2015-16 RI President K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran from the Rotary Club of Colombo, the first Sri Lankan to head Rotary International, dedicated a beautiful Iron Bark Euculyptus tree in Rotary Park on 13 November 2019, pictured below with Rotary Melbourne President 2019-20 Kevin Sheehan and members of our Club.
K.R. Ravi Ravindran, is a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, and was President of Rotary International in 2015-16. Ravi's presidential theme was "Be A Gift To The World."
Highlighting Rotary's biggest challenge, the eradication of polio, Ravindran said, "A future without polio is a gift that we have promised to the children of the world. And indeed it is a gift that we will give."
Ravindran said his top priority for Rotary was to increase membership, which he called the 'bedrock' of any organization. He wrote: “The emphasis on membership has to continue with focus on the younger generation. Additionally, we must seek to attract the just retired and experienced people into Rotary.”
Creating regional membership plans and realizing that “one size does not fit all” has been a move in the right direction, he said.
“Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ In many ways this has been the story of Rotary’s poor membership advance,” he said. “Thankfully, our approach this time has been studied and altered. We have created 22 different membership regions so that each region would develop and execute a plan that would suit that particular region.”
Ravindran has said it’s important for Rotarians to share their stories, especially through social media, so others can see the impact Rotary has had in their lives. He said it’s also important for the organization to speak with a consistent voice. “Our identity must remain simple and be based on our core values. It must be clear and straightforward to both our internal and external audience.”
Ravindran holds a degree in commerce and is founder and CEO of Printcare PLC, a publicly listed company and global leader in the tea packaging industry. He also serves on the board of several other companies and charitable trusts. He is the founding president of the Sri Lanka Anti Narcotics Association, the largest antinarcotics organization in Sri Lanka.
As his country’s PolioPlus chair, Ravindran headed a task force with members from the government, UNICEF, and Rotary and worked closely with UNICEF to negotiate a cease-fire with northern militants during National Immunization Days.
A Rotarian since 1974, Ravindran has also served Rotary as a director and treasurer of RI and as a trustee of The Rotary Foundation. He has also served as an International Assembly group discussion leader, district governor, Council on Legislation representative, and zone institute chair. He chaired the Schools Reawakening project, sponsored by Rotary clubs and districts in Sri Lanka, which rebuilt 25 tsunami-devastated schools, benefiting 15,000 children.
Ravindran has been awarded The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Award and the Service Award for a Polio-Free World.
He and his wife, Vanathy, have two children, and are level 4 Major Donors to the Foundation.