Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Mr. J M S Brito

Mr. Brito was appointed to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on December 1, 2002 and as Chairman on April 28, 2003.  Mr Brito has a LLB (University of London) and MBA (London City Business School) degrees and is a Fellow of both institutes of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, England and Wales. Together with this multi disciplined knowledge, he also brings with him a wealth of 35 years of international experience working with a number of international organizations.   Presently Mr Brito is the Managing & Finance Director of Aitken Spence PLC.  He is a former Chairman of DFCC Bank, DFCC Vardhana Bank, Sri Lankan Airlines, The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and a former Director of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.


Dr. R M Fernando
Managing Director

Dr. R M Fernando was appointed to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on August 01, 1997 and as Managing Director on May 14, 2004. Dr R M Fernando, who heads the Plantations and Business Development in Aitken Spence PLC, holds a PhD and a MBA from the University of Colombo and is also a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK.

He has extensive experience in the plantation industry both in the public and private sectors and played a key role in the plantations privatization programme.

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He also leads the CSR and Sustainability Initiatives of the Group. He was awarded the Brand Leadership Award at the Asia Brand Congress 2008, held in Mumbai in September 2008.

He is the Chairman of United Nations Global Compact Network. Ceylon and the former President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Sri Lanka region. He was recently appointed as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Business of Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT).

Mr. Merrill J Fernando

Mr. Merrill J Fernando is the Chairman of MJF Holdings Limited and one of Sri Lanka’s first tea tasters in the then British-dominated trade. He is the Founder of “DILMAH TEA” brand name which re-launched, redefined and re-established the quality of Ceylon tea. DILMAH is a much respected global name, renowned for its quality, and its philosophy of caring and sharing with the community.

He was the pioneer in adding value to tea at origin, branding and marketing Ceylon tea quite successfully.  Value addition at origin created significant services industries in printing, packaging, graphics and introducing packaging technology to Sri Lanka.

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Mr. Fernando incorporated the MJF Charitable Foundation, to fulfill his pledge to make his business a matter of human service. His Foundation and Dilmah Conservation use a significant share  of the earning from the sale of Dilmah tea and other companies in the Dilmah Group,  towards creating  better conditions for the underprivileged and the wider community, whilst implementing positive and sustainable environmental interventions.

Mr. Malik J Fernando

Mr. Malik Fernando was appointed to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC in August 01, 1997 as a Director.

He is the Director Operations of the MJF Group, which comprises several tea growing and tea packing/exporting companies, supplying the ‘Dilmah Tea” brand around the world.

Mr. Fernando holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Babson College, USA.

Dr. Anura Ekanayake

Dr. Anura Ekanayake was appointed as a Director to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on January 09, 2009.  He was the Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce during the period August 2009 to July 2011 and the immediate past Chairman of the Industrial Association of Sri Lanka.  He started his professional career in the public sector and served in a number of senior Sri Lankan Government positions before moving to the private sector.  He has held several key positions in the Plantation Sector, first serving as the Director of Planning at the Ministry of Plantation Industries and thereafter as Director General (Development) of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries.  He served on the Boards of J.E.D.B. and S.L.S.P.C. prior to their privatization and thereafter served on the Boards of all 23 RPCs for several years.

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During this period he also served as a member of the Tea Research Board as well as the Board of the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture of University of Peradeniya.  During his public sector tenure, he also held a number of international positions including that of the Chairman of international Natural Rubber Organization based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  He holds a PhD in Economics from Australia National University where he conducted research on ‘Economics of human capital’.  He has widely published in Sri Lanka and abroad on economics, human capital, agriculture and environment related areas.  His current professional interests are supporting businesses on organizational transformation including culture change and coaching young professionals to realize their full potential.

Mr. Sarath Ratwatte

Mr. Sarath Ratwatte was appointed as a Director to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on April 10, 2013.  Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and has 30 years work experience in the fields of financial and treasury management, project evaluation and development, investments, financing and risk management and joint ventures.  Mr Ratwatte has worked in several multinational organizations and conglomerates in Sri Lanka and overseas.  Prior to 2009, he has worked at Aitken Spence Group of Companies for a period of 20 years in many capacities including that of Group Treasurer / Director – Aitken Spence Corporate Finance (Pvt) Ltd., Director – Ace Power Embilipitiya (Pvt) Ltd and Director – Aitken Spence (Garments) Ltd. He also serves on the board of directors of HNB Assurance Plc.

Mr. A L W Goonawardena

Mr. A L W Goonewardena was appointed as a Director to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on 22nd May 2013.  He has 39 years experience in public and private sector plantation management.  He started his career in plantations as an Estate Assistant Manager, held the positions of Manager, Visiting Agent, General Manager, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Executive Officer and rose to the position of Executive Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.  He is presently a Director of Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC, Tea Country Homes (Pvt) Ltd, Water Villas (Pvt) Ltd., EPP Hydro Power Company (Pvt) Ltd.  and the Managing Director / CEO of Elpitiya Dianhong Jin Ya Tea Company (Pvt) Ltd.

Mrs. B W G C S Bogahawatta

Mrs. B W G C S Bogahawatta was appointed as a Director to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on 17th March 2015.   She is the Director (Human Resources Sector) of the Department of Project Management and Monitoring of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.  She is a Class I Officer of the Sri Lanka Planning Service who possesses 18 years experience in the public sector, including 12 years experience in the Planning Service.  She obtained a B. Sc General Degree from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and a Masters in Public Administration (Policy) from the Flinders University, Australia. She has wide experience at the national level, in the fields of project management, monitoring and evaluation.  She has had training and gained experience in the practice of monitoring and evaluation in the countries such as Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.