Mrs. Supuli Sililari Wickramanayake Karunaratne is the proud proprietor of Nature Healing Ayur (Pvt.) Ltd. which manufactures health-concerned ayurvedic products sourced from local ingredients. Having started her business in 2016 at Habaraduwa, Galle, she became the best female entrepreneur in the Southern Province in 2017 before successfully attaining the 3rd place at the national level in 2019. Currently, she exports ayurvedic products to various countries such as Switzerland, Lithuania, Japan, and the Maldives. Further, she has become a role model for other women and youth entrepreneurs by achieving rapid growth in the field of business while being a caring mother of two. Herewith unfolds the story of her success.
Nature Healing Ayur (Pvt.) Ltd. ayurvedic production establishment, which was founded by Ms. Sililari with an initial investment of Rs. 3,000 amidst economic difficulties, bears an investment capacity of Rs. 35 million, just after 4 years. The primary function of this Enterprise is producing capsules and tablets by using indigenous spices and ingredients as food supplement. This sole proprietorship business, launched within a room at her home in 2016 with the help of her husband who is a government ayurvedic medical practitioner, generated 13 direct employment opportunities within its first year in operation. However, at the end of the first year, her business was exposed to serious challenges. Nevertheless, she was able to rise again due to her strong determination and dedication. Within 4 years she was able to admirably generate 15 direct jobs and 300 - 400 indirect jobs. This courageous woman, who was able to resuscitate her business from ground zero, said that being a woman should not be considered as an obstacle when starting a new enterprise. Since special focus is directed towards female entrepreneurs across the globe in the modern era, she remarked that new female entrepreneurs must face challenges without any fear.
Nature Healing Ayur exports its products to Europe and countries such as Japan and Maldives. According to Mrs. Sililari, greater employment opportunities and products related to the Wellness Tourism industry exists not predominantly for Europe but for Asian nations. She opined that this era is for Asia to prosper, since Western countries produce billionaires related to the IT Sector. She remarked that these opportunities exist with regard to career and product development related to the wellness tourism industry. Having captured this situation accurately, she has introduced her ayurvedic products to the domestic and foreign markets. Products that control the level of cholesterol in the body, products which grows cartilage as a remedy to the loss of cartilage of bones; common among youth and elderly of this day and age, capsules which reduces obesity and medical products that could treat cancer have been introduced by Nature Healing Ayur to the local and foreign markets (these products can be bought from selected supermarkets islandwide).
Supuli Wickramanayake stated that government organisations including the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) provided a special contribution to expand her business. She got associated with EDB in 2018 through the Export Marketplace programme which was conducted coinciding with the International Women Day . Out of all the entrepreneurs who took part in the programme, she obtained the first place, achieving a cash prize of Rs. 300,000. She was able to expand production capacity by investing that money to acquire a new machine. Ms. Sililari pointed out that she was able to gain a considerable amount of knowledge and experience by visiting an International Exhibition in Thailand during 2018 with the assistance of the EDB. Ms. Sililari recalled with appreciation that she introduced new machinery and methods of technology to her business based on the experience gained from that visit.
Her products, which have not been limited by regional and national level victories, have also been awarded the ISO 2200 quality certificate from the Sri Lanka Standards Institution. At present, producing capsules from Cherimoya Leaves as per the request of organisations connected to the treatment of cancer in European nations and making Shoe Flower capsules to be exported to Japan are being undertaken as novel products. Ms. Sililari highlighted with special emphasis that due to the absence of Shoe Flower suppliers locally, she is compelled to import them. She expressed her hope to source them through local suppliers in the future.
Supuli Sililari Wickramanayake, who aspired to become a lawyer during her school days and a psychologist while she was studying a special degree in Psychology in the university, today, carries the name as an accomplished female entrepreneur of this beautiful island nation. She has become a brand which takes the splendour of local ingredients together with the image of Sri Lanka around the world.