Rajitha Jayasuriya, who is a loving wife and a proud mother, entered the Corporate Sector at a very young age. It was only ‘hard work and commitment to the job assigned’ that made it possible for her to succeed in her career to be who she is now, as the Director Sales & Marketing for Capital Heights the Signature Project of Access Engineering PLC. She has been active in the Real Estate Industry since 1997 and worked for the largest conglomerate in the field of Real Estate for 10 years, namely, The Ceylinco Consolidated Group.
“I have been in the fields of Legal, Shipping & Logistics, Business Machines & IT, Commodity & Pharmaceuticals, US Healthcare/BPO Industry, Construction Machinery & the Real Estate Sector, from a humble beginning, to where I am today, as the Director, Sales & Marketing for an Access Engineering PLC Group Company.”
When inquired about her assessment of the performance of the Real Estate Industry in recent months, she replied confidently by saying that the industry had recovered quite well in the midst of a thirty-year separatist war, the Easter Sunday attack in April 2019 and the recent crisis caused by the COVID -19 global pandemic. She is certain of achieving higher yields in the near future.
Furthermore, she stated that the main factors that have contributed to the demand for Real Estate in the present-day environment are:
- The low interest rates for Housing facilities from most local banks
- Drastic drop in the fixed deposit interest rates
- Post COVID-19, most Sri Lankan Expatriates have decided to come back to their roots and be connected with family and friends. This is an emotional market surge, with a need to be connected to the kith and kin.
Discussing whether the government policy has adequately supported the growth in the Real Estate industry and what further could be done to boost its performance, Rajitha mentioned that the government has been supportive in most instances. Nevertheless, as the Private Sector is the engine of growth, much support is required from the government in terms of consistent policies and regulations governing the sector.
If the Residential visa policy is established, foreign investment is a guarantee to the Real Estate Sector. It’s a motivation to elevate the industry to heights beyond measure.
According to the industry expert, the factors to consider prior to investing in the Real Estate sector, should be:
- Financial stability, integrity and the credibility of the developer
- Past project experience and conclusion in a timely manner
- Period of construction of a project (short terms projects are better investments)
- Check on the preliminary government institutional approvals, such as, municipality permits, UDA, RDA, CEA & CMA approvals etc. in order to obtain the COC to transfer the Deeds
“As the pandemic is yet under-way, Rajitha, claimed that the key challenge facing the industry is trying to complete the construction as per the scheduled time. “Adhering to the construction timeline in a market that is dominated by a global pandemic is a tough task on any developer. How can you have a labour force of 300 – 500 completing a high-rise with social distancing? This is an enormous challenge.”
Moreover, Rajitha said that in the coming year or so, despite the COVID-19 crisis in Sri Lanka, the Real Estate Industry would most definitely pick up and move forward in the midst of the crisis as it had been in the past, even after the separatist war. “Sri Lankans are a tough breed, we will rise, stronger than ever before and I’m certain most of our expatriates will return to their homeland. The need for connectivity and networking with nuclear and extended family, is now more than ever before!”
Speaking about improving the ease of conducting business in our Country, especially in the field of the Real Estate industry, Rajitha said, “we need to align all government departments and institutions under one-roof policy and expedite the process of approvals with honesty and integrity. The Land Registry which plays a pivotal role urgently needs attention from higher authorities. Time and energy wastage needs to be curbed drastically and registrations to be streamlined on an on-line basis to suit the modern market.
In conclusion, the real estate role model shared her vision for young corporate women by encouraging them by saying, “YOSO – Your Only Single Once! This is the best time to go all in, with your career, education and wellness goals. You want to switch careers or find a new job? DO IT. You want to study more or advance in your field? APPLY. Don’t settle…. surround yourself with people who are more advanced than you in every aspect in life. Set a high bar for yourself and stay committed to it! Because a vision without a goal is only a dream!”
“I’m humble enough to know I’m not better than anybody and wise enough to know I’m different from the rest!”