LBR LBO Brand Summit 2017 – “Marketing is dead, now what? Building Brands in Post-Marketing Age


Topic: Marketing is dead, now what? Building Brands in Post-Marketing Age
Date/Time: Wednesday 3rd May 2017 | 0830 – 1730 Hrs
Venue: Oak Room, Cinnamon Grand
Host: Lakshaman Bandaranayake | Founder/Curator/Host | Lanka Business Online [LBR LBO]
Inquiries: Lakshaman Bandaranayake | | 071 176 0167 or 072 776 0167 General | | 071 466 0060
Registration fee per participant: Individual or groups of less than 5: Rs. 14,400, Groups of 5 or more and up to 9: Rs 13,680, Groups of 10 or more: Rs 12,960 (Pre VAT & NBT)



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LBR LBO Brand Summit has been broadening the critical thinking of business executives by providing a platform for provocative, inciting and insightful debates and discussions on building resilient, strong and future-ready brands.

For the fifth consecutive year “Lanka Business Online” (LBO) will be hosting the annual LBR LBO Brand Summit. Once again, on a stimulating theme – “Marketing is Dead, Now What? – Building Brands in the Post-Marketing Age”. The Summit is equally useful to practicing marketing professionals from corporates, other business professionals, academics and research, and those who serve in NGOs, think thanks and public sector.

This year’s theme is of pronounced relevance and vital importance in today’s context. The concept of marketing – as a business philosophy and a business function- is being challenged by mounting human, social, technological and ecological trepidations.

On one hand, technological changes are impacting consumer behavior in such a manner that the established marketing tools and models widely used by marketers around the world are in danger of becoming irrelevant and obsolete. On the other hand, technology is enabling marketers in multiple ways: greater insights of customer behavior, near real time visibility to consumer conversations, economical and impactful consumer engagements transcending various boundaries, among other benefits.

Session 1: Building breakthrough brands in post-marketing age.

Is marketing as a business “philosophy” still highly relevant in today’s context or is it becoming irrelevant in the face of mounting human, societal, technological and environmental upheavals. The same factors and trends are altering the composition and dynamics of the marketing ecosystem. Hence, will marketing as a business function- advertising, distribution, promotions etc–as we know it come to an end? If so, have we truly reached a post-marketing age, where the value of traditional marketing is diminishing? If so, what does the new brand-marketing landscape look like? And what are the challenges and opportunities in creating and nurturing brands in the post-marketing age? What are the areas marketers should focus on in building transformative breakthrough brands?

Session 2: It isn’t digital marketing; it is marketing in digital age. 

Digital and social media marketing campaigns are often centered on the tactical delivery of the brand content, sometimes repurposing traditional advertising. While it may be serving certain purposes, such an approach is low in generating radically different new values, as it fails to fully leverage the true transformative potential of digital. Marketing in the digital age is about using digital to listen to consumer chatter, observe consumer behavior and gain a greater and deeper understanding of the consumer. Such an understanding will help to realign enterprise capabilities to serve the needs of consumers in a more relevant and profitable manner. As such, digital marketing is largely efficiency oriented, while marketing in the digital age is about achieving effectiveness.

Session 3: Customer Experience: will “Hyper-individualization” retire cookie cutter?

Traditional marketing assumed homogeneity of target markets. It is expected that the same customer experience (CX) would have equal appeal to every member in the targeted segments. This assumption is not without flaws. In the absence of a better model, this “Cookie Cutter” CX has been prevailed.  Digital has forever transformed the traditional strategies, structures, and economics of marketing. The traditional touchpoints through which brands even a few years ago reached consumers are being pushed away. Detailed profiling of individual customers- by fusing data submitted by the customers themselves and behavioral data gathered through digital means – is now possible. The application of advanced predictive analytics to such data, together with the ubiquity of digital, will enable the future of customer experience – Hyper-individualization.

Session 4: Welcome to the new multi-screen world: understanding cross-platform behavior of consumers. 

A recent Google Research Study estimated that over 90 of all media interactions today are screen-based. As consumers balance their time between smartphones, tablets, PCs and televisions, they are learning to use these devices together to meet their goals. Are we seeing the terminal-age of viewership of linear television? With the proliferation of channels and diverse content, it perhaps is still growing. However, doubts have often been cast regarding whether TV advertising is still getting enough response to justify the considerable costs. Meanwhile digital, which has made content ubiquitous, is unshackling audiences from the tyranny of conventional TV. Snacking short format video on social is chipping away the share of conventional TV. As the multi-screen behavior is quickly becoming the norm, understanding it has become an imperative for businesses.

Session 5: Content is king, let’s light the bonfire

In a world where the Internet is increasingly becoming the first port of call, will the pre-fabricated stories (also known as advertising) continue to get the response they used to get in the past? Should not marketers draw from storytelling tradition, which is perhaps as old as the human civilization itself, and create “story brands”. Tell, or ideally co-create, a story to deliver the type of information buyers want to consume. Technology takes the story telling tradition to a whole new level – enabling people to engage, interact and co-create stories. Content marketing through participatory creation builds a sense of ownership; greater consumer intimacy, affinity and engagement; and business results.

For further information please visit or contact:
Lakshaman Bandaranayake | Founder/Summit Curators Lanka Business Online (LBO)
+94 72 776 0167


0730 – 0830 30 Summit materials pick up, standing breakfast
0830 – 0845 15 Summit Curator’s Overview / Opening Remarks
0845 – 0850 5
0850 – 1020
90 Session 1 – Building breakthrough brands in post-marketing age
Keynote 1 20 Session Chair Keynote 1 Keynote 2
Keynote 2 20 Asanga Ranasinghe Sunil Sethi Vikas Mehta
Comb reak 5 Sector Managing Director/Group Marketing Director Managing Director – Sri Lanka & Indian Subcontinent Group CMO & President, Marketing Services
Discussion 45 Laugfs Holdings Fonterra Brands MullenLowe Lintas Group
Panelist  Panelist  Panelist
Nimal Gunawardena  Amal Cabraal  Supun Weerasinghe
Chairman & CEO  Director Director and Group Chief Executive Officer
Bates Strategic Alliance  JKH, HNB, Lion Brewery, CIC Feeds  Dialog Axiata PLC
1020 – 1150
90 Session 2 – It isn’t digital marketing; it is marketing in digital age
Keynote 1 20 Session Chair Keynote 01 Keynote 02
Keynote 2 20 Rohan Jayaweera Charulata Ravikumar Jonathan Bonsey
Com break 5 COO CEO Chairman
Discussion 45 Antyra Solutions SapientRazorfish India Bonsey Jaden
Panelist  Panelist
Vidya Sivaraja  Rasika Karunatilake
GM Marketing- Sri Lanka & Indian Subcontinent  Vice President, General Manager and Head of Shared Services
Fonterra  CAKE LABS
1150 – 1325
95 Session 3 – Customer Experience: will “Hyper-individualization” retire cookie cutter?
Keynote 1 15 Session Chair Keynote 01 Keynote 02
Keynote 2 10 Kumudu Gunasekera Himalee Madurasinghe Kanishka Weeramunda
Keynote 3 15 Director Chief Executive Founder/Director
Keynote 4 10 Stax, Singapore KANTAR LMRB PayMedia
Discussion 45 Keynote 03 Panelist Panelist
Jiffry Zulfer Premakumar Prashanth Tharaka Ranwala
CEO CEO/Co-founder Senior DGM
PickMe Direct2Door Sampath Bank
1325 – 1410 45 Lunch
1410 – 1545
95 95 Session 4 – Welcome to the new multi-screen world: understanding cross-platform behavior of consumers
Keynote 1 15 Session Chair Keynote 01 Keynote 02
Keynote 2 15 Thayalan Bartlet Irene Joshy  Farhan Qureshi
Keynote 3 15 CEO Regional Qualitative Director  South Asian Frontier Markets
Com break 5 MullenLowe Sri Lanka TNS APAC  Google
Discussion 45 Keynote 03 Panelist  Panelist
Kamal Amesur Laksiri Wickramage  Sabry Haniz
Executive Creative Director CEO/Deputy Chairman  COO
Hungama Digital Services  Derana TV  GroupM Sri Lanka
1545 – 1600 10 Tea/Coffee Break
1600 – 1730
90 Session 5 – Content is king, let’s light the bonfire
Keynote 1 20 Session Chair Keynote 01 Keynote 02
Keynote 2 20 Alyna Haji-Omar Santosh Menon Navonil Chatterjee
Com break 5 CEO  MD Chief Strategy Officer
Discussion 45 J Walter Thompson / Sri Lanka  BBDO Lanka Y&R
Panelist 1 Panelist 2 Panelist 3
Irene Joshy Jonathan Bonsey Kamal Amesur
Regional Qualitative Director Chairman Executive Creative Director
TNS APAC Bonsey Jaden Hungama Digital Services
1730 – 1745 Summit Curator Overview
1745 – 1900 Networking Reception


Charulata Ravi Kumar

Charulata Ravi Kumar
CEO @ SapientRazorfish India

More than just an achiever, Charulata Ravi Kumar is a leadership figure in her field. As the CEO of Razorfish India (, she takes on the role with in-depth understanding of the India market. Her main goal is to ensure Razorfish India remains the destination for smart, curious, creative and entrepreneurial-minded people, and to further strengthen Razorfish India’s existing core competencies.

She is an avid speaker and has spoken at various events, including The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), Philadelphia. A successful entrepreneur, she is also a Corporate Leadership coach and teaches at eminent institutions in India. Charulata has been a consultant and regular columnist for The Indian Express – a leading Indian daily newspaper. A regular speaker and jury member at Leadership, Digital and Women’s forums in India, she was recently conferred with the “Pillar of Hindustani Society” by the Trans Asian Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded the Linkedin Power Profile in 2015.

It has been a transformational journey of 27 years for her from Calcutta to Mumbai via Middle East and London with stop-overs in US, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. With global experience in Business Transformation across the best Marcom groups – Publicis Groupe, WPP and IPG with agencies such as JWT, Lintas, Bates, Grey Worldwide, she set up the first Integrated Marketing Agency in Middle East and India.

With a penchant for treks, sports and wine trails, she loves cooking and writing is her biggest passion. In her free time, Charulata teaches social skills and “science through play” at Anchorage, an NGO for adults with down-syndrome.

Rohan JayaweeraSession Chair: Rohan Jayaweera
COO @ Antyra Solutions

Rohan was the first employee of Google for Sri Lanka and during his time he helped brands, organizations and the Sri Lankan government to develop its digital practices. He managed all engagements to and from Google for Sri Lanka during his tenure, which included digital practice, policy framework, publisher, video & telco partnerships, community and entrepreneurship development. Rohan has a deep understanding of channel/partner synergies and eco-system development having worked for some of the leading technology brands in the world.

Rohan is passionate about entrepreneurship. He is a key note speaker, presenter, and moderator for numerous events & was invited to speak at the inaugural TEDx in SL on entrepreneurship.


Kumudu GunasekeraSession Chair: Kumudu Gunasekera
Director @ Stax Inc

Kumudu Gunasekera, Ph.D., is a Director in the Singapore office where he works with our global teams to deliver actionable insights to clients worldwide.

Prior to joining Stax, Kumudu was a Principal with Parsons Brinckerhoff (Washington D.C.), the professional services arm of Balfour Beatty, a global infrastructure group that delivers services essential to the development, creation and care of infrastructure assets; from finance and development, through design and project management to construction and maintenance. At Parsons Brinckerhoff, Kumudu successfully led global, multi-disciplinary consulting teams on large (> $ 1 million) and small (< $ 1 million) strategic consulting assignments in Burkina Faso, Canada, Curacao, England, Mali, Nigeria, Panama, Scotland, Qatar, Sri Lanka, and the United States. He was the project director and chief model architect of PRISMTM proprietary (U.S patent pending) transportation software.

Kumudu was the founding editor (2006-2013) of the Economic Forecasting Review and a monthly columnist (2007-2013) of Roads & Bridges. Additionally, he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and industry magazines; has presented at conferences, workshops, focus groups, and stakeholder meetings in Canada, Pakistan, Panama, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and the United States; and has instructed numerous undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses.

Kumudu earned his Ph.D. in Economic Geography, and a joint M.A. in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University. He has a B.A. in Economics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Alyna Haji OmarSession Chair: Alyna Haji Omar
Chief Executive Officer @ J. Walter Thompson Sri Lanka

A mother, wife, daughter, sister, recovering hypocrite, part optimist, part pessimist, Earth Horse ’78, ex girlfriend, best friend, full time enthusiast, part time conspiracy theorist, writer, free thinker, incorrigible dreamer, CEO, qualified marketer, failed weight watcher, paddy open water diver and one time back packer who hopes never to experience the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind. On her Mac, you’ll find: 17 years of brand strategies that have influenced change, inspired conversation, created culture and one or two that did squat. In addition you will discover campaigns that got people talking, thinking, laughing, won awards, got criticized and one or two that she’d like to label ‘what was I thinking!’

Alyna has handled a diverse portfolio during the course of her career including brands such as Dialog, Munchee, Heritance, Sri Lankan Airlines, Coca-Cola, Baby Cheramy, Johnson & Johnson, Cinnamon, Tigo, Etisalat, Walls, Nestea, Keells and UNICEF to name a few.


Sunil SethiSunil Sethi
Managing Director – Sri Lanka & Indian Subcontinent @ Fonterra Brands

He has over 28 years of fast moving consumer goods experience and brings in broad-based expertise in the areas of strategy, operations & business development. Having worked across Asia Pacific, Sub-Sahara Africa and some Central Eastern Europe markets, he brings in a deep understanding of consumer, customer, trade & cultural nuances.

He started his journey in the corporate world with Wipro Consumer Care in India. He has also worked for some blue-chip multinationals like Frito-Lay, Diageo, Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez (erstwhile Cadbury/Kraft) & Kellogg.

He has proven his expertise in leading start-ups, growing mature businesses & successfully managing crisis situations.

Sunil joined Fonterra in February 2016 from Kellogg’s where he was Vice President – Sales, Asia Pacific & Sub Sahara Africa. Prior to Kellogg’s role, he was the Managing Director for Mondelez Malaysia – leading a multi-category US 200mn dollar business with 3 manufacturing sites & 1600 employees.


Jiffry ZulferJiffry Zulfer
CEO @ PickMe

A serial entrepreneur counting 16 years of founding and successfully running several technology-based ventures, JiffryZulfer, currently has himself invested in the most successful tech based business solution in the country. As the Founder-CEO of PickMe – a ground breaking technological innovation to an everyday problem i.e. taxi hailing – Zulfer is example of modern day Tech Entrepreneurs.

An early entrepreneur in the Tech space in Sri Lanka, Zulfer ran a server solutions company out of his room when he was still in School. He then went on to develop a peer to peer trading platform for which he closed the initial round of funding, this was during the time when the dot com bust and twin tower attack occurred. Subsequently Zulfer set up a fully fledged Internet Agency, which he successfully exited.

Just Prior to PickMe, he contributed as CTO and part of the founding management of which was re-branded as following its acquisition by Dialog., a daily deal company, was the first of its kind in the ecommerce space in Sri Lanka, and was a successful tech startup that attracted media attention at that time.

Crediting his talent as a driving force in technopreneurship, Zulfer was awarded the ICTA Young IT Professional Award (May 2006).

Zulfer a strong advocate of the shared economy, believes car ownership would soon become a thing of the past. Zulfer owns no vehicles and gets all his work done through PickMe, which he says is cheap, convenient and productive. He says ride sharing is the smart alternative for car ownership, which also benefits both the overall economy and the environment. He believes Sri Lanka has come along way and we are ready to embrace the next wave of growth.


Vikas MehtaVikas Mehta

Group CMO & President, Marketing Services @ MullenLowe Lintas

Vikas has worked with the global MullenLowe Group since 2006 in various leadership roles. He’s lived in India, VietNam and Singapore; and managed agencies|businesses across 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
He moved to India in 2013 to head marketing for MullenLowe Lintas Group as the first CMO in Indian advertising. Named President, Marketing Services in 2015 by the group, he runs

– A full service digital agency – LinTeractive

– An experiential marketing agency – LinEngage

– India’s leading PR agency – GolinOpinion

A brand consulting firm – LinConsult

Champion of an ‘omni-channel’ approach to building brands, Vikas believes in ‘marketing for a digitised world’ more than ‘digital marketing’.

Papers authored by Vikas have won over 100 regional and global awards on marketing effectiveness including numerous ‘agency of the year’ titles. Prior to joining MullenLowe Group, he has worked with Publicis and Leo Burnett.


Thayalan BartletThayalan Bartlet
CEO @ MullenLowe Sri Lanka

Thayalan Bartlett is an advertising professional with 26 years of experience behind him. He commenced his career as a rookie and eventually became the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of JWT Sri Lanka, a position he held from 2006 to 2011. He was promoted to a regional role and served as Chief Operating Officer of JWT Indonesia from August 2011 to August 2013. After leaving JWT Indonesia he began consulting for clients and agencies in Indonesia until he took-up a new position as Chief Executive Officer of MullenLowe Sri Lanka in August 2016.

Thayalan’s extensive experience spans categories like FMCG, Telecom, Banking & Finance and Tourism. He has been involved with brands like Unilever, Nestle, HSBC, Millicom, Dialog Axiata and Airtel. Thayalan has been responsible in winning creative awards for the agency and also played a lead role in establishing a Guinness World Record for GlaxoSmithKline for its brand Viva. Following his appointment as CEO in 2005 he recorded a 36% increase in new business in his first year of his tenure and then led the agency to be the most awarded agency in his final year as CEO of the Sri Lanka office.

In 2009, Thayalan was awarded the WPP Atticus Award for Advertising for his paper “marketing in the age of turbulence”. He is a regular invitee as a panelist and speaker related to brand communications. In recent times he has been spending time to understand the role and impact of digital media and its influence on advertising. His views go against the grain of digital’s role in an idea centric brand world. He blogs at: sharing his views on advertising and brand related trends that can sometimes conflict with popular belief. Thayalan has served as a judge on the EFFIES panel in 2009 and was one of the top 20 business leaders nominated to the Super Brand Council in 2010.


Irene JoshyIrene Joshy
Regional Qualitative Director @ TNS APAC

Irene has over 17 years of research experience. She started her career as a lecturer at Mumbai University and has since worked in reputed market research agencies like IMRB International, Indica Research (Ipsos) & The Nielsen Company. Irene has also worked in advertising and on the client side in an insights role. She was a Senior Brand Planning director for Lowe and the Consumer Insights Manager for Colgate Palmolive Pvt. Ltd, India.

In the end, Irene returned to her passion – qualitative research at an agency. After heading the qualitative practice for Nielsen India, she later moved to TNS India. Irene currently leads one of the largest teams in qualitative for TNS China.


Tharaka-RanwalaTharaka Ranwala
Senior DGM @ Sampath Bank

Tharaka is a Senior Deputy General Manager – Consumer Banking of Sampath Bank PLC responsible for overseeing the entire retail banking area of the bank which includes of Branch Banking, Deposit Management, Electronic Banking, Credit Cards, Delivery Channels and Marketing & Business Development. Tharaka is also the Overall Pillar Head for the CSR activities of the Bank. He has over 16 yrs experience in the Banking Industry in roles of increasing responsibility in Marketing & Retail Banking. During this period he had stints in Brand Management, Corporate Communications, Market Development, CSR, Consumer and International Marketing.

He has served both as a Judge and Chief Moderator at the Sri Lanka’s premier advertising awards, “The Chillies”. He has also been a Judge at the “Effie’s” in 2011/2012 & 2013 and was the Jury Chair in 2016 and Brand Excellence Awards in 2010.

Tharaka is a Fellow of CIM (UK) and a member of SLIM. He possess a postgraduate Diploma in Marketing (CIM – UK) and is a Chartered Marketer. He is also a Certified Professional Marketer (CPM) of the Asia Pacific Marketing Federation. He has won numerous awards both locally and internationally which includes the “Brand Leadership Award in 2006” and the `Marketing Professional of the year in 2014’ at the CMO ASIA Global Brand Excellence Awards. Tharaka is the Vice President of the International Advertising Association (IAA) Sri Lanka and also a Board Member of the CSR Sri Lanka (Guarantee) Limited, which is the apex body for promoting CSR initiatives in Sri Lanka.

He is also Director of Siyapatha Finance Ltd., a subsidiary of Sampath Bank PLC.


Navonil ChatterjeeNavonil Chatterjee
Chief Strategy Officer @ Y&R

A post-graduate in Marketing Communications from MICA, Navonil Chatterjee has close to 20 years of experience in advertising across various clients like Unilever, ITC, Nike, Pepsico, Tata Motors, Titan, Madura Garments, Godrej, Heinz etc.

Featured by Media magazine as one of Asia’s top 10 young planners, Navonil has won several national and international marketing effectiveness awards that include Gold in Effies, New York AMEs, PMAA, Asian Marketing Effectiveness awards etc

Navonil entered the industry as an over-enthusiastic management trainee in McCann Erickson Bangalore in 1998 and moved to JWT in October 2000, where he worked till 2015.  During his 15 year stint there, he was chosen as JWT’s first ever Global Brand Pioneer and was also a part of JWT’s global High Potential Group.

In 2015, Navonil moved to Rediffusion Y&R as Chief Strategy Officer, India. He heads the strategic function of Rediffusion India across its Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai offices. Navonil is a frequent guest lecturer at reputed institutes like IIM and ISB. A compulsive non-vegetarian and an avid sports lover, Navonil is a devout worshipper of Zinedine Zidane and Sourav Ganguly.


Jonathan BonseyJonathan Bonsey
Chairman/ Bonsey Jaden

Jonathan has over 20 years of brand and strategy development and design experience in Asia, Europe and the US. After 5 years as Managing Director at Addison Design in Singapore, and 3 years in San Francisco, Jonathan branched out to set up Bonsey Design in 1993, and has led his team towards award winning designs across the Asia Pacific. In 2014 Jonathan partnered with the Jaden Group to establish Bonsey Jaden in Singapore. He is one of Asia’s most experienced design consultants and is an active speaker and contributor to the development of branding and strategy in Asia.



Vidya SivarajaVidya Sivaraja
GM Marketing- Sri Lanka & Indian Subcontinent @ Fonterra

Vidya has 17 years of experience in the FMCG industry across 2 multinationals, multiple countries, global and local roles. Currently she is the General Manager Marketing & Emerging Markets for Sri Lanka and cluster of markets in the Indian Subcontinent region for Fonterra. Having worked on strategy development, deployment with focus on execution excellence across multiple countries with different dynamics, category maturity, speed of change, blurring boundaries – she knows the importance of marketers need to be fluid , need to be vital with disruptive thinking & the need to think like a start-up and have owners mindset. She has also been part of the panel for Brand Excellence, Effie’s and a speaker by invitation in different forums. She is passionate about building brands and people and in her free time she supports women in start ups.


Kanishka WeeramundaKanishka Weeramunda
Founder/Director @ PayMedia

He started his career in the corporate world as an IT Officer and with time rose to become the CIO of a leading private sector company, Laugfs Holdings, a diversified business conglomerate in Sri Lanka and ventured in to his own business predominantly in Banking and finance sector. With over 15 years of experience in the local and international IT sphere, the area of expertise spreads across Insurance, Manufacturing, Retail and Energy sectors. Acquiring his Bachelors of Information Technology from the University of Colombo Sri Lanka and his Masters from the University of Manipal In India and Masters in Human Resource Management from E-Asia University, Malaysia. The acquisition of knowledge continues through reading for a PhD in Management. As a visionary of the future, the knowledge acquired is passed to students in global universities, prominently visiting faculties of University of Middlesex, Post Graduate Institute of Management in UAE and Qatar, American University of Emirates, in UAE with designations as a Member of the British Computer Society (BCS) and as a Chartered IT professional (CITP). Currently he is the founder and Chief executive of PayMedia (Pvt) Limited and the Director of Edulink International Campus.


Himalee MadurasingheHimalee Madurasinghe

Himalee has over 20 years of work experience including 14 years in market research at LMRB. She headed the LMRB Household Panel for seven years and has extensive experience on consumer behaviour research. She was appointed the Head of Quantitative Research in 2006 and she led her team to triple business before taking over as the Deputy CEO in 2010.

Himalee had her primary and secondary education at St. Bridget’s Convent, Colombo. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa, Canada, where she graduated with honours. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the Open University of Sri Lanka.



Premakumar PrashanthPremakumar Prashanth
CEO/Co-founder @ Direct2Door

Prashanth Premakumar is the CEO and Co-founder of Direct2door. He is a passionate entrepreneur, determined to build a data driven enterprise. Prashanth comes from a strong data analytics background having graduated in mathematics and statistics from University College London and having started his early career in quantitative finance. He believes in building simple solutions to common problems with business intelligence and data analytics as the core tools. Direct2door is one such company which is revolutionizing the use of data analytics in every aspect of their operations. They were the second runners-up at the Venture Engine 2016. Prashanth’s vision is to establish a data driven household concierge platform.



Nimal Gunawardena Nimal Gunawardena
Founder, Leader & Strategist
Bates Strategic Alliance, Strategic Alliance PR and NGage Integrated

Nimal Gunewardena is a flower child of the Woodstock generation who escapes at 17 to absorb US life and idealism of the era. His 40+ years in marketing, communications and edutaining starts with early days of creativity in advertising, music and theatre. After writing Sri Lanka’s first rock opera and running off to play in a rock band in Iran in the ‘70s, he reverts to his career in advertising and marketing, taking a break to work in New York as Asia-Pacific Regional Director at AFS Intercultural Programs. His 10 years at Reckitt & Colman culminates as Marketing Director, when he gets headhunted to lead JWT Colombo. In 1993, he starts his own pioneering IMC enterprise and becomes an evangelist for PR, supported by Bates and Burson-Marsteller. He continues to teach and provoke thought while edutaining with his compositions and blues piano. He believes marketers must forsake consumerism and use their capabilities to save the world. Chartered Marketer, CIM Fellow, CIPR and AMA member. SLIM Past President, Four A’s Founder President and ONUR Board Member.


Sabry HanizSabry Haniz
COO @ GroupM Sri Lanka











Asanga RanasingheAsanga Ranasinghe
Sector Managing Director/Group Marketing Director @ Laugfs Holdings

Asanga Ranasinghe is a highly qualified, well experienced professional with a breadth of exposure/ experience and proven leadership success both in Sri Lanka and internationally in the fields of marketing, sales and customer development, supply chain, manufacturing and R&D.

Asanga will be one of the very few leaders in the industry, who has such a wide experience across the value chain of an organisation. He also has the honour of being one of very few in Unilever, who has worked in Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan at senior leadership positions.

Asanga has over 20 years corporate experience at Unilever. Having joined Unilever Sri Lanka as a Management Trainee in 1993. He has held many leadership positions in R&D, Manufacturing and Supply Chain before being expatriated to Hindustan Unilever in India in 2002 as the South Asia Regional Coordinator for Innovation and Supply Chain.

He returned to Sri Lanka in 2004 as the Customer Development Director. Having won many accolades for his pioneering efforts in sales, he then moved to marketing to become the Marketing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka, with the added responsibility of Corporate Communication and Sustainability as well. He has also served as a statutory director of the Unilever Sri Lanka Board.

His last assignment at Unilever was as the Vice President – Marketing at Unilever Pakistan.

When in Sri Lanka, he was a member of the Regional Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Sri Lanka Region functioning as the Head of Corporate Integration & Market Interest Groups

Professionally, Asanga is a Chemistry Special Hons graduate from University of Colombo. He also holds an MBA from the Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayawardanepura and also has a Professional Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing (DipM MCIM), The Charted Institute of Marketing, UK. He is a Charted Marketer & Fellow Member of CIM, UK


Farhan QureshiFarhan Qureshi
South Asian Frontier Markets @ Google

Farhan is a communication/media strategist with over 15 years of relevant experience gained from working directly in diverse markets (US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). His expertise and skill set covers all facets of communication management with special focus on the consumer goods, banking, media, airline, and telecommunication industries. Key achievements that differentiate Farhan from others are:

– Farhan is one of the rare media specialists in this part of the world who understands the needs of sophisticated companies having worked at Millward Brown in the US on communication research engagements with the leading Fortune 500 companies (Coke, Pfizer, American Express, IBM, etc.)

– In Pakistan, he is one of the very few professionals in this field to have won numerous awards for creating strong Integrated Marketing Communications (IMCs) to enhance productivity.

– He has successfully set up the FIRST of its kind below-the-line (BTL) Quality Audit Company for the group and won P&G’s assignment based on his strong understanding of this business and credibility.

Key clients forming Farhan’s portfolio include P&G, The Coca-Cola Company, telnor, Samsung, Engro, Total Lubricants, American Express, Pfizer, IBM, The Home Depot, Disney, Microsoft, Nokia, Emirates, Ulker, and Roshan Telecommunications.

Farhan holds a Master of Science degree in Communication Research from Boston University (USA) and an MBA with specialty in Marketing from the Institute of Business Administration Karachi, Pakistan.


Laksiri WickramageLaksiri Wickramage
CEO/Deputy Chairman @ Derana TV

Laksiri, a product of Trinity College, Kandy has over two decades of experience in the field of Marketing, where he has contributed towards building one of Sri Lanka’s “best loved brands” – Elephant House.

At the time of leaving Ceylon Cold Stores, a subsidiary of John Keells Holdings, he was the Vice President of the Food and Beverage Sector.







Santosh MenonSantosh Menon
MD @ BBDO Lanka

Santosh Menon is MD, BBDO Lanka. Under his leadership, BBDO chose to become Asia’s first carbon neutral advertising company and commemorated the event by creating the ‘First ever billboard that cleaned Air’. BBDO continues to find purpose by being a force for good in Sri Lanka and through its client work for ‘ believers in glass’ it even promotes shifting from plastics to glass.

Santosh Menon has over 25 years of experience in advertising. He has worked in India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. He was MD at FCB Indonesia. And has led on clients as diverse as P & G (India), Baygon (Indonesia) and Fonterra (Sri Lanka).

He first came to Sri Lanka in 2003 and has led many successful communication campaigns over the years on Anchor, Anchor Newdale, RATTHI, CEAT, Janashakthi and HNB.

Besides being an advertising professional he also loves photography, bird watching and is a huge nature buff.



Rasika KarunatilakeRasika Karunatilake
Vice President, General Manager and Head of Shared Services @ CAKE LABS

Rasika has 20 yrs. experience in the IT industry and has played key roles in Marketing, Sales, HR, IT, Finance, Project/process Management and General Administration at CAKE LABS. Prior to this he worked at Millennium IT where he led Delivery for several high profile accounts in the global capital markets domain.






Kamal AmesurKamal Amesur

Executive Creative Director @ Hungama Digital Services

A digital native since 1999, Kamal is a Chemistry graduate but the catalysis that spurred a complete shift in his profession were the creative equations that kept running in his head. With a PG Diploma in Graphic Design he sought to make his mark in design and advertising. With 16+ years of experience he can unabashedly say that he has the insights coupled with a keen understanding of the digital consumer which helps him to translate ideas into effective solutions. Some of the clients he is directly working with include Singapore Tourism Board, Godrej Securities, Godrej Corporate and Mars Foods among others.

He has also been actively involved in many National and International award-winning campaigns for HDS and has been a jury member at the Promotions and Marketing Awards of Asia, the ABBY Awards, DMA Asia & the Globes.

Whilst not working, he likes to breathe or rather do Pranayam. He has been practicing Yoga for over a decade and conducts classes as well in his spare time at no charge. While he believes in healthy living, he does have a secret vice that is far from healthy – he can never say no to a well-done cheese vada pav


Amal CabraalAmal Cabraal
Director/JKH, HNB, Lion Brewery, CIC Feeds
Fmr Chairman/Unilever Sri Lanka

Amal Cabraal is a well known leading business professional with a career spanning across four decades. During his illustrious career he had a long spell at Unilever serving in senior positions, including Marketing Director and Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka, Sales and Marketing Director at Unilever Bangladesh and a senior position in Sales while based at Unilever India. As the Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka he has left an indelible mark by delivering outstanding business results and nurturing and inspiring a team of corporate professionals and a motivated workforce. During his tenure as Chairman he successfully led one of the most complex, large scale supply chain restructuring and rebuilding a Sri Lankan corporate has ever undertaken.

He presently holds advisory and board positions in some of the leading blue chip corporates in Sri Lanka.

Amal is a Chartered Marketer and holds an MBA and has had executive education at INSEAD. His passions include traveling and golf.


Supun Weerasinghe

Supun Weerasinghe
Director and Group Chief Executive Officer
Dialog Axiata PLC
Supun held the positions of CEO and Managing Director of Robi Axiata Limited in Bangladesh from 2014 to 2016 and Group Chief Strategy Officer (GSCO) of Axiata Group Bhd in Malaysia prior to returning to Dialog Axiata in 2016. At Axiata, he also served as the Head of Network Transformation Strategic Business Unit under which he led the Group Technology, Carrier Collaboration and Axiata Intelligence Unit.

Supun started his career at Dialog in 1999 and held multiple roles such as Head of Strategy and CEO of the Mobile Business before being appointed as the GCOO in 2010.

Supun is a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and holds a BSc in Accountancy and Financial Management and an MBA. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.