Dr Harikrishna Kulaveerasingam, 61, a Malaysian, was appointed as Chief Research & Development Officer of Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) on 23 April 2018.
He began his career as a Post-Doctoral Researcher with the University of California, Davis in 1990. He started his career in Malaysia at Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as a Biotechnologist in 1991. He returned to academia as a Lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia in 1995 and left in 2003 as an Associate Professor. Subsequently, he rejoined the corporate sector as General Manager, Biotechnology at Sime Darby Technology Centre Sdn Bhd (SDTC). At SDTC he helped to establish a new technology centre with biotechnology capability and subsequently assumed the position as Director of Research in 2005.
After the merger in 2007, Dr Harikrishna continued his career at SDTC as Head Quantum Leap Research & Development (R&D) until 2012. Subsequently, he served in various capacities in SDP including as Senior Vice President II, Biotechnology and Breeding until 2015; Head (in Charge), R&D from 2015 to 2016; and Head, R&D since 2016.
Dr Harikrishna’s past and present responsibilities include all R&D-related works of SDP in supporting operations through technical advisory and research. He has been actively involved in developing oil palm genomics technologies and commercialising these via palm breeding operations to improve yields and provide means for SDP to be globally competitive against other vegetable oil players.
Dr Harikrishna graduated with a bachelor's degree in plant sciences from London University in 1985 and a PhD in Plant Molecular and Developmental Biology from Leicester University in 1989.