Maneesha Wijesinghe

I was born and raised in Sri Lanka. After high school, I moved to the USA for my undergraduate studies. After graduating with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics, I decided to work in tech in a Solution Architect/ Sales Engineer role. After working in the industry for about five years, I realized that my true passion lied elsewhere.

The world’s waste crisis had affected me from a young age. I used to drive to school past a mountain of waste that was right in the middle of Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Years and years of lack of proper waste management and growing waste generation rates accumulated into a massive garbage dump. A few years ago, this mountain collapsed, killing several people living in the surrounding area. I remember asking myself as I drove past it every day, “What went wrong here?”


The waste crisis is no simple matter because it continues to grow, even as we speak. That is why I decided to start my own venture, Kola Project, introducing a zero-waste retail supply chain to retail businesses and consumers.