Company History: A Timeline
The story began in 1984, when M.G. Kularatne founded Maga Engineering with a vision to become a model construction company in the region. In the early 1980s, we seized the opportunity to enter the industry, filling the void created by the high demand for construction activities resulting from the open economy pursued by the government of the 1980s. We had the opportunity to work alongside some of the leading construction companies of the world, helping us to gain valuable exposure and acquire construction managerial skills which were utilized for the benefit of the domestic construction industry. The Company acquired the plant and machinery required for major construction work and successfully built a dynamic and dedicated team armed with the necessary knowledge and experience which can be considered its vital strength. It is this capacity and strength which enabled it to secure some of the most prestigious construction projects.
In 1985, Maga took part in the Airport Passenger Terminal Building Project.
In 1987, we worked as a subcontractor to Taisei Corporation of Japan in Colombo Hilton Hotel project.
In 1988, we secured our first major contract for the construction of buildings for National Building Research Organisation. The same year, Maga ventured into its first overseas project in the Republic of Maldives. We also carried out its first marine work in the Colombo Dry Dock Project, first dam work in the Samanalawewa Hydropower project and airport work in the Katunayake airport-runway project.
In 1991, we took part in our first major bridge project, working as the main subcontractor to Kajima Corporation of Japan in the Sri Lanka-Japan Friendship Bridge, also known as the Victoria Bridge, project.
In 1992, the company achieved the highest National Grading for the Building Sector bestowed by the Institute for Construction, Training and Development, or ICTAD. Maga also received its first national construction award from ICTAD for the construction of Army Commander’s Secretariat in Colombo. We also took part in the Port Development Project and Social Education Center Project in Maldives.
Maga completed its first major mid-rise complex, the Colombo Valiant Towers in 1993. The same year, we took part in our first Health Sector projects, the Biomedical Unit and the Medical Wards building for Colombo General Hospital. We were also involved in a Coastal Fisheries Project in the Rep. of Maldives.
In 1994, we completed our first major hotel project, 5-star 158-room Eden Hotel & Spa in Beruwala.
In 1996, the company won its first National Excellence Award for the construction of the Head Office for Hemas Group. This was followed by the completion of a string of world-renowned, 5-star hotels along the west coast of Sri Lanka in the latter half of 1990s including the Taj Exotica in Bentota and Blue Waters in Wadduwa, Sinbad Gardens in Kalutara and the Geoffrey Bawa-designed Lighthouse Hotel in Galle. The Lighthouse and the Blue Waters Hotels went on to win National Construction Awards.
In 1998, the company took part in the construction of a seawall in Maldives and Mahaweli Sakura Bridge. The following year, we completed two major education sector projects, the National College of Education at Bingiriya and the National College of Education at Ratnapura, the latter which won a National Construction Award.
The new millennium saw us stretching our wings to large-scale roads, bridges and water supply projects. In 2000, we began our first major highway project, the Southern Provincial Roads Improvement.
In 2002, the company received the coveted International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Associations’ or IFAWPCA Gold Medal for the construction of Apollo Hospital in Colombo.
The vehicular Bridge in Ratnapura was completed in 2003, and garnered us our first National Award for bridge construction. The company also took part in the construction of Muwagama and Gampola bridge.
In 2004, our Quality Management System was certified to be in compliance with ISO 9001:2000 standard.
Moving further forward, we entered into our first Joint Venture with the China’s CDIG in 2005 for the Kalutara-Ambalangoda (A-2) Road project. This was the beginning of several successful joint ventures with leading local & international contractors to carry out large scale infrastructure development projects. We also took part in the Greater Galle Water Supply project, where we carried out work of the intake and several large service reservoirs.
In 2006, the company won another National Construction Excellence Award for the construction of Cargo Complex at Katunayake International Airport. We were involved in the construction of one of the longest reinforced concrete bridges, the bridge over Ginganga (194 metres) of the Southern Highway. We pioneered the production and supply of High-strength Triple-blend Temperature Controlled Concrete.
In 2007, we moved in to large-scale ‘design-and-build’ projects, an example being the 32-storey Fairmount Residencies, for which we won the coveted National Construction Excellence Award. Lean, efficient and designed for high seismic resistance, the building has incorporated several sustainability features. In December 2007, the National Chamber of Commerce named us the Winner in the Construction and Engineering sector, honoring Maga with the National Business Excellence Award. Maga also became the Runner-up in the Best Realized Growth category. Confirming our commitment to our workforce, Maga became the first company to receive the National Award for Human Resource Development and Effective Safety Management. During the same year, we completed our first major real estate development project, the Skyline Residencies and the award-winning Radiation Treatment Centre at Colombo 02.
The following year, the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, IESL, honored Maga with the institutions’ first ever Engineering Excellence Award (under Infrastructure Development). Maga also achieved the Business Superbrands status in 2008, becoming the only construction company in Sri Lanka to do so, and was recognized as one of Most Respected Sri Lankan Business Entities by Lanka Monthly Digest, LMD.
In 2008, we constructed the world’s first purpose-built, LEED Platinum certified, green manufacturing plant, ‘Thurulie’ at Thulhiriya for MAS Holdings. We have taken forward our pioneering focus on sustainable buildings through another project, the Nelung Arts Center in Colombo 02.
From the inception, we have striven to integrate sustainable development practices throughout the company and its development strategies. The Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) management system of Maga was born out of the necessity of meeting this challenge. On 25 October 2008, a 3-year HSE Action Plan for Excellence was launched to coincide with the National Quality Week and National Health & Safety Week. It laid out a road map for formal implementation of HSE practices for the ensuing 3 years. The HSE Operational Standards, which laid down policy and broad objectives, were released on 01 January 2009.
In February 2009, we received the Gold rating in the country’s first ever Corporate Accountability Rating done by Sting Consultants, in recognition of our sustainable construction practices and social, environmental and financial accountability. We were able to achieve this through implementing and adhering to strict health, safety and environmental standards, minimizing our environmental footprint, taking care of our employees whilst upholding our relationships with local communities and society.
Throughout 2009, Maga continued to provide high quality infrastructure, with noteworthy facilities such as the Neuro Trauma Unit at the National Hospital, capable of providing much needed Neuro-surgery facility to over 1000 patients. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka-Singapore Friendship College at Weeraketiya was a unique academic infrastructure project done in collaboration with the Singapore Red Cross Society and Singapore-Sinhala Association, providing educational facilities to 1200 scholarship winners from the Tsunami affected region of Weeraketiya,. The company also completed the Kandy City Center, a 9-storey 450,000 square foot building situated at the heart of the hill capital, at a value of Rs 4.4 billion.
As a testimony to our pioneering focus on sustainable buildings, in late 2009 we helped found the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka. The Council has now been granted “Emerging Member Status” by the World Green Building Council, and has recently published the Sri Lanka Green Building Rating.
In January 2010, the company ventured to seek the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international certifications for our HSE Management Systems. On 19 November 2010, our HSE system was certified to be in compliance with ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 international standards, enabling us to become the first construction company in the country to be accredited with both standards.
From the inception, we have been striving to successfully integrate social and inter-generational equity with economic and ecological considerations. In fulfilling this requirement, we are not only committed to the frugal use of resources in the production of sustainable infrastructure, but also to reduce the impact of resource depletion and environment pollution. In recognition of these efforts, in February 2010, Maga received the Platinum rating and the no 3 rank in the country’s Corporate Accountability Index.
In September 2010, we completed one of the longest road rehabilitation project of the country, the 158km Matara-Wellawaya Road at a value of Rs 5.6 billion. Innovative construction management enabled us to deliver this project 6 weeks ahead-of-schedule—garnering the praise of the European Union and the Asian Development Bank, the project’s funding agencies. Maga also attained the C-1 grading in the categories of Buildings, Roads, Bridges and Water Supply & Drainage according to the new grading of Contractors introduced by ICTAD. During the same year, Maga became Sri Lanka’s first construction company—and one of the first privately owned companies—to publish its performance under the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, where we achieved a B level of disclosure.
In 2011, the company completed the 78km Siyambalanduwa-Pottuvil- Akkaraipattu Road. This Rs 4.2 billion rehabilitation was another landmark project in the Eastern coastal region, slowly emerging from the destruction of the Tsunami and the decades-long war. The project also involved the construction of two reinforced concrete bridges, 75m and 125m in length. Project activities got underway despite heavy security concerns in 2008, and were carried forward by a deeply committed and resilient project team. This team was further complemented by the spirit and cooperation displayed by the resident communities, something which facilitated rapid development of these regions in the face of adversities.
The upgrading of the Puttalam to Anuradhapura Road was also completed in July 2011. The following month, Maga won Sri Lanka’s first National Green Award for the Private and Public Sector at the inaugural National Green Awards organized by the Central Environmental Authority. Our environmental initiatives have been characterized by Environmental Management Action Plans spanning across a road network of over 600km, building the world’s first purpose-built LEED ‘Platinum’ certified apparel factory, being the first Sri Lankan construction company to report its Environmental Performance under the Global Reporting Initiative, helping found the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka and being the first Sri Lankan construction company to be accredited under both OHSAS 18001 & ISO14001 international standards. In 2011, we became the first company in Sri Lanka publish our performance under the new Construction & Real Estate Supplement of the Global Reporting Initiative.
Our notable projects of the recent past include the New Headquarters Building for People’s Leasing Limited, a 13-storey state of the art mid-rise complex using a custom made structural Glass Tension System introduced in Sri Lanka for the first time. The unveiling of Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi Building Complex in Colombo took place in June 2011. In 2012, the company also completed the Stage 2 of the Greater Kandy Water Supply Project, one of the largest water supply projects in the country, serving over 240,000 families of the region.