Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Interview with Amila Gamage, Entrepreneur & Founder of Sihela Consultants

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1- Hello Amila, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Civil Engineer with over 14 years of experience in the construction sector. During this period I have worked closely with both high rise building projects and large-scale civil construction projects. After working few years in Sri Lanka, I moved to Singapore which was a turning point in my life.
In Singapore, I was fortunate to work with leading companies as a Quantity Surveyor gaining experience in high rise building projects. I have experience in different phases of construction projects from tendering stage to final stage.
In the end of 2012, I left my full-time job and started working as a Freelance Quantity Surveyor. As a freelancer, I worked with companies around the world giving my best service for their construction projects.
Finally, it was time to launch my own QS consultancy service. A few months ago, I launched Sihela Consultants which I offer Quantity Surveying and Contract Administration services for construction companies.


2- Where do you think you are making an impact?
Usually, most construction companies hire in-house staff for their projects including contract administration work. However, in Sihela Consultants, we offer services worldwide in quantity surveying and contract administration services making it easier to get professional help without employing professional staff full time.

3- Can you tell us about “Sihela Consultants”?
Sihela Consultants is a place to find Quantity Surveying and Contract Administration services for Construction projects. As we offer our services worldwide, construction companies can easily get our services for their projects whenever they need extra support for their projects.

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4- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working to launch “Sihela Consultants”?
Taking the first leap was a big challenge. In 2012 I left my full-time job with the hope of joining back with the workforce as a full-time employee. I left my job mainly to take care of my then infant for few years. However, instead of being a full-time stay at home mom, I worked as a freelance Quantity Surveyor.
When it was time to work as a full-time employee, I was in doubt. As a freelancer, I’ve developed a client base. It was challenging to take the firm decision of launching my own consultancy firm with all possible risks including financial risks. However, finally, I decided to launch Sihela Consultants and develop my own business instead of working for another employer.
Together with this decision, everything was a challenge for me. While working as a freelancer, I had to find time for launching. At the same time, I had to do other household chaos as a stay at home mom. But, with a proper plan, I could launch Sihela Consultants on the date I scheduled.

5- Can you tell us about your main services?
Our main services include Quantity Surveying, Contract administration, and consultancy for construction projects in Singapore and around the world. I also provide construction document writing services including method statements and preparation of tender documents. At the same time, I am planning to offer training programs by arranging workshops.

6- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see Sihela Consultants as a place that serves more clients, employing more people. I also want to help more professionals to learn the topics related to contract administration through my workshops.

7- What are your focus areas and why?
My main focus is to offer Contract Administration services for construction projects around the world.
Usually, big companies employ professional staff to monitor their ongoing projects closely until completion. However, small construction companies or sub-contractors only focus on completing the project within the given time frame for the agreed sum. Most of them do not pay more attention to contract claims due to additional cost involved and due to lack of manpower. But in the end, they lose some money due to poor handling of claims associated with the project. I focus on providing them necessary consultation or to help them prepare their claims.

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8- What can you tell young people who are pursuing their dreams?
Don’t spend time with your dreams. Instead, plan on achieving your dreams. Take the first step towards achieving your goals. You will be successful!

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
I am excited that I am back to the workforce with my own consultancy firm. I meet new people. I work on new projects. All these construction projects give me more excitement and more energy no matter how big or how small those are!

10- The last word or final thoughts?
If you have a dream, don’t be afraid of it. Take the first leap which can be challenging at first. But, when you take the first step, it is easy to develop your dream.
Also, most women leave their job in the mid of their career in order to build up their family. But, still, you can join the workforce as a freelancer or as an entrepreneur.
Anytime if you want Construction related advice, do contact me by visiting www.sihelaconsultants.com

You can also get in touch by visiting:
– Blog: www.thecontractsengineer.com
– Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amilawickramarachchi/
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sihelaconsultants/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/sihelaconsult

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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