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Chairman of Maga Engineering honoured as “Deshabandu” at National Awards Ceremony

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Mr M.G. Kularatne, the founder and Chairman of Maga Engineering was bestowed with the national honour “Deshabandu” at the recently concluded National Presidential Awards 2017 ceremony.

The prestigious awards ceremony, which was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, was held to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary Sri Lankan professionals from various fields and sectors, for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of the nation. The 2017 awards ceremony was held after 12 years, and 90 outstanding individuals were honoured at the event held at Colombo’s Nelum Pokuna Theatre on 20 March 2017.

The “Deshabandu” title is a rare lifetime national honour held by only 150 living title holders at any given time, and is bestowed in recognition of a distinguished service of a meritorious nature to Sri Lanka. It is presented with a citation and a Silver Medal bearing the symbol of a peacock.

A graduate of the University of Ceylon, Mr M.G. Kularatne is recognized as an astute leader who guided Maga Engineering from a small constructor to become Sri Lanka’s largest and most trusted construction company. His remarkable story of courage, resolve and resilience has inspired many young professionals in the country, and is testimony to the power of singular vision and fortitude that can overcome any obstacle along the way.

Joining the Sri Lanka Army after graduation, Mr Kularatne was elevated to the rank of Captain in 1968. Subsequently, he received the opportunity to work under the mentorship of several leading Japanese construction companies in the world that laid the foundations for his career, including as the Administration Officer at the New Parliament project at Sri Jayewardenepura for Mitsui Construction of Japan and as the Chief Administration Officer at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital Project for Kajima Corporation of Japan. He also served as the special advisor to Takenaka Komuten Co Ltd of Japan at the New International Passenger Terminal Project at the Colombo International Airport. Mr Kularatne established Maga Engineering in 1984, endowing it with the strategies of construction management and a unique work culture that made it a model construction company in the region. One of the most gifted and knowledgeable construction professionals in the country, Mr Kularatne’s swift, hands-on management style imparted speed, proficiency and utmost care which eventually became synonyms with ‘Maga’ and enabled the organization to stand out in the industry.

Today, Maga Engineering has grown to become an organization serving over 10,000 professionals and their families. It has continuously contributed to the national growth of Sri Lanka and has spearheaded the revival of infrastructure development across the country after the end of the decades-long war. The company has completed over 400 multidisciplinary projects in the fields of buildings, highways, bridges, water supply and marine work. It has constructed landmark buildings in healthcare, education, hospitality, real estate and public sectors and built and rehabilitated over 2000km of Sri Lanka’s road network. Maga is also the pioneer in the construction of sustainable buildings in Sri Lanka, projects such as Clearpoint Residencies and MAS Thurulie setting not only regional, but global benchmarks in green buildings. Under his inspiring leadership, the company also received the Platinum rating in the country’s Corporate Accountability Index, a sign of the trust and reputation the company has garnered over the years.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kularatne remarked, “I consider this national recognition a great honour, which is a result of the constant focus to achieve our goals, and our steadfast commitment to deliver high quality, lasting social infrastructure and satisfy the needs of our clients and stakeholders. I dedicate this award to our remarkable team and their families”.

A Fellow of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers and the Institute of Chartered Business Administrators, Mr Kularatne is the first Chairman of the Major Constructors of Sri Lanka, the apex body of Sri Lanka’s leading construction companies.

Maga Signs MOU with Vocational Training Authority on Skills Training

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Since the ending of the civil war in year 2009, the increase in local and foreign investments in infrastructure development projects has created an increase in the demand for skilled workers in the construction industry. There have been various initiatives to develop this skilled workforce by the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training.

Vocational Training Authority (VTA) which functions under the above Ministry was established in 1995. The key intention of establishing the Vocational Training Authority was to reach the rural masses of the country (which comprise 72% of the total population of Sri Lanka) and bestow them with necessary skills that will enable their gainful employment both locally and internationally.

Since its inception, VTA has conducted many initiatives to attract unemployed village youth towards the vocations of the construction industry, but has experienced certain reluctance by young men to venture into vocations like masonry, carpentry and bar-bending trades, due to the traditionally negative perceptions and lack of societal recognition. Recent training programs conducted by VTA in joint collaborations with the recognized private companies have yielded better attraction of village youth towards such programs.

Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd., since its inception in 1984, has been an active participant in the construction industry in Sri Lanka. Over the course of the last 30 years, they have risen to be become a model construction company in the country, by continually re-investing in knowledge, skills and capital. This has helped them evolve from working under international contractors to presently executing some of the most prestigious building and infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka.

In order to meet the current and emerging demand for the skilled workers, VTA has recognized Maga as a potential partner in the development of training programs for the above trade categories and use their brand image and the offered job placements to attract unemployed village youth for the proposed training programs.

After several discussions pertaining to practical implementation, both institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 08 November 2016 at the “Nipunatha Niwasa”. The MoU was signed by Major General Gamini Hettiarachchi, The Chairman & CEO of Vocational Training Authority and  Mr. M.G. Kularatne, Chairman & Managing Director of Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd.

A total of 240 Mason Technicians and 160 Carpenter Technicians are scheduled to be trained in four training programs within the span of two years at VTA Training Centres. The institutional training will be three months and on the job training will be another three months. The trainees will be paid an attractive training allowance jointly by the both institutions. VTA and Maga will conduct branded promotions to attract the target audience before commencement of each program in mass media and in the regions where the selected VTA centres are located. Successful participants of the training programs will be tested for National Vocation Qualification (NVQ) Level 3 certification and VTA will arrange to award the NVQ certificates through TVEC (Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission). Maga Engineering will offer employment opportunities to the successful participants of the training programs in their project sites.

Maga joins with Ministry of Skills Development to train construction craftsmen

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Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd recently signed an agreement with the Ministry of Skills Development to provide training to 185 skilled construction craftsmen under the Ministry’s Employment Linked Training Programme (ELTP). The training programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training and is funded by World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

During the six month programme, 65 Bar Benders, 75 Masonry Craftsmen and 45 Carpentry Craftsmen will be trained. The participants will be screened based on their aptitude and provided with theoretical lectures as well as practical on-the-job training sessions over a period of six months. The training programme will be conducted at Maga’s constructions projects such as Fairway Elements, Fairway Galle, Heritage Hotel Galle, New Maga Head Office Building and Yathama Building under experienced and qualified construction industry experts. Upon successful completion of the training, the participants will obtain a recognized National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 3 certification accredited by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission of Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the programme, Chairman & Managing Director of Maga Engineering, M. G. Kularatne said “We are thankful to the Ministry of Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training for this great initiative at a time when the industry is facing a shortage of skilled craftsmen. The training programme is scheduled to be held at five of our major construction sites and experienced employees are allocated to mentor the trainees. The

participants will be trained on both theoretical and practical skills in order to equip them with the skills required to gain employment. After the completion of training, the participants will have access to decent employment opportunities whilst gaining greater social acceptance. We also take this opportunity to thank the project financiers the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.”

The training programmed will be launched in mid-November 2016 and will be completed within one year.

NSBM Green University declared open by President

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South Asia’s first NSBM Green University was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and several other key members of the Parliament, on Wednesday, 26th October 2016 at Pitipana, Homagama.

Maga Engineering, Sri Lanka’s largest and most trusted construction company was entrusted with the responsibility of bringing this landmark complex to life. Lead by a dynamic project team comprising over 50 chartered engineers, construction managers and engineers together with a dedicated workforce of over 1,300 personnel , the project was completed and handed over to NSBM on schedule.

The Green University Town features state-of-the-art lecture hall facilities, laboratories, libraries, modern auditoriums and cutting-edge tech labs, offering the highest standards of education at its three faculties of Computing, Management and Engineering. The NSBM Green University complex offers not only classroom facilities but also hostels, free study areas, cinemas, expansive walking and lounge areas, swimming pools, modern gymnasiums and a business unit to develop entrepreneurship, making it a complete education and live-in facility bringing the university experience of 21st century to our doorstep. The university town spans across 26 acres of land and has capacity to accommodate 30,000 local and international students.

Commenting on the NSBM Green University project, Chairman of Maga Engineering, M. G. Kularatne, stated: “Maga is honoured to have played an integral part of the Green University project, and we would like to thank NSBM for placing its confidence on a Sri Lankan constructor to deliver this turnkey project. Our efforts are a continuing testimony to the responsibility we hold towards our nation, its citizens and future generations.”

The National School of Business Management (NSBM) Green University Town project which commenced construction in Pitipana, Homagama in December 2013, is a Rs.10.2 billion investment aimed at improving the higher education sector of the country.

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