PayMedia CEO and Founder, Kanishka Weeramunda, has been named the Best CEO of the Year and the Best Future Leader of the Year in the small and medium service sector category at the CMI Excellence Awards 2017, which was held recently at Shangri-La Colombo.
One of his pioneering businesses, PayMedia, is a rapidly evolving Financial Technology (Fin-Tech) company in Sri Lanka, started with the aim of providing the best calibre of total software solutions for banks and other institutes. While keeping his focus on Fin-Tech, Weeramunda wants people to trust and enjoy the conveniences of digital technology and disrupt the payment processes in the country and around the world.
The company has grown tenfold with a team of ambitious and committed young individuals led by Kanishka. PayMedia has successfully developed digital products for clients such as Sampath Bank PLC, Nations Trust Bank, Amana Bank PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC, LOLC Finance Company, Central Finance PLC and the Ceylon Electricity Board. These products are currently simplifying the user experience of millions around the country and enables the clients to gain a competitive edge by enhancing digital services based on process automation and real time payments.
“I am honoured that my employees nominated me for this award, and I am thrilled that CMI chose a fin-tech company leader” said Weeramunda. “It’s a privilege to work with the PayMedia team every day and I’m humbled that they believe in PayMedia’s leadership. They make me a better leader by their example and I am grateful to be a part of this amazing company we’ve created.”
Weeramunda has more than 17 years of high level experience in the ICT industry. He faced many hardships and entry barriers during the first few years. However, within just 2 and half years, his machine to machine (M2M) technology collected an average of eight billion rupees a month. Making the right move at the time, Kanishka invested all his earnings in 5 start-ups and founded Square Hub, which accommodates these start-ups. He also founded PayMedia Australia Pvt Ltd in 2016 in Brisbane with the aim of expanding operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Weeramunda was born a leader. He is a trainer for the EU – Sri Lanka trade related assistance, organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and UNIDO. His visionary leadership and talent for coaching and mentoring people has led him to drive individuals to achieve goals and to push team members to climb greater heights. He was the mentor and the coach for world’s 5th & 8th Student Entrepreneur’s in 2016 and 2015 respectively at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards. He passionately contributes towards building the start-up and entrepreneurial eco system in the country as well as in the Asia Pacific region.
As a leader, he sends most of his staff members for international conferences as he believes innovation can only take place if your team is inspired. Weeramunda works very closely with ICTA to create a sound start-up network in Sri Lanka. He facilitates Start-up Weekend in the Asia Pacific region together with TechStars USA. Moreover, he represents Sri Lanka as the Community Leader of SWAPAC (Startup Weekend Asia PACific). He also Co-founded Disrupt Asia, the first ever start-up conference in Sri Lanka.
Weeramunda comes from a professional background in the education sector. He is the executive committee member of Private Higher Education Providers Association of Sri Lanka. He founded Edulink Cambodia and the Edulink Experience labs. He is also the facilitator of Education Start-up Weekend in Cambodia.
For the first time in Sri Lanka, the Chartered Management Institute of UK – Sri Lanka branch, introduced CMI Management Excellence Awards (CMI-MEA) to reward and recognize the most promising and innovative leaders in the Sri Lankan business community. Awards were presented in three industry categories and two organisational sizes to the premier professionals in both public and private sectors in Sri Lanka.