SPEAKER-Saliya-KahawatteSaliya Kahawatte (born 1969) is a successful business coach, management consultant, and author. He is also a key-note speaker working worldwide, and has already touched many people in his very special way with his life story. Saliya is a practising Buddhist and, in his spare time, a passionate Ayurveda cook as well as an enthusiastic long-distance swimmer.

Saliya had to overcome several handicaps in his life. At the age of 15, he lost 90 percent of his vision overnight. He’s driven by his desire for a self-determined life and manages this in the world of the sighted, despite his severe visual impairment. By merely listening, he attained his high school diploma at a regular school, completed his training as a waiter, and continued his career in the hotel business advancing to the position of Restaurant Manager.

Saliya disregarded his disability for many years and paid a high price for it.  It was only when he learned to accept this disability that he really advanced in life. After employment in a workshop for the disabled, Saliya managed the nearly impossible. He was the first severely visually impaired person to complete a university course in hotel management. In 2006, he turned his handicap into a trademark and founded a small business instead of relying on social welfare. This company now operates in Germany and abroad and its clients include stock listed corporations, medium-sized businesses as well as private individuals. In August 2015, Saliya received the foundation prize “Successful Entrepreneur with a handicap”

In 2009 his autobiography “My blind date with life” was released and his first cookbook was published in 2016. A film based on Saliya’s extraordinary life story appeared in German cinemas in 2017 and has already been sold to 40 other countries.