Women in Management Awards

Kasturi Chelleraga Wilson

Chair of the Judging Panel
Executive Director/ Group Chief Executive Officer Hemas Holdings Plc

Professional Journey

Kasturi began her rofession as an audit trainee in 1988, at the age of 18, with Arthur Anderson, who was represented by Someswaran Jayewickreme & Co.(Deloitte) where she went on to hold the positions of Audit Manager and Director Consultancy.

Kasturi then joined Aramex Airborne Lanka as Financial Controller in 1998, a position that she continued to hold when she moved to Confifi Hotels for a brief period. Her career changing decision was made when she joined Hemas Holdings in 2002.

Kasturi’s first position at Hemas was with Hemtours as Finance Director. She took over as Group Head of Shared Services and was instrumental in setting up the shared services function in the group in 2005. In 2006 she was appointed Group’s Chief Process Officer where she was responsible for business, IT and financial process transformation of the Group. Key initiatives under her supervision were setting up hospitals systems and processes and sales force automation process for the distribution network of the Group.

She took over as Managing Director of Hemas Mobility in 2011, and under her direction, the sector portfolio changed and grew exceptionally with a four times growth in earnings by venturing into logistics and Maritime spaces. The critical investments made during her tenure ensured that Hemas Mobility was positioned as the number 3 logistics brand.

In 2016, she was given an additional responsibility as Managing Director, Hemas Pharmaceuticals, Surgicals and Diagnostics, while continuing to function as the Managing Director of Maritime and Logistics. During her leadership the Pharmaceutical division saw rapid growth in spite of tough market conditions where the industry was brought under price controls and the company expanded its presence regionally. Addressing the low employee engagement when she took over reigns, Kasturi’s mandate was to build and unleash the potential of her team. Her efficient management skills led to an increase of the market share from 21% to 34% and the revenue was doubled in 4 years.

Consequently, Kasturi was appointed Group CEO of Hemas Holdings in October 2020, making her the first female to hold this position in a public quoted conglomerate in Sri Lanka. With the onset of COVID 19, she and her team ensured that communities had access to affordable medicine, while making Hemas the first corporate to give their hotel premises as a quarantine center for frontline workers. She continues to lead Hemas Holdings successfully through unprecedented economic climates that followed her appointment, ensuring that the purpose of the company remains true by doing the best for the community.

Other Appointments

Kasturi is an active member of various business organisations and has serves on the main committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and is on the Economic Policy Committee and has Chairs its Healthcare Sub-Committee. In 2019, she became the first female President of the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Industry, and now serves as the immediate past president of the Pharmaceutical Industry Chamber of Sri Lanka. She has actively participated in industry forums and groups throughout the years. At present, she serves as a Non-Executive Director of the Board of Capital Alliance Limited, a leading investment bank in Sri Lanka and holds several other Board positions at Hemas subsidiaries in the healthcare and consumer industries.

Kasturi also serves on the Board of the Lankan Angels Network (LAN) – a leading start up eco system in Sri Lanka. In April 2022, she was appointed as the Regional Champion for the World Bank for South Asia, an initiative that seeks to examine the disconnect between rhetoric and reality, the political economy underlying the resistance to cooperate, and find ways to overcome the barriers to cooperate.

Kasturi has also served as a Council Member of the National Sports Council of Sri Lanka till March 2022 and has served on the Board of SLID ( Sri Lanka Institute of Directors ) and CIMA Sri Lanka.


Kasturi was honoured by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 2019 when she was named to the coveted list of ‘Women Changemakers’ in Sri Lanka. She was also recognized as one of the ten ‘Wise Women’ impactful leaders of Sri Lanka by the Ministry of Skills and Vocational Education in 2022.

Qualifications and Skills

A former student of Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya, Kasturi is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an Alumna of the Senior Executive Leadership Programme at Harvard Business School. A passionate sportswoman, Kasturi represented Sri Lanka as a member of the National Netball and Basketball teams.

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