December 6, 1975 |
Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka
|Residence||London , UK|
|Alma mater||Havering College, Hornchurch
|Known for||Co-founder and Chairman of Lebara Group |
|Title||Chairman of Lebara Group |
Yoganathan Ratheesan (born December 6, 1975) is a British entrepreneur who, with Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Baskaran Kandiah, is best known as the co-founder of Lebara Group. On August 10, 2012, he took on the role of Chairman of Lebara Group and returned as CEO in March 2014. He owns about one third of the company's stock. He is an Aeronautical engineer by education, after graduating from Kingston University, UK.
Early life and education
Yoganathan Ratheesan was born in Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. He arrived in the UK aged 15, his family having taken refuge from Sri Lanka's civil war. Twice displaced – he was educated at boarding school in India from the age of eight – he took a while to settle. Speaking to the Guardian in November, 2011 he said, "At the beginning I found it extremely difficult in England. The only person in my circle who could speak English and explain my studies was my uncle, who worked for the Bank of England. I would wait for him all day and ring him up at 8pm."
For the first two years he saved his pocket money, hoping to buy a ticket back to India to see his former headmaster's family, who had taken him in during the school holidays.
He survived secondary school. His father, who worked at a clothing factory in London, wanted him to take a degree, and he chose aeronautical engineering "because it had more numbers in it than any other subject". He says he was not very studious, but pursued a masters and took a year out to earn the £8,000 needed to pay for it.
Yoganathan Ratheesan worked at a Lycatel outlet selling call-time cards. Later he managed the pricing department and worked in sales and marketing departement. At Lycatel, he made friends with two other Tamil colleagues, Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Baskaran Kandiah, who eventually became his business partners.
In 2001, Yoganathan Ratheesan, Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Baskaran Kandiah founded the Lebara Group. Yoganathan ran Lebara as the CEO till August 2012 when it hired David Moffatt who was appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective August 10, 2012. Thereafter Yoganathan became the Chairman of Lebara Group, before returning as CEO in early 2014.
Yoganathan Ratheesan along with co-founders Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Baskaran Kandiah started Lebara Foundation, a charitable venture in 2005. His next big ambition is to expand Lebara Foundation, which is already building a community with homes, a school and a clinic for local and displaced children in Chennai, southern India. To fund it, he plans to donate half his wealth to the foundation.
As a strong believer in supporting young entrepreneurial talent, Yoganathan officially launched 'The Entrepreneurial Way' at Cass Business School, London in December, 2012. The Entrepreneurial Way offers students and recent graduates since 2005, the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges - including Yoganathan Ratheesan - for investment, funding and additional support, such as mentoring. The scheme offers potential entrepreneurs practical advice on how to develop their business ideas and make them work in the real world.
- "Lebara appoints new CEO". Mobile Magazine.
- "Lebara names David Moffatt CEO and Yoganathan Ratheesan Chairman of Lebara Group". Lebara Media.
- "Series: The Friday interview". London: Guardian.co.uk.[dead link]
- Series: The Friday interview
- "Lebara Foundation Website".
- "Launch of The Entrepreneurial Way". Lebara Media.
- Ratheesan Yoganathan on LinkedIn
-  at tamilculture.ca
-  at growthbusiness.co.uk
-  at Mobile Magazine
-  "Lebara Charity Foundation Website"
-  at londonlovesbusiness.com
|CEO of Lebara Group
|Chairman of Lebara Group