Otara Chandiram Gunewardene, '85

Ms. Gunewardene grew her business from the trunk of her car to one of the leading fashion and retail forces in Sri Lanka and in Asia. Specifically, her new approach to fashion merchandising rippled through the industry to revolutionize the concept of department stores in Sri Lanka. Her company, Odel, has grown from her idea to a corporate staff of 430, with another 500 indirect employees, over 1000 suppliers and 200 plus factories supplying her chain of retail and online businesses with merchandise.

Odel currently has six "bricks and mortar" locations and plans to establish its first retail operation in Europe this fall. Her business model has been built upon her commitment to the environment and the linkage of "Mind, Body & Soul." She was recently featured on CNBC-Asia as a leading “Asian Entrepreneur.” She has also created a foundation to support the conservation philosophy that is central to her company.

 

Published: 2009