Ken Balendra

From TobaccoUnmasked


Kandiah Balendra, known as Ken Balendra, served as the Chairman of the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) from 2003 to 2008.[1] Balendra is portrayed as a leadership figure in the Sri Lankan corporate sector, mentoring successors of the corporate world such as Susantha Ratnayake.[2] Mr. Balendra was titled Deshamanya in 1998, the highest civilian honour title in Sri Lanka.

Educated in Royal College Colombo, Balendra has two offspring from his marriage to a former Medical Practitioner. As of 2017, his son Krishan Balendra served as a Director at John Keells Holdings Group and the daughter Natasha Balendra was the Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority.[2][3][4]

The employment history with the tobacco industry

Balendra functioned as a non-Executive Director in the Board of Directors for 9 years and was the Chairman for 5 years.[1][5]

Positions in government institutions held simultaneously

Balendra held the following positions in government or affiliated institutions while he is holding a post in the CTC (the years reported is mentioned within brackets);

  • Chairman, Bank of Ceylon (2001-2002)[6]
During his tenure he represented the corporate sector in South Asian High Level Meeting on Investing in Children, a conference organised by UNICEF. According to the UNICEF webpost on the conference, he reportedly stated that South Asian business community is prepared to invest in children "as long as the governments are willing to recognize the corporate sector and children as partners".[7]
  • Chairman, Insurance Board of Sri Lanka[9]

He was also appointed the Honorary Consulate General of Poland in Colombo, Sri Lanka in the year 2000, a post succeeded by his son Krishan Balendra.[8][10]

Positions in government institutions held prior to or after tobacco industry employment

None reported as of 2017

Positions held in other (non-government) institutions

Balendra was the first Sri Lankan Chairman in the John Keells Holdings Group and during his tenure, he chaired all the subsidiary companies of the group.[2][8] The other institutions in which he held governing positions were;

Image 1: Ken Balendra and the family in front of the seven-storey building of the Brandix headquarterz dedicated to his name [11]
  • Brandix Group – Chairman (Image 1)[12][13]
  • Union Assurance Limited – Chairman[8]
  • Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – Chairman[8]
  • Bata Shoe Company of Ceylon Ltd – Non-Executive Director[8]
  • Bata Exports (Pvt) Ltd – Non-Executive Director[8]
  • South Asia Regional Fund – Non-Executive Chairman[8]
  • Colombo Brokers’ Association - Chairman[8]
  • Sri Lanka Institute of Directors - President[8]
  • Duncan White Sports Foundation - Trustee[8]
  • George Keyt Art Foundation – Deputy Chairman[8]
  • Commercial Bank - Non-Executive Director[9]
  • Caltex Lubricants Lanka Ltd - Director[9]
  • Investment Committee of Aureos South Asia Fund - Chairman[9]

TobaccoUnmasked Resources

Other relevant TobaccoUnmasked entries:

Relevant Links

The local language translations



  1. 1.0 1.1 The Island. J.D. Bandaranayake - Chairman CTC, undated, accessed March 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 I Perera Bandara. Salli Hambakarana Eka Mama Dan Navaththala, Silumina, 11 February 2017, accessed March 2017
  3. John Keells Group. Board of Directors, undated, accessed March 2017
  4. National Child Protection Authority. Board of Directors, undated, accessed March 2017
  5. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2008, 2009, accessed March 2017
  6. Ken Balendra resigns from BoC chief post, 22 November 2002, accessed March 2017
  7. UNICEF. Press Release: Region's Leaders Commit to Investing More and Better for Children, 22 May 2001, accessed March 2017
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Balendra Hony. Consul for Poland in Lanka, 03 December 2000, accessed March 2017
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 The Island Online. Ken Balendra appointed to Com Bank Board, 21 October 2006, accessed March 2017
  10. Embassy of the Republic of Poland in New Delhi, Staff, undated, accessed March 2017
  11. Daily FT. Brandix dedicates Head Office to Deshamanya Ken Balendra, 29 November 2016, accessed July 2017
  12. Business Times. Brandix dedicates its head office to Ken Balendra, 04 December 2016, accessed March 2017
  13. Priyan Fernando succeeds Ken Balendra as Chairman of Brandix , undated, accessed March 2017