Dr Harikrishna Kulaveerasingam, 60, a Malaysian, was appointed as the 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 then joined Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as a Biotechnologist in 1991. He returned to academia as a Lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia in 1995 where he stayed until 2003 as an Associate Professor. Subsequently, he joined Sime Darby Technology Centre Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SDP, in 2003 as General Manager, Biotechnology, where he helped establish a new technology centre with biotechnology capability, and subsequently assumed the position as Director of Research in 2005.
He left Sime Darby Technology Centre Sdn Bhd to join SDP in 2007 as Senior Vice President II, Head Quantum Leap Research & Development (R&D) until 2012. Since then, he has held various capacities in SDP, which included: (a) Senior Vice President II, Biotechnology and Breeding from 2012 to 2015; (b) Head (in Charge), R&D from 2015 to 2016; and (c) Head, R&D since 2016.
His past and present responsibilities include all R&D-related works of the Plantation Division in supporting operations through technical advisory and research. He has also been actively involved in developing and discovering oil palm genomics and technology output to support palm breeding operations as a way to improve yields and provide means for SDP to be globally competitive against other vegetable oil players.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Plant Sciences from London University in 1985. He also obtained a PhD in Plant Molecular and Developmental Biology from Leicester University in 1989.