A high-flying Sri Lankan businessman in England
has been selected as an Officer of the Order of the British
Prof. Suran Goonatilake, a 37-year-old dual
citizen of the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, was on Friday named
in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honours list for services to
entrepreneurship. The list — which pays tribute to ‘outstanding
achievement and service right across the community’ — this year
includes awards for more than 500 outstanding people.
Goonatilake is the founder of Bodymetrics, a
company that markets a technology of the same name. Labelled the
‘Holy Grail of Fashion’, Bodymetrics has revolutionised the
international fashion industry. The technology uses scanners to
get nearly 200 accurate measurements of the human figure in
seven seconds by boucing light off the body. It then allows a
woman to ‘see’ herself wearing clothes. Bodymetrics literally
ensures the perfect fit and is being used in the production of
An old boy of Royal College, Goonatilake left
Sri Lanka at the age of 18. He read computing and artificial
intelligence at the University of Sussex before obtaining a
doctorate in the same subject. In 1993, he and some university
colleagues set up Searchspace to market an anti-fraud software
they had created. Their product is now the world’s number one
anti-money laundering software solution, with half of the
world’s biggest banks as clients.
Goonatilake has thrice appeared on Britain’s
Sunday Times annual Rich List, with an estimated personal
fortune of `A338 million.
The selections on the Queen’s honours list are
made on recommendation by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister Tony Blair’s official
spokesperson said about the list: "A key aim has been to reward
those who work and serve at the sharp end - people who have
really changed things, or who have given outstanding service to
others in difficult situations."
Some of the others honoured by the Queen include
Lloyd Scott, given a Member of the British Empire for his
numerous walks, treks and climbs for charity — but best
remembered for completing the London Marathon while wearing a
full divers suit.