50 most powerful women 2014

In celebration of Sri Lanka’s leading businesswomen

By Echelon.

Published on December 17, 2014 with 2 Comments


Echelon power 50


Echelon’s 50 Most Powerful Women list celebrates Sri Lanka’s leading businesswomen and illustrates the challenges and rewards of being a woman in business today.

Every self-respecting firm is trying to improve the gender balance in their organization. Managers are now realizing that diversity can truly improve the quality of the decision at every level in firms. The rising tide of women in positions of influence is also altering the landscape at private sector firms, start-ups and in government. An increasing number of women are founders, leaders and strategic managers at enterprises around the country. They are inspiring a next generation of leaders, bringing diversity of opinion, new perspectives and quickly becoming the central pivot of social good at firms. What better way to celebrate the mass arrival of women at workplaces than to recognise the impact they are having on business and to recognise the most influential among them in Echelon’s ranking.


How we pick the Power 50

The first rule of compiling this ranking is that everything is relative. It’s relative to the criteria we have chosen, the ranking of the others on the list and to the Sri Lankan context.


To determine the overall rank on the list of 50, we applied four metrics:

1. The size and importance of the organisation in the economy
2. The health and direction of the business
3. The arc of the career
4. Societal and cultural influence
The analysis was based on weights assigned to each of the four criteria. Echelon Editors depended on publicly available information and sources to gain an insight in to the careers of nearly 100 women out of which the top 50 were selected. In the final phase we spoke to most of the women themselves to better understand their careers and what they thought were the challenges that lie ahead. There were also some logical changes to the methodology. Unlike last year, when we looked at achievements during the entire career, this year we limited the look back to two years. We want this list to be of those who are contributing significantly to the future of business now, rather than be a list of those who have been. The second change we made was limit the universe to women who worked ‘for profit’ organizations applied broadly, because we found it tough to apply the same criteria for those in government and most non-profit sector organisations.


1. Renuka Fernando, Chief Executive, Nations Trust Bank

2. Ranga Ranmadugala, Chief Executive, Brandix Apparel Solutions

3. Linda Speldewinde, Founder, Academy of Design & Sri Lanka Design Festival

4. Otara Gunewardene, Founder, Odel

5. Sandamini Perera, Co-Founder & Deputy Chairperson, Prime Lands Group

6. Shamadanie Kiriwandeniya, Chairperson, Sanasa Development Bank

7. Sheamalee Wickramasingha, Group Managing Director, Ceylon Biscuits Limited

8. Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson, Managing Director, Hemas Transportation Sector, Hemas Holdings

9. Nilanthi Sivapragasam, Chief Financial Officer, Aitken Spence

10. Manjula Mathews, Joint Managing Director, Dunamis Capital

11. Rajitha Jayasuriya, Director Legal, MAS Holdings

12. Amali Nanayakkara,Group Chief Marketing Officer, Dialog Axiata

13. Shiromi Rajendra, Chief Executive, MAS Legato

14. Neloufer Anverally, Founder & Managing Director, Cotton Collection

15. Dilani Alagaratnam, President, Group HR & Legal, John Keells Holding

16. Varuni Fernando, Co-Founder & Joint Managing Director, Triad

17. Joyce Gunawardene, Director Promotions, JAT Holdings

18. Nadija Tambiah, Head of Legal, John Keells Holding

19. Subhashini Abeysinghe, Senior Economic Analyst, Verité Research

20. Ashveeni Shanthikumar, Chief Executive, Capital Alliance Investments

21. Jayomi Lokuliyana, Co-Founder & Chief Executive, zMessenger

22. Ruvini Fernando, Chief Executive, Guardian Fund Management

23. Surekha Alles, Chief Executive, Allianz Insurance Lanka

24. Romesha Senerath, Executive Director & Group Chief Operating Officer, Entrust Group

25. Laila Gunesekere Martyenstyn, Vice President, Grant Group of Companies

26. Chandani Rajaratnam, Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, JWT

27. Sandra Wanduragala, Founder & Chairman and Selyna Peiris, Business Development Manager, Selyn Handlooms

28. Marianne Page,CT Smith

29. Neela Marikkar, Chairperson, Grant Group of Companies

30. Chandi Dharmaratne, Director of Human Resources, Virtusa

31. Saskia Fernando Hammoud, Gallery Director, Saskia Fernando Gallery

32. Darshi Keerthisena, Director Design, Buddhi Batiks

33. Shibani Renuka Thambiayah, Joint Managing Director, Renuka Hotels

34. Shiromal Cooray, Managing Director, Jetwing Travels

35. Coralie Pietersz, Finance Director, Finlays Colombo

36. Keshini Jayawardena, DGM Retail & SME Banking AND Ramanika Unamboowe, DGM Commercial Banking, Nations Trust Bank

37. Niloo Jayatilake, Director & Head of Portfolio Management, Ceylon Guardian

38. Ranee Jayamaha, Chairperson, Hatton National Bank

39. Siromi Wickramasinghe, Chairperson, HDFC Bank

40. Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, Managing Director, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Colombo

41. Sanjeewani Ranasinghe De Silva, Head Corporate Affairs/Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank

42. Sunela Jayawardene, Architect

43. Shehara Jayawardana, Director, McLarens Group of Companies

44. Kalani W Raux, Executive Director, Raux Brothers

45. Neela Jayawardena, Founder & Managing Director, House of Fashions

46. Annika Senanayake, Chief Executive, ART Television Broadcasting

47. Sandra De Zoysa, Group Chief Customer Officer, Dialog Axiata

48. Shahani Markus, Co-Founder & Chief Technical Officer, Auxenta

49. Nilusha Ranasinghe, Head, ACCA

50. Shehara De Silva, General Manager, Marketing & Sales, Janashakthi Insurance



There are currently 2 Comments on 50 most powerful women 2014. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. My thanks to Echelon Magazind for their efforts in recognizing women in Business who excell in their carreers and also contributing imensly to National Economy. Dear Ladies, congratulations to you all! In my view Sri Lanka has to go long way to keep the gender balance in all the subsectors of economy, mainly in the manufactjuring industry, transport and logistics industry and service sectors. Wish all of you strength and courage to continue your great work towards the development of this country as women can deliver many good values to the society through professional ethics and good practices.

  2. Congratulations ladies. I know there are many more out there who could possibly make the list in the future. Its inspiring to note that women in this country are doing so well. I wish more would go into politics; then we would surely get more integrity in governance.

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