Who’s who: The distinguished judging panel of the 5th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka)

With such a crucial role, the judges are equipped with an array of specialities to guarantee entrants are assessed to the highest standard

Nearly two decades ago, the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards was launched across Asia — now covering 14 markets — to recognise the brilliant minds of the real estate industry, as well as to acknowledge their groundbreaking developments, designs, solutions, and philanthropic and environmental deeds. 

Among the said markets is the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka), established five years ago, where we shine a spotlight on the expanding real estate industry that manages to remain headstrong despite the economic crisis that the country is currently going through. 

In the past five years, the programme has also served as the benchmark for quality development in the country, guiding foreign investors and property seekers throughout major purchasing decisions. 

To ensure that the projects and developers are evaluated with the highest of standards, we have invited the leading players in their respective fields to evaluate the best of the best within each country. Let us now meet the highly respected independent judging panel of the 5th annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) and find out why their varied expertise is crucial in the judging process: 

Masters of the industry 

As the chairperson of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) judging panel since its establishment in 2017, Dr. Nirmal De Silva has been at the centre of it all – and for good reason. He boasts 15 years’ worth of senior management experience under his belt, with his most present one being the director and chief executive officer of real estate company Paramount Realty. He is well-versed in the sector, having previously run the local operations of the world’s biggest flexible workspace provider. As a thought leader, he has been invited to speak at several forums across the globe, including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy, to name a few. 

Chitra Weddikkara (rightmost) presenting the award to the winners

Emeritus Prof. Chitra Weddikkara is the Managing Director of QServe Pte Ltd., a chartered quantity surveying consultancy company with a project management service. She has been involved in the design and construction industry in Sri Lanka and overseas for over 40 years. On the side, she has been a passionate advocate for gender equality, pushing for women’s rights in the construction sector as the president of the Women In-Construction Forum Sri Lanka Chapter.

As the founding director and chief executive officer of research and consultancy firm RIU Real-Estate Intelligence Unit, Roshan Madawela has led countless research teams, penned and published several global publications, and produced a manifold of country reports for emerging and developed markets. He has also been a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Sri Lankan Government Ministries, and other major global banks. 

William Vincent Asoka Tilakawardane, a fellow of the Institute of Project Managers (Sri Lanka), has been a valued member of the judges since 2019. This entrepreneur has in-depth knowledge in project management and engineering, which is crucial during the judging stage for his unique insights have enabled the judges to evaluate the quality of a certain project more diligently.

Virtuoso in design 

Chartered Architect Nandike Samaranayake AIA (SL) joined the independent panel in 2019. He founded his design practice ACS Integrated in 2008, serving as its director and principal architect. Since then, the firm has worked with renowned five-star hotel chains, massive mixed-use developments, university complexes, and office spaces. He also holds dear his past experience whilst working under architect Murad Ismail.  

Nilesh De Silva oversees multi-disciplinary practice Kahawita De Silva & Associates (Pvt) Ltd as its director and chartered architect. Other than being an associate member of the Sri Lankan Institute of Architects, his educational and work experience in the United Kingdom has enabled him to become part of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He is also a member of the International Association of the American Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Architects. 

Financial expert 

Before Stephanie Balendra founded and managed Homes N Spaces Lanka Properties (pvt) Ltd., she worked in the fund management, insurance, and financial services sectors in the United Kingdom for more than 25 years. Her expertise in these sectors adds distinct wisdom in the judging process, particularly in assessing the regulations and frameworks within a project, as well as the ethics involved.

To ensure that the entries are judged fairly and without bias, our judges adhere to stringent guidelines, such as absolving themselves from voting in categories where they might have bias towards a candidate. 

As an added measure to preserve our credibility, the Awards have also employed the expertise of HLB, the award-winning global network of auditing and accountancy firms, to act as the Official Supervisor and oversee the entire judging process. 

Find out more about the judging process at asiapropertyawards.com/judging-process/