Kishu Gomes

In conversation with Ruwandi Perera

Alma mater
Prince of Wales College (Moratuwa)

Family members
I’m married with two sons – and I have two brothers and three sisters

Three must-haves
Ring, wristwatch and branded pens

Three ‘would like to haves’
A holiday bungalow in Nuwara Eliya, presidential powers to alleviate poverty and an apartment in Singapore to experience the world without having to travel far

Mantra to unwind
Religious principles – because innate unwinding can only happen that way

Favourite colour

Happy place

Favourite chill out
Royal Colombo Golf Club

Favourite food
Rice and curry (with lots of vegetables, pol sambol, dry fish, dried chillies and dhal)

Favourite drink

Three hobbies
Sports (sprinting), playing with my golden retriever and listening to songs

Three peeves
Slow drivers who take their own sweet time, lack of punctuality and people who talk politics without understanding fundamental economics

Likes to take part in
Athletics, rugby and cricket

Likes to watch
Athletics, rugby and international soccer

The glass is half full or half empty
It doesn’t matter – reality remains the same and you have to understand that

Most unforgettable event
When I became the national hurdles champion in my heyday

Most forgettable event
When I lost my son for one hour in a Malaysian night market

Favourite local destination
Anuradhapura – I can spend weeks and months checking the archaeological sites and places of worship

Favourite overseas destination

Ideal romantic date or outing
Relaxing in a boutique hotel by a calm beach enjoying some privacy and a panoramic view

Three items on the bucket list for the next six months
The release of a movie in which I acted, working on my book on management and leadership tips, and launching the next phase of my journey

Three items on the bucket list following retirement
To start up my own university, build an apartment complex on my property in Katubedda and continue as an independent director to contribute to the country’s economic goals

Quality or quantity
Both – you need quality in the right quantity to be successful

Likely retirement destination
Sri Lanka

Obsessed with

Purpose in life
To make others happy

Happiness in a few words
It’s a mindset and not a physical thing; it’s what you expect and how you achieve it

Favourite song
Right Here Waiting (by Richard Marx)

Favourite movie
Titanic (because it’s based on a true story and an amazing production with the technology of that era) – when you watch it, you become part of it

Best actor
Brad Pitt – for his personality and skills 

Best singers
Richard Marx (for his amazing voice and tone) and Sri Lankabhimanya Pandit W. D. Amaradeva

Favourite author
Martin Wickramasinghe – for his ability to write beautifully in English and Sinhala

Favourite local sportsperson
Ranjan Madugalle – for his sporting skills, gentlemanly nature and conduct, and how he manages his image as a Sri Lankan who has earned respect and admiration internationally

Favourite international sportsperson
Usain Bolt – for being the fastest man on Earth, and also being himself (gestures, body language and passion) and how he enjoys the sport

Favourite local statesman
Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe – for putting his foot down to point out to the country’s leaders that what they’re doing is wrong

Favourite international statesman
Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad – someone who believes in achieving perfection

Colombo in a few words
The best and worst

Sri Lanka in a few words
Where natural resources and human potential are wasted due to a lack of clear strategy

The world in your eyes
Heaven and hell with alarming inequality 

Most used word or phrase
‘Sri Lanka is a poor country’ – this is something I always say in my speeches

Himself in a few words
A hard worker

Motto in life
Compete to succeed for everyone’s benefit

Kishu is a corporate leader and management consultant