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Janaka Ratnayake

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Janaka Ratnayake
Born (1964-12-07) 7 December 1964 (age 55)
Kandy
🏳️ NationalitySri Lankan
Other names
💼 Occupation
Chairman and CEO Trillium Property Management & Services Limited (2014-)

Chairman, Export Development Board (2010-2013)

Chairman, Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka PLC (2007–2009)

💵 Salary :


Janaka Ratnayake is a veteran entrepreneur awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award in the year 2000 [1]. A BSc. (Hons) in Public Administration degree graduate from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and a Master of Business Studies from the University of Colombo. He also successfully completed an executive education program at the prestigious University of Harvard, USA.  Currently Ratnayake serves as the Chairman of Trillium Property Management and Services Ltd, City Housing and Real Estate PLC, Trillium Residencies Pvt Ltd [2], and Rent A Comp Pvt Ltd.. Ratnayake is also known for being a founding director of Softlogic in the early 1990’s, and for spearheading state institutions as a former Chairman and Chief Executive of Export Development Board of Sri Lanka (EDB)[3],  Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), Merchant Credit Sri Lanka (MCSL), MBSL Savings Bank, and MBSL Insurance.

Early Career and Education[edit]

A past student of Gurudeniya Maadiyamaha Vidyalaya Kandy until Grade 4 and Dharmaraja College from grade 5 to A Levels [4], Janaka Ratnayake graduated from the management faculty of University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 1990. During his time as an Undergraduate in 1985 he was able to obtain a scholarship to read for a diploma in Moscow, Russia.

He began his career as an Audit Trainee for Richard Pieris and moved on to working within sales and the Information Technology sector by joining Computer Link Pvt Ltd. and then later Precision Tech in 1990 after graduating. He gained a wealth of experience and exposure before shifting focus towards his entrepreneurial ideas and started his own business Computer Island Pvt Ltd. in the Information Technology sector in 1993. Janaka was also instrumental in the inception of the Softlogic Group as one of the founding directors.

Ratnayake holds a BSc Special Degree in Public Administration from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, a Diploma in Russian Language and International Relations from Russia and a Master of Business Studies (MBS) from the University of Colombo. The JVP insurgency in the late 80’s delayed Janaka’s graduation during his undergraduate degree and was briefly imprisoned for taking part in student activism activities. During his tenure at Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), Janaka Ratnayake was able to attend a University of Harvard Executive Education program “Making Corporate Boards Effective” which provided a deeper insight into restructuring and management of the highest number of Institutions in the Banking and Finance sector during the Sri Lankan financial crisis in 2008/2009. Janaka is currently reading for his PhD.

Entrepreneurial Vision and Successes[edit]

In 1993 Janaka Ratnayake ventured into the information technology industry as an Entrepreneur, with his pilot project, Computer Island Pvt Ltd (CIL) which eventually became the largest assembler and distributor of IT equipment in Sri Lanka. IBM recognized CIL as one of the first local business partners, service partners, and distributors in Sri Lanka. The company went on to achieve ISO 9000 and 14000 certifications.

Expansion into the IT industry, saw the creation of ‘Rent A Comp’ in 1995, which was envisioned to fill a very niche area in the ICT industry - the outsourcing of IT equipment and infrastructure. It is this expansion that won him the award for Entrepreneur of the Year in the year 2000. Rent A Comp diversified its operations into the IT services area with yet another unique service targeted at the Hospitality Industry known as the Cyber Butler - a service procured by all the five-star hotels in Colombo and is fast expanding to Hotels outside of Colombo.

The turning point in Janaka Ratnayake’s entrepreneurial journey was his entry into the Real Estate Industry in 2014 with Trillium Property Management and Services Limited. As one of the fastest companies to reach a value of Rs. 4 Billion in Sri Lanka [5], the company began its operations initially by entering the Luxury Residential market with key properties in the most affluent areas of Colombo [6], and immediately diversified into the Commercial Property sector [7] with very strategic acquisitions of historically significant buildings such as the Dasa Building in Borella. Janaka Ratnayake made his move into the Luxury Hospitality Sector with his first Hotel, the Trillium Hotel Colombo. Valued at over Rs. 1 Billion, the Trillium Hotel Colombo is based in one of the most affluent parts of Colombo and is poised as one of the most unique boutique Hotels in Colombo [8]. Trillium plans to expand further into the tourism industry with two more luxury resorts based in tourist friendly locations, due to commence within the next few years [9].


State Positions[edit]

Janaka Ratnayake’s capabilities and achievements were significant and eventually noticed by the government authorities who immediately awarded him with two Chairmanships within State-run organisations to represent the Government.

Chairman of Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka PLC (2009 - 2011)[edit]

In 2008, he was appointed the Chairman of Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) which is one of the leading financial services providers in Sri Lanka specialising in trade finance and investment banking.

His entrepreneurial vision helped him steer MBSL PLC to greater heights by implementing expansion strategy aimed at improving the banks strength within diverse sectors of the banking and finance industry [10]. However, this was done within a time of economic recession (2008/2009) where Sri Lanka saw the collapse of one of the largest conglomerates, the Ceylinco Group collapse causing much damage to the financial stability [11]. Most of the financial institutions under the Ceylinco Group faced a high risk of collapsing due to the withdrawal of money by depositors and investors.

Managing the Financial Crisis[edit]

During his tenure at Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka he was notably instrumental in the restructuring and management of over a dozen financially distressed companies [12]. Janaka took the responsibility of restructuring and reviving many financial institutions [13]such as the oldest finance company in Sri Lanka, namely “The Finance Company PLC”, the oldest real estate company in Sri Lanka - City Housing and Real Estate PLC, Asian Finance PLC, Standard Credit, Ceylinco Savings Bank, Finance & Guarantee, Ceylinco Building Society, Fingara Country Club, the largest private school network in Sri Lanka - Ceylinco Sussex Network of Colleges & ABC Insurance Ltd [14].

In order to fully strengthen the financial stability of the banking sector, he directed MBSL to acquire the Ceylinco Savings Bank (now MBSL Savings Bank) and ABC Insurance Company (now MBSL Insurance) with an infusion of capital [15]. Both companies were taken from struggling debt-ridden entities to profitable institutions during his tenure at MBSL all of which was done without much financial support by the Government.

Chairman of Export Development Board of Sri Lanka (2011 - 2013)[edit]

In the year 2010, Janaka was appointed as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the apex body for promoting the Export Sector - the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka (EDB) [16]. During his term at EDB he successfully restored many international trade related ties between many countries such as Japan [17], India [1], Pakistan [2] and the UK [18]. One of his most notable achievements during his tenure at the EDB, was hosting Sri Lanka’s largest Export, Investment, and Tourism symposium, EXPO 2012 that gave Sri Lankan exporters a platform to showcase their products to both potential foreign and local clients [19]. Rallying the export tycoons together he successfully managed to attract over 1000 delegates [20]including several trade and commerce ministers from Israel, India, Pakistan and the Maldives to name a few [21] [22].

With Sri Lanka still looking for a second branded export after Ceylon Tea, he ensured that Sri Lanka secured a head-start with Ceylon Cinnamon which was registered and patented in all economically strategic locations worldwide as "Pure Ceylon Cinnamon"[23]

Along with the EDB, Janaka Ratnayake was tasked with serving on the board the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Authority [24] [25]

Additional Contributions[edit]

Involvement with 2005 and 2010 Presidential Election[edit]

Organised and provided for use a 200 seater modern call centre to promote then presidential candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa by developing an in-house software by Rent A Comp Pvt Ltd. The Software was a fully automated response system that was used for the first time in the world and the technology used was extremely important to the victory of the president in 2005 and 2010.

Involvement with 2019 Presidential Election[edit]

In 2018 Janaka Ratnayake provided a state-of-the-art office space that was used by the current President His Excellency Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksha as a campaign office during his run for election.

Commonwealth Games 2018 Bid[edit]

He also played an integral part in organising the bid for Sri Lanka to host the Commonwealth Games 2019 by serving as a director on the Committee. His key responsibility was to formulate strategies to win the bid.

References[edit]

  1. "New EDB chairman assumes duties…". Ada Derena. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  2. Sunday Times: (print edition 23 September 2007): Trillium Residencies shows real estate still hot investment:Retrieved 31 December 2019
  3. "Global launch of Ceylon Cinnamon today in Cologne". Daily FT. Daily FT. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  4. "List of Dharmaraja College alumni: Wikis". www.thefullwiki.org/. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  5. "Trillium Property Management to invest Rs 1 b on two projects". Daily FT. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  6. "Work starts on Trillium Colombo 7". Daily FT. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  7. "Trillium unveils Trillium Tower, new head office complex". Daily News. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  8. "Trillium Group unveils Trillium Hotel". Daily FT. Daily FT. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  9. "Trillium unveils plans for three new properties". Daily Mirror. Daily Mirror. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  10. Devan Daniel (15 January 2010). "DESPITE TURBULENT 2009 MBSL EXPECTS 30 PERCENT PROFIT GROWTH TROUBLED FINANCE COMPANIES TO RECOVER STRONGLY IN 2010" (PDF). FCCISL News Alert Weekly Business Highlight 11th–17th January 2010. pp. 49–50. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  11. "MBSL to manage two more Ceylinco companies". The Nation. The Nation. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  12. "Former MBSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake reappointed as the Chairman of City Housing and Real Estate Company PLC". Asian Tribune. Asian Tribune. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  13. Perera, Harshini (15 September 2009). "MBSL helps failed finance companies". Daily News. Daily News. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  14. "MBSL regains investor confidence". Sunday Observer. Sunday Observer. 17 January 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  15. "Rs. 700 Mn infusion to MBSL Insurance – Reports". Ada Derana. Ada Derena. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  16. Ondaatjie, Anusha (18 November 2011). "Kate's Sapphire Gives Royal Boost to Sri Lanka's Exports". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  17. "Sri Lanka: Asia's Emerging Wonder" (PDF) (Special Economic Reports). The Japan Times. The Japan Times. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  18. "Sri Lanka crosses the $ eight billion export mark" (PDF). Karmantha-Vanija Kirula. Vol. 1 no. 1. April 2011. p. 1. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  19. KOVILAGODAGE, Jayantha. "Sri Lanka mulls convention centre near airport: official". Lanka Business Online. Lanka Business Online. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  20. Hewage, Indunil (7 December 2011). "EDB campaign ahead of 'Sri Lanka Expo 2012'". Daily News. Daily News. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  21. Andree, Mario (15 March 2012). "Govt. looking towards exports for way out of balance of payments crisis". The Island. The Island. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  22. Hewage, Indunil (7 December 2011). "EDB campaign ahead of 'Sri Lanka Expo 2012'". Daily News. Daily News. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  23. "Sri Lanka's second Global Brand born" (PDF). PRESS COMMUNIQUE – MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  24. "Sri Lanka plans expansion for gem industry". Financial Times. Financial Times. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  25. "Sri Lanka targets export revenue from Gem & Jewellery to top one billion in 2015". Times Lanka. Retrieved 3 January 2020.


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