NDB–the Principal Sponsor of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards provides platform for local entrepreneurs to be recognized globally


Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) – Asia’s most prestigious awards for entrepreneurs was held for the second consecutive year in Sri Lanka at a gala event at Cinnamon Grand on Sunday 17th February 2013. The event was organized by Enterprise Asia, in Association with Sri Lanka Malaysia Business Council (SLMBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

APEA is a regional recognition programme for outstanding entrepreneurs across Asia and a platform for business leaders and leading entrepreneurs in the region to network, share intelligence and form lifetime acquaintances. This year’s award programme attracted close to seventy five nominees in the fields of tea, rubber, metal, jewellery, motor, electric, financial services, petroleum; ICT etc. out of which twenty eight were honored for their enterprising expertise in their respective fields.

It was noteworthy that, out of the twenty-eight winners, twelve entrepreneurs were Corporate/ SME banking clients of NDB - the Principal Sponsor of the APEA Awards 2013.

The awards were segmented under four categories namely; Special Achievement Awards, Outstanding Entrepreneurship Awards, Most Promising Entrepreneurship Awards and Emerging Entrepreneurship Awards.

Under the Special Achievement Awards Category – Mr. Graetian Gunawardhana – Chairman of Hands International won the award for Entrepreneur of the Year while Mr. Dullith Vinodan Herath of Kapruka Dot Com (Pvt) Ltd won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr. Hanif Yusoof of Expo Lanka Limited won the Special Achievement Award in this category.

The Outstanding Entrepreneurship Awards went to Mr. Anton Godfrey of Agxint – Sri Lanka and Australia, Mr. Saman R. Upasena of Galpaditenne Tea Factory, Mr. Prabhash Subasinghe of Global Rubber Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Anthony Joel Selvanayagam of Hovael Construction (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. K.D.A Weerasinghe of K.D.A Weerasinghe And Company (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Jafar Abdul Sattar of Sumithra Garments (Pte) Ltd, Mr. Dasantha R. Fonseka of Vision Care Optical Services (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Lalith E. Liyanage of RTS Holdings - Avissawella Tea Factory, Mr. Wettinge Jinadasa of Andaradeniya Estate (Pvt) Ltd, Dr. Lawrence Perera of Micro Cars Limited and Mr. Channa P. Palansuriya of Orit Trading Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

Sharing his sentiments on the achievement, Mr. Joel Selvanayagam, Chirman of Hovael Constructions and a valued Corporate banking client of NDB stated, “At Hovael, we continuously strive to provide high quality products and services according to ISO standards, provide internationally reputed brands and the latest technology to the local market while relentlessly pursuing new growth opportunities and conserving the sustainability of the environment. Our pursuit for excellence through quality, reliability, value and customer service in a manner that directly or indirectly contribute to the growth of the economy and community development has been vindicated by this achievement”.

Mr. Lalith Liyanage of RTS Holdings, a long standing SME Banking client of NDB stated “I am proud to be an award winner of the prestigious APEA in recognizing and honoring my business. I have shown outstanding performances and tenacity in developing my business with the support of private, public sector institutions and my dedicated working group. APEA provides a real platform for entrepreneurs like us to recognize and be recognized for entrepreneurial excellence. Events of this nature encourage entrepreneurs to strive toward innovations and business excellence. I have been working with NDB since 1998, since obtaining a loan to start up a tea factory in the Avissawella Industrial Zone. Today the tea produced in this factory is ranked number 01 in the ‘all island low grown orthodox rank’. What I see as unique qualities of the Bank, are that they introduce credit schemes which are tailor-made to the individual requirements and they also provide business advisory services to small and medium scale entrepreneurs. I am very happy to mention that the service the Bank offers enabled me to fulfill my banking needs and achieve my targets in the business. I am most grateful to NDB for extending a helping hand to encourage me in the business. My thanks are due to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and APEA organizers for their ready help and cooperation.

Mr. Prabhash Subasinghe, an ambitious and astute entrepreneur is the Managing Director of Global Rubber Industries [Pvt] Limited and Global Sea Foods [Pvt] Ltd. Expressing his views on the award Mr. Subaisinghe stated, “Global Rubber Industries [Pvt] Limited is the first and only Sri Lankan Solid Rubber Tyre manufacturing and Exporting company in Sri Lanka and Global Sea Foods [Pvt] Limited is one of the largest Sea Food Processing and Exporting Companies in Sri Lanka. Global Rubber and Global Sea Foods have large investments with offices across the globe and trade relationships worldwide. These businesses are managed through focused strategic business units under the leadership of professionals with entrepreneur skills combined with a workforce of over 800 personnel. The award is testimony of our dedication and steel minded commitment along which is the single minded driving force that has turned the Group into a vast and thriving business venture and a true Asian success story. My vision in the future is to see a diversified group of companies in this group portfolio”.


Mr. Nihal Seneviratne Epa of Asset Radio Broadcasting (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Chandranandana Diyunuge of Electro Metal Pressings (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Upendra S. Abeywickrama of Flexi Print (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Kaushal Rajapaksa of Kalhari Enterprises, Mr. Thushan Upasena of New Kendagastenna Tea Factory, Mr. Tippalagama A. S. Premalal of Pubudu Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Thushantha B. Jayasundara of Roof Mart (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Saleem Mohamed of S.S. Consultants And Corporate Secretaries (Pvt) Ltd and Mr. Gamini Gunasekera of Union Chemicals Lanka PLC were the winners of “The Most Promising Entrpreneruship Awards” at the event.

A client of NDB, Mr. Gamini Gunasekera the Managing Director of Union Chemicals Lanka PLC said “I believe ethical business practices and good governance bring benefits to all stake holders of an organization. I also believe that effective and efficient work will bring positive results. Hence, I strive to empower my subordinates and continuously monitor their performances and if necessary extend support and guidance to achieve the set goals. Our formula for success is continuously adding value to the employees by investing in their training, education and skills development with a strong belief that the employees should act like business owners of the company. Our mission is to build up a sustainable Chemical Company by continuously focusing on the value of safety, technology leadership, environment excellence, customer focus and simplicity. My vision for the company is ‘to be the most respected Chemical Company in South-East Asia’ and I believe this award vindicates our efforts in this endeavour”

A SME Banking client of NDB, Mr. Premalal, Managing Director of Pubudu Engineering shared these thoughts on the award “The award is an encouragement to keep improving our business practices. The APEA is one of the most prestigious award programmes in the region and the association with this event, boosts our image and adds glamour to our business. The award is an appreciation of the hard work and dedication of my employees and partners and I am very pleased by the achievement”.


Mr.Jude Rodrigo of Bopitiya Auto Enterprises, Mr. Shyam Lallan Perera of Lallans Sports Good Manufacturers (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Nilan Wickramasinghe of Lion Royal (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Sharanyan Sharma of Shree Vengadeshwaraa Networks Pvt Ltd. And Mr. Galkutadewage S. Fernando of Dhanusha Marine Lanka Pvt Ltd was honored in the ‘Emerging Entrepreneurship Award’.

Mr. G.S Fernando the Managing Director of Danusha Marine is a SME Banking client of NDB. Expressing his views on the achievement, Mr. Fernando said, “our achievement of Emerging Entrepreneur Award at the recently concluded APEA 2013 by the Enterprise Asia was an endorsement for the excellence and commitment towards quality at Dhanusha Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Having won many awards since 1996 as a Sri Lanka Enterprise, personally I as the Managing Director of Dhanusha Marine Lanka have won the TOYP Award in 2003. APEA was one of our main achievements and we must thank NDB for giving us the first guidance towards this in 2012. Also I must thank my Internal and External Customers since without their contribution we cannot have achieve this. We committed ourselves to achieve this in 2013 and were continuously working towards this. As a result of it, I, as the Managing Director of Dhanusha Marine Lanka feel proud to emerge as an Emerging Entrepreneur of the year 2013”.

NDB has been in the forefront of driving economic development for the past 30 years. As a pioneer in SME financing in Sri Lanka, NDB has contributed immensely to stimulate the growth of these sectors. Over the past three decades the Bank has not only financially supported such ventures island-wide, but also provided advisory services to both to entrepreneurs as well as lending institutions.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Mr.Indrajit Wickramasinghe Chief Operating Officer of NDB said “It is a great honour for NDB to be a part of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards for the 2nd consecutive year. NDB places special emphasis on fostering Entrepreneurship with a strong belief that developing this segment will lead to the exponential growth that the nation is aspiring for. Therefore as a Bank that has been a fore runner in entrepreneur development, NDB was instrumental in introducing the APEA to Sri Lanka last year. The awards create a unique opportunity for Sri Lankan business leaders to be recognized on an international platform. It also sponsors important linkages that provide local businesses with the vital international access, thus enhancing the competitive position of our local entrepreneurs, especially exporters. We believe that events of this nature encourage entrepreneurs to strive towards business ethics, product innovation and above all Business Excellence – the passport to international markets”.