Mrs. Badra Jayaweera

General Manager

Ceylon Electricity Board

By Shanthini Bogahawatte [2007-09 MBA/G1]
  Career Path

She started life as a Demonstrator at the  University of Sri Lanka and then as an Engineering Teaching Assistant.
She joined Ceylon Electricity Board on 15th June 1977 as an Electrical Engineer and was attached to various branches of CEB.  This is her 31st year in CEB.
After joining CEB the career advancement was based purely on promotions that were given on merit and vacancies.
She became a Chief Engineer in 1989 and was appointed as Acting Deputy General Manager (Commercial) on 6th May 1990. On 1st July 1991 she became the Deputy General Manager Procurement. In 1997 she was appointed as DGM Consumer Services and in 2003 she became DGM (Panning & Development) of Distribution Region 1. On 1st October 2003 she was promoted as Additional General Manager of Distribution Region 1 of CEB.
During her 31 years of service she had been attached  to various branches and gained valuable experience in  different areas of work. Her life at CEB was not a bed of roses. There were ups and downs but her courage and ability to face challenges has brought her to the position of General Manager of CEB today.
She was appointed as the General Manger of Ceylon Electricity Board from 8th September 2008.  She is the 1st lady Engineer to be appointed as General Manager of CEB.


About the Organisation

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is a body corporate established by Act No 17 of 1969     as the National Power utility. CEB is empowered to generate electrical energy, transmit the same and distribute to reach all categories of consumers and to collect the revenue according to the government approved tariffs.  It is one of the biggest organizations in Sri Lanka and has vital role to play towards the development of the country in achieving customer expectations and contributing to the development country in many ways. CEB has generated 9814Gwh  to meet the demand of 8276Gwh. The turnover of CEB is around Rs 88 Billion. Today CEB provides employment to about 14500 employees. Total number of consumers amounts to 3.9 Million. The percentage of households electrified is about 81% and the demand for electricity is growing at the rate of 8% per year.




Be an internationally recognized efficient utility providing high quality service to all its stakeholders.



Personal Life

The General Manager of Ceylon Electricity Board Mrs. Badra Jayaweera was born on 9th June 1951 in  Kosgama,  Avissawella.
Her parents were Teachers.  She has 3 sisters and one brother. She is the youngest in the family.     
Her husband is a Dental Surgeon and was attached to the Army Medical Unit and is retired now. She has one daughter and one son. Both are Telecommunication Engineers. Daughter is married and has one child.
She studied at Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda and Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo and entered the University of Peradeniya for higher studies.  She passed out as an Electrical Engineer from The Peradeniya University.
Her Hobbies are Sewing, Gardening and Reading.
Her childhood dream was to become a Scientist.



Major Strategies, Achievements and challenges faced by her

During her period of service in CEB she has undertaken many  tasks. When she was Deputy General Manager (Commercial) she was responsible for the task of handling all consumer related matters. She handled all commercial matters which included preparation of the Tariff system of CEB. This task is a very complicated matter as the determination of tariff is directly affecting the entire population of the country and the Revenue of the CEB. This decision is directly affecting the profitability and the future growth of the CEB .  She handled this task very efficiently.

As Deputy General Manager (Planning & Development) Distribution Region 1 of CEB she had to handle the entire Rural Electrification (RE) work of CEB. The rural electrification projects are usually funded by donor agencies by way of loans or grants. Initially she had to do a survey to decide the RE schemes and had to coordinate with all the Members of Parliament. Out of the proposals made by Members of Parliament the RE schemes are selected based on the requirement of the area and the Economic Inter Rate of Return (EIRR). She had to devote herself fully for the timely completion of the projects. To do this she had  to mobilize all the required resources within CEB. Material procurement is done by competitive bidding process which is a very cumbersome task. During this period she  completed seven (7) RE projects successfully. This created the avenues to increase consumer base of CEB which is now 81%.

She also undertook the task of preparing the Corporate Plan of CEB which she has completed successfully and is being  updated at present.

She has undertaken many System Development Work in order to reduce the system losses. Earlier the system losses were around 20% of the total generation and it has been reduced to 15%.   Further Development programs are being implemented throughout the island.
She has initiated automated reading (AMR) in Region 1, so that the electricity thefts are reduced and the meter can be read without visiting locations. This facilitated the instant reading of meters and the issuing of bills with 99.9% accuracy and the valuable time of the Area Engineers and Electrical Superintendents  are saved.
She has also taken steps to restore the supply in Jaffna peninsula within  a limited time period. She undertook this task with greatest difficulties due to logistic problems such as transport of material, installation of generators for the power supply and construction of  HT and LT lines and substations. At present the people of Jaffna peninsula are enjoying power supply throughout the day.



Turning Points in her Life

The turning point in her life was the day that  she decided to remain in CEB without making use of the opportunity she got to migrate to Australia for greener pastures.
Rising to the highest position in CEB as General Manager who is the Chief Executive officer of CEB is a major achievement by her due to her knowledge, experience and her strength and ability to take up any challenge.



Success Factors  

Her success factors were her ability and the courage to make a decision, whether it is right or wrong and to stand by it. To call a spade  a spade irrespective of consequences.



Future Destinations

Her future destination  are to leave a legacy behind as the most effective General Manager of the CEB,
Then to retire gracefully for a  peaceful  life with ample time to spend on her hobbies.
Her vision is to provide Electricity to the entire Nation before she retires.



Her Advice for others who need to be Good Leaders

Know your men, talk little and trust your peers. Subordinates and equals and always respect their views.



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