Unity Plaza, the iconic commercial building in the heart of Colombo, has undergone a remarkable transformation, cementing its status as the country’s ultimate one-stop shop for all IT requirements. This visionary, trailblazing journey of renewal and innovation was spearheaded by Lanka Realty Investments PLC, subsequent to its acquisition of a 51% stake in On’ally Holdings PLC, the owner of Unity Plaza, in 2020. Accordingly, Unity Plaza stands today as a symbol of progress, a hub for technology, and a showcase for the immense potential of Sri Lanka’s IT industry.
Archie Warman and Hardy Jamaldeen, the driving forces behind Lanka Realty Investments PLC, have worked tirelessly alongside Tharsini Sarveshwaran – Executive Director of Operations, the Board of Directors, and the Management Team to usher in a new era for Unity Plaza. Their vision, in alignment with the government’s broader plans for modernization, has truly revitalized this iconic establishment and repositioned it as Sri Lanka’s premier IT hub.
While taking this occasion to welcome all Sri Lankans to shop for their IT requirements under one roof, Unity Plaza also wishes to thank its tenants for believing in this transformative journey, together with its many long-standing members of staff whose dedication has been unwavering. Unity Plaza represents something more than an IT mall; it is a landmark, an intrinsic part of Sri Lanka’s IT culture and the embodiment of a quest for trailblazing transformation. It also demonstrates the true potential of public-private partnerships in driving success and innovation.
The roots of Unity Plaza date back to June 25, 1982, when On’ally Holdings Ltd was established. In 1991, the company made history by becoming one of the first public-private partnerships in Sri Lanka when it was listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The late Mr Onally Gulamhusein’s visionary project attracted the collaboration of the Urban Development Authority (UDA), setting a precedent for public-private partnerships in the country at the time.
The recent ambitious refurbishment has elevated Unity Plaza into a state-of-the-art IT hub, boasting modern amenities and contemporary interiors. This builds on the venue’s organic evolution into a semi-tech center since its establishment, serving as a key nexus in Sri Lanka’s ever-evolving IT sector.
Under the new ownership and direction provided by Lanka Realty Investments PLC, Unity Plaza has seen a remarkable transformation. The facility has been expanded to include 5 storeys of retail space and 5 floors of modern offices, enhancing overall shopping and work experiences, whilst increasing the available floor space. Innovative additions like escalators and other modern amenities, together with the strategic clustering of IT shops have not only made it customer-friendly but also increased footfall.
The strategic partnership with the UDA too has brought numerous benefits, including investment relief and tax incentives, propelling Unity Plaza’s growth. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the domestic economic environment, Unity Plaza has seen consistent revenue growth. From Rs. 201 million in 2020, revenues have climbed to Rs. 279 million in 2022, demonstrating the project’s success story, which continues to be written under a new chapter.
Presently, Unity Plaza is proud to serve 65% of the nation’s IT needs, with ambitious plans to expand that influence to command 90% of the market. This vision is underpinned by a commitment to provide all necessary amenities proactively and seamlessly, in a single efficient venue. The introduction of ERP systems and advanced management tools have streamlined operations and paved the way for future expansion, supported by real-time analytics offering valuable insights to stakeholders. Accordingly, Unity Plaza is now firmly positioned to play a central role as Sri Lanka emerges as a serious player in the global digital economy.