Success Stories

Ruan Samarasinghe
Chairman, Jetwing Hotels

Mr. Ruan Samarasinghe has been a prominent personality in the Hospitality Industry for over 40 years. He has guided Jetwing through its formative years and has pioneered numerous developments over the last four decades.

An extremely talented cricketer (and still up for a game!), Mr. Samarasinghe joined the Blue Oceanic Beach Hotel at the age of 20. Learning the ropes of the hospitality industry from his master, the late great Herbert Cooray, Mr. Samarasinghe forged a unique trail for himself. Possessing quite the colourful personality which endears him to people, coupled with a fierce intelligence, precision, and extensive experience in hotel operations, Mr. Samarasinghe rose to become the Managing Director of Jetwing Hotels.

He oversees all Jetwing operations and represents the organization in principal hospitality forums. In addition to his pivotal role as Managing Director, he also serves on several other Directorates. Mr. Samarasinghe also serves as Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Sri Lankan chapter. He has been at the forefront of Jetwing’s development, and through his unwavering commitment and dedication provided an example for others to follow.


Hyacinth Gunawardene
Executive Director – Negombo Hotels

Hyacinth Gunawardene is now the Executive Director of Negombo hotels. Having joined the Blue Oceanic Beach Hotel (as it was known then) in 1977 as a trainee receptionist, Hyacinth in true Jetwing form is a pioneer of the hospitality industry. Being one of only three female General Managers of star class properties in the island, and commanding a staff of over 500, she has risen to her status due to her commitment and out of the box thinking. Priding herself on her ‘hands on’ approach, she can be found at any moment walking around her hotel either with a guest, or observing day-today operations to identify more efficient procedures that can be implemented.

Joining the hospitality industry wasn’t her first choice however; medicine was. An early sign of her desire to help and serve, it was indeed a fortunate turn of events that lead to her beginning her career at the Blue Oceanic Beach Hotel and returning, 32 years later, as the General Manager of the property and now rising to the post of Director-General Manager. After four decades in the field, Hyacinth firmly believes in people; her staff members who are her family, and guests, herextended family.

In her own words, “You cannot treat this as just another job, there has to be ownership and a certain sense of responsibility when it comes to human interaction and hospitality. Aboveall, being narrow minded and confined in your thinking will not help either!”

R.H.M Banda
General Manager, Jetwing Sea

“Work with determination and have a vision. Take effort to understand life, to be yourself all the time and not forgettingpeople who cared for you. This is what I believe in” – R.H.M.Banda, Resident Manager, Jetwing Sea.

Rathnayke Mudiyanselage Heen Banda, started his career in December of 1983 at Yala Safari Hotel as a Trainee Room Boy cum
Waiter. “I was given this golden opportunity when I met my former Chairman, late Mr. Herbert Cooray. If I did not get this chance I would not have been able to develop my career in the Tourism trade, in which I have completed more than 30 years by 2014.” Although he was assigned as a Room Boy cum Waiter, he managed to experience the operations in different departments and learnt how they function. After completing four years at Yala Safari Hotel, he got the opportunity to work in Negombo at Blue Oceanic which is the first Jetwing hotel, and Royal Oceanic which had a combined operation.

“Also I had the opportunity to join the Jetwing Hotel School and follow a course in hotel housekeeping. This helped me to develop myself further and I am grateful to Mr. Hiran Cooray the present chairman for giving me this opportunity”. He was promoted to the post of Bell Captain, and completed ten years in this role, and was subsequently promoted as the General Supervisor with more responsibilities at Sea
Garden, a sister hotel of Jetwing.

“The best moment in my career was when I was promoted as the Assistant Manager at a
boutique hotel Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, which is a member of the Great Hotels of the World” After completing six years at Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, he was appointed as Resident Manger at Jetwing Seashells (presently Jetwing Sea).

“We have always learnt from our customers and they are our main focus. They always tell us how to improve our services and standards. In my career of thirty years I have met and experienced different attitudes of people, and faced different crises, but still I  look at the future very positively and I always look at things very differently. This nature of mine has helped me to keep calm, progress, and prosper even in difficult times” His commitment and loyalty is seen through his long standing service within the Jetwing Family.

Kelum Jayaweera
General Manager, Jetwing Kaduruketha

After graduating from the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), Kelum Jayaweera joined Jetwing Hotels as a
Management Trainee in August 2010, where he underwent a comprehensive and structured Management Trainee Program for a period of 1 year.

After the completion of the designated training period, Kelum was posted as a Restaurant and Bar Manager at Jetwing Beach in August 2011, due to his commitment towards the assigned work. “Being a Restaurant and Bar Manager for 1 and ½ years, I was promoted as an Assistant Food and Beverage Manager. During my tenure at Jetwing Beach I got the opportunity to work with people with different skills and competencies”

After playing a vigilant role in operations, Kelum was recommended by the Higher Management to take up the responsibility as a Head of the Department through our structured program “Jetwing Achievers”, which is designed to develop the Associates in the Executive Grades, who are capable of taking on Senior Management roles within the Jetwing Family.

“Through this well executed program I was able to achieve the highest position in the Food and Beverage Department within a short period of time. I believe with commitment and pure enthusiasm anyone can achieve greater heights in their own careers”