The Lankan Angel Network (LAN), the country’s largest network of angel investors, has appointed Chandi Dharmaratne as its Chairperson for 2021/2022, at its most recent board meeting held in September.
Dharmaratne is the first woman to lead the LAN.
As she steps into this role, Dharmaratne succeeds 99x Founder/CEO Mano Sekaram, who welcomed her by stating, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Chandi to take the reins of LAN and the Angel Fund. She has been an important person in the LAN ecosystem and I can think of no better person to lead the Angel Fund as it continues to focus on creating positive change for our communities and for Sri Lanka.”
Currently serving as Vice President of Human Resources at Virtusa, Dharmaratne is responsible for the company’s global HR automation strategy. With a career that began in New York, Dharmaratne returned to Sri Lanka and joined MAS Holdings, where she has held many leadership roles for over a decade. In 2013, she joined Virtusa as the Head of HR for the Sri Lanka geography. Since then, Dharmaratne has forged an award-winning and much accoladed career.
She is passionate about developing employability skills amongst the youth of Sri Lanka as well as encouraging IT industry growth and brain gain. She spearheads projects on these themes via the many organisations in which she has held numerous leadership and board positions, including SLASSCOM, ICTA, AMCHAM, Association of Human Resource Professionals in Sri Lanka, USAID and AISEC. She has also been involved in multiple university collaborations, for example with the Universities of Moratuwa, Kelaniya, Peradeniya, etc. in order to bring industry requirements into our local curricula.
Additionally, Dharmaratne has been recognised in Echelon’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Sri Lanka and in 2019, was included in its New Establishment 100, wherein only the most innovative and influential young leaders succeeding in many different areas of business were recognised.
Prior to taking up her new role as Chairperson, Dharmaratne served as a Board Member of LAN since 2019.
Commenting on her appointment, Dharmaratne said, “I am excited to take on this appointment as the first woman to chair the LAN. This is a particularly interesting time where change is accelerated and adaptability is mandatory, in order for us to take advantage of new opportunities. With the excellent support from the talented and well-experienced, industry insiders who make up this year’s board, I am confident that we will be able to drive Sri Lanka’s start-up ecosystem to new heights.”
It is also noteworthy that the 2021/2022 board, as well as being led by a woman, comprises 30 percent female representation overall – a significantly higher percentage than other corporates in the country.
Joining Dharmaratne on the 2021/2021 LAN Board Members are former CIMB Sri Lanka CEO Anarkali Moonesinghe, BOV Capital Co-Founder/Managing Partner Prajeeth Balasubramanium, Martin & George Chairman Dumindra Ratnayake, Promo Lanka CEO Adil Mansoor, Hemas Holdings Group CEO Kasturi Wilson, Hatch Co-Founder Nathan Sivaganathan, Hatch Co-Founder Jeevan Gnanam, Takas.lk Founder/CEO Lahiru Pathmalal and H2O ONE Director/Platinum Advisors (Singapore) Chairman Sharhan Muhseen.
Additionally, LAN announced the 2021/2022 Board Members for its Rs.100 million Angel Fund, which is also chaired by Dharmaratne.
Caption The fund’s board further comprises Anarkali Moonesinghe, Mano Sekaram, Prajeeth Balasubramanium, Wavenet Group Founder and CEO Dumindra Ratnayake, Suren Pinto and PwC Sri Lanka Chief Operating Officer/Advisory Leader Channa Manoharan.