Reflecting on the past few months, Minoli Wickramasinghe, CEO/Managing Director of Capital TRUST Properties, considers several key milestones to be particularly significant in her role. One of the most noteworthy achievements is the establishment of Capital TRUST Properties as a household name in the real estate industry. This recognition has not been merely the result of aggressive advertising campaigns, but rather a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of its operations. Wickramasinghe firmly believes that actions speak louder than words, and the company’s dedication to delivering exceptional service has earned the trust and loyalty of clients and stakeholders alike.


At Capital TRUST Properties, a culture of innovation and adaptability has always been embraced. During challenging times, instead of succumbing to adversity, the company has seized upon opportunities for growth and expansion. By venturing into new markets and initiating innovative projects, Capital TRUST Properties has not only weathered the storms but also emerged stronger and more resilient. The lean organizational structure has enabled the company to swiftly respond to changing market dynamics and capitalize on emerging trends.


The success of Capital TRUST Properties is also attributable to its commitment to ethics and professionalism. Even in the face of adversity, the company has remained steadfast in upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency. This dedication to ethical business practices has not only earned industry recognition but also cemented the company’s reputation as a leader in the real estate sector.


Personally, Minoli is proud to have been recognized with several prestigious real estate leadership awards in Sri Lanka last year. These accolades are a testament to her passion for and deep understanding of the real estate industry. However, she attributes much of her success to the dedicated teamwork and collective efforts of the entire Capital TRUST Properties team.


In 2024, Capital TRUST Properties encountered a significant challenge within the Construction and Real Estate sector, primarily stemming from the escalating construction costs compounded by the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT), which further burdened the industry. With VAT rates reaching a substantial 20%, the company faced the task of navigating through this fiscal strain. Recognizing the broader economic context within which this tax imposition occurred, particularly in light of government obligations to international financial bodies like the IMF, the team at Capital TRUST Properties understood the need for strategic adaptation.


In response to this challenge, Capital TRUST Properties adopted a multifaceted approach. The company recognized the potential for growth in the secondary market sales segment and strategically pivoted its focus towards it. By leveraging the increasing demand in this sector, the company aimed to mitigate the adverse effects of the tax burden on primary market sales. Additionally, recognizing the broader macroeconomic challenges faced by the country, the company actively engaged in lobbying efforts to advocate for measures aimed at stimulating economic growth.


One such initiative involved advocating for a reduction in interest rates coupled with prudent fiscal policies aimed at controlling government expenditure. By actively engaging in these advocacy efforts, Capital TRUST Properties sought to create an environment conducive to sustained economic growth, which would, in turn, alleviate some of the burdens faced by the Real Estate industry.


Furthermore, the company’s financial acumen played a crucial role in navigating through these challenges. With a keen eye for market dynamics and a disciplined approach to decision-making, Capital TRUST Properties consistently identified opportune moments to invest in properties, thereby maximizing returns and maintaining credibility with its clients.


Ultimately, Capital TRUST Properties’ ability to adapt to changing market conditions, coupled with its strategic advocacy efforts and financial expertise, played pivotal roles in overcoming the challenges posed by the 2024 fiscal landscape. By assisting and advising stakeholders during times of need, the company solidified its position as a trusted leader in the Real Estate industry, further contributing to its long-term success and resilience.


Looking ahead to 2025, Minoli expresses strategic plans for further expansion and innovation. Building upon recent developments such as the establishment of Capital TRUST Valuations, an independent property valuation company, she stated the company aims to diversify its service offerings to better address the evolving needs of its clients. By venturing into complementary sectors and investing in synergistic companies, Capital TRUST Properties is enhancing its capacity to deliver comprehensive solutions tailored to its clients’ requirements.


In the coming year, Minoli expresses excitement to explore new initiatives and projects that will reinforce Capital TRUST Properties’ position as a leader in the industry. While specific details cannot be disclosed at present, she stated the company is actively pursuing foreign collaborations that have the potential to significantly elevate the Capital TRUST Properties brand and contribute to the economic advancement of the country. These collaborations, if materialized, will bring added value not only to the company but also to the broader real estate landscape.


The strategic plans for 2025, Minoli emphasizes, are contingent upon sustained political stability and favourable economic conditions. As these factors continue to improve, Capital TRUST Properties anticipates greater opportunities for growth and expansion both domestically and internationally. With a commitment to agility and forward-thinking, Wickramasinghe expressed the company is well-positioned to seize these opportunities and continue delivering exceptional value to its clients and stakeholders.


As a woman in a primarily male-dominated and often unregulated industry, Minoli emphasizes that her success has been rooted in steadfast adherence to principles of professionalism, ethics, and morals. In an environment where such standards are often lacking, her commitment to upholding these values has been instrumental in establishing her credibility and driving positive outcomes for the company. She operates with an open communication policy, fostering transparency and trust within the organization. By encouraging a collaborative approach, where everyone works as a cohesive team, she ensures that diverse perspectives are valued and considered in decision-making processes. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of thinking innovatively and being willing to explore unconventional strategies to stay ahead of competitors.


Minoli plans to leverage these leadership principles to further drive positive outcomes for Capital TRUST Properties. She recognizes that in a constantly evolving industry, characterized by challenges and uncertainties, maintaining a strong ethical foundation is paramount. By continuing to prioritize professionalism, ethics, and morals in all aspects of the business, she aims to uphold the reputation of the company and build trust among clients and stakeholders. Additionally, she remains committed to fostering a culture of open communication and teamwork, empowering employees to contribute their ideas and collaborate effectively towards shared goals.


Considering her insightful perspective on the Real Estate industry and its impact on the economy, Minoli foresees several emerging trends shaping the industry in 2025. Despite facing a series of calamities since the Easter attacks, she remains optimistic about the property sector’s resilience. She notes that despite challenges, property prices have remained stable, indicating the sector’s attractiveness as a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations. Moreover, she highlights the significance of initiatives like the ‘One Belt, One Route,’ which has generated demand from major global players like China, India, USA, and Russia for land investments in Sri Lanka. With the potential for political and economic stability, Minoli anticipates attractive returns on property values and improved rental yields, particularly with developments such as the Port City project expected to drive foreign direct investment and economic growth.


As a successful woman in a key industry, Minoli is committed to advocating for diversity and inclusion within the Real Estate sector in the upcoming year. Capital TRUST Properties has a strong track record of giving back to the community through continuous corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts focused on health, education, and women’s empowerment. Emphasizing the importance of diversity in the workforce, she notes that the company employs a significantly higher number of women and actively promotes their inclusion and advancement within the organization. Moreover, Capital TRUST Properties has embarked on initiatives to enhance opportunities for women in the Real Estate sector. This includes collaborations with key local universities offering Real Estate degrees to provide graduates with employable skills through internships and certification programs. By empowering women and promoting diversity, Minoli aims to contribute to a more inclusive and dynamic Real Estate industry in Sri Lanka.

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