Following his London ‘O’ Levels and ‘A’ levels, Deshal got accepted at Oxford University to do Philosophy, Political Science and Economics. The course he followed, Deshal says, offered a broad scope, giving him new options going to a range of professions. Having graduated in 2004, Deshal worked for a year at the Sri Lankan Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). In 2005, he went back to the UK to the London School of Economics to do his Master’s Degree in International Economics. After rejoining IPS for 5 years, he joined Hayleys, becoming part of the group’s Strategic Business Development Unit.
In 2012 Deshal also became the youngest Director to be appointed to the Sampath Bank. Currently the Head of Business Development at Hayleys Global Beverages, a new subsidiary of the Hayleys Group, he is involved in setting up an innovative tea extracts manufacturing operation. Deshal is kept busy by a number of other commitments. Among other things, he is a director at the Centre for Poverty Analysis. In 2012, he was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of Sri Lanka.
When asked why he opted to go overseas to attend university, Deshal says “having a globally accepted degree helps make you a globally employable and marketable professional.” He also says that in one’s career, a foreign degree gives a lot of opportunities, especially at the initial stage. It gives one credibility, and the network you create while being in university will create many professional opportunities.
Deshal says that having studied in the UK taught him, above all, to be proactive; to take the initiative in learning. In other words, he ‘learned to learn’. In a more general note he adds that having lived in the UK independently at a young age helped expand his horizons and paved the way towards becoming a global citizen.
Deshal has been aided in his journey by having clearly marked future milestones. He has already reached some of his goals, and will go on to realize others. He firmly believes that his plans were enhanced by having studied in the UK. He calls his UK education “a very important stepping stone.”