The story of the Siddhalepa Group of Companies goes back 150 years to the middle of the 19th century. In Galle, a small town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka lived Hettigoda Gamage Don Carolis de Silva
, an agriculturist by profession. His talents however, were multifaceted. He excelled in the art of Astrology and was also well known as a skilled Ayurvedic physician. Of his two sons, Hendrick De Silva Hettigoda followed in his father's footsteps and studied Ayurveda and Astrology, while his younger son, the late Most Ven.
Walpola Rahula, rose to fame as a world-renowned Buddhist scholar.
Hendrick De Silva Hettigoda after studying Ayurveda and Astrology from his father proceeded to India to continue his studies under the Yogis (religious mendicants) in their ashrams at the foothills of the Himalayas. He spent over 15 years in India perfecting the art of Ayurveda and Astrology. An expert in the field of Astrology, he was elected President of the Astrological Society of Sri Lanka, at that time.
Victor Hettigoda, the Chairman of the Hettigoda Group of Companies was born in 1937 in Kanake, Matara, Sri Lanka. Victor received his education at Rahula College, Matara. On leaving school he joined his father as a "student helper" to pursue the family profession of Ayurveda Medicine. Victor spent nearly 12 years learning the art of Ayurveda Medicine poring over "Ola Leaf" manuscripts and ancient books on the subject.
Victor Hettigoda's untiring efforts and devotion to Ayurveda won him accolades from his father. As a reward for his hard work, the secret formula of
"Siddhalepa"- the wonder balm - was disclosed to him. He had a burning desire for independence and achievement but was encumbered by limited financial resources. However, an initial investment from a trusted relative in 1971 helped him commence his venture.
Victor Hettigoda's dynamism knew no limits. He travelled to every remote village in Sri Lanka to promote the Siddhalepa Balm. His tireless efforts were ultimately rewarded. Today, his Company is a resounding success with a global distribution network.
In recognition of Dr. Hettigoda's colossal contribution to the field of Ayurveda Medicine and his services to the Industrial community in particular, Dr. Hettigoda was vested with the prestigious award of "Deshabandu" by the President of Sri Lanka in May 1990. The "Vishava Prasadini" award was conferred on him by the Prime Minister in April 1996 for his outstanding contribution and service to the Ayurveda Industry in Sri Lanka. In addition, numerous journals and organizations have feted this outstanding entrepreneur. These include -
Asiaweek, in December 1989, named him the "Balm King" in recognition of his contribution to the Ayurvedic industry.
The Lanka Monthly Digest identified him as the "King of the Masses" and also as one of the "50 Greatest Sri Lankans since Independence".
Dr. Hettigoda established the first Sri Lankan fertiliser company to manufacture organic fertiliser, and received the IFOAM International Organic Certificate for his "Suraya Compost Fertilizer" in 1995
The "Mahaweli Ran Diyawara" title was conferred on Dr. Hettigoda in April 1998 by the Association of United Engineers of the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka in recognition of the valuable services rendered to the nation.
The "Vaidya Vidya Ratna Vibushana" honorary title was conferred on him in December 1998 by the Vidyalankara Privena, Kelaniya, for his contribution to the Ayurveda industry and achievements in getting products into the international market
The "Vishvakeerthi Manawa Hithawadi Deshamanya" title was conferred on Dr. Hettigoda by the Sri Jayawardenapura Guna Samaru Padanama in December 2000, in recognition of the services rendered to uplift national, religious, social, cultural and educational activities
Sarvodaya Trust Fund conferred the National Award for the year 2001 in December 2001 to honour his services to society.
Dr. Hettigoda was also selected as Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year 2000, and awarded the Bronze Medals for the Western Province and for the entire Island by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka in recognition of the Best Procedures adopted to enhance the performance of the Industrial Sector of Sri Lanka.
The Faculty of Medicine - Medicina Alternativa Institute - affiliated to the Open University for Complementary Medicines conferred the Fellowship Register of Royal Complementary Practitioners (FRCP (MA)) in recognition of his contribution towards the field of Complementary Medicines in Sri Lanka.
“Shahassrabisheka Waidyasuri” Award conferred in May 2002, by Minister of Health, Nutrition and Welfare, one out of 100 such Awards, conferred on Ayurvedic Physicians who have rendered yeomen services to the Nation.
Samastha Lanka Ayurveda Waidya Sammelanaya (Federation of Sri Lanka Ayurveda Physician) conferred the “Honorary Ayurveda Vishwa Panditha” title in recognition of the contribution to the field of Indigenous Medicine of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing selected Siddhalepa as one of the Best Sri Lankan Brands at their Brand Symposium 2000.
Faculty of Medical Studies - Medicina Alternativa - Institute affiliated to the Open University of Complimentary Medicines - conferred the title of “Professor” at the Ceremony held at BMICH on 29 November 2002.
All Island Society of Justice of the Peace Association in December 2002 conferred the title “Keerthi Shri” and awarded Gold Medal in commemoration of the dedicated services for the Cultural, Religions and Social Services rendered.