In his two-decade-old career as an ICT professional, Rohan Paulas, as a self proclaimed global citizen, has achieved the kind of international success that most people can only dream of.
But after 23 years of working abroad, for some of the world’s biggest names, Rohan is back in Sri Lanka to serve his beloved motherland, and is determined to do his bit in putting the country back on the ICT map – and he is here to stay.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, really; but right now is the perfect time for me to be back here, and the timing, I feel, is just right,” says Rohan.
Having left Sri Lanka as a young man seeking educational opportunities and a fruitful career in the world of computing, Rohan studied Information Technology in the UK where he took off as an IT Services professional, which proved a useful springboard that helped him launch his impressive career.
A true globetrotter, Rohan fondly recalls how his work took him to some of the most exotic locations in the world like Gibraltar and Spain where he discovered the beauty of nature – and life itself. Having said that, however, he insists that some of the best years of his life were spent back here in his home country, to which he never failed to stay connected.
“In the centre of all my plans there was always this idea of coming back. Even though I call myself and my family citizens of the world, it was important to me that my children connected with their Sri Lankan roots before it was too late for them to want to do so,” he says.
Rohan’s lifelong dream of giving back to the country of his birth finally became a reality when he was recently appointed CEO of KBSL, the leading Systems Integrator of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Solutions for enterprises in Sri Lanka.
As CEO, Rohan brings to KBSL his proven track-record as an expert IT Director with a reputation for being a team leader who can deliver. In addition to his numerous qualifications in ICT, including an MBA from Henley Business School, Diploma in Management from Oxford University, is also a Member of the elite British Computing Society.
His professional experience cuts across several leading international and local organisations. Some of the key positions he has held over the years include Consultant at Virtusa, IT Services Director, IT E-Business Director and E Commerce Director at Earls Court and Olympia, UK, where he worked for 10 years. Prior to that, he had a brief stint as Commercial and IT Manager at P&O Exhibition Services, UK, where he later functioned as its IS Director.
Rohan’s leadership skills can be attributed to his colourful sporting career that goes as far back as his school days at St. Peter’s College, Colombo, where he represented the 1st Xv when 15 and captained the side in 1982.
He also played for Havelocks as full back in his final year in school and subsequently joined CH&FC and was part of the team that won the first Premadasa KO Trophy.
A gifted athlete, Rohan was the undefeated Sri Lanka schools hurdling champion for four consecutive years from U15 to U19, and went on to break several records at CT&FC and state meets in India, he also captained the Peterite Athletic teams on consecutive years.
He was also a senior member of the Peterite cricket team, unofficial school champions in 1980 and the side that went on to beat the strong Royal team, a victory after 30+ years. In his final year Rohan scored over 900 runs for his school and adjudged the best batsman.
He was also the head prefect, best all round sportsman, awarded the Peterite Gold for his outstanding contribution to St Peter’s.
He also played league cricket in England for several clubs, including the Middlesex County and Surrey leagues.
Now, a family man who takes great pride in the upbringing of his four children and the family values he has inculcated in them, Rohan says he is passing down what he learnt from his own father.
It hasn’t been too long since Rohan made his way back to Sri Lanka, but he is already hard at work in taking KBSL forward – and the country’s ICT sector along with it.
Having set his plan in motion towards taking KBSL to greater heights in the corporate world he says that, on a larger canvass, to materialise every person’s expectations and to make this country the next miracle of the world is the next challenge that Sri Lanka should ready itself to face.
“After the many crossroads Sri Lanka has been at in these 30 years of war, we are definitely headed towards the right direction and there is no doubt a bright future is ahead of us provided the country is united,” he says, with confidence.