Well known private sector executive Rajiv Meewakkala, who also has experience in the public sector, is to take reins from Suresh Shah to become the CEO of Sri Lanka’s largest brewer, Lion
A stock market disclosure by Lion Brewery said Shah is up for retirement on June 30, 2021 following a very successful stewardship of the company since its inception.
Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC’s small brewing operation in Nuwara Eliya was relocated to Biyagama and transformed into a modern state-of-the-art facility via its subsidiary, Lion Brewery, under Shah’s leadership.
During his tenure, Brand Finance has consistently placed the company’s flagship brand ‘Lion’ among the 10 most valuable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands in
Shah has built a capable, talented and resilient team at Lion that will pass on company leadership with strong fundamentals as evidenced not only by its brands but also by its state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, very strong route to market systems and its ‘AAA’ credit rating by Fitch.
Meewakkala joined the boards of Lion Brewery and Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC, a Carson Cumberbatch group company in 2017 as an Independent Non Executive Director.
He will first be appointed as CEO-Designate of Lion Brewery and Ceylon Beverage Holdings from July 1, 2020 and is expected to succeed Shah upon the latter’s retirement. However, Meewakkala will be appointed Executive Director of both Ceylon Beverage Holdings and Lion Brewery from July 1, 2020.
Meewakkala’s management experience spans across both private and public sector organization and his core expertise are in marketing and general management. His career commenced in the private sector, working for a multinational group for 19 years, post which, he lead three large State sector businesses in retail, construction and banking.
In the private sector, Meewakkala was the Marketing Director of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT), where he managed a diverse brand portfolio.
He was a member of the South Asia Marketing Leadership team of BAT and was also Head of Brand Marketing for BAT Cambodia and Laos.
Post BAT, Meewakkala worked as a Brand Consultant with Interbrand.
In his tenure in the public sector, he was appointed CEO of Lanka Sathosa, Chairman of State Development Construction Corporation and Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC).
Meewakkala holds a PhD (Management) from the University of Honalulu, MSc in International Marketing from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK).