Empowering Prajãva through a Family-Friendly and Conscious Capitalism Business Model

On the International Day of Families, we are highlighting the significance of investing in family-friendly workplaces, and our guest for this episode is Mr. Suranga Herath, CEO of English Tea Shop Organic. He discusses the company's vision, initiatives, and their impact on the business.


English Tea Shop Organic's goal is to improve agriculture in Sri Lanka through organic farming and direct collaboration with small farmers. The company prioritises empowering farmers and enhancing employee ownership, aiming to become a majority employee-owned business. The company follows a "Prajãva" philosophy (which translates to the word “community” in Sinhalese); it is a transformative mindset, where a business evolves from being a mere part of the community to becoming its beating heart and soul. Hence, by prioritising the interests of its community, English Tea Shop Organic can foster stronger and more meaningful relationships, all while creating shared value for everyone involved. They have implemented open book management and are significantly employee-owned.


In line with their principle of prioritising people-centric operations, English Tea Shop has introduced the Prajãva Wellbeing programme, which emphasises the well-being of stakeholders as an integral part of their business. The company places a strong emphasis on establishing family-friendly workplaces, accomplished by implementing a comprehensive health programme, providing training in household economics management, promoting entrepreneurship among employees' spouses, and creating a self-sustaining virtuous cycle of interventions. Their Child Benefit Initiative, a significant collaboration, provides monthly benefits to the children of their employees, having a positive impact on both the recipients and the company. They also provide training and inspiration to spouses on household budgeting and decision-making, aiming to encourage male entrepreneurship and help feed more than one family.


Mr. Herath emphasises the importance of investing in employees' families and suppliers, as relationships go beyond the workplace, and a business's success depends on the well-being of its people. English Tea Shop's business model prioritises people over profits through conscious capitalism. By investing in the families of its staff, employees, and suppliers, the company helps to solve social inequality through a conscious capitalist model.


Empowering societies is crucial to facing climate and nature crises, and the company aims to leave a legacy that proves the world's wealth can be distributed better through business. Mr. Herath plans to be transparent with communities, customers, trade customers, and distributors about the program's benefits and details. Collaborating with customers can amplify the impact on communities, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.


In summary, Mr. Herath's vision is to create a business that not only provides high-quality organic tea but also makes a positive impact on society. By investing in people, the company helps to create a better world for everyone.


To listen to the most recent episode of the show, check out the CRIB podcast here.



About Us


The Mother- and Child-Friendly Seal for Responsible Business launched by The Centre for Child Rights and Business (The Centre) in 2022 is an activity-based certification initiative. The Seal Initiative aims to strengthen the commitment and capacity of businesses to create a family-friendly supply chain and encourages businesses to make meaningful investments in women’s and children’s wellbeing. 


For more information, please visit our Seal Initiative website here.

Published on   14/05/2023
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