A conversation with Channa Palansuriya, Deputy Chairman, Sri Lanka Apparel & Chairman, Orit Apparel and Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman & Chief Executive, Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
Channa Palansuriya is Chairman and Managing Director of Orit Group, where he heads a leading garment manufacturing and exporting company as well as GC Lanka Clothing, both based in Sri Lanka. As a denim specialist, the company has grown over the years and is Sri Lanka’s number-one denim
Mr. Palansuriya also is the present Deputy Chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum, the umbrella organization of all the stakeholders, including exporters, buyers, fabric and trims suppliers, of the $4 billion apparel industry in Sri Lanka. Over the years he has contributed immensely to the development of the industry through his involvement in Sri Lanka Apparel’s constituent trade associations, serving as an executive committee member of Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association (SLASA). In addition, he was Chairman of the Apparel Exporters Association 200 GFP (NAE-GFP) from
In addition, Mr. Palansuriya served as a Board Member of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) from 2005–2010, Board Member of Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel (SLITA). Currently he serves
as the Deputy Chairman of Sampath Bank PLC.
Having commenced his career as an entrepreneur, Mr. Palansuriya has been recognized nationally for his efforts, and he has received several awards, including the Sri Lankan Entrepreneur for the Year in 2002 and the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka recognition for export performance.
Janaka Ratnayake currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive of Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), the apex organization mandated to develop and promote exports from Sri Lanka and City Housing & Real Estate PLC (CH&RE), and as Director of the board of the National Gem & Jewelry Authority, Sri Lanka.
As the former Chairman of Merchant Bank Group, a leading financial institution in Sri Lanka, Mr. Ratnayake was instrumental in reviving and restructuring depressed financial institutions during the financial crisis.
Mr. Ratnayake holds a B.Sc. degree from the University of Sri Jayawardanapura and a Master of Business Studies from the University of Colombo. In addition, he completed an executive education program at Harvard Business School.