In the dynamic realm of banking, the presence of exceptional leaders becomes paramount, individuals who possess a remarkable amalgamation of experience, expertise, and visionary thinking that propels their organizations to new heights of success. One such exemplary figure is Mr. Dimantha Seneviratne, a visionary leader at the helm of NDB Bank Sri Lanka as its Director and Chief Executive Officer. With a trailblazing career that spans esteemed institutions and an unwavering dedication to innovation, Dimantha has masterfully guided NDB Bank on a transformative journey, positioning it as a frontrunner in the ever-evolving digital banking landscape, all this while upholding the unwavering values of customer-centricity, efficiency, and productivity. Dimantha’s visionary approach has also attracted diverse talent, resulting in increased female representation within NDB Bank’s managerial ranks making it the only EDGE certified entity and only local bank accredited as a “Great Place To Work”. His remarkable leadership positions NDB Bank as a trailblazer, driving unprecedented achievements in the industry.
Mr. Dimantha Seneviratne’s foray into the world of banking commenced promptly after attaining his bachelor’s degree from the prestigious University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Embarking on a remarkable journey, he began his career at Sampath Bank, subsequently venturing into the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, assuming pivotal roles within the esteemed HSBC Group. Notably, he excelled as the Chief Risk Officer of HSBC group across various jurisdictions. Returning to his roots in Sri Lanka, Seneviratne continued his ascent up the corporate ladder, lending his expertise to Pan Asia Bank as its CEO for 3 years, before ultimately joining the esteemed ranks of NDB Bank in 2017. Dimantha’s career trajectory showcases his unwavering dedication to the banking industry, accumulating invaluable experience across international and domestic markets.
Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge and an unwavering commitment to professional growth, Dimantha embarked on a remarkable educational journey. His pursuit of excellence led him to attain a Master’s Degree from the renowned Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Recognized for his exceptional achievements, he has been bestowed with a Senior Fellowship from the esteemed Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, as well as a distinguished Fellowship from the esteemed Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Furthermore, his passion for technology and innovation propelled him to acquire a Post Graduate Diploma in computer system design from the prestigious NIBM. Notably, Dimantha’s quest for continuous improvement reached new heights when he successfully completed the esteemed High Potential Leadership Programme at the renowned Harvard Business School in 2016, solidifying his business acumen and leadership prowess.
Imbued at the very heart of NDB Bank’s ethos is an unwavering dedication to customer-centricity, the guiding principle that has propelled the institution since its inception in 1979. Throughout its illustrious history, NDB Bank has evolved from development banking into a formidable banking group, encompassing a diverse range of entities within the financial industry. Embracing the transformative power of digital innovation, the bank has positioned itself as a trailblazing institution, paving the way for a future where data-driven self-service offerings take centre stage.
Dimantha Seneviratne, as a leader, embodies a resolute vision, unwavering purpose, and an unyielding focus. He remains acutely aware of the expectations placed upon him, constantly striving for personal and professional growth. In an industry characterized by rapid and relentless change, Seneviratne’s agility and adaptability have become his indispensable allies, allowing him to deftly navigate challenges and seize opportunities with unwavering determination. He provided leadership to the Banking Industry as the President of Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA) during the most challenging period 2019/2020 with the covid outbreak, moratoriums, etc. and continues to serve SLBA as a Senior Director to this date. Guided by a profound understanding of his strengths and propelled by a relentless pursuit of self-evaluation, he ensures a lasting impact on the ever-evolving world around him.
Furthermore, Dimantha’s leadership philosophy revolves around placing people at the core of his endeavors, recognizing that the true essence of a service-oriented organization lies in the empowerment and appreciation of its employees. His unwavering belief in nurturing a people-centric culture has become the driving force behind the remarkable success of NDB Bank. By fostering an environment where every individual feels valued and motivated, Dimantha has cultivated a powerful organizational culture that propels NDB Bank to unparalleled heights of achievement.
NDB Bank stands at the forefront of the digital revolution, confirming its commitment to becoming the unrivaled digital banking powerhouse of Sri Lanka. With an unwavering resolve, the bank has wholeheartedly embraced a cutting-edge digital strategy that aims to redefine the banking landscape. NDB Bank understands that the aspirations and preferences of the emerging generation demand a new paradigm of banking—one that offers unparalleled choices and unmatched convenience. At present over 85% of customer transactions at NDB are conducted digitally and investment in digital processes has made them one of the best in managing cost:income ratio.
To bring this vision to life, NDB Bank has embarked on a transformative journey, making significant investments in revolutionizing its core banking system and fortifying its digital and data analytics capabilities. This strategic focus goes far beyond mere mobile app-based transactions, as NDB Bank seeks to elevate convenience and service excellence across a diverse array of customer segments.
Innovative solutions lie at the heart of NDB Bank’s customer-centric approach. The NEOS Biz app, purpose-built for small and medium enterprises, empowers these vital engines of economic growth with the convenience of mobile banking. Additionally, the bank’s pioneering video know-your-customer (vKYC) solution simplifies and streamlines the account opening process, enabling customers from around the world to effortlessly join the NDB Bank family with just their passport or national identity card.
These groundbreaking initiatives demonstrate NDB Bank’s commitment to enhancing customer experiences and redefining the boundaries of convenience. With every innovation, NDB Bank paves the way for a new era of banking—one that seamlessly integrates technology, personalization, and efficiency to deliver unparalleled value to its esteemed clientele.
According to Dimantha, one of the paramount challenges confronting Sri Lanka’s banking sector today revolves around driving public adoption of mobile banking apps. While it is true that most banks have already introduced such apps, the key lies in elevating their versatility and user experience to inspire greater usage. NDB Bank, being fully aware of the importance of this adoption rate, recognizes the significant investments involved. Therefore, the focus remains on converting customer convenience and seamless transactions into tangible gains that positively impact the bottom line. By improving overhead cost efficiencies, NDB Bank aims to justify these investments to its shareholders, thus propelling the bank towards a prosperous future.
Looking ahead, Mr. Seneviratne maintains a positive outlook for the banking industry in the context of Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic crisis. While challenges such as deteriorating loan quality, exposure to government securities, volatile exchange rates and interest rates, and high taxes pose significant hurdles, the sector has displayed resilience over the years. Banks are implementing measures such as balance sheet management, enhanced risk and governance initiatives, cost rationalizations, and increased adoption of digital technology for process automation and customer solutions. These collective efforts will enable banks to weather the current shocks, minimize contagion risks, and support the overall stability and revival of the banking sector, which is essential for the country’s future economic growth.
When asked to share words of inspiration for the younger generation, Dimantha emphasizes the importance of acquiring necessary qualifications and skills in their chosen fields. He advises against allowing perceived lack of qualifications to hinder opportunities for growth. Striving for excellence and integrating a habit of pursuing perfection in all endeavors is key. Furthermore, he encourages young individuals to find joy and fulfillment in their work, and to make a positive impact by helping others as they continue to grow and prosper personally and professionally.
In summary, under the astute guidance of Mr. Dimantha Seneviratne, NDB Bank Sri Lanka is not only surmounting the obstacles that the banking industry presents but also forging a path towards a brighter future. By tackling the imperative challenge of expanding mobile banking app adoption and demonstrating unwavering resilience amidst economic crises, NDB Bank sets itself apart as a true innovator in the digital banking landscape while holding a steadfast commitment to customer-centricity, efficiency, and technological advancements, resulting in the bank standing tall as a key player in the ongoing revolution. As NDB Bank continues to prioritize enhancing user experiences and reaping tangible financial benefits, it is poised to redefine the very fabric of banking in Sri Lanka.