Chairman and CEO, Soneva Group; Founder, Six Senses

Sonu Shivdasani and his wife, Eva, have created a pioneering vision for sustainable tourism, coining a concept of barefoot luxury that effortlessly pairs luxury holidays with care for the environment. Captivated by the beauty of the Maldives two decades ago, Sonu and Eva purchased an island and, at the behest of the Maldivian government, started a management company to run a resort on the island.

Six Senses Resorts & Spas, founded in 1995, quickly became an icon among the discerning travel community, winning several awards, including the 2000 and 2008 Best of the Best by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and the 2008 World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award. 

Currently, however, Sonu and Eva focus their attention on Soneva. Each Soneva resort combines 5-star luxury accommodations with a commitment to respecting the local culture and the fragile host ecosystem. Further, each resort uses only natural and sustainable building materials, plastic is banned, and food is locally sourced in an effort to realize Sonu’s vision for a completely “decarbonized” group by 2015.                        

A descendent of Indian parents, Sonu was born and educated in England, with some periods of his studies spent in Nigeria and Switzerland. He is an alumnus of Eton College and Oxford University, where he received an MA in English Literature.

View this May 2, 2018 Fast Company article discussing Sonu & Eva Shivdasani’s “mission to save not only their beloved adopted home of Kunfunadhoo Island, but maybe the whole planet, too” though sustainable tourism.