The fourth annual “Excellence in ICT” awards ceremony organised by the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) was held recently at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo in conjunction with the inauguration ceremony of the National IT Conference 2016. CSSL is the premier organisation dedicated to promoting and improving professional standards in the information communication and technology sector of Sri Lanka. These awards intend to encourage, recognise and celebrate the best and finest of ICT professionals. This year, the CSSL presented awards for excellence in five categories, namely: ICT Leader of the Year, CIO of the Year, Female ICT Leader of the Year, Emerging ICT Leader of the Year and Best Star tup of the Year.
The ICT Leader of the Year award was won by Shanil Fernando, Co-Founder and Managing Director - Sri Lanka for CAKE Corporation, a Silicon Valley based company that creates disruptive technology for the restaurant industry. The CAKE platform in its current state processes over US$ 1 Billion in revenue annually, and is in use by over 5000 restaurants in the US. The company grew last year at a rate of 150% YOY. Prior to CAKE, Fernando was a founding member of Virtusa. He has been an advocate and change agent in the Sri Lankan IT industry encouraging a move away from IT services to focus on product innovation and product engineering, a model very successfully adopted by smaller countries like Ireland and Israel which can potentially bring significant value creation to Sri Lanka.The CIO of the Year award went to Conrad Dias, Chief Information Officer - LOLC Group and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer – Lanka ORIX Information Technology Services Ltd., /LOLC Technologies Limited. His experience spans over two decades and he has been instrumental in successfully integrating ICT divisions of all acquisitions and strategically leading the ICT direction of all sectors. Prof. Mahesha Kapurubandara, Dean International and Professor, Department of IT - Faculty of Computing, at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology won the award for Female ICT Leader of the Year. She counts nearly three decades of experience in the ICT industry specialising in Information Systems and IT education. Believed to be the first woman in Sri Lanka to receive a Professorship for ICT, she was also recognised by Women in Management - Sri Lanka, with the award of their silver medal at the 6th Professional & Career Womens’ Awards 2016.
The award for Emerging ICT Leader of the Year went to Ganindu Nanayakkara who is an award-winning innovator and Software Engineer currently working at 99X Technology. He is the inventor of the iHelmet which was the first runner-up under the Transportation Category in the Verizon Powerful Answers Award 2015. Nanayakkara has won awards at numerous other competitions such as Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA), Global Impact Competition (GIC), Manthan Awards South Asia, NBQSA, eSwabhimani, Young Computer Scientist, etc.
Auxenta Pvt. Ltd. won the award for Best Start up of the Year. Funded by Bayview Capital, a company owned by a well-known serial entrepreneur, Riz Virk and together with two more highly acclaimed ICT specialists, they entered the industry by developing a Bitcoins mobile trading platform named “Bitcoins Bazaar”, for Bay Coins LLC. With a workforce reaching 100 within just two and a half years since its inception, Auxenta has so far acquired more than 20 clients across 3 continents – USA, Europe and Asia.
As the annual CSSL awards ceremony continues to generate much recognition and excitement amongst ICT professionals in Sri Lanka, the organisers expect to increase the number of award categories to cover a wider cross-section of the IT fraternity in the future.