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.