Despite both my parents being accountants, they wanted me to become a doctor or an engineer. However, I always loved the world of finance, so I opted for accounting.
I started my career at PwC in Colombo, Sri Lanka before moving to John Keells Holdings, Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate. I was based in the Maldives as the accountant for one of its luxury resorts.
I moved back to Colombo, joining KPMG and completing my qualifications, before going back to the corporate world with real estate company Kelsey Homes, as finance manager. After promotion, I directly dealt with the board of directors.
There are real challenges as we head towards a global recession
Subsequently, I joined Startek, before moving to Canada in 2020 to work for Choice Properties REIT. After that, I moved to TIP Canada, a transportation multinational, and now I work for Starlight Investments, a large real estate business.
I have found that getting involved with business operations and making finance decisions is more exciting than working for an accounting firm providing services to clients. There are real challenges as we head towards a global recession. However, from my analysis, the Canadian real estate market will be rising for the foreseeable future.
This is mainly due to immigration. Many people from around the world make Canada their home and all need housing, which continues to create a huge demand for property.
The main issue with the current market is the lack of supply compared to demand. We have seen a cooling of the market due to the rising interest rates, but real estate is still a hot industry.
Canada has a very diverse population, much of which is highly tech savvy. It is the second largest country in the world but only has a population of around 40 million, so there is a great potential for any business.
I would like to see more incentives for first-time home buyers, such as low-interest loans
Rising interest rates and the increased cost of production due to fuel and raw material prices are national challenges, worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Recruiting and retaining great employees is difficult, too, particularly after the ‘great resignation’.
What I love about my job is analysing the behaviour of various properties and linking their operational changes to the financials that I see on a monthly basis.
If I had law-making powers, I would reduce the general tax burden and have the government provide support to real estate companies by providing cheaper funding and making the approval process more efficient. I would like to see more incentives for first-time home buyers, such as low-interest loans, and also increase capital gains taxes to foreign buyers.
I’m proud of leading an accounting team of 20 people in the Maldives when I was just 22
My greatest achievement has been qualifying in three professional qualifications, and becoming the president of CA Sri Lanka’s student society, which has 40,000 members. I’m also proud of leading an accounting team of 20 people in the Maldives when I was just 22.
If I wasn’t an accountant then I would have become a scientist, as I always like to look at things in a scientific manner.
I really enjoy travelling and trying out new activities or food; I have travelled to 35 countries so far. I love nature, so I spend most of my weekends hiking or camping. I also like swimming after work; I led the swimming teams at PwC and KPMG.