|Dr D S Bandarage left us forever from this world on 1 July 2009. It was a very sad ending for the much renowned Management Guru of the 50s up to the ƒÆ’-¡ 2000s.
For those who associated him, Dr Bandarage was seemedƒÆ’-¡ immortal.ƒÆ’-¡ The aura that spread from him was noble and powerful, anyone would show ƒÆ’-¡ respect to him. People would naturally get up from their chairs when they would see him approaching them. That was solely due to the respect people had for the Great Man, Dr DS Bandarage.
It was very sad and surprising to hear that someone in the stature of Dr Bandarage had been lying helplessly in a hospital bed at Apollo Hospital withƒÆ’-¡ tubes connected to his body, unable to speak, eat or drink.ƒÆ’-¡ He had remained in that state for about two months, before succumbing in the wee hours of 1 July 2009.ƒÆ’-¡ This reinforces us ƒÆ’-¡ what the Lord Buddha had taught us – that life is impermanent. Dr Bandarage led a very fine meritorious, exemplary life.
ƒÆ’-¡ When D S Bandarage was born to his upper middle class parents, Baron Gunawardana Bandarage and Margaret Hewawasam Bandarage of Kaikawala, Induruwa, they may have never thought that their eldest son will become such a gigantic figure in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Management field.ƒÆ’-¡ But, that is exactly what happened.
ƒÆ’-¡ From very young age, Devapriya Bandarage showed signs of extra ordinary talent for studies. ƒÆ’-¡ He became first in class at his village primary school, then became 1st in the whole of the Southern Province by winning the coveted Valencia Rupasinghe trophy for the most outstanding student from Southern Province to gain admission to grade 2 at Ananda College, Colombo.
ƒÆ’-¡ After an illustrious studenthood at Ananda, young Bandarage went on to do an Oriental Studies degree, later completed his Management Studies from reputed universities in the UK and Australia.ƒÆ’-¡ In the 70s he was awarded the Doctorate of Human Resources Management by a US university.
Dr Bandarage had his full education at Ananda College. At Ananda young Bandarage flourished with academic achievements plus extra-curricular activities.ƒÆ’-¡ He excelled in studies.ƒÆ’-¡ Young Bandarage was instrumental in forming the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Bosath Lama SamajayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ under the patronage of the then teachers, LH Meththananda, P.De S. Kularatne, Ven Balangoda Ananda Maithree Thero and Sagara Palansuriya (then a Buddhist Monk).ƒÆ’-¡ The members of the Bosath Lama Samajaya included some latter day luminaries as Ananda Tissa De Alwis (former Minister), Ranapala Bodhinagoda (former Chairman ANCL), Duncan De Alwis (former Colombo GA), LBT Premarathna (former Solicitor General), P L Berty Silva (former Postmaster General),ƒÆ’-¡ P Walter De Silva (first Sinhalese Army Commander) and LS Perera (Banker). Dr Bandarage was the President of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Bosath Lama SamajayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.
Dr Bandarage was unfortunate to have lost his father, who was a school principal, at young age.ƒÆ’-¡ While growing up as a teenager and until his early 20s he lived in the posh residences in Colombo 7 of his uncle, the legendary, Mr Ponnamperuma, the then Assistant Commissioner of State Languages.
After an illustrious studenthood, young Bandarage commenced working in the corporate sector. A watershed in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s corporate world arose in mid/late 1940s when Dr Bandarage was appointed as the first ever native born Personnel Manager of a multinational Company in then Ceylon, namely, Shell Company of Ceylon Ltd. During that time most of the top corporate positions in Ceylon were held by the British.
At Shell, Dr Bandarage had an enormous task ahead.ƒÆ’-¡ He knew that not only he must succeed himself but must also prove to his white masters that they made the right decision. At that time the white company directors though they liked Sri Lankan staff were reluctant to offer them anything more than middle management level positions. They thought the locals may not be able to do the top senior executive jobs as good as them. Thus, such positions (especially in the big multinational companies) were rarely offered to the locals. ƒÆ’-¡
Dr Bandarage knew that if he failed, the doors in Ceylonese corporate world, in the field of human resources of management may be closed for Ceylonese for many more years to come.
Fortunately WHS Bing (the then Chef Executive of Shell) liked Dr Bandarage and the relationship between the two of them progressed very well.ƒÆ’-¡ Bing gave every encouragement to young ƒÆ’-¡ Bandarage to succeed as the Personnel Manager, and so he did.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage demonstrated to the British and other European directors of Shell of his incredible talent and managerial skills as a Human Resources Manager/Specialist.
Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s English was better than that of his white masters.ƒÆ’-¡ Intellectually, he was far superior than members of hisƒÆ’-¡ European Board of Directors.ƒÆ’-¡ The whites knew this. His luck was that his superiors were not jealous of his skills and abilities, they simply encouraged him to prosper.
By judging Dr Bandarage, the Europeans realised that the dark skinned Ceylonese could do the same jobs that they do or even better than them. The success of Dr Bandarage at Shell, led many other top level companies to establish personnel departments (human resources departments) in then Ceylon.ƒÆ’-¡ Noteworthy among them were Lever Brothers (now Unilever), rated as the best multinational company to work in then Ceylon.ƒÆ’-¡
Other top level companies of the era included Ceylon Tobacco Company, Walkers, Browns, Whittal Boustead, Lipton, Brooke Bond, Carson Cumberbatch, Aitkin Spence, British Ceylon Corporation (BCC), Collets, Freudenberg, Rowlands, Pfizer, Hayles, Mackwoods, Pure Beverages, John Keels, Ceylon Nutritional Foods (now Nestle), Walker and Greig, Baurs, CIC, Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd (Elephant House), Bartleets, Muller and Phipps, JL Morrison Son & Jones, and United Motors, to name some.
In the early 50s Shell Company was in some form of strife with the GovernmentƒÆ’-¡ and its top managers left the company, and theƒÆ’-¡ company was finally wounded up.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage was quickly absorbed into Lever Brothers by its legendary Chairman, J D Mould and its Scottish Managing Director, Mr Baberlomax.ƒÆ’-¡
Dr Bandarage spent nearly 18 years at Levers which time he positively revolutionized the personnel management system not only within Levers but the entire Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).
At Levers Dr Bandarage was determined to unlock doors of executive and senior executive positions to Sri Lankan born lads, especially those from rural backgrounds, if they were clever and intelligent. He was looking for young talent who had brilliant academic records and those who could handle or improve ƒÆ’-¡ English well.ƒÆ’-¡ He was not bothered whether the candidates came from poor backgrounds or villages, his motto was to give the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”best job to the best qualified personƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, disregarding colour, creed, caste, gender and race of the individual.ƒÆ’-¡ Thus, only the most qualified and skilledƒÆ’-¡ people were able to secure employment at Levers.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage had stated to the white masters ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-if the candidate was the best suited, I will give them the job, purely on merit, no matter what the background wasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡
This strict ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”non-discriminatoryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ policy of his at Levers (which heƒÆ’-¡ later practised at other places) effectively unlocked managerial positions to many rural youth who would otherwise never have had the opportunity to get in to CeylonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s corporate sector.ƒÆ’-¡ Previously persons who studied in such schools as Royal, St Thomas, St Peters, St Josephs, Trinity, St AnthonyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s, St BridgetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s, Ladies and Bishops and the elite Tamil schools in Jaffna and Batticaloe were only able to get top jobs in the top private sector firms.ƒÆ’-¡
At (Shell and) Levers, Dr Bandarage changed this culture; for the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s good fortunate, his white masters approved of this policy. Especially, ƒÆ’-¡ J D Mould, a kind and very fine corporate boss of the time, proactively supported Dr Bandarage.ƒÆ’-¡ This revolution that he introduced spreaded to other mercantile establishments who followed suit.
During Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s time at Shell and Levers, there was not a single strike – in both places (during this time the country was turmoiled with trade union actions with leftist Trade Unions having a big say).
During his sojourn at Levers Dr Bandarage created and published the very popular magazine ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Lever PavulaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in English and Sinhalese, which was a fantastic read of the time.ƒÆ’-¡ It basically brought together all of the staff, no matter who they were. ƒÆ’-¡ Lever Pavula showed to the world that at Levers everyone was equal (ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”One FamilyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢). It was such a ƒÆ’-¡ popular magazine people outside of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Lever FamilyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ eagerly waited to read it every month. Through Lever Pavula, Dr Bandarage allowed journalists like Mahanama Dissanayake (then Lankadeepa editor), DB Dhanapala (Dawasa Supremo) to do write ups. Gunadasa Liyanage was introduced to journalism through Lever Pavula. Dr Bandarage was ably supported by Ariyapala Pathirana, who was a sub editor of Lever Pavula. Only a genius could produce ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Lever PavulaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢; it was Dr Bandarage.
Dr Bandarage went and recruited a number of managers for Levers, some of them became luminaries in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s corporate world.ƒÆ’-¡ Some of Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s recruits included such management luminaries of contemporary Sri Lanka (considered as Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s management legends) as Stanley Jayawardana (later became Chairman of Levers), Gilbert Jayasuriya (later Director of Levers),ƒÆ’-¡ Sam Jayasuriya, Dr Seevali Ratwatte, Ariyapala Pathirana, ƒÆ’-¡ Upali WIjewardane (late billionaire tycoon), S De La Mott, and J Ariyanathan etc.
In his career as a Personnel Management Professional/Company Director, ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage had providedƒÆ’-¡ traineeships and employment to many thousands of Sri Lankans, selected solely on merit. The white employers at Shell and Levers were amazed in the skillful way Dr Bandarage devised human resources management strategies to identify the talents and abilitiesƒÆ’-¡ of the prospective job seekers. Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s staff would ƒÆ’-¡ shortlist and finally recruit the best persons for the firm, after providing them with the best possible package deal. The salary cum other incentive packages afforded by Levers at that time was far better than for someone going overseas (western world) to work.
As stated before Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s main ambition was to screen and employ the cream of Sri Lankan talent into top positions of the Sri Lankan private companies that he was associated with.ƒÆ’-¡ He did this task remarkably well.ƒÆ’-¡ When doing this not only did he always have the best interests of his company at heart, but also of the country and the candidates that he interviewed.ƒÆ’-¡ For example, it was Dr Bandarage who dissuaded the Film Legend, Gamini Fonseka from joining Levers,ƒÆ’-¡ saying to Gamini that his future lied in film industry;ƒÆ’-¡ Gamini should not take up the Marketing Representative position that Levers had offered him but should continue with acting. ApparentlyƒÆ’-¡ Gamini had vehemently wanted the Levers job as opposed to his acting career which he had then just started.ƒÆ’-¡ He wanted to give up acting in lieu of the lucrative career at Levers. Being a visionary, Dr Bandarage saw that though Gamini would be an asset to Levers, it was in GaminiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s and the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s best interests that he continued with films. One day Gamini had gone and put a garland around Dr Bandarage in public to thank him ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”precisely, at Belihul Oya Rest House in the 70s, where Dr Bandarage had been with some friends. Gamini had stated but for Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s advice he would have lost the acting career.
ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage had realised that Sri Lanka as a young nation, which had just obtained independence, it vehemently required teams of talented mangers for its emerging mercantile sector, and that doors must be opened up for the best and the brightest, irrespective of their race, creed, class or caste.
Those who tried to canvass him to obtain jobs by various ways and means wereƒÆ’-¡ immediately disqualified from the selection process. It is stated that Dr Bandarage had stated ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”noƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to very influential politicians and top business persons who had wanted to put their stooges into the companies that Dr Bandarage was involved in. When Dr Bandarage had refused, they had respected his decision.
It is stated that at Levers he ran ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”on the job trainingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ for the staff so well that the parent company in the UK started sending their staff to Sri Lanka for training, so did Hindustan Levers in India (previously Sri Lankans were sent to those institutions for training).
In the fifties and sixties Dr Bandarage had emerged as a giant in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Management field.ƒÆ’-¡ Along with Sir Cyril De Zoysa (then Chairman of Associated Motorways group), he established the Institute of Personnel Management (Inc).ƒÆ’-¡ This was way back in 1960.ƒÆ’-¡ In the formative years of the institute, Sir Cyril was the President and Dr Bandarage was the Secretary of the institute. Later, Dr Bandarage became the President of the Institute and held this position for a long time – he was the President in the 60s and then again for a spell of time in the 80s. He is the first Fellow of the Institute of Personnel Management in Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” bestowed on him on 1 November 1976, when Brigadier Cecil Caldera was the President of IPM. ƒÆ’-¡
At a recent Council Meeting (2013) at the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM), attended by the entre IPM Council, a large collection of historical newspaper articles (mostly published in Lake House Newspapers – Ceylon Daily News, the Evening and Sunday Observer) from 1950sƒÆ’-¡ onwards and books on Management (3) written by Dr D S Bandarage, were presented to the IPM by Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s son Mr. Chanaka Bandarage, a Barrister/Solicitor of the SupremeƒÆ’-¡ Court of NSW and the Australian Capital Territory.
Among theƒÆ’-¡ articles presented are information about the 1949 ILO funded Personnel Management Seminar held in Ceylon where the need for a professional Personnel Management Organisation was first raised (the then Government was represented at this Seminar by Hon M D Banda , Minister of Labour and Dr D S Bandarage represented the EmployerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s delegation).
In 1959 an ILO sponsored workshop of Personnel Executives was held in Sri Lanka with Dr. Bandarage playing ƒÆ’-¡ the leading role of organisation. Just prior to the Seminar in late November 1959, he wrote an article in the Ceylon Daily News – on 17 November 1959, wherein he emphasized the need to establish and Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) and even presented a draft constitution of the Institute.
The Institute of Personnel Management was formally inaugurated on Friday 22 April 1960 at the CISIR auditorium in Bullers Road, Colombo at a gathering of Subscriber Members, chaired by Senator Hon Sir CyrilƒÆ’-¡ de Soysa. The only surviving IPM Council Member that attended the function is Mr LS Peiris (FIPM), the then Assistant Personnel Manager, Ceylon Transport Board (CTB). Currently, he is the Assistant Treasurer of IPM.
That very day, 22 April 1960, a comprehensive article written by Dr Bandarage was published in the Ceylon Daily News under the title ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-An Institute of Personnel Management will be inaugurated todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡ This is a very valuable historical document for the management fraternity in Sri Lanka
AnotherƒÆ’-¡ ILO conference on Personnel Management was held at the same CISIR Auditorium in 1964 where the IPM introduced the Handbook ofƒÆ’-¡ Personnel Management (Ceylon) edited by Dr Bandarage.
Dr Bandarage established a close link with the IPM until his demise from this worldƒÆ’-¡ in 2009.ƒÆ’-¡ When IPM was in strife in early 1980s and nowhere to go,ƒÆ’-¡ Dr. Bandarage took the Institution to his home at 7 Ohlums Place, Colombo 8. Mr Chanaka Bandarage stated at the Council Meeting ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-One early morning we were astonished to see many filing cabinets, tables etc. piled up on our front lawn. This saved the IPM from a possible close down.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬
ƒÆ’-¡ At the Council meeting, Mr Chanaka Bandarage observed that IPM has grown to be a giant among Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Professional Organisations. He stated that during the times when his father,ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage was a Council Member, Secretary and President of IPM, he worked exceptionallyƒÆ’-¡ hard to build the Institute. Most of the key documents of the Institute, especially in its formative years, were drafted by Dr. Bandarage, including the Memorandum of Articles and Articles of Association, the By-Laws and many IPM Course Syllabuses. At the IPM National Conference in 2003, the Institute bestowed upon him its highest award ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”IPM Gold MedalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. He was the First Recipient of this prestigious award.
Today the IPM boasts of having being firmly established in Sri Lanka. It is housed in a multi storey set up in Colombo 5 with hundreds of staff working.ƒÆ’-¡ The IPM must profoundly thank Dr Bandarage for his untiring efforts to bring it into todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s position. It was Dr Bandarage who accredited the IPM with other leading Management institutions in the western world, especially with the bodies in the UK and Australia.
With such management luminaries as Mallory Wijesinghe, Ananda Tissa De Alwis, Brigadier Cecil Caldera, Lalith Godamune, Sena Mahawatthe, Mansour Ghouse, Dr Ranjith Cabraal,ƒÆ’-¡ MC Mathupala, Leo Samson, K Deraniyagala, ƒÆ’-¡ Gerry Hidellearachchi, Cyril Chinnaih, Upali Wickramasekera etc., Dr Bandarage was involved in the establishment and improvement of several Management Development Institutes in Sri Lanka. The Institute of Management of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) is one of them, where he was a founder member with Mallory Wijesinghe being the first President (in 1978).ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage served in the Council of this institute for a long time.
Dr Bandarage served as a visiting lecturer of Management Studies at the Universities of Colombo and Sri Jayawardanapura. His contemporaries at the universities ƒÆ’-¡ included Professor Gunapala Nanayakkara, Professor Karunasena Kodituwakku, Dr Kamal Karunanayake etc. ƒÆ’-¡ In fact, it was only few years ago prior to his death that Dr Bandarage finished his sojourn with these universities.ƒÆ’-¡
Dr Bandarage was a long standing panel member in the recruitment to the Ceylon Civil Service (later Sri Lanka Administrative Services).ƒÆ’-¡ Thanks to Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s brilliant teaching hundreds of educated youth from rural Sri Lankan villages ended becoming senior public servants, including Government Agents and Departmental Secretaries.ƒÆ’-¡
During the Prime Ministership of Dudley Seneanyake Dr Bandarage was assigned to study and report to the government re the formulation of the Five (5) Day week.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage did substantive studies both locally and overseas and recommended to the then government (the Ministry was held by J R Jayawardana) that Sri Lanka should implement a 5 day working week (until then Sri Lanka had a 5 ƒÆ’-¡½ day week, where people worked ƒÆ’-¡½ day on Saturday).ƒÆ’-¡ The present day workforce must be thankful to late Dr Bandarage for fighting for them to get the 5 day working week, which is still in existence.
In 1964 or so Dr Bandarage edited the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Handbook of Personnel Management for CeylonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ which book is even today regarded by the Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s management fraternity as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”BibleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of Sri Lankan Management.ƒÆ’-¡ It is somewhat impossible for any Personnel Management professional to operate without this Handbook.
Dr Bandarage had written several books on Management Studies, first in English, later in the 90s in Sinhalese.ƒÆ’-¡ Noteworthy among them are the books ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Case Methods in ManagementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-AdministrativeƒÆ’-¡ ManagementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Comprehensive ManagementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’‚ ·”‘ƒÆ’‚ ·”…¡ƒÆ’‚ ¶º ƒÆ’‚ ¶ƒ…‚¡ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒ…‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’‚ ¶»ƒÆ’‚ ¶¸ ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒÆ’‚ ·”‘ƒÆ’‚ ¶ƒ…‚¡ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒ…‚ ƒÆ’‚ ·”…¡ƒÆ’‚ ¶±ƒÆ’‚ ¶ºƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’‚ ¶”‚¦ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’‚ ¶¶ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒÆ’‚ ¶°ƒÆ’‚ ¶ºƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ .ƒÆ’-¡ These are considered landmark text book in the Management Studies of Sri Lanka.
Dr Bandarage had written innumerable number of articles on Modern Management which had been published in the Sri Lankan and Asian/US newspapers and journals. He had been interviewed on BBC about Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Management field.
After an exceptional career Dr Bandarage left Levers at its General Manager in the late 1960s and set himself up as a Management Consultant.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage is unarguably Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s first ever Management Consultant.ƒÆ’-¡ His company,ƒÆ’-¡ Sudharshan Ltd was a top level company that provided Management Consultancy to so many companies in Sri Lanka (medium and large scale companies).ƒÆ’-¡ The help he had rendered to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s private sector is unprecedented.
In 1970 Dr Bandarage was appointed as Chairman of the National Textile Corporation.ƒÆ’-¡ This appointment of him was a non-political appointment where the then Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike Government ƒÆ’-¡ had stuck to theƒÆ’-¡ principle of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”giving the best positions of the government to the best qualified people, solely on meritƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage ran the National Textile Corporation somewhat like a private company, where strict discipline and able administration was hallmark of the day. He brought the management and minor staff together through New Year, Wesak, Christmas and other festivals. Corruption was unheard under his leadership. He used the official vehicle only for official purposes; himself and his family used the private family car for private trips. ƒÆ’-¡ In addition to the two giant textile mills, Thulhiriya and Veyangoda; Dr Bandarage prepared the groundwork to start two new mills in Minneriya and Mattegoda, both of which were later established.
To everyoneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s surprise Dr Bandarage showed profits shortly after taking over the reins of the National Textile Corporation (today the National Textile Corporation is permanently dead and all the four factories are closed down).ƒÆ’-¡
In late 1970s and early 1980 Dr Bandarage served as a UN adviser in Africa.ƒÆ’-¡ The Kenyan Government, including the then Prime Minister of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi, felicitated Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s efforts to rehabilitate and streamline KenyaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ailing management and administrative system. A special trophy was presented to him by the Kenya Institute of Administration for the services he rendered to that country. The function was presided over by Mr Moi.
Dr Bandarage associated with the late Upali Wijewardane and helped him to become one of the most successful business entrepreneurs in Asia (it was Dr Bandarage who recruited Upali to LeversƒÆ’-¡ as a Management Trainee in the early 60s, after his return to the country with a MA from Cambridge).ƒÆ’-¡
Mr Upali Wijewardane, unarguably the richest man of Sri Lanka ever, considered Dr Bandarage as his right and left hand man (personal friend and top most adviser).ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage was very saddened by the untimely loss of life of the Great Sri Lankan son, Upali WIjewardane, which occurred in the early 1980s.ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage served as a Consultant/Director of Upali Group. When Mr Upali WIjewardane started his newspaper company, he especially requested Dr Bandarage to pick up the best journalistic talent available in the country at that time. Some of them still work for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The IslandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’‚ ¶¯ƒÆ’‚ ·”‘ƒÆ’‚ ·ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’‚ ¶ºƒÆ’‚ ·”‘ƒÆ’‚ ¶±ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.
Why Dr Bandarage should be considered as Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Father of Modern ƒÆ’-¡ ManagementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is because he was the pioneer in the field of Modern Management in Sri Lanka. As stated before, he was the first ever Personnel Manager to be appointed in Sri Lanka. He wrote extensively on Management, especially personnel management. In the 50s and 60s the topic, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ManagementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ was akin to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”GreekƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to many Sri Lankans, who did not have a clue about it. ƒÆ’-¡ Dr Bandarage wrote hundreds of articles in simple, easy to understand language. Dr Bandarage lectured on Management in the universities; he unlocked doors in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s co-operate world to qualified young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and he was associated in forming most of the professional Management Associations of Sri Lanka. He had been a mentor to many thousands of aspiring management professionals.
Thus, Dr Bandarage is well suited to be regarded as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Father of Modern Management of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.
Thanks to Dr BandarageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s contributory efforts and groundwork Sri Lanka today is well abundant with a huge reservoir of managemental talent.ƒÆ’-¡
Dr Bandarage had close association with the NIBM, Lanka Foundation Institute, CISIRO and SLIDA and the Sri Lanka Society for the Advancement of Science.
In the last two or three decades prior to his death Dr Bandarage had not only been involved with management development activities of Sri Lanka, but also in the propagation of Buddhism.ƒÆ’-¡ Being a great Buddhist and a philanthropist himself, in the years preceding his death Dr Bandarage had lavishly donated monies to charities and Buddhist institutions, especially towards the propagation of Sinhala Buddhist values in rural and urban Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡