LBR LBO Brand Summit 2013 – “Building Resilient Brands” – Tuesday 21st May 2013


Topic: Building Resilient Brands
Date/Time: Tuesday 21st May 2013 | 0845 – 1750 HRS
Venue: Oak Room, Cinnamon Grand
Host: Lakshaman Bandaranayake | Founding Publisher, Director | Lanka Business Online
Inquiries: Lakshaman Bandaranayake | | 071 176 0167 or 072 776 0167 General |
Registration fee: Rs 12,900/= per participant, 5% discount for groups of 5 upto 9 and 10% discount for groups of 10 or more

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In a fast paced, upheaval-prone modern world, today’s strong brand equity does not guarantee tomorrow’s

success. Brands with low adaptive power in the face of technological, sociological and other changes have very limited survival capabilities.

The demise of 20th century technology based brands, which failed to realize the disruptive power unleashed by new technologies, tells us that technology and a long- standing legacy will not deliver continued success.
Technology, plant and machinery and building are deteriorating assets. They cannot ensure perpetual relevance to market needs.

True enterprise assets are what enables continued wealth creation and make the enterprise relevant to market needs. Resilient brands are the only appreciating assets capable of perpetuating market place success.

The conference will focus on four key areas

  • Resilient brands as enterprise assets
  • Principles of developing resilient brands
  • Importance of insights in developing resilient brands
  • Developing resilient brands in the evolving and converging media

Who should attend?

  • Senior level marketing and advertising professionals
  • Strategic planners and Senior Corporate Executives
  • Key decision makers in start-ups and newly emerging cooperates and entrepreneurs.


Time Session Session Chair Keynote Speaker Panelists
0800 – 0845 Registration
0845 – 0900 Pre-conference tea/coffee
0900 – 0915 Inauguration
0915 – 1045 “Resilient Brands,
Resilient Enterprises”
Peter D’Almeida,
Managing Director/
Deshamanya J. C.
Lalith De Mel,
PLC, Chairman, First
Capital and former
Board Member
Reckitt Benckiser
Amal Cabraal,
Chairman/Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd
Robert Lee,
Chief Commercial Officer/
Etisalat Sri Lanka
Ajith Gunawardena
Managing Director / Chief
Executive Officer/Ceylinco
Insurance – General
Malik Fernando,
Director/MJF Group (Dilmah)
1045 – 1100 Tea/Coffee
1100 – 1230 “Are Classical Brand
Building Principles
Still Valid?”
Imal Fonseka
Biscuits Ltd
Asanga Ranasinghe,
Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd
Varuni Fernando,
JT. Managing Director/Triad (Pvt)
Gerald de Saram,
Managing Director/Akzo Nobel
Sri Lanka
Amal Perera,
General Manager, Marketing and
Bancaurance/AIA Insurance.
Samari Ihalagedara,
Head of Marketing, Keells Food
Products and Asst. Vice President,
1230 – 1345 Lunch
1345 – 1515 Insight-Based
Strategies for
Resilient Brands
Himanshu Saxsena,
Sri Lanka
Prof. Uditha Liyanage,
Institute of
Management, University
of Srijayawardenepura
Himalee Madurasinghe,
Nandana Wickramage,
Group Director/Ceylon Biscuits
Nasser Majeed,
Marketing Director /Singer
(Sri Lanka) Ltd
Rochelle de Silva,
Director Brands/Hemas
1515 – 1530 Tea/Coffee
1530 – 1715 Building
Resilient Brands in
the Evolving Media
Rohan Jayaweera,
Sri Lanka Country
Consultant Google
Asia Pacific
Anand Tilak,
Regional Manager –
Agency Business & Sales
Development/ Google
“Building resilient
brands in the age of
converging media
Ramani Samarasundara,
Marketing Director/Unilever Sri
Lanka Ltd
Reeza Zarook,
Ravi Rao:
Leader, SouthAsia/
Alyna Haji Omar,
CEO/Response Marketing
Tharanga Gunasekera,
Marketing, Head of Marketing &
1715 – 1900 Reception & market place attendees draw

Sessions & Speakers

Session 01 - Resilient Brands, Resilient Enterprises


Session Chair

Peter D’Almedia
Managing Director
N*Able (Pvt) Ltd




Peter has worked in the IT industry for 25 years. Starting his career at East West Information Systems, he moved to ComputerLand to launch Sun Microsystems in Sri Lanka. He was subsequently appointed the Country Head for Sun Microsystems in Sri Lanka and later moved to India as the Head of SunService for SAARC. Currently he is a member of the Cisco Asia Pacific ChannelAdvisory Board.Prior founding N*Able, an IT venture, in partnership with
Hemas Group in 2008, he was the CEO of Millennium ESP. Peter is engaged in the performing arts as a director and actor; he has been in a number of plays, tele-dramas and movies.



Keynote Speaker

Deshamanya J. C. Lalith De Mel
Chairman,Hemas PLC
and former Board Member Reckitt Benckiser PlC.UK




Lalith counts over 40 years of Board experience having served as a director of several companies in Sri Lanka and abroad. He has served most of his career at Reckitt Benckiser PLC. UK and was a main board director. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Investment and the Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom Limited, and was a Senior Advisor, Ministry of Finance. He holds directorships in Serendib Hotels PLC, a subsidiary of Hemas and many other companies and is a Trustee of the Cambodia Trust UK. Lalith received a Master of Arts Degree from Cambridge University and Advanced Management education from Harvard Business School.




Amal Cabraal
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd




Amal has over 3 decades of business experience particularly in marketing and sales. Apart from Sri Lanka, he has worked with Unilever in the United Kingdom, India and Bangladesh. A Chartered Marketer by profession, Amal serves on the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. He is a Council member of the Employers Federation of Ceylon and is an active member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Board of John Keells Hotels Ltd, as an External Director.

Amal is an alumnus of INSEAD-France and holds a MBA from the University of Colombo.




Robert Lee
Chief Commercial Officer
Etisalat Sri Lanka




Robert joined Etisalat and was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Etisalat Sri Lanka in January 2012. Before Joining Etisalat he served as CEO for Sale – Co Bahrain. He was Chief Commercial Officer at Zain Saudi Arabia, and held various positions with Orascom telecom including: Co CEO of OT Tunisia, CCO of OT Algeria, Mo b i l i n k Pakistan, and Fastlink Jordan.Robert started his Telecom career with the launch of Telstra Australia’s GSM network in Melbourne Australia and has spent fourteen years working in the Middle East and African Markets. Robert is experienced in operations, profit and loss management, multi-channel distribution, marketing strategy and communications.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science from RMIT Australia.




Malik Fernando
Director, Global Operations Chief
MJF Group (Dilmah)




Malik belongs to the second generation of a tea growing and marketing tradition founded by his father Merrill J. Fernando. Today, Malik and his brother are taking Dilmah to new heights maintaining the same family values, which were imbibed by their father. MJFGroup focuses on global brand marketing of Ceylon Tea under the
premium Dilmah brand, launched in 1985.

Dilmah offers only the finest products to consumers around the world and the Group shares their success with the community and its workers. Malik had his secondary education at Stonyhurst College, UK. He obtained a BSc in
Management from Babson College, Wellesley USA.




Ajith Gunawardena
Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer
Ceylinco Insurance – General




Ajith is a prolific innovator in many areas of the financial services industry in Sri Lanka including venture capital. His most noteworthy industry transformative innovation, the “On-the-Spot” claim settlement for motor insurance, is hailed as a world’s first. This concept has now been adopted by many other insurers the world over. He also introduced radical changes in the way insurance is sold in Sri Lanka, which led to dramatic improvement in customer service levels and industry performance.

In addition to his involvement in financial services, Ajith has brokered many partnerships with regional business giants. Ajith has provided leadership to numerous other projects, including power and energy projects in Belihuloya, Loggalaoya and Rajgammana.

Session 02 - Insight-Based Strategies for Resilient Brands


Session Chair

Imal Fonseka
Chief Executive Officer
Ceylon Biscuits Ltd




Imal is the CEO of Ceylon Biscuits and was the former Managing Director of Hemas manufacturing, Sri Lanka and the Managing Director of Hemas Consumer Brands Bangladesh. He has extensive experience in advertising, brand management, sales management and general management working with multi nationals such as JWT, Unilever, Glaxo-Smithkline and Coca-Cola. Imal has served in the boards of Chevron Global Lubricants (Lanka) PLC and Eureka Technology Partners. Imal graduated from Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). He is also a Certified Management Accountant, Australia. He has had executive education at leading regional and international management schools. Imal plays an active role in promoting marketing education and the profession in Sri Lanka.



Keynote Speaker

Asanga Ranasinghe
Marketing Director
Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd




Having joined Unilever as a Management Trainee in 1993 Asanga has held leadership positions in Research & Development, Manufacturing and Supply Chain. In 2002 he was expatriated to Hindustan Unilever where he worked as the South Asia Regional Coordinator for Innovation and Supply. He returned to Sri Lanka in 2004 as the Customer Development Director. He is a fellow member and a chartered marketer of CIM and has served as a member of the Regional Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Sri Lanka Region. Asanga holds a BSc Hon in Chemistry from the University of Colombo and an MBA from PIM.




Varuni Amungama Fernando
JT. Managing Director
Triad (Pvt) Ltd




Varuni chose to make a career in mass communication by co-founding Triad (Pvt) Ltd in 1993. Today, she functions as the Jt. Managing Director of the company. She is also the co-founder of a youthful and growing conglomerate, currently consisting of 22 subsidiaries across diversified sectors. Her stamp on corporate Sri Lanka is accentuated by her belief that ‘Sri Lanka Can’, which has been the driving principle behind the Group’s ventures. Varuni is an Attorney-at-Law by profession with an LLB from the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo.




Gerald de Saram
Managing Director/CEO
Akzo Nobel Paints Lanka (Pvt) Ltd




Gerald began his career when he joined CIC Paints as it was formed in 1995. He started as a Sales Manager and was later appointed the Marketing Manager for its Decorative Paint products. He was appointed the Managing

Director of the company in 2001 and also holds regional positions. He was an active member of the Sri Lanka Institute. Of Marketing and was its President elect. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management and a former Board Member of the IAA (Sri Lanka Chapter).

Gerald is a former CR&FC and national rugby player. Gerald holds a BSc. from the University of London and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from The Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.




Amal Perera
General Manager – Marketing & Bancassurance,
AIA Insurance




Amal counts over 16 years of management experience in the Company and has wide exposure in the fields of product, marketing, strategy development, corporate planning and sales. Amal holds a Masters in Business
Administration from the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) attached to the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. He is a Chartered Marketer and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.




Samari Ihalagedara
Head of Marketing – Keells Food Products
Asst. Vice President – JKH PLC




A career, which spans over 14 years, has led Samari to specialize increasingly in consumer marketing in the FMCG sector. She has extensive experience in: business/brand management; operating within agreed financial plans; systematic management of activities keeping up to deadlines with flair to handle crisis management; strong relationship building; and the use of modern leadership methods. Prior to joining Kellls Foods in 2011, Samari
held senior market ing, corporate communications and sustainability positions at Unilever, Nestle and Ceylon
Agro. Samari holds a BA in Economics from University of Peradeniya and an MBA.

Session 03 - Are Classical Brand Building Principles Still Valid?


Session Chair

Himanshu Saxsena
JWT Sri Lanka




Himanshu counts over 21 years’ experience across Marketing & Sales, Branding, Product Management, Market Research and Advertising disciplines in India & Sri Lanka markets. He created market success for premier marketing companies like Unilever, Marico, Pepsico, Videocon, Godrej, Blow Plast, GSK, HSBC, Barclays, Taj Hotels amongst many others. Himanshu won recognition for work across many global & regional award shows like Effie, Yahoo! Big Idea Chair, One Show, Clio & Cannes for work across many of the brands managed.

He has worked with some of the best known organizations & ad agencies like Trikaya Grey, Lowe, Reliance ADAG Group, IMRB International, McCann Worldgroup and JWT. Currently, President – JWT Group Sri Lanka. He is an avid sports follower, music lover and a trekking enthusiast.



Keynote Speaker

Prof. Uditha Liyanage Session Chair
Director & Chairman of the Board of Management
Postgraduate Institute Of Management (PIM), University of Sri Jayewardenepura




Professor Liyanage held many senior industry positions before he joined PIM where he has been the senior faculty member for 19 years. He has published many articles and academic papers in leading journals, both here and abroad, and addressed numerous local and international conferences. An MBA, a Chartered Marketer, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Honorary Fellow of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) an Honorary Fellow of the Asia Marketing Federation. He is a Marketing Consultant; holds board memberships in a number of leading companies in Sri Lanka. He was the Chairman of the CIM Sri Lanka region, and a member of the international Board of CIM (U.K.). He earned his MBA and PhD from PIM.




Himalee Madurasinghe
Chief Executive




Himalee has over 22 years of work experience including 15 at LMRB. She headed the LMRB Household Panel for
seven years and has extensive experience in consumer behavior research. Himalee has experience in specialized research methods and various market research techniques across multiple business sectors and has been actively involved in insight & idea generation with her clients. She has strong expertise in the areas of market and consumer segmentation, customer needs assessment, product development, brand and communication tracking and customer & employee satisfaction. Himalee holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa, Canada and an LLB from the Open University of Sri Lanka.




Nandana Wickramage
Group Director
Ceylon Biscuits Ltd




As the Head of Marketing and Sales for the CBL Group, Nandana provides leadership to a highly successful and effective marketing team. As a hands on practical marketer he is renowned for his ability to turnaround Brands and drive them to leadership. Nandana was awarded the prestigious Global Brand leadership award in 2010, Marketing professional of the year (Asia Region) at CMO Asia Awards 2011 and Most Outstanding Marketing Professional of the Year (Global) at World Brand Congress 2011,br inging honour and global recognition to the mother land.
Nandana Wickramage an International award winner, Practical & qualified Marketer, Creative conceptualizer, Brilliant Strategist, Local & International effective Trainer, masterNLP practitioner, Great Motivator and popular lyricist.




Nasser Majeed
Marketing Director
Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC




Nasser opted out of a university degree program in agriculture for a career in business. An alumni of KPMG, he joined Singer Industries (Ceylon) Ltd. in the accounting field and cross posted to Marketing. Having worked in Product management and Marketing services, Nasser was posted to Singer Asia as the General Manager of Singer Indonesia from January 2006 to December 2007.

Nasser has been the Marketing Director of Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC since May 2009.




Rochelle Rodé de Silva
Category Director – Skin Care
Hemas Consumer Brands




Starting out as a fresher at JWT Colombo, Rochelle has 8 years of experience in advertising and communications, and recalls her experiences on her main brand Pepsi as the most exciting. The 14 years following have been with Hemas Consumer, counting 6 of them as the Brands Director of the Personal Care sector. Turning around the
fortunes of the company’s flagship brand Baby Cheramy, now recognized as one of Sri Lanka’s strongest local brands, has been one of her most satisfying experiences with Hemas. Rochelle is now engaged in developing a portfolio to make Hemas a serious contender in the local Adult Skin Care market.

Session 04 - Building Resilient Brands in the Evolving Media Landscape


Session Chair

Rohan Jayaweera
Sri Lanka Country Consultant
Google Asia Pacific




Rohan is the first & the only employee appointed by Google for Sri Lanka. Prior to moving to Singapore to join Google, Rohan worked for Cisco, Lenovo & IBM. Rohan has BSc in electronic & telecommunication from University of Moratuwa, postgraduate diploma in marketing from CIM U.K. and is in the process of completing his MBA in International Business & Masters in Business & Technology. Also holds a professional certification on global strategy from INSEAD. Rohan is passionate about entrepreneurship & does regular lectures at University of Moratuwa. Rohan set up his own business 4 years ago & still keeps it alive.



Keynote Speaker

Anand Tilak
Regional Manager – Agency Relations & Sales Development
Google South East Asia




Anand is responsible for developing and strengthening relationships with key agencies and clients across the region. He helps clients to engage their customers by providing them with integrated solutions including media advertising as well as developing applications for platforms like YouTube, Google Earth, Google Maps, etc. Anand has extensive experience in this field, having worked in the online media industry for about 12 years. Before joining the online media industry, Anand had worked with agencies like DDB and Ogilvy based in Mumbai. Anand moved to Singapore in 2003 to setup a regional sales network for a leading online portal. He has worked at Google for over 6 years and has handled key industries like CPG, Finance, Travel and Autos.



Keynote Speaker

Ravi Rao
Leader South East Asia




Ravi leads Mindshare for South Asia since 2012. Prior to this he led Team Unilever at Mindshare Fulcrum for three years. Rao comes with an extensive track record working across several FMCG, consumer durables and service industries – from PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, Henkel, LG Electronics, Mars, FedEx and Wrigley and has 20+ years of experience in India, Middle East & Africa. He loves to paint, yearns to be an archaeologist in the far future, but continues to be fascinated with developments in new media. Ravi holds a BCom from Poona College of Commerce, Pune and an MMS in Marketing from Sydenham Institute of Management, Mumbai.




Ramani Samarasundera
Marketing Director – Foods & Beverages
Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd




Ramani joined Unilever Sri Lanka in 1995 as a Management trainee where she has worked across many brands and categories: Home Care, Personal Care and Foods, She joined the Management Committee of Unilever in 2006. Her commitment and investment in building knowledge and insights with regard to both consumers and people has enabled her to bring to life brands and campaigns that have had a significant impact on consumer
behavior and loyalty. She is also committed to nurture marketing talent both in Unilever and the Industry through her associations with professional bodies. She holds an honours degree in Bio Science from University of Colombo.




Reeza Zarook
Chief Executive Officer




In 2011, Reeza founded, Sri Lanka’s first and number one social media marketing company that now holds an 87 per cent market share of the social media marketing industry. Reeza started his career as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in the UK and moved onto investment banking with Deutsche Bank. Subsequently Reeza moved to Sri Lanka and worked as a venture capitalist with Ayojana in Colombo.

In 2001, Reeza joined Millennium IT as its CEO for Asia Pacific, and in 2003 he joined the team of professionals responsible for setting up the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka. In the few years prior to 2011, Reeza successfully ran a consultancy company specializing in project delivery encompassing IT, BPO, structured finance and project management.




Alyna Haji Omar
Response Marketing




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, innovator, smoker, 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 will find? 15 years worth of
brand strategies that have influenced change, inspired conversation, created culture and one or two that did squat. You’ll also find campaigns that got people talking, got people thinking, got people laughing, won awards, got criticized and one or two that we all like to label ‘what was she thinking!’




Tharanga Gunasekera
Head of Marketing & Communications
HSBC Sri Lanka




Tharanga started his career in Marketing & Sales 20 years ago, as a medical representative and has held senior
marketing management positions at leading pharmaceutical marketing companies. At HSBC, he has also served as Head of Communications in HSBC India and has experience in working in HSBC Indonesia. Previously, Tharanga was in charge of the banks retail and corporate marketing divisions and has played a pivotal role in driving the banks retail business.

Tharanga is an MBA, holds postgraduate qualification from CIM (UK) as well as from SLIM. Whilst lecturing for more than 12 years as a guest lecturer for both CIM and postgraduate studies, he has been part of many steering committees of national level marketing & communication events.


Session Presenter Tittle Download
Session 01 – Keynote 1 Deshamanya J. C. Lalith De Mel
Chairman,Hemas PLC
and former Board Member Reckitt Benckiser PlC – UK
Resilient Brands Resilient Enterprises  powerpoint-icon
Session 02 – Keynote 2 Asanga Ranasinghe
Marketing Director
Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd
Are classical principles of building resilient brands still valid  pdf-icon
Session 03 – Keynote 3 Prof. Uditha Liyanage 
Director & Chairman of the Board of Management, Postgraduate
Institute Of Management (PIM), University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Customer insights and brands  powerpoint-icon
Session 04 – Keynote 4 Anand Tilak
Regional Manager – Agency Relations & Sales Development
Google South East Asia
Marketing in Digital World  powerpoint-icon
Session 04 – Keynote 5 Ravi Rao
Leader South East Asia
Building Resilient Brands in the age of Converging Media  pdf-icon
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