A University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate, Arun Saraf is the Founder of the Saraf Foundation. He began this Foundation with a clear vision to facilitate the documentation, preservation, and restoration of Nepali and Himalayan culture.
As a way of giving back to Nepal, the country he grew up in, Arun Saraf decided to honor scholars and their passion for research, documentation, and publication by establishing the Saraf Foundation. Alongside leading and engaging in projects of heritage preservation, he is also an active hotelier with luxury properties across Nepal and India. Leveraging technology, his hotels are a thoughtful amalgamation of culture and comfort.
Arun Saraf is the Managing Director of Yak and Yeti Hotel Ltd. Kathmandu and Taragaon Regency Hotels Ltd. in Kathmandu. He is also the Managing Director of Juniper Hotels in India. Apart from being a hotelier, he is a passionate traveller and trekker, and has thus amassed vast experiential knowledge of the Himalayan region through his extensive travels in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. He also remains actively involved in education sector through the Modern Indian School, which has grown into one of the finest schools in Nepal.
Namita Saraf is the co-founder of the Saraf Foundation and Director of Taragaon Next. She splits her time between Kathmandu and Mumbai. For over 20 years, Ms. Saraf has worked as a collector, patron, and curator in both countries, and she advises on artistic endeavours that include contemporary art.
She has worked with the curator and scenographer Rajeev Sethi, commissioning and curating art projects and site-specific works by contemporary artists and artisans. Along with her husband, Arun Saraf, she was the driving force in establishing the Taragaon Museum in Kathmandu. This institution holds a major archive of the works of international scholars, architects, photographers, and researchers.
Namita Saraf is on the Board of Trustees of the Rubin Museum, which enabled her to connect Nepal and its local art to an international platform. She also serves as an Advisory Council member for the Asia Society.
Varun Saraf is the Director of the Saraf Foundation and also a third-generation hotelier with over a decade of experience developing hotels across South Asia. Apart from his interest in real estate, he is a Venture Philanthropist and a Serial Entrepreneur with a vision to create a large-scale impact in South Asia by creating infrastructure and an enabling environment to sustain and scale local solutions.
He is the founder of multiple social enterprises, including Blue Waste to Value, Himalayan Museum and Sustainable Park, and Blincventures.com. He has also invested in health and livelihood initiatives and serves on the board of the International Foundation for Population Development (IFDP), a Swiss Foundation which contributes actively to the elimination of poverty in developing nations.
Natasha Mittal Saraf has been associated with the Saraf Foundation since 2010, and works on multiple projects with the Foundation.
Natasha led the restoration of the Taragaon Museum (now known as Taragaon Next) – her team consisted of architects who are experts at restoration, with guidance from the original architect of the project, Carl Pruscha. Today, Taragaon Next is a thriving art centre in Kathmandu, visited for its unique architecture, location, as well as a dynamic space promoting culture and young artists from across Nepal.
Natasha worked on the NAA with Arun Saraf when it was in its nascent stage, working on the goal of creating a rich repository of Nepal’s architectural heritage, with a larger vision to encompass South Asian architectural heritage in the future.
She is the co-founder of moware and advisor at moware design, a social enterprise supported by Saraf Foundation, that does waste-upcycling, while collaborating with indigenous artisans, women’s groups, and experts in product design. Natasha is also the design and communication advisor at Sagarmatha Next, focusing on bringing sustainable tourism to the Himalayas.
Natasha has an MBA from the Wharton School, and has worked across multiple continents and industries, including the steel industry, maternity fashion, and investment banking. She brings with her a diverse set of experiences and approaches to her roles at the Saraf Foundation.