Taking us back to the beginning, Nilesh De Silva shared that Kahawita De Silva and Associates Pvt Ltd (KDS) was a product of two generations of Architects before him, leading up to the iconic leadership that he now holds as the Director. According to him, every Architect in the family gained their Architectural education in England. In the year 1979, Nilesh’s parents, both Architects by profession, decided to bring their effort and creativity to the motherland, and thus the company was established.
He believes that around 40 years of extensive experience they have had in the field has given them an upper hand in the industry. According to him, KDS is a multi-disciplinary firm armed with people from different areas of specialization, such as Structural Engineers, Landscape Design, Urban & Town Planners, M & E Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, and Interior Designers, all in-house. Over time, KDS bringing all these specialties under one roof has made the operations more convenient and efficient, allowing customers to get the best of all worlds.
Adding to this quality is the KDS teams’ know-how of what they do. Having Architects who specialize in multiple areas, such as high rise, high-end residential or commercial, apartments, etc. makes it convenient for KDS to accommodate any customer. They also have the benefits of being involved with foreign Architects and the market for years. According to Nilesh, while KDS takes the lead role, this interaction with foreign Architects who are either a friend or a colleague, gives the team much-needed exposure to the latest trends as well as good learning opportunities. Their expertise helps customers, not only at the stage of designing, but from the very point, they decide to buy land. All these colourful aspects, gives KDS a different flavor from the rest.
KDS involves the Project Management aspect from the design phase. Most firms involve Project Managers when it comes to construction. According to Nilesh, this makes it easier for customers to have their doubts cleared while those doubts and changes go to the relevant team member on time and without overloading irrelevant individuals with work beyond their scope.
Talking about the elements that define KDS, all Architects are trained to design any type of building given suitable time. He concluded it was difficult to pinpoint an exact element, given the fact that the team is full of diversity and with designers who follow their passion for different aspects of the subject. “We have the expertise and the right people in the right place to design the right product at the right budget as necessary. Being cost-conscious and dealing with Clients’ money responsibly is another commendable side to KDS”, he added.
Nilesh’s firm was one of the first to implement computer aided design in the industry and seem to have mastered a very effective hybrid model of working from office and home. According to him, Architects are creative and, thus, their ideas do not always come to life by pen on paper. While the rest of the world may despise COVID, Nilesh and the team have found light in the darkness by discovering that the whole team of creatives work better with their given time and at their own pace. Further, their backend development of technology has things running 100% smoothly even while everyone works at home.
The system that KDS has in place, enables employees to focus more on work than trying to manage the complexities of the full working system introduced due to the current pandemic. Nilesh also admits to being open to learn from one another irrespective on the experience each team member may have as this industry is ever evolving and is set on cultivating that environment and mindset in his company. “It is okay to say that you don’t know something. Here we can learn and evolve as a team”, he added.
“People come and go, but buildings last for generations. Be aware of the resources around you, be self-sufficient, and follow the path that our kin showed us”, added Nilesh as a final piece of advice.