We Chat with Imad Ghantous
Emirates Projects: As new MD, what is at the heart of your business philosophy? Imad Ghantous: “You are only as good as your people, and the experience and expertise that they offer really are differentiators for Hyder. That’s what sets us apart; we are a multi-national company with local knowledge and a team of the finest people who can confidently tackle even the most complex of challenges and guarantee the very best quality work.”
EP: The company is performing strongly at the present time; how will you build on the achievements of your predecessor? IG: “We are working closely with several construction companies across the Middle East, with a view to undertaking design-build projects that are gaining momentum in the region in various market sectors, and we will shortly be announcing positive news on such initiatives.”
EP: What do you see as the biggest challenge in the years ahead? IG: “There is sustainable growth throughout the region. All countries are in a different position in the cycle, but all are moving forwards in a confident and well-planned manner. The challenge going forward is understanding and realising the objectives of our clients and deciding how we can bring the right resources and the right capabilities to execute those projects properly in order to ensure the highest quality.”
EP: Are there instances where you prefer to say no to a project? IG: “We are opportunity rich as a company and it is a challenge knowing when to say “no” and when to say “yes”. We’ve so many opportunities, globally, but the key challenge is picking the projects where we can excel and make sure that we have a happy client at the end. So it’s really matching our existing capabilities and what we can do with our client’s needs. That is the challenge going forward; it’s not the lack of pipeline or lack of opportunities”.
EP: How do you select these projects? IG: “We consciously evaluate and assess the work; we’ll only take on projects where we strongly believe that we can provide a good service. Many times we will go to our clients and say, ‘on this occasion, unfortunately, we won’t be in a position to give you the best service’. The last thing we want to do is take on a job and subsequently fail to provide the right resources or the right impact. I think diversity, and looking at the risk profile of our projects, is vitally important.”
EP: The vast experience of Hyder and its global reach is quite a competitive advantage? IG: “We wouldn’t be able to do the large megaprojects that we’re doing at the moment without resources drawn from the whole firm. We have invested in our staff, in key account management and in nurturing proper relationships, supporting the GCC governments and pushing towards innovation and value engineering. This is how we serve the clients, citizens and communities for whom we work.” It’s philosophy that has worked well for well over two centuries and seems a proven and positive template on which to build a future.