vice President for Sustainable Development. He has also led several regional projects (for Asia Pacific Region) during his tenure of over 12 years at Holcim. He has been a distinguished panelist on several leading business forums locally and internation. He has been the Country Head of DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas) Sri Lanka. He has also served on Boards of other international organizations.
Senior Vice President at Virtusa Corporation and heads Strategic Sustainability Initiatives, Environment, Health & Safety, Administration and Facilities Management, and Physical Security for Virtusa Corp. He is an ICT professional with full membership in the Sri Lankan and Australian computer societies and has over 20 years of work experience. A major portion of his career was focused on counterterrorism in Sri Lanka where he served as a Commissioned Officer in the Regular Force of the Sri Lankan Army for 10 years and a further 7 ½ years in the Ministry of Defense in Sri Lanka. Denver has spearheaded Virtusa’s environmental initiatives and works to promote the UNGC Principles and SDGs within Virtusa’s sustainability program. Denver has presented on Virtusa’s sustainability and CSR initiatives to many of its top clients and at several forums including the Google Ideas Summit 2011 in Dublin and the Foreign Trade Association’s Asia Regional Sustainability Symposium 2017 in Colombo.
Robert Juhkam joined UNDP Sri Lanka as the Resident Representative in August 2019. Prior to his appointment in Sri Lanka, Mr. Juhkam served as the Strategic Planning Advisor at the UNDP Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy in New York, U.S.A for 5 years, where he was leading a global team of partnerships advisors across five Regional Hubs to diversify UNDP’s strategic partnerships. Before his tenure at the UNDP Headquarters in New York, Mr. Juhkam served in the Asia-Pacific region for over 10 years as the Deputy Country Director for UNDP Bangladesh (2008 - 2014), the Team Leader of Knowledge and Policy Services at the Regional Centre in Bangkok serving UNDP Asia-Pacific’s 25 Country Offices (2004-2008) and previously as the Deputy Chief of the UNDP Bangkok Sub-Regional Resource Facility – SURF (2003 to 2004). Robert’s career in UNDP began in Estonia as the Deputy Representative and Programme Advisor (1997-2000) following three years in Government service as the Foreign Aid Management Advisor for the Estonian Ministry of Culture and Education (1993-97). Robert also served as the District Electoral Supervisor and Civic Education specialist for the 1992-93 U.N. peace-keeping mission in Cambodia. With close to 30 years of experience in international development, Mr. Juhkam has been instrumental in shaping policy and programming for advocacy and strategic partnerships, particularly in Asia and Europe. A national of Estonia, Mr. Juhkam, who is married and a father of three, holds an Interdisciplinary Diploma in Social Sciences (Development Studies) from Stockholm University, and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (International Relations) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.
He was the United Nations Global Compact Focal point for Sri Lanka 2003-2010 and was the founder of the UN Global Compact Sri Lanka network in 2010.
He is an Executive in Residence at the INSEAD Social Innovation center since September 2010 to date. In November 2015 he published ‘Strategic Corporate Sustainability – 7 Imperatives for Sustainable business’ (Partridge 2015).
He is Chairman/CEO of Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt. Ltd which operates in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and China. He serves on the Boards of LOLC Holdings Ltd, Habitat for Humanity, Ceylon Asset Management & Aitken Spence Plantations Ltd.
In Academia, a visiting faculty member of the INSEAD International Directors program & the INSEAD Advanced Management Program from 2005 to date teaching the subject ‘Strategic Corporate Sustainability’.
He was the Operations Director of the Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Institute (2011-2015), working with the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy and advising the Malaysian Government. He served as the CEO Corporate Branding & Sustainability of MAS Holdings from 2003 to 2008 where he created the Global award winning ’Go beyond’ & ‘Eco-Go beyond’ programs to differentiate the organization globally. His career with multinationals & local business spanned from 1981 to 2008, having acquired global exposure with MNC’s across Africa, Middle East and Asia.
He is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, having completed the Climate Leadership Programme in 2007, a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business at Cambridge University in 2008 and a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership in 2014. He holds a Doctorate of Business Administration from the European University, Switzerland 2016. He also holds a MBA from the University of Colombo and is a FCIM (Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK) and holds a Diploma in International Management and has completed the Advanced Management Program at the INSEAD Business school in France.
In September 2007 he won a “Global Strategy Leadership award” at the World Strategy Summit for his work on Sustainability-led Ethical branding in the Apparel and Tea sectors receiving the award from Prof. Renee Mauborgne of INSEAD business school.
An accomplished Human Resource professional, Dinali draws from almost 2 decades of a rapidly evolving role across multiple HR functions at MAS Holdings.
Having joined MAS in 1999 as a Management Trainee, Dinali fast adapted and explored her proficiency in human behavior and psychology at plant level. She soon moved on to a Senior Executive position at Leisureline in 2001, from which point she joined Group HR as a member of the highly transformational Hay Project team, introducing many new facets to the MAS Talent Management and Development function.
In 2005 Dinali was appointed Head of HR at MAS Active MAS Active, the newly established strategic sportswear design to delivery partner for global brands, and soon after was promoted to Director – HR & Sustainable Business of the division. The next 10 years saw focused and progressive standardization of MAS Active’s HR processes and practices under Dinali’s direction, supporting the division’s overall business growth. In 2015, Dinali rejoined Group HR as Director – Organizational Development to further strengthen HR capabilities at the core, and was responsible in setting up the Centers of HR Excellence.
In January 2019, Dinali was appointed Group Human Resource Director at MAS Holdings. In her current leadership position, she spearheads strategic group-wide HR initiatives including the establishment, modification and implementation of talent management and competency frameworks, guidance in talent attraction & selection, and also provides tactical direction in learning & development, performance management, and career & succession management across the organization.
Dinali holds a Degree in Psychology from Oklahoma State University (University of Asia) and has attended numerous executive and leadership programs conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), INSEAD, Doug Adams and Dave Ulrich. Extremely passionate about team development and team dynamics, she was the first individual to attend a CCL coaching program at MAS.
Aruna Mawilmada is the Customer Development Director, and is a Member of the Management Committee of Unilever Sri Lanka. Holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Irish International University. Aruna has 25 years of diverse and challenging experiences in FMCG across different functions of the organization and experience in managing in diverse geographies and cultures in South Asia, North Africa, Middle East, Central Africa and Turkey. Throughout his career, Aruna has been with Unilever and has experience in areas ranging from Field Sales Management, Brand Marketing, Sales Operations, Merchandizing, Shopper Marketing, Shopper Activation and Capability Building. During the course of his career, Unilever has won many accolades for the consistent and strong business delivery including complete turnarounds, scaling up businesses and accelerating channels, customers and categories during turbulent times.
He was appointed as the Group Chief Executive and a Member of the Board of Dialog Axiata in 2017.
He commenced his career in telecommunications at Dialog Axiata in 1999 and held multiple roles, such as Head of Strategy and CEO of the Mobile Business before being appointed as Group Chief Operating Officer of Dialog Axiata in 2010.
In 2013, he was seconded to Axiata Group Berhad in Malaysia as its Group Chief Strategy Officer. At Axiata, he also served as the Head of Network Transformation Strategic Business Unit under which he led Group Technology, Carrier Collaboration and the Axiata Intelligence Unit. From January 2014 to October 2016, he functioned as the CEO and Managing Director of Robi Axiata Limited in Bangladesh, the second largest mobile network provider in Bangladesh with 33 million subscribers.
He is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Financial Management from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. He also holds an MBA from the University of Western Sydney, Australia and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.
Nilanthi Sivapragasam is the Chief Financial Officer of Aitken Spence PLC, a diversified blue-chip conglomerate listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. She is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Group and is the Joint Managing Director of CINEC Campus (Pvt) Ltd, the largest maritime campus in South Asia, and a Director of several subsidiary and joint venture companies in the Group. The Group is involved in several sectors namely Hotels, and Tourism, Shipping and Cargo Logistics, Power Generation, Printing and Packaging, Plantations and other services in Sri Lanka and in the region. She is also the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Corporate Finance (Pvt) Ltd. She is a Fellow Member of both CA Sri Lanka and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of UK. She is currently a Board Member of the Taxation Steering Committee and the Accounting Standards and Regulatory Reporting Steering Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Financial Reporting Standards Implementation and Interpretation Committee of CA Sri Lanka. She is also a Board Member of the UNGC Network Sri Lanka. She was formerly on the Board of CIMA Sri Lanka Division, the Statutory Accounting and Auditing Standards Committees of CA Sri Lanka and a Council Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors. She also served as a Board Member of the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board from 2009 to 2019. She was until recently a Director of Women and Media Collective, a non-governmental organization involved in the empowerment of women.
Azam Bakeer-Markar is the nominee of the United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Board of UN Global Compact Network Sri Lanka. He is the Partnerships & Development Finance Specialist at the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Sri Lanka, where he supports the UN development system in the country on strategic partnerships and financing for development, including the convening of its Private Sector Working Group. He counts 13 years of management experience with Aitken Spence PLC where, as Assistant Vice President Group Business Development and Head of Sustainability, he headed the corporate sustainability, new ventures, corporate communication and branding functions. Azam is credited with leading the development of the conglomerate’s integrated corporate sustainability strategy. He was a founding steering committee member [2006-11], director [2011-14, 18-19] and Network Representative [2018-19] of the UN Global Compact Network Sri Lanka, representing Aitken Spence PLC. He has served as a member of the Board of Management of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies [2015-19]. Azam was named among the ‘100 Most Impactful CSR Leaders [Global Listing]’ at the 6th edition of the World CSR Congress  and served as a member of its Advisory Council. He has held leadership positions in several civil society organisations focused on youth, community relations and civic mobilisation. He holds an MSc in Sustainable Business Management (UK), a BSc (Hons) in International Economics (UK) and a Diploma in International Relations.
Mr. Choliya De Silva is a senior finance professional currently serving as the Group Chief Financial Officer and Group Head of Sustainability at Hayleys, and possesses over 30 years’ experience in Diversified Conglomerates, Multinational FMCG, Investment Banking and Real Estate sectors. His international working experience spans New Zealand, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates. Within his role at Hayleys, he advocates the adoption of a wider value creation lens and a holistic and multi-capital view towards resource allocation, taking into consideration ESG issues in driving ‘good growth’. He has steered the launch of the Group’s flagship biodiversity initiative Project Kirulu in 2021 and the successful functioning of the Hayleys Cube, a robust digital information system to aggregate and monitor relevant non-financial information across the Group’s 16 diversified sectors. Currently Choliya serves as a Member of the Corporate Governance Committee of CA Sri Lanka. He was formerly a governing Council Member of AAT Sri Lanka and has held the Chairmanship of AAT and CA Sri Lanka Committees on multiple occasions. Mr. De Silva is a Fellow Member of CA Sri Lanka, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and the Institute of Certified Practising Accountants of Australia. He also holds a MBA from Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayawardenepura and has completed an EDP in University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town, South Africa and a Breakthrough Leadership course in Ashridge Business School, London, England.