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Top 20 most influential HR leaders in Sri Lanka | peopleHum
List of Leaders

Top 20 Most Influential HR Leaders in Sri Lanka

HR blogs
Sharon Monteiro
December 18, 2021
Human Resource Management Platform

Resilience and inspirational leadership paves the way forward for HR in Sri Lanka. Here's an opportunity to know the leaders that have grown through the challenges of the new world of work. These are the 20 HR leaders in Sri Lanka you need to follow today.

1. Dinuka Pattikiriarachchi

Dinuka Pattikiriarachchi is the Chief Human Resources Officer at HNB Insurances PLC. He holds over 19 years in the field of Human Resource Management. Dinuka is a mentor and a leader, and has been hailed as a true HR professional owing to his ability to lead challenging situations with practicality and always maintaining a high professional standard.

2. Sineth Withanage

Sineth Withanage is the Head of Human Resources & Sales at MVIVO and an Award Winning Corporate Coach. He is a professional with over 18 years of experience in the field of HR. A resilient, dedicated and proactive professional, Sineth is often attributed for his ability to adapt to different situations with ease & flexibility, as well as his ability to develop innovative and creative solutions to challenges.

3. Nadinka Wannakuwatte

Chartered HR Professional Nadinka Wannakuwatte is the HR & Admin Lead/Officer Manager at solomoIT. In the 26 years of experience in the corporate landscape, Nadinka found her calling in HR more than 4 years ago, and has even gained certification in the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management. She has been described as a self-driven professional, an exceptional coordinator and a great team player.

4. Gayan Thilakarathne

Gayan Thilakarathne is the Head of Human Resources at Dilmah Tea. He is an experienced Human Capital Specialist, with nearly 16 years in the HR profession. Gayan is skilled in corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and conservation, and has expertise in recruiting, organizational development, employee performance management systems, and training & development. Gayan has been described as, “A people’s man,” because of his ability to truly understand and work for the welfare of employees, as well as long term objectives of the organisation.

5. HMS Sarath Kumara

Sarath Kumara is an HR Consultant, Coach, Trainer, and is the Managing Director/Founder of People Transformation Academy. He has garnered 20 years in HR with more than 15 years of experience as a leader in human resource management. Through his stellar career he has acquired great expertise in the areas of change management, talent management, succession planning, leadership development, coaching & mentoring, and several other areas.

Not only is Sarath Kumara an exceedingly competent HR practitioner; He has a deep appreciation for HR, along with a genuine people centric ethos. He continuously embarks on new new challenges, and always strives to better the HR function whilst ensuring the success of such initiatives. He has been described as, “One of those rare HR practitioners who is both strategic - but also, firmly rooted in cultural contexts.”

6. Omal R Kaluarachchi

Omal R Kaluarachchi is the Group Head of Human Resources at Analytics Instruments (Pvt) Ltd. Equipped with over 15 years of experience, Omal is not only well-equipped Human Resources, but also in General Management, Training & Development, Operations, and Quality & Business Excellence. As a result, he brings a combination of a rare level of expertise in the management of an organization.

Omal is renowned as a diligent HR practitioner whose enthusiasm and dedication inspires trust among the industry leaders.

7. Supuni Jayawardhana

Supuni Jayawardhana is the Manager for Human Resources and Administration at Flexicare (Group) Limited. She describes herself as, “unlike any typical HR person,” and she is an ambitious and driven Huma Resource Management Professional. Her fluidity and flexibility enables her to be actively involved across cross-functional teams. I addition to her many qualifications, Supuni is also greatly knowledgeable in HRIS systems and processes - a powerful ability in this new age of Human Resource Management.

8. Indika Gamage

Indika Gamage is the Group Manager for Human Resources Developmental Jay Jay Mills Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. Indika has garnered more than two decades of experience as an HR professional. He is a conscientious and exceptional Human Resources professional who is very knowledgeable in all aspects HR. His sincerity, professionalism, and knack for innovation gives him the unique ability to  successfully accomplish organizational goals and objectives.

9. Pramoad Perera

Pramoad Perera is the Senior Manager of Human Resources at Pearson. Promoad has accumulated over 14 years of experience as an HR professional. He has undertaken several large-scale people initiatives predominantly in business transformation. Offshore start-ups and strategic HR projects in regional blue-chip conglomerates and global organizations. Promoad is also a Professional Member (MHRP) of the Association of HR Professionals (HRP) Sri Lanka.

Promoad is a results-driven HR professional with a strong work ethic and the ability to make strategically sound decisions in challenging environments. He has often been commended on his sound HR expertise and critical thinking skills which have enabled him to avoid unseen business problems and support the implementation of better solutions.

10. Priyantha Ranasinghe

Priyantha Ranasinghe is the Human Resources Director at Coca Cola Beverages Sri Lanka. With an accumulated experience of over 14 years in the HR landscape, Priyantha has garnered exceptional skills in recruitment and selection, succession planning,L&D, and other critical Hr proficiencies.

Savvy with operational HR, Priyantha embodies the flexibility and skills that give him the abilities to work in ever level of an organization.

11. Surani Amerasinghe

Surani Amerasinghe is the Director of Human Resources at Ansell. Previously the Head of Human Resources at Lion Brewery (Ceylon), Surani has garnered over 16 years in the field of Human Resource Management. Surani has a great deal of experience overlooking Human Resources across Asia, including China, India, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia in addition to her experience in the UK.

Surani has also made some guest speaker appearances, as a Keynote Speaker at the International Women Leaders’ Summit in Karachi, Pakistan in 2016 and a Panelist at the World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India in 2018.

12. Thisara Perera

Thisara Perera is the Head of Human Resources at JOHN KEELS IT. He is an HR practitioner with over a decade of experience in the field. Thisara is known for being a critical contributor to leadership executives providing HR leadership for organizational processes and policy development, brand development and change management.

Thisara is an innovative problem solver, passionate about maximising human potential, and known for engaging people across all levels and mobilising resources to achieve organizational objectives.

13. Senani Ekanayake

Senani Ekanayake is the Senior Manager of Talent Management & HR Integration program and Change Management at Michelin. She has locked in over 20 years of experience in the field. Senani has an exceptional knowledge in talent management and change management, and enjoys working with people. Along with a great competency in all things HR, Senani also has the ability to lead diverse teams, manage complex processes, and mobilising talent to generate effective results.

14. Thilina Deheragoda

Thilina Deheragoda is the Head of HR at Circles.Life Sri Lanka. An HR professional with the competency to successfully drive organizational strategy, Thilina has garnered over 15 years of experience in the field of HR. A well-respected individual in the HR industry, Thilina is an approachable, service-oriented, and supportive leader. His leadership skills and pragmatic approach to work enables him to sustain effective working collaborations and deliver results in dynamic and challenging environments.

15. Feron Hassen

Feron Hassan is the Human Resources and Administration Manager at Food Studio SL. As an experienced HR professional, Feron recognises the strategic role HR management plays in the success of a organization and manages to keep the function human regardless of the challenges that come with the job. A strategic and creative thinker with the ability to multitask, Feron is often well-regarded in the matter of creating successful deliverables.

16. Samitha Liyanage

Samitha Liyanage is the Head of Human Resources at ISM APAC. As an HR professional, he caters to the core human capital management and development needs of the organization, while providing a better working environment for employees. Samitha is especially focused towards employee engagement, culture and growth, and always had inspiring and innovative ideas for building them.

17. Bawantha Kothalawala

Bawantha Kothalawala is the HR Executive at Hayleys Consumer Products Ltd. One amongst the younger HR professionals on the list, Bawantha has over 5 years of experience in the field of HR. He defines himself as a team player and an individual with the ability to adapt with agility to dynamic work environments. Dedicated, self-motivated, and methodical, Bawantha is an consummate HR specialist who is always up for exciting and challenging opportunities.

18. Prasad Udugampola

Prasad Udugampola is the Chief Human Resources Officer - HR & Legal at Siyapatha Finance (Sampath Group). He was previously the Senior Group Manager for Human Resources at CEAT Sri Lanka. Prasad has garnered over 14 years of experience as an HR professional, and is exceptionally skilled at team as well as performance management.

19. Gayan Jayarathna

Gayan Jayarathna is the Head of HR & Administration at W M Mendis & Company. He is a seasoned HRM professional with over 18 years of multi-cultural and international experience with track record of transforming organizations across multiple industry sectors—from IT, Banking, Apparel to FMCG. He is known for the execution of HR policies, performance management, succession planning, cultural transformation as well as training and development programs.  

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October 25, 2021

A very inspiring list. Thanks for putting this together


October 25, 2021

This is such a great list of women leaders! More power to you all