Nayana Mawilmada

Heads – Property Group of John Keells Holdings


Nayana Mawilmada is a key advocate and spokesperson for sound urban development policy and planning in Sri Lanka.

He was the head of the Urban Development Authority in Sri Lanka (the country’s apex urban sector institution) and a thought leader behind some of the country’s most ambitious public initiatives: laying out a roadmap for the sustainable urban transformation of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, as well as its second largest city, Kandy.

Nayana is now focusing on ensuring that the nation’s housing sector can meet the fast-growing need for middle-market, sustainable, and quality urban housing. He currently heads the Property Group of John Keells Holdings, Sri Lanka’s largest listed business conglomerate, where he is driving the company’s transformational strategy on large scale urban development.  

Nayana’s unique perspective has been shaped by over 20 years of experience in urban development, real estate and design, spanning 15 countries and both the public and private sector domains.  He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University, in the USA.   

He was born, raised, and is still a citizen of Kandy, Sri Lanka.