The affairs of the Sri Lanka Business Council are administered by a Board of Directors with a maximum of nine elected members. The elected board in turn elects the Chairman, Vice Chairman and allocates the responsibilities to the respective Directors. In addition, the immediate Past-Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Senior Resident Officer of National Carrier, the Senior Resident Officer of the Tea Board and the Consul General of Sri Lankan in Dubai are invited to the Board of Directors as ex-officio members.

Suren Swaminathan

Suren Swaminathan is a long term UAE resident. A well known Insurance Professional and also a businessman. He had his early education at St. Xaviers College Nuwara Eliya. An active community member who held senior positions in many organizations.

Contact him on: +971 55 623 6952
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Vice Chairman
Muhammed Riza

Holding an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Reza is a Senior Management Professional in the Aviation Industry exposed to doing business in Asia, Americas and in Africa. Currently he is the Regional Manager (Commercial) covering Latin America, Central & Southern Africa and Indian Ocean islands for the Emirates Airlines. He has held the position of the honorary representative for Tourism in the UAE appointed by the Ministry of Tourism in Sri Lanka.

Contact him on: +971 4 394 5183
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Director – Secretary to the Board
Shihan Sheriff

Shihan Sheriff – A Finance professional with experience in multiple industries, is the Chief Financial Officer of al bogari Holdings (Group) since 2010. Completed his MBA at the Chifley Business School, Torrens University of Australia and is a qualified Associate Chartered Management Accountant from CIMA (UK). He is a member of CPA Australia as well as the Chartered Global Management Accountants of USA. An alumnus of Royal College, Colombo, has been involved with various social organizations throughout and is in the Middle East since 2008.

Contact him on: +971 50 104 1975
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Director – Public Relations
Farook Kassim

A graduate from Harvard Business School, Boston, he is the Managing Director of Al Bogari Holdings Ltd, a company specializing in investment and trading. With a treasure trove of achievements, he has lived in the U.A.E for more than 40 years. He was the Chairman of the Dubai Food Trading Group, A board member of the WMO, Independent Non-Executive Director of Albaraka Bank South Africa and a Group Director of Expolanka Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka.

Contact him on: +971 4 344 7553
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Director – Finance
Hussain Afkar

A Chartered Accountant by profession, with an associate membership with CPA (Australia) and a MBA from (USA), with 30 years of experience in Auditing, Financial Advisory and Tax. He is a Director at Axis Auditing and Accounting. He moved to Bahrain in 1987, Kuwait 1995 and UAE from 2009. He is an old boy of Carey College, Colombo.

Contact him on:+971 50 537 7026
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Director – Events
Sam Fernando

An Advertising and Event management professional, Sam is living in the UAE since 1998. Graduated from Anglia Ruskin University, UK, he is an alumni of Raddoluwa Maha Vidyalaya. He is currently the CEO and Partner of Team Evention LLC, a leading event Management company in Dubai. He also an active community member who held senior positions in many organizations.

Contact him on: +971 50 444 8261
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Director – Membership
Don Channa Munasinghe

A licensed Aircraft Engineer by profession with Emirates Airlines has completed 12 years in the profession. He graduated from Emirates Engineering College, Dubai. He is also the Acting Managing Director Chef Lanka, UAE’s oldest chain of Sri Lankan Restaurants. Born and brought up in the UAE, has grown up supporting the family business for the last 23 years.

Contact him on:+971 55 5151 830
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Director – External Affairs
Ram Mohan Pillai

Ram is the Managing Director of the Haran Group of companies with business interests in UAE and sub Saharan Africa such as management consulting, FMCG and duty free retail, airport services, immigration to Australia and Canada etc.

Ram was the first in UAE to take a retail franchise of an existing semi governmental service (Du stores) and increase their performance and customer satisfaction levels, winning the Best Franchisee Award before completing the five years contract.

Prior to starting his own business, Ram spent nearly 10 years with Vodafone UK where he joined through their Graduate Development Programme and was instrumental during Vodafone’s launch of 3G services.

Ram is an old boy of Jaffna College before emigrating to UK and now settled in Dubai for 11 years with wife and two children.

Contact him on: +971 55 524 2244
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Director – Business Development
Ravi Varma

Ravi Verma is an Engineer, a MBA Graduate as well as an Entrepreneur.

He has offices in Sri Lanka, India, UAE, Canada, Japan and Africa doing business mainly in Sea Ports, Airports and General Industries. He had designed the first Reefer communication module which has Power, Communication and Energy Monitoring in a single unit for the Reefer Industry three in one, as a unique design.

He also designed many innovative systems for the port industry over the years such as Robot Eye, Drone technology for Farming and Fencing, Damage Container Detection, Aircraft Body Inspection and Reefer Automation to name a few. He also has a Restaurant in USA and has been in the UAE for the past 19 years.

Contact him on: +971 50 458 7801
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Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai
H.E. Mr.Charitha Yattogoda

As a career commercial diplomat he has served in the Sri Lanka Mission in Paris (France), Yangoon (Myanmar), Seoul(South Korea). Assigned at the Ministry of Trade and Commerce in Colombo, he has worked in bilateral, regional, multilateral and WTO divisions, specialising in Trade policy related issues.

Mr. Charitha Yattogoda graduated in Bachelor of Science (Hons.) specialising in Economics from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and obtained Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Economics from the University of Colombo. Further, he completed Post Graduate Diploma in Trade Policy at the World Trade Organizing in Geneva and also a part qualified from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK.

Contact him on:

Director (Promotion) for Middle East & North African Region, Sri Lanka Tea Board
Minister (Tea Promotion), Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai

Premala Srikantha

Has served Sri Lanka Tea Board in several positions that include, Director (Promotion), Deputy Tea Commissioner (Exports) and Minister Counselor (Tea Promotion) attached to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia. Possesses a Degree in Agriculture from the University of Peradeniya, a Postgraduate Diploma in Tea Tasting & Quality Control, and a Diploma in Diplomacy and International Relations. Served as a member in international working groups on tea and represented Sri Lanka in delegations on bilateral negotiations and joint commissions. Served as Chairperson of the Working Group on Tea Trade and Quality of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea.

Contact her on:

Country Manager UAE | SriLankan Airlines Ltd.
Asiri Wickramasuriya

Asiri is the Country Manager for SriLankan Airlines in UAE where he looks after the operations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He started his journey with the National carrier in 1999. During his 20 years of commercial aviation experience he has worked for a foreign international airline from 2007. However in 2012 he has returned back to SriLankan Airlines where he consider as the place he belongs to. He’s been serving in the home market back in Colombo before his appointment as the Country Manager UAE.

Contact her on: +971 4 397 6919
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