Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes

In conversation with Ashwini Vethakan


Born in
Sri Lanka

Alma mater
Holy Family Convent

Son (Joshua), husband (Stefan), brother (Ravindra), my pets (Flash and Sparky) and many friends who are like family

Wanted to be
A teacher at one time and then a journalist

I wanted to be a teacher because some of the most inspirational people in my early life were my teachers at Holy Family Convent

They were truly phenomenal – I don’t remember the content we learned in school but I remember the life lessons they taught us in those years

Journalism was another fantasy I had although I cannot imagine why since I’m not much of a writer

I even interned as a journalist with an overseas newspaper during a brief scholarship overseas and secured a job at The Sun upon my return

But I had a choice between that and a job in the tourism industry – and that was the end of my journalism career

You are
I have no idea what I am (all those soul searching people, please don’t call me) and I have no intention of finding myself either as I am happy to be lost

Likes to play
Any game that the rest of the family wants to participate in – the gap is widening now with the teenage years setting in

Most unforgettable event(s)
A million small events that I’ve experienced in life

Best advice received
I was told this by a boss quite early in my career and it has served me well over the years: “Shut up and do what you have to do”

Mantra to unwind
Do nothing


One new thing you tried this year
Learning to play the organ (not very successfully though) thanks to YouTube lessons and the lockdowns

Workout preferences
Yoga, badminton and walking

Saddened when…
I think of the lives lost due to the pandemic and as a result of many terrorist attacks before that

Success to you is…

Impressed by
God’s creations

Purpose in life
To be a normal human being like everyone else

Describe your day off
My day off would involve taking a long drive on a scenic country road since I enjoy the journey more than the destination or staying at home and doing nothing

Items on your bucket list following retirement
Engage in more mentoring and with an industry that I have not been exposed to… and simply chill out

Languages you’d like to learn
Tamil, Japanese and Mandarin


Most hated chore
Cleaning up

Obsessed with
Doing something all the time

Pet peeves
Spelling errors and bureaucracy

A moment in time you’d like to go back to
All moments are great – particularly the toddler days of our son

Cooking and reading

Three must-haves
Lacto Calamine lotion, eyeliner and my phone

Likely retirement destination
Sri Lanka
Challenged when
A person says that something cannot be done

Desired qualities in a friend
Simply being there for you

One thing you would change about yourself
I wouldn’t change a thing

Yourself in a few words…
A human being


Day of the week

Black, red and white

Nothing in particular

Rice and curry, jackfruit white curry, kiribath and white aluwa

Chill out spot

Anything local

Civil servant
The war took out all the good ones and I’m told that God threw away the mould


The first thing you do after waking up is…
Put on my spectacles

The first thing you notice when you meet someone is…
Their smile

Recently laughed out loud when…
My son did or said something funny – I don’t remember the exact reason

Last gift received…
A tasty treat from Mrs. G’s at Carlwil Place

I find myself challenged by…
Repetitive tasks

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

The best thing about working in your sector is…
All the lovely people I have been blessed to have met and worked with – this is true for all the diverse sectors I’ve worked in

A new technology that will transform the future…
Tech is moving so fast and every new development is transforming the world!

Sri Lanka in a few words…
A small miracle waiting to happen

Children are…
A gift from God


Most productive in the morning, noon or night
With a teenager in the house, I have to be productive all day long

A leader or follower by nature
I have no idea

Cook or foodie
A bit of both I think

Quality or quantity
Depends on the need

The glass is half full or half empty

The most delightful word you can think of

Work or play after retirement
A bit of both

Your most used word or phrase
‘Can be done’

Role model
My mother

I saw what a career woman looked like from an early age and through her, I learnt that one should never give up – and that every situation is temporary and can be converted to your benefit

Roshanie is an Executive Vice President of John Keells Holdings and the Chief Marketing Officer of the Property Group