About Us » Founders

Our Founders

Mr. Nihal Kaviratne CBE

As a result of his 40 years of experience working at Unilever, Nihal pursues a keen interest in good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, developing models for replication by others. He was a founding member of the Board of Governors of President University in Indonesia and one of “25 leaders at the forefront of change” chosen by Business Week in 2002 for the Stars of Asia Award. He was awarded for driving Business Excellence at World Business Conclave 2016 in Hong Kong. Nihal was cited in the Queen’s 2004 New Year Honours List in the UK and was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to UK business interests and to sustainable development in Indonesia.
In January 2004, he moved from being Chairman of Unilever Indonesia to a regional role in the Unilever Asia Business Group based in Singapore as Senior Vice President – Development & Environmental Affairs. In January 2005, he assumed additional responsibility as Chairman of Unilever’s US$2.5 billion Home & Oral Care business in Asia. Today, Nihal is a Director of DBS Group & Bank, DBS Foundation Limited, StarHub, OLAM, GSK Pharma India, and Chairman of Caraway Pte Ltd. He was appointed to the Advisory Board of Bain & Company for SEA/Indonesia from August 2013, and was appointed a member of the Global Corporate Resilience Advisory Council of McKinsey effective January 2018. He is a member of the Governing Board of Bombay Mothers & Children Welfare Society and a Member of the Private Sector Portfolio Advisory Committee in India of the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Mrs. Shyama Kaviratne

Shyama was born in Mumbai and has retained close links to the city throughout her life. Shyama and her family have been influential in many charitable organisations in Mumbai and in other countries: For example ‘Bal Anand’, a charitable trust established to supplement the education of needy children, was started and is still run by Shyama’s family. Shyama opted for a career in management and worked professionally with a leading nationalised Indian bank. Twenty years of experience in this field disciplined her in dealing with a cross section of society and in the feasibility and administration of project finance.