Mr. W.K.H Wegapitiya is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and an eminent speaker and business leader in Sri Lanka. The founder Chairman of LAUGFS Holdings, he is noted for his strong business acumen, work ethics, unyielding courage and resilience, as well as his remarkable entrepreneurial spirit.
Growing up at a time when the country was adopting closed economic policies, restrictions and rations, young Wegapitiya quickly learned the values that have helped him build LAUGFS to what it is today; from harnessing limited resources, to developing the will to push boundaries and the tenacity to withstand challenges thrown his way. His great love for the outdoors and the environment, his deep-rooted respect and affection towards his country, and his strong desire to give back to the nation have all stemmed from his upbringing, experiences and values instilled upon him at a young age.
Having sharpened his commercial skills with a Business degree and an MBA, Mr. Wegapitiya also went on to study Energy Management at the Oxford University – UK. Presently, he is reading for his PhD at the Postgraduate Institute of Management in Sri Lanka.
For over 20 years LAUGFS has been led by his vision to pioneer and transform industries. Driven by the many challenges faced in his early life, and inspired by a strong desire to transcend the ordinary, Mr. Wegapitiya has led the rapid expansion of LAUGFS to a diverse business conglomerate with over USD 200 million annual turnover.
The entrepreneurial journey of Mr. Wegapitiya has been recognized both locally and internationally with many awards and accolades including the National Gold Award for Entrepreneurship, the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Platinum award, as well as the Ada Derana Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 award. He has also been bestowed with the Deshabandu title, an extremely rare lifetime national honour.
His philanthropic nature has also driven him to tackle challenging social problems through entrepreneurship and community service. He takes pride in building a truly Sri Lankan enterprise capable of competing at international markets and offering better value to the local consumer, while generating employment and livelihood.
Mr. Wegapitiya has served on the Boards of several prominent organizations in Sri Lanka, including Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd, and presently serves as a Board Director for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, while also being a member of the Executive Council of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Wegapitiya is a past Chairman of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs and a former Senior Vice president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL) and a former member of National Pay Commission and Governing Council of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Mr. Thilak De Silva is a prominent industry leader, a noted philanthropist and the Group Managing Director of LAUGFS Holdings. One of the founding partners of LAUGFS, Mr. De Silva has been instrumental in the phenomenal growth of the company over the years. His untiring efforts, unparalleled business & industry knowledge, and remarkable charisma have made an indelible imprint in the story of the group’s growth.
Having completed his undergraduate studies in Engineering Technology and Business Management in London, UK, Mr. De Silva returned to Sri Lanka to assume responsibilities as an Executive Director in his family businesses, which rapidly expanded under his leadership.
In 1995 however, he became part of the pioneering project that transformed the automobile industry by converting vehicles from the traditional petroleum fuels into liquefied petroleum gas, which became the inception of LAUGFS. This proved a phenomenal success and became the turning point that laid the foundation to create one of the largest business conglomerates in the country today, employing more than 4000 staff across over 20 industries.
The warm, nurturing nature of Mr. De Silva has enabled him to inspire and drive his teams into achieving many great feats, which has been pivotal to LAUGFS’s success over two decades. He is well respected for his strategic foresight, collaborative and engaging leadership style, and entrepreneurial skills that have helped withstand many challenges and build LAUGFS into a trusted and respected Sri Lankan conglomerate.
Noted for his philanthropic work, Mr. De Silva has been part of many community and national projects as well as numerous charitable causes. His contribution has extended into many areas including community development, livelihood, education as well as healthcare. Driven by a firm nationalistic pride and a strong desire to contribute towards uplifting communities, he acts as a strong advocate of eliminating rural poverty and empowering communities.
Mr. De Silva has been a participant of a number of entrepreneurial and management development programs both local and overseas and was also the recipient of the prestigious Association for Overseas Technical Scholarships (AOTS – Japan) in 2003. He is a regular participant in many LP Gas business forums conducted in various parts of the world and is widely connected with industry leaders in the energy sector.
Mr. Ariyaratne is a veteran banker with over 33 years of experience in the banking industry.
He has wide exposure in Development Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Venture Capital as well as Corporate Restructuring, and has served as the Executive Vice President of DFCC Bank in charge of overall lending.
He was the former Chief Executive Officer of Lanka Ventures PLC and has served in Director positions in several companies representing Lanka Ventures PLC and DFCC Bank.
Mr. Ariyaratne is a Director of LAUGFS Holdings Limited, LAUGFS Gas PLC and several other LAUGFS subsidiaries and also serves as the Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of LAUGFS Gas PLC. He further serves on the Board of Finagle Lanka (Private) Limited.
A first-class honours Science graduate from University of Peradeniya, Mr. Ariyaratne has served as an active member of a number of prominent Chamber bodies and industry associations in Sri Lankan, including The National Chamber of Commerce and Venture Capital Association of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Murali Prakash is a transformational corporate leader in the country.
He is currently the Group Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of Taprobane Holdings PLC and Lanka Century Investments PLC. He has held a number of prominent leadership roles, including the positions of Group Managing Director / CEO of Brown & Company PLC and Chairman of Gal-Oya Holdings (Pvt) Limited.
He currently serves on the boards of LAUGFS Holdings Limited, LAUGFS Gas PLC and several other LAUGFS subsidiaries, as well as on the boards of Taprobane Holdings PLC, Lanka Century Investments PLC and most of its subsidiaries.
Mr. Prakash holds an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland and is a Certified Professional Marketer (Asia Pacific) as well as a Certified Management Accountant (Australia). He is an alumnus of both the National University of Singapore and Asian Institute of Management, Manila and a fellow member of the Chartered Management Institute (UK) and the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (Sri Lanka).
Mr. Dilshan Perera is a senior finance professional with over 15 years of experience.
He brings forth extensive expertise in a broad spectrum of finance functions, including treasury management, credit control, as well as taxation in different business/industrial environments. He was the Finance Director of Hela Clothing Group, where he led the Finance, Commercial and IT functions. He has also served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Hirdaramani Group, and has held senior positions in a number of blue chip companies including John Keells Group and KPMG.
Dilshan is currently a Director of the LAUGFS Holdings and LAUGFS Gas PLC Boards, while he has also served on the Board of Hela Clothing.
He holds a BSc degree in Business Administration and is an Associate Member of CA Sri Lanka as well as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of the UK. He is also a Member of Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID).