Minister’s Message
Harnessing Sri Lanka’s Untapped Potential

Sri Lanka, with its strategic positioning, dynamic workforce, and unwavering commitment to innovation, invites global investors to discover a burgeoning tech landscape brimming with potential. The DigiEcon Global Investment Summit 2024 is your portal to Sri Lanka's digital renaissance, promising unparalleled networking, transformative insights, and a roadmap to accelerated economic growth.

We are embarking on a global investment summit on the tech aspect for the first time, but with the strong backing by the World Bank and other international partnerships and collaboration. Sri Lanka has had the flavor of tech investment summits happening for the past 2 years for our local investors which was organized by Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) that has built a very strong pipeline of companies for the investors.

Why Invest in Sri Lanka's Tech Ecosystem?

  • Globally Recognized Talent: Sri Lanka ranks first in Asia for affordable, skilled tech professionals.
  • Strategic Gateway: Capitalize on our prime location at the crossroads of trade.
  • Supportive Ecosystem: Experience government commitment, robust infrastructure, and a thriving startup community.
  • Investor-Centric: Benefit from streamlined processes, tax incentives, and strong investment protection agreements.

The Summit Experience: Insights, Connections, and Growth

DigiEcon Global Investment Summit 2024 is not just an event; it's a catalyst for sustainable digital-powered prosperity. Forge powerful collaborations with top tech innovators,  international investors, industry leaders, government visionaries and foreign missions. Uncover Sri Lanka's roadmap for tech-driven progress, exploring opportunities in cutting-edge fields alongside our commitment to sustainability and inclusivity.

As the Minister of Technology, I extend a warm invitation to international investors and industry leaders to join us at the DigiEcon Global Investment Summit 2024. Discover Sri Lanka's thriving tech ecosystem, network with key stakeholders, and gain exclusive insights into our potential. Embrace Sri Lanka's favorable investment climate, including affordable talent, a skilled workforce, strategic trade agreements, and robust legal protection.

Let's shape the future of technology together. Sri Lanka awaits your investment.

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DigiEcon Global Investment Summit 2024

Ruvini Fernando

Ruvini has over 30 years of experience in capital markets, investment, and portfolio management, financial advisory services across corporate finance, transaction services, and capital projects and infrastructure, serving a wide array of clients in a wide range of industries.

She provides subject matter expertise in Public Private Partnerships and has worked closely with the Government of Sri Lanka and Development Finance Institutions such as the World Bank Group and Asian Development in macro-policy formulation and sectoral assessments.

Ruvini has also worked with clients on fundraising initiatives, transaction structuring, and cross-border activity, particularly focusing on foreign markets such as India, Maldives, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Singapore.

Sanjay Jain

Sanjay Jain leads the foundation’s work to encourage and equip low- and middle-income countries to adopt safe and inclusive digital public infrastructure.

Before joining the foundation in 2024, Sanjay was a partner at Bharat Innovation Fund, which invests in early-stage companies that use intellectual property as a business differentiator. Earlier, at IIMA Ventures, he led efforts at the Bharat Inclusion Initiative to bring more people into the formal economy and workforce in India.

During his career, Sanjay has been responsible for the development of many large-scale, high-impact systems. He was a key contributor to the creation and promotion of a set of government application programming interfaces, collectively referred to as the India Stack, which enables the interoperable identity, data, and payment systems underlying India’s digital public infrastructure. He also led the creation and launch of Google Map Maker, a crowd-sourced mapping product that was responsible for Google Maps data for 170+ countries.

Sanjay has an M.S. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Technology in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Alok Lall

Alok B. Lall

Chief Operating Officer - India and South Asia Microsoft Corporation

As the COO for Microsoft India and South Asia, Alok leads the strategy, marketing and operations for the region. He is part of the senior leadership team, and drives the region's long-term growth goals for Microsoft to be the most trusted and innovative AI partner in India and South Asia. He leads a team of marketing and operations leaders who work to build awareness with customer stakeholders and improve sales performance within Microsoft and through its partner ecosystem. Alok also works closely with the product engineering teams to bring customer, partner and developer feedback into the innovation process in the region. Alok cares deeply about Accessibility and Sustainability and has spoken for Microsoft in several industry and business forums on these topics. He has over twenty-six years of experience as a technology and business leader, twenty-four at Microsoft India, where he has demonstrated impact across a diversity of business and technical roles. Alok has a B.E. (Honors) in Electronics & Telecom from the National Institute of Technology, Silchar, Assam. He enjoys listening to music and traveling with his wife, Ritu and daughter, Shreya in his spare time.

James Tan

James Tan is Managing Partner at Quest Ventures, a top venture capital fund in Asia. Prior to this, James was co-founder and COO of 55tuan, a NASDAQ listed e-commerce group that grew to more than 200 cities and 5,000 employees across China.

James is a board member or angel investor in top tier startups in Asia such as 99.co, Carousell, Carro, Ethis, Glife, and Shopback.

James serves on several non-profit organisations. He is Chairman of the Social Impact Catalyst – Southeast Asia’s largest youth network for social impact. He is a board member on the Applied Innovation Institute – global leaders in industries, government, and academia for business transformation; and Sports Excellence Business – helping athletes excel with life after sport transition. He is a former Chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship – Singapore’s national voice for entrepreneurship; and former Chairman of the Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia – Asia’s oldest angel investment network.

He has been guest speaker at Asia-focused and private equity events such as ITB Berlin, Private Equity Insights, Stanford-PARC Digital Cities, SWITCH, and World Islamic Economic Forum. He has guest lectured at universities including Fudan, IE, NTU, Tsinghua, and UC Berkeley.

James was recognised as an outstanding overseas Chinese by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China. He is a recipient of the Alumni Award from the University of South Australia. He received scholarships from both Beijing and Singapore governments for his MBA from Tsinghua University in partnership with MIT. During the first dot-com era, he studied and dropped out of computer science at NUS to work on two-sided markets.

For leisure, James enjoys photography and has been featured in ComputerWorld, Readers’ Digest, and commercially represented by Liaison Agency. He backpacks Asia and volunteers in marine conservation as a PADI scuba-diving instructor.

Accurate as of Jan 2024

Ravi Narayan

Ravi is a pioneer in the Venture Catalyst/Startup Accelerator space. Between 1998 to 2005 , Ravi had built, run, and exited 2 startups in the Silicon Valley. Since 2006, he has been in India, helping the startups in the Indian startup ecosystem, first as the Global Director of Microsoft for Startups, followed by his role as the CEO of T-Hub, the Telangana and later on as the CIO for Telangana state. He has also pioneered a Digital Transformation Program that leverages innovative and disruptive technologies from startups globally
He is a seasoned business leader and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience building high performance teams that collaborate across various functions to execute for consistent results. He has taken several companies from startup through growth to exit, both in the US and in India.

He is a founding chair of PAN-IIT in Washington DC, TiE Entrepreneurial Summit (TES) in Bangalore and the NASSCOM’s Product Conclave in Bangalore. He is passionate about building best practices and methodologies for training entrepreneurs in different stages of their journey.

He is passionate about building best practices and methodologies for training businesses in different stages of their journey. This is helping him foster innovation ecosystems in today’s fast-changing business, technology, and complex data landscape. He is equally passionate about exploring ways of applying age-old wisdom from scriptures and classics for a balanced, successful and fulfilling entrepreneurial life for entrepreneurs.

Mohan Belani

Mohan Belani is the Co-founder and CEO of e27, a startup and tech ecosystem platform focused on helping startup founders build and grow their companies. He believes that startups can make the world a better place, and in order for Southeast Asia's tech ecosystem to be relevant, it needs to be driven by sustainable and impactful companies solving problems at scale.

He is also a Partner at Orvel Ventures, a network driven venture capital firm investing in early-stage technology startups in Southeast Asia. He’s invested in over 30 early stage funds and startups across APAC and US and enjoys working with Founders and helping them alleviate the challenges of building great companies specifically around the areas of funding and market access.

Heather Taylor-Strauss

Heather Taylor-Strauss is an economist at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP). She has been leading UN ESCAP’s foreign direct investment (FDI) work programme for the last 4 years, and in that time implemented 20+ technical assistance projects with both national and subnational investment promotion agencies on investment attraction and facilitation for sustainable development across UN ESCAP’s 53 member States. The projects she has worked on have focused on boosting FDI into climate action, digital transformation, and advancing gender equality.    

 

Prior to joining UN ESCAP, she worked at the Asian Development Bank, Goethe University, Trinity College, and the Sadar Patel Institute for Economic and Social Research. Heather holds a PhD in political economy and international business with distinguished honors from Goethe University (Germany).

David Mann

Chief Economist, Asia Pacific

As chief economist, Asia Pacific, David leads the development and delivery of differentiated economic, financial, policy and market thought leadership for customers, Mastercard and public policy.

David joined Mastercard with over 20 years of experience at Standard Chartered Bank having worked in different roles, including Asia chief economist, and most recently Global chief economist. Prior to this he was responsible for coverage of the US economy and also covered Latin America providing clients with the bank’s view on Asia in the US time zone. David also worked as a senior FX strategist based in London and Hong Kong. David has won numerous awards for his outstanding work including the top ranked Asia macro research team among investors in the AsiaMoney poll and the Rybczynski Economist Prize from the UK Society of Professional Economists for work on the Malaysian Ringgit Barometer. David appears regularly on CNN, CNBC, BBC World, and Bloomberg for his macroeconomic insights.

David is a global citizen having worked and lived in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, New York, and now Singapore.

David holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.

Rajan Anandan

Rajan Anandan, Managing Director Peak XV & Surge As part of the leadership team at Peak XV Partners, Rajan is focusing on developing Surge into the world's top scale-up program for startups by acting as an investment advisor and mentor to the programme's founders. Surge aims to engineer rapid early progress for startups, by enabling disproportionate access to capital, talent, network and decades of company-building knowledge. Rajan's deep understanding of technology, operating expertise and a track record of growing tech businesses across the region will help Surge's founders scale and build the businesses of tomorrow. Prior to Peak XV, as Head of Google India and Southeast Asia, Rajan played a key role in expanding the regions internet ecosystem while accelerating Google's innovation and growth units. He is also a prolific angel investor who has backed a large number of successful startups at very early stages. Rajan also led Microsoft and Dell in India and was earlier a Partner at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.

Priyan Fernando

Priyan Fernando serves as the Chairman of Brandix Lanka Ltd. He also works as a senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in the USA. He consults on Corporate Governance and Business and Finance Transformation to leading organizations around the world.

 

Priyan recently retired after a distinguished 32 year career with American Express Co, in NYC. Most recently he was Executive Vice President, Global Business Services of American Express (AXP), where he was responsible for all internal operations including Finance, Procurement, Real Estate, HR and Marketing in this $100+ billion financial enterprise with a presence in over 130 markets.  Priyan’s work has resulted in several innovations, including proprietary new ways to drive efficiencies and enhance effectiveness, which have been replicated across American Express and other BCG clients. He is using this experience to help leading companies transform and drive effectiveness in delivering outcomes.

 

Prior to this role, Priyan was President, and Chief Operating Officer of American Express Global Business Travel, where he had P&L responsibility of over $1 billion and oversaw a staff of over 12,000 people around the world. He led a transformation of the Global Service Delivery Network and Client Management activities across the business and was recognized in the Business Travel World Top 50 newsmakers in 2008

 

Previously, Priyan served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of American Express Global Corporate Services and was a member of the company's Senior Finance Leadership Team. In 1994 He was instrumental in introducing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in India by pioneering the financial shared services model at American Express. He was recognized as the pioneering business leader for Global Shared Services in India in 2018. He has previously held the role of US Controller of the Travel and Card Businesses

 

Before joining American Express in 1982, Priyan had a successful public accounting career with Ernst & Young in New York City and prior to that with Ernst & Young in Sri Lanka.

 

Priyan has served on the boards of the New York City Leadership Center, the Advisory Council of the Conference Board and Rearden Commerce. Priyan is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and Chartered Management Accountants of the UK, where he served on the International Committee. He is also a member of the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a MBA from Indiana University. His ten year experience as a senior advisor at BCG has given him exposure to best practices across many leading companies.

 

Priyan is based in New York and Sri Lanka where he has also advised the government of Sri Lanka and the Central bank.