“[And] I much prefer it to a lifetime achievement award, which made me feel old, so this is alright,” Tyrwhitt adds, alluding to the Lifetime Achievement honours that he received at the Construction Week Awards 2017.
Arabtec Holding’s balance sheet continues to look better each quarter, but Tyrwhitt is continuing his relentless pursuit of long-term growth for the construction company.
“Yes, we’ve had a positive month, but we’re announcing things […] that happened last year, so for us, it’s not about rushing to things, it’s about continuing to take more steps forward than backwards,” he explains.
“We have a very clear strategy and plan, [and] a whole team of people who are just focused on delivering that plan. I think the positive thing for us is [also] that we’re trading into a positive market – [the sentiment is] delivering a really solid, addressable market for us, and the largest driver for that is Expo 2020 Dubai, which is creating opportunities both on the expo site but also throughout the UAE and the region.”
Tyrwhitt is focused on capitalising these opportunities, but is also working to ensure that any projects the company works on are in line with the group’s future plans. Identifying the group’s key challenges was one of Tyrwhitt’s primary responsibilities when he took over.
Speaking at Arabtec Holding’s annual shareholder meeting in 2016, chairman HE Mohamed Al Rumaithi said the company would streamline its activities, adding: “We are a construction company, we will concentrate on our core business [of] construction.”
Group CEO Tyrwhitt agrees with the view, stating that winning work is “not difficult”, but the true test lies in delivering the scope and “making a cashback profit”.
He continues: “Growth for growth’s sake is a mistake that many companies have made through their lives, and to grow a business focusing on your core competencies – whether that is a geographic market or […] a sector – is what’s required.
“When we first looked at Arabtec – [and] the same was the case with Depa – we had scattered ourselves too thin.
“When you do that, you lose the span of control. We’re a people industry, so we need to have people that deliver in accordance with the company’s values, and [meet] the company’s expectations, as well as those of our customers and clients,” Tyrwhitt says.