An old boy of Royal College, Colombo where he excelled in Rugby and thereafter spent seven years in the tea and rubber plantation industry. Ken Balendra joined the John Keells Group in 1969 and spent 31 years serving the Group ending his career as Chairman of the Group which he held for eleven years, from 1989 to 2000. During his tenure he took the Company to new heights and added considerable value to the Group. Under Balendras leadership the Keells Group saw a phenomenal expansion in exposrts, trading, financial services, computers & information technology, tourism and hotels. Hotels include the ones that came up in the Maldives along with new ones that are due to come up in India.
He has held - currently holding the post of Chairman of the US$110 million South Asian Regional Fund, Ceylon Tobacco Company, and a Director of Caltex Lubricants Lanka. Balendra is a past Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, John Keells Holdings, Bank of Ceylon, The Securiries *& Exchange Commission and the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka among many other prestigious institutions. Currently he is the Chairman of the Brandix Group.
As at 31 March 2006, he has 1.71% of John Keells Holdings. His son, Krishan Balendra, is the Head of Corporate Finance and Group Strategy at John Keells Holdings.