Grand Jury

 

Indira Kithsiri

Born in the mountains of Switzerland to a Swiss mother and Sri Lankan father, she holds a B.Sc. in International Hospitality Management from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland. Alongside her studies, she founded SAHANA Sri Lanka, a non-profit organisation aiming to improve the living conditions and educational opportunities of underprivileged youth and women in Sri Lanka. Indira's professional career has spanned more than 8 years working on project development, relationship management and communications across Switzerland, Belgium, India and Sri Lanka. These have included working across the private and non-profit sectors, ranging from the level of start-ups to multinationals.

Today, she is a Community Specialist for India and South Asia at the World Economic Forum, in Geneva, Switzerland. Indira is also authoring a book on Sri Lankan leaders around the world to promote entrepreneurship and inspire the country’s next generation. She has always voiced the importance of society's investment in youth. Her passion for social enterprise and the mentoring of young entrepreneurs is the crux for her current book project.

Hasith Yaggahavita

Hasith leads the engineering division of 99X Technology, an award winning international software engineering company as the CTO. With around 15 years of experiences, he has worked across multiple disciplines as a catalyst for organizational modernizing processes including Agile movement, Lean UX, Lean Startup, Agile architecture, Digital Marketing, etc.

During the recent years, Hasith's interest grew around innovation and creativity. Driven by his passion to change the way we educate our youth, Hasith founded IgniterSpace (formerly KidsIgnite), Sri Lanka’s first makerspace chain for young innovators.

Apart from above ventures, he is a founding member of StartupX Foundry (an startup incubator), Colombo Camps Community (community that drives a dozen of tech meetups and conferences in the IT industry), Maturify (a startup product company to disrupt Corporate Knowledge Management). He is also the author of popular open source HTML5 reference architecture BoilerplateJS (http://boilerplatejs.org).

Hasith regularly appears as a speaker and a resource personnel in the industrial meet-ups and conferences to share knowledge. He is an active member of several industrial and university committees working on industry wide initiatives. He is a graduate from University of Moratuwa and holds a Masters degree from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Hasith is a Certified Scrum Master, Sun Certified Java Programmer and Microsoft Certified Application Developer too.

Dr. Ajith Pasqual

Ajith Pasqual is a Senior Lecturer and former Head of Department of Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa and also former Director/Center for Information Technology Services at the same university. He is also the founder and CEO of the first Semiconductor Startup Company in Sri Lanka – Paraqum Technologies which develops products in two areas: a high-performance hardware decoder and encoder for the newest Video Compression Standard –High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) and high-performance hardware accelerated Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) based network analyzers and traffic shapers. At present, he is on 2 year Sabbatical leave to be full time with the startup – Paraqum Technologies.

He received his B.Sc. Engineering degree with First Class Honours from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering in 1993, M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Tokyo in Computer Vision in 1998 and 2001 respectively.

Anuradha Ratnaweera

He was a Senior Consultant at Virtusa Corporation. His specialties are GNU/Linux, UNIX, C, Perl, PHP, AJAX, SOA, software architecture and design, mathematics, solving complex problems.

Yeshanth Gunawardena

Yeshanth Gunewardena is the founder and CEO of Sri Lankan startup Hire 1 Technologies. Hire1 is a pioneer in logistics, operating an Uber-like multi-faceted logistics booking platform for businesses with recent strides into crowd-sourced trucking. In his past, Yesh worked as the Asia Director for Shared Value Partnerships at Mercy Corps. Prior to that, he was a strategy consultant for D.Light Design India and BRAC Sri Lanka. He also worked as a Finance & Strategy Manager for American Express in New York. Yesh holds a bachelor in Computer Science and a master in Finance from Clark University and an MBA at Harvard Business School. Yeshanth's broad experience creates his expertise in strategy and technology product design across multiple industries.

Prof. Ajith De. Alwis

Prof Ajith de Alwis completed his Ph.D. at University of Cambridge, UK post completing his B.Sc. (Eng) honours degree from University of Moratuwa. He also has an MBA from Post Graduate Institute of Management (PIM) of University of Sri Jayewardenepura. He is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his work, most notable being the Senior Moulton Medal of Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK), Danckwerts-Maxwell Award from University of Cambridge (D/Chemical Engineering) for the best PhD Thesis, University of Moratuwa Research Awards from 1997 to 2007.

He is a Professor at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Moratuwa and is also the Director of the University of Moratuwa-Cargills Food Process Development Incubator. Served as the Chairman of Engineering Research Unit (ERU) of Univ of Moratuwa from 2005-7. He was also a Science team leader for Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) from its inception in 2008 to 2011. Served in several national policy formulation sub committees – Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, e-waste etc.

He is currently the Project Director of recently instituted Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) Sri Lanka.

He is a member of various local and international professional bodies; the Cambridge Philosophical and Commonwealth Societies, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (MAIChE), the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Food & Bioproducts, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka, Life Member of Sri Lanka Society for the Advancement of Sciences, and also the founding President of Sri Lanka Biogas Association of Sri Lanka.

Prof de Alwis was also a Post doctoral research fellow at University of Reading, UK and Visiting Scientist at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. He has published many research articles and book chapters in various international and local journals. He is also a regular columnist to the Daily FT on innovations, Science, Technology and National Development.

Robert Rajeswaran

Robert Rajeswaran is an educator, entrepreneur and a young man on a mission to inspire the next generation of digital creators. Robert believes that technology can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower people through GoCode Academy. He was a child refugee from the war-torn island of Sri Lanka. He graduated in accountancy and began his career in investment banking. Thereafter he shifted to Financial Technology helping businesses with working capital. He founded GoCode Academy as part of RBS's Entrepreneurial Spark programme, which has grown traction and now works with major technology companies including Dell. He has recently won RBS's GoDo award and has been named FSB Worldpay Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2017. His story and success has been covered by press locally and nationally including The Guardian. GoCode Academy was born out of Natwest's Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator backed by DELL, KPMG and Pinsent Masons. It runs after school coding clubs and holiday tech camps teaching young people to build websites, games, apps, robotics and programming. We focus on making sure that every session is fun and engaging. They also provide scholarships to disadvantaged students and girls who want to code. So far we have reached over 3000 students through a network of 30 schools.

Sampath Jayasundara

CEO & Director of hSenid Business Solutions (Pvt) Limited, Co-Founder & Director of PIBT (Pvt) Ltd, International Speaker & Lecturer

Sampath has possessed over 18 years of experience in the ICT and Education industries. Being fully equipped with a solid record of improving operations, impacting business growth and maximizing profits, he currently overlooks the entire operation of hSenid Business Solutions which operates in Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Singapore and Kenya.

Sampath is an experienced Strategist - a thought leader, a public speaker and an outcome-focused leader who exhibits a significantly impressive track record in market development, business transformation and market expansions in Sri Lanka, India, Africa and the Asia Pacific region.

He also serves as a lecturer at many institutions & universities including Institute of Personal Management (IPM), Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM), University of Sri Jayewardenepura and University of Colombo.

Indika De Zoysa

Indika De Zoysa is the senior consultant at ICTA. In this role Indika is responsible for achieving project results within the budgetary constraints and time lines. He overlooks the overall progress and management responsibility of the project teams. Indika was the Country Business Manager for Intel Sri Lanka prior to joining ICTA. Whilst at Intel he has attended eSwabhimani as a Juror for many years.

Indika has 15 years of working experience at Intel. During this period Indika worked closely with distributors in Sri Lanka for appropriate product availability and addresses technical and commercial issues. He managed Intel Reseller Channel Organization (RCO) membership program elements to drive sales of Intel products and ramp new technologies. He also leveraged cross functional resources to build and drive visibility for the Intel brand in Sri Lanka in IT ecosystem. Apart from these core responsibilities Indika managed relationships with the Sri Lankan Government and relevant authorities.

Prior to Intel, Indika was working for Hemas Pharmaceuticals as a Product Manager.

Indika is a past student of Dharmaraja College Kandy and he was a sportsman during his school time. In school Indika has represented Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, athletics and Table Tennis. For Rugby and Hockey Indika has won college Colours. Indika was a college prefect and deputy house captain as well.

Currently Indika is involved in many positions in sports administration in different levels.

Indika is qualified in Marketing from the Charted Institute of Marketing and MBA from Switzerland.

Dulith Herath

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce organization. Devoted to providing world-class service to online shoppers, Dulith Herath spearheads Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce giant - Kapruka.

Prof. Amir Ullah Khan

Amir Ullah Khan is a development economist and special policy advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and to the government of Telangana. He teaches at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. Amir graduated in Electronics and Communications from the Osmania University and in Management from the Institute of Rural Management at Anand. He then got his PhD from Jamia Millia Central University for his work on the Software industry and patent protection. Amir is a member of the board at the Digital Empowerment Foundation. He has lectured at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi and at the Edith Cowan University in Perth. He has worked in various capacities for the UNDP, World Bank, Encyclopedia Britannica, Planning Commission and the Government of India.

Ruwan Amarasekera

With over Twenty Two years of far ranging experience in ICT Management, Planning, Systems Design, Development & Implementation, General management and Institutional Development, he is highly proficient in ICT General Management, Project Management, Implementation and Maintenance of ICT systems in varying types of Computer networks using industry standard hardware and software platforms.

His work with many Clients/organizations in industry verticals such as Air transportation, Finance, FMCG, Manufacturing etc. achieved good results because he was able to interact with them effectively due to his communication and teamworking skills. He has been actively involved in the ICT industry activities and has rendered services to the development of ICT through the professional organizations he is involved in.

Further he has contributed his expertise to the young ICT professionals as a visiting lecturer and research project supervisor with two of the local universities.

Ruwan Amarasekara has been a Chartered member of BCS and obtained his MBA from University of Sri Jayewardenepura. He has a Post graduate Diploma in Marketing and is an Associate Member of Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK. He is a Member of Project Management Institute (PMI) and a CIMA Finalist. He is the current Chairman of BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section.

Dhammika Premaratna

Mr.Premarathna obtained his first degree BA(General) from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Kelaniya. In addition to that he earned his MSc (Regional Development) from the Ryukoku University - Kyoto, Japan. Further to being a member of the Sri Lanka Planning Service, he is also the Director responsible for the HRD and ICT sector of the Department of National Planning in the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs.

Sachindra Samararatne

Sachindra Samararatne has been part of the industry development program of ICTA for the past 7+ years. He is currently the Program Manager of a very dynamic team which implements projects around overseas business development, tech startup acceleration, high end technology skill training etc. He has been engaged with analysts such as ATKEARNEY and GARTNER and is engaged in branding Sri Lanka as a technology hub. Sachindra has also been a judge at competitions such as mBillionth, Kotiyak Watina Adahasak, Startup Weekend and Global Student Entreprenur Awards.He has a Master’s in Business Administration, Bachelors in Information Technology and a Bachelors in Business Administration. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional.

Udana Wickremasinghe

Udana is currently serving as the Director / CIO for Sri Lanka Tourism where he oversees operations of three organizations including Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management or formerly known as the Colombo Hotel School.

He started his career in banking and moved into IT which helped him to gain experience in both digital and business arenas. Udana has over 20 years of experience, with 10+ at the C-level, in Sri Lanka, UK and Australia with an operational footprint covering territories including other European countries and emerging markets.

He is conversant in Digital Tourism Technologies (E-Tourism) and serves on the board of the newly formed E-Tourism Council of Sri Lanka. Udana has over 9 + years of experience as a visiting lecturer and currently lecturing at the University of Colombo and Digital Marketing Institute-Ireland where he is a certified digital marketing lecturer.

Udana holds a BSc in Information Technology from University of Sunderland- UK and MBA from Victoria University- Australia. He is also a Charted IT Professional (CITP-UK) from British Computer Society (BCS) and also serves an assessor for BCS. Udana is a member of Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL-MCS) as well and was a former board member of the executive council of CSSL. His other memberships include IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers)- USA and IBSL (Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka).

Gavashkar Subramanium

Will provide the profile soon.