Deshamanya Dr. Kishu Gomes

In conversation with Ashwini Vethaka


Born in

Alma mater 
Prince of Wales’ College

Family members
My wife Shami, and our sons Kushil and Shehal

Wanted to be
An athletics coach 

A CEO and Managing Director

Recognition and admiration for my contribution to the economic growth of the country

Athletics (it’s my first love even today)

Moments you would like to go back to
The heyday of my athletics career

Best advice received
Deshamanya Ken Balendra once told me: “You can do better” – he was on the board of Chevron Lubricants Lanka and I was the CEO of the company

Impressed by
The creativity of the younger generation

Mantra to unwind
Reflect on the success achieved – and success only

Work out preferences
An evening jog and body toning at my home gym

Likes to watch

One new thing you tried this year
Giving more of my time to those who are less privileged and in need of it

Saddened when
People misjudge me

Most unforgettable event
Falling off an ambarella tree and breaking my arm when I was seven years old

Success to you is…
When others benefit from my efforts

Purpose in life
To light up the lives of all Sri Lankans and earn more love

Items on your bucket list for the next six months
To spend more time with university students, share my knowledge with other truly Sri Lankan business entities and extend my physical fitness programme

Items on your bucket list following retirement
I will never retire but continue to inspire the general public through my digital platforms for greater productivity by sharing decades of global and local experience

Pet peeves
Lack of punctuality, being indirect and lying

Languages you’d like to learn
The two languages that I do know – Sinhala and English – are sufficient


Most hated chore
Watering the plants on the rooftop

Fashion, nature and music

Three must-haves
A wristwatch, a cap and shoes

Unlikely food combination
Too many curries of any combination – a maximum of three or four curries will do

Challenged by
The multiple tasks I undertake – which limits time to rest

Desired quality in a friend
His or her time when needed

Likely retirement destination
Sri Lanka

One thing you would change about yourself
My bad temper at times when people talk nonsense


Days of the week
Monday, Friday and Saturday

Black, white and grey

King coconut water

Places to eat
Royal Colombo Golf Club, Royal Thai and Thuna Paha

Chill out spot
Royal Colombo Golf Club

TV show
Youth with Talent

Brad Pitt, Dwayne Johnson and Tom Cruise

Michael Jackson, Sir Elton John and Richard Marx

Heal the World (by Michael Jackson), Right Here Waiting (by Richard Marx) and Candle in the Wind (by Sir Elton John)

Favourite civil servant and why
Lalith Weeratunga – because of his superior subject knowledge, approachability and efficiency

Obsessed with

Leadership is about…
Leadership is not about being nice to people but being effective in a nice way


The first thing you need after waking up is…
A cup of tea

The first thing you notice when meeting someone is…
His or her attire

Recently laughed out loud when…
I laughed about the recent drama in parliament – no point complaining about it as it’ll continue to be the case as long as voters send jokers to parliament

You know it’s going to be a bad day when…
The first task doesn’t work out as planned

You find yourself challenged by…
People who lack the capacity to work

The best thing about your industry is…
Working with celebrities and beauticians

Last gift to someone…
A painting to a colleague on the occasion of a house-warming ceremony

A new technology that will transform the future is…
If seawater can be easily converted into pure drinking water

Children are…
Not concerned with traditional boundaries

Sri Lanka in a few words
Best and worst on a small extent of land 


Most productive in the morning, noon or night

A leader or follower by nature

Cook or foodie

Quality or quantity

The glass is half full or half empty
It doesn’t really matter – what matters is the reality not philosophies 

Work or play after retirement

The most delightful word you can think of

Most used words or phrases
My country is poor

Role model
I have never followed any role models – but I learn from anyone I can and continue to do so even today

Yourself in a few words
A no-nonsense leader who gets the best out of people for their own good

Deshamanya Dr. Kishu Gomes is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Dreamron Group of Companies