Gayan Dilanka Jayalath
Gayan Dilanka Jayalath
Gayan Dilanka Jayalath brings over 9 year’s experience in commercial-scale aquaponics. Agribusiness, Smart Agriculture, and Innovative Farming are the keys to his success. His knowledge, skills, and experience have paved the way for exceptional leadership and proven consistent production. As an executive under different portfolios in the supply chain, inventory management, and R&D, Gayan was part of the central management team of Cargills, the largest supermarket chain in Sri Lanka with revenues over USD 300 Million top-line per annum at that time. Gayan also had 7 months’ experience as Marketing Manager of the State-owned, Coconut Development Company in Sri Lanka.
JACK’S OF FIJI FARMS-(FIJI ISLANDS)
April, 2017 – Feb., 2021
Most recently, Gayan led the largest COMMERCIAL SCALE AQUAPONICS SYSTEM in the Fiji Islands, merging the best confluence of the best of practices. He created a one-of-a-kind facility in the region showcasing a unique spin-off of Agronomic practices while maintaining a 100% certified pesticide-free environment. This year-round operation brought top-quality produce to the local market and restaurants.
Watch Gayan’s Aquaponics design video here
Gayan also established and operated the most modern COMMERCIAL SCALE BEEKEEPING UNIT in Jack’s of Fiji farms premises, which made a substantial contribution to the revenue generation of the farms. He substantially reduced the usage of costly imported vegetable consumption for the Jack’s Restaurants chain by introducing locally grown produce. Under his direction and guidance, he managed soil-less (Aquaponics & hydroponic) & soil-based growing systems where the total demand was procured by Jack’s farms.
CARGILLS (CEYLON) PLC-(SRI LANKA)
May, 2008 – April, 2017
Almost 60% of the “fresh” category was represented by fresh farm produce, which actively contributed to establishing a strong SME farmers’ network, collecting centers, loans, grants, and CSR schemes in order to ensure sustainability and continuous inflow of the products in 2016. Gayan organized a direct network between farmers and Cargills supermarkets to procure their produce directly from farmers thereby shortening the lead time and eliminating intermediaries and waste. This resulted in dramatic cost savings for the consumer 2015. Gayan increased revenue by approx. USD 75K per year by researching and developing KFC dishes under a protected agriculture method. The project was completed on site in 2013.
Gayan was also responsible for Increased revenue by approx. USD 120K per year by introducing Knuckles branded mineral water with a bottling plant for Cargills supermarkets. The project was led by Gayan and funded by internal cash flow in 2012. Revenues increased by approx. USD 750K per year to the Cargills Super Market chain by introducing a branded spice processing plant. This project was directed by Gayan including the use management of internal cash flow in 2010.
EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS
- MBA in Marketing – Faculty of Finance and Management, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2015
- Bachelor of Agriculture (Majored: Agricultural Economics) Special Degree – Rajarata University, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka in 2007
- C.E (A/L) Bio Science Stream in 2021 & G.C.E (O/L) in 1996
- Successfully completed the Aquaponics Master Certification course, conducted by Murray Hallam, North Maclean, Queensland, Australia in 2018.
- Successfully completed the Aquaponic Design Certification course, conducted by Murray Hallam, North Maclean, Queensland, Australia in 2018.
- Successfully completed Both Modules (Queen Breeding, Splitting, Upgrading Hive management, Apiary & Colony Management) in Beekeeping from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji Islands.
DETAILED EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING
April 2017 to date Farms Manager – Jacks Farms Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Jack’s of Fiji, one of the largest diversified business conglomerates in Fiji Islands.
- Total responsibility for operating and management of the farms.
- Short-term and long-term budget preparations, obtaining board approvals, and run the farm as “concept to reality” basis.
- Short-term and long-term budget achievements and control, variations are to be justified through timely information.
- Directly liaise with government and non-government institutions to obtain proper instructions, guidance, and approvals applicable to Fiji Islands for Seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, equipment, and innovations relating to an Agric. Business.
- Maintain a database of Identifying demands of produce, crop rotations, land preparations, Machinery and labor requirements, Fertilizing, and different pest control methods and systems along with the marketing and age-wise crop inventory.
- Personal intervention to identify pest and disease, mineral deficiencies, variety multiplication, hydroponic system and products growth, harvesting and post-harvest waste management.
- Make knowledge-sharing sessions for workers and supervisors.
- Conceptualize and drawn the board’s attention towards “Procure direct from farmers” and established farmers’ network to make it a reality.
- Conceptualized and drawn board’s attention towards having a “Fruit Processing Unit” to the group in order to make value-added products from our farms produce and purchases from the farmers’ network to enhance the diversity of the group and higher the group bottom line.
Mar 2016 Apr 2017 Senior Executive – Agri-Business (Category Management Division) at Cargills Foods Limited (Subsidiary of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC) – the largest and only supermarket chain in Sri Lanka that could boast over LKR 60.0 billion revenue per year
- Category Management-Fresh (fruits, vegetables, meats and fish) at Cargills Super Market chain since March 2016.
- Analyzing trends and cyclical changes on statistical methods and forecasting and guiding procurement to achieve targets and goals of selected outlets.
- Generate weekly and monthly highlights for top Management and obtain necessary approval for executing changes that are planned and
- Frequent visits to outlets and ensure proposed and approved changes are executed.
- Personal attention on customer behavior, their proposals, and comments for customer satisfaction.
- Carrying out detailed tasks and coordinating to have strategic joint ventures on own branded Salt and Coconut oil together with pork farmer development project with HNB
- Positive participation to complete the E-Commerce project of Cargills Super Market chain in Sri Lanka.
Dec 2012 to Feb 2016 Senior Executive- Agri Business, attached to Agribusiness Development unit of Cargills Foods (Pvt) Ltd. (Subsidiary of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC)
- Assist in Price Fix for the fresh category and evaluate reasonableness and applicability of factor weights for fresh varieties from time to time and propose changes for approval.
- Strategy development in order to balance between “Reduce retail price and Increase Bottom line” and practice within the chain of outlets.
- Supervision and ad-hoc visits to Strategic Collecting Centres to personally evaluate and ensure the system is running smoothly and sustainably to achieve targets and goals in the short and long term.
- Coordinate and ensure new entrants and no exits from the CARGILLS ATHA HITHA farmers network, unless an extreme situation in violations of terms and conditions.
- Coordinate SARUBIMA CSR program and propose welfare projects and execute them to farmers to make them attracted and bonded with Cargills.
- Studies on local and overseas SME networks and their improvements whether those could be applied for the local conditions.
- Liaise with local and overseas farms and Agriculture research authorities for new pest and disease control on Iceberg lettuces.
- Executing and supervision of actual pest and disease control methods and ensure proper application and effectiveness.
- Recruit and training personnel for new agriculture systems and methods
- Liaise with quality and quality certification authorities to obtain certifications and their continuity and ensure effective applications.
Aug- 2011 to Mar 2012- Marketing Manager at Kurunegala Plantation Ltd., a state-owned coconut plantation company in Sri Lanka.
- Evaluating and taking initiatives for the new projects.
- Introduce new strategies in improving Top line and bottom line of the company.
- Taking the initiative of having final products rather than supplying raw materials in the traditional way to manufacturers.
- Taking part in auctions and initiate to eradicate malpractices of the coconut and copra auctions.
- Estate-wide productions and their Top and Bottom-line analysis, identifying malpractices and proposing control measures to the board.
- Identifying marketing loopholes and propose remedial measures to the board to make the company more profitable.
May 2008 to Jul 2011 –Trainee Executive/Management Trainee at Cargills Agri-Food (Pvt) Ltd., (Subsidiary of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC)
- Attached to Cargills KIST production plant where all KIST branded fruit juice, pulp, sauce and jam are produced.
- Experienced in primary fruit processing.
- Supervise teams to achieve monthly & weekly production targets.
- Analyze test results of the samples and make changes where necessary.
- Familiarised with ISO & SLS certified production and hygienic measures and practices
- Prepared weekly production KPIs’ & weekly production forecasting