LinearSix recently announced the appointment of Ishan Wijetunga as its new COO, who takes on this challenging role at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for a digital economy. The current situation requires banks and financial institutes to speed up and invest in digitalization of their operations. As a result, organizations such as LinearSix are paramount to design the requisite solutions and enable the successful transition to digital banking.
Stepping out from a 16-year career in large scale companies to build a start-up, Ishan co-founded LinearSix with over 12 years of experience at two of Sri Lanka’s leading private sector banks and another 4-5 years’ tenure at a Sri Lanka-based information technology firm specializing in domain consultancy for banking and financial services.
“Having worked in legacy organisations where structures and systems are ingrained across all functions, and contribution towards innovation is fairly limited due to the size of the operation, it was a fresh and welcoming change of pace to start LinearSix,” recalls Ishan.
As a part of the founding team, Ishan had to play three roles – shareholder, director and leader, and commenced his role in the company as Vice President – Enterprise Architecture, heading the designing of solutions for clients and encompassing the entire project implementation process.
Armed with an MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University and diplomas in Banking & Finance and Treasury & Risk Management from the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, Ishan is also a Certified Enterprise Architect – Ishan has a wealth of knowledge and experience when dealing with the needs of the banking and financial services industry, as Chief Operation Officer.
“My new role is more of an integrator where I manage harmony between all business functions, including sales and delivery to ensure that customers receive a seamless experience from start to finish,” he highlights.
Ishan has also been proactive in driving the team culture at LinearSix which complements its innovation drive and growth, with employees being encouraged to take risks and push their ideas to be implemented.
For Ishan, his new role entails a key challenge – finding the middle ground between sales and delivery. “Balancing sales propositions and project delivery and execution is key to ensuring that clients get the best from a solutions point of view and with commercial viability,” he states.
Given his interests in legal affairs, finance, sales and delivery, Ishan brings a unique perspective to his new role by looking at it from multiple viewpoints. He is determined to continue seeing the big picture while understanding others’ needs and aspirations: “I don’t like to manage at 30,000 feet – I believe in knowing members across all tiers, and understanding each person’s capability and drive” says Ishan, who believes in an inclusive style of leadership and drives ownership for his teams’ responsibilities.
With his personal goal for his first year as Chief Operating Officer being ensuring transparency and of ownership being spread right across the organisation to avoid ambiguity in any aspect, Ishan looks forward to balancing different functions of the organization, whilst upholding continuous quality improvement, maintaining cost efficiencies and inculcating team synergy.
The founding team at LinearSix collectively agree and states, “We are very proud of Ishan’s achievements and impressive track record, and are confident that his appointment will leverage his deep industry knowledge to enhance the current offerings of LinearSix even further, to serve and assist our clients to navigate their businesses successfully during these challenging times”.