The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce elected Mr. Vish Govindasamy as its Chairman during the Chamber’s 182nd Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 29. Mr. Govindasamy succeeds Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya who completed his 2-Year Term as Chairman at the culmination of the Annual General Meeting.
Mr. Vish Govindasamy serves in the capacity of Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings PLC, a diversified conglomerate listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange, Sri Lanka. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Watawala Plantations, where he was instrumental in turning the company around and leading it to become the highest capitalised regional plantation company in the Colombo Stock Exchange.
Duminda Hulangamuwa, Senior Partner and Head of Tax at Ernst & Young and Krishan Balendra, Chairman of John Keells Holdings PLC were appointed as Vice Chairperson and Deputy Vice Chairperson respectively.
Further to the office bearers above, Ms. Shiromal Cooray, Chairperson & Managing Director, Jetwing Travels and Chairperson, Jetwing Hotels; Asoka Pieris, Managing Director of Cargills Food Company Ltd. and Director of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC; and Manjula de Silva, Secretary General and CEO of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce were re-elected to the Board of the Ceylon Chamber.
Sarath Ganegoda, Group Executive Director, Hayleys PLC; Amal Cabraal, Chairman, Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC and Chairman, Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC; and Bingumal Thewerathanthri – CEO, Standard Chartered Bank PLC were elected as three new members to the Board.
Following is the full speech by Vish Govindasamy, newly appointed Chairman:
“I am honoured and privileged for the trust you’ve placed in me as Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to working with the Board, Committee, Secretariat at the Chamber, members and affiliated associations of the Chamber to support and advance the causes of the private sector while adopting a nation first approach.
The Chamber is called upon to be the clarion voice of the private sector – a voice which is non-partisan, and which is raised solely in the interest of Sri Lanka. I intend to continue the approach for this great institution.
As I assume the Chairmanship of this respected, long-standing and highly influential Chamber, let me take a moment to acknowledge our outgoing Chairman, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya. Under his stewardship we have steered through a very difficult period for the country and the private sector which underwent the twin black swan events of the Easter Sunday incidents in April 2019 and the Covid-19 Crisis which began in 2020.
I have witnessed and experienced the high level of attention and care you have given the Chamber and under your leadership, the Chamber has progressed to new higher heights.
Thank you, Hans, for your untiring dedication. I would like to a say special thanks to my dear friend and past Chairman, Desamanya Tilak De Zoysa for having nominated my name to the committee some 10 years ago.
My Sincere thanks to Past Chairs , Mr. Susantha Ratnayake, Mr. Suresh Shah , Mr. Samantha Ranatunge under whose chairmanship I served as committee member and board member for guiding me and coaching me.
My gratitude goes to the Past Chairman, Mr. Rajendra Theagaraja for selecting me as Deputy Vice Chairman and Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Vice Chairman at the time. Without all of you I would not be here taking this position today.
Last but not least, my sincere thanks to my company Sunshine Holdings, Board Members of SUN, my family and for God almighty for having given me the courage to take up this position today.
As the 1st Chairman to have taken over this role virtually in its 183-year history, I look forward to serving the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and its Members to the best of my ability.”