An influential figure, Mohsen Dehghan, COO/ Executive Director of Blue Star Realties (Pvt.) Ltd. shares his transformative journey and strategic insights into Sri Lanka’s construction industry. From childhood dreams of building structures to navigating complex challenges in foreign investment and steering successful projects like Capital Heights, Mohsen’s story is one of passion, resilience, and a commitment to excellence.

From an early age, Mohsen’s fascination with construction was ignited by the joy of building structures that could withstand the test of time. Even as a child, his penchant for constructing things, even if just with pillows and cushions, foreshadowed a future in the industry. The turning point came during his teenage years when he actively participated in charity projects, constructing low-cost houses for impoverished communities. These experiences instilled in him the values of time management, dedication to project goals, and the importance of community engagement.

His formal education in construction management further refined his skills, providing him with a comprehensive understanding of technical and managerial aspects. Drawing from childhood endeavours and teenage projects, Mohsen developed a leadership style rooted in commitment, attention to detail, and a relentless pursuit of delivering high-quality results. Today, as a leader in the construction industry, he brings a unique blend of passion, practical experience, and formal education to the forefront, emphasizing collaboration, adaptability, and staying abreast of industry trends.

The success story of Capital Heights stands out despite facing unforeseen challenges like the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday Attack in 2019 and the global COVID-19 pandemic. Mohsen highlights the strategic approaches and management techniques that contributed to the project’s delivery and achieving a remarkable 100% unit sales.

Proactive risk management, value engineering, efficient procurement management, and adaptive project management were pivotal in maintaining project momentum and staying within budgetary constraints. A collaborative approach with contractors fostered a partnership mentality, contributing not only to strengthened relationships but also to the overall efficiency of the project.

The exceptional on-site construction team, known for their diligence and commitment to quality standards, combined with a dedicated sales team employing a customer-centric approach, played fundamental roles in the project’s success. The discipline of on-time board meetings and adherence to the chairman’s guidance provided a cohesive framework for decision-making, issue resolution, and strategy alignment.

Mohsen’s role in bringing foreign currency into Sri Lanka as an investor reflects his strategic mindset in addressing challenges. The Sri Lankan real estate sector, while promising, is subject to fluctuations influenced by economic, political, and regulatory developments. He discusses the challenges faced, including the volatility of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar and the legal and regulatory framework in the country.

To mitigate risks associated with currency fluctuations, Mohsen implemented meticulous risk mitigation strategies, closely monitoring currency markets and adopting hedging mechanisms. Despite challenges beyond his control, such as the depreciation of the Rupee, he underscores the importance of a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape, engaging with local authorities to streamline approval processes, and addressing taxation complexities through professional guidance.

Aligning real estate developments with the cultural and social fabric of Sri Lanka, understanding local customs, traditions, and community sentiments, became integral to project planning, ensuring positive resonance within the cultural context.

Mohsen sheds light on his negotiation strategies, providing insights into his meticulous approach and transparent communication during negotiations with contractors and material suppliers for Capital Heights. Thorough research on project requirements, technical specifications, and budget constraints laid the foundation for informed discussions.

Precise communication of project requirements, including technical specifications, quality standards, and delivery schedules, minimized potential misunderstandings and ensured alignment on project expectations. Thorough research on market prices for materials and labour costs allowed for informed negotiations, with benchmarking practices assessing the fairness and competitiveness of proposed rates.

Transparent communication about budget constraints and financial priorities was maintained throughout negotiations. Mohsen’s flexible approach to negotiation allowed for adjustments in certain areas, fostering a collaborative atmosphere and resulting in more favourable overall terms.

In anticipating the evolving landscape of the construction industry, Mohsen’s offers strategic advice for real estate companies. He emphasizes the importance of strategic planning, diversifying portfolios, and exploring alternative property types like commercial spaces, mixed-use developments, or affordable housing to enhance resilience.

Cost optimization measures through technology adoption, streamlined processes, and favourable negotiations with suppliers are key components of his advice. Investing in innovative design and construction methods, including sustainable practices and modular construction, is highlighted as a means to reduce costs and showcase environmental consciousness.

Staying agile by monitoring market trends, adapting strategies based on emerging opportunities, and maintaining financial flexibility is crucial for success in a dynamic market. Mohsen underscores the importance of strategic partnerships with industry stakeholders, suppliers, and contractors, as they can yield mutually beneficial outcomes by negotiating bulk discounts and sharing risks.

A customer-centric approach is paramount in understanding evolving market needs, incorporating feedback, offering flexible payment options, and ensuring transparent communication to build trust and loyalty. Mohsen emphasizes the application of these principles at Blue Star Realties (Pvt.) Ltd., where diversifying the portfolio, optimizing costs, fostering innovation, and building strong partnerships are integral to their strategic approach.

He also acknowledges the significant impact of government decisions on the future of the real estate industry. Currently, the prevailing tax structure poses challenges for potential investors, especially in high-rise buildings. Mohsen advocates for supportive policies, such as tax exemptions or other incentives, to encourage investment and unleash the full potential of the real estate sector.

While Blue Star Realties (Pvt.) Ltd. is currently focusing on the completion of the Defect Liability Period for Capital Heights, its mother company, Access Engineering PLC, is concentrating on a groundbreaking project—Marina Square. This luxury living experience in Colombo sets a new standard, offering breathtaking views of Colombo Harbour, Port City, and the Indian Ocean.

Marina Square, located strategically near the Port City and the elevated highway, stands as a testament to urban elegance. Encompassing over two acres, it features open-to-sky landscaped spaces, an infinity pool, a clubhouse, a games room, a kids’ play area, and gyms. Integrating a commercial element for resident convenience, Marina Square symbolizes Access Engineering PLC’s dedication to shaping Colombo’s future, blending architectural prowess with a legacy of excellence in every venture.

Mohsen’s journey unfolds as a narrative of passion, resilience, and transformative leadership in the construction industry. His insights offer a roadmap for navigating challenges, embracing innovation, and maintaining a customer-centric focus in an ever-evolving market. As he continues to shape the future of real estate in Sri Lanka, Mohsen’s commitment to excellence and strategic vision position him as a driving force in the industry’s progression.


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