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Sri Lanka Red Dot Team

Meet the Red Dot Team

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
David Hopps

David, now UK editor of ESPNcricinfo, was a founding director of Red Dot with Charlie Austin and still spends his spare time monitoring the UK office. He visits Sri Lanka regularly, whereupon he invariably attempts to escape Charlie’s demanding meetings diary and re-explore a country that he first fell in love with 20 years ago on an England A cricket tour. Formerly a senior cricket writer on The Guardian, he has covered numerous overseas tours. He no longer has time to write cricket books, not that anyone seems to have noticed.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Charlie Austin

Charlie moved to Sri Lanka in pursuit of work experience with an environmental NGO after completing a Masters degree at Sussex University. However, upon arriving in Sri Lanka in September 1999, his career soon took a different direction as he was appointed the Country Manager of Having fallen for Sri Lanka’s charms, he set-up Red Dot with David Hopps in the same year. He also owns a sports management business with his wife, Suthami, called Austin Management Limited (AML) that manages several Sri Lanka cricketers, including Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. He co-owns The Wallawwa, a 14-bedroom boutique hotel near the airport, with Mike Davies, a close school friend and like-minded cricket lover from Bryanston School in Dorset. Charlie is passionate about his food, cricket and loves escaping to Sri Lanka’s hill-country, especially Victoria golf club or a tea estate bungalow, with Suthami, their daughter Zara and Chillie, their cocker spaniel.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Charmaine Stephen

Charmaine joined Red Dot in October 2010 as a sales consultant, having spent four years in the UK, studying for a degree in journalism and video production. She has worked previously in the humanitarian and media fields. She says she enjoys spending quality time with her family and relaxing (“such chances are rare,” she says, a smile never far away, perhaps hinting that Red Dot expects lengthy hours!) She has an interest in photography, influenced by her husband and yearns to resume her old lessons in ballet and karate.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Lahiru Kularatne

Lahiru was drawn in to tourism when she answered an advertisement about a premier boutique hotel in Sri Lanka, namely the Sun House in Galle. It was 2000 and like most people at that time she had no idea what a boutique hotel was all about. She soon fell in love with the hotel and the Sri Lanka travel industry. Years later, armed with a newly-gained qualification as an Attorney she embarked on my professional career. " Give me credit," she said, "I stuck with it for two years!" Then she realized that life is all about doing something you really enjoy. So she joined Red Dot and says it feels amazing again to be helping people fall in love with this beautiful country. Her interests are reading, watching movies with her son and "trying to learn to swim..."

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Dilhari Perera

Dilhari only joined Red Dot as a senior sales consultant in 2012, but her organizational talents had long been known to us when she worked at George Steuarts Travels, with whom we had a very happy working relationship in our infancy. Dilhari often put us right on many things – now she is with us full time. She is a past pupil of Methodist College, Colombo and was a committed athlete. She entered the travel industry immediately after ending her studies and had eight years’ experience by the time she joined us. Dilhari loves travelling and is committed to improving her knowledge about new products.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Dinu Siyambalapitiya

A graduate from the University of Peradeniya, Dinu worked in travel and tourism for two years before joining Red Dot as a Sales Consultant in 2014. She enjoys exploring Sri Lanka and sharing her cultural heritage with others.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Mahesh Jayasinghe

Another of our 2011 influx, Mahesh joined us as a pricing executive to assist with our progress towards online booking and brings a calm and respectful mood to the office. His first employment was in the credit department at in Tangerine Beach Hotel in Kalutara before he worked for Oganro, a UK company specializing in Internet Hotel Marketing, as a rates analyst. Mahesh is studying computer and accountancy courses in his spare time and attends Tissa central College in Kalutara where he also plays in the college's Western Band. At other times, he might be found listening to music (rock and classics), playing PC games, softball or riding bikes.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Rozanne De Silva

Rozanne originally joined Red Dot’s operations team in early 2012, but has since moved to sales where she enjoys building up a good relationship with clients. She is a keen singer and loves exploring the island’s cultural heritage.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Sohan Fernando

Sohan has quickly come to terms with his role since joining Red Dot in June 2011 and is already known as a fun-loving and very reliable team member -- much like most of the other Red Dot staff! He has certificates in computer and network technology and Information Security and Ethical Hacking. Guess it would be fair to say Sohan is a bit of a geek. In the midst of all this, Sohan also finds ample time to enjoy bike racing, partying, hanging out with his buddies and fast cars. He says his dream is to earn enough money soon enough to go into early retirement.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Michael Dias

Michael joined Red Dot in 2013. Having previously worked in a managerial capacity in the garment industry for many years, one might question the move. His answer: Life is short, so why not love what you do? From infancy Michael has been travelling, both abroad and within Sri Lanka. If not in the office, you would probably find him in one of the many jungles across the island, 'being one with nature', sea fishing or even diving. One of his more notable trips in 2012 entailed an extensive 10-day road trip along Sri Lanka's entire coastline. His degree may be in science, but travel and adventure is in his blood.”

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Chamari Dushyanthi

Chamari fell in love with the tourism trade while working for JourneyScapes (Pvt) Ltd for three years as an Accounts Assistant, where she also gained experience in sales and operations. She joined Red Dot in June 2011 and is studying Sri Lankan accountancy exams. Like most of the Red Dot staff, she is a committed traveller, particularly valuing opportunities to visit the Sri Lanka national parks like Yala, Minneriya, Sinharaja. That part she is fond of reading, listening to music and "kidding my friends." As for cricket, it’s 50-over matches only for Chamari. "Test matches are boring and T20s are dreadful," she says. Her favorite cricketers are Angelo Mathews, Chris Gayle & Yuvraj Singh. Apparently, she also has a soft spot for the Australian rugby union team.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Pradeep Balaji

Pradeep is Red Dot’s systems administrator, a wide-ranging job that covers everything from high-powered computer repairs to refilling the water dispenser. He joined us in 2010 after a successful stint with ESPN Cricinfo, the world’s leading cricket website, where his roles included that of electronic cricket scorer. Born in Chennai, India, he has lived in Sri Lanka for the past 21 years. An old boy of Lyceum International School, he gained a BSC in Network Eng from the University of Wolverhampton and plans to read for a Masters soon. Interests include watching movies, and anything to do with cricket and two wheels so he can "roam the wonders of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean" together with Red Dot.

Meet the Red Dot Team - India

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Rajiv Chopra

After graduating in science from Delhi University, Rajiv worked with a chemical manufacturing firm before realizing that it wasn’t for him. He took a post-graduate diploma in tourism and has never looked back. He has been in the travel industry since 1982 and has handled all types of travel-related events such as group and individual tours, charters, conventions, educational trips, wildlife tours and so on. His in-depth knowledge and tourism contacts make him an expert in planning and operating tours in India. Whenever he finds time, likes to swim, play volleyball and chess.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Satpal Minotra

Another graduate of Delhi University, Minotra spent about three years in the hotel industry before moving into travel and he is another member of our India team with vast experience. He is a keen lover of wildlife and nature.

Red Dot Team Sri Lanka
Yashwant Kumar

Yashwant also graduated from Delhi University, in arts and Indian history. He joined the travel industry in 1981 and has specialized in operations for more than a decade. His hobbies include playing cricket, watching movies and travelling, talking his way into attending as many trade fairs as he can.