Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara is a prominent entrepreneur serving on the Boards of many corporates and conglomerates internationally. Coming from a strong business background, involved in their family enterprises, he ventured into the arena of financial services with a strategic investment in LOLC Holdings PLC and was appointed to the Board in 2002. In less than two decades, Nanayakkara has navigated LOLC to become not only a financial conglomerate but the most profitable conglomerate in the country making a significant impact in the global financial arena as the first Sri Lankan company with a dynamic MSME platform in the Afro- Asian regions.
Over the years, reputed financial institutions in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Zambia, and Nigeria has reaped benefits from his extensive knowledge in the Micro Finance business and MSME markets. He was also instrumental in setting up Life and General Insurance businesses in the Group and pioneered the concept of Micro Insurance in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. His business acumen extends to the growth sectors of developing economies with notable investments in Leisure, holding one of the largest hotel portfolios in Sri Lanka and Maldives in addition to other key investments in construction, plantation, trading, manufacturing and more recently in uniquely innovative scientific initiatives.
Nanayakkara continues to spearhead all strategic decisions of the LOLC group, both in financial and non-financial sector investments, with his vision for LOLC, being well executed with precision and commitment to create long term value for all stakeholders.
He holds many prestigious positions including the Chairmanship of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nano-technology, the national arm for advanced technological solutions based on Nano technology. Known for his innovative spirit, the Group has ventured into many bio-tech businesses, including conversion of pure graphite to graphene, incorporating technological advancements, creating value to the Group’s plantation portfolio of cinnamon, tea, sugarcane, rubber, and bi-products. Investments in renewable energy in both, Sri Lanka and in Sierra Leone, with the largest sugar-based bio ethanol and power plant in Africa, has added multi-dimensional know how to his versatile business portfolio.
Nanayakkara is a featured businessman in the international community, recognized for his invaluable contribution to Micro Finance in particular, by independent international platforms such as INSEAD business school including winning the prestigious ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) back in 2012. He holds a diploma in Business Accounting from Australia.
He is the Executive Deputy Chairman of LOLC Holdings PLC, Executive Chairman of Browns Investments PLC, Brown & Company PLC and the Chairman of Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (Pvt) Ltd. He also sits on several other boards of Group companies both locally and overseas.