Top Indian hotel chain adding a jewel to Lanka’s hospitality sector
Thirty-five metres below the surface, the foundation for a world-class hotel-cum-luxury residences complex is nearing completion on a sprawling plot of land facing the bustling Galle Face Center Road in Colombo between the Indian Ocean and the Beira Lake. By end-June, 500 to 1,000 people will be engaged in two shifts in building basements.
The $300-million (LKR 42.85-billion) state-of-the-art hotel and luxury apartment complex is being built by WelcomHotels Lanka Private Limited, a 100% subsidiary of ITC Limited, the 106-year-old premier Indian multi-business enterprise with over 40 years experience in the hospitality sector.
The project is set to become a major international landmark in Colombo and a symbol of Sri Lanka’s economic resurgence. Sri Lanka’s own architecture firm Surath Wickramasinghe Associates is anchoring the entire effort and adds to the galaxy coming together to deliver this flagship project.
To get completed on time, the project requires significant inputs on technology, materials and inputs, knowledge-based design and skilled execution services backed by a lot of human effort. For example, the ITC One, Colombo 1 project has already introduced technological innovation to Sri Lanka with the use of a diaphragm wall and soil nail anchoring for shoring prior to deep excavation to provide an elegant and superior solution to safely build tall buildings while keeping neighboring areas secure.
This new technology has been introduced through Sri Lanka’s Access Engineering, leading to a long term improvement in local capability. Over the entire project, a number of other innovations will get introduced similarly.
Despite the challenge of being located between the ocean and the Beira Lake requiring an elaborate dewatering system to enable excavation for basements, the project design provides multiple basements for underground parking to accommodate a thousand vehicles to maintain pristine landscape and to ease vehicular pressure on Galle Face Road.
"The ITC One, Colombo 1 is a very exciting development, creating an international icon for Colombo, offering the best international quality in hospitality and residences," says Arun Pathak, Managing Director, WelcomHotels Lanka Private Limited. "It truly represents the splendour of gracious living. It is set to be an employment-multiplier and will undoubtedly become a vibrant symbol of Sri Lanka’s resurgent economic growth," he adds.
ITC Limited’s businesses supports around six million sustainable livelihoods. Its Chairman Deveshwar was ranked the seventh best performing CEO in the world by the Harvard Business Review. In 2014, ITC was ranked as India’s Most Admired Company by Fortune India Magazine with Hay Group.