From refugee to Sri Lankan entrepreneur, US students hear journey

Paven receives a memento during his visit to Villanova University. (Pictures courtesy Villanova University)

  • Paventhan Savunthararasa fled Sri Lanka in 1986 as a child
  • Worked in Asset Management in Geneva and New York
  • Glad to be back in Sri Lanka, where he sees investor potential
  • Shared his story with MBA students in the United States
When Paventhan Savunthararasa fled Sri Lanka in 1986 as a child, the country was engulfed in a civil war. Today, he is a co-founder of Bluestone Management, an accounting BPO situated in the financial district of Colombo, backed by several investors.


Earlier this summer he spoke to MBA students and executives at the Villanova University in the United States. He shared his whirlwind three-decade story, which saw him returning to the country of his birth.

Savuntharasa with MBA students at Villanova University United States.

“The visit demonstrated both his personal journey and the success of Bluestone while highlighting Sri Lanka’s innovative economy. It was both enlightening and inspiring for the executives and MBAs in our audience,” Dr. John Kozup Associate Professor, Marketing & Business Law said.

Thirty years ago, Savuntharasa and his family settled in France. There they overcame many hurdles adjusting in a foreign land as asylum seekers. His parents toiled over odd jobs to give him and his siblings crucial opportunities.

Savuntharasa speaks at Villanova University.

Shortly after he finished school, Savuntharasa started a professional career in Asset Management in Geneva and New York. He was the initial founder and managing partner of a mining exploration company in Africa that became one the top performing companies in the London AIM market.


In time, he was elected to the board of director of a centuries old luxury yacht company.
After travelling around the world, he recognized the importance of returning home to Sri Lanka.
“If you look at Sri Lanka, literacy level is very high. That is an important indicator for any investor seeking to hire a workforce,” he said. “Along with the natural beauty of the island, and climate, the potential here is very high in many sectors.”

Following the US visit Kozup invited Savuntharasa to the Institute for Business, Government & Culture based in Malta, with partners that include Sapienza University and the University of Malta.

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