Monetizing the value of the finance industry has significantly played towards various investments. This is also an upside to the millions of citizens hoping for a stable stream of hope with their financial solutions. Facilitating this daring industry to thrive forward, Kandegoda Gamage Leelananda, Chief Executive Officer of Lanka Credit and Business Finance Limited (LCBF), shares his story and contributions to this transitioning industry.
Born in the charming district of Galle, Leelananda followed a humble genesis at G/Narawala Maha Vidyalaya, Poddala. Later in life, he graduated with a Management Special Degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura alongside a Diploma in HRM at Aquinas University College. Further reinforcing his academic profile, he achieved his Chartered Licentiate at Chartered Institute of Sri Lanka and his Intermediate Banking & Finance Diploma at IBSL. Additionally, Leelananda completed a Private Enterprise Development Course at Harvard University, USA, and Management in Finance Course at NTUC in Singapore University. Moreover, he accomplished a Co-operative Banking System Course in South Korea, the Netherlands, and Canada whilst studying System Study at Banka Italia – Italy.
Stepping into the professional field back in 1997, Leelananda joined Sanasa Development Bank PLC and served 14 years of hard work, achieving “The Senior Deputy General Manager” before his resignation in 2015. Thereafter, he is the Founder of Lanka Credit & Business Limited (LCB) to build into a licensed finance company based in the country’s Southern Province. Investing his initial capital alongside a few professionals, he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director of LCBL back in 2016 and was chosen to the LCBF Board of Directors.
As the CEO, Leelananda had paved an enormous opportunity of merging with a financial company called the City Finance Corporation Limited, leading it under LCBF terms, which is regulated under the supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. This amalgamation is merely audacious as the City Finance Corporation Limited was not surviving at healthy terms during the merge. He clarifies, “City Finance Corporation Limited recorded a negative net worth amounting to Rs. 540 Million. However, within one year, we were able to bounce back successfully. We were able to compensate the depositors whilst adhering to the repayment program introduced by the regulator”, further proving his expertise in managerial abilities.
He wished to place on record his gratitude to the Directors of the company, who are from down south, for investing with confidence. their personal wealth with a view to enhancing its financial stability, thereby enabling the company to comply with the prudent core capital requirements of the regulator as well. He highlighted the fact that he is very much appreciative of the untiring commitment, and enthusiastic directions of the Chairman and the Board of Directors towards achieving a sustainable growth of LCBF
With the urge to maintain a visionary commitment to facilitate a smoother flow of business operations, Leelananda’s guidance has acquired LCBF to receive accolades as ‘The Emerging Finance Company of the Year at the South Asian Awards’ in 2019 and ‘The Fastest Growing Non-Bank Financial Institution in Sri Lanka’ in 2021, by the Global Economics, Devonshire House Stanmore, London, UK. Further assisting in the methodological development was his capacity to develop sustainable goals in consultation with his team. He always concentrated on the opinions and the feedback of his employees and subordinates, adapting to any possible change required with the company. Leelananda believes this to be the most important attribute to success.
Ever since the launch of LCBF, he prioritized his employees and maintained motivation and dedication within the team. “I believe that the employee’s improvement is the company’s improvement too. Everything else falls below”, he says when explaining that the stronger the employees are in their respective domains, the better the progress of the Corporate Management. LCBF harboured a high profile in recruiting professional individuals depending on their qualifications and experience to assist in funnelling key responsibilities and decision-making within the c.
Leelananda plans to propagate achievable goals which can pave the path to an ambitious five-year Business Development Plan, led by him and monitored by the Board of Directors. “This plan envisages aligning the future developments in the Finance Sector, Digital Transformations, local & global economic developments and an improvement of Human Resource capabilities whilst increasing our presence island-wide,” he stated.
Another highlight of success was the impeccable support and reliability provided by their IT software packages, catering to the digital transaction of their expanding business; as Leelananda confirmed, “This achievement has transformed our operational skills and helped us meet the need for the timely extraction of Management information. Furthermore, this has assisted in the formulation of policy decisions of the company to be in line with the vision and mission of the company”, Leelananda adds.
To build a prudent capital foundation within Sri Lanka, the Colombo Stock Exchange and Initial Public Offer are a few areas that Leelananda approached to achieve an oversubscription by the 26th of October, 2021. He sees this as an excellent opportunity to generate astonishing ideas to cater to the needs and demands of the company’s stakeholders, the depositors and the end-users, which can open up profitability methods to LCBF.
Leelananda’s thriving mindset has been guided by his steadfast commitment and dedication to accomplish the related responsibilities in the company. According to him, the enduring urge to succeed is a worthwhile commitment made by any accomplishing individual. Ultimately, Leelananda concludes by stating, “The perpetual development of new user-friendly products and services based on my team’s brilliant ideas and my guidance will drive LCBF to greater heights in the years to come”.