Sometimes fate plays a hand and an act of love can take your life in an unexpected direction. Such was the case for Kithsiri Ekanayake when he designed a clever birthday card for his wife-to-be, Isha. The witty take on the Apple logo caught the eye of Isha’s friend, Dulith Herath who asked to meet Kithsiri. From there a meeting with Dammika and a hard fought interview, led to Kithsiri becoming only the fourth person to join Mitra Innovation, 9 years ago.
As a Senior User Experience Design Lead, Kithsiri uses design insight to solve users problems, creating smart interfaces that make the complex underlying systems easily navigable and intuitive to use. Kithsiri also gets to use his creative mind maintaining Mitra’s branding across the company, an increasingly important role as the business grows rapidly. Kithsiri designs our websites, our logos and our presentation templates.
As a youngster you might have put your money on Kithsiri forging a career in the automotive world. But it wasn’t just the look and speed of high end racing cars, but the design of the tech under the bonnet that Kithsiri found, and still finds intriguing. Formula 1 combines amazing design with top notch technology, something Kithsiri does for Mitra and our clients every day.
When he joined the business, Kithsiri found a mentor in Ashok Suppiah, who gave him the freedom to be creative and develop his skills while doing the job he loves. Kithsiri says “Ashok encourages you to take your ideas further and supports you through the challenges. I love using UX to solve customers problems and have had the training, industry exposure and opportunities to do just that.”
Kithsiri in front of the 10th anniversary logo he designed for Mitra.
Kithsiri talks warmly about Ashok hosting meetings in the early days, but encouraging Kithsiri to speak with customers globally, ultimately hosting such meetings himself. “Mitra changed my life and how I think. Global exposure gave me the confidence to speak to clients and without Ashok’s encouragement I may have struggled with this.”
Continually improving his craft, Kithsiri is currently undertaking a remote design degree at the University of Falmouth in the UK, something he is very proud of and finds extremely rewarding.
Asked how he might enhance his role at Mitra, Kithsiri said: “I love being client facing and designing user interfaces for clients to solve their unique issues. I recently worked with Dygisec addressing the ever increasing need for cloud security. My role was to help design and deploy executive level dashboards and compliance tools. I was part of the co-development team who took the product from inception, through design and to technical implementation. It’s still early days, but the collaboration worked brilliantly.”
The Dygisec team, Kithsiri 4th from left
Kithsiri has also been a volunteer teacher for the Inspire Educational Program helping students from rural villages in Sri Lanka access high quality tech education, and improve their life opportunities. “I provided design tips and techniques and trained the students on how to use Photoshop. I’m so happy that some of them are now earning money using these skills. This is life changing for them, providing opportunities for the future.”
Somewhat of a superstar, Kithsiri is very well known throughout the Mitra world, he’s one of the longest standing employees, someone who creates amazing graphics, is always extremely helpful no matter what the problem, and can muster a smile even during the most challenging of moments. And if you ever need to impress a loved one with a birthday card, you may wish to have a quiet word with Kithsiri!
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