Staff Reporters
Aug 18, 2020

Women to Watch 2020: Jayomi Lokuliyana, zMessenger

She has overcome the odds and battled unwilling investors to launch Sri Lanka's first programmatic advertising ecosystem, Adstudio.

Women to Watch 2020: Jayomi Lokuliyana, zMessenger
Exceptional female talent from the APAC marcomms industry 

Jayomi Lokuliyana

Co-founder/ chief executive officer
Sri Lanka

As a woman entrepreneur in the mobile ad market, Jayomi Lokuliyana struggled to get her business off the ground. In Sri Lanka, the mobile market was nascent, and banks and other investors were unwilling to fund a startup building a business idea focused on this unproven segment. Despite these odds, Lokuliyana managed to beat the odds and get her venture, zMessenger, off the ground. 

Despite this rocky start, she has managed to grow her five-member start-up to a 130-person team operating in diverse digital industries in three countries. Lokuliyana launched the country’s first programmatic advertising ecosystem Adstudio, aimed at helping agencies and brands target and deliver relevant communications plans. 

Currently she envisions zMessenger digital transformation driver, by offering data-powered artificial intelligence-based advertising solutions. Over the past seven years, zMessenger’s business has grown at a CAGR of 64% and she has devised multiple mobile innovations including a mobile-based election violence monitoring platform, BigBon (Sri Lanka's first deal-discovery and aggregating platform), MyMed (an online market space for healthcare products), Star Friends (a celebrity/ influencer network platform) and (Sri Lanka's first programmatic ad network).

Being a woman who’s experienced the hardships of getting a venture off the ground, Lokuliyana is a firm believer in and advocate of promoting female participation in the digital economy. She was appointed by the Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka to its working committee consulting for policy-level intervention to aid digital transformation of government services. 

She has also mentored business executives, especially women, and evangalised digital entrepreneurship opportunities at more than 60 forums reaching over 10,000 individuals. In order to create a national-level movement on female participation in the digital sector, Sri Lanka's first cabinet-approved Chamber for Women in Digital was incorporated under the auspices of the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and Ministry of Digital Infrastructure, and Lokuliyana was appointed as the chairperson to drive the participation in the country’s digital sector.

Exceptional female talent from the APAC marcomms industry 


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