Sharing the success story behind Arinma Holdings, Chairman Ashan Malalasekera

Following its establishment in 2008, Arinma Holdings has been a driving force behind the development of a post-war era in Sri Lanka.

With a gamut of projects including the redevelopment of critical water supply initiatives that serve populations in arid areas of the nation, Arinma Holdings has developed global partnerships with stakeholders, both locally and internationally.

Led by a dynamic Chairman, Ashan Malalasekera, the organization strives to instill a social purpose within all its employees.

Founded with the vision to redevelop a post-war nation

One of the key contributing factors for the growth of the company was the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war; no one anticipated that the war would come to such a conclusive end. As a result, Sri Lanka faced a huge infrastructure deficit which required urgent financing and consortiums to aid the redevelopment of a post-war nation. Arinma stepped in to fulfill certain requirements within the water and environmental space. Arinma Holdings undertook the initiative to implement some of these key projects and as a result, this was a defining factor in its fast-paced growth during the last decade.

Today the company has grown in just over ten years to offer direct employment to around 650 individuals, while the indirect employment figure is over 1000 employees. On a global level, Arinma Holdings has partnered with leaders in the global engineering and consulting space. The company also enjoys strong symbolic relationships and excellent rapport with international financing organizations distributed across Asia and Europe. Arinma Holdings has successfully completed nearly 225 large multifaceted projects throughout Sri Lanka. Internationally, its subsidiaries have been a part of projects in Oman, UAE, Maldives and Bangladesh which is quite an achievement for a short span of ten years.

Climate risk mitigation, water and environmental engineering will be the key focus of the company’s future strategy

Sri Lanka has a very high climate volatility risk. With regard to this, the country needs a strong climate risk mitigation strategy over the coming years. Companies such as Arinma will have to play a key role in implementing climate resilient infrastructure to manage these potential climate disasters. From water salinity to underground aquifers, these will all be among the critical issues going forward. In terms of risks, the concern for attracting the right talent and manpower will always be a challenge.

Arinma’s ethos and brand vision is to be the leader in water stewardship in Sri Lanka. Therefore, our focus and efforts will be steered to create a strong social and economic impact in the water and environmental engineering space.

Attracting the right talent is key

As a young company, Arinma has been fortunate to attract a dynamic and young workforce who seek a social purpose in life, coupled with economic advancement. Our employees gain satisfaction in knowing that they individually contribute to making an impact within the communities that the company operates in. Arinma strongly believes that when a company stands firmly for something, the right people who share the same vision are automatically attracted to work with it. Another key ingredient of its success is that as Chairman, Mr. Ashan Malalasekera is personally in charge of the HR functions, ensuring that the management vision, company culture and ethos is instilled in every employee, contributing to total group alignment.

It is also significant that Arinma Holdings was certified as great workplace recently by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the company won two awards for diversity impact in recognition of its diverse work environment, through the implementation of best practices, policies and strategic human resource management.

Driving new technology in the construction industry is a challenge  

The company is trying to be strategically focused on all climate related challenges by adopting to new technology. Construction is not an area where technology is usually seen, therefore Arinma is trying to be the leader in changing this perception. A lot of the new developments in terms of Artificial Intelligence can make a much greater impact to mitigate climate volatility risk. Even in the water space, some companies have developed devices which can generate water off grid much like the solar panels seen on rooftops, for example.

Authenticity drives the success Arinma Holdings

“Our success is attributed to our authenticity. At the end of the day, people respect sincerity in what you do and say. If you lead by example with a people centric focus, your staff will collaborate well with you and your goals. So yes, the key to success is authenticity, as it resonates Arinma well with people from all walks of life” Said Mr. Malalasekera as he optimistically talks about his journey leading Arinma Holdings