Charitha Abeyratne Hettiarachchi
Founder and CEO, Saraii Village
Charitha Abeyratne Hettiarachchi is the Founder and CEO of Saraii Village, a sustainable tourism brand that showcases “off the beaten path” experiences to global travelers.
The highlight of Charitha’s career was her work with Saaraketha Organics, a socially responsible business (SRB) built on the principles of triple bottom line (TBL). Her experience with this organization inspired her to set up her own socially sustainable venture — Saraii Village — while continuing to lead branding and marketing at Saaraketha Organics. The resort was listed among the top 10 most extraordinary treetop hotels in the world by TripAdvisor in both 2014 and 2015, and also won the World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2016. As a woman-owned venture, Saraii has been accredited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Charitha also has support from the International Trade Center of Geneva, which enables her with greater access to the international markets.
Charitha holds an MBA in Global Social Sustainable Enterprise from Colorado State University, in the US, where she was also a Fulbright Scholar and a Presidential Scholar. She also holds a first-class honors degree in Business IT, and worked with several blue-chip companies, such as Virtusa and MAS Holdings, before following her passion to be an entrepreneur. Charitha was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015, the Innovation in Tourism award in 2018 and the Zonta Woman Achiever award in 2017.
“We aim to be a leader in promoting a sustainable lifestyle by offering responsible food and travel solutions,” Charitha said. “And through yoga and Ayurveda, we aim to promote an alternate lifestyle that is built on a profitable, socially and environmentally conscious business model.”