Sunshine Holdings PLC’s plantation sector subsidiary and the country’s largest tea and palm oil producer, Watawala Plantations PLC, has appointed Binesh Pananwala, a top professional with nearly two-and-a-half decades of experience in the plantation sector, as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO).
Pananwala, who succeeds Dr. Dan Seevaratnam following the latter’s retirement after seven years as CEO, will assume duties at the helm of the company with effect from 1st June 2015.
In this distinguished career in the plantation sector, which commenced in 1992 with the Janatha Estate Development Board (JEDB), Pananwala has been particularly successful in achieving notable productivity, quality and profitability improvements, while maintaining strong employee morale. He was entrusted with overall charge of overseeing the construction of Watawala Plantations’ state-of-the-art factory at Waltrim built to global specifications and estates under his management have been recognized as the best-performing estates of the company for several consecutive years. His expert stewardship has enabled estates to drastically improve their auction prices, as well as achieve high standards in living/health conditions of workers
Having served as an Estate Manager of three estates and many years in senior management positions, Pananwala has received exposure at all levels in the industry and has handled diverse tasks, ranging from labour relations to financial reporting. He has undergone training on multiple occasions in many countries including Malaysia, India, Japan and Vietnam and holds an MBA from Manipal Sikkim University India. Pananwala is at present reading for a MSC in Crop Science (plantation crops) at the Post-graduate Institute of Peradeniya University and has undergone the General Management programme of the National University of Singapore (NUS).
“Watawala Plantations takes much pleasure in having onboard a tested and proven professional of the calibre of Binesh Pananwala, who has delivered consistent and more importantly sustainable results,” Sunshine Holdings PLC Group Managing Director, Vish Govindasamy said. “Having risen through the ranks from the level of estate management, Binesh is well-positioned for his new role and embodies Watawala Plantations’ and Sunshine Holdings’ vision of ethical business practice with a long-term focus.”
“Sunshine Holdings and Watawala Plantations appreciates Dr. Dan Seevaratnam’s contribution in laying a solid foundation for sustainable growth,” Govindasamy said further. Watawala Plantations has been the country’s largest producer of palm oil and tea for several consecutive years. A significantly diversified plantation company, Watawala has interests in palm oil, tea, rubber and cinnamon. Watawala Plantations PLC is a subsidiary of Estate Management Services (Pvt.) Ltd. – a joint venture between Sri Lanka’s Sunshine Holdings, TATA Global Beverages Ltd. and Pyramid Wilmar Plantations Private Limited.