Guiding a family owned business over three decades to the group of companies today.
Humble Beginning with Forward Vision
Hands Group originated in the year 1987 as the brainchild of Graetian Gunawardhana who served the Department of Police, Sri Lanka for 12 years of service. He invested the initial capital earned with foreign employment and initially formed the company by the name of Poly Gloves Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. It all started with only 10 employees in a small house in Negombo.
Graetian Gunawardhana - Group Chairman
Graetian Gunawardhana was educated at Thurstan College and after his education he joined the Royal Ceylon Air Force. He followed a course in Aircraft engineering at the Royal Ceylon Airforce Technical Training Centre. Thereafter he served in the Police Department for 12 years. He followed a Diploma course in Transport Management in UK prior to serving as Officer in Charge of the Police Transport Division.
Thereafter he started his own business as the founder Chairman of Hands International (Pvt) Ltd which was an export-oriented company manufacturing Industrial Gloves with a staff of 3,000 workers. He was adjudged the “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1999/2000. He was the recipient of the Gold Award for Exports for the Extra Large Category for many years.
He also served as the Chairman of the Exporters Association from 2003-2005. He was also the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Taiwan Friendship Association for five years and was a Director of the American Chamber of Commerce for two years. He was also a Board Member of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the Insurance Board from February 2006 to May 2010.
He was also adjudged the Asia Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013
He joined the Lions Movement in 1989 and was attached to the Lions Club of Colombo Orient. He was elected uncontested as the District Governor during the year 2005/2006 for District 306B2.
He was adjusted the “Best Governor in the World” out of 750 Governors at the Boston Academy Awards function in 2006. Later he was invited to serve in the Board of the International Association of Lions Clubs.
He also received the highest honour of being adjudged the Ambassador of Goodwill and he was the highest doner from Sri Lanka to LCIF.
During his tenure as the District Governor one of his major projects was bringing down the Chinese Circus to Sri Lanka for one month which became the largest fund raiser in the Lions fraternity. These funds were used to build Kid Care Home & Resident School for destitute children under a board of trustees and he remains as the Chairman/Patron of this institute.
He is married to an equally devoted lady Sriyani and they are blessed with one daughter who is married with 3 wonderful grandchildren.