Rohan Karunaratne succeeded by Nimal Lokuge at Agstar PLC | Daily News


 

Rohan Karunaratne succeeded by Nimal Lokuge at Agstar PLC

Nimal Lokuge and Rohan Karunaratne
Nimal Lokuge and Rohan Karunaratne

Agstar PLC saw the passing of the baton from one founding stalwart to another with the retirement of its long-time Chairman Rohan Karunaratne succeeded by Nimal Lokuge.

Accolades poured to the outgoing stalwart Rohan Karunaratne, affectionately known as the ‘father of Agstar’ one of the most respected figures in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sphere, Karunaratne’s legacy is unmatched.

He carved a name for himself while on the board of Ceylon Tobacco but the golden era of his career dawned at CIC Holdings PLC. His crusade in agriculture would see him blazing a trail spanning over 40 illustrious years culminating with his retirement from Agstar.

At the time Karunaratne and co launched Agstar which would go on to become a public-quoted Company, Sri Lanka’s agricultural industry was controlled by a few giants with a long history. He saw a compelling need for a level-playing field and new thinking.

Highly regulated industry it may be but Karunaratne knew a robust new player would offer fresh impetus to its growth. His band of like-minded visionaries carved a new niche in agriculture under the tutelage of the master practitioner with Agstar ascending to the third spot among giants of the industry.

By the time he called it a day, despite highly mitigating regulations and market dominance of old players, Agstar PLC has grown into a dynamic force, crossing the Rs. 3 Billion milestone in revenue on the back of strong performances by its seven companies in the Agstar portfolio. They are Agstar Crop Care (Pvt) Ltd, Agstar Exports Pvt Ltd, Agstar Grains Pvt Ltd, Agstar Properties Pvt Ltd, Agstar Seeds Pvt Ltd, Mahaweli Agro Trading Pvt Ltd and Prith Seeds Pvt Ltd.

“The man came, he saw and he conquered – our hearts and minds first and mentored us into a unique team of trailblazers”, said Agstar’s Managing Director Pasad Weerasekera who epitomizes the outgoing chairman’s faith in young professionals.

The most eloquent tribute came from the incoming Chair. “Rohan Karunaratne leaves the shoes of a giant so colossal it would be a herculean challenge to fill them. But his true legacy is that he has trained us all to respond to the calling”, said Nimal Lokuge, Chairman who is poised to lead Agstar into the future.

Nimal Lokuge, who was part of the nucleus as a Director when Agstar PLC commenced operations in 2002 will lead the forays of the rising star in agriculture overseeing what is evidently emerging as an agri-centric Sri Lanka in the 2020’s. Lokuge was also a founder director of Sierra Construction, a diversified game-changer, emerging as a leading light in the construction industry counting over 3 decades of acumen.

 


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