Meinhardt EPCM has enjoyed remarkable success in its first two years; replicating the wider Group’s reputation and network to achieve exponential, sustainable growth
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Tom Cullum
As one of Meinhardt Group’s newest and most significant subsidiaries, Meinhardt EPCM’s growth and potent infiltration of the Asian market in just two years is indicative of the parent organisation’s influence on the region’s industrial and commercial realm.
Since 2016, following some very notable wins – both in terms of contracts and awards – the fledgling division has very quickly justified the decision of Meinhardt to initiate such a niche operation; EPCM’s reach already having expanded from both a footprint and internal perspective.
“Following the Company’s start-up in 2016, Meinhardt EPCM quickly set up offices in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Malta and Indonesia,” recalls Global Head, Vinesh Natali. “The Company quickly grew from a workforce base of just two to now approximately comprise 250 staff regionally, with annual revenues now exceeding its forecasts.
“The exponential growth has been achieved off the back of some notable global client relationships for whom Meinhardt provides the full-service spectrum across project and programme management, engineering, construction management, and cost management consultancy.
Further broken down into sub-sectors including architecture, civil works, and structural, mechanical and electrical operations; the business’ turnkey capabilities are a familiar trait within the Meinhardt family. Procurement and supply chain logistics, sustainability credentials, health & safety acumen and commissioning services complete the ever-broadening remit.
Mr Natali continues: “Meinhardt EPCM defines itself as a leader in the way we conduct our business with our clients. We focus on a collaborative and agile approach listening to our clients’ needs and requirements. Our teams are highly trained while senior management remains involved from start to finish of a project.
“So we all live and breathe the projects we undertake as a company, empowering individuals to make decisions and to take ownership and accountability of the results and outcomes.”
A satisfying experience
Little more than one year ago, Meinhardt EPCM celebrated its first anniversary, making it the perfect time to reflect on the rapid growth that had been achieved already, and the untapped opportunities that were still yet to be achieved.
“The growth of the organisation demonstrated its excellence in its delivery of projects which further reinforces Meinhardt’s position as a leading multi-disciplinary engineering and project management consultancy firm,” the Company affirmed in a press release emanating from its Meinhardt EPCM operations in India.
As a prime example of each regional presence point, upon setting up its office in Bangalore, the Company quickly raced through the delivery of projects while simultaneously ramping up the local team and its capabilities.
Mr John Pollard, Meinhardt’s Regional CEO, South Asia, who visited the office on its first anniversary said at the time: “This is a great office with a great group of people working together to bring a delivery focus and safety culture in place. It has been my pleasure to be able to work alongside these pioneers as they push the Meinhardt banner forward!”
Mr Natali added: “It’s been a very long and tough journey in a short time, which has resulted in a satisfying experience for a number of our professional staff. We see India as a great market and now that the platform has been set, we remain confident to propel the business to the next level.”
The India success story isn’t exclusive either; rather it is a prototype of the replicated success also seen in Singapore, Malta, Malaysia and Indonesia; as well as Thailand and Australia.
“We also have access into Africa and should a potential opportunity arise we are ready to easily expand from our current base,” Mr Natali adds. “We leverage our core capabilities and can quickly find local partners in order to achieve this kind of expansion.”
In each case, the kinds of projects undertaken are vast and diverse, incorporating oil & gas downstream and retail fuel contracts, logistics hubs, and even food & beverage plants as evidence of its sector variety.
“Current projects also include a retail fuel programme for an International oil company across three markets – India, Malaysia and Indonesia,” Mr Natali continues. “Additionally, we are undertaking project management responsibilities for a 270,000 square metre mixed development complex in Malta; a series of manufacturing plants for a blue-chip industry client; and numerous distribution centres for an equally prominent retail operator.”
Inevitably, as the Company’s portfolio swells, so too does Meinhardt EPCM’s supply chain, as it strives to keep up with its own growth. As such, there is a strong focus within the Company at present to better handle end-to-end delivery and execution; with particular emphasis being placed on tighter controls and more refined strategies in the delivery stage so as to achieve the best outcome for each client.
Mr Natali explains: “Meinhardt has procurement departments, and the engineering and project management teams leverage these to ensure we are able to source the best materials at economical prices.
“We have robust contractor identification procedures, due diligence and performance systems allowing us to recruit the best contractors who we will work with and develop long-term business partnerships.”
Being a relatively new operator has allowed Meinhardt EPCM to not only enter the industry with a flourish, but to do so with the most contemporary and advanced procedures in tow.
In particular, there has been a concerted focus on digital engineering, realising that automation could strongly aid areas of speed, efficiency, quality, and accountability.
“We have installed ERP systems, and platforms are being made ready for our systems to function and communicate more easily,” Mr Natali notes. “Additional trends we are focusing on include modular buildings and structures to aid faster delivery. We are investing in BIM heavily which further aids digital engineering.”
Perhaps the most pressing and multi-faceted focus over the past two years, though, has been not on technologies or systems, but on the Company’s people.
When notions of continuous improvement arise, Mr Natali is quick to veer in the direction of human resources and individual enrichment; with an understanding that the upliftment and development of each employee has a direct impact on the overall success of the Company.
“Our main continuous improvement strategy is to focus on our people and provide a development platform for them to grow, so they can become future leaders of the business,” he affirms. “Key philosophies within this drive include a duty of care in the development of staff; providing a culturally diverse environment to ensure our staff grow with a lateral mindset; focusing on the market around us and building a centre of excellence with clear objectives, focusing on repeat business clients, and being an equal opportunity employer.
“It’s important to understand staff aspirations, the value new staff can bring to the organisation and to keep expanding.”
Leading the charge
Ongoing training and development is compounded by launched mentorship schemes to ensure that each member of staff progresses and becomes a strong ambassador of Meinhardt EPCM. And simultaneously, the Company does whatever it can to foster a happy, collaborative and – most importantly – safe environment for them to thrive in.
“Meinhardt EPCM has a strong focus on health & safety and as part of our CSR activities, we run safety awareness workshops for contractors and lower-skilled workers to ensure that on-job awareness and skills are developed,” Mr Natali says. “We believe that it’s important to be able to share our knowledge and skills to the lesser skilled in order to elevate their understanding. This training is provided through our teams on site.”
Continuing along the theme of corporate social responsibility, the business has undertaken numerous operations outside of its direct business-related remit, including making donations for earthquake relief victims in Indonesia.
On the sustainability side, Meinhardt EPCM has strived to make it part and parcel of its core engineering works, so that clients receive end outcomes that are applicable and successful both now and in the future.
“Our aspirations are to become a world-class organisation in a leadership position in the field of EPCM provision,” Mr Natali sums up. “Over the coming years we will achieve our goals to triple our turnover, company size and ROI. We will also be self-reliant and will expand our services in AI and digital engineering; ultimately being able to offer clients a wider spectrum of services than we currently do today.
“Additionally, I would hope to expect that my core team with me today will have elevated themselves to senior management positions, leading the charge for the next stage of growth of the Company."