Issue 33

Transilvania Constructii

Romania’s Diligent DeveloperFamily firm Transilvania Constructii has set its sights on expanding its network of industrial parks around Romania, this having successfully completed a number of projects in its home region of Cluj-Napoca  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray Family businesses are the lifeblood of the global economy.Some 85 percent of startups are established with family money, while the majority (70-90 percent) of the world’s GDP is believed to be generated by businesses that are majority owned by a single family’s members.Further still, family firms are shown to outperform nonfamily enterprises by 6.65 percent globally (in relation to return on assets) and as much as eight percent in Europe.In Romania, Cluj-based Transilvania Constructii has been the endeavour of the Timofte family for several decades.Set up in the 1950s when it was then known as Trustul de Constructii Cluj, the property investment and development enterprise was privatised in the 1990s before Andrei Timofte became CEO in 2011.  “I was lucky to have entrepreneurial parents,” he says.“I really learned a lot from them, and I started working when I was about 18. Transilvania Constructii is a family business and early on I knew I wanted to continue my parents’ hard work. What I like about it is that it is a dynamic and challenging business that allows me to create new projects and help contribute to the development of a city or an area.”The area in question, at least for now, is Cluj-Napoca. Here the company is determined to contribute to a market with potential and high yielding development

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Synergy Construct

Can-do ContractingWith an eye for competitive contracting and a nous for operational excellence, Synergy Construct’s operations spanning Romania, Hungary and Georgia are on the rise. Savas Günata, Managing Partner, tells its story  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray The European Union has experienced a host of adaptations during its prolonged 70-year evolution. But its primary purpose remains the same today as the one laid out during the aftermath of the Second World War – to turn Europe into a creative force of collaboration in order to promote peace and inclusion, economic, scientific and economic development, and environmental protection.Indeed, modern grievances with the EU have been well cited during the turbulent Brexit period, be it a perceived lack of transparency of the organisation or the astronomical costs involved with membership.Its advantages, however, are equally prominent, with many countries having benefitted in everything from greater consistency in human rights and improved food standards to enhanced continental competition and collective protection.Indeed, Romania is one such country that has harnessed the fruits of the EU, even prior to its admission in 2007, and Synergy Construct is a perfect example as to why.“Having spent much of my career as a civil engineering professional, myself and my colleague Huseyin Karali set up Synergy Construct in Romania in 2001,” explains SavaşGünata, Co-Managing Partner of the organisation. “The country at this time was seeking acceptance into both NATO and the European Union, and because of this foreign direct investment (FDI) exploded.”Indeed, the statistics back up Günata’s claims. Between 2000 and 2004, FDI into Romania grew

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray


Keeping Metals PreciousSafina has carved its own niche for maximising the value of precious and non-ferrous metal waste, its operations in the Czech Republic driven by innovation, sustainability and employee appreciation  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Thomas Arnold  In today’s world, sustainability is no longer a buzzword.Now widely accepted across business operating in almost all industries as an imperative, both environmentally and, increasingly from a financial standpoint, the concept of doing more with less has never been more important.Finding innovative ways of using what has been previously regarded as waste is one such way in which industrial companies are working towards their sustainability ambitions.“In our business, waste material has another meaning,” comments Vadim Kartavtsev, CEO of Safina, a Czech enterprise specialising in the processing and manufacture of products from precious and non-ferrous metals. “In our case, waste material is one of our sources. In the precious metals business, metal management is a base and each gram of waste material goes to recycling and refining for the next cycle of production. Many who visit our production plant are surprised by the clearness of working spaces, and we explain to them that every day our employees clean tables and machines and collect even the smallest piece of precious metal.“In short, we do not have waste – everything is raw material to us.”Safina took its name as a joint stock company in 1992, but its origins can be traced all the way back to the formation of G.H. Scheidsche Affinerie in Vienna in 1860.It has a long tradition in the complex processing and

Thomas Arnold By Thomas Arnold

Port Of Oslo

Charting A New CourseIn a pursuit of environmental excellence, optimised operational efficiency and growth, Port of Oslo is epitomising the new role of ports via a flurry of innovative initiatives   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Alistair Bailey Global trade is on the up. According to data from the World Bank, the value of exported goods as a share of global GDP rose from 19.3 percent in 1990 to 29.3 percent in 2017.In tandem with this rise, the role of ports has changed dramatically in recent decades.Cities that serve as major oceanic transit hubs have come to experience faster growth than their inland counterparts, owed to a rising economic dependence on sea trade that has seen ports become transformed into spatial clusters of innovation, research and development as they strive to meet a new calling.Indeed, Ingvar Mathisen, CEO and Port Director of Port of Oslo, is one individual well aware of this transition.“Ports and shipping is an exciting space to be involved in right now,” he states.“Whether its technological advancements, environment pressures, global political developments or the continued emphasis on improving efficiency and cost, a lot of change is happening.”For Mathisen, today’s seascape is in many ways entirely different to one that he found upon entering the industry almost a quarter of a century ago.Opting to fine tune his business acumen when undertaking higher education studies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma in State of Washington in the USA and Nord University in Bodø, Norway, a career in the maritime industry was always his end goal.“The sector

Cameron Lawrence By Cameron Lawrence

One United Properties

Building for BucharestOne United Properties continues to execute award-winning projects which have not only made their mark on the Romanian capital, but also positively impacted communities within the city Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray A country’s construction sector is a good indicator of its overall economic health.In 2008-09 the global financial crisis struck economies all over the world, and the effects of the crash are still being felt 10 years on as governments continue to cut back and investors remain wary of taking on high levels of risk.Romania, as with Europe as a whole, saw its construction sector contract following the events of a decade ago.Activity dropped steeply in the immediate aftermath, a pattern which continued for several years as the evolution of new development prospects faced many challenges.However, since 2013 the market has been recovering. According to research carried out by the European Commission, there were 89,943 enterprises and 608,715 people engaged in the broad construction sector in Romania in 2016, respective increases of 7.6 percent and 2.9 percent since 2010.In terms of building production, the period 2010 to 2016 saw activity grow by 21.4 percent, while civil engineering production increased by 9.7 percent. Profitability also strengthened, with turnover across the construction sector growing by 19.8 percent to reach €30.6 billion in 2016.For Andrei Diaconescu and Victor Căpitanu, Managing Partners and Founders at Bucharest-based developer One United Properties (OUP), it is an exciting time to be involved in what is an ever-evolving industry.“The construction sector currently thrives on the impetus provided by this phase

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Mazoon Dairy

Fulfilling a VisionMazoon Dairy embodies technological innovation and economic diversification, positioned as a leading light for Oman’s Vision 2040Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Matthew Selby Oman’s admission to the World Trade Organisation almost two decades ago marked a crucial milestone in the country’s history; a fundamental symbol of national progression.Oman has been highly dependent on its extensive oil reserves in recent years. And, to an extent, this is still the case, the hydrocarbon sector contributing 35.5 percent of GDP in 2018.Yet a stark shift has begun to emerge since the latter part of the 20th century, emphasised by the Sultanate’s WTO admission, owed to the government’s emphasis on liberalising, privatising and modernising the country in numerous ways.Indeed, it has been a gradual process – such a monumental transition wasn’t ever going to happen overnight. But the country is heading in the right direction and will continue to pursue a similar roadmap of achieving development while upholding the country’s rich cultures and histories.Somewhat unsurprisingly, economic diversification is a critical part of this vision.Forming one of Vision 2040’s 13 priority areas, widespread progress has already been made, the country’s manufacturing, tourism, logistics, mining and agriculture industries all having taken major strides.And in the case of the latter, Mazoon Dairy stands as a perfect example.“Mazoon Dairy is a first of its kind project in Oman, both in terms of size and scale,” explains Dr Arjun Subramanian, the organisation’s CEO.“The company, set up using OMR100 million ($260 million) provided by the Oman Food Investments Holding Company and other investment funds, has a single-minded goal

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Romania’s FMCG RevolutionMacromex has positioned itself to take advantage of the massive opportunity in front of Romania’s frozen food market, the company priding itself on innovation and quality across its operations  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Matthew Selby Frozen food is big business in Europe. Worth around $70 billion in 2018, the industry is forecast to grow by another $18.9 billion between 2019 and 2023, or four percent annually.Convenience, affordability and extended shelf lives are all major reasons why this FMCG category is worth tens of billions of dollars continent-wide, consumers and commercial operators turning to the freezer to supplement their fresh grocery purchases.However, in Romania, unlike the majority of nations in Central and Western Europe, the benefits associated with frozen food are yet to be fully exploited.Romanian consumers spend on average just €17 ($18.85) a year on frozen food, compared to €133 ($147) in the UK. In terms of per capita consumption, the 0.8 kilos of frozen produce eaten annually in Romania is among the lowest in Europe, well behind the likes of France (10.5 kilos), Hungary (7.4 kilos) and Slovakia (1.1 kilos).The opportunity to grow the segment is therefore enormous, and for frozen food leader Macromex, exciting times lie ahead.“The development of new segments is another opportunity,” comments Albert Davidoglu, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Non-dairy milk products, vegan products, frozen bread and pastry, and ready meals are among the areas we see room to grow.“Busy lifestyles mean people have less time for cooking, while groups such as millennials also value socialising with friends and convenience – these

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Cutting EdgeFrom its humble Humpolec-based beginnings, Hranipex has risen to become a crucial distributor and progressive developer of furniture edges in the European value chain  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Thomas Arnold Starting a business can be one of the most exciting and important moments in the life of any budding entrepreneur. Turning an idea into a proven concept, however, is by no means an easy task.Just look at the statistics. Of the near-140,000 new businesses born around the world every day, roughly 90 percent of these are expected to fail, doomed to struggle with everything from talent shortages and poor timing to lacklustre demand and negative cashflows.Resultantly, its often hard for young startups to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Yet this makes the success stories all the more impressive, one such example being Hranipex.Starting out in Humpolec, Czechia – a humble town comprising just 10,800 people located 70 minutes’ drive southeast of Prague – it is a business that began with just three employees. Today, however, it has flourished into one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and distributors of furniture edges.“Hranipex is a great story of a Czech company that was built in a six square metre garage, only to become a multinational global player 26 years later,” Ondřej Krátký, the organisation’s Product and Marketing Manager affirms.The organisation has maintained an impressive growth curve throughout this timeline, having nailed its niche as a one-stop shop for edges, specialised glues and cleaners required for the gluing of furniture components.And for Krátký, this prosperous trajectory was a major

Thomas Arnold By Thomas Arnold

Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services

Bright People Right SolutionsAn agile, ever-evolving business, Horizon Gulf has been able to capitalise on the booming prospects provided by Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s rapid economic development with its first-class solutions  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray Luxurious, prosperous, booming. There are many ways in which Dubai can be described, the city standing as something of an alien metropolis set against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern desert.While much of the United Arab Emirates economic success relies upon the region’s rich oil reserves (crude oil exports accounting for almost $400 billion of the country’s GDP), Dubai instead built its wealth from maritime activities, attracting merchants the world over.Resultantly, the city – previously a modest fishing town in the early 20th century – has become an emblem of global modernity, now home to the continent’s busiest cargo port, the world’s largest economic zone (Jefza), and some of the most iconic architecture around, from floating buildings to the 823-metre-tall Burj Khalifa.  “Dubai is famous for its real estate, tourism and innovation,” states local citizen Hazem Fraij.“It’s the world’s known business hub. The leaders of this great nation continually strive to develop better living standards for its people, and owed to continual improvement processes there are an abundant array of opportunities.”Indeed, as his comments would suggest, business is buoyant for Fraij.Heading up Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services LLC as its CEO, this positive regional and wider national climate continues to propel prosperity. Yet this upward trajectory is not new to the company.Established in 1983 as an air conditioning installation and maintenance contracting firm,

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Foresight Offshore Drilling : Safety. Efficiency. Reliability

Operating with innovative, agile tendencies, Foresight Offshore Drilling is proactively positioning itself as a spearhead of oil and gas excellence.

David Knott By David Knott

DORIS : An Engineering Ever-Present

Working with some of the world’s largest energy players, DORIS has become a well-established and critical engineering support partner on landmark projects across the globe.

Eddie Clinton By Eddie Clinton

Cyfield Group

The Complete ConstructorCyfield Group is Cyprus’s most vertically integrated construction company, its enormous pool of machine and human assets enabling it to execute all project types with the client front and centre  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray Cyprus is bouncing back after a turbulent post-economic crash period.The country’s economy is growing at around four percent a year, almost twice the EU average, a trend driven in no small part by a vibrant property market which expanded by six percent in 2018. Indeed, it is estimated that some €8 billion of large-scale construction projects are seeking investors from all around the world.For companies such as Cyfield Group, the present day represents a time of tremendous opportunity.“The economy is now booming again with an increase in the level of construction and industry in all the cities,” comments George Chrysochos, the firm’s CEO.“Our group, having foreseen the change that would ensue following the crisis, designed and produced a new generation of real estate creating completely new projects satisfying current and future needs of more sophisticated investors.“These new projects are modern high-rise buildings, villas and luxury apartments in prime locations offering great views, latest technology, high grade specification and are environmentally friendly. Because of this increase many foreign investors have come back to the island, investing in properties as well as other sectors in the economy – and this momentum is expected to continue for a number of years.”George Chrysochos is a second-generation CEO of his family’s business, inspired to continue the hard work of his parents having been brought up with the

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

BuroHappold Engineering

Building BrighterFor BuroHappold Engineering Middle East MD Andrea Scotti, collaboration, connectivity and creativity are crucial to the success of modern, innovative undertakings in today’s built environment Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray I have been captivated by the construction industry for as long as I can remember.“Large infrastructure projects such as major bridges and dams have always fascinated me because of their intrinsic conceptual simplicity and their large scale and impact.“What I’ve found to be interesting, however, is that the more I studied and practiced engineering, the more I realised that the technical aspects of all projects are at the same time the most complicated and least complex element of overall efforts.“All engineering challenges are fantastically complicated. Yet, for me, the real complexities lie in the interdependencies between several different aspects of the design, planning, use, and impact of any project.”Leaving full time higher education with two master’s degrees and a notable respect for the vast multitude of niche verticals comprising the built environment, Andrea Scotti embarked on an ambitious career in 2004, securing his first job with international, integrated engineering consultancy BuroHappold Engineering.Looking back 15 years later, it’s safe to say that this calling has proven to be something of a perfect fit.Now positioned as the organisation’s Middle East Managing Director, Scotti’s own expertise as a development enabler match up with BuroHappold’s pragmatic approach to solving the most complex challenges of the built environment, the company flexibly delivering value to its client’s time and time again via an emphasis on ownership.“BuroHappold is a partnership. Not many other

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray


Driving Forward With a 73-year history built on a multitude of awards, innovations and advancements, BELAZ today stands as a crucial member of the Belarusian economy, its dump trucks and transport solutions found the world overWriter: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray It is strange to think that merely 150 years ago, nothing even close to the modern-day car existed.Today, more than one billion passenger vehicles travel the roads and streets of our world, these now powered by electricity, hydrogen and autonomous technologies as well as human intelligence and petroleum in what is quickly becoming the new normal of the 21st century.It is not just day to day, A to B travel that has been transformed in the automotive space over this time period, however. Similarly monumental developments have swept across the industrial vehicle space as well.Take the 73-year history of global mining and construction transport equipment manufacturer BELAZ, for example.Launching its first D-298 water sprinkling truck back in 1950, followed by a 25-tonne truck in 1958, the company today manufactures dump trucks with payload capacities as large as 450 tonnes.Indeed, this timeline is reflective of the company’s motto.“We build our success relying on the experience and knowledge of earlier generations, transferring best traditions to new models of our equipment,” BELAZ states on its website.And this motto is similarly echoed by a statement from Petr Parkhomchyk, the organisation’s General Director.“The reputation of BELAZ trademark reflects years of stable development. Steady efficiency growth, technology development, innovations implementation – only this approach helps to meet the demands on the market,” he states.The combined message? That progress is

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

A.R. Hourie

A Lebanese LegacyA.R. Hourie has been a mainstay in Lebanon’s construction industry for several decades, the firm involved in crucial infrastructure projects and a number of other high-end buildings  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray I like to be in the action when the action is at a start,” muses Ramzi Salman, CEO of Lebanese construction firm A.R. Hourie.An industry veteran with decades of experience spanning his home country and the United States, where he was a contractor for eight years, Salman knows better than most the nuances of Lebanon’s building sector.Indeed, his hands-on approach and attention to detail have reverberated through the company he now leads, helping it to navigate the challenging periods and thrive when times are bright.And the present day, in Salman’s eyes, reflects the latter.“If you asked me about the industry here two years ago my answer would certainly have been pessimistic,” he says. “However, the picture now is different. Lebanon is receiving major financial contributions to rebuild its infrastructure, and so there is going to be an influx of projects which we are starting to see emerge”Infrastructure is where the company began carving its stellar reputation, A.R. Hourie almost exclusively executing these kinds of projects when Salman first joined.He recalls: “I spent eight years as a contractor in the US before coming back to Lebanon to join the company’s founder A. R. Hourie in 1994, when the country was undergoing a big afterwar reconstruction programme.“The company was at a point where it needed uplifting or else it would have struggled

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Why the shipping industry must bridge the gender divide

The numbers surrounding women in the maritime industry suggest room for improvement.Seeking to address this issue and create a level playing field in our sector is not, as some may think, purely a women’s issue but a responsibility shared throughout the sector. And a responsibility that, taken seriously, can deliver serious benefits for the entire industry.Consider that women make up 51 percent of the world’s population, but only 17 percent of its senior management and less than 10 percent of its executive board leaders, and you can see the issue expressed in a nutshell. To put that in a maritime perspective, of 1.2 million seafarers worldwide, just two percent (around 24,000) are women. And 94 percent of those are working in just one sector of the industry – cruise.Such scenarios show a disregard for the multiple, in-depth scientific studies that reveal diverse advantages brought about by wider female inclusion in the workplace. Studies, for example, that show that if every country matched the gender equality progress of the fastest moving nations, world GDP would rise by some $12 billion. That’s a significant difference that, surely, we cannot afford to ignore.When you consider it, it’s logical that is should be this way. After all, wider gender inclusion means direct access to a wider talent pool. This on its own is surely enough reason to challenge the current situation, but there’s more – much more.Take the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), for example. The IMO has looked at the subject in great depth over many years and, based on

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How Finland and the UAE are pursuing happiness

How has Finland achieved this national sense of wellbeing and is there something the UAE can benchmark from the World’s Happiest Country?

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Naples: A slice of Italian culture

With its castles and cupolas, hip neighbourhoods, a thriving arts scene, and delicious food, it's easy to see why Naples is one of Italy's most captivating cities.

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