Rajiv Malalasekera

In conversation with  Nimanthi Bandaranayake



24 June 1975


Royal College, Cleveland State University and New York University

Wanted to be

A filmmaker or professional cricketer


A Director and the CEO of Brandix Apparel Solutions

What drives you?

Building relationships – meeting people from different backgrounds, and collaborating to do something different and out of the ordinary

And what fuels your creativity and passion?

Engaging in ideation and thought-provoking sessions with individuals of diverse thinking styles and personalitie

A moment you would like to go back to

Captaining the Royal 1st XV rugby team in the 50th Bradby Shield was surreal where time flew by… I would love to relive that moment

Best advice received

Listen mindfully and stay curious!


Likes to play

Rugby, squash and Nintendo/Xbox (occasionally)

Likes to watch

Live sports, biographies, thrillers and sitcoms

Most unforgettable event

The day my daughter Anyelah was born

Unexpected source of inspiration

Interactions with people who have mastered happiness and fulfilment, while living modestly and with low expectations; and any time spent near the ocean

Role models

My father Vijaya Malalasekera and our Group CEO Ashroff Omar

Proudest achievement

In late 2009, I assumed leadership of a struggling joint venture and through effective leadership, guided the team to turn it into a profitable entity within 18 months


Daily practice

My morning spiritual practice

Most hated chore

Unnecessary meetings with no clear objective – and too many people!

Impressed by

Visionary entrepreneurs who are successful, humble and charitable without seeking publicity

Happy place

A sunset by the ocean

Unique talents or hobbies

Selling any idea! I’m also good at comedic impersonations!

Most adventurous item on your bucket list

Paragliding from the top of a cliff to the ocean

Goals on your bucket list

Yet to think about it – but a few have been ticked off already!

Music you enjoy

R&B, rock, soulful house, baila and jazz

Most transformative book you’ve read

Quite a few that were relevant at different times – more recently, You Owe You (by Eric Thomas)

A little-known fact about you

I represented the Sri Lanka U20 team as a ranked player in the Asian Junior Squash Individual Championships

What legacy do you hope to leave?

That I helped others reach their full potential rather than solely focussing on my own achieve­ments

Advice to your younger self

Worry less about the result and prepare more diligently


Chill out spots

Taru Villas Mawella and Wild Culture Yala


AG Jeans, Calvin Klein, Boss, Massimo Dutti and John Varvatos


Sri Lankan, Thai and Italian


Ginger ale or a single malt from Speyside in Scotland

Local holiday destinations

Mawella, Trincomalee and Wilpattu

International holiday destinations

Bali, Sydney, Como and Colorado


Côte, Akanoya, GINI, Yumi and Doner & Durum (for a great wrap)


Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life (by James Kerr); Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (by Carol Dweck); Siddhartha (by Hermann Hesse); and Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew (by Shehan Karunatilaka)


“Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you.” – Michelle Obama

Local sportspersons

Muttiah Muralitharan, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara

International sportspersons

Michael Jordan, Richie McCaw, Antoine Dupont and Patrick Mahomes

Likely retirement destination

I will keep that a secret! But somewhere on our beautiful island for sure


When you dance, you look like…

An idiot!

The first thing you notice about someone

His or her personality and general demeanour

You know it’s going to be a bad day when…

I see a lot of missed calls and messages early in the morning and my cup of tea doesn’t hit the spot

Recently laughed out loud when…

I heard friends reminiscing while using some old school ‘Singlish’ slang

Happiness is when…

The mind finds tranquillity in the enjoyment of simple pleasures: spending time with family and friends, and savouring a good meal

Sri Lanka will have a chance to develop when…

We have unselfish politicians, and educated, courageous individuals step forward and challenge the archaic system that governs us

The world is…

Complicated but more connected than ever before

Message of positivity

Ride the storm – it will make you more resilient and fulfilled in many ways

Goals for the future

To learn to be more content and strive for a better work-life balance – at least in the time to come


When are you most productive?

I can adapt as needed to maintain productivity at any time – particularly when working with clients in the US

A delightful word


A fictional character you would like to have as your mentor

Seinfeld or Ted Lasso

Solitude and quiet moments, or social gatherings and parties

Right balance of both

Coastal, mountainous or desert landscapes as vacation destinations

Coastal and mountainous

Your most used phrase

“I will give you a buzz and let’s catch up quietly.”

Work out preferences

Make it count and go hard – especially when it feels like a day you want to be lazy

Motto in life

Stay grounded and hustle in silence

Rajiv Malalasekera is a Director and the CEO of Brandix Apparel Solutions