Among Sri Lanka’s most renowned business leaders, Mr Gunewardene’s career has been instrumental in providing strategic direction and business insight which enabled John Keells Holdings PLC to grow from an LKR 1 billion Market Cap (1992) to LKR 190 billion (2016). In his 34 years at the company, his focus has been on real estate, leisure, financial services, retail businesses- distinguishing himself by leading the respective businesses to market leadership positions.
He functioned as a founding Director and, subsequently, Chairman of Nations Trust Bank where he provided strategic direction and leadership in building the Bank. In addition, he provided leadership for other financial organizations when he served as Director and subsequently Chairman of Union Assurance Ltd .
In retail, Mr Gunewardene was instrumental in mentoring and guiding the island’s largest branded retail business ‘Odel’. As its seed Investor and Chairman, Mr Gunewardene guided the management, took them public and sold the company in 2014.
His leadership has also been sought by regulatory authorities when Mr Gunewardene functioned as the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from 2000 – 2003. He was also an advisor to the various governments in Sri Lanka, functioning independently without any political affiliations. He was a member of the Prime Ministers Taskforce for Financial Sector Reform and also functioned as a Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. Recently, he was a member of the Board of the BOI and Head of the Task Force for Foreign Direct Investment and Exports.
He is currently the Founder and Chairman of Bluestone Capital Ltd a leading private equity investment company. He is also the Founder Chairman of Digital Mobility Solutions Pvt Ltd better known as PickMe the leading ride hailing and delivery company in Sri Lanka.
Mr Peiris was, till end December 2017, an Executive Director on the Board of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) and was its Group Finance Director. He was also a Director in several Listed and Non-Listed Companies involved in Leisure/Hoteliering, Food and Beverage Manufacturing/Retailing, Financial Services including Banks, Insurance and Brokering, Property Development/Real Estate, Information Technology, Plantations/Plantation Services and Transportations, Logistics and Ports.
He was, prior to JKH, the Managing Director, Anglo American Corporation (Central Africa) Limited, a subsidiary of Anglo American Plc, a company listed on the UK Stock Exchange.
Mr Peiris has, over 47 years of Finance and General Management experience with, more than 44 of them at Senior Management level, in Sri Lanka, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Mr Peiris was an active member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) during the period 2004 to 2017 and was the Chairman of its Taxation Sub Committee for several years. He is a Past President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors and was also recognised by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sri Lanka, as its Business Icon of 2014.
In addition to holding a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with specialisation in Marketing and Human Resource Management, Mr Peiris is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, (FCMA), UK, a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA), Scotland, a Fellow Member of the Society of Certified Management Accountants (FSCMA), Sri Lanka and a Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants, (FZICA), Zambia.
Mr Peiris has successfully concluded a course on “Transformative Coaching; A Revolutionary Approach to Enable Change” at Classroom Learning conducted by the Coach Masters Academy, Singapore. He has been, and is now, a direct mentor/coach to many in the past several years and has been a natural coach/mentor in his several roles. He is currently consulting on strategic issues at many prominent organisations.
He has been, and is, a presenter of Papers on various topics at Workshops, Seminars and other fora and authored “Tough Journey Great Destination” – a behavioural guide for Professionals and Leaders.
Mr Nagpal is a Co-Founder of Bluestone. Mr Nagpal worked in asset management and equity research for 20 years, in Hong Kong and London before he moved to Sri Lanka. He has worked as portfolio manager for UBS Asset Management, Ellerston Asset Management and Brevan Howard Asset Management.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University where he was a Chevening Scholar, and an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD where he was a Misys Scholar. Mr Nagpal started his career at the Tata Administrative Service, where he worked with several CEOs of various Tata Group companies on strategic projects.
Mr Nagpal started working in UBS Hong Kong in 1995 in the equity research department and was responsible for three sectors where he covered the automobile, metal and shipping sectors in the region.
Mr Nagpal’s move to asset management happened in London, where he moved to UBS Asset Management, O’Connor, and was subsequently posted to Hong Kong where, as Portfolio Manager, he covered Japan, China, Hong Kong, India and the sub-continent.
In 2011 Mr Nagpal moved to Sri Lanka with his family and joined the Expolanka Group, specifically to restructure their holdings and find an exit for the largest shareholders, which, after a 2 year restructure, culminated in a strategic sale of the Company to Sagawa, Japan.