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|FADY El-Daher-El-Alan Construction CEO, Interview With The Managing Director CEO by Mickysele: 2:15pm On Sep 09, 2017|
#Wanted Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, -El-alan Construction CEO,
Interview With The Managing Director CEO
TBY talks to Andrea Geday, Managing Director of El-Alan Construction Company on taking the path of quality, Nigerians' changing purchasing preferences, and Nigeria's appeal to investors.
Andrea Geday holds a BSc Degree from Nottingham University and an MSc Degree from Loughborough University. After having worked for Nicoho Limited in various positions, he co-founded El-Alan Construction Company Nigeria Ltd in 1984, of which he is currently the Managing Director. He subsequently co-founded Panther Investments Ltd in 1989, Soft Solutions Ltd in 1995, Provast Ltd in 1997, VACC Technical Ltd in 2002, and Alan Caray Technical and Logistics Ltd in 2004. In 2013, he co-founded Etiwa Ltd, a vocational technical training school, after which he went on to co-found Woodstyles Ltd in 2014.
What factors set El-Alan apart from its competitors?
We have a passion for what we do and exceed the brief on the strength of our multidisciplinary abilities. When given a design, we re-engineer it from the ground up and return to the client to propose improvements both in terms of design and functionality. We are also highly selective in terms of our projects. We want to differentiate ourselves by working in the highest quality markets. Therefore, when clients approach us they should not focus on price, as one doesn't when considering a performance car. Strategically, this is where we are trying to slot ourselves in the market. We are also agents for high-end brand items. We are effectively a one-stop shop, in that we design, build, and manage properties, which is what differentiates us. This enables our construction business to then supply better products. I am well aware of the challenges that can arise in terms of maintenance, and we are often invited as facilities managers at the design stage to provide input on how designs can be amended for better maintenance and to provide a longer lifespan for the client's asset. Maintenance is the key, and the guts of the building.
Why is the demand for prime-grade locations growing, and what does it mean for your development pipeline?
Demand for quality has evolved. Previously Nigerians were less qualityconscious, but today a new taste has grown for the best, especially as choice has now widened. The first acquisition of a well-to-do Nigerian used to be a flat in London. That has changed, and today many Nigerians are returning home to invest in a good property. As a result, we are particularly busy, expanding and recruiting. We have been growing at a rate of nearly 30% a year over the past five or six years. We are engaged in around 10 projects currently, having handed on certain projects from a total of 23. We also undertake considerable industrial work, where we stand to become the leading contractor. Aside from the superlative standards we adhere to, we are also approached by diverse industries that look to our varied experience, whereby we become their in-house contractors in Nigeria.
Have you also entered into partnerships with foreign companies?
Yes, and these are the kinds of agencies we are talking about. We are looking for additional investment, in particular in terms of development. I think the time is right for real estate and real estate agencies. For us it would be key because in terms of complementing our core activities. We need to become an international name to be able to leverage our skills across the construction value chain.
What is your assessment of construction sector viability for foreign investment?
I think Nigeria ranks among the best investment destinations in the world. It has reached a threshold that makes it the next India, China, or Brazil in terms of the size of its middle class, earnings, and development. There is a current housing shortage, and between now and 2020 Nigeria will need 20 million homes. There are challenges of course. The first involves technical skills, which we are trying to address through our schools, which are inadequate with classes of around 50 students. Funds are available, and need to be tapped as people are eager to learn.
Does government regulation of the sector present a challenge?
The lack of regulation and overregulation are both challenges at the same time. It is challenging because the law curbs the number of foreigners a company can employ, as well as there being significant bureaucracy to contend with, and it seems that the government needs to be better in touch with the needs of the business community. My concern is not necessarily to employ a foreign employee with a degree, but rather, a technically competent person such as a mason or bricklayer, capable, moreover, of transferring their skills to local technicians. Meanwhile, the lack of adequate regulations does not affect our business as we always operate by the book, although many companies build sub-standard and even dangerous buildings with impunity. As a result, clients are determined to select contractors with a solid reputation. The poor quality work I have mentioned is not a failing on the part of reputable contractors, but of the system itself.
How do you deal with the high costs of doing business in Nigeria?
The cost is high because materials are expensive, while that of labor is misleadingly low because although the local labor market is cheap you need to build a significant workforce to guarantee the quality required. That becomes particularly expensive, as the average cost of employing an expatriate ranges from $100,000 to $500,000 a year.
What broad trends have you identified in your sector for the coming years?
Many multinationals will be looking to Nigeria, as it now registers strongly on the global radar. Today, when thinking of investment in Africa, Nigeria springs to mind first as the largest market. It has developed a prominent manufacturing base. The potential is huge, as a result of which construction follows. What makes Nigeria such a strong address for investment is its well-educated population of 170 million, more than 50% of which is aged less than 18.
Real Estate Developer - FADY EL-DAHER Canvass for Standardisation of Real Estate Agency Practice
The low standard in estate agency as being currently practised in the country, if not checked, can result in a great economic decline for the practitioners. It is believed that this lack of standardised practice explains why Nigerian estate agents are not getting good deals, especially from international companies. Source: The Nation “Can any of you here claim he is managing any outlet in Shoprite, or in any other multinational facility? Except you improve and up your standard, you will never play in the big league of estate agency. The best of transactions now are going to multinationals,” said Tope Ojo, guest lecturer at the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) stakeholders’ conference, held in Alausa, Ikeja, last week. The theme of the conference was “Standardising Real Estate Agency Practice in Lagos State.” According to Ojo, there is an urgent need for the review of certain provisions of the law governing estate agency in the state and country. For …
Biography: Fady El Khatib, Cousin Brother of Fady El-daher El-Alan Construction Company located at No. 9, Macgregor Road, Ikoyi
El Khatib is not only the leader of the Lebanon team but for so long now has been the man around which so much has revolved. His performances in the last decade or so have ensured his place in history as one of the most important players in the history of Lebanese basketball. His presence in the team adds vital experience, craft and a huge amount of talent and it is also the case that he has been one of the best players in Asia during his time with the National team. When you mention many great moments in Lebanese basketball, El Khatib is usually the man in the middle of all things good. Not least their thrilling and legendary 74-73 win over France during the last FIBA World Championships when he scored a sensational 29 points. He was scintillating on that night and the man they call ‘The Tiger’ reminded everyone that while he never followed another great Lebanese player Rony Seikaly into the NBA, he is still a class act and high level player. So influential for so long, there are …
Experts see no negative impact of flooding on property value
JULY 10TH, 2017EDITORNEWS0 COMMENTS
Despite the impact of flooding that submerged the highbrow locations in Lagos – Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Parkview Estate, Lekki Phase 1, Osborne Phase 2, the value of properties in these locations may not go down in the foreseeable future, residents and real estate experts say.
The reason, according to them, is that properties in these locations are still in high demand and people who live in these locations are not going to relocate as a result of the flooding incident, which they believe does not last forever.
Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre and an emerging mega city, was at the weekend shut down as flood submerged the low-lying and expensive locations in the city, paralysing all economic and social activities.
In most parts of the state, especially in Victoria Garden City (VGC) in Ajah, Amukoko, Okokomaiko, Shibiri, Apapa, Ojo, where our correspondents visited, residents were seen bailing water out of heavily flooded homes and complaining th…
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