Dharmatilake Ratnayake, Sri Lanka

Name of recipient: 
Dharmatilake Ratnayake, Sri Lanka
Personal award category: 
Lifetime Achievement in Packaging Award
Dharmatilake Ratnayake, popularly known as Dharme among all his local associates and Dharma amongst his foreign contacts was born to a middle-class family as the third child of a family of six in 1941 in the North-Western Province of Sri Lanka. His father was a Principal of a village government schoo l under whose guidance Dharma completed his primary education and moved on to a leading school – Maliyadeva College in the Capital of the North-Western Province to commence his secondary education and ended up with a Bachelor of Science Special Degree at the University Ceylon (Sri Lanka). After a short spell of one year as an assistant lecturer in the University, Dharma was offered a post Graduate Scholarship to carry out research on Chemistry & Pharmacology of Local Herbs. However, after two years as a Research Scholar during which he published two joint research papers he changed his career in 1968 to serve the Packaging Industry as a Chemist/ Quality controller in a Multinational Company- Acme Aluminium Company (later to be named Acme Printing & Packaging). During his 33-year carrier at this company he was trained in Aluminium foil rolling operations and all aspects of Flexible Packaging Converting technology in the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Australia and Malaysia and was promoted to the positions of Production Manager followed by the Factory Manager until he left the company in 2001. From 2001 up to 2015 Dharma has been serving five companies including a local branch of a German Company involved in trading mainly on packaging industry related products and four flexible packaging converting companies assisting them to improve their production operations and marketing in different capacities like Deputy General Manager, Director/General manager, Consultant /CEO, Technical consultant etc. At present he is a Freelance Packaging Consultant accepting short term assignments helping the local Packaging fraternity. He has been associating with the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging (SLIP) for 49 years and during this time he has held the posts of Secretary, Vice President, President and at present he is a member of the council of management of the SLIP representing the Packaging Development Centre which was established by him in 2006 as the Technical arm of the SLIP. Dharma has been holding responsible positions in various other local and international associations connected to Packaging including Sri Lanka Institute of Printing, INGRIN Institute of Printing & Graphics as its Chairman, National Packaging Centre, and the Asian Packaging Federation as its President. He is being serving the Ministry of Industry & Commerce of the Government of Sri Lanka as the Chairman of its Packaging Sector Advisory Committee for the last 6 years. Dharma Ratnayake is also the Chairman of his own trading Company floated with his partner serving the local packaging convertors as an indenting agent for foreign manufacturers of raw materials. Dharma’s pioneering services in his chosen field - packaging for the last 49 years accomplishing remarkable services will make his name engrossed in the history of the packaging sector forever.