Travelling the world for BAM International: Ramesan Madhav
'Life in a new country always offers both opportunities and challenges.'
Interview with Ramesan Madhav, Construction Manager at the Al Ain mixed-use development, Abu Dhabi, UAE
What was it that attracted you most to work for BAM International?
'BAM International is a world-class company and I’m proud to be part of its large international community. This gives me the opportunity to work with many talented professionals and further develop my skills. What also attracted me was that BAM International offers opportunities for career development and job security.'
What are your current responsibilities?
'Managing the construction effort and being the construction representative of our company with the client;
Planning, developing and organising the construction effort so as to formulate the most cost-effective plan to achieve completion on time and on budget, and implementing the execution of the plan;
Implementing the scope of work in conformance with project specifications and in accordance with the approved programme;
Monitoring project details and timely reporting to the project manager, including progress, risks and opportunities;
Documenting all changes to specifications, work scope and drawings;
Adhering to company safety standards and promoting the safety culture among the workforce.'
Can you tell something about the type of project you are currently working on?
'I am currently involved in Al Ain stadium and mixed-use development project, phase 2.1, a combination of commercial, residential and hotel buildings. I am currently working on the construction of the Aloft Hotel building, a four-star hotel with a total 175 guest rooms. The structure has been completed and the finishing works are now in progress.'
What does your typical workday look like?
'We plan the activities into sub-activities and we always have a one-week look-ahead programme with regard to manpower allocation. Each morning I make a site visit to ensure that resources are allocated to achieve the planned activities, and to monitor and update the daily progress with reference to the programme. Site walks with the engineer are scheduled on alternate days. I accompany the engineer to give briefings and updates on ongoing site activities. Back at the site office, I update the status of subcontractors’ packages for specialised works. Meetings with subcontractors are scheduled every day to update the status of their packages. The client is also invited to attend such meetings when necessary.
Site progress reports to the project manager are a daily task, including discussions of potential risks and opportunities.
If there are changes, I study the revised drawings and issue new instructions to the site team. My everyday workday also includes liaising with the engineering department for shop drawings that need to be issued, reviewing the status of various inspections with the Quality Control Department, updating the programme together with the Planning Department, and also reviewing method statements for various new activities, various documentation and allocations of resources for the next day in consultation with the site manager.'
Can you please describe your (major) career steps?
'I joined in BAM International in January 2007 as QA/QC engineer. Then I performed as section engineer from 2008 till 2010 and again as project coordinator from 2011 to 2013. I was further promoted to construction manager in 2014.'
What is your career ambition?
'I have recently completed a project management course provided by BAM Business School and it is my career ambition to reach the level of project manager.'
How do you experience working as an expat? Why did you choose for an international career?
'Life in a new country always offers both opportunities and challenges. In my experience, the initial challenges can become opportunities at later stage. Here in UAE, I am enjoying the culture that we’re building together within the BAM community.
My reasons for choosing an international career are the following:
Potential for career progression
Increased compensation in many cases
Development of professional skills that could lead to career advancement
Opportunities to work with many talented professionals
Enhanced personal experiences
Meeting new people and discovering new working methods'
In what way does working internationally enrich your life?
'Since I joined BAM International in the UAE I was transferred temporarily to Oman for 1.5 years. There have been no further opportunities to work internationally, so this question doesn’t really apply.'
What does your social life look like when you are on a project abroad?
'It’s great to experience a new country that is very different from your own and to discover different ways of doing things. I often meet people from different cultures and from all walks of life. I tend to get more open-minded and realise that there is not just one way of doing things. It has given me a chance to realise that we live in a global world and it just makes more sense to work together. In the end, we all have the same needs and wants.'