Daya Gamage is a Sri Lankan entrepreneur, industrialist, philanthropist and politician. He is the founding Chairman of Daya Group of Companies in Sri Lanka, established in 1984.
From a capital of merely USD 7, Mr. Gamage has built the group within a short span of 25 years to a diversified conglomerate generating an annual turnover in excess of USD 50 million, having expanded into a range of industries including construction, apparel, sugar, travel & tourism, aviation, import & export, fertilizer and micro finance. Through the ventures located in the rural parts of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, over 5,000 employment opportunities have been created with Daya Group being the largest employer in the Eastern Province.
Mr. Gamage won the Presidential Exports Award in 2007, Business Leader of the Year Award by CIMA in 2006, the Best Exporter of the Year Award in 2004 and the National Productivity Award 2006 amongst numerous other awards and accoladeshe was honored with since 1997 when he earned the coveted title of Sri Lanka’s Best Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In recognition of his work, he has received the Desha Shakthi award for outstanding humanitarian services in 2005 by the Sri Lankan Government. He was also awarded the Buddha Sasana Kirthi Award by the head of the Buddhist Chapter Ramanna Nikaya in 2012 in recognition of his social work towards Sri Lanka.
He is also the President of the Daya Sarana Development Foundation providing much needed livelihood development and social welfare support to the rural Sri Lankan population victimized by a 30 year long war. Furthermore, he played a key role in post-tsunami reconstruction programs in the hardest hit Eastern Province. Mr. Gamage is also actively engaged in creating inter community reconciliation in post conflict Sri Lanka.
In 2005 he entered mainstream politics and became the Opposition Leader of the Eastern Provincial Council in 2008. He was elected to the Eastern Provincial Council in 2011 with the highest number of preferential votes and was appointed the National Organizer of the main opposition party, the United National Party.