Victor was a student of Rahula College, Matara and later apprenticed in the family profession under his father’s tutelage. He spent nearly twelve years learning the theory and practice of ayurveda, consulting ancient manuscripts and books and acquiring practical experience. His dedication and devotion to the subject convinced his father, Hendrick de Silva Hettigoda, to share with Victor a family secret: the formula for a balm with powerful healing and analgesic properties, known as Siddhalepa.
A modern young man with an ancient practice handed down three generations, Victor set out to do what his forebears had never attempted before: manufacture and market Siddhalepa on a commercial scale. With seed-money from a relative, he launched his venture in 1971. He worked hard, crisscrossing the country to persuade ayurveda apothecaries, pharmacies and other retailers to try the product for themselves and recommend it to customers based on their own experience with it. His efforts paid off: today the Hettigoda Group is a large, diversified conglomerate based on ayurveda medicine, with its flagship brand Siddhalepa.
In recognition of Dr. Hettigoda’s contribution to Ayurveda and industry, the presidential award of “Deshabandu – Class I” was presented by the then President, Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1990. Dr. Hettigoda has received many national and international awards including a listing among the 50 greatest Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs after the independence. According to the LMD, a leading local business magazine, the Siddhalepa Group is ranked one of the best 100 companies in Sri Lanka.