1. Uni Dil Solutions stands tall as the market leader of the Packaging solutions industry of Sri Lanka. The growth under your watch has made this possible. What are your comments on this?

Uni Dil stands tall as the market leader with a formidable team of 600 strong individuals passionate for the work they do and it is indeed a pleasure to work with them hand in glove for the last 4 years. Since 2020 we have grown many folds both respective to the Industry as well as in comparison with the Vallibel group. Over the years, we are now the market leader in packaging solutions as you correctly mentioned. We command nearly 80% of the market in specific Industries such as desiccated coconut while having a nearly 20% market share in highly competitive markets such as corrugated packaging solutions.

Innovative branding and product related techniques have allowed us to perform extraordinarily better than our competition when all odds were against us as well. The 2022/2023 Financial year recorded an exemplary performance with a PAT of nearly 1 Billion while the local economy contracted by 3.8% owing to adverse economic conditions. This has allowed us to also rise the ranks and be the 4th most profitable company within the entire Vallibel group as well.


2. Could you share some insights into the key strategies you implemented to achieve over 12% topline growth in Uni Dil Solutions Limited after its acquisition by the Vallibel Group?

Vallibel group functions by the fundamentals laid by our founder, Mr. Dhammika Perera. His exemplary trailblazing nature has allowed us to follow his footsteps in revisiting any problem or challenge with an innovative solution. His ethos in life and approach to business is followed to date, in every corner of the Vallibel group even though he is no longer with us in a functional capacity.

In 2020 we relaunched the brand with a more strategic positioning and invested in automation and better infrastructure with the core aim of strengthening our product. Harnessing the synergy that existed within the group itself, we expanded our services to multiple other segments. The Jumbo Carton segment was one such star product that pushed us to ensure segmented product development was initiated while harnessing the equity of existing synergies. A coordinated approach in this manner along with

bottom-up suggestions coming through from our team allowed us to manifest our growth.


3. What do you have in store for Uni Dil in the future?

We strongly believe that our contribution to the Sri Lankan economy is far from being completely fulfilled. At Uni Dil we have initiated multiple sustainable practices inclusive of circular economic concepts thereby reducing wastage and redirecting them to be raw materials for production. As a responsible corporate citizen, we further aim to reduce the impact on the ecosystem that we partake in, all the while our products are completely environmentally friendly.

Furthermore, we have set our eyes on the global market and aim to strive within the direct export market thereby ensuring that we contribute to the much-needed forex inflow of the current local economy. Export markets including but not limited to East Africa, Maldives, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia are within our target in time to come. I am confident that along with our versatile board of directors and our team headed by the dedicated managing director Mr. Mahendra Jayasekara, the future is quite promising for Uni Dil.


4. With your extensive experience serving on the boards of various companies, including Pan Asia Bank Corporation PLC and Fortress Resorts PLC, what do you consider to be the most critical factors in effective corporate governance and strategic direction?

Since 2016, I have served in multiple listed companies within Sri Lanka and firmly believe that while the execution of corporate governance is a primary responsibility of the Board of directors, it is a virtue that needs to be embedded in the culture of the organization. If at the strategic helm, we set the direction and vision of the value creation process for any business, the teams we have at operational levels are more than capable of executing the same in a committed and professional manner.


5. As a Fellow Member of Chartered Professional Managers and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, how have these qualifications influenced you? Do you reckon that at the corporate juncture that these professional qualifications add value?

Yes indeed. I have firmly believed that both academic and professional qualifications instill a certain structure and layout within you and arm you with the knowledge of certain technical and nontechnical matters which will come in handy in your approach towards a challenge. While these qualifications will open a lot of doors for you it will also ensure that you are prepared for what awaits you beyond the door. Furthermore, continuous professional development programs organized via these institutes allow you to keep yourself updated with the industry and ensure that you are not left alone as the world proceeds further.

I also believe that learning is a never-ending process and education is the key to success. Hence amidst all my commitments, I am currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration after the successful completion of the Master in Business Administration from the University of Suffolk.


6. Your background in gem and jewelry trading is unique. How has your experience in this industry informed your approach to entrepreneurship and corporate leadership in other sectors, such as packaging solutions and hospitality?

Quite the Interesting question and I get asked this quite a lot. Before my involvement within the corporate sector, I started off with my natural entrepreneurial spirit. The gem and Jewellery trade has been my grooming stage and made me street-smart beyond comprehension. The interpersonal skills that one would need to survive in that Industry today have taught me about stakeholder management within a Board meeting. Learnings I have had on negotiations with multiple stakeholders have taught me the same when leading mergers and acquisitions for leading corporate entities. Fundamentals remain the same while the application of the same may differ.


7. Your corporate journey has been nothing short of aspirational. What’s next for you?

My life has been all about challenges and it is in my nature to confront them and build my journey through them and I firmly believe that the future is going to be of no major difference. But make no mistake, hurdle by hurdle, challenge by challenge, I will press on.


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