Issue 36

URB Group

The King of BearingsHaving built up a formidable reputation since beginning operations in Romania in 1953, bearings manufacturer URB Group continues to innovate and explore new ideas    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Thomas Arnold   “Years ago, when I was in high school, I had already chosen to be an engineer. This was not an easy choice, and it was not an easy target to reach, because the university exam was very difficult with 500,000 people competing for 30,000 places.  “But I chose engineering as a way of life, which I saw as discovering and bringing alive new ideas, and I made it a passion.” Little was going to stop Dogan Gures from pursuing a career in engineering.  He passed the exam with flying colours, finishing in the top 100 and securing a place at the best engineering school in his home country – the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.  Having backed his degree up with a master’s in engineering management, Gures’s career has seen him gain valuable industry experience in managing investments, setting up new factories, developing technological products, and overseeing production processes.  This included setting up six factories in Romania, the key moment coming in 2017 when he decided to join bearings manufacturer Rulmenti S.A. Barlad, commonly known as URB Group, as CEO. “When the company I was working for at the time decided to make new investments in Russia, it wanted me to move over there to manage it,” Gures recalls.  “I resisted it and left because I wanted to stay in Romania and continue my career in a management position

Thomas Arnold By Thomas Arnold

Priedemann Facade Experts

Challenging the NormsThanks to its specialised knowledge and commitment to research and development, Priedemann Facade Experts ensures that it lives up to its name   Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray A twisting glass skyscraper rises from the shimmering heat haze. The minarets of a gleaming white mosque pierce the skies. Curved concrete walls protect against the desert heat. The Middle East is renowned for its contemporary architecture, which despite its futuristic appearance still incorporates elements of classic Islamic design – intricate geometric patterns, fortress-like walls and the architectural “iqtisad” or balance of its mosques. The façades are a fundamental aspect of these designs, for not only do they communicate style, they are integral in how much light, air and heat enters the building. “We love challenging façade designs, parametric shapes, curved or just complicated forms and our clients are great in doing such designs,” says Micha Pawelka, Managing Director of Priedemann Facade Experts. Priedemann is a façade consultancy firm that has been working in the Middle East for more than 14 years, led by Micha Pawelka and his partner Anees Backer. “Our clients in the Middle East are primarily architects and multidisciplinary consultants, however, we also work for main contractors during the construction phase,” the Managing Director explains. Despite a proliferation of design knowledge in the Middle Eastern markets, execution experience is in shorter supply. “We partner with façade fabricators to provide them with a comprehensive execution engineering,” Micha continues. “This means we provide structural design, shop drawings and entire production and installation documents, including cast-in channel layout and machine files

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray


The Inclusive Data Revolution Owing to a value-based approach to providing cutting-edge data solutions at affordable prices, OVHcloud has become a trusted partner to organisations all over the world     Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki     When philosopher and scientist Sir Francis Bacon coined the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ in 1597, little did he know how time would prove him so emphatically right.     Data, it is widely accepted, has become the new oil.  Indeed, there is so much information in the world, we now talk about volumes that very few can comprehend – in 2016, the global amount of data in circulation passed the zettabyte threshold, or a billion terabytes.   And the growth curve is only heading in one direction.   “We see many reports talking about the ever-increasing datasphere, which is anticipated to be 10 times larger over the next five years than what we have experienced to date,” says Hiren Parekh, VP Northern Europe at OVHcloud, the only European cloud computing firm within the world’s top 10 cloud providers.   “There are also stats that claim 80 percent of enterprises will migrate to the cloud and away from on-premise. Those two facts alone are enough to say the cloud space is an interesting one, and we are excited to be at the forefront of offering solutions to support this transformation phase that the majority of businesses will go though over the next few years.”   Parekh is a self-proclaimed cloud enthusiast, his childhood passion for all

NEPI Rockcastle

Innovation. Experience. Excellence.NEPI Rockcastle has established itself as the leading owner and operator of retail assets in the CEE region, helping to uphold communities and economies in nine countries  Writer: Jonathan Dyble   |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray The past 30 years have often been described as the golden age of growth for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the region having flourished with the emergence of traditional market economies following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Between 1996 and 2017, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia between them recorded an average 114 percent growth in GDP per capita. By contrast, Europe’s ‘big five’ economies – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – managed just 27 percent growth in this same metric during that period. It is no surprise, therefore, that CEE has become one of the most attractive regions for investment globally, its industries and economies continuing to thrive. Enter NEPI Rockcastle. The largest and dominant retail real estate group in Central and Eastern Europe, it is a company that has come to epitomise the aforementioned prosperity, having grown 15-fold in the past eight years. “The evolution of the business in recent years has been very exciting,” explains Mirela Covasa, the firm’s Chief Financial Officer and an individual that is able to recall its impressive rise having originally joined the enterprise back in 2012. “Real estate accounts for approximately 50 percent of global assets and the industry is constantly evolving in terms of policy, technology, investment complexity and risk. It is a highly dynamic and engaging setting

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Global Responders Group (GRG) : Answering the Call

Global Responders Group has emerged as a leading provider of integrated risk management solutions, its responsive, adaptive network of expertise able to satisfy any client’s Crisis Management and QHSE needs.

Eddie Clinton By Eddie Clinton

dwp|design worldwide partnership

The Digital Design Eradwp|design worldwide partnership is better placed than ever before to deliver sustainable, innovative and beautiful designs thanks to sustained investment in people and technology  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  “We will need to fundamentally rethink the core of everything we do from our teams, studios and the types of work we do. Themes around travel, the workplace and healthcare will change as the year rolls out. It’s one of those inflection points where what seemed a time of stability and incremental change has suddenly become something that will produce a vastly different industry over the next 12 months.” There is no denying that the coronavirus pandemic will create a new normal in the way many businesses are run around the world. From further embracement of home working to uncompromising office hygiene standards, the COVID-19 outbreak has stretched societal resolve and tested the resilience of companies across every industry, from travel and hospitality to retail and sport. The opening words were spoken by Scott Whittaker, Founder and Group Creative Director at Bangkok-head quartered architecture and interior design firm dwp|design worldwide partnership. When last speaking with us at the end of 2018, Whittaker outlined plans to move towards a truly global practice renowned for design excellence, a goal that is being well and truly advanced towards as we catch up again. While the Founder admits that 2019 was challenging as well as rewarding, the company’s focus on quality projects in hospitality, health and workplaces has paid off and the dwp team is more capable now than ever before. And

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray


A Driving Force for Good Slovenia’s Domel has been manufacturing electric motors for use in a variety of home, automotive and industrial applications for seven decades, the cooperative defined by its sustainable, responsible approach to business     Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Callam Waller   “Looking at the current economic situation in Slovenia, as well as the domestic and foreign forecasts of economic trends for 2020, the situation before the coronavirus was exciting due to the technological advances in front of us.   “These are, first and foremost, aimed at the digital transformation of companies, internationalisation, and encouraging domestic and foreign investments. The most encouraging trend for us is electrification and e-mobility, where we see our core competencies as crucial for further development and growth of our business.”   Matjaz Cemazar is certainly optimistic when it comes to Domel’s future prospects.   Despite the uncertainties created by COVID-19, which has swept across the world, the CEO is at the helm of a company entering a progressive chapter of its development.   It is Slovenia’s leading manufacturer of motors, operational since 1946 and based in the small municipality of Železniki, a region just northwest of the capital city Ljubljana which the company has been a key community pillar of for more than 70 years.   “Domel grew out of the Niko metalworking cooperative, which was established by 16 local people and named after its driver and founder, Niko Žumer,” Cemazar says, recalling Domel’s heritage.   “Using machines acquired and converted from a craft workshop, the

Callam Waller By Callam Waller


At the Forefront of the Romanian Design IndustryRomanian architecture and design office CUMULUS outlines ambitious plans to make waves in the construction industry with fully integrated products across several segments   Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray You wheel your suitcase down a smooth path towards a high-rise hotel, its windows gleaming in the light of the setting sun. You step through the revolving doors into a spacious lobby. On your left is a scandi-style open plan office area, and to your right are the reception desks, where smartly dressed men and women are waiting to check you in. This is the Courtyard Marriott in Bucharest, and it was designed by CUMULUS, a dynamic Romanian architecture and design firm making waves in the market. “CUMULUS was founded in 2017 by the fusion of three well-established architectural and design offices: SYAA, ARXTUDIO and PZP,” explains Razvan Puchici, one of the firm’s three Senior Managing Partners. “Our main objective was to create a bigger, stronger and more competitive entity, raise the bar and move things to the next level. “This has happened as today CUMULUS is one of the biggest and most successful offices in Bucharest, with over 60 specialists ready to take on the most challenging projects in all areas.”  CUMULUS is a progressive architecture firm that aims to raise building standards and create the infrastructure for prosperity in the Romanian market. “CUMULUS is among the very few offices offering full-service design, including architecture, urbanism, engineering, MEP and project management,” says Puchici’s fellow Senior Managing Partner Adrian Soare. “It is a pioneering

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Blue Air : Responding to a Crisis

Romania’s Blue Air is doing everything in its power to futureproof its business and help the country tackle the ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editorial Team Editor By Editorial Team Editor

Albaker Architects

The Architectural InnovatorAlbaker Architects is not your usual architecture design practice. It is a company constantly thinking outside the box in the aim of delivering truly inspiring twists to urban landmarks, both in Qatar and internationally   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray   I fell in love with architecture in my early teens when my father took me to visit a local architect. I remember he had a big library and I picked up a book by Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect. Everything I knew about the subject before that was related to conventional buildings and blueprints. I had no idea buildings could be so beautiful.” For Yausif Albaker, the turn of a few pages quickly led to a lightbulb moment in his professional career. From here on out he was switched on and wide eyed to the world of architectural design, eventually enrolling in the prestigious Southern California Institute of Architecture. “Studying here was very intense but it prepares you for many things in the field of architecture,” Albaker muses, “and after I left, I worked on construction sites and as a client representative then as a project manager, always in the field of architecture but not necessarily in design.” When Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid came around, however, that changed as Albaker got the chance to work on the bidding committee as an in-house architect. Needless to say, it was an opportunity that he duly grasped.  During this period he worked with leading global architectural design firms including Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster, eventually

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray


Adapting to deliverDespite the ongoing disruption to business caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Romania’s ADNBA continues to deliver leading architecture and design services for its clients in Bucharest and beyond   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray In a time of crisis, creativity and adaptability are paramount in order to emerge stronger from the other side.  The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost all corners of the earth and continues to disrupt home and working life, the virus taking the lives of many and forcing societies to alter the way they go about day to day social and economic interaction.  In Romania, the outbreak arrived at a time when its economy and construction sector were on the up.  Building activity has been increasing steadily in recent years, providing plenty of opportunities for architecture firms such as Bucharest-based ADNBA to make their mark on the built environment.  But recent times have tested the company’s resolve, the challenge being embraced by its Founding Partners Andrei Serbescu and Adrian Untaru, who set up the practice in 2003 after graduating from architectural college. Little could they anticipate the scenario they would face 17 years later.  “The coronavirus crisis has slowed down economies all over the world, and Romania has not been immune,” says Serbescu. “We are adapting to the situation. At this moment, all our architects and employees work from home and we think these lockdowns will have a profound impact on how creative businesses in general will work in future.  “We are learning new styles of management regarding the ability to disperse assignments efficiently across

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Abdali Hospital : Reinvigorating Medical Tourism

Abdali Hospital is pioneering higher standards in the region’s healthcare industry, the multi-specialty hospital in Amman delivering quality care to local patients and medical tourists alike.

Learning goes Virtual: How EdTech is transforming education

In the wake of COVID-19, we explore the EdTech sector and its potential to both extend and disrupt traditional learning environments Writer: Dani ReddOver the past couple of months, the news has been full of stories about coronavirus. As the death toll mounts, an increasing number of countries are closing their borders and businesses. At the time of writing, a third of the world’s population have been placed into “lockdown”. In the UK, for example, people are only allowed to leave the house to buy essentials, care for others, undertake one form of exercise a day and go to work (if their employment is essential).  With schools, colleges and universities shut, millions are having to learn from home. This creates a necessity for innovative forms of virtual learning, which is where EdTech comes in. Even before coronavirus, EdTech – or education technology – was one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors. According to the Education Foundation, it accounts for four percent of all digital companies, and is growing at a rate of 22 percent year on year. Around a quarter of all EdTech companies in Europe are based in the UK (around 1,200) and the industry is projected to be worth $159 billion by the end of 2020. So, what exactly does the sector consist of, and what explains its popularity? In short, EdTech is the idea of integrating technology with educational insights in order to improve both the learning and the teaching experience, deepen engagement and provide interactive learning experiences beyond the classroom. It aims towards greater inclusivity

Editor By Editor

Examining BrewDog’s sustainable ethos

Not only is BrewDog the UK’s fastest-growing brand food and beverage brand, it also stands out for its charitable activities and environmental ethos Writer: Dani ReddBritish people love their beer. In 2018, a staggering 8.5 billion pints were sold in the country.  According to one article in The Conversation, Britain has more breweries per person than anywhere else in the world besides New Zealand; a figure which stood at 2,274 at the end of 2018. Many new entries into the market are craft breweries – small, independently-owned micro-breweries that place emphasis on high quality ingredients and processes.  However, in 2019 growth began to plateau. Experts worried that many small outfits were beginning to flounder in an increasingly competitive market, especially since larger multinationals were beginning to muscle in on the craze. But one craft beer company has detached itself from the pack, and is enjoying unprecedented growth. In 2019, Brand Finance named BrewDog, an Aberdeenshire-based craft brewing company, the UK’s fastest-growing company in its 2019 Brand Finance UK 150 Report.“With its brand value up 89 percent since last year, BrewDog is valued at £1.2 billion in this year’s Brand Finance UK150 2019 and shows no signs of slowing down,” the report reads.“Known for its flavoursome ales and creative packaging, the brand now owns 80 global locations and is expanding rapidly, both here in the UK and abroad, as it seeks new sites in Exeter, and notably announced plans recently for its craft beer hotel concept.”Considering that the brand started its life in an Aberdeenshire garage, the brainchild of James

Editor By Editor

COVID-19 and the supply chain – what we have learned

Lindsey Mazza, Global Retail Supply Chain Domain Leader at Capgemini, assesses the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the lessons to be taken from the crisis Writer: Tom Wadlow “Moving past this pandemic will not simply be about recuperation, but about innovation. There is a need for global coordination to help organisations redefine their supply chain capabilities, so that they can have the flexibility to initiate a rapid response when needed, and create intelligent supply ecosystems. This will enable them to mitigate future risks, protect the functioning of global supply chains and minimise disruption.”“More than simply recovering, the current pandemic has been a near mandate for organisations to digitise their supply chains.”If one thing is certain in these extraordinary times, it is that the COVID-19 crisis will fundamentally change the way organisations of all shapes and sizes approach their day to day business. Be it embracing remote working, encouraging more flexible working patterns, or simply re-evaluating the value different roles bring to a company and wider society, the past few weeks and months have been a time of reflection for many entrepreneurs and business leaders.The opening statement is made by Lindsey Mazza, Global Retail Supply Chain Domain Leader at Capgemini, and better placed than most to discuss the impacts and ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic for a critical cog in the commercial machine – supply chains. “COVID-19 has highlighted the weak links in supply chains across the globe,” she says. “It’s indiscriminate – companies from the Fortune 1000 to small enterprises are experiencing supply chain disruption caused

Editor By Editor

An industry in crisis: why we need more women in engineering

Why only 11 percent of the engineering sector in the UK are women, and how this number might be increased in future Written by: Ben FieldingIn 2016, Engineering UK announced a severe crisis in recruitment. More people are leaving the engineering sector than entering. Even with the best case scenario in mind (that is, given the lowest estimate of the numbers leaving), engineering’s future looks bleak: there are 69,000 people abandoning the sector every year, compared to around 46,000 apprentices and undergrads seeking to replace them. It is thought that a combination of uncertainty around Brexit, along with rising wages in Eastern Europe, is playing a significant part in the crisis. After all, Britain has leaned heavily on its EU labour force in the recent past. Now that the world is changing, it is going to have to look elsewhere to fill the shortfall.It just so happens that the UK is abundant with a powerful natural resource — its population of women, who outnumber men by a slender margin. We like to think of the UK as a hugely successful and progressive country, but remarkably it lags behind a lot of countries when it comes to the STEM fields. For example, the UK has the lowest number of women in the engineering sector out of any European country — with a figure of 11 percent. It even lags behind many North African countries, such as Tunisia and Algeria, and much of the Far East, including Malaysia and India.No-one is entirely sure how such a predicament has come about. Critics

Editor By Editor