Nayana Karunaratne, one of the most well known faces in the Asian hair and beauty industry was recognized as the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2007, at the awards ceremony organized by the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce on August 26, 2008. She was also the winner of a gold medal for the Business category - large.
The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 awards ceremony takes place on an annual basis, with a focus on evaluating the performance of women in business. The winners were selected from four categories – Large, Small, Medium and Micro, along with an overall award to outstanding professional women from the large category.
Speaking on her achievement, Karunaratne said, “I am greatly appreciative of winning this award but in perspective I am more overjoyed that someone from my industry has been recognized for the hard work and dedication put in to become a success story. I am essentially a hairdresser, and have been a businesswoman for the past 28 years. It has been long road to get to where I am today but I have perservered, because I knew at a very young age that this was what I wanted in life.”
Adding on, she said, “The key to my success is because I am very focused, goal oriented, hard working, disciplined and extremely organized in what I endeavor in. This has been a progressive growth for me, starting with the opening of my salon, and its expansion within Sri Lanka as well as into India. What has driven so far has been my passionate sense of personal commitment to the services offered at Salon Nayana. This goes hand in hand with the fact that I have dedicated my career in helping both men and women to look their best and to elevate the profession of hairdressing in Asia to global standards.”
Nayana Karunaratne has been instrumental in revolutionizing the concepts of beauty culture among Sri Lankans for over two decades. The success of Salon Nayana is attributed to a team of over 150 dedicated professionals comprising of cosmetologists, stylists and nutritionists who bring in their uniqueness and expertise, with an unrivalled, passionate sense of personal commitment to the services offered by Nayana and her reputed network of salons.
Established in 1980, Salon Nayana has come along, becoming an enterprise has evolved and positioned itself as a contemporary leader in the hair industry with a chain of 12 salons in Sri Lanka and India, and has produced many winners at both nation and international hair and make up competitions.
In addition to her chain of unisex hair and beauty salons in Sri Lanka and India, she is the founder of the Image Academy of Hair and Beauty as well as the Image Academy of Personality Development. The professional hairdressing and beauty therapy courses conducted by the academy are recognized by the Immigration authorities of Australia and Canada.
It also works in association with Pivot Point International, issuing certificated recognized by the European Union. The Image Academy of Personality Development provides personal development programmes for corporates and individuals on self worth, grooming, corporate dress sense, team work and stress management among others.
She is also the founder of the Sri Lanka Association for Hairdressers and Beauticians (SLAHAB) in 1996. Reflective of her commitment to elevate the profession of hairdressing in Sri Lanka to international standards, today the organization has a 3000 strong membership and represents Sri Lanka in the Organization Modiale de la Coiffure (OMC), also known as the World Federation of Hairdressers to represent Sri Lanka. She has also organized the Hair Asia Pacific, the international Hair and Make up competition for ten years to develop the Asian industry.
At present she is a board member of the World Federation of Hairdressers (OMC) and the President of the OMC Asia Zone. This position enables her yearly access to attend and host six training events all over the world.
Her working partnership with the best creative talent in the world and the experience gained judging OMC Zone and the World Championships has widened her creative and teaching horizons immensely. Today she is one of the most respected and experienced hairdressers in the world.
She is also an international trainer, in her capacity as OMC Asia President, where she travels extensively nationally and internationally, inspiring future stylists and make up artists.
Her vast experience includes training programmes in Hair and Beauty, Chennai, Hair India People, Mumbai, Hair and Beauty Association of Thailand as well as Sino Beauty, China.