Driving growth in business through appropriate strategizing and innovation is at the core of Nathan Sivagananathan’s work as the Chief Growth Officer and a Director at MAS Holdings. Having lived in the United Kingdom since the age of five, Nathan returned to Sri Lanka in 1996 with the objective of giving back to his country. Nathan graduated with an undergraduate degree in Engineering Management from the University of Hertfordshire. When he returned to Sri Lanka, the internet was at its infancy and there was just a single telecommunications provider. Joining the private sector upon his return provided Nathan the opportunity to implement the training he received at university. He had also been transported into a work culture where hierarchy mattered.
His years in the UK, had however, prepared Nathan for the new work environment in Sri Lanka, more so owing to the in-depth knowledge he had acquired as a result of studying at a British university. “Registering with a university in the UK for one’s first degree is a good choice as the courses are well-structured. Moreover, there is depth in the subjects an undergrad chooses to study at a UK university. Studying in a multi-cultural university environment helps build a global network of connections among people in the same profession. It helps foster friendship in the short-term, and will benefit your business in the longer-term,” said Nathan. He explained that another advantage of studying in the UK is the flexibility to earn while studying, which makes undergraduates independent and self-sufficient.
“Universities in the UK make it easier to find part-time jobs. My advice to anyone intending to study in the UK is to work part-time, be it at a fast-food outlet or law firm.” A 2015 Eisenhower Fellow, Nathan stressed, a Sri Lankan student with a recognised degree from overseas has great opportunities here, adding the shift to knowledge-intense jobs in IT, robotics, engineering, Knowledge Processing Outsourcing and entrepreneurship would allow them to enter highly- skilled areas easily. He said “The opportunities in Sri Lanka for a qualified graduate are immense. It would be unwise not to return.”
Nathan is also passionate about helping society. Trail, a fund raising walk to improve cancer care and treatment as well as foster unity was co-founded by Nathan. The walk that spanned the length of Sri Lanka, is the highlight of Nathan’s philanthropic work.